“From Chair to Walking Unassisted”
I became a member of The MS Gym in June 2017. Initially I thought, this is too good to be true. The more I watched and listened to Trevor, I realised this wasn’t some hocus pocus therapy. The concept of neuroplasticity was new to me, but made sense. The daily live sessions became part of my day. For the very first time I felt hopeful that I could improve my posture, reduce spasticity and have less back pain from sitting all day in a power chair.
I was diagnosed with MS over 30 years ago. None of the disease modifying drugs slowed the progression. I succumbed to using a power chair 12 years ago as I lost all mobility. My neurologist’s attitude was this was just the nature of this disease. Nothing else could be done.
Over the years physical therapists manipulated my slowly wasting muscles. Little was expected of me physically, after all it is MS, you know, they said. I was resigned to the inevitable.
So my heart soared when thanks to The MS Gym, I began to see improvements in my body. My left side is affected, but I could stand. Trevor said, “If you can stand, then you can walk”.
And so it began. I walked 3 steps, then it gradually increased. By September, when I had scheduled HSCT, I was walking, unaided, 600 steps up and down my hallway! Unbelievable! I never expected I would be using my legs again.
I did not hesitate to join The MS Gym Membership. The exercises in the programs are structured in a specific sequence and Trevor’s instruction, demonstration and explanation of each exercise is clear and understandable.
I have all this information at my fingertips now. I can pause and hit play whenever is convenient for me. Go back and repeat certain exercises as many times as I need to, if I haven’t quite mastered one. I am midway through Movement Camp 1 and every few days I notice small changes, that all add up. If I have a question for Trevor I can post it on the program page, and he will answer directly. The camaraderie and support among the 11,000 plus members is absolutely priceless. We are on the same journey, uncovering potential we did not even know we had.
My foot drop is lessening, my stiff arm is loosening up, balance, posture, and walking, improve day by day. This means, I can get out of my van using the door, not the side ramp, and walk a short distance, no wheel chair. Do you know how that feels? I am reclaiming my freedom. I walk around in my house most of the day now. I can cook meals, vacuum, activities others take for granted. We will be soon be installing hand rails along the wheel chair ramp leading to our front door. By summer I intend to walk across the road and up the steps into my neighbor’s house.
I am back in control, and it is because of the MS Gym Membership program. Daily exercise is now my medicine and I am looking ahead with goals, dreams, and hope!
“I’ll Be Able To WALK My Daughters Down The Aisle!”
I was feeling defeated until I came across The MS Gym through a Facebook friend. My energy was at an all-time low and I was forced to use a cane and struggled to use the stairs in my own home, only going downstairs once a day.
The MS Gym is where I found guide and MY tribe! The MS Gym and Trevor IS my movement therapy . Trevor gets it, he understands us, has compassion for us, and responds with motivation to us.
The program helped to reset my body and set up my daily routine. Before The MS Gym, I could only do five minutes on my bike, and lucky if I could manage three push-ups. Now I’m on my bike for 37 minutes using a resistance level 7, I walk on my treadmill for 20 minutes, I can do 75 push-ups a day, and I plank three times a day for almost 10 minutes at a time. It’s crazy! I have muscles which I haven’t seen in 20 years and I had forgotten what it felt like to have muscle pain because of exercise, and yes I like it.
I am now confident that I will be able to walk each of my 4 daughters down the wedding aisle and participate in their Daddy-Daughter dances. Thank you MS Gym.
“When NOTHING else worked, the MS Gym worked.”
I marked the date on my calendar. I actually saved last year’s calendar because this date was marked and I wanted to keep the reminder of what life USED to be like and that I had made great progress. That Saturday I did my first MS Gym Exercises. I had downloaded the foot drop and core strengthening guides and I got on the floor to begin. Well, let me just say, it was tough. I hurt everywhere! I couldn’t move anything. It wore me out just massaging my legs.
Although I had been in and out of PR countless times, I had done nothing like the MS Gym. I kept at it, tears and all. I learned the free guides, tuned in and followed along with the Facebook group when I could (I always felt stronger just watching Trevor and listening to his encouragement!), communicated with Trevor and Misty, and purchased and worked through the HSCT Rebuild program, extremely slowly, I might add! That was when I began to see improvement happening more rapidly!
