Chronic pain can be dibilitating and prevent us from enjoying life, but today I introduce you to a woman who hasn’t let pain stop her from living her life and providing inspiration.
Recently, I participated in the Forever Fierce Campaign 2018 and introduced six wonderful ladies who are living life in Midlife & Beyond. I asked them the question: What does being ‘fierce’ actually mean to you in midlife & beyond? Each had a wonderful response and I would love you to read their thoughts and inspirational words.
One of these women, is my guest today. A woman who has not let chronic illness and pain stop her from leading a full, fun and fabulous life. I wanted to introduce Ann-Marie to you because she is living life and really is an inspiration. Although she suffers from chronic pain she still leads an active life and makes time to give back to the community.
Ann-Marie also has some great advice for us all and so I introduce you to Ann-Marie Hammond.
Being fierce in midlife means accepting and loving who you are and how you look, having confidence and embracing life to the fullest; not allowing anything to hold you back.
My name is Ann-Marie Hammond, I am 53 and I live in Devonport Tasmania Australia. For the past 18 years I have been living with chronic pain from degenerative disc disease, arthritis, knees needing reconstruction etc but I do not allow that daily pain to dominate my life. I live life to the fullest.
I have been a belly dancer now for fifteen years and during the earlier years got to fulfill a lifelong desire to be a professional dancer. I was lucky enough to experience work as a professional dancer at both large and
more intimate events to most appreciative audiences. I am very thankful. I also taught several weekly classes of belly dance and drumming of an evening as well as to schools, businesses and worked with social workers for various team and confidence building with their clients.
Although I have ‘slowed’ down more recently, I am still quite active in the community. As well as teaching belly dance classes and drumming each week; I also teach proper sword technique along with my husband. We
both have many years of experience in Martial Arts and so use those skills to share with others in our community.
I manage a group called Van Diemens Land Pirate Crew who are a group of people who dress as pirates and entertain children and their families with music, dancing and sword fighting with safe foam swords; so that the children and parents can have fun fighting the pirates. We train our pirates every fortnight with proper sword technique; so that it can look exciting for the audience when fighting together. I may be 53 but I am just as active in this side of the entertaining and training.
I also love sewing and have fun creating costumes for belly dancing and for the pirate group. As well as for other styles of dancing that my husband and I enjoy as a couple such as swing dancing, rockabilly, rock n roll,
tango and salsa. My other hobbies are learning languages and instruments; at the moment I am learning to play the guitar.
I am a plus size woman due to having polycystic ovary syndrome which causes weight issues as well as many other health problems and this combined with living with chronic pain does not help. I still work hard every day to eat healthy and be active. I attend hydrotherapy twice a week, dance at least twice a week and see my personal trainer each week to stay strong.
I have learned to love the body I am in despite being plus size. I still look beautiful in my costumes and I am very thankful that I am still able to be such an active member of my community and family. My husband is eight years younger than me and often jokes around saying that he is thankful that he met me after my injuries otherwise he worries he may not have kept up with me.
As well as all that I have previously mentioned, I have a 9 year old daughter who I enjoy being active with and take her to all her activities such as singing and Kung Fu. I also have 3 adult sons, 1 adult stepson and 1 adult step daughter; and two beautiful grandchildren Ariel and Bella who get to have lots of fun with their crazy fun Nana.
To those of you with health problems like me it is important that we keep moving; but we must pace ourselves to keep the pain at a manageable level. If we are active and enjoying life then we stay in the driving seat and not allow that pain to take over.
You can check out more about Ann-Marie and her fun activities in the two facebook links below: