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Member Spotlight: Dennis Bootland

Member Spotlight: Dennis Bootland

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My name is Dennis Bootland and I joined Planet Fitness on the 11th January 2018 and I’d like to tell you my story about what made me decide to join Planet Fitness and my journey for the last 32 weeks which has been remarkable.

For the majority of my life I have always been a very fit active individual. For decades I was very much involved in Martial Arts covering all areas from student, competitor, to instructor, becoming proficient in three different styles. I was also very much involved in Kickboxing and at one stage in my career I was ranked as the second contender for a crack at the NSW Kickboxing Cruiser-weight title where in the late 1970’s my fighting weight was 83.5kg, just a little to heavy for the light heavyweight.

My life changed dramatically in early 2000 when I contracted Cardiomyopathy (enlarged heart), where life became a lot harder. I had to learn to function with this heart condition and as a result I slowly became less active and started to put on weight. In 2011, I had two of my heart valves replaced although well medicated, my life became much easier to manage.

Unfortunately after all the years of body contact training it took it’s toll on my joints. When I was diagnosed with severe osteoarthritis throughout my entire body in 2002 which caused me to have two half knee replacements, shoulder surgery and my last surgery was in May 2016 where I had an operation called a Triple Arthrodesis where I had my right foot straightened. To achieve this they placed two screws up through my heal into my ankle and they then inserted two metal plates one each sides of my foot and including the screws in my heal there are a total of thirteen screws holding my foot in position. This operation left me with a level of discomfort, no side way movement in my ankle, a balance issue I tend to veer right and less pain than I had before but the most important thing is it has given me back my mobility which I steadily lost since retiring in 2013.

After the last operation I thought my life would never get any better and would possibly only get worse until I stepped on the scales in January 2018 and weighed in at 147.2kg, the heaviest I have ever been in my life and I was at my wits end not knowing what to do and then my wife handed me a flyer from Planet Fitness which she found in the mail box.

I read the flyer and decided to see if they could help me and the rest is history! I made the call to Planet Fitness and spoke to a young women called Hayley, who is now my personal trainer. I made an appointment to see her the next morning, she listened to what I had to say and then I asked, did she think she could help me and she said YES!

Hayley was true to her word, she started me on a 4 week program, 3 days per week and now I have just started my 5th program. Apart from the first, the rest have been 6 week programs for 4 days per week.

I have my life back thanks to Hayley and loving it! I now train four days a week in the gym for three hours a day and play golf two days a week and the thing is that after 32 weeks I have lost a total of 44kg. This weight lose I was planning to loose over a 12 month period but achieved it in just 6 months! Absolutely amazing and an excellent result for both Hayley and myself.

I have now adjusted my total weight lose goal to 60kg within 12 months from the date I joined Planet Fitness which gives me a further 16kg to loose within the next 5 months. Just to give me something to aim and work towards, apart from my heart condition, chronic osteoarthritis pain in all my joints and my frozen right foot / ankle and the balance issue that it has caused. I am feeling bloody fantastic!

Dennis and I started PT at the beginning of this year, straight away I could tell that Dennis was an incredibly strong willed man, who was determined to make a significant change with his health. Dennis did not have to be told by his family, his doctor, his cardiologist or myself to make a change, he knew it himself. Dennis started his first program, and I remember him saying “Hayley, can you not put too many exercises up the stairs, because I find it difficult to get up there”. Around 6 months later, Dennis is up and down the stairs, completing battle ropes, ball slams, cardio and weights! The benefits of exercise for Dennis have extended much further than weight loss alone, Dennis has improved his functional capacity meaning he is more mobile, and gets less fatigued, which will allow Dennis to go on a holiday with his partner Trish in the New Year! He has also returned to playing social golf again! I am beyond proud of Dennis and his achievements made at Planet Fitness, he is a caring, funny, determined and a loving man, I congratulate Dennis and encourage him to share his story loud and with pride.

– From your PT and friend, Hayley