I’m Robyn and I’m proud to be part of this amazing community known as Red Balloons.
Fitness and health is my passion and has been since I was 14. Little did I know, at 17 I would discover something that would change my life forever. While taking part in a fitness test at college, I became very unwell and was advised to see a doctor. The diagnosis did not take long, I was told I had a BICUSPID AORTIC VALVE and within months I was going for open heart surgery to replace this.
Now if this sounds traumatic happening to someone once their lifetime, try have it happening twice… within the space of 5 years. Yes, that’s right; unfortunately my first valve replacement failed after 5 years and was told I was going to have to go through the whole procedure again.
This was devastating, not only physically but mentally. I would say this is when I first began having true feelings of anxiety. You can imagine, I literally thought my life was being ripped apart .. AGAIN. I was at university and did not want my studies impacted. Some university friends perhaps did not truly understand the gravity of the matter which made taking about it difficult, I did not want my family to worry therefore I wouldn’t share my fears or concerns with them, there was times I simply cried on my own as I was so terrified.
If we jump to post surgery (the second one), yes I was aware of the rehabilitation process but this time I was on my own for a lot of it as I opted to return to university 8 weeks post surgery to ensure I completed my final year. However, those who I lived with were amazing and my partner was a great support too. It was the simple things like going out for a walk with me that really helped me become me again (if that makes sense)? I felt like, I had lost my sense of humour, my personality and my body! It wasn’t until I began getting back out for my walks, getting back into the gym that I realised how much of me fitness and health truly is.
Now 5 years down the line, my physical health and mental strength is stronger than ever! I am a qualified lecturer now in health and care, working as a fitness instructor and most recently newly qualified run leader for RED BALLOONS!