It has been several months since we introduced Tammy, an inspiration throughout the entire Supernatural community. Well, I have kept in touch regularly with her over these past months. Now, we are both excited to share an update on her amazing journey.
A Little Back Story
If you are not familiar with Tammy, you can read her original post here. In short, after being turned down for a necessary surgery due to her weight, Tammy showed everyone just how determined she could be. She made changes in her diet and exercise, going on to receive that surgery. She discovered the Oculus Quest and Supernatural throughout her journey to a healthier life. Supernatural was a literal game changer for her. She even became the 4th ever Supernatural athlete to reach 1 million Supernatural points!
Supernatural also helped her to get her mobility back and build muscle in her legs. Previously, she was at the point where she could not walk without a cane. But she proved her determination again, building up strength and taking charge of the mobility issues that had so long plagued her.
“Before, my legs were like walking on two sticks. My legs essentially didn’t bend,” she says. “Now, hiking is one of my favorite hobbies. Here in the mountains of North Carolina, we are fortunate enough to have the Blue Ridge Parkway. There are also numerous waterfalls nearby that I can enjoy now that I have my mobility back.”
It has definitely not been an easy journey for Tammy, but she has a way of smashing every obstacle in her way. Things got tougher in July 2021, upon discovering that her previous abdominal surgery had completely failed. Unfortunately, this meant that she would have to undergo another surgery.
Another Obstacle to Overcome
“Because of the size and severity of my hernia, in August of 2021 I underwent an Open Component Surgery. Which is essentially a complete abdominal reconstruction. They had to peel back the layers of my abdominal wall down to my pelvic bone. Then they cut the muscles on both sides, placed a new mesh in between the layers and reattached the muscles. This was a major surgery, and it was determined that I also had an obstructed bowel.”
The initial surgery and short term recovery were very difficult. For a time, Tammy was forced to take some time away from Supernatural in order to recover. This was a tough sacrifice, but Tammy says that though she wasn’t able to be inside the headset, the Official Supernatural Community on Facebook helped her through this tough time.
“The true friendships that I have made through Supernatural helped me through my recovery. They sent me messages, flowers, care packages, etc.” Despite being forced to take a break physically, being able to regularly interact with the community, and be included in that way, was a major help in those tough times. It really goes to show that Supernatural is more than just a ‘game’ or ‘workout program’, it is a true family of amazing athletes.
The outpouring of support did not end with other Supernatural athletes, either. Dr. Antonio Harrison, BCBA-D, who we all in the Supernatural community know and love as Coach Doc, has been a huge help to Tammy as well. She has been working with him for a few months to improve her balance, mobility, strength in her legs, as well as mindset.
“Coach Doc is down to earth and very honest. He is one of the stand out coaches in my opinion because of his constant interaction with the players. He is sincere and a real motivating force. When I need a push, he is upfront with me but says it in the kindest way possible. As someone with anxiety, he is a perfect fit for me. He makes me want to be the best version of myself I possibly can be. He worked with me on my mindset and setting realistic goals that I could achieve without being overwhelmed”
Two months after her surgery, Tammy says that her long term recovery is going very well, and she feels great. She has set many goals for herself, and has already started achieving them!
Of course, Tammy was excited to get back into Supernatural as soon as she was able to. She has slowly added it back in, being sure to listen to her body when she needs to rest. But between the new Supernatural boxing, and the original flow workouts, she is building up stamina and endurance again. At this point, Tammy says an hour per day gives her a solid workout. Not only that, but she has also been able to accomplish some other goals. She attributes her being able to accomplish these to her Supernatural training.
“Supernatural has given me so much confidence to do more than I could ever have imagined. I have two 5k marathons under my belt and I have a 5k coming up on Thanksgiving day. Then an Ugly Sweater 5k in December. I could have never even imagined doing these before. Also, I have goals for 2023 to zipline and rappel at a place called the Gorge in Saluda. It will be my first time ziplining. It is in the mountains of North Carolina, and is a beautiful zip through the trees. I would also love to participate In more 5k marathons. My ultimate goal is to zipline through the mist on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls. I have a goal to save up and do that in 2023.”
Tammy gives much of the credit of her ability to complete these recent achievements to Supernatural and Coach Doc. She says, “I know that my work with Coach Doc and the work I have done in Supernatural will only propel me further, make me healthier and more confident in myself. Supernatural just recently rolled out boxing!!! This is a game changer for Supernatural and I believe sets them up to be on the cutting edge for the future of VR fitness.”
With her passion about Supernatural, some may wonder what Tammy’s thoughts are on Within’s (the company behind Supernatural) new partnership with Meta (Facebook). Tammy is excited about this change. This partnership will hopefully bring Supernatural to international players, and we all would love to welcome more into the community! Tammy also looks forward to this partnership bringing in even more new songs, and hopefully other positive changes.
Moving forward, I have no doubt that Tammy will continue to smash her goals just like we smash those targets! Talking with Tammy is always a delight. I love seeing the positive impact she has on so many within the Supernatural community. It is inspirational to see such immense strength from her.
There is a quote that Tammy asked me to include in this article. It has quickly become a favorite quote of mine, too. Things aren’t always picture perfect, but that’s ok. And this quote sums that idea up extremely well: “Life shouldn’t be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “wow!” – Hunter Thompson.