Hi my name is Trevor Wicken.
I am the proud owner of The MS Gym, the largest and most comprehensive platform for movement and mindset training for those living with MS and other neurological conditions. Since its inception, we have now transformed the lives of 1000’s of people throughout the world.
I had a vision 7 years ago to create an interactive online community that would deliver exercise programs, mindset training, and provide a home for MSers to find support, encouragement, safety, empathy, education, and acceptance as they battled through the roller coaster ride of living the MS Life.
Our lifetime goal is to set 1 Million people free using the power of neuro-muscular movement training and build a family that stands united in the pursuit of overcoming MS.
It’s finally happening but it’s been a wild and crazy journey full of ups and downs, victories and defeats. We have read heartbreaking stories of struggle that drive us to serve at the highest level and have participated in tear producing victory stories that ignite our hearts to create more and more life-changing exercise programs.
To really understand how this came to be, I would like to travel back to the beginning of our story and take you on the journey that brought us here.
From a very young age, I realized I had a gift. I remember at 12 years old sitting at an outdoor restaurant with my dad and observing a younger woman walking with a cane. With a proud smirk on his face, my dad asked me what I saw… in my best 12 year old explanation, I told him that her hip hurt and she was leaning to the side to take weight off her hip but her low back hurt and that is why she had her hand on it. I just saw it.
I fell deeper in love with movement as medicine in high school when a spinal injury ended my football career and resulted in 3 doctors recommending a tri-level fusion of my spine, at 16 years old. My dad refused that path, we kept looking for a solution, and I kept consuming a bottle of Advil a week to manage the pain.
A couple months later, we connected with a neuro-muscular movement specialist who took 30 minutes to watch me move, explained how my body was out of balance, and then wrote out a plan of how we were going to correct my spine. Six weeks later, my back pain was reduced 75%, I wasn’t chewing pain-killers, and. …… I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up ☺
I decided to major in sports medicine as an undergrad and after college, I completed a graduate program in exercise science with a focus on biomechanical analysis. I followed up this Master’s degree by completing my certification as a strength and conditioning specialist, medical exercise specialist, and corrective exercise specialist. I couldn’t get enough of studying neurology, kinesiology, anatomy, physiology, and biomechanics.
During my academic career and almost immediately after the completion of my graduate program, I continued to work with a variety of clients ranging from professional and Olympic athletes to those who were affected with arthritis, osteoporosis, cardiac problems, diabetics, and the morbidly obese.
However, my world opened up when one of my stroke clients connected me with a local brain injury and neurology clinic. After sharing my background, methodology, and passion for exercise as medicine with one of the neurologists over the second most significant cup of coffee in my life (just below my first coffee date with my bride), I was being referred 2-3 new neuro clients per week.
At 25 years old, 80% of my clientele consisted of those whose lives were interrupted by MS, Parkinson’s, stroke, brain injury, and paralysis. I had the same feeling I had at 16, and I knew what I REALLY wanted to be when I grew up.
It was my MS clients that shaped me the most as a movement specialist. I LOVED working with them because, they understood that exercise was their way to stay functional and they loved the way I trained because it worked so well. Every MSer I worked with was a warrior and I was inspired daily by these strong, amazing people who had their lives turned upside down and had suffered SO much loss yet they kept on FIGHTING day after day to break free from the thief who threatened their freedom.
My MSers just didn’t quit, they did whatever I asked, and they committed themselves to improving themselves at ALL costs. Their feedback and results helped me test my training method, refine my craft, document my best programming strategies, and share day in and day out what it was like living with MS. I am grateful I got to “live out” MS indirectly through them.
Here’s the powerful truth… THEY GOT BETTER. THEIR BODIES BEGAN TO MOVE RIGHT. THEY GOT THEIR LIFE BACK… and the power of my movement training strategy was validated and proven over and over. It was created specifically to set MSers free.
I spent the next few years working with my tribe of neuro clients in Northern Colorado and then one day, I got a text from my trainer buddy who was referring one of his clients because she had suffered a cerebellar aneurism when she was 17 and was having significant neurological issues. That girl’s name was Misty.
Now, I had seen this dark haired beauty in the gym over the past couple of months, I developed a little crush, and we even had “one of those talks” in a quiet side booth in the middle of a party one night.
However, I put on my “practitioner hat,” turned off the school boy crush, and began working with her as a client. Upon assessment, it was clear the damage to her brain stem had left her with left side foot drop, Trendelenburg gait, slow hand dexterity, poor walking balance, and a severely spastic neck.
Over 4 months, Misty and I used my RISE method of training to balance out her nervous system and like so many before, her brain and body responded. Her walking improved, her feet became more responsive, her grip strength improved, she could balance on one leg, and her neck pain disappeared… and then she fired me.
Yup, she was out of town on a business trip and called to ask me what exercises she could do in her hotel gym, and then she said, “One more thing, since you’re SO professional and won’t ask, I need to fire you as my trainer and ask you when I can get to know you outside the gym?”
Well, the rest is history. We had our first date, fell in love, got married, and have never spent a day apart since. The vision for your marriage was formulated during our short engagement period as we spent a lot of time discussing our future. We decided we wanted to live close to her family in southwest Denver but I still didn’t know what I was going to do down there. I had built my career in northern Colorado and wasn’t afraid to start over but just had this feeling I was supposed to do something big.
During a car ride down to see my mom, we were discussing ideas about how I could build a practice in Denver. At one point, after a long pensive pause in conversation I said, “Mist, I just feel like there are a million people with neurological issues out there I’m supposed to help and I think I need to find the MSers.” Misty’s eyes lit up and she enthusiastically agreed, “That’s it babe! We need to open a medical exercise training facility and you need to help your people.”
