TRURO, N.S. – After several hip operations, Emma Cox was convinced she’d never again be able to walk around the track at the Rath-Eastlink Community Centre.
Then she read a story that inspired her.
“I read about the man with two prostheses (Mike Shaw) and thought if he can do that I can too,” she said. “It’s so easy to make excuses for yourself but I’m so glad I came. Staff walked with me first, and now it’s something that’s in me. I feel I have to go.”
Cox was very athletic when she was young so it feels good to be active again.
“There’s no pressure here; you can go whatever speed is comfortable,” she said. “The fellowship is also wonderful. I’ve met a lot of new people and got to see people I know again.”
Sharon Richard has been taking part in Walk-N-Roll since March, when the program began, and can now do 10 laps. She not only attends organized sessions, but comes almost every day to walk.
“It’s as a result of coming here, and knowing I could do it, that I began coming other days,” she said. “It’s given me more incentive. One of the biggest things I learned is to pace myself – walk and rest, walk and rest.”
Richard had a stroke four years ago and had a pacemaker installed. She’s gone through knee replacement, and recently found out she’s diabetic.
“Thank God I was already coming here and walking because it’s helping me with the diabetes.
“I think the social aspect is also wonderful. I’ve made some friends and the team here is fantastic.”
Beckey Langille, a geriatric clinician at the seniors clinic, said the idea was adopted at the RECC when they saw how much a Walk-N-Roll program in the Annapolis Valley was helping people. There are about 12 people who drop in to take part each week.
“This is for people with impaired mobility,” said Langille. “Some people think they can’t exercise because they’re unsteady on their feet or don’t have much endurance, but there’s no pressure to do more than is comfortable. If someone doesn’t have their own walker, we have rollator walkers here they can use.”
The last session before the Christmas holidays was a week ago, and several participants wore festive outfits and decorated walkers. A couple even had plush toys playing Christmas music.
The program was set up through a partnership between the Nova Scotia Health Authority and the RECC.
The new session starts Jan. 2 and runs each Tuesday, 2:30-3:30 p.m. There is no need to register ahead of time; people can just drop by and join in.
For more information call 902-896-2609.
Truro man wants to be an inspiration for others