A Journey endured and a life well-lived...

Good health is a well-planned journey. Let me tell you about mine. I have been practicing “Total Body Rehabilitation and Functional Movement” for over 55 years. I am the first declared Personal Exercise Coach in Toronto dating back to 1984, providing one-on-one services to individuals in the home or office and Fitness to the Links (fitness for golfers).

I am 80 years old who was born with congenital conditions, primarily a spina bifida (L3-L5), that is a bifurcation of the spine, upper back scoliosis, an imbalance of hips. All this has left me with both legs misshapen, misaligned and two different lengths. Throughout my life, I had to cope with a variety of body challenges, including excruciating pain and incapacitation.

I know first-hand what is it like to be confined to a space for a prolonged period of time, to be in a body cast and to be in a wheelchair. That being said, I have been blessed with an accomplished, interesting and rewarding life. “A Journey endured and a life well-lived”. My body has always required maintenance and that is “high maintenance” and even more so with aging.

In the recent past, I was shoved on a staircase. I grabbed the railing to prevent myself from falling head-first down a marble staircase. The extreme shove twisted my body, my right side, hip, knee and ankle, resulting in a questionable hairline fracture. I was in agony and I was a bird in a cage. My regular rehabilitation techniques were excellent but not enough to get myself out of this horrible crisis I was in. I needed more, so I went searching.

I consulted my family doctor and a couple of orthopaedic specialists for advice but no one came up with anything worthwhile other than to compliment me on my achievements to date. I was told that I was a “walking miracle” but I needed help, not complements! I was searching for a needle in a haystack.

Medication was suggested but my body does no Total Body Movement tolerate medication whatsoever. I knew my body required extra physical assistance so I was forced to think outside the box to find a way to help my body heal itself; help me take control of my life and to become functional again.

“I have been blessed with a rewarding and interesting life. Above all, I kept myself vertical, functional, and am still striving to help others.”

A Little About Balloonology

I developed an innovative program using ordinary balloons as resistance tools for engaging in core-strengthening exercises. My program is called “Balloonology” – a unique, balanced series of simple and effective exercises using balloons for physical fitness, body rehabilitation, pain management, mindfulness, and relaxation. Individuals, both young and old, can benefit by participating in any one of the appropriate programs.

“With the balloons, I have created revolutionary, safe, simple, sequential, and effective techniques and movements that can be done in a lying, sitting, or standing position,” explained Beverley. “These techniques not only keep upright the entire spinal column and neck, but also reinforce and strengthen the core of the body. These exercises are most complementary and compatible with the body.”

My daily mantra is “life is a challenge, but life is a gift.” I come by that mantra honestly, having faced some significant health adversity. I was born with a variety of congenital conditions, including spina bifida (L3-L5), upper back scoliosis, and unequal and unbalanced hips. All ailments left me with misaligned and misshaped legs of two different lengths.

A number of years ago, I experienced a significant fall that left me with a twisted body and a slight hairline fracture to my hip. The years of pain that had to be endured, together with the time spent in a wheelchair and being in a body cast, motivated me to search for alternative treatment solutions. I had to think outside the box, beyond what my family doctor or Orthopaedic specialists recommended. I came up with a creative solution that was not reliant on medication!

I believe that a balanced life requires “practicing good nutrition and performing a sensible exercise program daily. Just move and move more, but also rest, relax, and cultivate a sense of purpose, gratitude, and joy. Gratitude reinforces power, peace, and purpose.”

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