Lynne started going to BMF classes ten years ago, before she was diagnosed with Lupus. When a new BMF park opened at Fisherrow Links in Musselburgh in July 2015, she decided to go along and see if outdoor exercise classes could help her manage her condition.
“I really enjoyed doing British Military Fitness before, and was really sad to give it up when I became ill. As I became better, I thought perhaps I could manage it. The new park being set up encouraged me to give it a try. The trial session showed me that I could in fact do it; the fact it was a new venue meant that everyone was new and in a similar boat.”
Lupus is an autoimmune condition where the body mistakenly attacks itself rather than viruses, leading to a range of symptoms including skin problems, joint pain and fatigue. For Lynne, it has meant tablets and treatments, and listening to her body to know when to stop. Although she has to deal with extreme tiredness, she says BMF has been a big help.
“Doing exercise is good for my energy levels – it’s a mistaken assumption that if you are struggling with energy, even with a chronic condition, you shouldn’t try to stay energised. You should. It’s also actually good for pain control, as weird as that may sound. The pain from a BMF class is nothing compared to the pain I’d feel if I didn’t do it.”
Lynne has an administrative role in the NHS, but spends all her free time out with her dogs, running, cycling or doing BMF.
“With BMF, the fact it is a group activity also helps. It’s such a supportive environment, better than doing a run on your own. We are a group of friends now, who enter races together and egg each other on. One thing just leads to another!”
In fact, when we spoke to Lynne she was in the middle of buying a bike for the Rat Race Coast to Coast cycle in Scotland next year – something she really didn’t envisage herself doing. She credits the instructors with being able to foster an inclusive and encouraging atmosphere.
“The instructors are fantastic – clearly so well trained. They take into account everyone’s abilities and restrictions and make sure to accommodate everyone. We all have different days. There’s a lady in her 60s in my group, who has a knee injury – she can still participate in everything, within her limitations.”
“Of course, they are still there to push you – they don’t take any sob stories!”
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