Kate Staples: The Boot Camp - Overcoming adversity

Former athlete and Gladiator and now all-round fitness guru, Kate Staples looks at how exercise can transform your life

Originally published in Surrey Life magazine September 2009Former athlete and Gladiator and now all-round fitness guru, Kate Staples looks at how exercise can transform your lifePeople decide to exercise for many different reasons: to look better, to feel more energised and to meet new friends, to name but a few. Many, however, turn to exercise to help rebuild their lives after a trauma. Through running fitness boot camps across Surrey, my trainers and I have been lucky enough to be privy to some amazing stories of triumph over adversity. Speaking from my own personal experience of serious injury, I have found the power of outdoor exercise can really help to re-establish a rhythm to your life and motivate you both mentally and physically. One recent attendee's story is a real inspiration. Having been diagnosed with breast cancer and undergone a bi-lateral mastectomy, she lost all of her upper body strength, gained 20lb and was feeling very low about herself. At her first boot camp session, even the simplest exercise required a huge effort and she was understandably very upset. An inspiring story However, after nine months of sheer, extraordinary determination, she began to regain her strength and self-belief and can now do 31 press-ups in a minute! Almost all of the weight she put on has gone and she feels happier because she is back in a body she can feel comfortable in. Her incredible journey has inspired myself, our trainers and all of the ladies on our camps and I feel extremely lucky to have been a part of it. Overcoming a setback is not about beating yourself up for what you cannot achieve, it is about keeping the determination to continue and building a solid base from which to move forward, however slowly that may be. Trying to achieve this on your own, however, is extremely difficult. The benefit of having a supportive peer group and someone to help you through the tough times cannot be underestimated. Exercise can test our bodies, our hearts and our minds and I believe it can genuinely transform lives - it is amazing what you can achieve if you can keep the commitment and the motivation to succeed. As Mahatma Gandhi once said: "Strength does not come from physical capacity, it comes from an indomitable will." See you next time!

Kate Staples runs Adventure Boot Camps across the South East. For details, see www.fitnesscamp.co.uk

If you've got a fitness query for Kate Staples, get in touch with us at the Surrey Life forum, or by joining us on Facebook and Twitter

Comments powered by Disqus