Meet Karie Czapanskiy. Karie (57) is a Registered Nurse at Bellin as well as a Team Facilitator for Nursing Services.  She has been married for over 34 years with three grown children, one granddaughter and two Weimaraner dogs.

Kari was motivated to begin her journey because she wanted to be able to participate in activities without restrictions due to pain and stiffness.  She loves to Cross Country ski and road bike with her family and friends.  She was invited to ride in RAGBRAI (the bicycle ride across Iowa) again this past summer, and her husband asked her to relay with him in the Door Co Ironman Sprint as the biker.  Karie also skis the Birkebeiner/Kortalopet and all of these events require training.

One of the obstacles that Kari had to overcome is when she ruptured all 4 ligaments in her left knee and tore two tendons in her left rotator cuff when she was in a severe skiing accident in February of 2016. She wanted to be able to ski and bike again.  After completing a year of physical therapy, she still found that she would get stiff and sore when she stopped moving.

Another obstacle and admittedly her biggest, is time…trying to get to the gym or out on the ski and/or bike course, while working full time and committing to other obligations in my life is hard.   She also struggles to overcome her lack of motivation when she is tired or in pain.  The less she moved, the worse the pain and stiffness set in and that made her more tired…it was a never ending cycle.

Kari has a membership at Bellin Health Fitness, but as previously stated, her schedule did not allow her to get there as often as she would like, or she “was too tired” at the end of the day. However, it was extremely helpful when Bellin Health Fitness started offering the “Movement for Health” program. Kari was able to get in 30 minutes of activity and stretching during the day, while she was at work.  The program came to her.  It was easy to get to and gave her a boost of energy.  There were multiple options of days, times and locations that she could fit into her schedule.  In addition, all of the equipment was provided for free or a nominal fee. For her, there really was no reason NOT to participate.  Kari learned how to take just a few minutes a day to stretch or work out a kink that was nagging her…things she could even do while sitting at her desk all day.

Kari’s life has changed because now she feels better. She has gotten relief from her back and joint pain and stiffness and has more energy.  More importantly, she learned how to move correctly to prevent further problems.

When asked, what advice would you give to help others? she responded, “JUST DO IT! It’s a great way to improve your strength and flexibility.  It’s convenient.”