Road to Recovery

Submitted by: Joe Stell

Phillip's Success Story

I was worried that I’d never ski, bicycle or hike again. A series of injuries left me with years of pain and unable to enjoy many outdoor activities. Finally, I underwent spinal surgery. The surgery helped a great deal but I was still not able to do many of the things that I wanted to do. As my 60th birthday loomed not too many years in the future I began to believe that I’d spend the rest of my life in a recliner. I finally sought the expertise of the personal fitness staff at the NAU Rec Center in hopes of regaining the flexibility and strength that I had lost so that I could once again enjoy the out-of-doors.

I was very fortunate that I was paired with Joe Stell. Joe didn’t seem intimidated by working with an old guy with a bad back. He initially conducted a fitness assessment in which he asked about my goals and performed a physical evaluation. He designed a program that fit my needs and desires. Although I went home from our sessions together pretty sore on a number of occasions he never pushed me too hard. He explained the rationale for the workouts and provided just the right amount of encouragement. He listened to my feedback and adjusted the plan to meet my needs. Because of the effort that he put into our sessions together I wanted to succeed not just for myself but for Joe also.

With Joe’s help I’m back on the slopes and now that the weather is warmer looking forward to being back on my bicycle and hiking the trails. Not only did Joe help me return to these activities he also instilled in me a better understanding of the value of lifelong exercise and fitness. I know that I’ll be in better shape than many of my peers because of Joe’s expertise and dedication to fitness.