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Member Story: Helen

“This is my story about Corby Swimming pool and how its changed by life. My name is Helen, and I am 68 and I live in Corby.

In the past few years since retiring from work I became less active, sitting in my house more and moving a lot less than I used to so I didn’t gradually gain some wright. I still went out occasionally and met up with friends.

I then started having problems with my health, I had trouble breathing and ended up having to use inhalers.

I started getting problems with my back where I could not stand for more than 5 minutes and had to sit down to ease the pain.

Then came covid and lockdown, no one was leaving there how so I was in all the time. My mental health issues just got worse, and I did not realis it at the time I was suffering with my mental health.

I thought everyone was feeling the same not getting out or meeting people, the news on tv was all bad, covid and death and it just caused stress and worry.

I still saw my son and my sister, and we went shipping once a week, but I would not get out of the car, my sister would get the shopping. When we took the dog out for a walk, I would drive us to the field and sit in the car, whereas before I would be walking too and getting some exercise, I just couldn’t find the will to move.

My family tried to involve me and drop subtle hints about fitness and diet and calorie counting to motivate me. They knew that once I got active, I would feel better, but I was having none of it.

Then my son confessed that he was really worried about how much weight I had put on and he noticed and was breathless and pale, he said mum you don’t realise how big you’ve got! He told me that I needed to do something to lose weight and do it now. as he was worried, I would suffer a stroke or heart attack, I needed to get out of the house and get moving. I am stubborn and do not like being told what to do even though deep down I knew he was right, I tried to forget about it and carry on but as I thought more about it, I realised he was right.

I had always enjoyed swimming and through I will at least give it a try.

I told my sister I wanted to go, and would she join me? She said of course ill come too so I ordered some swimming costumes and started going. It was the best decision I ever made.

We started in the diving pool just swimming at the beginning of February this year. We would go twice a week, then one day the diving pool was closed so I went into the disabled pool.

It was too shallow to swim, so I started to walk up and down.

By the end of march, I enjoyed that so much that I stuck to the shallow pool, Derek the swimming instructor noticed what I was doing, and we would ask how many laps I had done. He suggested I set a target to increase each day so is started going three days a week. Josh one of the lifeguards was the same he told me to write it on a calendar how many laps I completed.

One lap was 20 metres. He converted into steps for me, 49 steps, then into miles 88 laps was one mile!

They both encouraged me every time.

The best I achieved was 109 laps and one a quarter mile in one session!

Who would eve believe that from not being able to stand for more than five minutes to walking an average of four miles a week in the pool?

I feel so much better and its motivated me to eat healthier too as I was in a rut with my diet to. I have lost over two stone in weight and its gradually coming off which I’m happy with.

I don’t used my inhaler very often I walk round town and up and down stairs without getting breathless. I do my own shopping now and go walking with the dog. I have no intention of stopping and in face I can’t wait to go swimming and really look forw3ard to it now.

My niece used to come round and help with my housework. I do it all myself now.

My life has really changed for the better. I feel that I have a life now and I get a buzz every time I put my foot in that pool.

I’m glad my son was honest with me and I’m thankful to my sister for encouraging me even when I was stubborn.

Thanks to Derke, Josh and all the people I have met there. Margaret, Ian, Jimmy, Stephen, Hanna, Lesley and Tobia, Ola and his wife Victoria

Thank you! “


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