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Cindy Asch-Martin

Olympia, WA

After my left leg had to be amputated June 2011, my chosen career and the knowledge that went with it came in quite handy. For about 13 years, I had been keeping myself and others in shape as a certified personal trainer. So after my leg was amputated, the hospital’s occupational therapist and physical therapist said they needed to teach me how to walk now that my body was no longer in balance. I couldn't help but laugh. I explained that I was a certified personal trainer and that is what I do for a living. They said, ‘Prove it,’ so I got my walker and walked around the entire hospital floor. Once we got back to my room, they said, ‘Yep, you don’t need us.’ They realized I would be just fine.

I was very thankful for my former focus on core stability. I knew that it was the best form of exercise for my situation because it strengthens the entire body; it made my recovery effortless. I was back at the gym two days after leaving the hospital. It was also how I preserved my sanity. I focused on core training, using the BOSU ball, resist-a-balls, kettle bells, cables and anything that uses the entire body.

My speedy recovery confirmed what I knew all along: working out is so important, especially stability exercises. As we age, our balance gets worse so it is important to keep our core strong. I really want to help other amputees and other people in general to get their bodies fit and ready for the unexpected. From my online amputee group, I learned that so many of them gain weight after losing a limb. Many of them waited until they got their prosthesis and only then began to start exercising again to try to lose all the weight they had gained. I was the opposite and was very active from the get-go after my amputation.

I encourage other amputees to stay in shape or start getting physically fit and active again. It’s okay to start slowly because slowly is better than sitting and doing nothing. Try a little bit more each day, and try to be positive and not negative. I try to offer helpful tips to those in my online amputee group who have gained weight and want their lives back. I have actually started a virtual online training program via webcam for those who cannot afford a gym. I am here to help others, and that is what helps me feel good.


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