For as long as I can remember I have always had an uphill battle with weight. Even as a child I struggled with it. When I started playing sports it became less of an issue. After college I focused more attention on my field of study and the battle with weight began again. I attempted several weight loss programs, and learned that the only way for me to lose weight and keep it off is to never stop exercising. I was okay with using a stationary bike, free weights as well as running, but I was bored with all of it. I heard yoga was great exercise and good for the mind as well, but like the rest, I couldn’t focus. My mind is always going, and trying to meditate through yoga was laughable to me. One night, I saw a commercial for Tiger Schulmann’s. I must have seen it about thirty times, and realized that mixed martial arts would be a good way to work out without getting bored.
I joined Tiger Schulmann Paramus in February 2011. I loved the atmosphere, the people, the discipline and especially the workouts. It was such a great place that less than a month after joining, I started going to class six days per week. Sensei Querido is an amazing instructor and through his guidance and the help of others at the school I was getting better. The intensity allowed me to clear my mind in more ways than yoga ever could. If I didn’t focus I couldn’t get through the workout. It was the first time that at the end of exercising my mind was calm. I didn’t come to Tiger Schulmann to make friends, but going six days a week and seeing the same people you start to truly care for them. Now some of my closest friends are from TSMMA and my life wouldn’t be the same without them, especially during my recent rough patch…
In April it appeared I was having seasonal allergy issues. That’s common for me so I didn’t think much of it, but it wouldn’t go away. I went to the doctor for what felt like a strange ear infection. This wasn’t the case either, so many medical tests followed. I missed my first class for an MRI of my brain, and then I missed a week for a spinal tap. I was not going to let a spinal tap keep me from training. I ended up having to go for another MRI of the cervical spine. These tests all confirmed that I had Multiple Sclerosis. A simple eye twitch and loss of hearing, and all of a sudden I was diagnosed with a chronic disease.
MS is one of those diseases that is different for everyone. There is no cure. My response to the situation has been this: It is what it is and I will do everything in my power to keep it at bay. This is not going to run my life or become who I am. After a little research I found out that being in great shape can help keep MS in check. I knew I was on the right track at Tiger Schulmann’s. Although it is recommended for MS patients not do challenging workouts (overheating can cause symptoms until the body cools), intense is the only way I know how to exercise. Soon I added a home fitness program in addition to training at Tiger Schulmann’s six days per week. With the help of these two amazing programs, I am on the fast track to the best shape I can be in.
Tiger Schulmann’s has led me to a healthier life style. It has taught me many things especially how to push my mind and body to its limits, and when there: Push harder. This disease will not define me but will keep me motivated to train the hardest I can. And when my hardest isn’t good enough, I know Sensei Querido and Joshu Murray will be the ones to push me that much harder.
It’s not a cliché that Tiger Schulmann is a family. Even when someone doesn’t know my situation, they are still there to try and help me. When I first started my medication the support I got from this school was amazing. From trying to help me figure out how to administer self injections, and dealing with the medication’s side effects (like insatiable hunger), or simply asking how it was going. These students and instructors care and that is what family is all about.
Until this moment, I have not told many friends about my diagnosis. If I don’t tell you what I have then you will never know that there is anything wrong with me. I don’t want sympathy because there are people out there far worse off than me. I am doing everything I possibly can to keep it at bay. MS is not something you can attack head on. It’s a disease that you have to fight from every angle you can to get a grip on it. If holding out your hand out for help is the only option, then I will gladly do that. When I can’t do something by myself, I know that I have the Paramus school to help me. Whether the students that I train with know about my story or not, they are motivating me to keep coming everyday and train with them. That is the reason Tiger Schulmann’s has impacted and changed my life.
Tiger Schulmann’s of Paramus