Kick-ass GRAN

At 64, Sharon’s putting her size sev­ens through old age...

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Since be­ing di­ag­nosed with arthri­tis 10 years ago, my joints had been stiffer than my evening G&T.

‘I feel an­cient,’ I wailed to my hubby, Al­wyn, 63, as I inched my way to the sun lounger.

We had a hol­i­day home in Tur­key we’d visit a cou­ple of times a year.

But not even sun and cock­tails could perk me up.

The only thing that could com­fort me was food. Cor­net­tos and Big Macs usu­ally calmed me down if I got up­set with it all.

I had a lov­ing, sup­port­ive hus­band and eight mar­vel­lous grand­chil­dren, but still I was de­pressed.

I couldn’t shake the mis­ery.

At 59, I felt ready for the scrapheap. And you’d need a crane to get me on it, as

I was 11st 8lb at 5ft 2in! ‘Come on, Mum, let’s go to Terkan’s gym,’ my son, Carl,

39, sug­gested when he flew over to visit us in Tur­key in Oc­to­ber 2013. The Kick­box Club? ‘Not a chance,’ I laughed, try­ing to find ex­cuses. ‘I’ve got no gear!’ Carl was a lean ma­chine, a for­mer Brit cham­pion at Thai kick­box­ing.

‘Just give it a go,’ he urged. ‘All you need is a pair of leg­gings.’

It sounded ridicu­lous to me.

I was a gran, for good­ness’ sake!

I’d be damned if I was the type to just knit, bake and snooze, but this was push­ing it!

But, that af­ter­noon, there I was, giv­ing the bag a few wal­lops and a lit­tle kick. I must’ve looked stupid, but I walked out with a smile.

A few weeks later, back home in Eng­land, it all seemed like a dis­tant me­mory.

Then I re­mem­bered how good that class had made me feel.

So, I headed to Touch­gloves, four miles down the road.

I must’ve been the old­est per­son there by about 20 years!

But I didn’t let it stop me. I was do­ing car­dio and learn­ing how to kick and punch prop­erly.

‘Kick­box­ing? You?’ chuck­led my grand­daugh­ter, Amani, eight.

‘I’m a cool gran now,’ I laughed, un­daunted.

Soon, I was go­ing three times a week, pow­er­ing through two classes in one night!

I was do­ing squat jumps, burpees, jump­ing jacks – and that was just my warm-up!

Five years on, I’m only a year off my pen­sion and bus pass, but I’m the hap­pi­est and health­i­est I’ve ever been. I’ve lost more than 3st and gone from a size 16 to an 8.

‘You’re the fittest one in the whole fam­ily,’ Al­wyn joked.

Cer­tainly, my arthri­tis is no longer giv­ing me gyp.

I still get aches and pains, but I’m off the med­i­ca­tion.

It knows bet­ter now than to mess with ‘Thai Kick­box­ing Gran’, as I’ve called my­self on a Face­book page I set up, where I post videos of me in the ring.

You lose a bit of con­fi­dence in your­self when you get older, but I hope I’m liv­ing proof that you can box clever at any age. Sharon Garner, 64, Pen­zance, Corn­wall

Me and a mate be­fore I got mov­ing

I’ve booted out my blues!

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