John Thorn | Feeling 20 years younger

1. My first appointment with Crystal was on June 6, 2022.

2. I was following up on Rebekah with Victor PT’s recommendation following her incredibly effective dry needling / trigger point treatment for my near- crippling, fusion-bound spinal stenosis.

She explained that she could "unlock" muscles over which we have no real conscious control that were putting pressure on my lumbar and that then, a personal trainer could then help me strengthen the muscles required to keep my vertebrae aligned; the STENOSIS "CURED" with no knives; just dedication and perseverance. 

3.  I have worked out in a gym before?. Lots! 

I turned 82 this past October.  

 Beginning sophomore year in high school I was a three season athlete; football, wrestling and track. Wrestling was my love and I went undefeated through high school, Class of '58 at Ogden High in Utah where I wrestled at 163#. 

After laying off for two years at Weber Junior College (now Weber State University) I went to Annapolis (Class of '64) where I continued undefeated through my plebe year wrestling at 185#.  

I left Annapolis to pursue a major in psychology at BYU where I'd been offered a full ride wrestling scholarship.  When I went to the Bursar's office to get my vouchers, I was told that NCAA rules required a two year waiting period on scholarships to varsity letter winning athletes.  The rule had been put in place a year or two earlier to protect small schools from being raided by wealthier, more competitive schools.  That was the first I learned that my two wins as a varsity wrestler, though only a plebe, had won me a letter.  

Bitter sweet; nice to know but cost me a bunch. I got a job running the ski shop in a local college focused men's store and found a place to live.

The coaches suggested I could keep in shape working out with a group training for the '64 Olympics; they had access to the facilities in the evenings.  I did that for a while until while scrimmaging with the heavyweight guy in the group, we fell and I injured my left shoulder.  By the time that healed, I'd lost my passion for the gym and pumping iron, doing pull-ups, push ups, sit-ups, jumping rope and all.  Yes, I spent a lot of time "working out" in a lot of gyms under some pretty amazing coaches, but that was nothing like training in today's gym, with today's professionals.  I love it and that's cool!  

4.  I think I had sort of settled for the fact that I was on the long downhill slide and lucky to enjoy pretty good health in these final years.  Then, I fell in love and found myself wanting to get off that slide, get active and enjoy all this great life offers with the incredibly active and healthy and upbeat partner I'd just found at 80.  

5. From the beginning, training has been a challenge; such little movements, such "simple" moves, no big weights and a totally creative accommodation of my limitations (beyond the age thing, I have two artificial knees, one hip and two torn rotator cuffs).  I know that the coordination between Rebekah and my trainers, who all coordinate my routine to keep me on course, has enabled me to make what I think of as incredible progress.

6. I train Monday and Fridays and see Rebekah for ongoing therapy on Weds every week.

7. I noticed the changes almost immediately; balance, stamina, flexibility and strength and weight loss, within the first month and have been on a pretty steep improvement gradient through to today.  Along the way, I went from "pre-diabetic" on glipizide and now my Aic is well within the normal range and I was recently told by my physicians that I am in great health, all systems are go and that whatever I am doing, "just keep on doing it!"  I plan on it!

8. Today I weigh 178#.  

Last Sunday, I skied 22 consecutive, non-stop, top-to-bottom runs at Targhee in four hours, covering 20,000+ vertical feet and 38 miles; the only muscles that were tired were my smile muscles.  

With some new groomer skis and 40 pounds lighter than when I started training, I feel twenty years younger on the slopes. I am told I look it too.  

I can even lift my arms over my head and put dishes away on the top shelf and I have a whole too-big wardrobe to give away and replace.

9. .....I don't know what to add.  I've had a long and interesting life and crazy, creative adventures and exciting projects including many "firsts" along the way.  I love life and the magic that is all around us if we have the eyes to see and the courage to live our truths.  

A lesson from skiing has become a guide, a motto for a mindful approach to life I offer my patients: "You go where you are looking, so look where you are going; don't look at the trees, look at the space between them." Similarly, my personal motto, "I ski today, so I can ski tomorrow" seems extended into my life in general. 


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