My name is Julie Martin. I am 52 years old. Two years ago I went through a nine hour operation to have a benign brain tumor removed. As a result, I am now permanently deaf in my left ear and without my left vestibular (balance) system. The easiest way to describe my everyday, is that I am in a constant state of variable vertigo.
Six weeks after my surgery I spent 45 minutes walking to the Fitness Firm with the aid of a walker (I live 1 km away). The stars were aligned that day and I was introduced to Matt Banks. Matt spent the next hour listening to my ‘tale of woe’ as I listed everything that was wrong with me. When I finally finished, I said “now what are we going to do about it?”
Matt took me under his wing and for the last two years has guided me through a fitness regime that literally started with sitting down and standing up again (repeatedly!) and now includes strength training, cardio, yoga and group fitness classes.
With Matt’s incredible knowledge of the human body and how it works he was able to tailor an active release massage schedule along with a stretching and strengthening routine that allowed me to move out of the walker, onto a cane and then eventually walk unassisted. It was at this point that the real work began (as if that wasn’t enough) and the quest to conquer the vertigo began. I could have decided at this point that this was as good as it was going to get, but Matt has a way of making you want to refuse to settle for mediocrity and strive to be the best that you can be.
After two years of working with Matt, I am still constantly surprised at what I can do now with ease, I can walk to the Fitness Firm in under 10 minutes, I can squat and line up my putts (haven’t been able to do that for 25 years….), I can twirl in circles while moving forward, and I can get on the floor and play with my 4 1/2 year old granddaughter just to name a few of the ‘little things’.
For me, remaining in control of my balance is, and will always be, a daily struggle. I thank you Matt for giving me the tools that I need, for always encouraging me to hang in there, and for believing in me. (Now….if we could just get you to stand on my right side to talk…..).