Reclaiming Her Life Post-Diagnosis

Amy Mongenel

Life Time Tempe, AZ | Member Since 2009

“When my feet started to move in the same direction as [the instructor’s], my heart filled with so much joy I started to cry.”

My journey with Life Time Fitness began in 2009 when my husband took a job in AZ. I became a member of the Tempe gym in hopes of finding a new version of myself. I fell in love with Zumba and yoga.  Then came September 2012. Two days after my 38 birthday I was diagnosed with MS. The following 4 months I lost my vision twice, the ability to walk and total use of the right side of my body. I spent 6 months in rehab learning how to walk again. Having to learn how to do something that was as natural breathing was beyond frustrating. Follow that with hearing my doctor say that I would need to accept that things like dancing/Zumba were in my past was crushing. Even as I write tears stream down my face. I wasn’t ready to give up my life for a disease. I worked in rehab and managed to get out of the walker and walk on my own. Then one day my husband suggested I go back to the gym. I thought he was crazy. How could I even get upstairs to the fitness level if I just learned to walk again? He reminded me of the elevator and called Laurence. We worked with Laurence 2 years earlier. When I met with him it was immediate support. He told he worked with several ladies with MS and got me on a weight training routine that put me on a path to feeling like myself again. Then one day months later I walked past Ingrid’s Zumba class and my heart ached. I missed it so badly. I decided right then to try. I slipped in the back and with hesitation I began to move with the music. When my feet started to move in the same direction as Ingrid’s my heart filled with so much joy I started to cry. We were all sweaty I don’t think anybody noticed so I stayed, danced and cried for the whole hour. Last year I met Heidi Campbell and tried Pilates.  She pushed and coached me through another painful period. She wasn’t just my Pilates instructor. She introduced me to food and stress labs/ assessments. She had me dangling upside down on the reformer! I’ll never forget the look on my dr’s face when I showed him the picture. His exact words “keep doing what you’re doing. It’s the only explanation to why you’re doing so well.” So how did Life Time make a positive impact on my life? It gave me my life back!


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