Laura started visiting PARC in June this year with the goal to shift her mindset from ‘I can’t’ to ‘I can’. Her story is truly an inspiring one. Exercising for Laura is not just about her physical wellbeing, but equally important, her mental wellbeing too.
“Amongst other challenges, I suffered from agoraphobia, so just walking into such a large facility with my support worker was a huge thing.”
Agoraphobia is a fear to leave environments you know or consider to be safe, but it was Laura’s first encounter with one of our PARC team, Clair, that helped her take the next step to using the facility. “After explaining a bit about myself and the challenges I face, [Clair] took me on a tour tailored to my needs. She offered me her support and congratulated me on taking a courageous step. That was not something I was used to and it meant a lot to me.”
Laura also has Fibromyalgia, a condition that causes musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, memory and mood issues, so moving and being active is difficult for her. But she has not let that stop her, and has used the PARC Warm Water pool and spa to exercise and help with her Fibromyalgia.
“It wasn’t easy to get in the pool in the first time. Not just physically but mentally as well. But I remember thinking ‘Laura, this is your moment. Just get in. Walk down those steps and get in the pool. It will be your success.”
As part of her journey, Laura has not only improved her mobility, but she has also lost a lot of weight.
“I have lost 60kgs, losing the last 25kg since attending PARC. The weight loss and exercise has allowed me to do things I haven’t been able to for a long time. For instance, I can now raise my arms to do my hair on my own. It actually wasn’t until I was doing my hair the other day that I realised it was a movement I could now do.”
But Laura’s health journey is not just about the physical. “I cannot tell you how much attending PARC has helped my mental health. Getting in the pool is not just about getting in the water and moving. It is about my wellbeing as a whole person – physically, mentally and emotionally.”
What’s next for Laura?
Laura has her son’s wedding in November of this year, and her goal is to not need her walking frame. “I am having a dress made, and I am really excited to get dressed up and to be fit enough to move around without needing my walker.”
We are so incredibly proud of Laura, and will be checking in with her as she continues on her Future You journey with us here at PARC.
Want help on your own Future You journey?
Join as a PARC Member today, and we’ll support you every step of the way!