It’s fair to say getting 365 Performance to call me in July last year was the best thing my husband has ever done for me.

For 7 years I had endured chronic pain and limited function in my right wrist, following a freak accident at work. This injury in 2006 had left me unable to fulfil my duties as a teacher, caused deep depression and resulted in me walking away from the career that I loved in 2009. I couldn’t carry books, marking was excruciating and things that used to take minutes seemed to take forever. At my lowest, I was severely depressed, my immune system suffered, I was always sick and getting out of bed seemed pointless.

The heaviest I could lift was 2kgs and when I attended ‘conventional’ gyms they politely told me I was wasting my time and should just stick to the bike and treadmill.

Needless to say by the time they had called I had pretty much given up on myself and my standard line was “I can’t do that”. When people think of teachers, they think of 12 weeks holidays and a 6 hour working day. They don’t see the hours outside school times. These involve physical, mental and emotional exhaustion; lesson preparation, exams, marking, professional training and development; and managing the welfare issues of students and families from a wide array of backgrounds. In an average day I deal with 100+ teenagers each with their own academic and behaviour issues.

Being happy and confident with one’s self makes dealing with these things so much easier. It seems to happen by osmosis but, working out helps reduce stress levels – I just feel better when I know I’ve done something for me. Life requires a strong, healthy mind and body.

365 Performance has given this and my career back to me. I am back full-time teaching and the pain I used to get from carrying books, long hours sitting at the computer or marking is a distant memory – anyone who sits at a desk for long hours can relate to the neck and shoulder pain I am talking about.

I am also able to do sport with the kids which is so much fun. My energy levels are higher which is crucial in a room of 28+ teenagers. I am more focused and when the day finishes, I still have the energy to push on with all that fun administration stuff. Not only that, it is a fabulous way to unwind at the end of a stressful day. BUT the very best thing is my stepdaughter is no longer able to beat me up.

My 365 Performance journey began very slowly. My fitness levels, coordination and body awareness were non-existent. However, the 365 Performance team and Richard from Activ Physiotherapy designed a specialised rehab program for me to get me started. I honestly think if they had thrown me straight in and I failed I would have given up straight away. When I began there were so many things I couldn’t do – I even had to be taught to breathe properly!!!! I approached everything with “I can’t do that”; and fear and frustration at how hopeless I was. But the staff and people at the box kept me going and taught me that it was OK to fail and the importance of not giving up. 12 months on, I can deadlift 50 kilos – a hell of a lot more than 2 kilos. And my mantras have changed “you can do it”, “don’t give up” and “I shouldn’t have that lolly” are some of the ones I use now.

I would (and do) recommend 365 Performance for anyone. CrossFit is the total package, regardless of your age, fitness level or profession. I think anyone who has a stressful job, works long hours or sits for long periods at a desk needs to meet the team at 365 Performance. These guys and the members make working out fun; they keep you focused and the nutritional advice is the best I have ever received. They will inspire you and make you want to do better – not for them but for yourself.