Exceeding Expectations: How Fitness Can Aid in Recovery

“I had learned how to lift weights in my freshman year of high school and lifted off and on through my high school years. I always enjoyed it, and in my early twenties, I became pretty serious and very religious about fitness and diet.

My wife has always worked nights, and, as my children (now 22 and 24) got to where I could no longer just put them in a swing while I exercised, I slowly drifted away from my fitness lifestyle.

In September of 2015 my son, Anthony, came home from Basic Training and Advanced Infantry Training for the VT National Guard. He hadn’t been home long when he asked me one night if I would teach him what I know about lifting weights.

After not focusing on exercise for about twenty years, I initially thought I’d forgotten everything. It had been so long, and I just didn’t think I had the time in my busy schedule, but I couldn’t say no.

My son wanted to better his life. I had the ability, the equipment, and could make the time to make it work. We dusted off my old equipment, brought it to his house and determined that we would get together twice a week. We started, and I loved it. I was getting fit, feeling great, and spending time with my boy.

In January of this year, Anthony decided that he needed to join a gym in order to have the opportunity to run in the winter months and make it more convenient with his schedule at DHMC. He joined RVC and gave me a week pass. I really enjoyed that week and decided to join as well. We worked out our usual two times a week together, and I tried to get to the Club an additional two more on my own.

Then, on April 14, 2016, I had a work accident in which I nearly severed two of my fingers. I had surgery to reattach three tendons and came away in a full splint on my left arm and pins in my fingers.

Because of my type of work, I was told I would not be able to work for at least eight weeks and then would be very limited with my mobility.

I sat down with my doctor and explained to him that I needed to be able to at least go to the gym and wanted to do anything that I could to make that happen. We went over what I had in mind, and I was back in the gym one week after my surgery.

I spent a lot of time on the treadmill and did anything that didn’t require a grip or pulling. When I began having Occupational Therapy I used my time on the treadmill stretching my tendons and exercising with putty in order to regain my hand strength. I went to every O.T. appointment exceeding expected gains thanks to my time on the treadmill and weight training.

My life is much different after joining RVC and catching the fitness bug. I have gained muscle, endurance, and am so much more energetic than I was before. I just can’t sit still, and, when I’m not in the gym, I’m hiking.

I am so thankful that my son wanted to get fit, joined the Club, and wanted me to be a part of it. It has gotten me excited about exercise and fitness, and reminded me how much I love doing it.

It has also gotten me through a time that, without it, would have been an opportunity for me to become very depressed and feel hopeless. At 49, I am once again excited about being fit and I feel great!”

Bill Romano

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