One month on and I’ve ditched the boot brace…

Well it’s been a month of trials and challenges on many fronts, but I finally decided to ditch the boot brace as it became more painful to wear it, than not!

I can’t walk very far or very fast, even with the crutches and it is extremely painful but I know that each day there is some improvement, albeit the swelling is really bad and I still have to sit with the leg elevated most of the time.

This has truly been a great learning experience for me.  I have had the rare privilege to spend time living life as a disabled person, albeit temporary, but really understanding first hand the challenges the disabled face on a daily basis.

Ramps…they are great for wheelchairs but for someone on crutches or with walking difficulties, they post another challenge.  I stood recently debating a long ramp or four stairs at the Ricoh Arena. After parking my car (I am not eligible for a disabled badge), I then had the long walk from the car park.  I was then advised that I needed to go outside and down a large flight of stairs.  A few is fine, but I knew these were beyond my capability.  They kindly took me down through the kitchen and service lift.  So, another set of stairs or a ramp?  The ramp was so long it would have taken me ages and I would have been worn out from the journey to the door, which was right in front of me.  So I navigated the four steps down to the doorway.

Trains…I have recently taken the train to Birmingham.  I opted to travel from a local station as it offers free parking only a few meters from the platform (if you get there early enough). I walked into the waiting area where there are 3 seats.  Each of the people occupying these seats continued to listen to their headsets and play with their phones while I stood shifting my weight awkwardly on my crutches.  Each of these individuals had no intention of giving up their seat. An overweight female in her early 20’s and two young men of a similar age.  What was worse, after hoisting myself into the train carriage, I was met by the same.  Even those able bodied people occupying the disabled seats refused to move.  Thank you to the lovely lady who seeing my plight, kindly gave up her seat.

Restaurants…I went to the new Miller & Carter Steak House which is very good for access and all on one level.  Sadly the doors are so heavy that they are difficult to open at the same time as balancing.  After navigating the heavy doors, Disabledthere are some toilets on the left, again with a heavy door.  There was a queue of people waiting for tables.  One even acknowledged me but rather than offer to help me with the door, they apologised and said they didn’t want to lose their place in the queue!

Hospitals…On a recent trip to the hospital, I was in a wheelchair.  Due to the distance to get from the car park to the x-ray and fracture department, my Dad insisted on purchasing the “family wheelchair”! Mum had a recent heart attack so we visited her in hospital, Dad pushing me or rather holding onto the back of the wheelchair for stability (as he walks with a stick), me in the chair holding onto my crutches, Dad’s stick and a suitcase of personal items for Mum.  No-one offered to help during our journey from the car park to the Acute Coronary Care Ward.  It took us ages! When we went to my appointment, the receptionist couldn’t see me as the desk was too high.  Instead she spoke over my head to my Dad…I didn’t exist. Dad is very deaf, despite wearing hearing aids.  I spoke to the Receptionist, she spoke to Dad… who couldn’t hear her.  He promptly bent down to me to say “What did she say?”…and so it went on.  Fortunately, as a family we always manage to see the funny side of things and ended up laughing at this bizarre round of communication.

Supermarkets…The only way I could navigate this one on my own was to walk with my crutches whilst pushing the trolley with my stomach.  If I am only purchasing a few things, I get a basket and slide it round the supermarket with my crutches.  A very slow process.  I was astounded last week when a young man pushed my trolley out of his way, so that he could push me to one side to get to the tomatoes he wanted to put in his own trolley.  Fortunately, a member of staff saw my plight and insisted on helping me, packed my shopping and lifted it into the boot of the car.

Every outing has to be planned to the last detail, building in time to navigate steps, ramps, seating and ensuring that I am not at risk of slipping, tripping or being knocked.  I can really understand how some people find it easier just to stay within the boundaries of their own four walls.

However, I am a positive and determined person and I will get through this…it’s just a blip.  Now to deal with the weight loss and exercise!


Life on crutches…and my Health & Fitness campaign

It was 5 weeks ago that I broke my ankle, had an operation to fix it and my fitness journey stalled!  So did my weight loss.  Since then, I have had to keep my leg elevated most of the time and can only get around on crutches.

Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t gained any weight…I have just stalled.

I have been reading around weight loss and found that it is 80% diet and 20% exercise. I suppose I am getting some exercise, hauling my excess pounds around on my crutches.  My arms are definitely toning up. However, I haven’t really addressed the diet issue full on.

So here goes…the healthy eating regime begins again in earnest and I have set a goal.  Well actually, I have set two goals.  My son gets married this summer so my goals are:

  1. To be the weight and size I choose by 31st May 2016.  (This will allow me to choose and wear an outfit I feel great in); and
  2. To make my ankle strong enough, through physiotherapy and exercise, to wear heels (at least for part of the day) at the Wedding.

Healthy Eating

I have made a list of all the foods that I know will make a difference, to speed up my metabolism and ensure my insulin levels remain constant.  Now to attempt a shopping trip!


I make sure I get up and move, at least once every hour.  I have also developed some armchair exercises, some aerobic and toning ones too.  It’s amazing what you can find on YouTube.  I will start swimming soon but I am not mobile enough yet to get in and out of a pool.

Week 1 of the new regime to follow…


The PACT…On pause!!

Well January hasn’t quite panned out as planned but I know that everything happens for a reason.

