A Post FIVE Years in the Making

June 2011

I know, I know – I post a lot about my workouts and weight loss on social media these days.  Let me tell you why.  It’s not vanity, even though it might come across that way.

It’s something very meaningful to me.  I have a few big reasons, but this one is at the top of the list.

This week marks 5 years since I did a short and intense workout that sent me to the hospital.

I didn’t twist an ankle or tear a muscle.  I didn’t even feel sick. But what I had can cause kidney failure and can be fatal.  And it’s sneaky. I won’t rehash the story here (there’s a link to that post at the bottom).

But what I DO want to share is how I have spent the better part of these past five years being SCARED and NERVOUS about almost every strength training workout, if my arms were involved in any way.

As you can imagine, that’s not a great scenario for a personal trainer!

Every time I would do an upper body workout, I had this voice in the back of my mind saying, “oohhhh girl be careful — this could be the workout that puts you back in the hospital!”  Because once you have rhabdomyolysis, you are much more susceptible to getting it again.  And not only was it a scary experience, it was also insanely expensive.

Any mild use of my biceps (whether workouts or housework or even carrying heavy grocery bags) would result in that weird tingle and numbness in my fingers, the same symptoms I had the first time.  I’d have intense soreness and fatigue in my arms, beyond what is normal.  Then it would freak me out and I’d have to wait days or weeks for my biceps to recover and try again.  I had lost all the muscle tone in my arms and had some weird muscular scar tissue that made me a bit self-conscious.

I was also fearful to workout in group fitness or even in front of friends/clients because I knew that I had to be super careful with certain movements and I worried that they would think I was just being “wimpy” if I had to modify or skip one.

It might seem like no big deal – but this was my career!  Being fit IS my job!  A decade and a half of work and learning and study and passion was on the line for me.

It has been SUCH a nerve-wracking journey and while I know that it will always be something I have to be careful about, I am thankful it happened because it made me an even better trainer.  Because I have “met” hundreds of people worldwide who have written me via my FitFeat blog to tell me that my story helped them know to go get a blood test and get a faster diagnosis.

Here I am 5 years later and for the FIRST time since June 2011, I have been able to find a routine that has allowed me to get my exercise confidence back.  I have my ARM strength back (and even have some baby biceps popping out!).  So when I FLEX in my pictures and say something silly like “sun’s out, guns out” or share a video of me doing pushups, it’s WAY more than vanity. For me it means overcoming that damn little voice in my head, and coming back stronger.     

Thank you to everyone who takes the time to read and support my posts on both the blog and social media. The time you take to leave a comment or press a like button means so much to me because fitness, nutrition and health coaching are my livelihood.  I was really terrified I was going to have to walk away from the fitness side of my work.  

It feels AMAZING to be back at it again, full throttle and better than ever (especially at 43 yrs old!).

I have so much that I can share with you!  I’m here whenever you are ready to take that next step.

Shari signoff



What is rhabdo? Here is my story:  http://fitfeat.com/blog/2011/06/03/rhabdomyolysis-if-you-exercise-read-this/

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