Davita Parks, CPT SPN

Staying Active Saved My Life

In high school, I experienced a major setback that would unknowingly change the course of my life. I was away at a cheerleading event when I began having chest pains and trouble breathing. What I later found out was that I had been misdiagnosed with bronchitis, when I actually suffered from asthma. Later that same year I experienced another setback. I was hospitalized with pneumonia when my left lung collapsed. I was put on a breathing machine to keep my lung inflated, and ultimately keep me alive! I couldn’t believe this was happening. Once I was released from the hospital, I was forced to give up everything.... cheerleading, gymnastics, dance. My body was completely broken down; I couldn’t even breath on my own. I turned this negative into a newfound source of motivation. I knew that no one could improve my health but me.... I just needed to identify some new habits and practice them until I improved my health. This strategy paid off, I have since gone on to compete in fitness competitions where I have consistently placed in the top ten.

Today, based on this experience I believe that with drive and determination anyone can take control of physical challenges in their lives regardless of prior circumstances. Staying physically active completely changed my life, and looking back several years later my journey is now focused on helping and inspiring others.