Spotlight of the Month – Susan Fit over 40

Our spotlight turns to the incredibly hard-working and lovely Susan. Here is here story in her own words

I had just turned 52 in July of 2015 and I felt every second of it plus 20 years.  I had bursitis in my hip, swollen ankles and legs and general aches and pains. I couldn’t walk very far without becoming breathless.

My blood pressure was through the roof and recent blood tests were showing indicators for rheumatoid arthritis.

That was it for me, it was clear that if I was to heal my body, strengthen my muscles to help my joints, I had to make some drastic lifestyle changes.

For some odd reason, which I now think was as sign, Sphere Fitness ad’s kept popping up on my Facebook page.  

I was vaguely familiar with John Lark, through his weekly blog in the local newspaper and also through his activity with Barnhall RFC.   

So I gathered all of my courage, and made that call.  I met with John for an assessment on Tuesday 1st of September.  I was really nervous, I was about to become accountable for all the damage I had been doing to my poor body for a long time.

My biggest hurdle was changing my mind set. He couldn’t have been nicer, calming, and even giving me a bit a stern lecture about how hard I was being on myself and no you’re definitely not too old.

 I had made the first step, things would only get better.

I anxiously walked in to my first ever class with Gavin at 9am on Saturday 5th of September 2015.  Everyone was so welcoming.  I am not going to lie, I actually thought I was going to die and that was just after the warm up!! I was running, actually running.

 I hadn’t run anywhere since 1983 when I slipped and fell running for the bus and swore I’d never run again!!  45 minutes later, I thought having kids was tough, but in all honesty that class was the hardest thing I have ever done.  But I went back on Monday evening for another class, then the Wednesday class, then before I knew it, it was my second Saturday class.

 A week later, I was given my programme, so now I was going on Tuesdays and Thursdays too. From doing nothing, I was now going to the gym at least 5 times a week.

In 2016 a gang of us got together and did Runamuck.  Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I could or would do something like that, I finished last in my group, but it didn’t matter, I finished it and it was great craic.

Last year, on holidays, I actually fulfilled a lifetime ambition and had a snowboarding lesson and even managed to stay upright because I had the physical strength to.

Two and a half years later here I am, still going to classes and still loving it.  The team are great here, just when you think you’ve nothing left in the tank, they’ll shout encouragement.  

There’s always something left.  

Last week, I had 6 days and 7 sessions.  I aim to go to the 6.30am classes on a Weds, Thurs and Friday and usually try to get in the evening classes on a Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, and more recently the Tuesday strength class.   

I also go most Saturday mornings too. Whoaaa, that’s a lot I hear you say, but you know what?  It’s my time.  I work hard at work and I work hard at home, and it all only equates to approx. 6 and a half hours of me time in a 168 hour week.

I have met some of the most awesome and inspiring people here, we’ve become really good pals outside the gym also.

So now to the benefits of joining Sphere.  

I’ve learned a lot of battles aren’t with the physical, it’s overcoming the negative mind set. The little voice that tells you you’re too tired, you’ve had a rough day etc, all the usual excuses not to go, but if you put on those workout clothes as soon as you can, the mind set changes straight away ah sure I’m dressed for it, might as well go now!  

I’ve also learned you can’t out train a poor diet.   My attitude to food has changed.  I’m more mindful about what I eat.  I think about how many bear crawls, or trx rows or Russian twists I’d have to do to work off that duuurty big chipper burger, so ehhh no, I’ll give it a miss thanks.  

For me, food is now fuel.  It has actually taken me two years to get there with the food, and after several great nail your nutrition classes with John, I’m batch cooking, I have a couple of signature dishes, and this year is the year I’m going to smash it.

My blood pressure is now normal and stabilised. My last three blood tests have shown no indication of rheumatoid arthritis and they will be discharging me from the clinic in March. I am down 2 dress sizes.  

I’m stronger and fitter than I could ever have imagined I could ever be.  My kids and partner are very proud of me for sticking with it and changing my life.  

And you know what?, I’m actually proud of me. I’m proud of me because I’m proof that you can make a change for the better, no matter how old or unfit you are, it can be done.

The crew in Sphere Fitness are truly awesome people, John, Gavin, Stephen and Ciaran, thank you guys for showing up, for pushing me in every session to work harder and to be the best beyond even what I think I can be.

Joining Sphere Fitness has been the single most valuable gift I have ever given myself.

Click here to to start your journey ===>