After the euphoria of completing my first 5k at Parkrun as Tail Runner, albeit it was a mix of brisk walking and slow jogging, I came down with a throat virus and lost my voice. After dosing myself up with Lemsip all week, I finally felt ready to get back to my workouts after the weekend.

I went out on Saturday and disaster struck… Canular

I slipped and damaged my ankle…my good one! What was worse, an x-ray showed that I had broken my ankle on both sides. I was wheeled down to theatre for an urgent operation where my ankle was pinned, steel plates inserted and I was stitched back up again.

My original bad ankle (now my better ankle) is holding up well…it must have been the pre-fall training which has strengthened my ankle muscles as it is now managing to get me around the house with the aid of crutches.

So how am I going to deal with this opportunity?  

  1. Well I’m not going to treat it as a setback.  I’m going to take the positive from it, speak to Jase and think about how I can continue this journey.
  2. I’m going to use this time wisely by resting and doing appropriate exercises, as guided by my physiotherapist and Jase, to improve my rate of recovery.
  3. My diary is always heavily congested and I rush around.  I am seeing this as a sign that I need to take care of myself and put my health before business.
  4. I’m using this time to update all of my marketing materials and to create a plan for the year ahead, to ensure I achieve all of my business goals.
  5. As soon as I am mobile, I am going to start exercising.  I can do some floor work and upper body work. My plan is to start swimming as soon as I can.
  6. Throughout this period of inactivity, I am eating healthily to ensure that I give myself the best possible chance of an improved rate of recovery.  After all its the food that you eat as well as the exercise that has an impact on weight loss.

Post op dressing

So that’s it for now.  I’m having my stitches out on Thursday and then I will see what next week brings.


The PACT…Week 7

Getting back into the flow again after a short break was a little daunting, especially as I may have undone a little of the good work and battled a stomach virus. But on with the plan…

Even if I slip a little, I make sure that I don’t just give up and treat each day as a fresh day.

Saturday this week is a milestone for me as I have volunteered to be “Tail Runner” at Parkrun.  This means I HAVE to complete the 5k circuit and I MUST keep up with the slowest runner.  It means I WILL have to run, at least part of the course.

I’m really going to focus on the food during January.  I need to ensure that I’m eating enough protein and that my portion sizes reduce a little as I know I can eat to excess…I always clear my plate.

My philosophy at the moment is simply to eat healthy and …move more.

New Year, New Goals…Will you achieve them?

This is often a time of year for reflection.  We set goals for the year ahead, personal and business, and see the New Year as a fresh start. For some this may just be a bullet point list of non specific dreams but for others, these will be important milestones and targets.

However, I truly believe that before you plan ahead, it is valuable to look back and reflect on past achievements.  By looking at what you have achieved to date, however small, and where you are now, it is easier to look forward to see where you are going in the future. It can be surprising how many things you have achieved, that you may have forgotten that will assist you in reaching your future goals.

So how do you set goals and achieve them?

I see goals as a destination.  How and when I achieve them is set out on a detailed roadmap of the journey I intend to take.  I can only equate this to travel, something I love.

Would you set off in your car for France without looking at where you were going?  Probably not.  You would look at your destination (your goal) and set out a plan for your journey on how and when you are going to get there.  In all likelihood you would start with a budget. You may find a hotel and book a room with an estimated time of arrival and plan your travel ie by car, plane or train.  You may even book a ferry crossing.  You would then pack a bag, plan your route, ensure you had Euros, Insurance, Passport and tickets, fuel for the car and identify any stops you may wish to make to break your journey.

The detail we set out when planning a holiday is often not transferred to when we set our goals and aspirations.  We frequently set the goal but omit the detail about our journey regarding how and when we are going to reach our destination. We fail to plan and wonder why we are not achieving our goals.

So when setting your goals, reflect, plan your journey and ensure that you build in sufficient detail around each goal to ensure your success in getting there.

Remember…there are no rules…although research has shown that if you write your goals down, you are more likely to achieve them. I set goals continuously throughout the year and most importantly, I write them down, have a detailed plan and regularly check my progress.

Best wishes for the New Year and achieving the goals you set.

Sandra Garlick is a Business Consultant, Business Mentor and Public Speaker. Sandra will be speaking about “Networking for Success” at the B2B Expo at The Belgrade, Coventry on 12th January. Entry is free…register here.

You can follow Sandra on Twitter and Periscope @Sandra Garlick

The PACT…Weeks 5 & 6

I have combined my updates for Christmas and New Year weeks as training has been limited and the festive season is here.

I knew this was going to be difficult.  However, I remain committed on non social days…walking where I can, doing short bursts of exercise at home and attending my sessions, albeit on a limited basis.

That said, I am still firmly of the belief that if I hadn’t embarked upon this journey with Evolution of Fitness in November, I would be at least 5 weeks behind where I am now.

My ankle is holding up well…the knees ache occasionally but I simply tell Jase when things don’t work and he adapts the exercise or circuit.  I don’t tell him but I am actually enjoying some of the exercises and looking forward to my sessions.

So the New Year is a time to reflect on what I have achieved over the last 5/6 weeks and step up a gear to achieve my goals:

  1. To run 5K without stopping;
  2. To fit into my wardrobe of dresses; and
  3. To feel amazing on my son’s wedding day in July 2016.

Wishing everyone a Happy New Year and success in your own fitness journey.

I am undertaking The PACT with Evolution of Fitness Coventry. For further details please contact Jase Robinson and his team. You can also follow their page on Facebook