Challenging yourself to overcome difficulties can be daunting, but one West Norfolk man is proving it can be done.
Russ Welch, 35, from Downham, is 85 per cent deaf in both ears and has ankylosing spondylitis (AS), a type of arthritis which causes long term inflammation of the joints of the spine.
Mr Welch is now a qualified Zumba instructor and is intending to share his passion by hosting a Zumba evening to raise money for two worthy causes.
He said: “My biggest challenge with teaching is, I can only hear the bass on music tracks but that is all I need to feel the beat.
“I also have a condition called ankylosing spondylitis which affects and can limit the movement in my back.”
The Zumba instructor wanted to join a gym to improve his physical fitness but was told by staff he could only do so if he obtained a doctor’s letter.
“They said to me ‘Get a doctor’s letter to say you’re fit and we’ll accept you’,” said Mr Welch.
“That is where the next problem arose. All three doctors I visited refused point blank as they said I was at risk of damaging my spine which could be unrepairable.”
Mr Welch, who has been active in Zumba for two-year, says he joined the exercise fitness programme because it is a low impact workout.
He added: “Life stood still for a while until two years ago when I discovered Zumba. After investing my time and researching my possibilities I gave Zumba Gold a go as it’s low impact.
“I was hooked at the first session I attended with Dominique Houghton, she is an amazing instructor.
“After six-months she encouraged me to become an instructor. I signed up for a Zumba Gold course and passed successfully. I was on my way to keeping fit and great people around me.
“It’s so much fun and I can honestly say I love it much better than any gym experience. It has taken me 17 years to find what makes me truly happy. I eat, sleep and breath Zumba. I can’t live without it.”
Mr Welch is hoping to inspire others by hosting a Fabulous Zumba Christmas Party at the Sovereign Centre, Sovereign Way, in Downham, on December 20, from 5pm to 8pm. Tickets cost £8 per person.
For more information about the charity Zumba evening, text Mr Welch on 07851149526.