Tania joined Anytime Fitness while on her journey to recover from prolonged back pain. Trying something new can be nerve-racking but she found it was worth it!
“I’m a nurse by background. However, I, unfortunately, sustained a serious back injury when I was only 25. It was caused by heavy lifting while working on an Intensive Care Unit. I had to change career direction to non-clinical nursing and suffered 11 years of backpain, visits to Osteopaths and living on painkillers. This meant that I couldn’t ever really take part in any fitness or sporting activities and could just about manage walks on the flat. It was incredibly frustrating. Gradually things improved and I was even able to go skiing. But then I married and had children and only 6 weeks into my first pregnancy back pain returned with a vengeance.”
Tania didn’t really consider herself someone who was into fitness, after being forced to give up so many types of movement due to the pain. Gyms were not something she visited frequently or particularly enjoyed, rather feared them slightly. Instead, she ended up trying yoga at first.
“I was convinced by my ex to try Iyengar yoga at a studio nearby when my children were young. This suited me perfectly as it was so slow, deliberate and lots of differentiated teaching to support me. So gradually I started to see improvements in my flexibility and core strength and my back pain started to recover. I became fitter and then realised that joining a gym was finally an option for me and wanted to try a different style of yoga that was on offer there.”
Joining Anytime Fitness provided a different environment, and a new challenge, a surprisingly enjoyable one.
“I felt nervous and found the classes really tough as it was so different to what I was used to. I began to really enjoy how physical the classes were and was challenged to progress in my practice. I also started to go to HIIT classes as I realised, I needed some cardio-based activity. I was really surprised by how much I got from the endorphin buzz after really pushing myself. I had a great trainer who was good at helping me get over any mind blocks as he just simply believed I could do it. I really shocked myself by realising what I was capable of and that I enjoyed it!”
Tania hasn’t just found physical improvements in the gym, the benefits to her mental health have been immeasurable. After going through a divorce and the challenging changes that came with this, the gym provided a consistent and grounding space in her life where she can manage her stress.
“It’s been the hardest time of my life. Particularly in those first few months when I literally didn’t know what to do the gym gave me solace. I couldn’t eat, sleep, or get out of bed, having the gym classes to go to gave me a sense of purpose and got me out of the house. I cried through so many classes but going to a high-energy Body Pump with Disco tunes on and people around me probably saved me and forced me to keep going. I was doing something for myself, and it really helped my self-esteem.”
The community at Anytime Fitness has become something Tania values highly, as part of her support system. This combined with the physical benefits she’s found throughout her journey with Anytime Fitness has led her to discover what she enjoys about fitness, which keeps her consistent.
“So many of the other women in my classes have given me encouraging words, hugs, and shoulders to cry on. My Yoga and Body Pump class teachers have both been a rock for me, encouraging me to keep going, celebrate my successes and help me learn to switch off and relax and not constantly live in a traumatised place.
I used to think that gyms weren’t for me, but I don’t know what I’d do without it now. I also think it’s a bit of trial and error. For example, I know that I really don’t enjoy using gym equipment and haven’t got the self-motivation to do solo workouts. Classes are the way for me and I would say try them all and find the ones that suit you best and stick to a routine. Having a set time of the week that I go to the gym really helps and makes me keep going back. Just do it!”