So we packed up our life, planned our wedding, moved into my in-laws garage in an effort to save up for our wedding and business (romantic huh?), and started looking for a space for our practice.
In 2011, we opened up our doors and started rocking… but after 14 months in business, I became frustrated and exhausted. Yes, my schedule was full, we had a training staff, 4 different fitness programs, and were operating a debt -free profitable business, but I felt limited by the fact that I was only one person and limited in the number of people I could help.
I KNEW there were so many MSers out there who needed my exercise programs and I had NO idea how I could run my business, manage a staff, build my new marriage, and help people who were outside of the 10 mile radius around me.
I noticed how the web was growing and came across a few online fat loss programs and sports performance sites that got my brain churning. I knew I needed to figure out how to use the internet to impact those who would benefit from my neurologically based exercise method AND build the best brick & mortar facility in town.
I had no idea where to start, but I turned my focus on building an all-encompassing business model that would allow me to provide medical exercise training, sports performance training, boot camps, small group functional training programs, online coaching, nutritional programming, and lifestyle planning.
We found success in this model for close to two years but unfortunately, the business grew too big, the model was too complex, and the operations became too expensive for two young business owners. The demands of the project and managing a facility of that size were outside our entrepreneurial skill sets at that time.
In attempt to just keep our heads above water, Misty and I made some business mistakes, sought counsel from some unqualified people, and hired staff members that weren’t the right fit for our vision. With this, I just couldn’t find the help and guidance I needed. The weight of the business took its toll on us, our marriage and our health.
In 2013, my health took a turn for the worse. My gut flared up, my joints gave out, my muscles deteriorated, my nervous system gave out, and a deep depression and anxiety set in. I was diagnosed with severe Celiac Disease and 3rd stage Lyme disease just after the birth of our first born daughter.
My world quickly became a dual life. One version of Trevor was filled with the deepest joy of living out his lifelong dream of being a daddy and husband. The other version was really at an all-time low, afflicted with a failing body, a turbulent business, and the feeling of not knowing what to do or where to go.
However, even in the midst of our battle, the vision to serve 1 million was NEVER abandoned by Misty or myself. In fact, I believe it is the reason she and I were able to make it through some of the darkest days of our life, grow stronger as a couple, and truly appreciate the continual stream people we have served over the years. We just KNEW what we were supposed to do with our lives and kept our eyes on our calling.
Fortunately, Misty and I are people who take responsibility for our mistakes, can course correct quickly, and work well together to find solutions to our problems. We both took massive action to turn our lives around. We started eating an anti-inflammatory diet, using neurologically based exercise to heal our bodies, and designed our life to move us toward our vision. We let go of all things that distracted or pulled us off course including relationships, Netflix binge-watching, new business opportunities, and our precious business that had overrun us.
We downsized our practice, let go of our staff, and simplified our life so we could focus on what I’m good at, teaching people how to use neuro-muscular exercise training to heal themselves. Our health improved, our practice grew, our clients were getting crazy results, and we brought another baby into this world.
I worked with almost exclusively with neurological clients and a majority of those clients were MSers. As I saw life after life being changed through the power of exercise, I began to feel that discontentment rise in my heart once again. I felt that painfully familiar tug on my heart that there were so many MSers across the globe that needed freedom like my local clients were experiencing.
The intensity of that discontentment grew through conversation after conversation with my clients who discussed how broken the system was for the MS community. There were no resources on the internet to teach MSers how to move right, think right, or get the education they needed to be their best advocate. As I did my research, I found that sadly, there were SO many people who were left with no support, no guidance, no resources, and no community to help them.
After many conversations with Misty, prayers to God, and searching my heart for the one calling that was placed on my life, I decided that…
I MUST create that a platform to provide MSers with movement training to heal their bodies, mindset training to restore their outlook, and an opportunity to belong to a community where they felt welcomed, accepted, heard, educated, taken care of, and most of all loved.
After a year of researching, investing in, and being burnt by the internet “gurus” in an attempt to build my platform, I finally had a breakthrough in May of 2017 with one phone call that changed my life. During that call, a consultant named Ken Allen, that I had met in an entrepreneurial Facebook group, made one statement that clarified everything for me.
He said, “Trevor, forget all the crap you’ve been taught and just share your brain with the MS community, they need to hear this.”
All of the sudden the clouds of a 7 year storm cleared and the hidden sunlight illuminated exactly what I needed to do. Ken and I agreed the best way for me to start The MS Gym was to open a free Facebook group and share daily videos with the MS community. The rest is history.
What has transpired since then is nothing short of a miracle. What started as a vision inspired conversation has now transformed into a Facebook group of over 25,000 MS warriors finally getting the help they need. The life-changing stories from our group led to the release of a 6 week course on re-building the MS body through exercise. That program was so successful that it inspired the development of an ever growing membership community where I get to coach people every day how to counteract their MS symptoms and live a life by design and not diagnosis… WELCOME TO THE MS GYM!
No matter how you found this community, I am thrilled to let you know that it was NO accident, it wasn’t a coincidence and you are meant to be here. YOU can learn how to exercise in a way that re-trains your brain how to use alternative neurological pathways to work around the MS damage in your body. You CAN restore your strength, balance, coordination, and mobility. You CAN be free.
As you read, I fought hard to make all of this happen for you because you need someone to fight for you. You need someone to educate you. You need someone to guide you. You need a community to love you through the roller coaster of living with MS.
Welcome home, we’ve been waiting for you.
Join your new Facebook family: THE MS GYM
See you on this inside.
With respect and honor in serving you,
Trevor & Misty Wicken
Founders of The MS Gym