Recovering From a Sports Injury and Losing Weight with the Help of a Trainer

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broken leg fibular spiral fracture with open reduction internal fixation surgery ORIF

My ankle, after surgery. There are six screws holding that plate in place. Pretty cool, huh?

Marquette, Michigan  –  January 13, 2014  –  Three years ago, I broke my leg playing rugby. A metal plate and six screws were needed to repair the break. Since then, I’ve been gaining 30-35 pounds a year.

I tried several times to get back into a workout routine and lose weight. Each time I wound up injuring myself and quitting.

This time, I’m not going to do it by myself. I just started working with a personal trainer three times a week to improve my strength and mobility and to lose weight.

Injuries and Emotional Stress  –  About a month ago, Bill Tibor and I were talking about injuries, surgery and recovery. Bill is one of my coworkers here at Great Lakes Radio. He broke both of his knees and shattered his hip in a car accident. He needed major surgery to repair the damage. We talked about pain and how easy it is to give up.

The physical side of rehabilitation gets the most focus from medical professionals and I was totally unprepared for the emotional stress after the injury. I withdrew from friends and teammates, avoided games, and cried when I looked at my treadmill. I just didn’t want anything to do with rugby or the gym.

Over the years, those negative feelings stuck with me and I shied away from most physical activities. It was a lot easier to be a couch potato. When Bill looked at me and said, “Nancy, I’ve been where you are,” I was touched.

silver dumbbell

It’d been a few years since I’ve been in the gym, but I’m actually having fun there now.

Getting Back to the Gym  –  Bill told me how a personal trainer helped him gain motion and strength. He encouraged me to get back to the gym and said if I was ready to, he would help me get there. Bill asked me to think about it for a couple days and make sure I was really ready to make the commitment.

So, I went home and thought about it. I looked at the treadmill folded up in the corner collecting dust. I worried about getting hurt and quitting again. Then I talked with my family and received so much support and encouragement.

I went back to work and told Bill I wanted to meet with Brian Claus, one of the owners at Synergy Fitness. He introduced me to Brian and they got me back into the gym.



Amanda Thompson Synergy Fitness

Amanda Thompson, Personal Trainer at Synergy Fitness in Marquette


The First Week  –  I just finished the first full week of workouts with Amanda Thompson, my personal trainer. She’s energetic and a lot of fun to work with. She keeps me motivated and moving for the whole hour.

Amanda helps me stretch and has me modify movements to protect my ankle. I’m a lot more confident in the gym knowing that she’s watching out for my ankle. I have a lot of anxiety over re-injury and she understands that, but she still makes sure I  move and strengthen it each day.

I am proud of myself for working out this past week. My muscles are sore, but it’s a good kind of sore. Most of my muscles in my back are really tight, so they tend to cramp up while I’m working out. My goal right now is to get through a 1-hour workout without having to stop for pain and cramps.

measuring tape

My initial measurements were a little hard for me to look at, but I know I can change those numbers.

The Numbers  –  My first session at Synergy Fitness was an initial fitness assessment. Several measurements were taken and I was nervous about sharing that. I’m going to though, because those numbers won’t stay that way for long. This is where I’m starting from:

I’m 5 feet, 4 inches tall. I weigh 264.4 pounds. My body fat percentage is 47.66%. During my cardiovascular test, my heart rate was 177 beats per minute and my resting heart rate was 154 beats per minute. I was able to do 26 crunches in 30 seconds. My max leg press is 360 pounds and my max bench press is 125 pounds.

FOLLOW ME and my progress each weekend, as I continue to write about  my experiences in and out of the gym while recovering from my injury and losing weight. At the end of each month, I’ll update those fitness assessment numbers, sharing my successes and my setbacks. I even started a photo journal that I’ll share along the way.

How about you? Did you start a new fitness program this year? Fill out the comment form below and tell me what you’re doing to get in shape. If you’re already in shape, leave some pro tips for beginners and people slowly making their way back to the gym. Thanks!

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