After 25+ years of regular running, Holly Dunn signed up with a personal trainer. Over the next couple of years, her trainer Adrian Veinot worked with her on strength and mobility training with the goal of building her core and strengthening her arms, her abs, her glutes. Running became easier, and Holly says she felt stronger, more agile and able to exercise longer.

“I thought I was doing everything I could when I was running, but personal training opened up tons of new options, and a new level of fitness,” she explains. “I started to feel really strong all over, with better posture, toned arms and stronger glutes.”

Then one day, while doing step-ups, Holly’s Achilles tendon ruptured. Not knowing what had happened, Holly went to the ER, where she learned it would take about a year to recover and return to her current mobility.

After surgery to repair the tendon, Holly wore a cast for several weeks, and then worked on putting more weight on the injured leg. She walked with crutches, then a cane. As an active person, she was eager to get moving, but frustrated when she found herself unable to walk far.

“I realized how much I took walking for granted. All I wanted to do was go out and walk my dog, but I just couldn’t do it. It was a real wake up call.”

Three months’ post-surgery, Holly returned to the gym to see her personal trainer Adrian. After consulting with Holly’s physiotherapist, Adrian designed workouts to help Holly regain her balance and stability and build strength in the rest of her body. Holly was also keen to burn off the 15 lbs she gained while stuck on the couch.

Adrian coached Holly to stop worrying about falling, to look up and ahead when she walked. “The ground is always down” was his familiar mantra, with the goal of helping Holly build her confidence to walk without a cane.

With regular training and stationary biking three times a week, Holly started to feel better. She stopped using her cane and continued working on her leg muscles and glutes to improve her stride and get rid of her limp. She gradually lost the extra weight and carefully returned to running.

“It took time, but personal training was an amazing outlet for me. It was a proactive step to build my strength and get back to normal. Adrian was with me every step of the way, and adapted my workout based on feedback from my physio. He also pushed me just enough to help me progress. It was a real team effort.”

Two years later, Holly says she’s further ahead than she was when the injury struck. With Adrian’s help, her Achilles injury has fully recovered and she hits GoodLife Fitness Park Lane five days a week for BODYPUMP and CXWORX classes, plus two days of personal training.

“I’m back to where I was, only better. Fitness is part of my life and a great break for me. Working with a personal trainer has taught me I’m strong, I can do almost anything, and I can push through setbacks.”