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West Jordan Journal

How one man overcame physical obstacles and moved on

Sep 11, 2023 02:19PM ● By Linda Steele

When life dished out the hard balls, we can overcome them with perseverance.  That is what Aaron Hutchison did. Cari Hutchison was Aaron’s biggest influence to help him get through this trial. “My wife was the one that pushed me into doing things. Said Aaron Hutchison.;

Aaron won fourth place in the EoS Fitness, “Submit Your Fitness Contest.”  He had ongoing  previous injuries that happened to him, and he had some surgeries. He used fitness for rehabilitation purposes to become healthy physically and mentally.  

Aaron had a fall and slipped while he was visiting his son, daughter in law and new grandson back East.  He was carrying wood in from a truck back to the porch in a big rainstorm and he ended up sliding off the end of the sidewalk with his foot and he tore tendons in his ankle. He ended up having surgery on his ankle. As part of the healing process he was wearing a boot. The boot threw his back out and ended up triggering some previous injuries that he had from when he was in high school. Aaron knew that he had been living with injuries for a while. His  back was getting so bad that he couldn’t stand, walk, and he couldn't go to work.  Laying down was painful. “The only comfortable position I could get in was reclining in a chair.” said Aaron. 

Aaron ended up having spinal fusion surgery on his back in May of 2022. Part of his rehab according to the doctors was that he needed to lose some weight. He was having some health issues associated with his heavier weight. Aaron started physical therapy for his back, he was to a point that he could do a few things again. Aaron and his wife decided it was time to get with a personal trainer and start making improvements to get strength in his back and get his muscles moving again because he had some muscle atrophy due to inactivity for six months. 

In November 2022 Aaron started working with EoS at the gym, started working with  Starr Setterberg, his personal trainer who works at  Layton-N Fort LN EoS Fitness location) “She's been spectacular, she got me going to the gym two to three days a week working out with her. At this point I can actually pick things up and walk. To begin with, coming off the back surgery and walking from my bed to the bathroom was extremely painful. Now I am able to walk a few miles at a time. Still not totally pain free, but I can do it.” said Aaron. 

Mentally Aaron was in a bad place dealing with depression and issues with concerns of life in general.  “I feel so much better now, I look forward to going to the gym, instead of dreading having to do some activity,” said Aaron.  Aaron looks forward to doing things with his grandchildren now, whereas he could barely pick them up before. Now he is able to carry his one year old grandson on his shoulders without any pain. 

The biggest drive to get Aaron through this trial besides his wife was the disgust he felt by letting himself get to the point where he couldn’t do anything.  Aaron was always athletic in high school and college and very mobile and could do things. He realized he missed riding his bike, being able to pick things up, do things in his woodshop,  Those were the things that made him happy, and a complete person.  He used the feelings of the things he missed as  motivation.  “Once you start seeing a little bit of weight come off, the pants and shirts start fitting differently, that is great motivation as well. I don’t focus on numbers on the scale, I focus on how I am feeling, how my body reacts to my workouts, and regular activities.” said Aaron.  A big motivator for Aaron was that he wanted to be able to do things again.

“ I probably would have never gone to a personal trainer if it wasn’t for my wife. She was able to get me to recognize that even though it is spendy sometimes,  it is my life I am working on.” said Aaron. 

Aaron has a lot of feelings about this journey he has been on. When he was going through his physical pain with his back problems, the L4 and L5 going out was about ¼ half inch and more, and any movement was painful. It was hard for him to get motivated to get up and do anything because it was a big ordeal, and he didn’t want to be in pain. “I wanted to find a comfortable position and just stay there,” said Aaron.  It would completely exhaust him to walk up eight stairs. By looking back Aaron could see he was very depressed. He couldn't see a way out of it, because the pain was constant. Now at this time in his life the biggest pain he has is sore muscles. He works out and he can feel it for a couple of days which is a good motivator for him, because he would not have been able to do his workout a year ago. 

“A year ago at this point I was still struggling to walk down the hall. Carrying anything was impossible, I couldn’t help my wife carry the groceries in, I couldn’t do the laundry. I couldn’t do any of that.” said Aaron.  Now that Aaron can do those things it opens up a whole new pathway of things he can do. Aaron gets great motivation from his wife and family without fighting against it like he did before.When Aaron started healing and feeling better he  started out with minor weight resistance and stretching. Now he can do deadlift squats, bench press, “My trainer Star Setterberg I used is spectacular, because she has always checked my progress and asked if the exercise is working for me, and if it is causing pain from a muscle perspective or if I’m feeling pain from my surgery points.” said Aaron. 

A lot of the weight techniques and the proper form that Aaron has learned at EoS has helped him with proper technique, and he can fine tune his workout so he doesn’t hurt himself. Aaron’s goal is to get himself strong and fit enough so that he doesn’t need to worry about getting injured if he takes a mis-step on a trail.  “There is still some work to go, but I just feel so much better than I did before, it's not even comparable.” said Aaron. 

“I'm grateful to share the opportunity about  my story, not only with EoS people,or the fitness contest, but it was great that the national contest people gave me good feedback. It is great to  recognize people at the gym and let other people know even though you are down and out physically, and you don’t feel like you can do anything, there are a couple of first steps and they don’t have to be huge steps.” said Aaron. 

Submit Your Fit is an annual contest. They have their gym members explain and write about fitness and wellness stories. It is a great opportunity for members to share inspirational stories about their journey in overcoming obstacles, and it builds a lot of community and it speaks to the EoS culture and how great the personal trainers are as Aaron explained. The submit Your Fit contest allows their members to explain some incredible journeys. 

“Not only was my wife and my trainers a huge help. My employer NUAMES (Northern Utah Academy of Math Engineer and  Science) has been absolutely understanding. That's a big thing because I was able to take the time off to go to my therapy, which got me to the point where I could go to my personal trainer.” said Aaron.  

“Our members continue to inspire us through their unwavering drive, determination and commitment to self-improvement,” said Kalen Adams, regional vice president of fitness at EoS Fitness. “EoS is proud to celebrate the transformational fitness journeys of each of our winners. We recognize the dedication and contributions made by our gym and team members here in Utah. Aaron’s story is a reminder that regardless of the challenge at hand, you have the ability to take control of your own well-being. “  said Kalen Adams, regional vice president of fitness at EoS Fitness: