Priscilla. What a beautiful lady. She is originally from Texas, but a California resident now for many years. She had moved to Thousand Oaks to be closer to her daughter, son in law and her 3 amazing grand-children. Tom, her husband, is an avid golfer and dedicated fitness man. He goes to the gym 4 to 5 days a week. They live in a beautiful home. So beautiful in fact that my own mother said it is her dream home. Arched entrance, beautiful roses growing from the driveway to the carved wood front door, and a beautiful backyard that boasts fruit trees even Dole would be proud of.
prototypes during our 2 weeks together.
Priscilla always has a beautiful smile and Tom a hearty handshake to welcome me into their home. The rolling hills surrounding their home encapsulate a serenity that often comes at a higher price. But the value of anything is how much you maximize the opportunity through what you have and how you can benefit from it. A beautiful place is only as good as how you can participate within the beauty.
But I am getting ahead of myself. Let’s go back to the start. I coached Priscilla’s grandson, Kapono, on my soccer team. I had often said Hi to Priscilla and Tom but never truly engaged in conversation. I was focused on the soccer team on game days and they were there to cheer on, and fill with pride, watching Kapono skillfully carve through opponents. Their daughter, Julie, knew Bob Eubanks and had seen the change in him. She couldn’t believe the difference, in such a short time, in Bob’s life. How strong he was, his walking, stature, and confidence! Julie mentioned her mother and wished she could see the same change in her too. It was great to see Julie again as we had not talked in a long time, and we said our goodbyes and I wished her the best for her mother. But those words rang in my ears. “I wish my mother could have the same results as Bob”.
But those words rang in my ears. “I wish my mother could have the same results as Bob”.
I had not seen Priscilla for a few years, as I no longer coached her grandson. I couldn’t stop thinking of how Julie had described her mothers decline. Julie had explained how Priscilla had fallen on stairs, shattered her ankle, had two operations, and was now a “prisoner” in her beautiful home, unless she had someone to help her hang on to. She was slowing down. The sparkle was not as strong in her eyes, and the future was gloomy. I had to do something. What started out for Bob suddenly was not just about Bob, it was about human touch and the ability to try to change lives. So, I picked up the phone and called Julie. A call that was the beginning of the 60uP Balance Board revolution. I asked Julie if I could call her mother and offer help. Julie was so happy to give the number and wished me luck. She told me she had talked to Priscilla but Priscilla was resistant to try. She had been to gyms and had trainers and nothing had worked. She had cancelled her gym membership and was letting life take its natural course. The future was not bright on this journey.
After a brief conversation with Priscilla she agreed I could go visit her at her home. I had never seen her home before and what a beautiful first impression as I drove up that blue-sky day. But through the quiet hum of my trucks engine, as I pulled down in to the driveway, all I really heard was the resonating words from this sweet older lady, “It won’t work, I have tried everything. But I will give it a go. If it will work for me it will work for anyone!” I suddenly felt the pressure. Would it work? What if I was giving false hope?
Ten minutes later I was sitting on Priscilla and Toms sofa discussing the approach to the board. Priscilla told me her fears, her limitations and her doubt. You see, it was not a balance issue. It was not mobility or natural decline. It was far graver than I thought. Priscilla had scoliosis of the spine. She had pain standing or natural movements. She had joined a gym but laying on the exercise equipment, or doing the exercises the trainer (who she said didn’t really give her attention relative to her condition) gave her to do. So after a few weeks she quit and would stay at home while Tom went to the gym alone. Priscilla also revealed how her ability to go and watch Kapono at soccer had become harder and the walk to the bleachers at the soccer field took much longer to do.
I could tell two things from our 15-minute conversation. One. Priscilla LOVES her grandchildren. 2. She had lost all hope of ever living a full life again. Tom was present the whole time, eager to find a way to help and support the lady he married, and cherishes. I explained the balance board concept, the type of simple movement exercises we would do and the effect it would have. I held my breath as Priscilla moved towards the board. Her hope, in my hands.
I could tell two things from our 15-minute conversation. One. Priscilla LOVES her grandchildren. 2. She had lost all hope of ever living a full life again.
That day I will never forget. We were so new with the balance board I only had the wooden prototypes. I only had a few boards total. And this was one of the first people, outside of Bob, who had a serious problem that I would train to try and change their life. I remember Priscilla’s fear as she approached the board. Her resignation it would not work, and yet she would try. Maybe just to appease me for the years I had trained her grandson. I took her through the basic “how to get on the board” method that all the boards have included and online through video. Within 3 minutes she was on the board. Rocking side to side. Re-learning to balance. I will never forget her beautiful eyes lighting up when she first stepped off the board to rest. She looked so excited as she proclaimed, “I can feel my muscles working again. I have not felt them for years. And I cant believe how solid and safe the floor feels”. I stayed calm, but inside I was more excited than her. We advanced the exercises and after 25 minutes we were done for the day. Success. Both for Priscilla and me!
