When Micheline Clancy came to the realisation two years ago that she was actually the one placing obstacles in the way of her own happiness, she decided to make changes to her life.
“I was unhappy, I was putting on more and more weight and had to use an electric chair as I could not push myself any distance in a manual chair,” recalls 35-year-old Micheline.
“I felt I needed a change in my life. I met the right fitness instructor and it went from there.
“I was going through a bad time for a long time, saw post on Facebook about boxercise and thought I would like that and would try to get fit.
“I started off in Fitness Factory in Ratoath, Co. Meath with a personal trainer, June Crawley who adapted exercises for me.
“June became my hero and inspiration throughout this time. She pushed me to join a gym, Tone Zone Gym in the National Aquatic Centre, to avail of more equipment and be more independent by doing my own workouts.”
Micheline, who is now back in a manual wheelchair, completed the Darkness into Light run for Pieta House last year and completed the VHI Women’s Mini Marathon this year.
“I am much happier now, there has been a great sense of achievement. I am still a work in progress but I now love the gym and exercise – I get up in the morning and the first thing I do is go to the gym!
“Before exercise was not a big thing for me, it was a big effort and I had no interest in it. Now, I am addicted to it and it is part of my life,” she says.
“I can now see the importance of it and I can see changes it has made. Not only has it changed my fitness, but it has been great for my emotional and mental well-being.
“Now, I want to promote it and help other people and let them know how easy it is and how important it is. I am exercising and eating healthily and it is benefitting my overall health and I would recommend it to anyone.”
By taking steps to lose weight and get fit, Micheline says that she is taking control of every aspect of her life and found that setting goals has helped her along the way.
“My next goal is a skydive! Darkness into Light and the Women’s Mini Marathon were also challenges. However, the biggest one was to go on SBHI’s SHINE respite programme away week to England this summer.
“I could not go last year because I was still in my electric chair. I really wanted to go so it was an incentive to me to keep up my exercising and healthy eating and aim to get myself back into a manual chair.
“It was such a sense of achievement to be able to go and it was an amazing experience and I was able to do all the adventure activities, even zip wiring!
“I now know that a person themselves places obstacles in their way. When I had all the weight I found it hard to transfer myself from chair, now I can do it myself and do not need any assistance.”
Micheline has always been an independent person; she has lived in her own apartment for the last nine years and now that she has done so much in the last two years to improve her health and mobility, she wants to help others to do the same.
“I recently qualified as an executive life coach and I am in the process of setting up my own business. I want to help motivate other people by working with them on personal goals and what they want to achieve,” she says.
“I have found that yoga, meditation, and mindfulness they have helped me big time. I have also done a number of positivity workshops.
“I am now doing a lot of speaking in that area. My passion is to help others and it is great that I am now following my passion.”