Now and again newcomers ask me if I have always been fit. Well the answer to that is a definite NO! I started thinking about getting fit in my 20s when I met my other half….sport mad he was and still is!
I was a bit plump and kept on trying wonder diets that weren’t sustainable: The Cabbage Soup Diet; The Grapefruit Diet; The Boiled Egg Diet to name a few!! Over the years I started running, going to aerobics, playing squash (I was useless!) yoga, walking everywhere and having been brought up to eat freshly grown vegetables daily, eating more sensibly. I only liked aerobic activities and never once did I think of strength work and developing my weak arm and shoulder muscles. I always disliked the idea of gym work and getting too muscly for a girl!
So, I didn’t countenance the idea of getting really fit until I was in my 50s! I have had such good advice from AMF and have focussed on body weight strengthening exercises as well as working with weights. Obviously, I carry on cardio work too. I still love running and am back up to 5 miles on the treadmill. I have also had great dietary advice. I am not super fit or anything but I am really proud of the fitness levels I have achieved. I couldn’t do a kneeling press up when I started without going red in the face and feeling a bit overwrought! Now I can just about do full body press-ups…. I still go red in the face!! And I love a plank and even burpees too.
I have had my setbacks like everyone else…: I am hypothyroid (diagnosed in my early 40s): had a pretty rough menopause: was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008 with an operation and radiotherapy and 5 years of Tamoxifen: knee problems etc! I have had many friends who have told me I shouldn’t be doing so much at my age!! That makes me more determined to keep going! One of the most important things I have gained from fitness classes and the gym is more self-confidence, a feeling of well-being, new friends of all ages and such positivity about life. I can tell you from the heart that when I had the big ‘C’ diagnosis I thought I might not get to meet my Grandchildren so I sure as hell want to make sure I stay as fit and healthy as I can to spend quality time with them and my amazing family. I love being able to run around with the children, pick them up and throw them around. I know without the resistance work I now do regularly that this would be less likely.
Never think you are too old to start to get fitter. I am almost 66 years old and proud of it and intend to keep going with my fitness journey as long as I can. I might huff and puff a bit and swear quite a lot but I really am enjoying it and have a strength and determination that seems to grow with me! Thank you to Anna and all the team for your support, encouragement and great friendship.