Physical activity has always been a necessity for Darren. He has always had an abundance of energy and had a hard time focusing on tasks in everyday life. Expending energy through exercise results in enhancing his focus, improving his mood and greatly contributing to his ability to fall asleep at night, something we can all relate too. When it comes to starting his day on the right foot, Darren’s morning workout is more important than a morning coffee.
Sitting in a class room was never Darren’s thing so when he was 16 he joined the Army reserves through a high school co op. Darren quickly realized that he did not want to live life as a soldier, but he loved the physical and mental challenges presented during basic training, secondary training and Infantry development program.
In March of 2012, Darren was diagnosed with a rare nerve disease called Guillain Barre Syndrome. His legs were completely paralyzed, his upper body had varying levels of numbness and his nervous system presented all sorts of unpleasant symptoms.
Darren’s recovery was long and difficult. He experienced many setbacks and challenges including depression, extreme weight loss, hip surgery and falling countless times when trying to walk with a cane (instead of sticking to the wheel chair). One of the worst moments was when Darren was given an indefinite diagnosis from the neurologists about how much mobility he would regain. Darren made it his mission to make my body as strong, flexible and as pain free as it could possibly be. He refused to accept that his recovery was ever at an end. He had many opportunities to quit and accept that he would never have the physical life that I once had, but he didn’t take them. He also decided he wanted to eventually his my unique experience and insight to help other people with their fitness journeys. Darren’s battle with GBS also showed him the importance of mental health awareness and maintenance.
Darren went through physiotherapy, but he was still dealing with chronic pain and muscle imbalances. He decided to go to Mohawk College for Health, Fitness and Wellness to gain education for myself and his career when the time came along. He used what he learned in school to continue his recovery.
It has been 5 years now and Darren has regain gotten back all the mobility he could have ever hoped for considering how GBS can impact one’s life. Every once in a while Darren finds himself in happy tears as he walks down the street on ‘comfortable’ legs. Darren now has a passion to help others begin their fitness journeys, bounce back from injuries and push their body’s to limits they didn’t think were possible.