March 2012

At the modest age of 72, Julie (pictured far right with Heather McKay) has just won the Victorian Masters State Championship in the over 70’s category and is undoubtedly one of the most focused and spirited people I have ever met. Forever Strong Fitness congratulates her on also winning client of the month. What is even more extraordinary about this achievement is that she had a serious setback last year when she suffered a stroke. Julie’s biggest challenge post stroke was simply to regain her strength and fitness, but to be able to get back on the squash court and win another squash title is impressive.

How long have you been training at Forever Strong and why did you begin personal training with us?

I started with Forever Strong approx 2 years ago. This was recommended by my squash coach Mick Jones. He had faith in Meeghan as an ex-International squash player to provide the right training program to benefit my squash.

Out of the blue you had a stroke last year, how difficult has your comeback been? What has been most challenging?

I have had many challenges post stroke. The biggest - was just regaining sufficient strength and fitness to enable me to return to playing squash. This I am pleased to say that I have achieved and am continuing to work with Forever Strong and my squash coach - Mick Jones.

Tell us about your recent Victorian Squash Championship win? What other significant titles have you won and why do you love squash?

I have won local, Victorian and Tasmanian State Titles, Australian, Oceanic and World Titles. I love the competitive nature of the game, the friends that I have made all around Australia and the world, the opportunities to travel, being fit and partaking of an active lifestyle.

What is a typical training week like for you?

My week usually consists of competition on Monday nights, a session with Forever Strong on Tues morning, a session with my coach on Wednesday, Thursday is usually a rest day, competition on Friday morning, a gym session or a solo on-court practice on Sat, and often a long walk on Sun.

Goals play a big part in your life – can you list your greatest achievements?

Greatest Achievements: raising my 6 children, 2 engineering degrees as an adult student, the open O/60 world title in 2002 6 weeks after rupturing 2 discs in my lower back, bronze medal in O/70 in 2010, 12 months after a serious right shoulder operation. A myotherapy qualification in my mid 60’s after retiring from my corporate job. Oh, and my pilots license.

What difference in your life if any, have you noticed by being fitter, stronger and leaner? Have you always been fit and strong?

I have been fairly fit and strong all of my life, prior to taking up squash at age 50, we always swam, ran and cycled with the kids. And I am pleased to say all of my children enjoy an active and sporting lifestyle.

You’re a very positive person, and you’re an inspiring person to Dan and myself at Forever Strong but who inspires you?

I cannot point to any one person who has inspired me - rather I find all positive people have something to offer. I enjoy autobiographies of achievers in whatever field.

And one last thing…

I do not subscribe to the myth that you cannot teach old dogs new tricks. If you have a positive attitude and a willingness to learn, age is irrelevant. As I have noted above I went to Uni as an adult, took up further studies in my sixties and am still learning some new and finer points of playing squash and I practice with determination and purpose. With regards to the stroke, as with most things in life, set realistic goals and never give in!! We don’t always know what we can achieve until we give it a fair dinkum go.