I joined Sheree’s gym about three years ago. And three years ago I joined mainly because I had arthritis very, very badly in both knees, one ankle, wrists, and the shoulder. I was barely walking and when I was in Melbourne I could not get up the stairs to the second storey, to the bedroom, except go up on my tail. So it was decided very promptly by my sons that something had to be done. So they found a doctor in Melbourne that could do arthritis and do it well. So I was given a referral and off I went. And I managed to limp into his office, sit down, and he then laid me down on a table and had a look at the joints and said, Yes they were bad. I also had lupus which was well out of control at that stage, so the main job was he said, was to get rid of the pain and then everything else will take care of itself. So I thought, Yes I’m in for a lot of tablets here and injections, but surprise, surprise, he told me I had to get fit, make the muscles take over from the joints, and I needed a trainer so I didn’t hurt myself. A specialist trainer he thought. Three times a week he thought. My idea at the time was, Yes well I’m not going to be a gym junkie so that was the end of that. I’d probably put up with the pain. So home I came from Melbourne, but as I got home, the day after my son rang me and told me that he’d found a specialist person to take me – a Sheree King. I thought, Oh yes okay that’s nice, and he said your appointment’s tomorrow and we’ve paid the first three months of lessons so get down there. So I went down thinking, Oh my God!
Sheree was terrific. She just made me feel so welcome. I felt so awkward I could not do anything she asked me. Not at all. Anyhow I decided that after the first lesson that I would continue, because being paid for three months I better do something. And after three months was up I could see a dramatic change – a huge change in me. Even to the fact that my grandson asked his mother what had happened to Nanny. And she said, Nanny had joined a gym, which was most surprising. But look my knee, the swelling had gone down, the pain had receded, I could move, I could get up off the floor, I could go out, I could walk. Mind you, at that stage it wasn’t a long way, but I could at least walk. Due to my son’s wife hurting her knee I had to get out and help build the deck, so I banged in all the nails. Mind you there were a couple of crooked ones that had to come out but on the whole we banged them all in. So I continued on after the three months. I visited the specialist, he thought I had done a wonderful job and so he recommended I continue on with one-on-one lessons, three times still. I did one-on-one lessons for twelve months, three times a week. It was amazing the result – absolutely amazing. I would be now, after three years, I would be the fittest I’ve ever been. I can manage to do anything. I can manage to garden. Get up off the floor. Work all day. Don’t feel at all tired. No pain. Yes, occasionally at night in the leg or the ankle. But I still have arthritis and as he said, it will never be cured, but you can learn to live with it. As he said, with all that pain you’d be depressed, and I thought, Yeah well. But now I find that I go out. I enjoy myself. In fact, I’m never home. How I felt about the gym? Look I couldn’t say anything but praise for Sheree. She was most encouraging. She always said, Do it at your own level, even though I huffed and puffed and couldn’t do things. Always terribly encouraging and made me feel that I was getting somewhere. Made me feel good about myself. When I dropped weight she thought I looked terrific. Gave me encouragement. And look after three years, no pressure or anything like that. I am still going and I will continue to go. At this stage I am as fit as I want to be and I have talked to the doctor and he said, Yes keep at that and you’ll be fine. I’m still going twice a week now, but now I’m in a group. And we work very hard really and I have every bit of praise I could heap on Sheree. She has changed my life for the better. Good on you Sheree.