I may not look it but I am a bit of a fitness and gym junkie. I am more comfortable at the gym then in a shopping centre. I would pick going for a walk over going to the movies. Fitness and sport is something I have always been interested in. I mentioned previously I played netball as a kid. As a kid you’re not thinking of it as fitness you are just thinking it is fun. After I had my surgery for many years I didn’t really do anything fitness wise and I missed it. Netball was fun as you interreacted with others but I enjoyed the training side.
In 2005 when I got my arthritis diagnosis I decided to get back into fitness, I signed up to a gym and got a personal trainer who had experience training people with disabilities. I couldn’t stop the arthritis but I wanted to feel like I had control over it. 14 years later I still have the same personal trainer Mr L. I get on really well with my trainer, he is one of the few people who can read my mood without me even saying a word. I train with him once a week. He has a general plan for each of my training sessions but adapts them to what my needs are on the day. I might text him before the session and say I’m tired so we will more stretching that day which is very helpful for me or I might turn up angry and he will get out the boxing gloves. I joke that he is more than just my trainer but also my psychiatrist as he listens if I need to get stuff out of my head, my physiotherapist and my nutritionist.
The gym is “my happy place” I know everything I do it at benefits me. The hard work I put in there helps me in my every day life. My trainer isn’t one of those who yells at his clients to push them or motivate them, he knows if he yelled at me I would yell back. I briefly worked with a trainer like that when Mr L was overseas for a few weeks and I hated it. I push myself hard at the gym and I don’t need anyone else to do that. I’ll be the one who says the weights are too lite or pushes the speed up on the treadmill. You wouldn’t think it but I actually like running. I find it easier than walking. During one training session I just randomly started jogging instead of walking and from there Mr L has incorporated it into my training sessions when I am up to it. As a kid I hated running but now I love it.
My biggest fitness achievement was in 2017 when I completed the City to Surf. It is a 14km fun run / walk in Sydney. I trained for nearly 2 years to work up to it and I managed to do it in less than 3hrs! I was so surprised at the time. I did it with my best friend B and it was the best day even though I did have major issues such as cramping through it and stopping at one stage in it to be physically ill (too much water and not enough sugar in my body) I’m not sure if I will get to do another City to Surf but at least I can say I have done it and I ran parts of it.
All these years my fitness goal has been to become stronger and not focus on weight loss. Strength and movement is what my body needs and any weight loss is a bonus. In 2019 I was told I actually need to lose some weight due to my bad sleep apnoea so I have started to look at my nutrition changing some areas of my diet. My main focus is still on strength and gaining more movements in my joints that are still restricted. Long term that is what my body needs. Earlier this year I had more scans and sadly yes the arthritis has caused further degeneration of my hip but I know the hard work I have put in over the last 14 years has slowed the progress. I still see my old surgeon and he is surprised I still have my original hip as it was not expected to last this long. I can only put it down to my training.
When I’m not at the gym I still like to exercise like walking or if me and B get the chance to hang out we literally do. Exercise doesn’t have to be completely serious. You can have fun with it and that’s what I like to do. Once again it is one of those things if I’m not having fun then I’m not going to want to do it. I’m a big believer in incidental exercise which is all those little things you do like walking up the stairs or a ramp instead of taking a lift or even dare I say housework. Your body is moving and you are working your muscles without even knowing it. Every bit helps.
So what I am doing on the last day of the year? Since I don’t have to work today I’m hitting the gym. I haven’t been to the gym since before Christmas and I really need a workout as I miss it. My trainer won’t be there but that won’t stop me, I can happily train on my own. My favourite equipment at the gym is the TRX. Unless you have been to a gym in the last few years that has this you may not of heard of it. It is suspension training where you use straps that are anchored to a point (the roof at my gym) Using the straps you can do a rang of exercises such as push ups, squats, rows, bicep curls the list you goes on. You use your own body’s weight as your resistance. When my trainer first introduced me to TRX I feel in love with it. Out of all his clients he has taught me the most exercises on it plus I have learnt a heap of others from seeing them on Instagram. For me TRX is fun, I don’t have to worry about adjusting weights it is just me and the straps. I can switch from working my arms to working my legs without having to change equipment. Next year my trainer is switching gyms and the first thing I asked was “do they have TRX?” They do so I am happy.
Happy New Year everyone.