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Exercise helps East Texas woman get her life back

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TYLER (KYTX) - Karen Janke wasn't even able to put up the dishes 3 years ago without paying for it.  That pain came from a fusion in her neck and a herniated disc in her lower back from the accident.

"He said drop your feet and I just dropped to the floor," says Karen Janke of the first time she tried an upper body exercise at the gym.

63- year old Karen Janke had no upper body strength when she turned to Melinda Prince at 360 Fitness.  "If I had to give her an age based on her physical  body, really she was like 85. She couldn't do much," says Melinda Prince, trainer at 360 Fitness.

Karen's accident had robbed her of her active lifestyle leaving her with debilitating pain.  "I couldn't clean house.  I couldn't sweep.  I couldn't dance with my husband and that is what I wanted to do.  I told Melinda-- 'if I could just dance with my husband again,'" says Karen.

Melinda eased Karen into exercise.  "So much of this is mental.  So, she had to develop confidence in me.  I told her-- 'we were going to take baby steps on that journey, we weren't going to push anything too fast,'" says Melinda.

For the first year, it was more physical therapy than exercise.  "I can't do situps and things because of the herniation in my lower back, so she has to take a back door around to strengthening the core," says Karen.
 
Now Karen is strong and can handle almost any exercise Melinda throws at her.  "I feel like I am in my 30's instead of my 60's," says Karen.  "To be able to give somebody their life back for someone to say those words to me. That's the most incredibly fulfilling thing in my career that I could experience," says Melinda.

Karen is now able to experience life the way she dreamed about and take her husband dancing again.  Karen is virtually pain free now.  She plans to stay that way by keeping up her weight training 5 days a week.
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