January 9, 2019 1:12 pm
Updated: January 9, 2019 4:29 pm

‘I was in a bit of a depression’: Vernon stroke survivor praises physical and mental benefits of kickboxing

WATCH ABOVE: Corrine Hnatiuk trains almost daily at 9Round Fitness in Vernon, a routine that has been instrumental in helping her recover from a serious stroke. Shay Galor reports.

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Corrine Hnatiuk was 45 years old when she suffered a severe stroke.

“I was actually at work at the time,” Hnatiuk remembered. “I worked for a big corporation and I was at one of my stores. I was sitting there and I just lost my breath. It’s like you’re inside your body and you want to say something but you can’t and you’re frozen in time.”

It took Corrine two months to start to walk and talk again. She had to re-learn how to do most things.

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“I was in a bit of a depression over it and I stayed in bed all the time, not doing anything,” said Hnatiuk.

The Vernon resident knew she had to do something to get her life back.

She stumbled on an advertisement for 9Round Fitness, a 30-minute kickboxing gym, and decided to give it a try.

“That first time coming here was really tough, but it was worth it in the end,” said Hnatiuk. “It’s been about a year now that I’ve been here. I work out about five days a week.”

The benefits, Hnatiuk says, are countless.

“I see myself having a lot more confidence, a lot more independence,” Hnatiuk said. “It gives me a purpose to get up and go every day.”

READ MORE: Life After Stroke in Peterborough goes beyond physical recovery for survivors

Emily Buisine is one of the owners at 9Round Fitness in Vernon. Along with her husband Ralph, she was instrumental in helping Hnatiuk find her new happiness.

“When she first came in here, she was barely smiling,” Buisine recalled. “She was really shy and when she did the workout, she wasn’t able to do the full nine rounds. She stopped after round three. But she kept going and now she’s able to do the full circuit.”

That’s not all that Hnatiuk has been able to accomplish.

“She wasn’t able to punch or kick and the strength wasn’t there, too,” Buisine explained. “Now she is smiling, she is driving again. She is kicking and punching really hard and she is sweating.”

Buisine teared up talking about Hnatiuk’s journey to recovery.

“I’m really emotional,” Buisine said. “We love all our members. We really, really love Corrine and I’m really proud of her progress.”

For Hnatiuk, she’s just taking things one day at a time, singing the praises of kickboxing.

“Just come and give it a try,” Hnatiuk encouraged. “It’s literally just a half an hour out of your day and it will make you feel a lot better.”

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