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Owner of Derby gym who almost lost his life to host open day for Men’s Health Awareness week

Owner of Derby gym who almost lost his life to host open day for Men’s Health Awareness week

The owner of a Derby gym who was impaled on a fence that narrowly missed his vital organs following a car accident is hosting an open day ahead of Men’s Health Awareness week.

Anthony Spalding, who runs Committed Fitness, in Gosforth Street, spent a week in an induced coma after the car he was a passenger in was involved in a horrific head-on collision in 2010.

Then aged 19, Anthony was left paralysed and partially sighted after being brought out of the coma – although he did regain his sight and remarkably made a full recovery.

In total, Anthony spent 16 days in hospital but, just four weeks after the accident, he returned to the gym. It would be a further 18 months, though, before he would resume lifting the heavy weights but he says that exercise helped him on his road to recovery.

He opened his Derby gym in 2020 – just before the pandemic struck – and despite a difficult couple of years, his business is growing and, more importantly, Anthony is helping others to make healthier choices.

Anthony said:

“My family and I like to joke about the accident. Every year we have ‘Happy Impalement Day’. But seriously, I was very lucky to survive.

“The car I was in somersaulted in mid-air and, after it came to a halt, I initially thought I was fine – until I tried to get out of the car and realised that I was skewered to the seat by a fence post, which had gone through my left arm, into my body via my rib cage – which was completely smashed – and out the other side.

“What I didn’t realise until later, though, was that the fence post was keeping my from bleeding to death.”

The fence post had to come out, though – and it wasn’t an easy operation.

The dad of two, from Mackworth, said:

“When doctors removed the fence, both of my lungs collapsed. I was in a real mess and at this point, I was put into an induced coma.”

Anthony says that focusing on a return to the gym spurred him on and that is why he decided to set up on his own in 2020. On Saturday, June 18 he will open up Committed Fitness to the public with health and wellbeing talks throughout the day, plus classes to try.

“Fitness has helped me to turn my life around and I aim to help others at Committed Fitness,” he said.

“We cater for all abilities; we have Vern who came to us after recovering from a heart attack, wanting to improve his health and also my wife Kelly, who Ehlers-Danlos syndrome; a genetic condition which causes pain and instability in the joints. She’s also given birth recently to our second son.

“The Open Day will be a good chance for people who may never have been to the gym before – and those who are regulars – to come along and learn about the benefits of exercise. I’m planning a lifting workshop followed by a 45-minute strength session.

“There will then be a break followed by a fitness session. Although it’s for Men’s Health Awareness Week, the Open Day is for everyone.”

Anthony has recently returned to competitive lifting and, last month, he took part in a national Strong Man competition in Preston.

“The event in Preston was my first Strong Man competition in seven years after I injured my back,” said Anthony, “I’m now in a place where I feel confident and want to inspire others. This was a chance for me to test myself and I’m proud of how I did.”

To book a place on the Committed Fitness Open Day, visit the gym Facebook and Instagram pages.

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