Member Spotlight – Jennifer Philips

Member Spotlight – Jennifer Philips

In March of 2016 I broke my elbow. After two extensive surgeries, and numerous hours of physical and occupational therapy, I found myself suffering from depression. Things just weren’t progressing as quickly as I wanted them to, and I still had severe pain. I spent most of my time focusing on the things I couldn’t do, instead of the things I could do. I knew if I was going to get better, I needed to be saved from myself, and needed to make a positive change in my life. This is when I found the Choctaw Wellness Center, and all aspects of my life started to turn around. Sandra Jackson welcomed me into her spin and core-n-more classes. She used her knowledge and skills to modify movements so I could safely participate and be a part of the class. She really encouraged me by reminding me how strong I am, especially during times that I felt weak. Before I knew it, I was smiling and laughing again. It felt so good to feel like I was a part of something. Later, Ty Jackson started a kickboxing class. He also welcomed me into his class, and without full use of my left arm, still found a way to make kickboxing obtainable for me. Ty and Sandra both worked with me on high intensity interval training and weight bearing through my arm. I started noticing cardiovascular gains, less arm pain during passive range of motion, and improved mental health. My therapist and surgeon were pleased and somewhat shocked with how quickly I started progressing. Because I was doing so well, my therapist suggested that I put all my focus into strength training my left arm, so I would have the strength to move it on my own against gravity. That’s when I started personal training with Dan Trujillo. He really honed in on strengthening my arm using functional movement patterns. Before I knew it, I was participating more independently in functional daily activities. I was able to touch my face with my left arm, put my hair in a ponytail, and dress myself without using compensatory strategies. My active range of motion drastically improved, making all aspects of my life easier, especially my job. I started to see muscle tone in my arm again, which my therapist said would not develop until my arm started to reach a more functional range of motion. In two months of personal training, I improved my ability to bench press by 70 pounds, am able to perform various types of pushups, and can now perform tricep dips. All of which were difficult for me pre injury. Dan is also working with me on setting and obtaining my personal fitness goals. One of which is to complete unassisted pull ups again: the movement that I was doing when I fell and broke my elbow. I feel like the Jennifer I was before my injury. Only a stronger, healthier, and happier version of myself. Without the help of these 3 trainers, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I am so thankful they gave me a chance, and weren’t intimidated by my injury. I am so proud to be Choctaw, and to call The Choctaw Wellness Center my new home. A special thank you to the trainers who helped me get to where I am today