After my first 9 weeks with Vision Personal Training I felt strong, happy and certain I'd turned my life around. I loved being active and sporty back in the day, but with a multitude of sporting injuries and health issues (including osteoarthritis, a hip replacement, kidney stones, thyroid issues, high blood pressure and stress fractures), I was pretty much in constant pain. Even a simple thing like walking across the road to get my lunch was a painful ordeal. For me, doing weight training tailored and modified to my specific needs made a huge and positive difference, even after the first few sessions. I felt stronger, I was in less pain and then everything else seemed to fall into place. I was loving being able to exercise again and felt like eating healthy, delicious food to give me the energy I needed. That's not to say there haven't been challenges along the way.
The first 9 weeks were emotional as well. During goal sessions with my trainer, I came to realise that I had gained weight in an attempt to protect myself after a domestic violence assault. I'd stuffed my feelings down and rather than focusing on myself, I put all my energy into caring for my four amazing children and my beautiful mother. Despite previous attempts to get fit and healthy again, it was clear that I didn't have the expertise required and I'd end up in more pain. I was also oblivious to the emotional barriers I was putting up in order to feel safe. It was astonishing how quickly I began to feel the changes and now, any and all things seem possible. As my trainer says, 'It doesn't get much better than that!' I have had so many favourite moments with my trainer at Vision. Apart from text messages, which never fail to bring a smile (I mean who doesn't love a little banter?), my favourite moment would be the time I had the privilege of sharing my story with the Vision Bondi Junction trainers at a training day. I was hoping Ben was proud of me and that, in that moment, he realised the colossal difference he has made in my life. I feel as though Vision has not just changed my life, but given me my life back.
Recently I was running along the soft sand at Bondi Beach, enjoying a spectacular sunset and listening to a Proclaimers song. The words made me realise that, as far as health and fitness goes, I'd virtually given up on myself. 'I thought I was finished ... thought the game was ended', then I met the Vision Personal Training Bondi Junction Family. Being at Vision has impacted on my life with arthritis and now I can do things most people take for granted. Like being able to put shoes on, or stand in a queue without pain. In fact, I can now run 14km on soft sand and I've been doing some training with lifeguards (not at their pace!) for the Splashndash event at Bondi Beach. Before I started at the Studio, I would have lain on the sand wondering if I'd needed assistance from the lifeguards just to get up. In my working life as a teacher, I've always been big on the power of positive reinforcement. After experiencing the massive difference a few encouraging words from trainers and fellow members have made, my interactions with everyone, particularly the students I teach, are more authentic and meaningful. And on a personal note, I've gone from barely going out to socialise, to dancing the night away at my daughter's 21st party. I am not able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, but I do have a new found agility which I needed to climb through a window when I realised I was locked out in the early hours of the morning.
Things I'd put on hold for years, I'm now working on, like writing a book for children of divorce. I feel like I'm beaming with confidence and full of energy to take on way more challenges than I ever imagined. The first thing I do when I walk into the studio is look at the sign that reads, 'Are you ready for results?' and I think how glad I am that I eventually decided I was ready. Next I marvel at being able to get up the stairs and finally, I smile and greet all the extraordinary trainers and members who have welcomed me to the studio.
If someone asked how I'd describe the new me, I could use my Louise Hay inspired affirmation that I've been repeating since starting at Vision (despite not really being convinced to begin with): 'I'm an athlete. I'm fit, healthy and strong. There is an ocean of abundance before me. I move with joy and ease. I'm forever and always safe.'