I’ve never bought into the restrictions that societal labels put on people. Just because I’m a girl doesn’t mean my favourite colour is pink. Just because I have four cats doesn’t automatically put me on the mailing list for the Highstreet’s up and coming store, Spinster’s R Us. And just because I’m disabled doesn’t give me a free pass to sit around all day, becoming even more chair-shaped than I already am.
Trying to find somewhere that would help me improve my fitness level whilst accounting for the limitations cerebral palsy has on my physical abilities, proved to be quite tricky. I went to look around a few gyms, but as soon as anyone caught sight of my wheelchair, they sheepishly showed me the one piece of equipment I might be able to use, then told me I’d have to rob a bank to afford the privilege of using it.
I’d almost given up hope and had talked myself into ‘being far too busy to exercise anyway’, when my friend, who also has CP, mentioned that he was going to Skegness for personal training sessions. After seeing what a positive impact this had made to not only his physical health but also his mental well-being, I decided to give it a shot. What did I have to lose and, more importantly, what was there to be gained?
Lee Johnston has been the owner and manager of Elite Fit for a mere four months. He took over the business with the aim of making the world of fitness appealing and accessible for everyone. From a place that was only inviting to the hardcore bodybuilders, to somewhere that everyone wants to be, regardless of age, gender and capability, he` is succeeding in his mission.
One of the first questions Lee asked me during my assessment session was, “What do you want to achieve?” As someone who had never set foot or wheel in a gym before, I simply said I wanted to get fit and increase my stamina. The only problem was that we were having this conversation whilst I was sitting on a bench without a back which can be likened to the average person trying to balance on a tightrope. It’s safe to say, it was very literally a wobbly start.
I’m well aware that an hour per week of training won’t enable me to hot foot it up Everest, but what it will do is help me to reach my full potential. Since the initial session when I discovered I had no core strength, I have been working on all the muscles I never knew existed because I haven’t had any reason to use them. Every week I come home feeling like my arms are about to fall off and with legs so tired that I can barely stand (not that I could to begin with). But you know what they say, no pain, no gain. The benefits are totally worth it. I can lift my legs higher than I’ve ever been able to which means that if my writing career fails, I have the option of doing the can-can on the streets. Plus, my left arm isn’t as wonky, and my hand function is slowly beating the odds against CP, so there’s a possibility of jazz hands to add a touch of pizazz to the can-can.
If you want to be less of a couch potato in 2019, then give Elite Fit a call on 01754 898250 or call Lee directly on 07511 052982. If you prefer to email, then contact [email protected]. It’s also worth checking out Elite Fit on Facebook and Instagram .
I know I’ve joked about my dreams of dancing on the streets directly outside the of doorway of Spinsters R Us, but in all seriousness, Lee motivates and pushes me to do the best I can throughout every session. His passion, enthusiasm and willingness to be unconventional in his methods are infectious, so I’ll stop talking and let him have the last word.
“Over the last year I’ve had some amazing opportunities to work with some fantastic people, some people would let their condition or disabilities rule their life… How long it will take? We don’t know. What can we achieve? We don’t know. All we know is trying is better than wondering what could have been”.
Photo credit: Elite Fit Skegness