Wall of Fame
After a diagnosis of diabetes and then a life-threatening injury/illness in the line of duty as a state trooper, to reclaim my strength and balance and be the longest living pancreas transplant from Mayo Clinic. I’m on my way as my 10-year anniversary since this rare transplant was performed was this month (the record is 15 years.)
Jackie’s Wall of Fame Commentary on Ron:
I don’t typically write an introduction like this for my Wall of Famers. But Ron is not your typical client. He came to me just this past June, hoping for help returning to fitness after finally being released by his Mayo and local doctors to begin a strength training program. Diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in 1988, he already had encountered health challenges but stayed fit on the job (as pictured with his police dog Ben). Then in 2001, while doing a rescue in brackish water in sewer water, a cut caused an infection that wasn’t properly diagnosed until he went to Mayo Clinic. The impact to his body, including removal of many lymph nodes, left him with a myriad of health issues that he still battles today. He has endured 55 surgeries, including a pancreas transplant, spine surgeries, and 22 surgeries on his injured hand and arm alone. He has had multiple eye surgeries and now has neuropathy in his feet and atrophy in one leg that greatly limited his balance when he began our training. As the medications he takes impact his immune function he knew he needed a clean, holistic environment rather than a gym, and a therapeutic training approach to start. These medications also forever limit his muscle retention, and at age 55, as we all lose muscle mass rapidly, beating the clock to keep him building muscle was a challenge. He retired from the State Police in 2012 after 27 1/2 years in law enforcement and now donates his time to motivating others to achieve with disabilities; through all of this he raised a son as a single parent to adulthood. Still, Ron was undaunted in his approach to the program I developed for him and his work ethic is the best I have ever experienced in a client at any level—even compared to my strongest of athletes. His results have been swift and incredible. When I think of the word “trooper,” Ron emulates this in every sense of the word. Ron, I salute you and consider myself lucky to be your trainer!~Jackie
Ron’s Remarks on Health and Life: I knew the more physically fit and strong I was the more balanced my anti-rejection medicines for my pancreas would keep working as well as my overall immune function and health. In addition, by staying alive, the 21-year-old whose life had ended and donated his pancreas to me means that if I let myself go, two lives are wasted. I try to educate people on the importance of not giving up, especially kids who have diabetes. That if you have a positive attitude and exercise and eat right, it doesn’t mean you have to think about missing certain foods. You will feel and look better and that’s worth way more than any sweets.
Regarding Training with Jackie: Training with Jackie has meant true individualized programming, direction for at home and expert instruction with her. She not only helped me plan for my exercise, but plan for my future, and emotionally helped me to get where I want to be as well. Before this, I had actually given up on the thought that I could ever balance properly even just standing still, and now I am lunging with heavy weights doing bicep curls and even balancing and using free weights on a Bosu ball and more! Since I don’t have the feeling in my feet due to my neuropathy, and the atrophy impacts my balance, she taught me techniques to build up the other muscles of my legs so I could balance. Her instruction with yoga has also been extremely beneficial; I’ve noticed a significant change in my posture which has made my body more relaxed and reduced the occurrence of migraine headaches. Yoga has also given me more awareness of my balance capabilities and allowed me to focus on muscle strengths to compensate for other issues. It also helps me to peacefully reflect on my accomplishments and my future goals. In addition, I’ve found great improvement with her instruction on breathwork, mental focus and clarity through yoga sculpt with weights while strengthening my core and the muscles along my spine. Even managing to lift weights and exercise with my hand surgeries and vision issues were addressed with gait work and other methods. And while my health, balance and strength were my first goals, the other results are certainly exciting. I’m down 20 pounds in 3 months, I’ve lost 10 inches overall and 4 inches from my waistline–I haven’t been in this pant size since high school–not bad for anyone age 55! My energy has dramatically improved and I feel better than I have in years. I’ve “graduated” from a therapeutic program and now continue to progress with her advanced Periodization Program for adults to achieve significant strength gains over the age of 50. I continue to get stronger each week. Thanks so much Jackie!