In a world where we are exposed to instant media and endless material of the fitness industry, it is easy to forget that progress doesn’t always look like rock hard abs or extreme weight loss. Progress to some can be as simple as walking pain free, it might even be just to walk.
Meet Karen Griffin.
I met Karen in January 2015. She called me and told me that she needed some help. Karen suffers from Lupus, a chronic autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system becomes hyperactive and attacks normal, healthy tissue. This can cause inflammation to joints, skin and even to organs like the heart and lungs. Thanks google.
After meeting Karen for a cup of tea, she decided that she was ready, ready to commit both time and money to improving her movement, to becoming healthier and to fight against this desease.
The first session that Karen did was a testing session. I asked Karen to perform various different movements from assisted squats, step ups, Press ups, Planks etc. I asked Karen to perform these movements until she become uncomfortable.. Some of the results are below..
TRX squat – 12
Press up – 4
Plank on hands – 17 seconds
Lunge left leg – 3
Lunge right leg – 4
…. Although it was obvious Karen was uncomfortable performing these exercises, what struck me more than anything was the way she walked, it was much more of a shuffle than a walk. The way she had to turn and swivel to step over the ledge to get in the door of my studio. The way she almost could not get back up from the floor after the stretches at the end of the session. it was these day to day tasks are the things that the majority of us take for granted that really struck me as the issue for Karen…. And so the journey began.
Karen and I religiously met for a 45 minute session every Monday and Wednesday evening. As with any beginner to a new exercise programme, the immediate results were clear. Karen had lost 8kg in weight, 8 inches from her waist and dropped 4% in body fat. Her Strength was growing and she was gaining confidence. I would ask Karen how she felt after the session to which she would always reply “I feel elated!”. This to Karen has been the greatest outcome from becoming healthier – her mental state.
Karen only recently admitted to me that she was verging on depression at the back end of 2014. She couldn’t do the things she wanted because her physical capabilities were restricting her. It left her frustrated and wondering if it would ever get better.
Almost two years on and we are preparing Karen for her biggest challenge yet – Rough Runner 2017 – a 10k obstacle course race.
Below is a video of Karen’s latest session at FitLife which took place on Tuesday night. She attended a fight class at 7.15pm followed immediately by a PT session.
The exercises are prescribed to develop Karens ability to conquer the upcoming Rough Runner OCR but again, the greatest outcome from the session was showing Karen how far she has come in two years (when I said box jumps and rope climbs – she said no chance).
Karen Griffin, you are an inspiration.
Click here to watch Karen’s Session https://youtu.be/SNQ38BThrZU
You can also listen to Karen’s incredible story from the lady herself.
Hear Karen’s podcast here https://youtu.be/d12yWkCjlqY