If you need a more accessible version of this website, click this button on the right. Switch to Accessible Site


You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience.

Close [x]

Request Appointment


My Work with Allison 


The event that brought me to register to be a member of the JCC in West Orange, and that led to my meeting Allison was a horrible car accident.  I had been getting something from the trunk of my parked car when a speeding car swerved into the line of parked cars along the narrow street and smashed my body between two cars.  My legs were crushed. 

After a long hospital stay and intensive rehabilitation, I ended up with an amputated left leg and a right leg with severe nerve and muscle damage after the bones, broken in eight places, were patched together.  My life was confined to a wheelchair for many months.  I finally progressed to learning how to use a rudimentary prosthetic leg and I was able to walk, though very slowly and awkwardly with the aid of a walker.  My body bent forward over the walker, I moved like an old man.  I could go up and down stairs only with a stair lifter.  I thought this was it, this would be it for the rest of my life.  I gave up hope of ever walking without a walker.  I tried to persuade myself I was happy to be walking with a walker, that at least I was not confined to a wheelchair.  I dared not hope for more. 

My wife, however, dared to hope.  After many arguments with me, my wife succeeded in persuading me to get personal training at the JCC.  There I met Allison, my personal trainer.

At first, Allison recommended I exercise with the stationary bike and work on some strength training equipment to make my muscles stronger.  A few months later, Allison advised me I had become strong enough to move up from the walker to walking with two forearm crutches, which would provide increased mobility and flexibility of movement.  I followed her advice.  I could feel my body had become much stronger and I was able to do things that were unthinkable before I began work with Allison.  Allison also advised me to exercise with the arc trainer and the stair stepper to increase my endurance.  The first time I tried the arc trainer, I could do it only for 5 minutes.  She continued to urge me to do it longer and longer.  Now I can do it for 25 minutes.  

One day Allison said, "Give me one crutch and walk with only one."  I replied, "No, I can't."  "Why?" she asked.  I said, "It's dangerous," and she said "It's not a good reason to refuse."  She would not take no for an answer.  I had no choice but to follow her order. The first time with only one crutch I walked 10 yards, but the distance increased week by week.  Allison kept pushing me and I was getting stronger. 

The same thing happened again in a few months. "Mr. Kim, give me both crutches and walk without crutches." "No, I can't."  "Why?" "I am scared." "It's not a proper reason.  Just try it.  I know you can do it."

That first day without crutches I walked about 30 or 40 yards. Everybody in the gym applauded to see me walking without crutches.

Today I walked 8 laps (half a mile) of the indoor track without a pause, without crutches.

According to Allison's advice I also recently ordered an upgraded prosthesis that will allow me to walk on hilly terrain, hike, and play golf.  Now I allow myself to dream of life without crutches, walking 4 miles at a stretch, and enjoying golf in the very near future.

I could not have gotten to this point without Allison constantly pushing me to work harder even when I thought I could not, to push myself even beyond my own hopes.  I know my dream will come true with Allison.  I will always be thankful to her for giving me this guidance.


H. Kim

Go to top of page