As I was so active before my accident, I have found it extremely frustrating that I can’t exercise like I used to… I can’t go for a run, I can’t surf, I can’t play a decent game of tennis… I can’t really do any of the sports I used to. And it also makes it hard to keep fit and to not get really fat through lack of exercise. So having a place to workout since my accident has basically been my saving grace.
Standing Start was a great starting point as it introduced me back into exercise after my accident. I was feeling pretty vulnerable and lost when I first came out of hospital and literally had no idea how I was going to cope with such a huge life changing injury. But Andy (now at Prime Physio) and Natalie (trainer at Neurokinex) were just amazing at making me feel safe while starting to build my confidence back up. I absolutely loved my first few months there and Natalie built the best groundwork possible for where I am today.
Standing Start has recently moved and has reopened as Neurokinex. It is now 50 miles closer to where I live (wooo!) and is so much bigger than their first centre. With the increase in space there are loads of new pieces of equipment and so many more exercises that I can do.
I’m pretty sure all my exercise fears have completely disappeared since I first started with Standing Start. I have full trust in my trainers and absolutely love trying new exercises and pushing myself to my limits. I also now have a heart rate monitor so my trainer can see how hard I’m working and basically give me a kick up the ass if he can see that I’m not working hard enough!
So my sessions start quite casually on the table with some stretches to get my legs loosened up and ready to go. Then the hard work really begins, and doesn’t stop for two hours (other than water breaks).
There are so many different things I can do. Some things I have been doing from the outset, like crawling and kneeling, but I am so much better at them now than when I tried them for the first time. They may sound like really simple things, but when your legs don’t work and your core is pretty unstable they are much more difficult. So although it may not sound like much, I’m pretty happy with the progress I’ve made with some of these simple things, and it has made things I do in everyday life much easier.
Some things I do are pretty new to me. Neurokinex has a harness system which can help with loads of different exercises by taking some of your body weight for you. I recently did chin ups for the first time thanks to this harness system, which felt amazing, although the novelty wore off pretty quickly..chin ups are a killer!! The harness can also be used with an overhead track system, which helps with assisted walking…
There are loads of other exercises I do as well, most of which I don’t know the name of, but all of which are so beneficial and are helping to keep me fit and strong. I don’t really know what I would do without the rehab centres I go to but I know for sure that I wouldn’t be as happy and healthy as I am today. When I was lying in hospital and was faced with the daunting prospect of never being able to go back to my old sporty life, I never would have thought that I could still lead such an active life, but just in a different sort of way.
Photos: Dave Roberts First Presence