Transformation Story: Robert Hurst

Robert’s OAC Fitness Journey

 

This year all of our personal trainers will have the opportunity to share some great fitness stories with you!  So join us every 1st Monday of the month for Transformation Story here at the OAC!

For the month of March, Personal Trainer Veronique Roberts has chosen to feature her client, Robert Hurst!

What was your life like before you began your fitness journey at the OAC?

When I started my Fitness Journey with the OAC I was starting a new job after undergoing cancer treatment for a tumour in my cheek. The year before I had undergone surgery to remove the tumour in my right cheek, all of my lymph nodes on the right side of my neck, a flap of skin, muscle with the veins and arteries to be transplanted into my cheek and they removed the muscles from the right side of my lips. After the surgery I underwent 30 Radiation treatments which had horrendous side effects such as my loss of taste, drying and cracking in my tongue, loss of all my muscle, fatigue and when they did the surgery on my neck a nerve was damaged so a vital chest and back muscle no longer fired on its own, all of the other side effects are too long to write down here but those were the main ones.

After my treatments they put me on a medication with similar side effects to Chemotherapy, I lost hair, my fingernails got thin and brittle and I gained a lot of water weight when I looked into the mirror I didn’t know who I was looking at. My arms were skinny, my face was thin but swollen on the right side, only my stomach was sticking out, it was 6 months of the medication and my time taking it was coming to an end, all I had been doing for exercise was walking and hiking, when I tried the elliptical machine I could only last for a few minutes then I was spent both physically and emotionally. It was around the spring of 2019 that I discovered riding my bike outdoors again.

My Journey cycling took off full swing, it started with a 10km Navy Bike Ride in early June of 2019 and in no time, I was riding 40 and 50km’s in one day. The ability to stop pedalling and coast or use different parts of my body made cycling an ideal way to get my strength and endurance back. Soon I found myself signing up for multiple charity rides such as the Ride for MS from Ottawa to Cornwall, a 190km 2 day event, then I did the 109km Do the Ride for Cancer in September, it was around that time that I started my membership with the OAC, my main focus was on having them help me to achieve my physical and mental goals for 2020.

What goals did you want to achieve once you decided to try personal training with Veronique Roberts?

At first, my goals were to get into shape to try a Triathlon for 2020, all I wanted was to start and finish one race but as my training started we had to rethink my training to do what was best for me and doing a Triathlon didn’t look like the best goal to set.

As the new year was fast approaching, we started a core and balance fitness program, I had been taking care of the strength training, but my balance really needed some work. When my muscles went away due to the radiation they didn’t come back at the same rate, I noticed my legs were hurting and discovered that when I was cycling my inner thigh muscles weren’t developed so my outer thigh muscle was making up for them. Doing the balance and core training are getting all my muscles built back up again at the same rate.

Since I have started my 2020 Balance and Core training I have decided to focus my goals on Cycling, my biggest event is competing in the Dirty Kanza 100 mile race taking place on May 30 in Emporia Kansas, I’m not concerned about which place I am in, I just want to finish. On top of that, I am also taking part in the CHEO, Naval Benevolent Fund, MS bike rides and the Great Cycle Challenge to fight children’s cancer. Then I’m taking part in the Gravel Cup, a series of 7 bike races in Renfrew and to top it off I’m doing the 190km GranFondo Ottawa for cancer research. With both Veronique and the OAC, all of my cycling and healing goals will be met this year.

Describe Veronique Roberts in 3 words

  • Strong
  • Knowledgeable
  • Understanding

Describe Robert in 3 words

I find it hard to just put in three words but here we are:

  • Passionate
  • Courageous
  • Strong

What is the best advice your trainer gave you?

The best advice that Veronique has given me is to listen to my body, if I cannot do a certain position or not enough reps it’s okay to stop, do what I can and work at it, I will be able to do it in time.

What advice would you give someone who is thinking about starting their own fitness journey at the OAC?

I would like to say that the OAC has everything you need to achieve the goals you are looking for, besides having Veronique as my personal trainer I also attend Yoga classes and I signed up for the Greco training and have taken advantage of the indoor pool as well. For when your workout is finished, having the steam room, sauna and hot tub located in the change room is a huge bonus. There is also a Juice bar with healthy snacks as well, I do enjoy the convenience of getting a Protein Shake after training.

No matter what shape you are in or fitness goals you have in mind, the OAC will help you achieve them in a warm and inviting environment.

What advice would you give someone who is thinking about starting their own fitness journey at the OAC?

VERO – You can train to just burn Calories or you can train to start moving better, take care of your body and to do more of what you love. The choice is up to you. Take care of your body and it will take care of you!

ROB – I would like to say that the OAC has everything you need to achieve the goals you are looking for, besides having Veronique as my personal trainer I also attend Yoga classes and I signed up for the Greco training and have taken advantage of the indoor pool as well. For when you work out is finished, having the steam room, sauna and hot tub located in the change room is a huge bonus. There is also a Juice bar with healthy snacks as well, I do enjoy the convenience of getting a Protein Shake after training.

No matter what shape you are in or fitness goals you have in mind, the OAC will help you achieve them in a warm and inviting environment.

What do you feel helped Robert Hurst’s achieve these/this goal?

Robert is a dedicated guy with his training. He is consistent and does a lot of good things to help gain back his muscles and his strength. He knows that he can do anything that he sets his mind to do. He is great that way. What I feel has helped him a lot is to accept that not all days are great training days and that is OK. Training is about the journey to get there and by being consistent at it, you will get there in time. I would rather him focus on form and do fewer repetitions on those off days. Working on his balance has helped him with everything else that he is doing at the gym and at home.