Quickly the trainers discover that Van Dyken-Rouen, even on her first day back at the gym, is willing to endure what she calls a “mother of pearl” pain level. She wants to walk with braces and to be symmetrically strong again, not weaker on her left side as she now is.
The anguish shows on her face as she dead-lifts 10 pounds. Before the accident, she managed 135.
“It was hard physically and mentally,” she says. “The whole thing about this is you’ve got to get over it. Things are going to suck, but you must move on because there are going to be greater things that come around. That (first day) was awful, but my nerve pain was gone and my feet didn’t swell up the rest of the day. You gotta look at it positive.”
Five days later, she’s back with the same attitude, working out with “Good Morning America” in the gym. “She did the entire workout and crushed it,” says Reavley. Later, he receives a text from Van Dyken-Rouen saying: “Mission accomplished, we’re on our way.”
Read the rest of the article, first published in AZ Central, please click here.