It has given me a lifted outlook on life! – Irene
Irene is a 72-year-old female who lives alone in Sheffield. Irene attends Sheffield Cycling 4 All every Monday and Thursday. Irene rides a “Berkel bike” trike (Semi-Recumbent Tricycle), which uses your arms and legs to pedal. Irene loves this bike as she feels she’s working her whole body while feeling safe and solid on a low frame.
Irene’s day to day life includes being very social and active. Her main responsibility at home is looking after her pet cat and she looks after herself independently. She lives in an older person’s community with really supportive neighbours. One of her close friends lives right opposite, who attends the cycling group with Irene. One of Irene’s biggest worries is losing her ability to walk. Although going out and meeting friends is something she enjoys, this can also be overwhelming and bring anxiety.
One thing Irene said helps with her anxieties is going to the same or familiar places. This is part of why she loves cycling at Sheffield Cycling 4 All, as she goes every week to the same park and sees familiar, friendly faces and feels safe within the group. Another part of Irene’s life is coping with spinal injury which causes her to have poor balance. She said cycling was the way she dealt with this change in mobility stating, it improved her balance and strength and even made walking easier.
Irene’s goal is now to purchase her own trike! She wants to go on a cycling holiday at her friend’s holiday home in the country and cycle around the countryside. She said coming to the cycling group has given her the support and confidence to do this which didn’t seem possible before.
“It has given me a lifted outlook on life, helped me physically while being in a beautiful park”
“Physical, mental and social…it helps all three!”
Written by Grace Battye while on placement at Sport for Confidence and Sheffield Cycling 4 All in her 3rd year of an Occupational Therapy course at Sheffield Hallam University 2022.
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