How Fernwood helped Nichole overcome her obstacles

“My name is Nichole Meehan and I have just completed my first 12 Week Challenge at Fernwood Petrie. I wanted to share my experience.

I have a physical disability and because of that I would never usually participate in group fitness or even dream of doing something like the 12 Week Challenge.

I had always thought that my difference would mean it would be too hard for the staff and other people in the gym to have to work around me and I didn’t want to have to create more work for anybody else.

I had some significant health issues last year and my fitness suffered a lot because of it. So when the 12 Week Challenge came up, I spoke to my PT Vics and said to her “is this something that you think I could do?” And when she said to me “of course it is, why wouldn’t you be able to do it!” I thought because of my limitations I wouldn’t be able to do it but she didn’t seem to think the same thing.

With no other excuse, I signed up and it was fantastic. I participated in ‘women who lift’ and my PT made a vest for me that she would put on in the classes so I could do extra weights where I couldn’t do them with my hands.

I had been a member of other gyms where I had seen PTs privately and paid them for classes, and all I ever got before was do lunges, runs, squats, sit ups.  Anything that involved my legs, but nothing that involved my arms.

I couldn’t plank when I started, but I came home after the second week and said to my husband this is ridiculous, everyone else can plank and I can’t. So now I can plank for nearly one minute and I’m still working on it. I even have a bicep on my arm, that I’ve never had before.

I can do so many things that I never, ever thought I would be able to do.

I just wanted to say thank you to everybody for these opportunities. We certainly have a fantastic team of staff at Fernwood, I would have never been able to do this without them. When I started this challenge, I had fitness that I could not improve. I had tried everything, I had even been to cardiologists and they couldn’t help me.

Thank you for offering these programs, I hope that other people have got out of it as much as I have.”

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