Local woman thanks Zumba for restoring her arm - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Local woman thanks Zumba for restoring her arm

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RICHLAND, Wash. - Everyone knows exercise is good for you, but for one woman in Richland, it was Zumba workout classes that brought her back to the life she knew.

Karen Nicksich has been a school teacher for 30 Years. But in May of 2011, things changed forever. 

One day when Karen was working as a substitute teacher, a student seriously injured her. "A student came up from behind me and grabbed my wrist," she said,  "pulled it backwards and up, and it pulled the nerves and tore my rotator cup. My arm froze and I wasn't able to drive, and I wasn't able to teach because I'm left handed and the accident happened with my left hand."

Months of physical therapy and doctor visits offices followed, and Karen grew restless. While she had her arm's mobility back, she didn't have the strength.

While walking her dog one day, she noticed a Zumba class at Club 24, and once she started the Latin-dance workout classes, she was hooked. 

And after 9 months of classes, Karen restored her arm, and her confidence.

Karen says when she started, she could barely do the arm movements, but energy of the class and encouragement of her teacher, Roberto, inspired her and helped her to succeed.

Roberto Parra, her Zumba instructor, teaches her four times a week. He said, "we just did modifications, little by little, and now she's doing so awesome, I'm like, so proud of her."

But the inspiration doesn't stop at the gym. Roberto often holds Zumba classes to benefit local charities. "We're always doing different ones, as much as we can help," he said. "It's just getting better and better, it helps every single person in every single way."

After Karen attended one Zumba class supporting cancer awareness, she went to her doctor, only to learn she had had skin cancer for 5 years. She quickly had surgery to remove it, and returned to Zumba two months later, *cancer free.* 

She says now, after both experiences, she takes time everyday to focus on herself, "zumba was life changing. I had the opportunity to experience life in a whole different way, and Zumba has done that for me," she said.

So next time you're thinking about getting some exercise, consider Zumba. It just might do for you what it did for Karen.