The gym is friendly and has a real family feel - Trafford Leisure

The gym is friendly and has a real family feel

Member Alex McDonald, receiving a Trafford Centre voucher from the General Manager at Sale Leisure Centre for writing in her story to Trafford Leisure.

Alex tells us how attending the gym at Sale Leisure Centre has made her feel so much at home with its friendly and family feel. Alex after training at Sale, has recently completed a 10k run for a charity close to her heart…

My mother has had Parkinson’s Disease for 15 years and it has left her completely incapacitated. My Dad has cared for her throughout this but last year was diagnosed with the condition himself – this was a huge blow for them both and meant mum had to go into care which was very hard.

Parkinson’s is not a well-known or accurately understood condition and the connected charities struggle to get enough support and funding so I decided to fundraise some money by doing the Great Manchester Run 10k this year.

I wasn’t at all sporty when I started training in Jan – I didn’t exercise as regularly as I should and was a bit overweight (still am!) so this was a huge personal challenge but I knew if I wanted to raise a good amount I needed to do something that was genuinely difficult for me.

I started running outside but immediately felt self-conscious and uncomfortable and hated the traffic and noise. I also have a long standing knee injury that needed heavy weight exercises and I just wasn’t getting these done at home.

I was a member of Sale Leisure Centre but hadn’t been using the facilities regularly – the hatred of running outside plus the injury was making it hard to make progress so I decided to train in the gym using the leg press and then the treadmill and it changed everything.

The gym is friendly and has a real family feel, not one of these soulless 24hour gyms or full of people posing or judging each other – it is a mixture of real people, all shapes, sizes & ages, many with their own challenges,all just trying to do their best at whatever they are there to do.

Also, the newer running machines have so many entertainment options and the built in fan is a godsend! The multiple TV channels cater to everyone and the music is not so loud that you can’t listen to your own if you prefer.

All this made me feel really at home and comfortable to trainwithout fear of embarrassment so I started running more regularly and for longer & longer until suddenly I was running 5k without struggling. Once I hit that I felt better about running outside but maintained the gym runs and leg exercises as well.

I completed my run on 20th May and raised £2826.46 for Parkinson’s UK, over 10 times my initial target! I don’t think I would ever have got off the mark without the gym so I am very grateful. I renewed my membership and am looking forward to getting back into swimming in the newly refurbished pools!

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