How 1610 has inspired a Bideford woman to overcome serious illness to take on a Half Ironman

Posted: 10th May 2017

Category: Sports

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A North Devon woman who has overcome a serious illness is to take on the gruelling challenge of a Half Ironman competition later this month thanks to support from 1610 staff and friends at Torridge Pool.

34 year old Victoria Loze from Bideford has had to battle many “dark times” in her life in terms of illness to make it to one of the most challenging of endurance sports competitions, the Outlaw Half Iron Man challenge which takes place in Nottinghamshire on May 21st

In 2010 Victoria, who is known as Tori, collapsed due to blood clots in her lungs which meant she had to stay on blood thinners for a year and drugs for the rest of her life. In the same year she was also diagnosed with a number of autoimmune diseases where the body attacks itself, she was later diagnosed with the markers for Lupus, Sjogrens Syndrome and Raynaud’s.  Tori had to undergo two operations to remove clots in her saliva glands and lost a significant amount of weight which had a profound effect on her health and confidence.

In 2014 Tori attended a fitness boot camp to help restore her health which led to some weight gain and her confidence returning. In 2015 she joined 1610 Torridge Pool in Northam and signed up for a number of fitness classes to build on her positive approach to regaining her health.

Tori says the support she received from 1610 staff and friends at Torridge Pool have played an important role in her recovery; “ I was made to feel incredibly welcome not only by the staff team but the other members attending the numerous classes at the pool. These friends have been instrumental in pushing me to achieve so much that I thought I might never achieve after such a difficult few years. It really helped me feel part of a large support network, where people look out for each other. Through the gym I have created a strong circle of friends, both staff and members who have pushed me to achieve new goals.”

With such support behind her Tori then ran the Bideford Half Marathon and then in 2016 she took on her first Triathlon.  She has also been inspired by her friend and supporter Louise Harris who is also a member at Torridge Pool and who has also enjoyed great success in Ironman events, reaching the World Ironman finals at Kona in Hawaii.

Tori not only surprised herself by taking on a Triathlon but also her hospital consultant who found himself lined up beside her on the start line at the Triathlon.

She is now training for her first Half Ironman in Nottingham later this month.

 “ I have now started attending the swimming training in the pool along with the classes with 1610 Fitness trainer Sonia. I know that the gym staff and the friends I have made will be there supporting me all the way.

1610 has enabled me to reach new goals and set new targets. Whilst I will never be without the problems associated with the autoimmune diseases, it is through the support, motivation, inspiration and my desire to fight that I now find myself actually competing in events rather than fighting against my body. I know that without the help of 1610 and the friends I have made through the gym the picture I face would be very different.  THIS GIRL CAN! “

 For more information about classes and fitness training at Torridge Pool please Tel: 01237 471794.