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Fit for Life – Reverse Chronic Pain… Save Your Life!

To be fit for life is to change your life for the better. It may even save it. There are so many ways fitness can empowers you, and it goes far beyond how you look.

Fitness empowers you.

I’ve struggled with weight all my life, it seems. I got my mom’s genes and it’s been a lifelong struggle for her. So often we tend to think of exercise as being all about weight loss, or more specifically, fat loss.

Of course it is about body composition, but there are so many other positive side effects. You may already be noticing these subtle positive changes, and you will experience many more over time.

Genetic heredity... only part of the picture.
Genetic heredity… only part of the picture.

You will note how you bound up stairs effortlessly, and even want to take more stairs. You will observe increased agility and coordination. And, you will experience how the more you move, the more you feel like moving, which begins to affect the decisions and choices in each day, as your life becomes more animated, active, engaged and energized.

Seek out the stairs whenever you can, and take them two at a time.
Seek out the stairs whenever you can, and take them two at a time.

The more we do, the more we can do. And… it’s VERY likely that your fitness momentum will save your life.

Fitness saved my life. Twice.

In case you’d like to hear more of my fitness story, you can read Part One here below, and it’s also the story of how the My Trainer Fitness brand of products sprang to life. Or, if you want to cut to a more dramatic, life and death story, you can read that here.


The First Time Fitness Saved My Life

Anyone who’s ever suffered from chronic pain knows how crippling this can be toward overall quality of life. Anyone who hasn’t experienced chronic pain, can imagine it such as when you’ve had an injury or been sick, and how when we start to get well, it’s so incredibly energizing and empowering to feel well and strong again.

Fitness saved my life by rescuing me from chronic back pain and early loss of bone density.

Fitness saved me from chronic back pain and osteoporosis.

Chronic back pain is no fun! The good news? Much of it is reversible and remedial with exercise and yoga.

I was spending hundreds of dollars each month in pain relieving measures with massage therapists and chiropractors, when it finally occurred to me that none of these were curative measures. They were only temporary fixes.

I was around age 45 at that time, when I finally realized that ultimately, my health and wellness were up to me. I wanted natural solutions, and to avoid pills and chemical prescriptions as much possible.

I didn’t want to be dependent on medication or others for my health and wellness.  If I went down that road at 45, where would I be by 55..?  That was the tipping point for me. Nor did I want to get on—and stay on—calcium supplements the rest of my life. Not only is that an added expense, but they have their own negative side effects.

Journey Back to Health

I had been doing exercise videos at home and was getting into shape. The pain was improving, but it wasn’t eliminated.

What was missing was the bone-strengthening, muscle-building benefit of strength and resistance training using free weights and resistance machines.

LeAura at the gym at age 50.


LeAura doing Smith Machine wide stance squats
LeAura doing Smith Machine wide stance squats
At the Gym
LeAura in 2009 at 50, doing bench chest flys
At the Gym
LeAura, doing close-grip chest press with EZ-Bar


At the Gym















At the GymThat meant joining a gym and doing resistance training for the first time in my life.

Frankly, I had avoided gyms.

I wasn’t comfortable there turning red from exertion and getting all sweaty in front of others. Nor was I comfortable in front of the mirrors, or the machines, or the dumbbells.

I didn’t know how to use the equipment, or the proper form, etc., so it was just easier not to go. It was embarrassing to stand there squinting at the machines, trying to figure out how it worked, how to adjust it and what it was for.

I had never even been exposed to the concept of weight training for women!

But, I did my homework, and clearly, those were the missing pieces in my fitness regimen.

So, I swallowed my pride and preference toward working out alone at home, joined a gym and began participating in some group classes and doing some things on my own. But I still wasn’t comfortable or confident about knowing what to do, when, how, etc.

I wanted more results sooner. It was time to hire a personal trainer.

LeAura with personal trainer, Jill Coleman, doing single leg squats.
LeAura at 50, with personal trainer, Jill Coleman, doing single leg squats.

So I started noticing the personal trainers at the gym. As with any profession, not all personal trainers are equal, so I observed which PT seemed to be the best. When I identified her, I signed on and began working out with her two times a week, and on my own four days a week.

She pushed me to do so much more than I thought possible.

As I started getting stronger, my back kept getting better, and my overall fitness level improved significantly in muscle over body fat percentages, and in shape and definition.

I wanted to keep on doing our personal trainer workouts on my own during the other days of the week, and to know what to do and how to do it better.

PT’s are fantastic. If you can afford them, then go for it! But most of us can’t pay for a PT 3-6x/week, at $180-$360. I wanted to be able to continue those fantastic workouts on my own during the other days.

If you want great results, 2x/week is just not enough.

I still wasn’t familiar or confident enough at the gym to be sure that I was getting a good and systematic workout on my own.

I would cut out magazine workouts and download some from the Internet and glue them onto index cards so that it wouldn’t be so flimsy.

But that took loads of time, the ink and clippings didn’t hold up to water and sweaty hands, and more importantly, the free workouts were never in any kind of logical and extended sequence.

“Wouldn’t it be great if someone created laminated cards of personal trainer workouts to go, in systematic order for a comprehensive and integrated workout program?”, I thought.

Hmm… If I wanted a portable, do-it-yourself trainer, maybe others would too. I bet you may have said that about something at some point, the “someone should” idea..? Well, I decided it was time to shift from thinking “someone should make…” to why don’t we do it?

My favorite thing is to share good things with others, especially things that help to elevate and empower them. That’s when I conceived of creating the My Trainer Fitness workouts for the gym, work, and at home.

I wanted to help more people have access to some of the best workouts on sturdy laminated cards that could be used over and again for months and years of fitness success.

Magazine and online workouts we find are great, but they don’t usually come in an orderly, systematic sequencing to help us have a continuously progressing workout over the week, with lots of variety to keep things interesting.

If we invest in DVD’s, that’s often just one or two different workouts, maybe a few more, depending on which program. With the My Gym Trainer manuals each binder, contains 24 gym workouts to do over and over again.

And, the My Trainer Fitness 6 packs each contain 6 different workouts that can be done over and over again.


Chronic Pain Gone, Osteopenia Reversed!

Today, if I have back trouble, it’s a rare and passing thing, and the osteopenia, (precursor to osteoporosis) was reversed. My bone density is again in the healthy “green” zone.

So, that’s how fitness saved my life the first time: it gave me pain-free days, full of energy, health and vitality!!! If you’ve ever been in extended pain, or even just sick with the worst virus you’ve ever had, you know exactly what that’s like, and what it means to recover.

Fitness is empowering and restorative.  Our bodies were designed to be active and strong.  Movement is how our brain works and it’s how our entire cardiovascular and circulatory system works.

THANKS for reading, and in case you’re interested, I’ve shared the other—more dramatic story—of how fitness saved my life in this article.

Get life. Get moving. Get fit. Get strong.

Will you share your story with us? We’d love to hear how you got started. What was your tipping point for investing in your fitness and finally deciding to commit to it?

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