AlterG came into my life in November of 2014. My husband had just passed away and before he died he told me to “run the marathon” and get the whole experience. He was referring to the Boston Marathon, where my husband, Walter Brown, had been “the starter” for the last 22 years. I had accompanied him to the event regularly, but only as a spectator at the start of the race. I was obese, diabetic and clueless about how to do this. But I made a promise to Walter, so I started trying to figure it out on my own.
It didn’t take very long (probably about 10 steps), to realize there was no way I could manage this alone. The UVMHN-CVMC’s Rehabilitation Program had a running clinic just a few weeks later and I reserved the last available appointment. It changed my life.
The UVMHN-CVMC therapy staff was so kind and supportive at that clinic. They had me go through the routine and analyzed, videoed, suggested and showed me the kind of things that would help me. The last station of the clinic was a try on the AlterG® Anti-Gravity Treadmill®.
At the clinic I met physical therapist Susan Stephen. She was very kind and compassionate and wanted to help me, but my goals puzzled her. Finally, she asked me the question, “Why is running so important, why not walk?” It was such a relief; I burst into tears and told her my story. Susan made it her mission to help me get to Boston.
When I arrived at the running clinic, my knees were sore, I had shin splints and I was obviously in very poor physical condition. We worked out a regimen on the AlterG that would bring me success despite my already sore legs.
Susan is amazing. She just knows where it hurts and knows what to do to help. She was willing to encourage me outside of our appointments and put me in contact with other people that could help me succeed. All of my adventures led to other injuries, like falling on ice in February, but Susan fixed that, too.
I ran and finished the Boston Marathon, running with my twin daughters, Jennifer and Jessica. We rolled in just over 6 hours. It was an absolutely miraculous journey for us all. Walter and Susan really knew what they were doing, guiding me on a path to healing and a lifestyle of wellness. My weight is down 80 pounds and my clothing size is down several notches. My blood sugar levels are normal. My cholesterol numbers are way down. My resting heart rate low 50s, and my blood pressure is 110/60. And my health IQ up by leaps and bounds.
I also just finished a second marathon in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. This is a very hilly course, and I am delighted to boast that I was able to finish more than 20 minutes faster than the Boston Marathon. The key was NO PAIN. Susan rules! AlterG rules. Thank you all so much.
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