In recognition of our many Supporters who lead active lives and inspire so many of us in the process, we are proud to introduce our ‘Supporter Of The Month’ accolade.
This month we chatted to Monica from Lincoln who regularly attends Yarborough Leisure Centre, and has first hand experience of the health benefits leading an active lifestyle can bring.
Congratulations Monica, we salute you……..
Monica Sharpe (also known as grandma to many of the Active Nation team in Lincoln)
I’m retired, but used to work at Lincoln Hospital. I have 4 children, 8 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren.
How long have you been visiting Yarborough Leisure Centre?
I’ve been coming regularly for 10 years.
What made you start taking part in regular exercise?
I suffer from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma and regularly attend the Breath Easy Lincoln Support Group at the Social Club at Lincoln Hospital. It was while at one of these British Lung Foundation support sessions that I first heard about the GP referral service and I haven’t looked back since.
“I have suffered for about 20 years. I have a family history of lung problems. I first came to Yarborough as a GP referral and I haven’t left since.”
How did it feel when you first started?
I wasn’t at all nervous when I first came as Mark (exercise coach leader) took me under his wing and I have not looked back. He gave me a suitable programme and I have been able to stick to it – first with the 12 week referral and ever since through my membership – I haven’t stopped.
How did you overcome the temptation to quit?
I’ve never wanted to quit. Because of my condition, I sometimes hibernate when we have bad winters as it affects my lungs – otherwise I’m here. I haven’t had a problem for a while. In the winter I get a lift to the centre and in the summer I come on my buggy.
How has your exercise routine changed since you started?
We have tweaked it slightly over the years. In the winter I come 3 times a week and in the summer I come twice a week as I really enjoy my gardening and I spend a lot of time out there. If I don’t come I really feel it. It really helps with my lungs and also my joints.
Do you have a favourite activity?
I like the pulley as when I pull down I can feel it opening my lungs. The hand bike also helps and I enjoy walking on the treadmill as I find it easier then walking outside.
“There is real difference between me walking in those doors and when I walk out again an hour later.”
Has your lifestyle outside of Yarborough Leisure Centre changed?
Definitely. I honestly believe I wouldn’t be able to do half of what I do without this programme.
Has your diet changed?
No. I’ve always eaten relatively healthily and take the view a little of what you fancy occasionally won’t do you any harm.
What do you enjoy most about being active?
I really enjoy coming to Yarborough. One of my grandchildren is a sports programme co-ordinator here and one of my great-grandsons is a lifeguard. There are supporters I say hello to as we often see each other here and some of the team just call me grandma.
“A lot of people when they get older become miserable, fat, immobile geriatrics and I’m not going to do that! I love the fact that I always feel much better when I leave Yarborough compared to when I arrive.”
What advice would you give to someone plucking up the courage to join?
Dive in and see what you make of it! I did and I have never looked back since!”
If, like many others, Monica has inspired you to start leading a more active lifestyle, why not download our FREE 7 day sport and exercise pass.