Author: Susan Westlake

Susan is not an instructor or coach, she's just a regular person who is passionate about fitness. For 20 years she practiced Shotokan Karate and achieved the rank of 4th degree black belt, more as a result of sheer determination rather than any physical aptitude. Days after gaining this rank she was diagnosed with hip osteoarthritis and was advised that her active life was over—she refused to accept this. Twelve years later she's free of the OA symptoms and in the best shape of her life. Susan is not an instructor or coach, she's just a regular person who is passionate about fitness. For 20 years she practiced Shotokan Karate and achieved the rank of 4th degree black belt, more as a result of sheer determination rather than any physical aptitude. Days after gaining this rank she was diagnosed with hip osteoarthritis and was advised that her active life was over—she refused to accept this. Twelve years later she's free of the OA symptoms and in the best shape of her life. If she'd listened to naysayers she'd be overweight, un-fit, and probably sporting a pair of plastic hips. Susan's next challenge was menopause; once again her martial arts mindset saw her through this period of life and, despite some minor setbacks, three years later almost every aspect of her life and training is better than it was before. Now in her mid-fifties, Susan is focused on keeping age related decline at bay and aims to improve with each passing year rather than accepting a downward slide into decrepitude. She's helped many others beat their OA diagnoses via her self help website, and is sharing her post-OA and post-menopause fitness adventure on her blog.

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