January Member of the Month – Cristina V.


Before Cristina even joined Aleda, she would stop into the studio every few months to watch group classes in anticipation. Cristina had been immobilized by a serious vestibular issue (a small hole in her vestibular, or balance, system), which made it impossible to orient herself. Just over a year ago, Cristina was mostly bedridden and unable to do the things she wanted to do. She came to Aleda to get strong enough and fit enough to be able to go places by herself without assistance.

It was important for Cristina to be able to be mobile, independent, and stable. She has had to be patient with herself because her mind was ready to go faster than her body, but she has found a way to overachieve at every turn. Within the first month at Aleda, she was able to make it to the gym on her own, without any additional help – which had been her goal for the year!

Cristina has been an inspiration to all of us. Her attitude, mentality, and spirit shine brightly in the gym. She always steps up to a challenge, pushes herself to get better every week, and always sets her sights on achieving just a little bit more. One day she was pulling 198 lbs. backwards across the turf (while seated in her wheelchair!) and looked at Christine and said, “hop on!” Cristina proceeded to pull Christine all the way down the turf on “Santa’s Sled” in her wheelchair: 332 lbs., no problem!

Check out the evidence here: https://vimeo.com/197942850

When Cristina puts her mind to something, she gets it done and then some! Over the course of a year she wanted to be able to physically get to the gym on her own accord. Check. She wanted to be able to go places on her own. Check. She wanted to improve her strength, skill, and stamina. Check. She wanted to improve her activities of daily living. Check. She even rolled over a mile in her wheelchair, which is halfway to her 5k goal already!

Cristina, your dedication and ceaseless positive attitude inspire us all and push us to challenge our own perceived limits. We have been more than impressed with your progress and knew you could do it. You’ve got the world at your fingertips now…and you’re just getting started! Keep up the great work, because we can’t wait to see what you accomplish next!