February 17, 2018

Mary-Lou's Story

We love that we can help our clients get back to a more active and healthy lifestyle. Mary-Lou has been working with us for many years and we are so proud of her accomplishments. This is why we do what we do! We wanted Mary-Lou to tell her story...

I have been working with Sarah at Heart Strong Fitness in chunks of time since the fall of 2014. I was 69 years old. I came to see Sarah on the advice of my GP. At that time, my asthma was a constant challenge, my balance was not very good and I was afraid of falling. I had an unpredictable heart arrhythmia and was considerably over weight as well. I could get up the stairs by pulling myself up with the railing and had to hold on tight to the railing to go down the stairs. I was not even aware of how afraid I was to exert myself until I started to cry at the gym one day early on. Sarah was completely calm, matter of fact and reassuring as she went over what we were doing together, what my goals were and how we would get there. It worked for me.

Sarah and Heart Strong Fitness have been the catalysts for my greatly improved strength, balance, stamina and enjoyment of physical exercise. In the beginning the most important part of my gym time was the cheerful reassurance that I could in fact do the exercises safely. The next hurdle for me was being able to go into a gym and feel good about it. Again, Sarah made that easier and easier with her skills, encouragement and humour. I am now comfortable in two gyms in town. Three and half years later I not only run up and down our stairs but can confidently and safely carry babies and toddlers both up and down. I have not needed my asthma medication in over 9 months and then only because of a chest infection.

I ride a bike again and really love it. I have just returned from the desert where I hiked up to 4 miles on very challenging hilly terrain almost every day. Sarah is so positive and tailors my exercise program to me. She knows when to push and how much. Before I began, I never thought of the gym as a place to laugh and enjoy myself. Now I look forward not only to the work but the positive environment, easy laughter, and the sense that I am being the healthiest I can be as I age. The social aspect of working with others and sharing the challenges and successes as we each work on our own programs is so rewarding. It is reassuring to know that my body alignment and position will be corrected as I work through both old and new exercises. I really appreciate the amount of processing time Sarah provides as she teaches new exercises. The atmosphere at Heart Strong is so very positive as are all the people I have met who work there.

As a result, I see the future not as one where I can do less and less but a time that I will be able to do more and more. At least for quite a few more years. I have shed 30 of those extra pounds and although I might never be a fitness super star, I will be fitter, stronger, better balanced and healthier than I was four years ago. Thank you Heart Strong Fitness!

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