Tom had been watching and supporting from the side the whole time. As I continued to talk to Priscilla I noticed Tom get onto the board. He started performing the same exercises and he too could not believe how simple the exercises were, and yet how his muscles were immediately engaged and triggering his balance stabilization. Here was this tall, fit, strong gym buff, in his late 60’s, going through a simple workout that touched muscles his gym workouts didn’t. Those muscles that he needed for everyday living. Tom was almost as excited as his bride.
Over the next two weeks I visited Priscilla and Tom three times a week, for a total of 6 workouts. I also brought Tom my second prototype board so they could workout together. It was amazing to see their personalities come through. Tom is so competitive and wanted to always be the first to achieve the challenges of exercises I gave them. Priscilla was more focused on getting them perfect. You have to understand this 60uP Balance Board has over 200 exercises, including the band work, which will strengthen the whole body. So I gave them new tests, along with the basic warm up each session, to assist their growth. Tom began to boast how his balance on the golf course was making his game better. He loved this workout more than the gym ones he had done for years. And best of all, he was working out with his wife and seeing her progression. Even when I was not there. I was so happy to see his enthusiasm and the results of the Balance Board for a fit man who would never have thought he needed it. Tom then confessed. He has noticed a little loss of balance before we met for Priscilla’s problem. He just didn’t admit it and thought just working out in the gym might reverse the effect. I was beyond happy. But this story has to finish with Priscilla.
After two weeks of workouts, 6 sessions in total, I had to leave for a week. I left some exercises to do and wished them luck. I had seen amazing growth in Priscilla and felt confident she, and Tom, could now do their own workouts. Even just rocking on the board watching TV had proven invaluable compared to sitting on the sofa. Priscilla was more confident in herself and her physical ability, and best of all; the sparkle of hope was back shining brightly. She had no pain at all from the scoliosis as the balance board helps realign the body into a perfect structural position and her muscles were now supporting her body. I felt I could leave them both to workout together, side by side, and I would come back in 8 days.
I knocked on their wooden door. Tom answered but there was no smiling Priscilla next to him. My fears were allayed when Tom told me she was getting changed. It was 11.00am and I wondered if she was sick or got up late. Tom turned to me with a smile. He said Priscilla had just got back from a walk. I asked how the walk was and his words brought tears to my eyes. “I don’t know,” he said. He explained Pricilla had gone for a walk with her friends around the neighborhood and he didn’t go. Priscilla had regained her independence and was back living life outside of the beautiful walls that had enclosed her desires because of fear and no way to change the decline. Well, until the 60uP Balance program revealed its simple magic.
Months later, when my mother came to visit me, I took her to meet Priscilla and Tom. That is when she saw her dream home. And I watched Tom and Priscilla giving my Mum and guided tour. Well Priscilla actually as Tom stayed with me and we couldn’t keep up! Priscilla and my Mum took off around the house and the garden. Carefree, full of energy. Sharing in each others enthusiasm for the beauty simplified in the nature all around.
Life is amazing. Life provides miracles. For those two weeks I was gifted a miracle. The opportunity to witness a life, two lives, changed by the power of the mind, the power of the brain, the power of the human body. But above all, the power of the human spirit that showed age is not the limiting factor to a great life. The ability to keep living life is the power of the human spirit. Priscilla is back playing with her grandchildren. Tom is improving his golf game. Priscilla is still challenging Tom on the board to be perfect and not rush, and Julie, Priscilla’s daughter who started this whole journey for me, boasts how her mother has her independence back and is a different lady. The future is not only bright. Just like Priscilla’s eyes, it is shining. She is living a beautiful life that those rolling hills around her showcase.
As Eleanor Roosevelt so eloquently expressed – “Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, but beautiful old people are works of art.”
Even Michelangelo could not have painted the beauty I witnessed in the journey over those two weeks. The beauty of life being reborn, through the freedom of a re-balanced mind and body.
Talking of beauty, next I will tell you the amazing story of my Mother. How, at the age of 81, the 60uP Balance Board changed her life and gifted back, to the most amazing lady I know, the power of dance. Wait till you hear this story. And I look forward to hearing yours too.
With care, love and the gift of a better life,