By: Shawn Burroughs, CPT, and Anthony Whitebird, CPT
Catalina, a member of the Cherokee Nation, is a 23-year-old elementary school teacher. She has been training since 2021, when Oklahoma City Indian Clinic (OKCIC) reopened the Wellness Center after the closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Catalina did not have a weight loss goal, but instead wanted to get stronger to help with her day-to-day life and her favorite hobby, rock climbing. Since she has started training with Shawn, she has gained seven pounds of muscle and has drastically improved all of her lifts. When she first started, she was squatting around 65 pounds and now has more than doubled to 135 pounds. Her dead lift weight also more than tripled from 65 pounds to an impressive 205 pounds. Lastly, her bench weight increased from 45 to 95 pounds.
“The Wellness Center has given me a fun and free place to work on my physical health,” Catalina said. “Many of these exercises translate to real life. Things I do in my everyday life have gotten easier and I have more energy.”
Catalina has really enjoyed learning and making working out a part of her everyday life. Recently, she traveled to the Grand Canyon and her progress within the Wellness Center assisted her mobility in that journey. Next up for Catalina is a trip to Ecuador.
“I really appreciate the wellness center and all the people here,” Catalina said. “My overall physical strength and endurance has improved a lot. It’s a great place to learn the best exercises for your body and how to use equipment.”
Bob, a member of the Cherokee Nation, has been attending OKCIC’s Wellness Center since September of 2021. During this time, he has shown great improvement in his mobility, balance and strength. Therefore, he has felt both stronger and healthier during his daily life. Bob enjoys interacting with his trainer Tony and has never been more consistent in his exercise routine. He says this is directly related to all the motivation and encouragement the Wellness Center provides.
“The Wellness Center is a great benefit to patients,” Bob said. “The trainers are dedicated to everyone who uses the facility and they utilize their knowledge to provide the best services possible. They are flexible, have diverse programs, and collaborate with other Oklahoma City Indian Clinic departments to help meet all of a patients’ needs.”
Bob firmly believes that his life is truly better thanks to OKCIC. He would like all those that may be on the fence about joining the Wellness Center to know that they are missing a great opportunity to improve their health. His only regret is that he wishes he would have started sooner.
“We, as a Native American community, are blessed to have the Wellness Center and such dedicated trainers helping patients throughout their wellness journey,” Bob said.