By Member of the Month
We are honoured to introduce Jill as the Member of the Month for May, who has been a member at LIVE WELL Vancouver since 2014. Jill’s recovery to health even in the most difficult of circumstances shows how powerful exercise can be - exercise is medicine for your body! As you read through Jill’s story we are certain she will inspire you on your own health journey!!!
When I was 52, I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. This was a huge shock as I had always been healthy, but I had also always taken my good health for granted. I had been active all my life, but I never saw the value or had the discipline of regular exercise. I would never have considered going to a gym of all things.
I had been working long hours for many years at my job, I suddenly had to stop working. Being forced into early “retirement” made me notice the tremendous stress that my body had been carrying. With the MS diagnosis I was forced to slow down. For the first two or three years I was essentially bed-ridden and unable to get out of bed for more than 1-hour at a time. Over the next 5 years, with trying different therapies, I was able to gradually carry on with fairly normal daily activities…I still love my afternoon naps!
In 2012, I began going through what turned out to be 5 years of personal and family stresses and tragedies. I had been driving to Seattle at least twice a month for years to help look after my aging parents. Then my partner suddenly became seriously and devastatingly ill. During this time, I also had to put down our lovely 19-year-old cat. During the time my partner was ill and frequently in and out of hospital, I came down with shingles, my mother had passed away, and it broke both our hearts to have to say good-bye to our devoted 17-year-old border terrier. Soon after my father died and three months later my partner died.
Fortunately, I had joined LIVE WELL in 2014. Early into those hard 5 years when my energy was low and my life seemed to be in disarray - I knew I should be getting more regular exercise, but I didn’t know how to get started. My doctor saw an advertisement for LIVE WELL Exercise Clinic and suggested I could check it out. Honestly, I did not think I would sustain going to a gym until I noticed that I was beginning to feel stronger and had more energy. Now I feel healthier than I have for years. I can enjoy going for long walks and even walking up stairs. Coming to my exercise sessions at LIVE WELL has helped me learn how to relax into an exercise routine and actually enjoy it!