Fitting Fitness into Life: Elyssa Rulison

March 23, 2018 3 min read

Prior to my open-heart surgery, I was in the best shape of my life. I had been active in local fitness classes around Nashville and I fully attribute my healthy lifestyle and being in good shape to surviving my illness. I had large blood clots in my lungs (AKA pulmonary embolism, or PE) and the best way to treat it/save my life was to go through with the surgery. For most people, PE commonly leads to death. However, I believe because of my physical fitness, my heart was strong enough to withstand the pressure that it was under until I was able to seek medical care.

Getting back into a fitness routine post-op was more challenging mentally and emotionally than it was physically. Here I was, going from 6 ½ minute miles to having my chest cut open and a breathing tube put in place. There were numerous days spent crying, trying to figure out how I got to where I was, and how I could get back to where I wanted to be. At this point, I was just thankful to be alive!

I had lost all range of motion in my upper body and for the first 8 weeks, I wasn’t allowed to lift more than 10lbs. I couldn’t raise my arms past shoulder height and I couldn’t even drive. Rehab started off with a lot of walking and range of motion in my upper body. Finally, after the 8-week mark, I was able to add in some light weights to my upper body workouts. After 3 months, I was given permission to start running again, building myself up with short walk/jog intervals.

Through all of this, my goal was to make my comeback bigger than my set back!

Originally, I was reluctant to begin working out out at home. I didn’t know if I could find the motivation in myself without other people there to push me harder. Alongside that, I also feared that I wouldn’t get the results I had been looking for. But I found that working out from home gave me the ability to save money and my equipment paid for itself over time. The last thing to do was to find a good program to follow that would give me the results I wanted! I loved the social aspect of going to a gym, but it was burning a hole in my pocket fast!

By working out from home and turning our garage into a gym, our fitness game has completely changed! Not only are my husband and I saving money by cancelling our reoccurring monthly membership fees, but we’re saving money and TIME from not having to drive to the gym. We both work from home, so we typically like to workout in the morning, but if, for some reason, we need to adjust our workout time, we don’t have to look up class times or be on someone else’s schedule.

I was able to create a successful online fitness business and having a home gym made that process even easier! Having a home gym provides me with the equipment I need, and my business provides me with the workouts and meal plans to help others through my social media platforms.

I have not talked to anyone else who regrets working out at home! I love helping others bring fitness into their home to benefit not just them, but their entire family! Young kids can grow up watching mommy and daddy live healthy lives without having to go into daycare when they are at the gym.

If cost is an issue, take a hard look at how much you’re spending on a current gym membership versus the cost of starting your own home gym. Having your own equipment will far outweigh the cost of your annual membership. Once the equipment has paid for itself, you’ll continue to get the benefits of convenience, spending more time with family, setting a healthy example for your kids, and saving time!

You can follow Elyssa’s Fit From Home journey at:


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