It's amazing how fate can take a hand in your life, but it sure did for me in 1988.
It was in that year that I was having all my problems; I had chronic back problem, my mild asthma became severe and I was being treated for what I thought was a groin strain. But after six physio sessions it wasn't getting better, so my GP sent me for an X-ray and then a surgeon for the results. He said I had arthritis of the hips and if I didn't give up my running and squash I would be needing replacement hips within 3 years.
Three days later I went to see a physiotherapist with my back problem and he came to the conclusion that my problem came from having a leg length discrepancy (one leg shorter than the other) and that it would only get worse if I continued with the sports. He advised me to exercise on a bike.
In the same week I was due to see a nurse for an asthma revue, and she suggested a two night stay in hospital. I was thinking that they might give me some allergy tests or maybe give me some breathing exercises to do, but no. All they did was put me on a treadmill and asked me to run. When I started breathing heavily someone said, "You’re an asthmatic." I gasped, "I know that's why I'm here!"
At that time I was using my two inhalers and I was hoping to cut down on my medication, but that wasn't to be. I went away with even more medication to add to my drawer which had now become rather full of pills, potions and creams. My disappointment was that there wasn't a plan B, just to take those drugs for the rest of life.
After taking the drugs for three months I put weight on and was in more pain than when I started. I felt lethargic and when my wife said I was getting ratty, I knew that I had to find an alternative to my daily drug intake.
My plan was to go back to college and do some courses on health and fitness so that I could get a better understanding of the human body. I finished doing over ten years of studying and training, and completed over twenty diplomas on health and fitness.
After the first year, with all the knowledge I had gained, I changed my diet which helped me to lose weight and gave me some energy back. I had some deep tissue massages to help loosen all those tight muscles that had built over many years. I did some specific strengthening and stretching exercises which helped the hips and back. I did some breathing exercises which helped the asthma and I cut my drugs down to a minimum. I now had my mojo back and I decided to start running marathons again.
When I was doing all my courses I never thought that it would give me a new career, I did it to improve my own health, but in 1996 a friend said, "Hey all those courses you have done, you should be able to sort my calf out." I did, and then he sent his wife in with a neck problem. When I treated her successfully she sent a friend along with foot pain. I now had a part time job.
We opened the Good Health Centre in 2006. My aim was to spend half of my working day in the shop, and the other half at the clinic.
I devised my own treatment called Medistone Bodywork and such has been the demand for the treatment that I now work in the clinic full time. I have had Medistone Bodywork accredited, and now I teach it to fellow therapists.
We opened up our second clinic in 2016, and now we have fourteen therapist and practitioners working their magic.
One of my regular clients said, if I ever retired she would come and throw a brick through my window! No worries there, I plan to work until I'm a hundred. It gives me great satisfaction when a client comes back for a second appointment, and says "I feel much better" or, "I'm pain free."
I think that I have the best job in the world.
On the sporting front, I have now completed 123 marathons in 50 countries, I am back on the squash court and I'm happy to say, with my own hips intact.
I hope I can be an inspiration to other people who have suffered ill health. With the N.H.S at breaking point we have to do more self care.