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Richard Toner Guest Blog: Journey Through Fitness

  • Posted on May 27, 2021

“Don’t let your ego get in the way, everyone has to start somewhere.” Start small, work your way to your goal, show people what you are capable of. If I can do it then so can you.

Lockdown has been tough for many of us especially having to shield away from loved ones. It is hard not being able to go out to visit friends and family and have to keep a social distance from them, hopefully not for long and we are starting to see light at the end of tunnel.

Throughout the lockdown a lot of people had spare time to learn new things and developing new skills to keep themselves occupied such as practicing the guitar, baking, cooking, gardening, learning a new language, making videos on Tik Tok, virtual quizzes and exercising.

I still have college work to do which is keeping me busy every day as well as working out 3 – 4 days a week. My goal is to work up to 5 days, now that is a burner mentally and physically.

In this blog I am going to be talking about what inspired me to work out and how I keep fit with having Osteogenesis Imperfecta.

“I was worried what type of workouts I would be able to carry out at the gym and at home.”

Over the years I have not been very confident with my body and the way it looks especially with having a barrel chest, curved limbs and scoliosis spine. Having the severe type of Osteogenesis Imperfecta and using an electric wheelchair I thought I was not going to be able to do any form of physical exercising. For a long time, I could not find any information at all online to support my needs for keeping fit and build muscle mass. I happened to come across someone with the same condition as me from America on Facebook who does body building, he inspired me to try out different work out routines and told me to try creating my own routines. I was worried what type of workouts I would be able to carry out at the gym and at home. So, I began researching various gyms around local towns nearby my area that would be able to fulfil my needs to achieve my goals. My goal is to improve my core strength and my general fitness and wellbeing.

I have been attending various gyms for 2 years, one of them was a council owned gym, one private. I had to start somewhere, therefore I chose the council gym because I did not know where to start or what machines and equipment that I would be able to use, also the membership was affordable. I met with a PT (Personal Trainer) carrying out an assessment trying different equipment to see how much physical movement and strength I have. They created a workout plan which has all the workout routines that I can do on my own throughout each gym session. After a while I realised that the council gym was not suitable for me, I felt that there was not enough room to manoeuvre around and was worried that I might trip someone up while working out. During the first lockdown I worked out a bit at home using dumbbells and resistance bands to keep my strength up and reduce stress and anxiety to try get my mind off the pandemic. When the first lockdown began to ease, I started attending a private gym somewhere with more facilities to choose from and more room to manoeuvre around in the wheelchair.

“I always listen to my body making sure it is not overly tired or too sore to workout”

I am very careful and cautious when it comes to exercising, I always listen to my body making sure it is not overly tired or too sore to workout, I do not want to cause any injuries to myself such as breaking a bone. I use a variety of weights and resistance bands for different work out techniques these range from:

  • 5kg – 2kg Dumbbells

  • 2kg kettlebells

  • 2kg Bell bar

  • 2kg Medicine ball

  • Adjustable resistance bands

I am gradually increasing my weights as my core strength increases.

I have felt working out has benefited me over the years and I have proven myself wrong. I would recommend exercising to other people with Brittle Bones that want to start a journey in fitness.

If you want to experience my fitness journey, follow me on Instagram @richietoner.