Hazel Walker

Stronger at 65 than at 50 years old

This program is as individual as Hazel and allows her to restore aches and pains and motivates her to confidently adventure!

Intro

Hazel’s first session at Restore Human was during the summer of 2019. On July 8th, to be exact.

During the assessment, Hazel mentioned how she’d worked with many trainers over the years, some good and some not so good. In one of those more recent experiences, she was encouraged, perhaps a little too quickly, to perform some intense CrossFit style movements, which resulted in her sustaining a back injury. This caused her to lose momentum with her training habit and left her apprehensive about engaging her body with anything intense. It really sounded like Hazel was aching to start her journey towards “restoration”.

As a vibrant and very active 65 year old, Hazel had a lot of life experiences to share about her physicality. She shared her history from a rotator cuff surgery, a reconstructed thumb, a broken toe, and that she’d been living with an Achilles tendon that would produce a sharp zapping pain in certain positions. So we got to work, applying the Restore Human Method of acting with awareness, curiously testing ideas, creating effective habits, and producing healthy physical evolutions.

The Assessment

Hazel’s training at Restore Human started with a detailed investigation of her most vulnerable area and its function: her back. We looked at her capacity to move the spine, ribcage, shoulder blades, and pelvis. This assessment involved testing her ability to tense certain muscle areas while relaxing others, creating appropriate amounts of tension for the tasks in session.

Once Hazel demonstrated the necessary prerequisites in joint function and body awareness, I knew it would be safe to test her in the Restore Human Big 5, which are a series of movement assessments, including the Sandbag Get Up and Eccentric Push Up.

During the first Get Up assessment, Hazel found the movement messy and quite challenging to complete gracefully, but she achieved a score of 9 Get Ups without weight in 2 minutes. The test gave us insight into what needed more work, so we broke down the movement and practiced all the sticking points. 3 months later she achieved 12 reps with a 10lb sandbag on her shoulder. 

Shortly after her progress on one dark and stormy night, Hazel tripped and suffered an ankle sprain which stalled our progress for that particular movement. But this setback didn’t stop our training.  We still met three times a week to work on restoring the ankle in tandem with the rest of the body. Fast forward to our latest assessment and you’ll see it was a complete success with Hazel performing 15 Sandbag Get-Ups with 10lbs!  I can’t wait to see where she will advance over the next few months.

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Another impressive Big 5 metric is Hazel’s progression with the Eccentric Push Up. In her first test she achieved a score of 51 seconds supported on a 30 inch box. After 3 months she was able to go to a lower box at 24 inches and get a longer rep time of 57 seconds, demonstrating strength and grace through the whole movement. After 7 months, Hazel  was completing the reps in “full” on the ground unsupported for 34 seconds! over a year after starting training, Hazel is able to complete a 44 second full rep!

Believe me when I say this, it’s hard to go from a 30-inch box down to a fully horizontal position on the ground. This is a huge adaptation for this Wonder Woman. 

The takeaway

Understanding as many aspects of an individual’s story, like Hazel’s,  from movement to injuries, likes and dislikes when it comes to fitness, allows me to curate an effective program on both the physical and mental level. This program is as individual as Hazel and allows her to restore aches and pains and motivates her to confidently adventure! 

In Hazel’s words

I am about to turn 65 years old, becoming an official Senior Citizen, I can tell you that I do not feel senior. I feel fit and capable and in large part that has much to do with Pax and Restore Human.  I train with Pax 3 days a week when I am in Vancouver or Indiana where he video calls in to coach me. This young man INSPIRES me to go beyond what I think I can do.

Because of the training I do with Pax and Restore Human I was able to go on a recent hiking trip in the Smokey Mountains alone and remembered all the things he has taught me. I was able to climb over trees and rocks, stepping across creeks without falling in the water all because of what I have learned.  At one point the trail collapsed on one side and I took a spill down the side of the mountain, I was able to stop my fall and pull myself up without losing any gear or any injury beyond scratches!

While others are struggling with their isolation during this time of a pandemic, I know that I am healthy mentally and physically in large part because of the work that I do with Pax.  The Restore Human program is unlike any program I have ever trained with. Holistic, educational, and mental fitness are all part of their unique program that incorporates fresh air and nature into their programs. I cannot recommend it enough!

Hazel Walker, Executive Director, BNI British Columbia, BNI Central Indiana

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