YouTube Channel Tracy L. Markey Fitness
Dear Stroke you Suck, The Journey of a Fitness Trainer and a
Stroke Recovery What Now, When physical therapy ends but your recovery continues
Stroke Recovery, Regaining Arm Movement
Stroke Recovery, Leg Stability, and Walking Gate
Tell your readers a little about yourself, where you grew up, where you live now, where you went to school etc. Let them get to know the personal you.
I grew up in Long Beach California. I lived in Huntington Beach for years near my fitness studio I had there. I moved to Florence, Oregon in 2013 and I lived there for eight years, and as of a few months ago, I moved back to Long Beach. I went to school at Long Beach City College and took the Fitness Specialist program at Orange Coast College in the 90s. I have continued to take advanced certifications in my industry for over twenty years.
What inspired you to author these books?
I knew one day that I would write a book. For
years I wanted to write a book about the core muscles of the body. I always
share illustrations of muscles with my clients to help them better understand
why they need to perform certain exercises to help their needs.
In 2014, I began to train a stroke survivor that I met when he came into the gym using his walker. He was told by doctors that he would never get out of a wheelchair, but a therapist in town got him out of it. Then his sister reached out to me. Our journey together in his recovery was one of the most fabulous, educational, and what seemed "magical" of all clients I have ever trained. In fact, the day we met, as he was walking in the gym towards me with his sister, brother-in-law, and neighbor, my gut said strongly "You are to know this person for more reasons than just training him". It was surreal. As we trained, he would say things like, "You know things others don't know, don't you?" and "We need to share my story. People need to know what you know."
This next one stuck with me the most. He would
randomly just stop in the middle of an exercise and say to me, "Don't ever
have a stroke. They suck." One day he said this to me, and my response was,
"We need to write a book on your recovery journey and call it Dear Stroke
You Suck." After the words came out of my mouth, I knew it was to happen.
That is how my first book came about. The others followed by the request of
stroke survivors. I got calls, emails, and Facebook messages from stroke
survivors and caregivers from all over the world asking for help. I started a
stroke support Facebook group and I also saw there how many survivors worldwide
were desperately seeking help.
That inspired me to write Stroke Recovery What Now, When Physical Therapy Ends but Your Recovery Continues. I felt like it was my duty to share everything I know to help them.
When the pandemic came and business, fitness studios, and physical therapy was closed down to many survivors they were seeking help to continue therapy at home as they isolated. I made some videos on YouTube for them on my YouTube Channel, but then I decided to make the book on arm recovery. After that published, I got dozens of messages asking me to write a book on leg recovery and walking. My books just kept flowing from my heart to help survivors the best I can.
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Where did you get the inspiration for your books' cover?
My book covers I created them the way I wanted them to look. I would do a mockup of the look I wanted and my person who makes them for me worked with me until I had them the way I wanted them to look.
Who has been the most significant influence on you personally and as a writer?
My biggest influencer as a writer in the first book was Gary, the stroke survivor in Dear Stroke you Suck, but since then it has been myself and the many stroke survivor requests. But, I took a session at the IDEA World Fitness Convention in 2017 as I was ready to publish my first book with Greg Justice. The session was about teaching fitness professionals how to self-publish. I learned so much and I saw that he has published around 12 of his own books at that time. I told him and myself that I will catch up to him. I'm almost there.
What were the struggles or obstacles you had to overcome to get this book written?
My biggest struggles when I write a book is dealing with printer issues and annoying interferences of a computer glitch or something that happens from time to time. My first book I wrote on a laptop and it was uncomfortable. Now I have my chair and PC set up for my physical comfort while sitting so long from time to time to write. I also am so excited and anxious to see the final project. I get very anxious as I wait for editing to be done or a book cover to finalize.
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Tell your readers about your book.
Dear Stroke You Suck is a story shared about
a 63-year-old stroke survivor who was told he won't walk again to standing on
BOSU balls and taking Pilates classes. Gary, the survivor in the book was to
the point he would walk around the gym and tell people "Don't give up.
Look at me I used to be a mess." It was wonderful.
Stroke Recovery What Now is a book with many topics from, what a stroke is, brain care, spasticity, spatial awareness, proprioception, balance, standing, foot drop, fascia, and more.
Stroke Recovery Regaining Arm Movement and Stroke Recovery Stability and Walking Gait are specific to what the titles say.
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Each of my books have a chapter on muscles and movement and exercises.
This teaches survivors and caregivers about movement and help them to do the proper exercises needed for them to gain back movements. Often survivors are given a cookie-cutter set of exercises that are given to all survivors. They may help or not help.
Each survivor is different and cookie-cutter programs don't work for them.
When they gain the knowledge and understanding of what muscles are needed to be worked on for specific movements, it not only helps them understand better, it gives them hope.
If one does not know what exercises help move the arm, how can
they find the correct exercises to help them gain the arm movement back?
I always tell them "Knowledge Is Power."
Who is your target audience, and why?
Stroke survivors and caregivers. The many whys are in all my other answers above.
What do you consider your greatest success in life?
I think being an author has been a great success in my life, but also, I was the recipient of the 2021 IDEA Fitness Personal Trainer of the Year Award last summer. This is a huge achievement. Many told me it is considered a lifetime achievement award in my work. It is also said in the industry it is like when an actor wins an academy award. It's a thrill to have received this. Also, I have to share that a few stroke survivors have called me "God's Stroke Angel" and that is an inner good feeling of success. My books led me as well to be asked to write a CEC course for the fitness industry. It's called "Stroke Recovery Training."
What one unique thing sets you apart from other writers in your genre?
I think because I teach. In fact, this morning I received this
message on Facebook messager from a survivor, "I always read your books
and can't praise the content enough. It has awesome information you just can't
get anywhere else." It's conversations and comments such like this, that
makes me feel I stand out to them differently because I teach them muscles and
movement to help them understand what movements and exercises need to be done
to achieve them.
I wanted to share too. I mentioned earlier in this interview that I always wanted to write a book about the core. Well, every one of my books has a chapter on the core and the essential importance of the core and spine muscles to be strong to achieve recovery of limbs for a stroke survivor. So, I continue to write books on the core.
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