In January 2018 I received a Facebook message from Amy at Spire Boxing Gym to see if I was interested in joining a women’s boxing/fitness group. I was inspired by Amy’s personal journey of weight loss, fitness and becoming an amateur boxer.
At the time I was going through a difficult and emotional time in my personal life, I was depressed and lacked self-confidence and self-worth. Although I had a small group of friends these were work related and we only met on a monthly basis. I felt alone and isolated and agreed to come along.
On the first session I felt overwhelmed with anxiety and dreaded driving to the gym as I did not know the area. I found it, but the next hurdle was walking in to somewhere unfamiliar. As I walked through the gym (which was predominately male) I was surprised how welcoming and courteous they were, moving to one side and saying hello. I was directed in to the back of the gym where a small group of ladies and Amy were waiting. I was made to feel very welcome and the session was explained.
The sessions were physically hard but I was supported, encouraged and motivated throughout. Amy and Lauren gave lots of advice on how to do the exercises, use the equipment, how to improve and how to continue at home. Over the coming weeks I felt a part of the group, developed new friends had lots of laughs.
The biggest improvement, change and development was physically. I have so far lost 2 ½ stone (which is a major milestone having hypothyroidism), I no longer take medication for arthritis, joined other fitness groups, enjoy exercise, become more flexible, feel fitter and stronger. I adopted the mantra of “No pain, no gain” and pushing myself even further than I expected. I know longer use my illness as a reason not to eat well and exercise.
I also feel mentally stronger, have less anxiety attacks and I am becoming more confident and trying new experiences.
I am 51 years old with 3 life changing conditions.
Hypothyroidism – which is an underactive thyroid gland which causes the cells and organs of your body slow down, including having a slow metabolism. This condition leads to tiredness, weight gain and depression e.g. it takes 4 times as long to burn calories
Lymphoedema is a long-term condition that causes swelling in the body’s tissues. It can affect any part of the body, but usually develops in the arms or legs. It is incredibly painful, tiring and embarrassing to wear dressers/shorts
Osteoarthritis in my knees which causes pain and swelling.
I have thoroughly enjoyed being a member of the ladies group. Although I am one of the older members of the group I am treated equally and still encouraged to expect more from myself.
The sessions on Mondays and Thursdays although serious, professional and hard work are fun and entertaining. They are non-threatening, differentiated for your ability and uplifting.
My goals are to lose more weight, play for the local netball team, go on a walking/adventure holiday alone and spar in the ring