One woman, who I’ve known since the day I was born, is a perfect example of someone successful; I want you to ‘e-meet’ Maureen Fautley. Maureen is someone near and dear to my heart. While we aren’t blood-related, we may as well be, because I’ve always viewed her as my Aunt. She’s bubbly, creative, strong and a fantastic positive role-model, so I’m delighted to be sharing her story with you all today.
Like most people eventually do, there was a time in Maureen’s life when she was faced with a discouraging problem – a barrier. But rather than getting ‘sucked in’ to the “why me?” mentality that inevitably falls upon us in times of struggle, Maureen decided to take action (my ‘kinda’ woman!). She took her health into her own hands, found solutions and is now healthier and happier than ever; that’s success!
Below is Maureen’s story, in her own words, about facing obstacles and overcoming them – with a dash improved health & fitness on the side! Special thanks to Maureen for sharing - Love you!
I have always been an active person – keeping up with two very active, sports-loving boys – I was always skiing, swimming, horseback riding, hiking, biking, kayaking – always on the go. So, over the course of those active years, injuries were, unfortunately, a common occurrence. I sustained two more serious injuries – one while snowmobiling, where the machine ended up on top of me and I had to push it off, and also while working towards my trail guide’s qualifications for horseback riding, I was tossed off and fractured my collarbone and separated my shoulder.
As time passed, those injuries caught up with me and I ended up with two compressed discs in my lower back – they would become acute on occasion, and chiropractic and physiotherapy were the recommended treatment.
Then after 21 years in the same house in Oakville [Ontario, Canada], we moved into our dream home further north. The preparation to move was exciting but demanding, and there was a lot to do – sorting, packing, cleaning! The final two months before moving were intensely busy with those activities, and then, once the move was completed, I had to UNPACK!
After settling in to the new house I noticed the occasional nagging pain in my back had become constant and severe – an MRI indicated that the condition of my discs had worsened and drugs were prescribed – I didn’t want to rely on chemicals, and would only as a last resort.
So I spent many hours on the floor with an icepack to help relieve the symptoms.
I knew I couldn’t continue like this, so I looked on-line for an osteopath – having heard that this could be yet another option. I selected an osteopath who worked at the same facility run by a sports physiotherapist I had seen before – and I set up an appointment to see her. After the initial consultation we started a schedule of treatments that over the course of almost a year and a half proved to be extremely effective, and combined with regular exercise, I am now almost pain free!
Over the first year in the new house I gained almost 20lbs due to inactivity. Getting to the point where I was able to challenge myself and get my active life back, I took on an exercise program, which involved walking, and the use of light weights and resistance, all to start to build strength and stamina.
Prior to the acute stage of my back pain I had enjoyed many long walks with my excellent dog Lucy. At one point I was able to pick up the pace and run a little – an activity that had never appealed to me before. Unfortunately, Lucy didn’t live long enough to make the move, and so I was without a running buddy – but having access to the golf course next door now allowed for a seasonal training course (winter!) that I took advantage of. It has lots of variety in the terrain, and I was able to gradually work up to longer distances and bigger hills. So, combined with the workouts which include resistance,(weights) and standard core strengthening exercises (planks, “bird dogs”, crunches) and the running, I feel great! I have managed to lose all of the extra weight, and I am stronger than I have ever been. I “get” the runners’ high people talk about – it’s an addiction, but it’s a good addiction! I feel I am fortunate that I had such positive results. Was it difficult? Yes. Was it worth it? Absolutely! It’s a life long commitment, but I realize I am in control of my health and well being (with a little help from the professionals!)
I look forward to a whole new aspect of life, which is now available to me – including participating in 5 – 10 km running events!
"Where there is no struggle, there is no strength." - Oprah Winfrey
"The world is the great gymnasium where we come to make ourselves strong." - Swami Vivekananda
For more inspirational quotes, click here.