Why I joined a gym…

The best gym in the world

So anyways, I’ve joined a gym.

I wasn’t going to. In fact, I openly declared to anyone who would listen that for the first time in my adult life I was not going to have a gym membership. Why would I need to? I have the best gym in the world just 12 minutes drive away. Besides, I’d be happy if I never had to see the inside of a gym again ever. A tad dramatic, perhaps, but I’m allowed to be dramatic every so often.

Surely, I announced to anyone who would listen, I can get by with walking and yoga. Except, of course, that so far I’ve done exactly nothing about joining a yoga class. I have, however, got the daily walking thing nailed. Nailed, I tell you.

The thing is, I’m 50 now, and as we get older we need to do more strength work. It’s about bone strength and how muscles lose their mass and your metabolism slows because muscles lose their mass and all these other technical reasons that make my eyes glaze over, but that we need to know about when we’re in midlife.

There are heaps of pieces of strength equipment along the coast track, but the likelihood of me using them is exactly ummm zero. Likewise, the probability of me joining a boot camp – or engaging a personal trainer to yell orders at me. Yep, also zero. Those days are done.

Instead I conceded that I’d need to join a gym. For rainy day steps and weight machines. Yep, boring.

Of course, when you join a gym, you have to go through the whole weights and measures thing – and the questionnaire. I’d forgotten that stuff happened. The gym I belonged to in Sydney, I’d joined back in 1993 – when I was 65kgs. Back in those days we still wore g-string leotards and Les Mills programs still used the original artists.

Anyways, I’m sitting in the chair with this young, strong, fit girl asking me about my health and fitness and why I’m joining a gym. ‘Because you want to lose weight?’ she suggested.

Ummm derrr. I’m now weighing somewhere in the 90’s – you don’t need to know just how far into the 90’s I am. Of course I want to lose weight, but that’s not why I joined the gym.

My goals aren’t kilo based – although indirectly, I suppose they are. What I want from my exercise is to be able to get up without making groaning noises, to be able to bend and stretch and move and walk. To be able to get in and out of boats without being scared that I’ll topple and the big fat woman will fall into the ocean. To be grounded and know the relationship between me and the earth. I want to be able to walk all day and walk all day again the next day – and the day after that. Without having a heart attack or stroke.

So when she asked me why I joined the gym, I told her that my goal was to be fit for life. I’m loving it to much to miss out on anything!

What about you? Do you belong to a gym? What made you join?

Ok, it’s Thursday, so that means sharing our happy. Like the Partridge Family sang C’mon Get Happy! Am I the only sad case old enough to remember that?

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Author: Jo

Author, baker, sunrise chaser

24 thoughts

    1. It’s about being able to do the things we want to do, right? Of course it would be nice to look better naked, but that’s an entirely different story.

  1. I need to do something similar! I’m 52 (well for a little bit longer!). I joined a gym a few years back but the novelty wore off and I stopped going and I ended up wasting money … so I’m hesitant to join one again. However, I do need to do strength training and I do need to lose weight too. A friend sees a local PT at her house. I’m thinking of enquiring about that – but not for cardio – for strength training and hopefully not yelling at me and making me work so hard I vomit *blah*!! Whatever works for us is good! I want all the same things you want so I can keep on Lovin’ and Livin’ Life how I want to! #TeamLovinLife

    1. Yeah, it’s about what you’ll stick to. I had a PT years ago in Sydney & it got very boring very quickly. I choose to say that I’m “leaning into” the idea of strength training.

  2. No. No gym at the moment. I’m more of a class kind of person when it comes to the gym, but there are so many 24hr ones here there’s nothing really offering the kinds of classes I’d do other than one at the other end of town.

    I’m trying to get to yoga and would like to ultimately do it twice a week and complement that with some walks, but I’m not doing too great a job on that at the moment.

    I’ve thought about buying some hand weights for home – not TOO big of an investment – but am really not sure I’d use them.

    1. I have some hand weights & they sit there taunting me with their inactivity every day. I can’t remember the last time I used them.

  3. I just wrote about what it means to be fit and in the process of writing that, I learned that “fit” means something different to everyone. I’m about 3kgs over my “normal” weight but I did a step class (for research) and hated it. HATED. That sealed it for me – NO GYM. I sit on my arse a lot so I know I need to move more but I’m too old to do stuff I don’t like to do. I’m doing daily yoga at home and I love that. Nearly 2 months in and I can see my body changing a little. Good luck getting to the gym – that’s the hardest part.

