Seven years ago Goldster member Jill was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. It was six months after her Dad had died and her Mum had had 3 strokes just before her Dad died. “My mental health just plummeted and I felt as if I was falling down a well and unable to find any handholds to claw my way back up.”
In addition to this, she’s had a number of other physical health problems over the years. She was diagnosed with osteoarthritis in her lower spine, before having her children, and is borderline osteoporotic. She had a few accidents at work, including dislocating her shoulder and more recently, she pulled ligaments in her foot and ankle leaving her unable to walk for months. She also caught COVID-19 for the third time, was diagnosed with long Covid and four and a half years ago had a hernia operation, after which there were issues with her stomach healing.
“I can’t remember when I found Goldster but I am very glad that I did,” she says. “I have done classes with all the trainers, and although James and Duncan are both nice, I found myself more in tune with Tim, so I have stuck with him and am actually feeling good in myself. I am really enjoying the Resistance Training Classes which has totally surprised me and do his routines during the week in my own time when I suddenly feel like it.” She adds that she can now walk properly, after Goldster and Tim’s help, and that she can even run up and down stairs without needing the bannister “which is absolutely amazing! I am so glad I found Goldster, it’s made such a difference to my life, I am getting stronger, and not only in physical strength, but in myself too.”
Emma has also found herself blossom and achieve more than she imagined after joining the Creative Writing and Poetry classes. “Thanks to the encouragement of both tutors and members, I had the courage to submit a poem for the ‘Baton of Hope’ campaign,” she relates. “The biggest suicide awareness and prevention initiative the UK has seen. The Project Manager liked it and asked me to write a special poem for the handcrafted baton which I did and he liked that too. So I got to read both poems at the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre stop on the final day of the London tour.”
She followed this with a prize giving in Barking by Pen to Print – who she’d been a poetry judge for, having won their competition last year. “Again thanks to Goldster encouragement.” She also found that she’d walked 13 and a half miles (half a marathon) and climbed 31 flights of stairs. “All down to classes with Tim, Duncan, James and Hannah! Huge thanks to all at Goldster,” she concludes, “I really appreciate all that you do.”
Sam is another Goldster superhero, having been through both breast and uterine cancer, and then developing fibromyalgia. She left her job “I couldn’t do it anymore,” she was formerly in the police force. “I’m in remission now.”
As someone with varied health issues, Sam has particularly enjoyed partaking in Goldster’s nutritional classes and courses. As a result she has overhauled what she eats. “I’m on a cholesterol-lowering diet now, because I can’t take statins, so again I watch the nutrition club and get involved with that. I make my own bread now and I cook nearly everything from scratch. I do have the occasional bit of ultra-processed stuff. But yes, everything I do, I’m thinking, ‘This is my health.’
In terms of the exercise classes, Sam is especially keen on Tai Chi, yoga and Qi Gong. She recommends not feeling overwhelmed by the amount on offer and not feeling under pressure to do everything. She tends to dip in and out, which has helped her establish a routine. She also uses the recordings to participate at times that are comfortable and suitable for her. “The instructors are really good,” she continues. “That said if you can only do 10 minutes or 15 minutes, then just do that. But I think a lot of us feel better if it’s recorded. I’ve sometimes used one class and gone back to it about three times just to finish it off.”
She feels it’s the range of activities on offer at Goldster that is really impressive. “There’s usually something for everybody and I can’t see anybody not liking something on it. What it can do for you, on all three of those aspects – physically, mentally and emotionally, is absolutely fantastic.” Sam suggests trying it for a minimum of three months. “Even if you try it for three months, I think you will end up keeping it. Because it’s just absolutely, absolutely great. And you get all these different courses and programmes right down to the self-massage, the face yoga. I think I’ve tried most of them and they’re all great. So just go for it!”
We couldn’t say it better ourselves.