Sue and Arthur – Nordic Walking instructors who have faced health challenges and thrived

Sue and Arthur British Nordic Walking instructors

Nordic Walking instructors come to the activity for all sorts of reasons; often it is significant life change that prompts that choice. Arthur Frost and Sue Turford work as instructors at the Prestatyn and Meliden “You’ll Never Walk Alone” voluntary project and know this very well. 

Sue’s Nordic Walking story… 

“I had always wanted to go Nordic Walking but working full time prevented it. I couldn’t have envisaged that being ill would be the reason I would finally take it up. 

In November 2013 I was diagnosed with a meninginoma tumour pressing into my spine. This condition had caused me some difficulty over six months to the point that I couldn’t use my right leg and was reduced to using crutches and became housebound. 

Following an operation to remove the tumour and several months of physiotherapy, I finally came off crutches in April 2014 and joined a GP referral scheme in May. 

To my delight I discovered that Nordic Walking was one of the exercises on offer. I started Nordic Walking in the May and soon found my calling as a Nordic Walking instructor. 

My journey has been a long but worthwhile one. Nordic Walking has helped me so much, especially with my balance which was very bad following the tumour; I also found that walking with two poles gave me greater confidence to walk again. I am hooked on it and would recommend it as a form of exercise. 

I also have to give thanks to Nordic Walking instructor and leader of the group I joined, Arthur Frost, who has been my mentor during this process. He saw potential in me that I wasn’t aware of so, thank you, Arthur. I couldn’t have done it without you.” 

Arthur’s Nordic Walking story... 

“At the point I took Sue on I was about to retire from the group after 10 years but I was asked if I could stay on for three months to teach Sue.

After Sue finished her training, I said I would be retiring. Sue said she would very much like me to stay and start a beginner’s group on Tuesday morning (the regular Nordic Walking group walked on Mondays).

Sue was very persistent and persuaded me to stay on. I thought it would be difficult to do on my own and Sue said she would be happy to support me.

I was prepared to stay but only with a qualified Instructor helping me which meant Sue undertaking the instructor training course. I knew that Sue was good but I wanted to get her qualified as I knew I would have to retire eventually.

The Tuesday group was started in 2015.

In 2017 one of my daughters and her husband died of various cancers within four days of each other. My wife and other grown up children were tested and cleared, than I was tested and had found that I had serious bowel cancer. I had a bowel operation and went on chemo for 11 sessions after which I was given the all clear. My surgeon said that my fitness level got me through the operation.

If Sue had not persuaded me to stay Nordic Walking, I may not be around today.”

What a great example of how Nordic Walking can make a real impact on people’s lives. 

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