I bent down to pick up Angel, my aging fox terrier, and just twisted that little bit. I felt a sharp pain in my lower back. My little friend only weighed about 8 kilos but it was the twisting that did it. A bulging disc.

That was the start of a seven-year ordeal of x-rays, doctors’ appointments, Voltaren and Valium.

Turns out I have a congenital condition in my sacrum – basically it’s in one piece; where for most people it’s a 3-5 piece jigsaw. Over time, arthritis was setting in and the bulging disc was hurting.

I was living with pain at about an 8 out of 10 severity level.

Eventually I was told that my back just wasn’t going to get any better. I would need surgery.

I did not like the sound of that – at all.

In May 2019, at Australia Post, I had participated in MOVE Training. My trainer was Roslyn Hendry and she did a terrific job with us in the activity.

At first, I thought it was just another program I had to do and that I already moved pretty well.

But by the time I was staring at surgery I had nothing to lose and decided that I would invest in Move 4 Life’s 60-second challenge every day – in fact, a few times each day.

Four months later I was no longer taking medication and today I am pain free!

Up, up and away …

I love to travel and I take Move 4 Life with me.

Pre-COVID-19, on a plane to Europe, I was really worried about how my body would handle it. So I took Move 4 Life with me. I had my routine – watch a movie, get up and do my Move 4 Life – repeat multiple times over 16 hours. I felt great when I got there and was rearing to go!

In Iceland my husband and I explored the blue caves, the volcanoes and the glaciers. We walked for miles and miles. It was really great. Having Move 4 Life has given me that active life again.

At work I’m a pretty active Postal Manager. I like to serve on the counter with my team and that means a lot of physical work – and standing for long periods in the same position. Over the years Australia Post had taught us how to lift. But it was just ‘bend your knees’ kind of stuff. Move 4 Life taught us to stick out butts out. Now we do the squats whenever we’re picking up parcels. Rather than “bend your knees”, I now say “bum out as you please”. We also learned about Fish Wings and lots more.

As a team, when we’re getting a little stiff after a couple of hours work we do the 60-second Investment together. No-one seems to hurt themselves in our office. We’re all about the same age – I hit that big 50 milestone last year – and none of us has injuries or niggles.
After so many years of living with pain, the severity of my pain now is zero.

Move 4 Life has given me that active life again.

After so many years of living with pain, the severity of my pain now is zero.

The great outdoors …

I went camping recently, sleeping in a swag on the floor in the freezing cold. I thought: “this is going to really test me”. But I felt fine. I know it’s because of the way I move now and being more aware of my body.

If I couldn’t go camping anymore because of my pain I think I would be really disappointed in myself. I know my husband loves that life and we have a working dog that loves the bush as well. It just wouldn’t be me if I couldn’t go out.

R U Ok? …

The other big thing is the impact on my mental health – it was a real challenge. I couldn’t focus. It was terrible. When you are in pain your world is a bit fuzzy. All you want to do is focus on one thing and move on, so you don’t see what is around you.

At home I was taking medication but during the day I would only take Panadol and it’s not the same. I suppose I just didn’t want to move as much because that twist or that single turn of my body might flare something off. So when my pain was really bad I didn’t actually go to work – I had sick leave. That’s why I had to do something – because you can’t live like that.

Once I started doing the 60-second Investment every day I knew that I could keep it up. It is just part of me now. When I go for long walks or ride my bike I don’t feel any pain at all.

More to do …

Move 4 Life has given my body a reboot!

It really wasn’t much of an effort and it’s completely worth it. Mentally and physically now I’m going really well.

There is so much more activity and more to do on the back of this. Once COVID is over I am back out there in the world again!

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