The Seattle Athletic Club is thrilled to announce that our Inspirational Member of the Month is Jamie Osbourne! I’m certain you have seen Jamie working out in the club; he is here nearly every morning and utilizes every square inch of the club including the weight room, cardio room, the Pilates Studio, Cybex room, and the stretching area. He loves to share his amazing journey of struggle and triumph, and here is a peek into his recovery process from a devastating cycling accident in 2007 and his incredible climb to where he is today.
1) Jamie, we see you here each and every day! What inspires you to workout every day?
a) To rebuild strength, balance and posture which have all been compromised by paralysis and other residual deficits due to a bad road cycling accident in 2007 rendering me quadriplegic b) Working out produces endorphins which by far are the best pain killer of anything I take c) Community – it’s great for my mental health to see friends, familiar faces, and other like-minded folks committed to exercise and fitness d) Energy – it’s a great way to start the day e) Most importantly, although progress comes very slowly, I always have goals, and over the last 6+ years since rejoining the club have made significant improvements in many areas that have allowed me to go places physically I never thought possible in 2007 when I was injured. Btw, my doctors are very intrigued by my continued progress, which for spinal cord injury was generally understood to flat-line after 1-2 years. I’ve had more recovery in the last 6 years since rejoining the SAC than I did in the first 3 years by many fold!
2) We know you are facing some incredible physical challenges. What advice would you offer to those facing any physical obstacle?
a) Have goals of some kind, achievable goals that you can build on, produce small victories that will accumulate over time and become bigger victories. Perhaps a goal is just getting yourself to the club, and do some stretches. Check off a goal and move on to the next, and reward yourself in some meaningful way. b) Consistency – it doesn’t have to be 5-6 days/wk but do it on some consistent frequency and the gains will come. c) Work to overcome fear, which our bodies often do to protect ourselves when injured. At some point that fear becomes an impediment. One of the best pieces of advice I received at the club was “Jamie, you need to learn to trust yourself.” It changed everything in my recovery. c) Visualize. I picture in my head in great detail the next goal I want to accomplish. I sometimes think of myself as a movie maker – actor, writer, producer, director. Every time I do this for some big goal I want to accomplish it has come true. d) Make the best of it. Focus on the things you can do, not what you can’t or used to do. I spent way too much time in the first couple of years stuck in the past, and having difficulty coming to grips with a new reality. As a famous football coach once said, “play the hand you are dealt.” e) Be willing to try new things, and don’t get discouraged or stop doing something because everyone else can and you can’t. I’ve tried many different things where I struggled mightily. Instead of giving up and saying I can’t do this, I viewed it as a challenge. What I do when I first start something new with difficulty is to view my starting point as a baseline “I’ve found my baseline” I’ll often say and build from there. Weights, Machines, Bands, Pilates, Barre,Yoga and pushing the sled are all exercises I’ve struggled with initially but gained much from.
3) What have been your greatest recent accomplishments? (I heard there was a recent ride around Mercer Island?!)
a) Being able to live independently with little/no accommodation with exception of using trekking poles for walking longer distances. b) Most recently, I’ve cycled around MI 3X in the last 2 months, each time without stopping and each time after I’ve worked out Sunday mornings after 2.5hrs in the gym, including Shari’s spin class. It helps loosen me up. c) In 2015 I rowed in an 8man crew shell at my alma matter in Ithaca NY. d) I was able to hit golf balls on the driving range, even make reasonable contact without falling down d) I hit my best results in average wattage on the spin bike for 60 minutes e) I took several ski runs at the base of Backcomb last Christmas (on the green run!).
Of course all of these efforts are very painful which is why I don’t do them on a regular basis. There is always a price to pay in anything I do. When I do though I feel so alive!
Please help us in congratulating Jamie on his nomination for Seattle Athletic Clubs’ Inspirational Member of the Month!