Success from a Setback


Jeanette Baker finds success from a setback.

If you had asked me a year ago to run a 5K race, I think I would have laughed out loud. At that time I was overweight (as I have been my entire life), and while I was an avid equestrian, my desk job lifestyle (Starbucks, lunch meetings, hours at a computer) was taking its toll.

Starting in March 2006 I hired a personal trainer, Jamel, who helped teach me about proper exercise and diet. I became dedicated to this new lifestyle and quickly began to see the pounds (and inches) drop.

My routine was working well until I twisted my knee while running. I tried to “walk it off,” but after a few weeks I realized that my knee was not improving. After a MRI my doctor referred me to Therapeutic Associates Fairwood Physical Therapy. That is where I met Nicole, my physical therapist. I was petrified that she would tell me to stop working out and I would lose all the ground I had gained. Much to my relief, Nicole was an advocate of doing what was best for my knee while trying to maintain as close to a “normal” workout routine as possible while attending physical therapy. 

I was compliant with my physical therapy and began to see gradual improvement in my knee. Once I was able to begin running, Nicole suggested I enter the K9 Candy Cane Run/Walk that is sponsored by Fairwood PT.

The idea sounded like a fun challenge, and I liked the safety net in the title “walk.” Nicole also mentioned a seminar series that the clinic was going to be hosting to help participants prepare for the event. During the seminars I was taught training techniques, footwear choice, common foot injuries, and nutritional information. I also built up a team friendship with all of those in attendance. It was a comfort as we approached the race to know that there would be familiar faces out on the trail. 

The weekly events kept me focused on my training regimen, and I soon realized that I could run not only the entire distance, but I could work to improve my time.

Race day came and I can now proudly say that I completed a 5K race.

I far exceeded what I ever could have imagined, and I owe that all to the support of the Fairwood Physical Therapy staff and my workout friends.

Now, 10 months into my quest toward a healthy lifestyle, I still have a ways to go. I’ve lost 60 pounds but am still looking to lose 30 more with the help of my support team, including my new personal trainer Elmer. Now those “base goals” are paired with new ideas that I had never imagined before, including a 10K, a triathlon, and a half marathon in my near future! I laugh at that now, but not in the same way I did before. It’s a confident laugh anticipating the fun ahead!

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