Local trainer Leeza Sullivan wants us to go back to basics

E17 personal trainer Leeza Sullivan overcame scoliosis and two life-changing back surgeries. Now, she’s teaching Waltham Forest residents how to move…

Many people working from home lack the luxury of proper desk space, with DIY desks often resulting in aches and pains.

The less we move, the stiffer we become, and with stiffness comes pain. The temptation is to sit still to help it pass, but doing this ends up hurting us more, restricting our range of movement.

Stretching and mobility is often overlooked by so many, but if you don’t move it – you will lose it! Take it from me, I know this for a fact.

My passion for health and fitness started over ten years ago, when I was diagnosed with a severe form of scoliosis (curvature of the spine). My spine curved at 80 degrees, when typical cases are between ten to 15 degrees.

Correctional surgeries that straightened my spine resulted in serious nerve damage and left me in a wheelchair. I completely lost the use of my left leg. Being just 17, I was heartbroken that my life had changed so drastically, and that I had lost my independence so soon.

I worked really hard with my physiotherapist, and learnt all there is to know about nerve and muscle communication. Finally, some six months later, there was the first sign of life in my left leg.

After that, my physio sessions were increased along with hydrotherapy (water therapy) to help me develop the communication and build back the lost muscle in my leg. Twelve months later, I took my first unaided steps. It was the best feeling of my life. 

Health and fitness became my passion. I traded in my corporate job as an office manager to pursue becoming a corporate personal trainer, to help sedentary office workers keep active, and keep aches and pains at bay.

The idea to stream live from Facebook came after the second lockdown was announced. So many people had reached out about sore necks, shoulders, hips, legs and feet.

I decided to keep it going after receiving messages of thanks and seeing more people reach out with their ‘pain points’. Over the last six weeks, I have made some lovely connections with strangers – here in the borough and around the country. They say I’ve made a massive difference to their lives, and still turn up every day to move it!

All that the majority of us need to live pain free is an effective stretch routine and decent desk set-up. It’s so satisfying to know people experience less pain because of my videos.

Watch Leeza’s Facebook Live sessions here