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“I try not to let things stop me." Patsy's journey out of lockdown.

Published on 18 August 2021 02:48 PM

“I try not to let things stop me,” Patsy said. “If I want to go out, I go out. I wear my mask on the bus and in taxis but I have things I need to do.”

Over lockdown, Patsy felt very cared for as friends and family rang her on a daily basis. Patsy has lived alone since her husband passed away a few years ago. Although lockdown was hard, Patsy said she managed ok – putting it down to her experience of growing up during the Second World War and remembering advice from her husband. “My husband always used to say, ‘Get rid of your fuss budget!’ which means if you can’t do anything about it, accept it and make the best of it.”

Patsy’s claim to fame is she has been running exercise classes for nearly 40 years. Last year the classes had to stop due to the coronavirus and Patsy was considering whether to officially retire (she has been trying to retire since her 60s but never quite managed it.)

However, because Patsy wanted to be able to say goodbye to the women who attended her class properly she went back, and then, because she was there and could still do the exercises, she continued running it. “I was concerned about not being up to my previous standards and that maybe the ladies wouldn’t come back, but they all did so I felt very honored,” said Patsy.

Patsy runs four classes a week and after the first week back of this schedule after lockdown, she felt exhausted. “That just shows that if you don’t use it you lose it!” said Patsy. However, after getting back into the routine again Patsy has enjoyed having the classes as something to focus on and to engage with the women she has taught for so many years. “I don’t really go out at all apart from my classes, that’s enough for me.”

Patsy’s advice to others on reconnecting and going back out again is to pace yourself. “I was a carer for my husband for the last ten years of his life, but I still ran the classes then as an outlet for my health. I’ve learnt I have to pace myself, once I’ve done a class I don’t plan anything else for that afternoon apart from some lunch and a sit in the garden.”

Patsy tries to live life ‘as normal’ as she can, whilst recognizing that it may be many years before the world goes back to any previous ‘normality’. “I try not to let things stop me,” she said. “If I want to go out, I go out. I wear my mask on the bus and in taxis but I have things I need to do.

This story is a part of Age UK Bristol and the Support Hub’s ‘One Small Step to Reconnect’ campaign, supporting and empowering people over 50 to reconnect with their community and rebuild their confidence in going out again post-lockdown. To find out more about the campaign please visit our website: