Emma's story: Clubbercise changed my life after my arthritis diagnosis TwitterEmma’s Story In 2016 I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid arthritis which is an autoimmune disease. My left hip, back, pelvis, neck and hands get affected the most. Due to the chronic inflammation in my joints, I struggled with pain management and I became extremely depressed, I couldn’t exercise as every time I tried the pain was so bad I’d want to cry. That caused me to comfort eat, I put on weight and got even more depressed. This was psychologically challenging for me as I’ve always exercised and kept relatively fit and healthy. Towards the end of 2018, my friend Lisa told me she’d started Clubbercise with Mel. She said I should go with her and after a couple of months of her insisting, I thought why not! What happened after the first class I can’t even put into words, I totally fell in love with Clubbercise! The music, the dancing, the atmosphere and the people, it was such an adrenaline rush and I loved it. I took it at my own pace and with every class that passed I became happier and could do a little more every time. Clubbercise is my medicine and although it can never cure my condition, and I will still have flare ups and challenging periods of time, it is helping me manage not only my physical but mental health too. Unfortunately I had to have an operation which meant I couldn’t go to class for 6 weeks in April and I felt lost and sad. I was so motivated to get better to get back to Clubbercise. When I went back after my operation, Mel checked in with me and gave me some great advice; soon I started to feel fitter and healthier. I’ve lost weight, and I’m motivated to make better lifestyle choices. My partner and I try to go twice a week now when we can, I even find myself dancing to the songs at home. I’ve met the most amazing people at classes who make Clubbercise so much fun, they inspire me so very much and I’ve made some great friends. Tuesdays and Wednesdays are now my favourite days of the week! Mel is such a wonderful instructor, she not only makes the classes so much fun, but she has been so caring and compassionate to me in my journey. I’ve stopped needing to take my methotrexate which was the medication I was on and my mental health is in a very good place. Mel asked me if I’d like to share my story; we’re hoping it’ll help anybody suffering with a similar condition to me to believe that there is hope amidst the pain and sadness. Clubbercise has changed my life and I’d recommend everybody to try it, you’ll love it!