Fit City Success: East Texas man finds strength after stroke - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

Fit City Success: East Texas man finds strength after stroke

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LONGVIEW (KYTX) - An East Texas man found himself in what he thought was a hopeless situation after having a stroke.  Stephen Townsend never imagined he'd be strong again, both mind and body, but he is now showing us how he found Fit City Success.

Six months ago, Stephen Townsend says he was out of shape and depressed.   Some Facebook searching led him to BodyStrong in Longview and some amazing transformations. It's a day that ultimately would change Stephen's life. "She had all of these pictures of people who had lost weight.  I said I want to be like that," says Stephen Townsend.

So, Stephen Townsend signed up to take Emily Click's class.  But, he came into BodyStrong with his own set of challenges. His stroke 10 years ago left him partially paralyzed on his right side.

"I didn't really think my life really meant something and then I started coming here and now my life means something," says Stephen Townsend.

Stephen's transformation to a stronger more confident person happened pretty quickly.  When he started class, he couldn't hold a weight in his left arm.  Now, he can curl a 15 pound weight and can do pushups.  He also ran for the first time in 10 years.

"The doctors told me it was only going to be one year to get back. It has been 10 years.  So, I was saying I can't do it after 10 years, but this class made me do it. I mean, I am getting better," says Stephen.

Emily helps modify exercises in her BodyStrong class for Stephen and others who need it.  Since he started, Stephen's gone from a size 36 waist to a 30.  "I transformed my fat into muscle," says Stephen. 

BodyStrong has taught him a few life lessons a long the way.  "The first time I fell down.  She just said, 'It is okay to fall down as long as you get back up.' That's the most important thing," says Stephen.  Everyday Stephen gets a little bit better and continues his journey of Fit City Success.

Now Stephen plans to work on gaining strength in his weaker side from his stroke becoming BodyStrong.

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