Tom’s e-mail inviting me to attend an ARNI seminar to learn more of his work in stroke rehabilitation, immediately had my attention and interest. As a Personal Trainer who’s work includes helping diabetics, people with joint mobility problems, those who are overweight or more often, a combination of all three, I could see that there may be potential crossover benefits. Moreover, having seen the effect of a stroke first hand in my own family, I was all too aware of the current lack of facilities available in the local community area, in terms of practical help in longer term rehabilitation.
I wasn’t disappointed. Tom’s enthusiasm and knowledge for his work, based on his personal experience, was evident from the start. Not only was he highly informative (and entertaining!), but a presentation from a neuroscientist really put the meat on the bones in terms of explaining more about how the brain responds to a stroke and how it can adapt to help in rehabilitation. However, I have to admit that most of my personal admiration went to the two people who, having worked with Tom for a while now, were testament to the fact that his techniques can really help people in their recovery after a stroke, not just in being able to carry out their daily lives, but also in underpinning their motivation, determination and self confidence in their ability to succeed in the longer term.
Am I looking forward to part 2? Absolutely, not only because I think that to be able to offer a service which can be of a true practical use to someone, should be supported and encouraged, but also because I really enjoyed learning more about this particular subject. Many articles are written in terms of how we can reduce our likelihood of a stroke, but very few appear in the media on what happens after, particularly in terms of where to go for practical help. I would urge any other REPS level 3 Personal Trainer to support the continued work of the ARNI charity by attending Tom’s seminars and qualifying as a trainer so that people in your own area, who are recovering from a stroke,can be given the opportunity to regain as good a quality of life as is possible for them.
Liz Fowler: I work as a Personal Trainer in and around Cambridge, Suffolk, and parts of Essex. All my details are listed on the website for the national register of personal trainers (www.nrpt.co.uk). As well as private clients, I teach circuit training, Pilates and mobility for those with joint problems, such as arthritis. I am currently working on my REPS level 4 qualification, as well as being a Mum of 4 children, or 6 if you include my husband and our Great Dane!