Fast-forward 3 months as I was finishing up the Rebuild program and waiting for the unveiling of the membership. Here I am with my husband, David at a Christmas concert with the Alabama Symphony Orchestra and my favorite local group, Act of Congress. I had wanted to go to this concert for a long time but had not been able to tolerate nor enjoy an outing like this for the past four years. With Trevor’s help in Rebuild, I was able to do it, all 1000, or so it seemed, stairs it took to get to our seats and everything!!! As you can see, we had a fabulous time. First date night we’ve had in a very long time where I could almost completely relax and feel like a normal person, again, and I did completely enjoy the concert!
I think I bought my membership for a whole year the same day as the unveiling. Trevor has guided me and virtually held my hand through some tough days and has celebrated each small victory with me. He has taught me, mentored me, and supported me unconditionally. When NOTHING else worked, the MS Gym worked. I’m not where I want to be, yet, but I know that with my membership there will always be another day, another solution, another exercise, another movement, another approach that will help me reach my dream of moving effortlessly and living through the rest of my long life enjoying those I love.
Thank you, Trevor and Misty!!
Denise Nolen, Birmingham, Alabama
“This is the best investment you can make in your MS fight. I have not experienced positivity like this since MS entered my life.”
If you’re a member of the MS Gym, I don’t have to tell you how incredible Trevor and Misty are. I am loving the Membership Program. Yesterday my month was up and I switched to a yearly membership, totally optional.
I am working in the Sitting Strong program. I’ve repeated weeks, and it’s nice to know I’m not alone in that because of the companionship I’ve found in the member’s corner. Everyone can go at their own pace, and will be encouraged. The stories in there are incredible, big and small victories are inspiring and are celebrated.
Trevor will answer questions about exercises in the software of the membership program. If you’re working, and busy, it is so much easier than the free Facebook group. You just go in and resume where you left off. If you aren’t working, you will still love the ease, and you’ll find a group of friends that are always there in the Members Corner.
I personally have struggled to stay active, after PPMS entered my life 3 years ago. MS has marched on in my body, and made my world smaller and smaller. I tried different types of exercise, and PT, but they always left me more immobile because of pain and fatigue. Trevor knows just what you need no matter what difficulties you’re having.
In the membership program I’ve learned that I have to go slow and steady, from Trevor, and other members who’ve learned this important lesson. Fighting back against MS is huge, just in your mind alone; to know that you are doing something to fight back takes away the helpless feelings that often enter our thoughts. And you will see improvements if you listen to your body, and are consistent in your workouts. Because of its ease of use, and sense of community, the membership program helps you stay consistent.
This is the best investment you can make in your MS fight. I have not experienced positivity like this since MS entered my life.
“There is no other group that I’ve EVER come across like this!”
I became of a member of MS GYM because it is the best thing ever that I’ve seen offered to help direct a MS-er, like myself. It’s an opportunity to live life more for the 1st time in 3 decades. I knew it was different being that the guy running it was not only a professional PT, but that he had both worked & knows about autoimmune issues. He is also a Neuro-muscular Movement specialist. It’s one thing to know something intellectually, but to have empathy, compassion AND personal experience to relate to others with, well that lets another know that Trevor Wicken & this program he’s developed is the “Real Deal”.
I’d never been successful getting back some of the mobility I’d lost over the years, especially because I’d never worked with anybody who actually gave the “brain-body connection” more than lip service.
Yet… since working with the MS Gym the following things have started happening to me: I’m re-establishing a relationship with my son who was estranged from me after a challenging divorce. I am able to be conscious of my posture while sitting, walking or just trying to move. Thirdly, I’m establishing a miraculous connection with a lot of differently experienced & diagnosed with MS people, who recognize also that the forum of the MS GYM gives us an opportunity to be ourselves genuinely, (without any sort of judgment) either as we share or just choose to observe.
I have never been able to be comfortable in my skin, the way I feel with this group, I don’t feel “special”, just feel “alive & hopeful.” I believe the authenticity of having people with all kinds of different perspectives & MS experiences, being able to have a voice is the thing that is incredibly unique & helpful, like NO OTHER type of MS group or “Support tool,” available in the whole MS community. There IS no other group that I’ve EVER come across like this; when mentioning to other professionals, friends, family or MSer’s; while they are happy for me, are astonished about how I’ve changed.
Maria (Tulia) Peccorini