My Fitness journey didn’t really start properly until my mid-forties, I got on and off the fitness bus before that but all were short uneventful journeys that made no impact and were done half-heartedly.
When I was 21 I weighed 7.5 stone and it was all about being thin then rather than being fit, I had the thin thing going pretty good so the fit thing never entered my head. In my 30’s my twin boys were born so never had time for fitness and the thin thing had long since gone out the window. Enter my 40’s and I’ve got the motherhood thing under control, the boys are older, I’m getting a little more of my time back so I’m starting to take a long hard look at me, not liking what I see on the outside and wondering how that’s impacting on the inside I decide it is time to lose some weight and get fitter, for me, for my boys, for the quality of my future.
So here lies the dilemma, what to do, I had always always maintained I couldn’t do fitness classes, I tried them , they made me sweat and get out of breath and did I really enjoy them?
No I didn’t. I got bought a course of personal training sessions in my early forties, the first one I will never forget. I thought I’d been trampled by a herd of wild buffalo by the end of it and I had to climb down a set of stairs to exit the gym. That was the longest short walk I’ve ever done, clinging onto the stair hand rail for fear of the legs that I was certain I had lost control of, giving way and me face planting each stair on the way down in front of everyone. Anyway, I finished my personal training sessions and enjoyed my time with her but then I was on my own again and I’m just not a gym bunny at all, I admire people who can go to the gym on their own and do their work out properly and push themselves. I’m not one of those. I'm a bit lazy in the gym if truth be told, if there is no one behind me pushing me then I will not do it as I should be doing it, simple. So I then went back to my old faithful, swimming. I love swimming so so much, I’ve always been quite a strong swimmer and I really enjoy it. I get in, do a solid hour swimming and then get out, I love it, I love the water.
So that was it I was swimming a few times a week but I felt I needed to do a bit more, then I discovered Clubbercise which was like something I had never done before, so much fun, such great music and a great bunch of people. I loved it, I got sweaty and I really didn’t mind it! I loved that it was just such an eye opener to do an exercise class that at the end I was like “ I want a few more songs please”. I’d never felt like this before so started doing it another night too and because this Clubbercise was being done at the wonderful AMF I looked to see what other classes I thought I might be interested in and from then I have truly never looked back, fitness and exercise has become part of my life’s routine. It was important to me to find some exercise that I really enjoyed doing, what’s the point otherwise? Past experience would prove that I just would stop doing it if I didn’t enjoy it. If someone had told me a few years back that I would be getting my lycra on on a cold Winter’s night when it’s lashing down with rain to go to an exercise class I would have laughed in their face! Even if I’m not feeling it and thinking that I’m a bit tired or stressed I get my backside there and am so glad at the end of it as I find those feelings have disappeared and have been replaced by a sense of achievement and well-being. I found a place with amazing classes, amazing people and an instructor second to none that inspires me to push myself harder than I have ever pushed myself before and for that I am grateful to her.
I love the variety of classes that I do now, the weights I adore and the dance classes just make my heart sing. You can have had the worst day and you go to one of Anna’s dance classes and after the first song my mood has lifted and by the end I’m just feeling so good and so uplifted, I like that I can go to her classes and after a song I can whoop whoop and clap and I’m not going to get looked at like I’m some sort of nutter that needs to be escorted from the building. The dance classes will always have a special place in my heart, not because I’m good at them because I’m not, I’m usually near the back of the class because that’s where I’m comfortable but because of how they make me feel, if I’m down they make me happy and that is worth so much.
So I feel like I’ve finally got the fitness thing sorted, it’s took long enough but better late than never, the only thing that gets in my way is my Asthma and the exercise has made it so much better, there are days when it’s bad such as when I have hay fever, that can trigger and aggravate it, I have been hospitalised a few times with it, the last one in 2013 when it was so bad I really though my time was up, I was literally fighting for breath, I was so scared, it came on quickly from a cough, my Salbutamol wasn’t helping and I ended up in hospital on IV antibiotics. Since then (touch wood) it’s been fine, I have it under control, I don’t push myself if it’s bad, I know my limits, I know what it can do so I take no chances, you have to listen to and respect your body but exercise has greatly improved it and I can go for long periods without using my inhaler so for that reason the exercise will always be part of my life now.
The weight thing I’m working on also, having recently lost a stone with more to lose, I’m not bothered what size I am, I’m not desperate to get into a size 8, that’s just a number , like my age, it doesn’t really matter, I just want to be comfortable in my own skin at a healthier weight with a strong body achieved through the exercise regime I have now made part of my life, I feel fitter now than I have ever done and that speaks volumes, I always say you’ve got to keep moving, this is my time now to keep moving, to keep myself fit at a place that keeps me going back for more. Bring on the sweat x