“I started training at Perform in the summer of 2018, just over a year after I had my left leg amputated.

After finding a lump in the sole of my left foot in 2014, I was eventually diagnosed with a rare and untreatable form of cancer called a Sarcoma in April 2017. My doctors feared the cancer could spread and told me that amputating below my knee would ultimately save my life, so I underwent my operation on 3rd May 2017.

It was the biggest challenge I had ever faced, but the support I received from friends, family, strangers and Perform’s charity of the year, the Amputation Foundation, got me through my ups and downs.

After months of physio I was told that I had done all that I could in those sessions and could progress to the gym. However, as so much had changed for me, I didn’t want to just join a mainstream gym where I had no guidance on what to do. I saw the gym as a continuation of my physiotherapy.

When I came to Perform I had been on lots of medication due to my operation and weight gain was one of the side effects. It was difficult for me as I needed to take the medication to ease pain, which then helped with my mobility, yet they were making me put on weight, so it was a bit of a vicious cycle.

I didn’t feel great when I joined Perform as I knew I had weight to lose to get back to feeling myself and I knew that I had a huge challenge ahead to get back into exercising. I was worried that I may not be able to do certain things but from the start Peter and Aaron took my needs into consideration.

When they create a new programme they find ways to adapt things to suit me. They really do know their stuff. I was so happy to realise that I could do pretty much everything, I just sometimes have to do it in a different way to other people

It was a bit daunting at first going into the gym with my prosthetic as I didn’t know who would be there and what the people would be like, but thankfully everybody is really lovely and I’ve never felt out of place.

My overall goal was to get stronger and more confident in myself and that’s something I feel that I have definitely achieved. Before my operation I had half-heartedly gone to the gym previously but never fully committed, I do so much more now and actually really enjoy it (despite having the odd moan).

I am much stronger and am now back to my usual weight. My alignment has massively improved as well. Before, I tended to over compensate on my right side, due to having to rely on it so much after my amputation. I still have a long way to go to be able to do certain things as I did before, but I know I will get there eventually. A lot of it is down to having the confidence to try and that’s a mental thing sometimes, rather than physical.

Perform is great for people who don’t like large gyms where you’re left to your own devices and as a result end up doing very little. The fact you have to do a particular session means you work more.

What’s more Perform is a community that gets behind good causes. When we were picking the gym’s charity of the year, I nominated the Amputation Foundation. When it was selected in a members vote I was so happy. The Amputation Foundation were amazing to me from the start, visiting me at home and letting me ask loads of questions. I went to coffee mornings that the charity runs every last Friday of the month, where I was able to meet other amputees – male, female, young and old. They also helped me fill out endless forms to ensure I was supported financially and received things I was entitled, which his took a huge burden off me and my family during a time when everything was up in the air. As well as me they have supported my parents as well and that is something I count as priceless.

I am so grateful for the support the Perform Fitness Family has shown to the charity.  The work they do and efforts they make to ensure they support all amputees and their families is incredible and without this charity many amputees would be lost!

Based on all of that, I would recommend Perform to anyone. It is more friendly and enjoyable than I thought a gym could be. The PTs and other members are lovely. No-one judges anybody. I was made to feel at home from the start and it does almost feel like a small family. I find this really helps with motivation, it makes you look forward to going to your next session. If you’re thinking of joining, just do it!”

Laura W, Perform Fitness Family Member since July 2018

You can read more about Laura’s story on her blog bestfootforwardlife.wordpress.com and find out more about the Amputation Foundation here.

To find out more about joining the Perform Fitness Family, contact us today.

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