Every day we hear new success stories from our SwimRVA family and friends.  This is the inspiration that helps more people become active and keeps the needle moving forward to making RVA safer, healthier, and a more thriving region!  This is Sheri’s story:Aquacise Jane

“My name is Sheri and I am 55 years old. A year ago I began measures to lower my cholesterol with food changes and 2 miles of walking each day. That resulted in a weight loss of 22 lbs but in joint damage to my knee, a diagnosis of moderate arthritis and Patella femoral pain syndrome. The left which is the worst was almost bone on bone. I began Physical Therapy and was taking prescription medication several times a day. Physical Therapy helps a person but also hurts very much during and after as muscle imbalance is being corrected.”

“One night I googled “Aqua Therapy Chester, Va” and was surprised when SwimRVA popped up in my browser. I came by took a tour and was particularly interested in the under water treadmills. I was invited back the next day by the kind lady at the front desk. I had no idea then I was making a lifestyle change that would result in much more than just getting better.”

“The warm 92 degree water felt like heaven to my knees! This place has been my Oasis and I have referred to it as “my own pool of Bethesda”. The jets on the side I used to “massage” my hips (at the time there was bursitis in them) and the back of my leg near my knee that was tightened up due to the knee trauma. I then stepped on the treadmill and began my exercise. In the beginning I only did it about 30 minutes as I was getting use to it and only at about 1.8 mph or 2 mph. My need for medication went from twice a day to once a day. I would go to PT then come here to work the kinks out. My Physical Therapist was amazed that the constant tightness in the back of my leg was all of a sudden getting normal and I was not limping anymore. He told me I must continue going to wherever my pool was because it was working.”

“In short time I switched over to over the counter meds and then none at all. I came into the Aquatic Center on prescription meds, limping and just trying to let the treadmill loosen me up. I then progressed to being here 4-5 days a week and getting my treadmill in for 45 minutes at a speed of 4.2 mph and have taken it as high as 6 mph for short bursts. I figured this would be the only exercise I would ever be able to do is the under water treadmill and that would just be my life.”

“I watched as others took classes and wished I could. One day I was feeling so well I decided to try. Everyone here from staff to teachers to fellow new friends was very nice and very encouraging. My first class was a de10430890_880810838625314_8944797903393677537_nep water exercise boot camp and I loved it! I came back the rest of the week hungry for more trying various shallow and deep water classes. I noticed I was totally pain free during and after classes and that I was getting stronger!”

“I am now at SwimRVA 4-5 days a week. I plan my work and life schedule around this place. This is like a second family to me and it feels like I am “home” and that “I belong”! I now am here twice a week for THREE straight hours taking a class, doing treadmill and then doing another class. I also get the treadmill in another time at least once as well as 3-4 other pool classes. This is something I never thought possible.”

“I am pain free, the instructors especially Chase and Lawrence are such a blessing in my life. They motivate, coach and encourage me to be all that I can be and that I am only competing with my performance from yesterday. If a day is particularly more challenging (like when I came back jet-lagged from a Missions trip) they worked me through that to just do my best and helped me. I never thought I would see the day I could exercise at this level and certainly not three hours at a time. I really never thought I would be able to do anything but the under water treadmill ever again.”

“I would highly recommend anyone with arthritis or other health issues to try this place, anyone over the weight they want to be at or just an older person who needs wants to improve their health. The staff from the front desk all the way to the teachers have always been smiling, encouraging and friendly. I cannot say I have ever met a rude person here. This place rejuvenates more than just my body but the water in itself is very calming. The place is spacious, clean and very well maintained. Do yourself a favor and just go for it and give it a try, I guarantee you will love it.”

“Every visit I come in and leave with a smile on my face. I consider myself a lifetime member, I will always be here. I no longer come in limping but energized! And the best part is most all the exercises I did in PT still get performed in my classes. Even if there was no classes or treadmill available that day I have taken enough classes I could if needed do what I need to do alone. I LOVE MY SwimRVA!”

Thank you Sheri for sharing your courage! You are a true success story and an inspiration to many!!