I surprised myself at the strength I found within.

Why did you choose personal training at Forever Strong and what was your initial goal?

I was referred to Forever Strong Fitness by a friend who is an ex-staff member. She was aware that I was looking for more than the everyday gym as I have special needs. I was impressed with the personalised service and the consistent high standards across the different trainers. My initial goal was to increase function in my knees and decrease dependency on crutches.

What milestones are you most proud of achieving so far? What hurdles have you had to overcome?

My milestones since I started in Aug 2013
•Stopped using crutches since Nov 2013
•Learning to walk again
•Improved stability
•Quality of life – being able to pick-up my social life again
•My new goal since May 2014 was weight loss – I lost 5 kgs since I changed to a vegan diet

Hurdles:

•I have had 2 surgeries within 8 months which meant that I had to start my rehab from scratch each time i.e. sliding scale with training
•Due to stability challenges, I risk injuries while working out so it’s a fine balance between pushing harder while training and listening to my body.

Why does personal training work for you? And do you do any extra training outside of the studio that helps you stay motivated?

Personal training is now part of my healthy lifestyle which helps me manage a degenerative condition. PT assists with my mobility when I am having a bad week with inflammation and energizes me when I am having a good week and can push harder. Meeghan and Dan have been fantastic and provided a great support system. I have an amazing support system outside of the studio as well that keeps me motivated – I use a mix of seeking help and taking ownership – I do reformer bed Pilates and regularly use the services of a Chiro, Kinesielogist and Chinese medicine practitioner and mineral hot springs.

How important is nutrition in your everyday life?

Nutrition is key and is part of my lifestyle change. It has to be easy to make it work with my work and social commitments. I have come up with a simple system that works for me and have factored in that some weeks I will be more organised and some less so. The system that I work with is law of averages i.e. eating healthy over a week so I don’t loose motivation to keep going. I also found suggestions from Dan around having a few standard meal ideas for breakfast, lunch and dinner easy to incorporate.

What are your future training and life aspirations?

I would like to become really fit and achieve a healthy weight to reduce weight bearing on my knees. My life aspirations would be to be able to achieve close to 100% function in my knees, go back to dancing salsa, walk for an hour without inflammation.

And one last thing…

Sounds cliched but everyone is stronger than they believe they are. I surprised myself at the strength I found within myself when faced with the biggest physical adversity in my life. “Most people don’t realise how close they are to success when they give up. Life begins at the end of your comfort zone” ~Unknown. In my case, I didn’t have any expectations of success, I knew I had to just keep going because doing nothing wasn’t an option.