Jen Gilbert had always been active with a love of skiing, surfing, mountain biking, hiking and marathon running. This all changed in April 2012 when Jen was violently attacked by a neighbor’s dog. After the first of three surgeries, Jen was happy to no longer be confined to a wheelchair, but found she was struggling with the intensive physical therapy schedule where the doctors simply hoped to help her walk down stairs normally again.
Nine months into her rehabilitation, her doctor suggested Jen begin cycling to strengthen her leg muscles. Soon thereafter, Jen found herself in a RPM™ class at Gold’s Gym in Redmond, Washington. RPM™ Instructor, Leonie Padgett, knew of Jen’s injuries and coached her through modified workouts, providing gentle support on her bad days and encouragement to go a bit harder on her good days. “That first Les Mills RPM class literally changed my life,” says Jen.
As Jen’s strength returned, she was encouraged to try other classes, first CXWORX™ to help her strengthen her core and improve stability, and then a few months later, BODYPUMP™. “My doctors were stunned at the progress I was making,” Jen reports. “Little did they know I was scheduling my appointments not only around work, but also around my favorite classes!” Despite the modifications Jen’s injuries require her to make, the workouts gave her a sense of community and allow her to see – and feel – the progress she is making in her recovery.
In October 2014, Jen participated in her first Les Mills Super Quarterly, a large event showcasing of all the latest LES MILLS™ workouts. It was here that she got to see the passion and talent of the Les Mills tribe in action. “It was inspiring and humbling,” she says. “I’m so happy to have joined a community that doesn’t just say they want to inspire a fitter planet, they actually live it!”
“My life is fitter, stronger and literally changed by what these classes and the Les Mills philosophy have brought into my life,” says Jen. “And while this body may look damaged on an x-ray, it feels strong and beautiful to me.”
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