A Horse Show Mom Gets Fit

A Mom's story 300x200

Ok if I am being honest, my mom hasn’t been a horse show mom in quite a few years BUT I can tell you this: If and when I show again, she will be on the rail cheering me on!  As for now, we need to go back a little in time so you can FULLY appreciate why I am so proud of the changes my mother in 2013.

I am the daughter of two former golf junkies. My mom was our local club champion and would regularly play from the men’s tees and kick some golfer booty! My parents were active as golfers but neither were riders, runners or gym rats. It is still a mystery how I inherited that trait. Rumor has it the horse thing came from my grandpa.

My dad was several years older than my mom. As he aged, he required more of her attention and care. On March 28, 2009 my dad suffered a major stroke and was hospitalized for 7 days before being moved to a nursing facility. He was 85 years old at the time and was not expected to ever come home again. Brenda was about to turn 67 years old.

Ironically enough, the day of his stroke was the final day of my first round of P90X. P90X was the very first Beachbody I had ever attempted, let alone completed. The day of my biggest physical accomplishment was the day that started my dad’s most difficult physical challenge.

My dad remained in the nursing facility until early May 2009. While in the facility, he required 24 hour care because he would ‘sundown’ (which means he would sleep walk at night even though he was wheel chair bound by day) and was a severe fall hazard. I think he had 4 dangerous falls during his time in the hospital and nursing home. His stroke triggered vascular dementia (think of it has rapid onset Alzheimer’s Disease). My mother spent most of her days caring for him at the facility while I kept family matters in order in all other areas, including managing what was at the time a 40 acre farm.

In May 2009, my family was blessed with a completely unexpected gift. My father had rehabilitated enough to be able to come home. I can’t tell you the joy that radiated from him when we drove through the driveway of our family farm. I don’t think I have ever seen anyone cry so hard to see his home. It was second only to how hard I cried during his funeral.

Again, ironically enough, a day that created so much gratitude and happiness for my dad and our entire family was also the day started the wear and tear on my mother. At first we hired nurses to help ease the work load but there reached a point that he didn’t really need a nurse but couldn’t completely manage on his own.

Once again, my mother lovingly gave of her entire self. I don’t know if any of you have been or know anyone who is a caregiver-I can assure you that but the demands are endless and the struggles seem unsurpassable.

On September 18, 2010 my dad started showing signs of a rapid decline. He faced another stroke that ultimately took his life on September 21, 2010. At the time of his death, he had survived a quadruple bypass back in 1991, was a type 2 diabetic with high cholesterol and heart disease.

It was not long after burying my dad, that I noticed my mother was failing in a way that went beyond grief and recovery. She had to start medication for high blood pressure and was facing medication for high cholesterol.  One day I called her and she could not get out of bed. She literally, physically and emotionally, did not have the strength. In a panic and not knowing what was going on, I convinced her to get up and just do some small relaxation exercises and stretches. It was enough to ‘get her blood flowing.’

Over the next several months, she graduated to walking on a treadmill and dabbling with weight bands. Her biggest challenge was that she had no experience in weight training. Without proper instruction, she was at risk for injury and losing motivation. I tried to convince her to join a gym or go to a yoga class but she was very uncomfortable that idea. I tried to help her personally but it was difficult to match our schedules. During this time of grief, both of us also suffered from poor nutrition choices and it was starting to show.

Enter the Beachbody programs and nutrition products. The first program I purchased for my mom was Debbie Siebers Slim in 6. She modified it to Slim in 9 and loved EVERY minute of it. She was ready for a greater challenge. At the same time she started replacing one meal or snack daily with Shakeology. She also started using P90X Peak Recovery Formula to replenish her body after working out.

Now enter ChaLean Extreme! Yes, you read that just right. My at the time 71 year old mom completed a full round of ChaLean Extreme as her second fitness program. She then went on to complete her second round, and she up to 8 pound dumbbells for overhead presses. As of November 2014, she has also completed the 21 Day Fix, Piyo, P90 and her personal favorite-Les Mills Pump.

My mom lost weight, did yoga once a week, increased her muscle tone AND no longer requires any medication for high blood pressure. Yes-a daily commitment to an effective, economical and fun fitness program combined with a reasonable nutrition program and accountability to her coach (that’s me!) help her return to a healthy and fulfilling life.

Do I sound like a walking, talking, blogging advertisement for Beachbody home fitness programs? You betcha. Any program that can provide the tools to get done what I got done and what my mom got done and what countless of my rider fitness boot campers got done is a win in my book.

Brenda is my inspiration each day.

Brenda’s story confirms that the programs and products from Beachbody work.

Brenda is the main reason I decided to become a fitness, nutrition and wellness coach. She was my first and ongoing success story!

If Brenda can do it and is still doing it at 72 years old, why not you?

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2 Responses to “A Horse Show Mom Gets Fit”

  1. Jason
    September 21, 2013 at 4:15 pm #

    Great job Brenda

  2. bbcoachleah
    September 21, 2013 at 7:29 pm #

    Thank you Jason! I will let Brenda know you gave her a thumbs up!

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