How's it going, guys?
Check this out! This weekend I'm off up to Scotland to celebrate the 70th Birthday of one of my very first clients. Back in 2008 Pearl became paralysed from the neck down and was in hospital for 7 moths due to Guillain Barre (a bit like MS but not as common). Often with GB, people recover well and many people get back to "normality" after a year or so. However, the damage to Pearl's nerves was so severe that she's been using a wheelchair ever since. Even my amazing skills as a fitness coach couldn't fix those legs but that hasn't stopped her achieving great things.
She moved out of London so we stopped working together but she still sees a trainer twice a week and check this out - she can leg press 60kg!!! (130lbs for you guys who do pounds). She does boxing in her wheelchair, upper body weights, swimming and more. The strange thing is that before this all happened she didn't even exercise. It was the illness which made her look me up in the first place and she says, and I quote "this is the best decision I ever made and I wish I'd started earlier in life".
So although she's not able to exercise in the conventional way, she doesn't let that prevent her from doing it on a regular basis. Exercise for many people is as much about their mental health, as it is their physical health. This is a prime example of someone exercising because they enjoy the journey, rather than focusing solely on the end goal. Hats off to her!!
Here's a low res pic of "young me" and Pearl from 2009.