This week, the final instalment on dedication is devoted to the many wonderful people who attend my classes, because they come every week (or when they can) and notice incremental differences. Here are a few of them:
Christine, who has been coming to my classes for nearly six years, and who announced one session that she can’t do press-ups. After learning the correct technique, in just one class she was knocking out the push-ups and is now teaching her children how to do them too.
Jenny, who used to need her husband to help her up after sitting on the beach. She now reports that she can use her much stronger triceps and do it herself, with much delight at capabilities that she thought were lost.
Sally, who hasn’t stopped coming to classes despite a fractured leg (with medical approval, of course!). She does what she can and improvises when needed, focuses on building strength.
Jane, who noticed her core (lack of) strength was having an impact on her back pain – so we worked on an incremental body awareness and strengthening programme. She has become so much stronger over our one-to-one time together, and her confidence in her ability has grown hugely.
I could go on and on with so many stories about how my clients’ dedication has paid dividends for their physical health and mental well-being, but you get the picture. And the things they have in common? They turn up (literally as well as metaphorically), they stick with it and they celebrate positive change. And I’m delighted for them!
Next week, there will be news from Nora, Lisa and Sue and their dedication challenges from earlier this month.
I’ve written about my friend Sue several times over the years, mainly because she inspires me so much with her energy and positivity. And this week, I’m picking up the story of her latest adventures – so you can share in her unending sense of enthusiasm and drive. She is quite the motivator! Here’s her story of dedication.
“Planning a walk means I always have something in my diary to look forward to. It provides me with an opportunity to spend either time alone thinking, watching or just ‘being’ or connecting with others; I like to factor in a combination.
I’ve never been or particularly aspired to be a runner so walking fits the bill for me. In using it as a means of exercise and getting fit, I’ve enjoyed the places it’s taken me; whether it’s the beauty of a bluebell walk in the woods or a snowy panorama up a mountain.
A couple of years ago, I read about a ‘million steps’ challenge and wondered whether this was achievable in just 3 months… Well, it turns out that it is, even if you have a desk job and no dog to walk. So, this year I thought I’d up the stakes and see if I could do 5 million in a year (currently on track!). At the end of the day, it’s not particularly about the numbers, but more about the conscious effort of being active.
Last year, I completed the 3 Peaks Challenge within the 24-hour period. I trained hard for the walking part and found the lack of sleep pretty tough. But with a great group to walk with and plenty of good banter on the bus, we did it.
This Easter weekend, I’ll be walking the coast path around the Isle of Wight, a distance of 66 miles, with my son for company. I’ve never walked over 15 miles on four consecutive days before so we’ll see how that goes... Hopefully, we won’t be comparing blisters every evening! It’ll be good training for my summer challenge of walking Hadrian’s Wall, which I believe will be four days of over 20 miles.
I have enjoyed walking some of the national walking trails and am just about to complete the Pilgrims Way. Where next? I’d love to celebrate my next ‘big’ birthday by taking a month off work and walking the Camino Way, although thankfully I still have plenty of time to plan and train!”
Next week, the final instalment in April’s dedication series. Who will it be?
This week, I’m continuing with a short series on dedication. Every day, I see and hear outstanding examples of dedication and I want to share some of them with you. This week, it’s Lisa’s turn. Here’s her story.
“I have attended Joanna’s Strength & Tone class on a Thursday since 2013 and, over time, my core strength has improved significantly. Prior to attending the class, I had simply lost my core strength as a result of doing a desk job and studying for my Masters.
By attending Joanna’s weekly fitness class and building my core strength, it has allowed to try new and different sports. I took up kayaking two years ago on the Thames. Having lived near the Thames for over 20 years, I had only ever admired the Thames’ beauty from land as I walked various sections of the Thames Path. Sitting still in a kayak in the middle of the Thames and watching birdlife, or gliding along remoter parts, was a totally new and exhilarating experience. I found a stillness and clarity of mind I had long forgotten possible on these jaunts. Equally important, I noticed I was feeling stronger as kayaking not only requires strong arm and leg-drive but also the use of those core muscles!
At the end of last summer, my friend, Nick, invited me to train with him for the 125 miles Devizes (Wiltshire) to Westminster Canoe four-day Endeavour Race. I did not think I had it in me to do that sort of distance but Nick must have thought otherwise… Following our first training session in October 2018 of 13 miles (Aldermaston to Reading Canoe club), I started to believe there was a remote chance I could do this… We have trained on the river through the winter, covering distances such as Marlow to Staines and Pewsey to Newbury. Daisy’s Dream is our chosen charity – we are motivated by the fact they do such amazing work to help children who are have suffered a bereavement or seriously ill themselves. If you would like to sponsor us, here is the link: https://www.justgiving.com/Nick-King15
I was diagnosed with high blood pressure last autumn and, discussing treatment options with my GP, she highlighted exercise as method of reducing blood pressure. Having taken up more exercise, I do note my resting heart rate is steadily lowering, indicating an improvement in my fitness levels. I continue to take part in Joanna’s fitness class as I strongly believe this class keeps me alive… the mixture of movement and core exercise mean I remain agile and flexible.”
Next week, another story of dedication.
I’m doing something different with my blog this April, with a short series on dedication. Every day, I see and hear outstanding examples of dedication and I want to share some of them with you.
First up is Nora, a client at one of my private workplace exercise classes. She is running the London marathon this month, her second marathon of the year, having recently done the one in Tokyo! Her quiet dedication, discipline and determination shine through.
Here’s her story.
“Back in April 2016, my Mum was diagnosed with Parkinson’s. It was a big shock, especially for her. But Parkinson’s UK were fantastic, providing information and support for us all. They also conduct and support research into both better symptom control and, through improved understanding of what causes this disease, finding a cure.
As I have secured my own London Marathon place (being eligible for a Good for Age place), every penny you give goes to support Parkinson’s UK’s work. You can donate here: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/NoraHolford.
Parkinson's UK's work totally depends on the money their supporters raise and donate. It's only with our help that they can find a cure and improve life for everyone affected by Parkinson's. Together we can bring forward the day when no one fears Parkinson's. Thank you!”
Next week, hear from another of my clients who is doing extraordinary things.
Hi, I'm Joanna from Clean Well-Being.
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