    1. I used to be a class junkie & loved them – but that was pre bad knees, pre bad back. I hate HATE weights machines, but guess they’re a necessary evil. I can deal with it a few times a week – & the gym is just 5 mins away. Since we moved up here I’m walking a min of 5kms on the beach every morning – & love that. Read the article & thought you nailed it.

    1. I used to be such a gym junkie, & loved classes, but these days I prefer the outdoors. I think as long as you’re moving, that’s the main thing. Use it or lose it!

  4. Oh such a familiar tale for me….and I think your reasons are spot on! I’ll tell you a little story…back in the days when lycra was in, Jane Fonda was making a mint, I went to Gym classes in a part of the Squash Courts that were in your old street!! Yep. Then I had a few other forays into gym classes but didn’t stick with any. I did a sign up to C2K in Castle Hill a few years back but my hands (surgery x 5 for many things) couldn’t get me through many of the activities on the circuit and yes, I got bored on the bikes…and the classes for ‘oldies’ were not my scene. I was fortunate to get my membership cancelled there and now I walk as much as I can. I love your motive and I think you are going to be onto a winner here! Go Jo.

    1. I used to go to pump classes at those squash courts – & C2K is the gym I was with from 1993!

  5. I’ve never been to a gym and I’ve never taken out a membership because I don’t think I have the motivation and willpower to keep going every week. Maybe I’ll be inspired down the track – my friend’s son has just become a personal trainer and is talking about doing some outside classes in my area – that might be my first step into the world of formal exercise. Good on you for signing up – and for doing it for the right reasons!

    1. That could be a good first step. I’m committing to 3 times a week- at lunchtime on the days that I do partition job stuff. Then it’s like work, so I don’t expect to enjoy it!

  6. To be fit for life – that was well said! I’m 51 and have to realize that I’m in midlife. I have always loved to being active – walking, swimming, playing tennis, jogging, skiing (both downhill and cross country) and so on.

    I used to be a class junkie too but five years ago I started going to the gym, lifting weights! I had decided to have a goal to strengthen my motivation so I signed up for a ski contest: skiing cross country 30 km! The idea with the gym was to become stronger of course, stronger arms, back and belly. Now I have run that ski run four years in a row and I have signed up for next year as well!

    So during the winter months I go to the gym two or three times a week and try to do some skiing if possible (depends on the snow of course!). During the summer months I love to be outdoors so then I take long power walks and do some jogging two or three times a week.

    When I was younger I was very focused on my weight but fortunately I’ve never had to worry about my weight, I’ve always been pretty slim. But now, being +50 and feeling the metabolism slowing down, I’ve gained a few kilos… I try to take it easy and think more like you, Jo – I’ll not stare myself blind on the scale, I’ll be fit for life! I’m too old to run around and think that I can look like 20 again!

    I have to say that I’m happy with myself – my body has last well for +50 years, I’ve given birth to three lovely children and I’m still going strong 🙂 !! Keep up with your great morning walks, Jo and stay fit for life – we’ve many more good years to come 🙂 !!

    Anna Karin

  7. Beautifully said. I’m seriously impressed with the ski runs! It’s tough admitting to the whole midlife thing, but I figure now we’re there we embrace it & enjoy every minute. Thanks for dropping by xx

  8. I’ve joined the gym for a bit of motivation and to make my exercise a bit social. Also the weight machines. I don’t go as often as I’d like each week but I’m being consistent. Hope to ramp it up when I get a bit more free time next year.

    SSG xxx

  9. My husband it trying to talk me into joining his gym. I really don’t like the gym. I prefer the fresh outdoors but my ever expanding butt, hips and thighs (and even my lack of knees) suggest that I’m not getting much done in the fresh outdoors either …. so …. maybe the gym is the next step.

    1. Yeah, I’ve belonged to a gym for all of my adult life – with the exception of that last couple of months. When I was younger I was a bit of a gym junkie but these days not so keen. But, it’s becoming a necessity…

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  11. I love your reason for joining a gym! And why not? As you say, muscle loses mass and we need to keep toned up! I don’t belong to a gym but love a bit of yoga and walk my fair share(ish) #lovinlifelinky

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