I struggled at the beginning. but after I found the 30 minute functional circuit classes in the gym, the weight started falling off. I am now a regular at three or four morning classes every week. My fitness levels have gone through the roof and two and a half stone has disappeared from the scales!
When I was at my heaviest I had been recovering from a back injury and couldn't walk. I joined Weight Watchers and when I was able to come back to the gym I started off with Nordic Walking and personal training with Malcolm to strengthen my back. As my back got better and my weight came down, I was able to do a lot more and started spinning. I got the cycling bug and got a road bike a year ago. I found that I needed to take the focus off my weight and concentrate on my fitness. Setting fitness goals has helped keep me on track. My training at the moment consists of Body Pump, 2 weight sessions in the gym, Nordic Walking, at least 3 spin sessions and 3-4 days on my bike a week. I need more days in the week to fit it all in! I am looking forward to my bike ride and my holiday afterwards! Thank you for your support.
I joined with my husband Ben in 2008 and have since become avid users of all the facilities. Our three children are thriving in swim school and we use the club together as a family as much possible. I am a regular in the spin studio and gym while training for my many challenges, including completing the Marathon de Sables in just over 40 hours with Ben. I also entered an Ultra Marathon 100km race and smashed it in 10 hours 10mins - placing 1st for the women and 5th overall, a mere 25mins behind the overall winner!
When I joined the gym I weighed almost 14st 8lbs. Through determination and perseverance over 2 years, I have shifted almost half of myself off the scales, weighing in at 8st on the dot. I then took up swimming lessons with Tyler. As a complete beginner it took a little while for me to relax in the water but after a few sessions I cracked it!
I visit the club 4-5 times a week and love the gym banter with the Wellness Team. I mostly use the gym, particularly the cardio and resistance equipment. I regularly take part in gym challenges as they are great for that extra motivation!
I use every aspect of the club, from the pool to classes to the gym, but my favourite form of exercise is Nordic Walking. Before I started Nordic Walking I struggled to get my weight to where I wanted it, however a couple of months after taking it up everything started falling into place. I loved the class so much I became a qualified Nordic Walking instructor and am often seen leading one of the club's many classes over the local hills!
I really like the ambiance and atmosphere of the club and enjoy spending as much free time as possible here. I love relaxing in the jacuzzi and spending time in the gym. I have benefited greatly from Personal Training with Jake and ran the Reading Half Marathon last year. I have also worked really hard at my golf and have now dropped my handicap to just 6.
I lost an astounding 5 stone in 6 months through a lot of hard work on the cardio equipment. I love the staff - they are always willing to help and have a laugh which is important! I now enjoy using a good mix of gym equipment, especially the weights and resistance kit.
A few years ago, aged 44, I had a stroke. It came totally out of the blue and was a huge shock to me and my family. I was fairly fit and had a good job that I really enjoyed, then within minutes my life changed. Every stroke is different and I feel relatively fortunate that, physically, mine has affected only my right forearm and hand. The downside is that my stroke caused aphasia, which affects my ability to express myself. Everything I want to say is in my head, I just can't always get the words out! I also have dyspraxia which makes many simple tasks difficult - like following instructions. My wife has to leave me lots of lists and has the patience of a saint! I was Vice Captain of the golf club when I had my stroke and after careful consideration I decided to continue in the role with the support of fellow golf member Nick Taylor. When I became Captain it was an obvious choice to have Nick as my Vice Captain. With his continued support, together with support from Paul Masters, the committee and the Castle Royle staff, I did my year as Captain. I may not have been the best speech maker but I was very good at handing out trophies whilst Nick did all the talking! It was hard at times (as I am sure it was for those helping me!) but I am not a quitter! The feedback and support from members was immense and I think it made people realise you can overcome even the biggest of challenges. My recovery has been greatly aided though my activities here at Castle Royle - from the early days of playing golf when I struggled even to hold my clubs (I used to play off 12 but now play off 28), swimming, aqua aerobics (once!), body balance and plenty more. It has been a long process but through determination and encouragement from members and staff I now have a programme in the gym to build up my strength and can swim 40 lengths in the pool. When I look back over the last 2.5 years I know I have come a long way. I now mentor other stroke victims and it inspires me to continue working on my recovery. I know that my progress would not have been as good without the focus and social aspect that Castle Royle gave me. On days when I felt low I would force myself to go to the club even it was just for a quick swim, coffee in the bar or to swing a club on the range. It is not just the activities that I have taken part in that have helped but also the support of the staff and many of the members that made a difference.
Due to studying abroad and constantly travelling as a touring golf professional, there are very few places I feel completely at home. Castle Royle is one of those few places. I've been affiliated with the club for 6 years and couldn't imagine being attached anywhere else. The friendships, the memories and the warm feeling I get when I walk under the walkway up to the putting green is irreplaceable. In 2009, my life changed when I was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. Everything in my life had to be put on hold, but one thing stayed constant: the love and support from my family and friends, many of whom are members at Castle Royle. After 6 months of intense surgery, muscle wastage and chemotherapy I made a full recovery and am happy to report that since February 2010 I am in remission and as healthy as ever. Castle Royle kindly let me use the gym facilities to rebuild my strength and get back to doing what I love to do best - play golf! Since 2010 I have put the past behind me and never looked back, making big steps each year in my progression. After ending my amateur career on a high note by winning the 2013 BB&O Order of Merit with the Castle Royle Masters finally under my belt, I turned professional in September 2013. I obtained my full playing rights on The Alps Tour in December and throughout 2014 have been playing all over Europe gaining experience. My breakthrough came in September 2014 where secured my first major professional win, a 4 round tournament called The Citadelle Trophy International, Luxembourg. I overcame a 6 shot deficit after shooting 64 (-8) in the final round to get into a 3 way playoff. Thankfully I holed a 10ft birdie putt on the first extra hole and took the trophy! It was an amazingly emotional experience for me and one I wish all my friends at Castle Royle could have been there to share. It's amazing to think how far I have come, from lying in a hospital bed not knowing if I'd ever have the chance to play golf again, to holding a 4ft trophy in my hands! Castle Royle and its members played a huge part in motivating me to keep going and never giving up. They have been so supportive and it's an amazing place, one I'm happy to call my second home.