16 September, 2022

“I’m a huge BCUK fan for a start. For me, prevention is crucial, and I love that BCUK is not just about healthy eating, but a whole chemical-free lifestyle,” says Jane Allen, talking about why she took part in the BCUK Pilates Challenge in 2022. 

Jane AllenJane was diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer at the age of 41, leading to a mastectomy on her left side, removal of most of the lymph nodes and then intensive chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Then, in 2021, she had a brain tumour removed.

“I was recovering from that when the Pilates Challenge came along. I thought it was perfect timing especially as BCUK is so close to my heart, for all kinds of reasons.” 

Jane needed time to recoup from her second surgery, and appreciated that the Pilates leader, Rebecca, was aware of her needs: “It just made my day. I would’ve done the Pilates anyway, but it was perfect timing for me.” She adds:

“What I like about Rebecca is that she talks you through things really well, which people like because it seems to make things easier to do.” 

“She starts you off going through the challenge, and you just gradually realise you’re improving so much. It was for all levels, so it’s beneficial regardless of whether you are an expert at Pilates, or you’ve never done it. Also, for me, knowing you’re raising funds for a critical charity helps. The challenge ticked quite a few boxes for me.” 

Jane says the social media interaction was also a positive feature of the challenge:

“The Facebook group we had was fantastic. It was nice to listen to other people’s stories, there was lots of motivation, and everybody was improving.”  

Outside the challenge, Jane incorporates the BCUK messages into her daily life. “I have lovely conversations with my 14-year-old granddaughter and her friends about what they’re putting on their skin and what shampoo they use,” she says. “It’s important to talk with children, although you have to be careful not to go into information-overload mode. I like the way BCUK does it because they don’t sell it as a huge negative to try and frighten people. It’s more about giving helpful information that you can gradually take on board and use to lead a healthier lifestyle. The charity also supports animal-free research, and that’s important to me.”  

Ever positive and forward-looking, Jane is already planning to sign up for the next Pilates Challenge in October.  

Does the Daily Pilates Movement Challenge seem like something you would like to complete? You can sign up on our website.

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