Empower AH: Sports Rehabilitation and Sports Massage  

Empower therapy room. 

I love my sport and fitness and I always will. 

However, there becomes a point where the amount of exercise can become unhealthy for you or cause you a nasty injury. 

I, unfortunately or fortunately experienced both. I loved training and would spend a good amount of time at the gym or playing or playing basketball. 

I was not allowing my body the rest it needed. As a result I badly sprained my ankle over seven  years ago. It was in the last few seconds of a Basketball game. 

I am not ashamed to say that I needed this to happen to make me see some sense. 

The result was a few weeks on crutches, a couple of weeks off work, rest and recovery time for my body. I struggled with being less active and probably went back to sport and fitness too quickly. after 6 month. To this day I still struggle with the same injury.

I rushed to get my ankle fixed. My first physio, wasn’t great. One thing he did do, which helped, was getting rid of the scar tissue that the sprain caused. I thought friction treatment was the most painful thing ever! That was until I experienced childbirth. Yep, that has been my most painful experience too date and probably ever, with friction treatment coming in second. 

I must admit from my first experience of physio and the negative experience I had I was a little apprehensive to try again. 

Saying this I had the chance to visit Alison at Empower and give it another go. 

Alison was lovely. When we met she was very professional. To begin with I had to fill in a health questionnaire  and then some documents about my injury.  This allowed her to get an idea of what had happened to my ankle, how and when. 

After the initial questions she moved on to assessing my ankle with a series of tests to establish how strong it was and  where to go from there, based on her knowledge and experience.  

Ready for the session!! 

Just as I thought. My ankle was weak and needed strengthen after the sprain, and many more that has happened since the first.

She moved on to more friction treatment which I was dreading. It definitely wasn’t as painful as the first time and even though my ankle still niggled as she did it her knowledge was fabulous. ” you will find that it should be tender for the first few seconds and then the pain should subside”. She was right! From that moment I started to pay even more attention. Throughout the treatment she kept asking questions and I answered as truthfully as I could. She gave me a breakdown of how the ankle works and its structure. As a pe teacher I found this even more interesting, especially with a basic understanding of the body.

Ouch, a little bit anyway!!! 

Her questions also included examples of what exercises my old physio got me doing. Alison looked amazed, not in a good way. She didn’t understand why I had been given them and explained that I need to strengthen the ankle and work on my balance. Basically I needed to retrain my ankle and build strength its strength up again.  

From this assessment Alison gave me few strenghtening exercises to do. Standing on each leg for  few minutes whenever I was standing still. Once this became too easy the next advice she gave me was standing on a pillow as this made the floor uneven and then on  a wobbly board like the one shown in the photo  below. The other was to find a step and rise on to my tip toes and then lower my heels below the the step.  

Wibble wobble 

On to tip toes and lowering down to floor  

So, would I recommend Alison at Empower?

Absolutely yes. My first experience of a physio was a lot to be desired. However, I felt that she delivered the goods  I came away happy with how the rehabilitation session went and knowing what I needed to do in order to make and see an improvement  in the strength of my ankle. I now try to do these exercises as much as possible and looking forward to seeing the progression I make. 

Alison even followed up with another email recommending even more exercises to do as my ankle starts to strengthen.

If you are interested in seeing what Alison can offer you, you can email her at empower.ah@outlook com.

After all life is about making memories and learning from experiences, good and bad. 

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Fitness Freak 

I love my sport and fitness. 

Before meeting my wonderful husband, who eventually joined in with my massive love of fitness even more, having a nasty injury and having my beautiful daughter my week pretty much consisted of: working as a pe teacher, before teaching got even more mental. That’s a different blog. Gym 4-5 times a week and basketball, my favourite sport.

 At a mere 5 ft 2, I am probably the SHORTEST player EVER for my age!! I have been playing for around 25 years!!! We will leave it at that!

The shortest player ever in the NBA was  Muggsy Bogues at 5 ft 3 or Spudd Webb, at a taller 5ft 7, who won a slam dunk contest in 1987!!!! If my memory serve me well. My age might have caused a memory issue!! 

At my peak of training, in my mid 20s, a good 2 hours was spent at the gym. Monday was weights before half hour spin and kettle bell class, Tuesday weights before an hours spin. Wednesday was weights followed by half hour spin then core stability with a bit of circuits. Thursday was basketball training or games depending on when in the season.  Saturday was spin for 45 mins followed by core for half an hour then usually, a hefty pt session with the best personal trainer I have experienced. I would not go to anyone else unless I had too. She also developed my love of spin. She was the best spin instructor I have ever experienced. There has only been one that came close second. I would love for this person  to train me again. She did for a bit but unfortunately work and life for us both made it more difficult. I am at a different gym now to the one she currently works in. 

I was at my peak. I could play a full basketball game and still have energy to play another. I loved that fact. 

Spin has to be one of my all time favourite classes. 

Good way of interval training. 

I love being a mummy but me time is needed too. As a family we are quite lucky that we can go to a David Lloyd gym. How can we afford that I hear you ask? My husband pays for it and the reasons we chose it was because  it was 15 mins down the road, our daughter could go into the crèche when she was younger and we can take her swimming. Rephrase that. I do. My husband doesn’t like it. Not a problem though as it’s time for my daughter and me. Now she is three she is able to go to their children activity sessions. Which is good for her as they are active sessions and she is getting used to going to the gym, which hopefully she will continue. Also, it is a  chance to develop her social skills and not be glued to mummy and daddy all the time. 

So what do I do or did do?

I like to train on my own and do my own thing. Sometimes I also have programmes set by the instructors and try to do some classes. Time is limited now so the more I can achieve in the time I have the better. 

Over the years I have really enjoyed a number of different classes.  Body Step, Body Attack, Spin, Circuits, Sh’bam, Body Balance,  Kettle Bells, Core Stability and currently Synergy also known as HITT Training and Les Mills GRIT.  

I have even done Insanity!!!!! 

I think you can see that I like the hard  sessions e.g. HITT, GRIT which is pretty similar and jumping around like a mad thing in Body Attack , as well fun ones like Sh’bam which is great dance aerobics.

Body Attack 

Sh’bam
 Also, some supposedly relaxing ones like Body Balance. This can also be quite challenging holding some of the moves. It’s a mixture of tai chi, yoga and pilates in one class. It’s brilliant. 

See what I mean about some of positions you have to try and hold!!!! 

I have just finished a course in pre and postnatal exercise programme design and this is an area I would like to explore and as well as finishing my circuit training course. 

I wish I had known half the things I knew now when I was pregnant with my daughter. My exercise regime would have been so much better and more effective. However, I was in pretty good shape after returning from injury and not in bad shape now three years later after having my daughter. 

The only thing I had to come to terms with is change in shape and the post natal tummy that I am working on even now.  However, to be fair my husband doesn’t have a problem with it and I am now more comfortable with my body. I am probably more healthly looking now between  9 and half stone and 10 than I was when I was training hard at 9 stone and not taking time to allow my body the rest and recovery it needed. I would say this is part of the reason for my horrible ankle injury. 

However,  I look back on my time as a fitness freak with pride as I got to meet a good friend who was the spin and pt instructor and without her knowledge I would not have had played my best basketball or attended her wedding which was simply stunning in everyway. Thank you. 

Some of our nights out were epic but those are for a different time and blog. 

After all it’s about making memories and cherishing every moment. Making friends, remembering the good times, the bad ones and mistakes to be learnt from but living life.