Elisabeth Johannessen is making new and crucial decisions. Her car is going to be sold to the highest bidder and by the end of the year her new electric bicycle will be carrying her around. “I live in the town center with everything nearby. I will be primarily be using it to go to and from training. I hope Christmas this year is different than last years. I can barely remember anything from last year, other than the pain that I was in. All I remember is this dark haze. The rest has been washed away,” the 58-year-old tells us. She now has a much more positive outlook on most things.
Now living on disability, Elisabeth had to throw in the towel in 2013. She finally came back ashore after 28 years as a waitress on the ferry from Oslo to Kiel. A demanding position, the constant pain she was feeling eventually became unbearable. “I have fibromyalgia, arthritis, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis and irritable bowel syndrome. Everything hurt. I also used to train, but it was every once and a while. This time around I had a conversation with my general practitioner Hans Jacob Gravdal and we concluded that I should use training instead of pills,” Elisabeth tells us. “That decision has turned my life upside down for the better.
Hiking and the treadmill
Elisabeth and her hiking buddies are ready to start a new trail when the church bells ring on Sunday afternoon. “We are a small group that goes out every Saturday and Sunday that we can. Throughout, there are two interval exercises up here at the clinic. I have trained since the 1st of February and will not quit when my annual subscription expires. I have also been very happy here since my very first day. It was important to get to know my treadmill neighbor and the locker room talk is smooth and natural. I actually look forward to each and every one of the training exercises. This has not always been the case,” Elisabeth explains to us. A much happier Elisabeth to say the least.
Although Elisabeth’s disorders are chronic, the benefits from her “new” life minimize the pain from her “old” life. “At night when I am by myself to think and feel, I start to feel the pains in my neck, hips, right ankle, and shoulders. However, I currently do not give myself the opportunity to focus on these feelings too much. During the summer I am busy working in my community garden, where there is a lot of weeding and other yardwork that needs to be done. I crawl around on all fours and have a great time. I often travel, and also have my training as a big part of my life. And thankfully,” the 58-year-old tells us. She almost doesn’t dare us tell hat her biological age is 20. “It comes with responsibility you know.”
Elisabeth has really gotten to know how it feels to have several serious diagnoses but has adjusted her life so dramatically that she doesn’t give herself time to expierences these feelings. “It often hurts to train, including hiking all the trails and crawling on all fours in the garden. Nevertheless, it is much worse to let it go. I have been a waitress since I was 15 and a half and lifting heavy things and hard floors have taken their toll. Nevertheless, the training and the healthier diet have contributed to me living by better values across the board. The sum of all these factors have allowed me to live a better life,” Elisabeth tells us. “Last time I was at the doctor, I was given the nickname “role model student.”
There is little doubt that Elisabeth has taken control of her life. “There are many people here that suffer from the same health disorders. When I look forward to Christmas 2019, this one will be completely different than last years,” Elisabeth says. “It will most certainly be a beautiful white Christmas. And a final Christmas message to conclude, remember that I had a biological age of 70 when I started up with the training in February of last year. Nine months later, it is all the way down to 20. Not the worst,” ends Elisabeth.