Watching Terri LeDoux power through round after round on a Skierg machine or performing deadlifts, one would never guess that she was once involved in a serious auto accident.
“I was on duty, coming back from Tahoe and it was the first snow, January 2012. I came around a corner, just past Kyburz and there was a deer in the road. I had the river on one side of me and the hill (roadside embankment) on the other so I smashed into the hill.”
Though there was no visible damage, the accident left Terri with a damaged lumbar plexus (a network of nerve fibers that supply the skin and musculature of the lower limbs) leaving her with a drop foot which necessitated the use of a brace to keep the foot in place. The condition was given a one to five year span of rejuvenating the damaged nerves but even if they did, the extent of the recovery is uncertain. In some cases, there is no return to previous form, whatsoever.
Determined to avoid such a possibility, Terri, who has been a resident of West Sacramento since 2006, tried her hand at large chain gyms and DVD home workouts after her physical therapy had ended but found them lacking. She knew that she needed something different.
“When I came to Keola,” She says, “I knew that it was good for me because it wasn’t intimidating, they made everyone feel welcome. Ben (Mierzwak, owner) did an evaluation on me and said that he thought that I could join their classes. I was on a crutch at the time. I came in three days a week to the Body Blitz class, just doing what I could. I’d use my arms (for support) to help me with box steps and just getting around the best that I could and the trainers were very good about adapting to what I was able to do physically.”
The hard work paid off, enabling Terri to abandon the use of the crutch (and later, a cane, which she also used briefly) and to eventually adding the Pure Strength class and a five – days – a – week training regimen. Now, as a staple of Keola’s early morning schedule, Terri understands that the commitment which helped her regain control of her life, is now a permanent part of it.
“I don’t take anything for granted now. My wife, Gail, accuses me of never wanting to go anywhere (laughs) because I don’t want to miss my workout but this is important to me. I’m retired and so I don’t have to get up at 4:30 every morning to be here but I do because to go from not being able to move and do the things I wanted to do, to now; I’m fortunate that I was able to come back.”