Member of the Month: February 2020

Hi I'm Rob, a member at Parkwood - and this is my story...
One Monday just over two years ago I started to feel really sick. I told my boss I felt unwell and had to leave the office early. Fast forward four days and I felt so unwell that I had to dial 999.
My appendix had burst, and consequently I had sepsis. 
The doctor later told me that had I waited just one more hour to call an ambulance then I would be dead. The surgeon also told me that the state of my stomach was so bad that the surgery had resulted in internal chemical burns to 50% of my body. 
It was a very tough, devastating time - my body had essentially stopped working. 
Recovery was a massive challenge - I had to relearn everything; how to walk, eat - even go to the toilet(!), but from the moment I woke after surgery I was determined that I was going to get better, and that I was going to be fitter than ever before. 
Fast forward again a few months (after a further infection meant another week in hospital) and I was ready to start my recovery - so I became a member at Parkwood. 
Initially all I could do was walk very slowly up and down in the pool, but I did this religiously, every day - followed up by more recovery in the sauna, steam room and jacuzzi (my favourite!). 
After a few weeks I was able to start swimming, albeit very slowly, and I kept on walking up and down the pool in between bouts of trying to swim. Slowly but surely the days turned to weeks, and the weeks to months. My goal of 100% recovery (and then some) had not changed - if anything it just got stronger. 
And so, nine months after surgery I ventured upstairs for the very first time to the gym. Over the next few months I gradually got to grips with all the machines - having never worked out properly before. Once again I came in day after day, inspired by nothing more than trying to feel like a normal person again, and still the desire to be fitter than ever. I would have days when I had to stop, where I pushed too hard, or my stomach and side just started hurting for no reason. But it never stopped me coming back the next day, or the day after that. Now if I ever feel like I'm struggling or something is hard in the gym I just think back to when I was sick and wasn't able to walk - I don't need any more motivation than that. 
At the beginning of last year I decided I wanted to take my training up a notch, so I signed up for personal training with Luke, which has been great. I didn't have specific goals before - really my goal was just to get well and recover. However, I feel that we're really starting to try to get to that extra level this year; by making tweaks to my diet and training to try and optimise what I can get out of my workouts. 
Last year I also started doing yoga classes (handily they're taught by my brother Gavin!) which I've found have been a great help too, both to my health in general, and recovery from training all week.
I still feel like I have a long way to go, but I've discovered that I have a real love and appreciation for health and fitness that previously I had no idea about. 
Coming from almost dying to where I am now has been a real journey, and it's one that Parkwood has been a massively important part of. I really love the community atmosphere here and am truly honoured to be a member of the month! Thank you!   #sepsis #parkwood #fitness 

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