Living in Spain for over 20 years and travelling with her job, Helena Paling’s world became much smaller after slipping on a rug and shattering her hip. Her operation went wrong and she lost her independence and ability to walk.
“I finished my physiotherapy and thought what am I going to do? I still can’t do anything.
“I came across an advert in the local paper for the GP referral classes at the leisure centre. I asked my hip surgeon about them and he told me to go for it.
“I have never missed a single one. My trainer isn’t just my trainer, he’s my friend and confidante. I know his wife and he’s just an absolutely superb person. He knows when to push me and when to hold back.
“I went from being an able-bodied person to being in a wheelchair – the mental effects are dreadful. I think a lot of people can’t face up to it or feel embarrassed.
“The new equipment in the gym is adaptable for wheelchairs and that’s given me a new lease of life.
“If anyone is in a similar situation, I say get to the gym right away! It will give you a new sense of direction and you can really help yourself.
“Everyone is so friendly and welcoming. Someone always takes me upstairs or downstairs, I can do it myself but that’s how much they look after me.”
Discover all about Helena and other active seniors we’ve got at centres all over the country right here.