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SUNDAY

I’ve been to my first class ever!

It was Frank Quinn’s Kettlercise Class.

We spent an hour swinging around a weight with a handle on it.

The time went quick because each exercise is done to music and only lasts about a minute.

As it was my first time, I’m proud about how I kept up with the others, who have all been doing it for a while.

Frank introduced me and they all made me welcome, and laughed after the warm-up exercises when I said, ‘Is that it then? It wasn’t too bad at all!’

By the afternoon I had begun to stiffen up, and I was in bed asleep by nine! I had a good night’s sleep too, which is a rarity for me.

Canine Cardies & Jumpers 2 019 (Small)MONDAY

I woke up early to go to the gym, but I felt a bit stiff, so I went back to sleep.

WEDNESDAY

Up the gym nice and early.

I found it a lot easier on the incline on the treadmill, and I didn’t get so out of breath, which is a great relief.

I’ve had lots of tests lately as I’ve been worried that there’s something wrong with me. I might have a mild form of colitis. Going up hills has been a struggle.

OK, some of the hills I go up aren’t normal hills, like walking to the top of an Italian mountain in the heat to zipwire across to another mountain, or inside a Chinese cave, walking up 720 (I counted them) steps.

But even so, I have been struggling a bit uphill in general. So keeping fit is definitely the answer – the only answer!

THURSDAY

I went to a travel show in London, and I must have walked for miles during the day!

My friend and I were having a rest, sitting down and two lovely old ladies joined us.

After chatting for a while, they got up to carry on walking round the show, and one of them complained about getting old and her aches and pains. So I told her that she ought to go to the gym instead of taking medication.

She looked surprised and said, ‘Oh, I’m too old for that now, Dear.’

I explained that there’s no age limit, and there’s lots of equipment that she could use to work out while sitting down.

She really was genuinely interested, and said she might give it a try.

I felt quite proud of myself. I’ve decided that throughout 2015 I’m going to be an Exercise Ambassador, encouraging everyone to use their local gym at least once a week.

Most people don’t realise that their doctor can give them a referral to their gym. But a lot of doctors prefer to dish out prescriptions and get the commission.

(Ooh, don’t get me started on that!)

Pain killers do just that; they hide the pain, so you can do things that you shouldn’t be doing as you can’t feel the pain properly. Pain is a warning sign.

My doctor’s excellent. He’s easy to talk to and he doesn’t write a prescription when it’s not necessary. He’s sent me to the gym several times through the years.

Let me tell you something now, Dear Readers.

About seven years ago I reached the top of a steep flight of stairs, tripped and fell backwards.

Luckily I blacked out or I’d probably be in a wheelchair now.

But I’d broken my back in three places. I can’t describe the agony I was in.

My doctor gave me painkillers, but they had an adverse effect on me. I couldn’t stop crying. I was so depressed that I thought my life was over. I really considered jumping (slowly) off a cliff!

I went to my doctor and sobbed that I just couldn’t live like this and I wouldn’t/couldn’t take any medication.

He wrote me a gym referral, and then waggled his finger at me and said,  ‘-but you promise me that you won’t go on the rowing machine. You’re not ready yet.’

‘OK, I promise,’ I replied.

Everyone who works at the Leisure Centre is trained in various things, like physiotherapy, first aid, and much more.

I was given a programme that I could do every time I went there, and there’s always someone there if I need help or advice.

The greatest help for me was a piece of equipment that I hung from and it took my whole weight, stretching my spine. I thank that machine for giving me a normal life.

And the treadmill was great too.

Mother Nature can be so cruel, and as soon as I’d stopped moving about at my normal pace, I started to put on weight, which increased the pain. So as I worked through the pain, I lost weight and got stronger.

And do you know, I’ve never had backache since! I’m fitter and healthier than I was before my fall!

Tomorrow I’ve got a one-to-one training session with Frank in the gym and he’s going to explain the benefits of having a Personal Trainer.

See you all next week!