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At 5’11”, she was already a constant “leaner” when it came to doing even simple things like brushing her teeth and putting on make-up; spending hours a day leaning over to clean tables, set tables and mix drinks became the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back.
Despite upkeep visits to the chiropractor and a massage therapist, her back would often go into spasm, leaving her barely able to move for days at a time. As soon as she was able, though, she would continue her routine of walking, or running.
Fortunately for Kerri, her career as a server was relatively short-lived. She found a new career working at ATCO—and a group of colleagues dedicated to taking lunch-hour walks to offset the hours spent sitting at a desk.
She was in her 30s and six weeks pregnant with her second child when she tore the meniscus in her knee, and in the most bizarre way.
“I turned to brush my daughter’s teeth and my knee shredded,” she says. “Just like that.”
The damage was extensive. Her knee was locked in place. She couldn’t bend it or straighten it. The only fix was surgery, which she couldn’t get until after the baby was born.
“So, I spent 11 months on crutches, unable to exercise and stuck in bed, carrying a baby and then giving birth,” says Kerri. “My back was just out all the time. It was awful. I was in constant pain.”
Once she had the surgery, and the go-ahead to start moving again, the fear of doing something that might potentially hurt her knee again—and her ability to carry around a baby and a three-year-old—kept her from resuming her fitness routine. She started to gain weight, and just generally felt listless.
It was returning to work—and her colleagues—that ultimately galvanized her, and put her back on track.
“I started walking again,” says Kerri, “and my back hasn’t gone out on me in months. Little by little, I’m losing weight and naturally strengthening my core, which helps my back.
“Some of my colleagues are more dedicated than I am, and I have a ways to go until I get back into the shape I want to be, but I’m getting there!”
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