What’s up Brooklyn, and the rest of the world watching. It’s Irene here, your injured trainer from Be Buff Wellness.

I started my fitness journey in the summer of 2008, when I realized that being obese wasn’t going to allow me to be the mother I wanted to be. So I joined a gym, and started going to 2-3 classes and running 5 days a week. I lost 50 pounds in just a few months, but that type of life wasn’t sustainable, so soon I stopped and gained all the weight back.

In early summer 2009 I tried again, this time using short HIIT workouts and switching to a paleo diet. I lost 80 pounds, but this time I kept it off. I started running 5K races, completed a few triathlons, and even started running half marathons. I was at the top of my game. In 2013 I became a certified Fitness Instructor and Personal Trainer, and began teaching fitness classes at the YMCA and started my own Personal Training business. My motto?

“It’s never too late to be what you might have been.”

- George Eliott

But a lot changed in January 2015, when I herniated my L4-5 discs my lower back. I could barely move. By April, even though I was in consistent pain, I was working out again. However, nothing was ever the same. My back injury was a major blow to my fitness routine and it put me into a deep depression. I had lost my purpose, and my passion. My running stopped. My weight lifting stopped. No more triathlons for me.

I decided that I couldn’t allow this injury stop me, so instead of feeling sorry for myself, I educated myself. I learned everything I could about exercising with injuries and received my certification as an Orthopedic Exercise Specialist in 2016. Today I help people with injuries get back on their feet through diet and fitness. And, I’m scheduled to do a half Ironman triathlon in the Fall of 2019. How’s that for recovery!