Posted by on Oct 8, 2012

Member Spotlight

This week we feature a truly incredible woman who refuses to let a little something like Rheumatoid Arthritis stand in her way. If you know of a Fitocrat deserving of a weekly member spotlight, simply contact users lexyloowho or xJenx or simply email fitocracymemberspotlight@gmail.com.

Username and level
JasmineC and Level 17 (Fitocracy Hero – The Just)

How did you get started in fitness and training? Do you have any pics to share?
In 1984, at the age of 13, I was diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis. Prior to that I was very active: I played basketball, volleyball, gymnastics, was the fastest runner in 5th grade, really enjoyed track… the list goes on. After my diagnosis I had to stop all physical activity as the arthritis, which had begun in my right thumb, had spread to every joint in my body. I was excused from Physical Education for the remainder of middle school and all of high school due to the severity of the disease.

Then, in 1990, as I started my second year of college, the tendons in my legs started to shorten. A few months passed before I couldn’t walk at all, and for the next 4 years, I was confined to a wheelchair. Then, in June 1994 I had my first total knee replacement and the second in November of the same year. As soon as I got back on my feet, I began my road to recovery. I joined a health club and started water aerobics and weight training and I haven’t stopped since!

As of today I have had a total of 13 surgeries including 2 total knee replacements (1994), triple arthrodesis in my right ankle (1998 & again in 2009 – see the x-ray from the 2009 procedure), total MCP knuckle replacements in both hands (2003, 2004 – before and after pics of my right hand included), multiple scar revisions and hardware removal along with miscellaneous procedures like the one I have scheduled in a few weeks on November 5 to have 2 dislocated toes fixed in my right foot (you can see the dislocation on the 2009 x-ray).

While I will never be able to push the heavy weights that an otherwise healthy individual can, and earn the obscene amount of points other members get for their workouts, I will never EVER give up trying to be the best me I can be!


Me in a wheelchair in 1994


Right ankle x-ray 2009


Right hand before surgery


Right hand after surgery


Me with my baby today (9-16-12)


Me & my hubby/baby daddy rickfc

How did you find Fitocracy? How has it changed your workouts?
My amazing husband, rickfc introduced me to Fito. He was a part of the site during the beta stage and got me hooked in July. I can’t even begin to tell you how much it has changed my workouts! Between the constant encouagement, props, comments and my Fito family, I feel obligated to be the best that I can be not just for myself, but to justify their support.

Do you have any long term goals or direction you plan to take your training?
My main goal is to get stronger and toned. My muscles have spent WAY too long in atrophy and I will do everything in my control to keep that from recurring.

What are things you’ve learned through trial and error? What areas do you hope to learn more about?
What I can and cannot phsically do. For example, I used to shy away from certain machines simply because they looked intimudating and I didn’t think I’d have the ability to handle them. A little bit of encouragement from my husband Rick and some excellent personal trainers at my gym and I have overcome a lot of that! I’d like to learn more about water exercises as that’s the best form of activity for my joints.

Currently, where would you say your weakness lies? Where do you excel?
My primary weakness is with physical limitations due to having so many joint replacements. Currently, I have 2 replaced knees, MCP joints replaced in each hand (all of my knuckles), a fused ankle with very limited mobility and the majority of my joints don’t have any cartilage left. I have had 13 surgeries total with the 14th scheduled for November 5 of this year.

What motivates you?
My family! My husband Rick (Rickfc) is my pillar of strength and we have a beautiful daughter Giana. Giving up and slowing down is NOT AN OPTION.

Are you using any supplements or special dietary changes to achieve your goals?
Rick & I started the Leangains/Intermittent Fasting program in late July and it has been very beneficial! I’ve lost 6 pounds and feel more energized than ever. I also take the Amino X brand of BCAA’s 30 minutes prior to my gym WO’s (3 x week) and take fish oil, Vit C, Folgard OS, Folic Acid, & Biotin daily.

If you could give advice to someone starting off, what would you tell them?
Always try something once. It may end up being the best decision you’ve ever made!

What’s your ‘secret weapon’, the thing that pushes you or you feel gives you an edge?
The unconditional support I receive from my family. I am very blessed!

What has the overall impact of Fitocracy been in your life?
As I mentioned earlier, I cannot imagine my fitness regimen without Fito! My immediate family is supportive enough as is and when you factor in the added support of my 400+ Fito family members, it’s priceless!

One thing I want people to take away from my story is…

When you feel down or feel as though everything you’re doing is in vain, please don’t give up! It is THE absolute worst thing you can do. My motto is NEVER GIVE UP and I have no intention of ever doing so ☺

How do you manage keeping fit and being a mom?

It’s pretty simple really.  My daughter is now 7 years old and is in school all day so I hit the gym 3 days a week and jump in my pool the other 3 days, right after I drop her off.  No exceptions unless I’m not feeling well.  Plus, my daughter loves to dance (just like her mommy) so we play the Just Dance & Dance Central series of video games and both get a great cardio workout!

Share Button