eighteen months ago Tony Maher lay in hospital digesting the news he had just been told - and he wasn’t too happy to say the least.
Tony, a keen sportsman all his life, had just been told that this body was seizing up through arthritis and that at a minimum his right ankle would need to be ‘fused’ and his right knee replaced.
While not life threatening, the news left him wondering what to do next.
“I was a bit upset but I also knew that I had been struggling for a while with the pain and even walking was a bit difficult. Being a little overweight I reckoned wasn’t helping either, so I decided to do something about it.
“I always loved training so I got involved again, I couldn’t do any impact exercises such as walking and running, so I took up cycling with a few lads from Edenderry and Rhode called Team 905.
“I enjoyed it, but cycling wasn’t enough. I met a guy called Joe Quinn. I was inspired by his story, he literally came back from the dead. Joe’s story is familiar to a lot of people, especially GAA fans and I sought him out.
Joe developed a programme for Tony based on his age and condition. “I went to his gym in Clara and he personally supervised me through a series of exercise and weights which has greatly helped me and most importantly of all, improved my quality of life.”
Tony is now living in Tullamore and recently joined Tullamore Cycling Club where he finds the weekly spins a big help. He has also joined the gym in the Tullamore Court Hotel and hopes to start playing golf again with the aid of a buggy.
There is no cure for arthritis, but Tony feels that his quality of life has dramatically improved through exercise and fitness. His doctors have approved his new regime.
“It just goes to show that there is something for everyone if you look hard enough. I never thought my life could begin again at 60!”