Transformation Thursday: Sparkling Through Setbacks | Irene Saranteas

At Studio Poise we love to celebrate successes within our community. Recently, it's come to our attention that several members of Poise Nation have been sparkling straight through some serious setbacks. For the next few weeks we'll be sharing their stories of perseverance and recovery. If you've overcome challenges like these fabulous ladies have, and want to share your story, please email us!

Our first story comes from one of our long time Studio Poise clients, Irene Saranteas. She first began sparkling in February 2013 and has been hooked on the workouts ever since. Thanks for sharing your journey with us, Irene. We look forward to continue helping you sparkle right through your wedding this summer!

I’ve played sports my entire life (basketball and soccer); it’s really the only thing I know! During my sophomore year of high school I had an intense amount of back pain, which brought things to a grinding halt. I tried to play through it for about a year and a half and finally gave in and saw a doctor. Turns out I had several stress fractures in one of my vertebrae that eventually broke apart and left my vertebra in 3 pieces. I was terrified at the thought of going through a spinal fusion surgery and avoided it at all costs. As crazy as this may sound I spent the next four years of college working out in pain and just kind of forgot what it was like to feel normal - it just became a way of life.

Once I finished my undergraduate degree and moved back home, I was quickly introduced to Studio Poise. Poise was one of the first classes I took, and I was instantly hooked. The fact that I was seeing results without the impact and pain of a treadmill or basketball court was eye-opening. For the next two years I was able to work out with minimal pain and got myself in the best shape I had been in since high school! Studio Poise offers such a variety of low impact classes, which was just what I needed. After sweating and sparkling my way through a ton of workouts (which are always more fun with friends) I decided my body felt strong enough to finally face the inevitable – spinal fusion surgery. I was petrified but knew if I didn’t do it now while in the best shape of my life it would only be harder to recover.

Roughly two years ago I went in for surgery to have two screws and a ladder inserted in my spine, fusing two vertebras together. I was bedridden for 10 days and progressed to using a walker to move about.

This picture montage was a series of photos taken during surgery - please note I am repping my Studio Poise Bling Cadet jacket circa 2013!

After working to get stronger I was eventually cleared to start physical therapy 3-4 times a week. Six months later I found myself back at Poise! The instructors were phenomenal,  providing modifications and helping me to complete the recommendations from physical therapy. It definitely wasn't easy but with the support from Studio Poise I am excited to be taking classes 5 days a week, pain free… and completely healed! My next challenge is staying in great shape for my June wedding. Thanks to Studio Poise I know I'll look my best!