I’d been trim but sedentary. 2 years ago, at age 64, this physician decided to follow the advice he’d been giving his patients and begin exercising. The cardio part progressed. The strength, posture, and back issues not so much. 2 months ago, I had the good fortune to begin consulting Carolyn Appel, and have already seen dramatically more progress in all areas than in the preceding 2 years of Cybex circuits at the gym. Ms. Appel, who holds a Masters from Columbia University, has a keen eye, great diagnostic skills, and is able to communicate the subtle but critical adjustments needed to insure an exercise is done productively and safely. I am tremendously grateful to have the benefit of her instruction and guidance.
Carolyn had entered my life at a very difficult time. I had just finished chemotherapy: 8 years prior I had been diagnosed with a sarcoma on my upper left leg. The doctors removed 3 of the 4 quads and I never regained full function in my leg. I knew walking would be a challenge. And 3 months after chemo I was going to need to walk down the aisle at my wedding. That’s when I hired Carolyn.She gave me a lecture that, to this day, I will never forget. It went something like this: ‘So, this is not going to be easy and I’ll only do this if you are committed and take it seriously. I won’t be counting reps and I will not stand for anything less than perfect.’And so it began. We met 4 times a week for 4 months. We worked really hard, we laughed, we cried (or at least I did) and a friendship began that would stand the test of time. Years later people marvel at the fact that I can walk, climb stairs, and dance (albeit badly). I always reply the same way: ‘I did it all on my own.’
My husband and I are writing from China. We climbed the Great Wall and yesterday hiked for hours in terraced rice paddies. With each step we kept saying, ‘We couldn’t have done this without Carolyn!’ I am 65 and my husband is 72 and the training that we have done with her has had real life pay off for us on this trip. Thanks to Carolyn we have climbed great heights and seen wonderful things without having to turn back!
Carolyn, despite her charm and sense of humor, proved from the beginning to be a hard taskmaster. Though she took notice of my sorry condition, she would not stint on creating a rigorous regimen that was appropriate for me. As the weeks went on we both started to see improvement; I was able to walk faster, had increased stamina and got strong enough to start using weights. I may be past 70, but with Carolyn’s intelligence, philosophy, and expertise, I am keeping aging and gravity at bay. Newton be damned!
As a trainer, Carolyn is very creative and inspiring. Her understanding of the body’s movement patterns are unparalleled. She seems to have a gift in determining how to train people who have limitations due to trauma or self-neglect. As a chiropractor who specializes in A.R.T. I have no reservations in referring my patients to her.
The first unique trait for Carolyn is her ability to work with the most stubborn of clients and slowly get them to improve their lives. Because of her, I not only care about exercising but also the holistic improvement in my body. She has also shown me exercises that I could do as a blind person to improve my posture while lecturing or working at the computer and I feel stronger and have more energy than I used to. Carolyn is also a great friend and I can’t imagine life without her.
Carolyn transformed my approach to exercise. Not only did I gain strength and lessen the pain from my injury, I learned efficiency from Carolyn—how to make more progress with fewer moves, fewer sessions, and less equipment.I have been successfully exercising on my own at home for a full year since I hired her and she remains accessible, encouraging, and supportive of me online when I need to check in with her for new suggestions or clarification.What I appreciate most of all, as someone on a tight budget in an expensive city, is that her model made high-quality training and regular exercise an affordable endeavor.