David Freeze: Heel-clicking progress for Brooke and Vivian

Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 2, 2017

When last we visited, both Brooke Taylor and Vivian Koontz were feeling pretty good about their progress on their year-long wellness journey. They had plenty of reason to be happy with better than average progress for January and February. I felt confident that they both would continue with strong results for March.

A regular routine has developed with almost daily workouts for both ladies. We all run together on Tuesdays and Fridays with the distances starting to increase weekly. Vivian, Salisbury Parks and Recreation Events Coordinator, was a high school and college athlete and wanted desperately to include her health as a priority going forward. Brooke, Circulation Supervisor for Rowan Public Library, had never really felt motivated to improve her fitness. Our beginning runs were slow and there wasn’t much conversation to begin with. However, Vivian has quickened her pace quite a bit, especially early in the runs, and can talk fairly well once she eases into the second mile. Brooke has been setting a new personal best for the 5K on nearly every run and is also able to at least answer questions along the way with more than a gasping word. Vivian was just short of five miles on her run this past Tuesday and Brooke ran four, but then she ran another mile later that afternoon.

Running has become their base exercise but they aren’t limited to it. The other primary exercise involves the stationary bike and spin classes. With increased cardiovascular fitness often comes a minor pain or two, something that Doctor of Physical Therapy Delaine Fowler calls a road block. Vivian and Brooke received an assessment with Delaine’s clinic, Accelerate Health and Fitness, on Thursday of last week. Delaine said, “Many times, those new or returning to exercise experience pain or tightness and use it as an excuse to forego their workouts. I am so happy Brooke and Vivian choose instead to come in and ask about any issues instead of giving up on their goal.”

After the assessment session, Delaine added, “We went over the ATP post run stretch program which I hope they find helpful and relaxing as they cool down from their workouts. Then I addressed some issues Brooke was having with her knee. Many beginning runners will have knee pain. Much of that knee pain is not really from running but core and hip weakness that needs to be addressed. I gave Brooke some hip muscle exercises to help that issue. Vivian wanted to address an issue she had had since having her baby. She has been unable to rise from a crouched (squat) position without using her hands for support. We added some functional core training exercises to her routine. Over time with the training, her core function should improve. I am super proud of these ladies and am honored to have been a part of their journey.”

The end of month weigh-ins came on Thursday with Brooke showing an overall 23.8 pound loss since January 1st while Vivian notched a decrease of 15 pounds. Brooke said, “I may or may not have clicked my heels afterwards!”

Brooke is ecstatic with her progress and said, “I cannot believe that I look forward to my workouts before work. I got to donate two trash bags of clothes to Goodwill and then buy some new ones. But I still want to lie down after a four-mile run. The TWAM and Millbridge 5K’s are on my radar.”

Seeing the scale drop is the big motivator for Vivian. She loves taking power spin classes with Rayna at the Forum and enjoys increasing the speed and distance on her runs. Vivian said, “My husband says I am smiling more so this must be doing something for my soul.

Both ladies want and need to take Ester Marsh’s morning classes at the Y in order to improve strength and balance while keeping diet impulses under control. Positive comments from friends and co-workers keep fueling the fire for both.

These two ladies continue to make my job easy. They come to our meetings ready to work and I can count on positive attitudes and a least a finishing smile. When working out on their own, they obviously keep pushing the bar higher. All three of us are looking for another great month in April!

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