I joined Vision Five Dock in March 2014. I needed to get back on track with my fitness, and I liked the idea of a Studio rather than a gym. I was matched with a Trainer, Nick Ellaway, and through the assessment process I had to let him know that I had recently been diagnosed with a heart condition, and that there was a possibility that I'd have to have open heart surgery in the coming months.
Always a good gym goer and one time gym junkie, my ability to exercise had been decreasing over the past 5 or 6 years due to a dull pain in my sternum, neck, shoulder and back, particularly on my left side. Initially the pain went away once I warmed up with exercise, but eventually it slowed me down so much that even a good walk was out of the question. Age 45, and I was eventually diagnosed with a coronary artery anomaly - basically a birth defect that meant that one of my main arteries was attached to the wrong side of my heart, and as I'd gotten older the artery was likely being pinched as the heart muscle flexed. The condition was rarely found, as it was known to be the cause of sudden death episodes in otherwise healthy people.
If heart surgery was in my near future, I wanted to be as fit and strong, as I could be to ensure a good recovery, but I also had some nervousness about my diagnosis. My Trainer was great and set in place a slowly escalating strength and low level cardio program that would prepare me for my single by-pass surgery five months later in August.
After my operation, I needed a slow build cardio and strength rehabilitation program that was mindful of stress on my heart and pressure on my sternum. I was so fortunate to be able to come back and train at the studio again, Nick personalized a program that allowed me to build back up to full weight training and increasing cardio - I completed a 10km's walk in just 11 weeks after surgery and felt really great and I was back on track by Christmas.
Feeling good and maybe over enthusiastic one day, I aggravated an old back injury the final straw came when I sneezed. I had bulged three discs in my back. Immense pain, rest and light stretching followed over the next few weeks until I was, yet again, relying on my Nick to personalize a rehabilitation program for me, in conjunction with my chiropractor. Eight to ten weeks of highly conscious strength training for my core and back, and I was once more mostly back to normal.
Nowadays my core and back strengthening are a regular part of my program, and although small aggravations have interrupted training a couple of times, on the whole Nick's time and effort to learn advanced supportive techniques for my Training have led to the best possible outcome for me.
Vision Personal Training Five Dock has played such an important role in my health and wellbeing over the past three years, I'm enormously grateful for their ongoing support and care - they would say 'it's part of their job', I say 'you go above and beyond for me'.
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