My Story

Christy’s Transformation

Today I feel blessed that I can say I have energy and vitality and I love my life! I have a wonderful husband Vance and a college-aged son, Matthew who is a great joy to his Dad and me. I define my role as a wife and mother first, but next in line is most certainly my passion for fitness, martial arts, and the study of health and wellness. My greatest satisfaction in life comes from teaching and helping others transform into all they are capable of becoming. But I have not always been blessed with energy and good health. This is how I was transformed from devastating illness to radiant health.

In 1992 I was enrolled in an experimental treatment program for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome at Baylor College of Medicine. My immune system was critically depressed and I was taking a myriad of drugs, including Interferon therapy, to help restore my health. This chemical cocktail gave me slight relief, but I was still so weak and lifeless that it was difficult for me to do even the simplest of tasks. Cooking dinner for my family was a monumental chore. I had to stop and lay down after being on my feet for more than 5 or 10 minutes. I couldn’t even grocery shop by myself. There was very little activity that I could easily perform because I simply did not have the energy to enjoy doing much of anything. All I did was what was absolutely necessary and then I would have to rest before I could do more. My husband was recovering from cancer after a difficult year of surgery and radiation therapy. My son Matthew was five years old at the time, and being very active, with plenty of energy to spare, we decided to put him into martial arts training. That is what brought me to Self Defense Institute in LaPorte and Professor Winston Thompson. Over the weeks and months as I watched my son train, I began to wonder if that type of training would be something that I could do, I wondered if I could do it, and if I could, if it would help me get my life back. After a few months of watching my son, I decided I too wanted to start training. I reasoned that if I already felt so sick, what would be the worst that could happen? Maybe the training and the activity would not make me feel better. I was already so miserable, I could hardly feel worse.

Now… let me explain that Shaolin Jiu-Jitsu training has a heavy emphasis on conditioning, and I will honestly tell you that those first few months of training were the most difficult physical challenge I have ever endured, but the results were also the most rewarding. Within a couple of months I was able to stop all the medications, (about $500.00/ month), I lost about 40lbs and I had more energy and vitality than I ever had before. When I saw my Doctor a few months later, he didn’t recognize me, and this was a man who I had previously seen weekly for months. My life was completely transformed.

Fast forward about 15 years, and here I am today. You know, I have an academic degree, and a few licenses and certifications in the area of health and fitness, but what means the most to me by far is my rank of Sensei and 3rd degree Black Belt. Even after 15 years, I still have a lot to learn. I continue to teach and train others and pursue my own training in the martial arts. I will always be a student, there is always more to learn

Today I am a Fitness Professional, Nutritionist and I have the rank of Sensei in Jiu-Jitsu. My greatest satisfaction in life comes from sharing my gift of fitness and health with others. I am able to help others because one day, several years ago, someone decided to help me. I owe a never-ending debt of gratitude to Professor Winston Thompson for the days, weeks and years he has unselfishly devoted to my training and improvement. His gift of teaching will forever inspire my life. Thank you Sensei.