For Bob Hicks, completing the New U Life Whole Body Challenge was nothing short of a miracle. And maybe that’s because his entire journey before the challenge had already been a tough mountain to climb.
In 1950, when Bob was 15, he was completely paralyzed by encephalitis, a virus inside the spine and brain wall fluids. One which left him with muscle weakness, atrophy, loss of balance, and other muscular issues that eventually led to severe scoliosis. Almost 70 years later, at 84 years old, Bob is in a walker, still dealing with a recurrence of the same symptoms in the form of post-encephalitis syndrome.
When it came to Bob starting the challenge this year, even stepping on the scale had its complications. The first post he wrote on the Whole Body Challenge Facebook group, Bob explained that he couldn’t even stay still enough for a digital scale to read his weight. But a kind friend offered to switch his scale with a mechanical one that had a bigger platform. Bob barely managed to step on his new scale for only a couple of seconds, catching a glimpse of his starting weight at 133 lbs.
He shared in that February 21st Facebook post:
“One of my Challenge goals is to GAIN weight, not lose weight, so I’m off to a good start!”
He shared his progress in the second month of the challenge:
“Challenges are like mountain climbing. There are peaks and valleys. This week had both ups and downs. An exciting peak was to walk with the walker for 300 ft – it was a surprise! I’ve been staying consistent at 180 ft, and for no good reason, it jumped to 100 yards, which is actually my final goal.”
Even during the challenge, Bob had made specific goals to achieve for himself. And in May, he shared with the Facebook group that he had met all of his written goals during the entire challenge, 3 of them in the final week. One thing that has been motivating for him to reach these goals is the encouragement from other WBC participants, from online to offline. Friends would come over to his house and be his “spotter” while he walked. And with people on Facebook commenting, “We love your posts” to “You’re such an inspiration,” it’s clear that he had an impact on other challenge participants too.
Bob told New U Life, “The Whole Body Challenge has helped me get an organized exercise program, and helped me log in measurable progress in strength, mobility, and weight gain.” He continued, “Hopefully, the Whole Body Challenge Facebook page can remain active, and our community can continue to encourage each other and share as we move on to the lifetime challenge to live a higher quality of life as members of the New U Life family.”