, , , , ,

Each one of us starts on our fitness journey for a different reason: to lose weight, to gain strength, to feel good about ourselves, etc. Though these reasons are common, they are still personal to our individuals lives and stories. Each one of us has a different story that leads us to begin our fitness journey.

Darci Tippins Client a S.W.E.A.T. Fitness in LuzerneDarci Tippins, a client at S.W.E.A.T. Fitness since 2011, began her fitness journey for the same reasons as many of us: to strengthen her body and stay in shape. Unlike most people, strengthening her body is critical because Darci was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in October 2011.

Three years ago, Darci began struggling with dizziness and losing her balance. Her doctor sent her for a myriad of tests to find the problem. It wasn’t until she had a MRI done that they found MS lesions all over her brain, causing the dizziness and balance issues. She went to Lehigh Valley hospital to get a second opinion and was finally diagnosed with MS.

Being a young and mostly healthy adult, she was surprised by the diagnosis and scared.

“When I found out I had MS I was so scared. I didn’t know what was going to happen to me.”

Darci had no idea what to expect so she began researching online. She admits, this is generally not a good idea, since there are a lot of inaccuracies on the internet. After doing some research online and then speaking with her doctor, Darci had a plan.

Her doctor put her on a high dose of vitamin D3 that she takes daily, gave her tips for a healthier diet and told her to drink lots of water and exercise as much as possible.

Like many people, Darci admits she won’t push herself if she goes to a gym. She needs a trainer or other clients to push and motivate her. Lucky for her, Darci’s brother works with Danielle Gliniecki and suggested she try hip hop fitness, at S.W.E.A.T.

Since she has always been fond of dancing, Darci decided to give it a try. After that first class, she was hooked. She was intrigued by the group fitness idea and decided to try other classes offered at S.W.E.A.T.

To help gain and maintain her strength, Darci tried Jess 1’s Max Burn class. Though she found it to be a tough class, she loved how it challenged her.

“I really enjoy challenging myself to do things I’ve never thought I could do before, like tons of push-ups, burpees, squats, etc.I love it when Jess shows us the workout we will be doing at each station in Max Burn. She shows the moderated version and then she says ‘If you really want to challenge yourself…’ and that’s what I love to do!”

Though Darci began her fitness journey to help her deal with the symptoms of MS and the strength she gained definitely keeps her on track, she also credits her fitness journey with helping to change her mindset.

I was never able to do any fitness at the level I can now. I never knew how strong I really was until I started working out. Now I’m not afraid to try anything.

For Darci, the most challenging part about staying fit is not the fact that she has MS. Instead, she struggles to find time to exercise. As a marketing administrative assistant at Lewith & Freeman Real Estate, she works varying hours and can’t attend as many S.W.E.A.T. classes as she would like. To stay active, Darci does whatever she can outdoors. When the weather is nice she likes to hike, swim and go for walks for with her husband.

In those few weeks and months just after Darci had been diagnosed with MS, she never imagined the routine she uses to stay on track with her health would lead her to where she is today, trying new fitness routines and challenging herself.

“From my experience if I never started working out and being more active I wouldn’t be doing as great as I am now. I’m working harder every day to keep it that way for as long as I can!”

Realizing how she has come so far in her fitness journey, she has some advice for others suffering from any type of ailment.

Never limit yourself to try something new like exercising! There are so many different kinds and levels of fitness. You may not be able to do fitness at the same level as everyone else but you can do it at whichever level you’re comfortable doing it and get stronger! Even walking is great exercise.”

Hope you enjoyed Darci’s story and feel inspired to challenge yourself today!

-Aimee, blogger for  S.W.E.A.T. Fitness StudioReBath Northeast and Edward’s Garden Center