Posted Jul 6, 2019
Imagine this. You’re in a hospital bed, anxiously awaiting a major procedure. One that will change your day-to-day life forever. Your doctors have worked hard to find you a treatment that works, but have only been able to treat some of the symptoms you feel. Then, on the day before surgery, they propose another option…
It makes you think about your story. Where you are in your journey, what’s coming next, and how the heck did you, of all people, wind up here.
For one Fort Worth rider, Alex Wilkins, this is exactly what happened.
It started at the age of 16 when the San Diego native was diagnosed with a virus that attacks the nervous system. The doctors knew how to treat Alex’s symptoms, but not how to cure the problem from the source.
Over time, the uncertainty began to grow larger. Alex started losing the ability to do important, every-day things. She was not eating or drinking, losing weight and strength, and eventually living in a wheelchair, plugged into her feeding tubes.
Let’s take a second to put this into context. Alex was in High School. These are the years that most of us look back on as the ‘good old days’. Fresh, new driver’s license in hand, we ruled the world.
Her high school experience was unlike her friends’. They felt invincible while Alex was forced to realize how fragile life really is.
While other people were worried about getting home before curfew, finding a homecoming date, and making it to graduation, Alex was working to keep her body nourished while she waited for a solution.
After 6 months time Alex’s body rejected her feeding tubes, meaning she would need permanent ones surgically placed into her body.
Flash forward to the doctors walking into her room the day before her procedure. They had a plan, but the road in front of Alex was difficult, no matter which path she chose to take. Work with the doctors and try their new plan, or undergo surgery pretty much right then and there.
After trusting her doctors’ vision and intense in-patient therapy, she started to see changes. Her struggles slowly transitioned from staying alive to finding normalcy in her life. She regained her abilities to eat and then to walk.
Today, she is finding that normalcy as a TCU Alumni, working as the Assistant Director at Brain Balance of Fort Worth, and a front row rider. Yes, you read that right. A FRONT ROW rider!
(Can we get a hell yeah?)
She started coming to ZYN22 in January of this year and hasn’t stopped CRUSHING it since. Admittedly she had taken spin classes with her mom in San Diego, so she had an idea of what she was getting herself into.
She started slow, just like the rest of us. Finding her own space in the fourth row to grow on the bike.
We asked her why ZYN22? Out of all the fitness studios in Fort Worth.
Her answer was simple. It was the people.
“The ZYN community has made me feel proud of my why and my story, which is the biggest reason I chose to make ZYN my home. From the moment I stepped into the dome, I felt respected and supported, even when people didn’t know my why or my story.”
Alex likes switching up the classes she takes. Taking some during the rush when her fellow frogs are filling the bikes around her and others while her friends are in class.
Over the past 6 months her regular instructors like Jennifer and Kay encouraged her to do a little more than just move up to the front row.
“ZYN has helped me regain my strength. For the first time, in 7 years, I finally feel like my body is working for me and not against me. I used to be scared of pushing my body because the consequences were life or death but now, because of ZYN, I love pushing my body because the consequences are living and succeeding.”
The strength and confidence Alex gained from her classes at ZYN22 is only one stretch in the road back to normal, and we are filled with gratitude that Alex is sharing that with us.
If there was only one thing Alex’s story proves to be true it’s this: the future is uncertain, but we can always make the most of it.