When I was 70, I sprained my knee very badly and was on crutches for six weeks. After that, I tried to be as inactive as possible to protect my knee. Big mistake. For the next five years I hobbled around with a walking stick. But my luck changed at 75, when I first met Caroline Clarke.
I was then physically extremely hesitant, scared to get onto the floor in case I couldn't get up again. The bad knee was always bent and could not straighten. Caroline worked patiently with me for months, until one amazing day I got down onto the floor all by myself and, with help, got up again. With her support, I gained strength and flexibility week by week until I could get down onto the yoga mat and back up again without panic - or human assistance.
Now much more confident, I started to feel I was getting younger although I was older! Then a second landmark occurred. One day, my walking stick went to Penzance, but I got off the train at Plymouth. I didn't notice. I didn't realise for weeks! Several years have passed since then, and I still don't need a stick.
Shielding slowed me down and stiffened me up, but, once I was double-vaccinated, increased exercise and encouragement soon brought my activity levels back to normal. These seven years working with Caroline have taught me that movement is essential for flexibility and healing. Now, if I have a horrible twinge like the one a few weeks ago, I don't think it's the end of the world as I know it, I go and see Caroline instead! She always prescribes the right programme of exercises. That twinge disappeared and, thanks to the exercises, my bent knee is much straighter.
I am 82 now, the client in the exercise video. It seemed logical to use someone who really is old and needs to make an effort to do the exercises to prove that, repeated regularly and over time, they are restorative. I am genuinely more flexible now than I was at 70, don't use a stick and can get up off the floor without fuss.