Marianne Kicks Goals!


When Marianne met Sophie in 2018 she told her “I want to be walking in a year.” Through a
tremendous amount of resilience and hard work she managed to do it in eight months.

Upon meeting Marianne you may be surprised to learn that beneath her bubbly personality and a great sense of humour, is a story in which she has had to overcome more than many of us can imagine.

In 2013 Marianne was diagnosed with a disorder that left her unable to walk and in a wheelchair. Unfortunately, it also meant that she had to move out of her and her husband Don’s home, and into a residential aged care facility. It was this experience that gave Marianne an incredible amount of motivation to walk again.

Noting the importance of resilience in her journey, Marianne explained that it was “the resilience to get from there to here, there wasn’t a plan, just an ‘I have to get out of here.’” Marianne started coming into the Healthy Connections clinic twice a week. Sophie explained, “at that point, she wasn’t able to walk and struggled to stand up unsupported.”

“We would do a lot of seated exercises, and gradually over time we got Marianne off a chair and onto a walker. As time went on, she got off the walker and now walks unsupported.”

“It’s been a year now since I left the aged care facility and moved into a retirement village. I have since moved from there and am in independent living with Don. I’ve done a 360 with my life in the last five years” Marianne said.

Nowadays Marianne walks often. She walks to the grocery store and walks a kilometre from her place to the Burnie Brae Centre. “It takes about 15 to 20 minutes, whereas before it would take me that long just to walk to the bus stop [about 200 metres].” Reflecting on her journey, Marianne is incredibly gracious. “I wouldn’t have got this far without Sophie and Renee in the gym, and Jodie and her mastery of the NDIS system.”

“Jodie has taught me to be my own powerhouse woman, in my own life.” When asked about her message for others Marianne stated “Exercise is really good for everyone, no matter what your age is, you don’t realise how important your muscles are until you lose them, and they’re hard to get back once they’re gone”

Marianne is continually kicking goals – she has recently bought her own unit and has just been awarded Exercise Physiology Client of the Year by Exercise & Sports Science Australia.

ESSA stated, “the 2020 ESSA Client of the Year award was created to try and take a year of uncertainty and high stress and finish it off with stories of positivity and heartwarming moments of triumph.”

“We received nominations from clients as young as 10 through to those in their 80s, with various health conditions and goals. This search for the client of the year truly painted a picture of how many of us continued to use exercise, under the supervision of an accredited exercise professional, to improve our physical and mental health during an unprecedented time,” said Zoe Bickerstaffe, ESSA Manager for Marketing and Communications.

“It was just too hard for the ESSA team to get past Marianne’s story and how exercise has completely transformed her life. She is such an inspiration,” added Zoe.

But that isn’t all, Marianne has also achieved another goal – she has recently purchased a unit here in Chermside with her husband Don. 

A big congratulations to Marianne for these achievements!