Dolphins Health Precinct is made up of some pretty amazing members and visitors. Every day we see familiar faces come through and a quick catch up lets us know that they are on track. Our friendly Customer Service Team don’t just open the door to an indoor heated aquatic centre, they open the door to your daily Aqua Aerobics class, the pool where you do your goal laps each day or to the hydrotherapy pool where you can work on your mobility and rehabilitation.
The gym turnstile is where you cross the threshold to the space where YOU are your primary focus. Here is where you work on your strength and cardio routine for better health management and ultimately life enjoyment. Group Fitness classes offer quality passionate instructors who will work you and motivate you and they also offer great social opportunities for like-minded people. Whether it be a 30 minute Sprint, 50 min Definition or one of our community rehabilitation classes such as Lungs in Action or SmartHearts, there is a class for you here at Dolphins Health Precinct.
We are lucky enough that another one of our beautiful members has been kind enough to share her journey with us and we would very much like to share this with you. Let us introduce you to Elaine Brophy. Her story will inspire you once you realise the challenges she had to overcome. Elaine never gave up and she just kept challenging herself and what she thought her physical barriers were.
Elaine Brophy – 55 years of age and Dolphins Health Precinct Member
When did you start coming to the Dolphins?
I started swimming at the Dolphins Aquatic Centre when it opened ten years ago. I have always loved the water since learning to swim in Malta aged ten. I have swum regularly all my life and when we moved to Australia in 2005 I became a swimming teacher at Murrumba Downs for a couple of years. I enjoy swimming laps its almost meditative swimming up and down and losing yourself for a while.
Why is keeping fit and healthy important to you?
I have always tried to fit exercise into my day somewhere even if it’s just walking the dogs. All my life I have exercised in some way or another like swimming, cycling and dancing. I love all those positive endorphins! I gave up refined sugars and processed foods seven years ago with no regrets except that I wish I had done it much earlier.
You have had an injury to your back?
Thirty years ago I injured myself lifting something heavy which caused two bulging discs L4 and L5. I was able to keep active due to the low impact sports but two years ago I managed to rupture these two discs doing yoga. I had major back surgery very quickly after that resulting in titanium screws, rods and baskets to replace my discs from L4 to S1. Afterwards I realised I faced a very long and hard road to recovery. With a lot of physio and persistence with my rehab I was back in the pool about three months post operative and slowly over the last two years swimming and then cycling have slowly rehabilitated me to a stage where I was forgetting my back on some days! I competed the March Charge Challenge last year raising $800 for Cancer Council swimming 1km every other day for a month – rehab and charity – boom!
So you are now a member of the gym, how does that feel?
Great, the long term goal was always to go in the gym as I needed to do some weight bearing exercise at my age but I was so scared, not knowing what I could and couldn’t do, what weights could I lift safely? Would I hurt the hardware in my back? Lots of questions I didn’t really know the answer to. Eventually I realised that I just had to face my fears and get in there and try.
I don’t think you should allow fear and circumstance stop you from achieving a healthy lifestyle so I bit the bullet and joined the Dolphins three months ago. I think the facilities are brilliant and absolutely love the atmosphere and the camaraderie when queuing up together for classes. Some of the ladies have even helped me to set up and dismantle my equipment during the classes, which has been wonderful. My Personal Trainer, Teneka Hyndman has become my guide and friend during some nervous moments as I negotiated my way around all the equipment. I do get some soreness and overdo it occasionally but I can’t damage my lower back, it’s just muscular and that is something a heat pack and rest can sort out. The fear has gone now and I enjoy tapping my card on the entry gate and getting in and on with my training there like everyone else!
(Above) Images of Elaine’s supportive screws and baskets after back surgery on her L4 and L5 discs.