Category Archives: Exercise

Someone told me I have MS, but MS does not have me!

I have never publicly declared on this blog  that I have an autoimmune condition but guess what? I do. I have Multiple Sclerosis, aka MS. I am a warrior woman- through and through- so I may have MS, but it certainly does not have me. Do I run around telling everyone? No, and quite frankly it is something I have struggled with- even admitting that I do in fact have a disability. Some people know I have MS, but many do not. I have been an athlete, dancer, group fitness instructor, and personal trainer for more than half of my life. I have been a physical person my entire life, and wrapping my head around the fact that I can’t do certain things as I used to, has been a serious drop kick to my spirit. But more recently I have come into a special place where I realize there is sooooo much that I can do. Yay! Why do I reveal such personal information? Many of my close friends have chastised me for not bringing this fact to the forefront. They say that I am hurting myself, and maybe other people who I could potentially help by telling my story. I reveal this information; not to ever have anyone feel sorry for me, but to let everyone in the world know this:

No matter what struggles we are faced with, whether we have MS, Cancer, Lupus, Parkinson’s…high cholesterol, high blood pressure, epilepsy…whatever: There is hope, there is so very much that we are capable of doing, and we are not alone!  Those who know me well know that I will fight until my last breath. If I can do it, so can you! We are one people and we need to be there for one another.

I am also revealing this personal information to let everyone know that I have been able to manage my life beautifully with regular exercise, yoga, meditation, prayer, and proper nutrition. We all know that exercise and eating well will benefit us, right? While many people know this, many choose to turn away from this for a variety of reasons and excuses: I’m too busy, too tired,  no time, and the list goes on and on. We have only one body, so it is our job to take the best care of it as we possibly can. We simply cannot afford to do otherwise.  Not everyone experiences an autoimmune condition in the same way, and there are many levels of disability. Some folks are in wheelchairs, some have invisible symptoms,  and do not look sick at all. I pretty much fall into this second category, but my tell tale Detroit- swag way of walking,   is in fact due to a little nerve issue on my left side that plagues me intermittently. And yes, I sometimes trip, and no, it is not because I have had too much too drink. I get it. Some have very little disability, and are able to manage easily, while others may need a little more assistance.

I am a Master Instructor Trainer for a very cool exercise system called Drums Alive. It is quite remarkable in that research has shown that drumming enhances brain plasticity,  and helps to build new neurological pathways.  This is exactly what people like us need.  It is so much fun; exhilarating, and anyone can do it-  even people in wheel chairs.  The fact that I am a musician,  highly skilled  experienced trainer, specializing in corrective exercise,  and that I do in fact have a  disability, makes me uniquely qualified to help other people who are  like us.  I know you may think that there is nothing that can be done for you if you have an autoimmune condition  in the way of exercise, but you are very wrong.  Besides, I love my work so very much, and know that this  is exactly why God put me here: to help others. Yes, I can help you too!

So, that said, please reach out to me if you have ANY questions. I am a warrior woman- through and through- and if I can do this, so can you!

I post to my facebook page regularly so, please check me out there in addition to this site.


New Year, New us!

Hey all! I know it’s been a while since I last posted, but I  took a little hiatus to work on my family, my music, Facebook page (check it out at  and stepped away from blogging for a spell,Dena Got Music but guess what? I’m back! A friend posted a pic on my Facebook page which said:

BE STRONGER THAN YOUR STRONGEST EXCUSE. We all have them don’t we? So…in the spirit of this new year and moment, and a new us, I humbly submit to you the following:

Are your workouts set in your calendar? Have you hired a certified experienced trainer who will also serve as a lifestyle coach? Do you need to do a better job holding yourself accountable? A few tips:

1) Choose to be around positive, uplifting, supportive people, who are like minded and share your health and wellness goals. Others? Keep them at a distance.

2) Stop trying to fix and rescue other people. You already have your plate full with trying your very best to take care of you. YOU, are your most important asset. Say politely, ” No, I’m sorry, but I can’t. It will be okay, really, it will!

3) If will power is a problem for you, remove from your home: all junk food and whatever stuff you tend to go for when contemplating a binge. Out of sight, out of mind! Remember for many, it is not what you are eating, it’s what’s eating you. Figure it out. Ask yourself,
” Why am I eating this? Am I really hungry? Am I tired?” (yes when you are sleep deprived, the body sends mixed signals to the brain to fool it into thinking you are hungry…you’re not) Are you bored? Lonely? There are great trained professionals to help with this if binge eating is an issue.

4) Schedule your workouts in your daily planner as an appointment and also in your task manager. Keep your appointment with yourself, your trainer and let nothing or no one deter you from your “you” time. Check off your workout in your task manager and you will gain great satisfaction seeing it crossed off, and will feel a great sense of accomplishment too! Smart phone people, I recommend the google calendar. It does all of this.

5) Keep a journal of your food and fluid intake along with your activity. Remember to include all information especially the timing of your eating. If you reached a plateau, dig a litter deeper to find out exactly what the problem may be . It may very well be that you are not eating enough food, your carbohydrate intake is too high, your protein intake is too low , you may be working out too hard- and depleting all your glycogen stores…it could be anything. Be willing to listen to your coach, trainer, nutritionist, and/or team of professionals and do the work to take it to the next level. Remember: no change= no change.

6) Engage yourself in a hobby you love or get back to one of your God given talents that you have placed on the back burner; music, art, volunteering, spending time with friends and family… feed your soul!

7) Feed yourself spiritually. Spend time in nature, unplug and get away from ALL electro magnetic energy for a while. Go to church, temple, practice yoga, pray, meditate, read inspirational books, scripture, whatever path you are on…keep working on yourself and edifying your spirit.

We are responsible for our own health, wellness, and happiness. Find yours, because no one is going to do it for you. Be stronger than your strongest excuse!