Deneka bounces back after serious injuries

  • On the move: Deneka Borden

    On the move: Deneka Borden

  • One step at a time: Deneka Borden in action with Mariners Rugby Football Club before her injury and during her recovery at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital

    One step at a time: Deneka Borden in action with Mariners Rugby Football Club before her injury and during her recovery at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital


Last article, I highlighted a client who has made tremendous headway in her fitness and wellness journey. Sometimes, it isn’t about aesthetic goals, weight loss or gain. Sometimes it is simply about movement, regaining strength after some time away, whether due to injury, pregnancy, doctor’s orders or the like.

Regardless of why the extended rest was needed, getting back into the swing of things, lifting weights, running, even stretching may seem like such a task.

In these times I’m sure we always say, “but I used to be able to lift …” or “ … this is frustrating because I used to be able to do…”. Right? We’ve all been there.

Today, I want to highlight another client of mine who has been with me for five years now. As long as I’ve known her (even before training) she has been active and healthy. During our time together she always chased improving strength and athleticism while reaping the benefits of an athletic frame.

Athletics over aesthetics right? While I can sit here and tell you more, I know she can do it better so have a read of a piece from our interview, her journey through fitness and wellness. Enjoy this amazing journey of Deneka Borden, from fitness enthusiast to immobility and back to the patience needed to bounce back.

“For as long as I can remember I have been pretty active and into sports, whether it be watching or actually participating. More recently, I have been focused on personal training with AbsByDre (aka Hindssight) and rugby with Mariners Rugby Football Club and the Bermuda Women’s National Team to remain active and keep my fitness up.

“My fitness journey came to a crashing halt almost two years ago when I was involved in a car accident that left me virtually immobile for about four to five months with a broken neck, back and ribs. I was placed in a halo which completely restrained me from turning my upper body. Needless to say, doctor’s orders were to rest; no working out. This was probably the most devastating for me as any of my friends would tell you, I have a hard time keeping still.

“Going from constantly active to stationary was in a word, torture, but I knew my body needed the time to heal completely in order to have any hopes of being active and participating in sports again. When the halo was removed months after the accident, my immediate question was, ‘When can I play rugby again?’.

“Although I wasn’t given the go-ahead at that time, I was able to resume personal training a few weeks later. I approached my trainer, Dre, who had worked with me along my fitness journey before the accident, explaining my various injuries and my fear of starting training again basically from scratch. Never in my life had I been inactive for that long of a period.

“My body looked and felt frail and weak, in my opinion, of course. I was anxious yet excited to start from the very beginning and get back to where I was before the accident. Restarting training was highly frustrating knowing that before the accident I could complete weightless exercises with relative ease and I now struggled to complete even one push-up. Dre urged me to be patient, but I battled mentally with comparing what I was able to do previously to what I could currently do, with my body still healing and recovering.

“I just had to tell myself to take it a day at a time and each completed exercise was still progress, even if it wasn’t as good as what it used to be. Between the consistent training and proper nutrition over the weeks and months, I started to notice the progress from that one push-up struggle to the additional weights I was able to lift and the increase in endurance.

“Eventually, I was able to return to rugby training and competition. Fast-forward to now, I feel great, and my body feels even stronger than it was before the accident (thanks Dre!). I can’t say that I enjoy every workout, but I never regret completing training, even on days I’m not particularly in the mood.

“I am back to my restless ways and am still amazed with what the human body is capable of.

“At this point my goal is to have fun, keep training consistent and continue along my fitness journey, wherever it may take me. I want everyone to remember this as well, don’t compare your progress to anyone else’s, or to where you think you should be. Just take it one day at a time, a workout at a time, a meal at a time, and change will come.”

Deneka, if nothing else, is an inspiration to us all. We all may fall down, but it is important to get back up, trust the process, be patient with ourselves, but get back up! So whether you’ve hurt your shoulder, ankle, knee and have to rest, take it. Recently gave birth?

Congratulations! Take the rest needed and then get back to the wicket. Most importantly, be kind to yourself and respect the time it takes to get back.

Enjoy your journey, and always stay true to yourself!

Dre Hinds is a retired athlete who is now a personal trainer, aerobic and yoga instructor and fitness “addict” with more than 20 years’ experience. She specialises in nutrition, weight and sprint training, operating out of HindsSight Fitness and Wellness at the Berkeley Cultural Centre. Contact her on: absbydre@gmail.com or 599-0412. Find her on Facebook and Instagram under @Absbydre

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Published Jun 6, 2018 at 8:00 am (Updated Jun 6, 2018 at 1:05 am)

Deneka bounces back after serious injuries

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