About the Entrant

headshot-mask

Michele

Club: Mona Vale

Age: 57

Michele

I am getting my life back!

It has been quite a journey I have travelled prior to joining Curves. A long traumatic journey.
Seven years ago I suffered a stroke after having my neck manipulated by a chiropractor causing a dissection to my carotid artery, a blood clot formed and then broke away and went to my brain.
I went from a fit and active 49 yr old to a wheelchair. I was unable to use the left side of my body.
As you could imagine this absolutely shattered me and my family. After 3 months in

After 3 months in hospital instead of attending my gym six days a week as I previously did I was now attending a rehab hospital learning to sit and stand, walk, shower myself, dress myself, eat and drink.
This was now my new life for the next 12 months until the rehab hospital said there was nothing more they could do for me.

So home I went to lie on the bed and cry my heart out every day until I slipped into depression, the tears continued for another 12 months, day in and day out. I remember one day crying to God saying I don’t want this life I want to be at the gym again exercising, and walking my dogs. I asked him for strength to overcome this awful situation.

Many months went by, as I went from one physiotherapist to the next, from one exercise physiologist to the next, more pain, stiffness and weakness but at least I was progressing….slowly. I bought some gym equipment and created my own home gym but I longed to be at a gym around people…..a normal gym not a rehab gym. I longed to walk my dogs……not with somebody in case I fell over but just me and the dogs.

Everyday I looked for improvement. And everyday there was something, even if it was the fact that I didn’t cry or I didn’t have to have a sleep because my brain used to get so tired as it developed new neuropathways.

Days, weeks, months and years passed and I did progress slowly but I was determined not to settle with where I was at, I wanted to keep improving I was not ready to settle for this condition after all it was not by my own doing that I was in this state. I just had to get better and get back to the gym and walking my dogs.

2017 came and I felt in my heart there was going to be a shift. Something different was coming. Something new.

One day as I flicked through a local magazine I noticed an advertisement for Curves. I tore it out, don’t ask me why. I visited Curves many years before and thought it was not for me as it was a “women’s gym” I preferred the busy gyms with pump and spin classes and men around.

Then my sister inlaw Jo came for coffee one morning and she said she had just been to the gym. I asked her which gym and she said Curves at Mona Vale. She told me how much she enjoyed it and how friendly everyone was. Then a couple of weeks later another Curves advertisement pops up in my face with the great special six weeks for $99. So I spoke to my husband about it and he thought I should check it out. So I rang Suset and made an appointment and had a couple of trial visits and enjoyed it! I remember one trial morning with Suset we didn’t stop laughing…. how good for the soul and another with Eleni she said to me “you haven’t stopped smiling”, I replied that is because I am at a gym and exercising!

I went home each day from Curves feeling like a switch had been flicked on the inside of me, I felt like I was coming back to life and I could tell using the machines was doing work in my brain, creating new neuropathways. It was exciting!

Mother’s Day was on the upcoming weekend and I had planned to go and join up with the 6-week special on the Monday but my husband secretly went to Curves on the Friday and purchased a gift certificate for me and popped it in my Mother’s Day card, what a surprise! how lovely of him.

I am really enjoying my time at Curves, I have been gradually doing different classes, Combo, Box and Tone, Stretch and Balance. I usually go three times a week and enjoy the other days out walking my two dogs….. by myself!

I am not so focused on what the scales say as they can exaggerate sometimes as muscle weighs more than fat and I can feel muscle developing in my body! I have lost centimetres but the thing that thrills me the most and there is no tape measure nor scale that can gage this is, my self-esteem and confidence is growing and I feel stronger and more agile. I feel I am getting my life back, my dreams are coming to pass, I am back at the gym AND walking my dogs!

I am so grateful to all the people that have helped me through the door at Curves, my sister in law Jo, my husband Barry, Suset and all the caring, supportive and friendly staff at Curves Mona Vale.