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71-year-old Annabelle is one of the familiar faces you might bump into here at Bramley Baths. She’s been a regular for some time now, and has been on quite a journey with her fitness instructor Jennie.

This is the latest part of Annabelle’s story, which we hope will inspire you to reach the heights as she has. 

“Lockdown was so frustrating when Bramley Baths was closed,” says Annabelle with a sigh, her normally smiling face sporting a furrowed brow as she recalls the isolation she felt. “I felt really unfit – I had six months off and I felt lost without it, which shows how important this place is.

“I missed it, I missed doing the exercises but most of all I missed the people here, the jokes and laughter and being around people. Instructor Jennie is so supportive and friendly – as are all the staff – and I can understand why people have been suffering from mental health issues more and more while everything has been shut.”

Annabelle, who has arthritis, says that while meeting people has been a joy, building her fitness over the past few weeks has been done steadily. She said:

“I have to build up my strength again – lockdown meant I couldn’t do a great deal and I’ve spent the last few weeks building my strength bit by bit. My arthritis means it does sometimes hurt, but I just push myself forward and after a few exercises the pain goes.

“Jennie knows what is best for me. She knows my limits and has worked me gently – it’s the best programme I’ve ever been on.

“Jennie has very cleverly put together a programme to help with my arthritis and my plastic and steel shoulder. It helps with doing the day to day things like picking up heavy shopping bags, reaching up to the top shelf and standing on a chair to change a lightbulb. The workout builds me up and helps me carry out day to day tasks. She slowly builds it up for me and challenges me.

“Jennie has helped me improve my abilities in an extraordinary way. I can do overhead weights of 20 kilos and leg pushes of 90 kilos. I can now use my plastic and steel shoulder! I’ve started to use the battle ropes from the easy ones to the most difficult and I’m now at the stage where I can do five minutes. “

Would you benefit from one of our personal trainers? Sessions are tailored to what goals you would like to achieve. Individual trainers cost £20 per session. Please give us a call on 0113 256 0949 and we will add you to our list.