About Me

My photo
I am a below knee amputee. More importantly, I am also Mommy to two boys, a very active 10 year old (Robby) and an mischievous toddler (Timmy). I have learned that being a parent with a disability can create some unusual and sometimes humorous situations. This blogger is available for hire! Let's talk and learn how a blog can expand your business.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Dear Ex-Trainer

Last week I received a letter from my previous fitness facility. I was reluctant to address the matter in this public forum, however new issues have come to light, and I feel compelled to respond. I want others to learn from my fitness blunder and hope to thwart the same issues from plaguing another amputee.

In addition to my other limb issues, I have been concerned about an area of numbness which began to manifest several months ago. During an appointment with my prosthetist yesterday, I brought the issue to his attention. After an examination, I  received a diagnosis that left me stunned. I have severe nerve damage in my stump which has left me without feeling in the area the size of a grapefruit.

After discussing the scenarios which might lead to this injury, we were both left with no doubt that I am dealing with the aftermath of my ill-equipped trainers.The repeated lateral movements which forcibly pushed my limb against my socket wall did not slim my thighs but did crush the nerve. Had I insisted that the trainers consult with my prosthetist, I would not be dealing with this issue!

I am angry at myself for not being more aggressive in my requests they collaborate with my prosthetist. I should have insisted, and I should have been a better self-advocate. Speaking up to defend myself against somebody whom I perceive to be an expert has never been my strength. I trusted that they were competent and that they knew better than I.

I will assume some of the blame, but a large portion lies with the "experts" whom I trusted. Clearly out of their comfort and knowledge zone, they should have researched below knee amputee fitness. A quick Google search would have yielded a wealth of information including a warning to avoid high impact lateral movements.

I learned a valuable lesson through my experience at this gym. Not only do I need to trust my instincts, but I need to become more assertive when I disagree with an expert. When it comes to my limb health, I have a better insight than anybody!

Fueled by my latest fitness setback, allow me to take this opportunity to respond to the letter I received from R, the gym owner. He wrote that he hadn't seen me in months and "would genuinely like to know the reason why."

Well R, you asked!

Dear R, 

I am not coming back to your facility because I have lost all trust in your abilities as both a trainer and a nutritional expert. I went into your gym with an open mind and an eagerness to achieve my goals. I was honest about my abilities and my limitations. I believed that you could help me.

In hindsight, I should have seen the red flags immediately. During the first week I was instructed to consume 2100 calories with the promise of losing weight. According to my calculations, and those of every expert whom I consulted, that consumption paired with the exercises that I was doing would result in a weight loss of .6 pounds a week. 

That minuscule loss is unacceptable, especially considering that I was paying you $165 a week to help me achieve my weight loss goals. When your calculations were questioned I was told that "we're just trying to figure it out" and that "it'll take a few weeks to get your caloric intake determined." For the amount of money I was paying I expected you to deliver results, not delay my progress. 

I began to ponder, did you really have my best interest or were you trying to thwart my progress in an attempt to continue my patronizing your facility. The slogan  "One Client. One Trainer. One Goal" was not reflected in your actions and your nutritional advice. I began to believe that we did not hold the same goal!

During the work-outs, which by the way were supposed to be 45 minutes but were habitually cut short to 30, I tried to enlighten you about the issues of exercising with a prosthesis. I was told to "toughen up" and to "stick it out." I did, and I ended up with cuts, bruises, sores, abrasions and crushed nerves. I know the difference between the discomfort that comes from working muscles and limb pain. I resent that you did not believe me.

When I said that I needed to get a prosthetic sock for my limb because I could no longer bear weight within my socket, I was told to "run to the car, not walk." R, if you understood prosthetics you would have realized that if I could have run at that moment in time, I wouldn't have needed the sock! However, despite numerous offers, nobody contacted my prosthetist to discuss the healthiest way to approach exercise.

You were supposed to be the expert, yet I was the one who had to constantly provide the education. Some movements are simply painful and dangerous for an amputee to perform. I should have been heeded and you should have made an attempt to learn and to adapt.

Your offer of "two free weeks with us but also get 8 weeks of one-on-one training, nutritional consultations, and a heart rate monitor for only $1397" is utterly laughable. To point out the obvious, I already bought the heart rate monitor from you. Why would I need to buy another? You might provide "nutritional consultations" but, unlike what you imply, you are not a nutritionist. I prefer to patronize somebody who has the credentials to substantiate their touted "expertise."

I have found a new gym and have been reaping phenomenal results. My new trainers asked for permission to consult with my prosthetist during our first session. They admitted that they haven't worked with an amputee and voiced a willingness to learn. I respected them immediately for their honesty!

I no longer feel like my results are being manipulated and I feel that my views are respected. I am happy where I am going and, despite your generous offer of only charging $1397, I am not now, nor will I ever, return or recommend your facility. 


1 comment:

  1. You should consult with an attorney in order to discuss filing a lawsuit against this business. Also, contact the Better Business Bureau and the Chamber of Commerce regarding this matter.