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MTAN: Katie Jackson

MTAN: Katie Jackson

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Meet Lambton’s Member, Katie!

Have you always been involved in fitness or exercise? 
I have always been aware of how important exercise is and have always tried to have an exercise regime, however for a long time I saw exercise as a chore and something I did not want to do.

What brought you to Planet fitness? 
When I moved to Newcastle Planet became my gym because it was my friend Carmen’s gym. She had joined a great gym, plus it gives us extra time to catch up and chat – win-win situation.

Did you have a goal when you first joined?
When I joined 5 years ago, I had moved to Newcastle 3 months prior – moving/buying house & work took priority, and exercise fell by the wayside for a while. When I joined Planet the goal was to regain my previous fitness level.

Have you reached a goal or have you achieved what you originally set out to do?
I have certainly regained and surpassed my pre-Planet fitness level. Other goals I’ve achieved at Planet include: learning to enjoying exercise, being fit enough to complete the 10km valley stampede, being able to return to my previous exercise regime following my initial relapse & subsequent diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis, being fit enough to complete the MS walk in 2014 & 2015, being fit enough to not only complete a 1000ft elevation hike at Yosemite National Park (despite my MS Diagnosis), but to pass “healthy” people from my tour while I was doing it.

What was your perception of Gyms/Health clubs before you joined? Has it changed after joining Planet Fitness?
I never used to enjoy exercise, in my old gym I was never confident enough to venture out of the group fitness rooms and complete weight exercises, I never felt I was pushed to be better and I rarely chatted with other members. Planet has changed this view entirely, I now feel motivated and I enjoy myself, which has increased my overall confidence. I now feel confident to have a chat to other members. The culture at Planet is also amazing. I never feel I shouldn’t be in the weights area, and never feel like I am being judged.

What are your fitness goals for the future?
My MS Diagnosis has changed a lot for me. Losing weight is a goal, however this has always been of great difficulty for me, as it is for many. Both my condition and the medications I take make weight loss difficult, no matter how much I exercise or how well I eat. It will always be a goal of mine, but it is no longer my top priority. My ongoing priority goals are to keep going & maintain my current level of fitness for as long as my body allows.

Biggest obstacles you have had to overcome on your fitness journey?
Being diagnosed with MS has been, and continues to be, a major obstacle in my fitness journey and my life. My MS causes me to have almost constant vertigo, weakness in my right leg, extreme fatigue and I over heat easily (which in turn leads to me lose feeling my legs and arms, and increases my vertigo). Learning how to exercise with my permanent symptoms has taken time. It was a psychological challenge to learn how to work hard when you don’t feel right. The ongoing challenge is learning to recognise my body’s limits when I push myself.

Do you have sources if inspiration? If so, what are they?
I have many sources of inspiration, the main ones are: Olivia and Cory – I have never had instructors that can keep me motivated, my MS – I’m a very stubborn person and refuse to let something invisible take me down, other people’s perception of the bigger girl’s level of fitness – I’m a fan of seeing surprised faces, it keeps me going!

Favourite quote?
“There will be a day I can no longer do this – today is not that day.”