Article by Juliet Young
Yeah, I know summer is just around the corner,
Yeah, I have gained a couple of pounds over the lazy, fireside, winter months.
Yeah, now would be a great time to think about joining a gym.
Yeah, right. Or as us Glaswegians prefer to say – Aye, that’ll be right!
I have nothing against gyms in themselves. They are obviously great places for people who have the oomph and determination to get their backsides into one of them. There is in fact a huge one right beside my office which sounds fabulous, literally. The music coming from some of the zumba classes there rattles the coffee mugs on our desks and makes our feet stomp along to the rhythm.
I simply mean they are not for me and never have been, except for a quick relapse last year, after a week’s holiday where I partook in a step class every morning and a zumba class every afternoon. But holidays are different. There’s not much else to do, other than eat, drink, read and sleep, so why not join the other jolly campers on a daily dose of calorie-forgiving exercise?
When I returned home I was high on the idea that maybe I could do exercise on a more regular basis. I could even join a gym!
So I visited every single one around our area, both online and in person. I met bright pink t-shirt-clad, orange-faced receptionists. They showed me around the hot, sweaty, smelly rooms, took all my personal details, told me that I would just love being a member of their club (much, much better than their nasty competitor’s club) and then they kept phoning to ask me what I had decided.
I had decided that never in a million years would I find the time, the motivation, the willpower, the lycra outfit, to be part of the gym generation. Is it an age thing? I don’t think so. I think I am just too lazy, too anti-social, too happy at home, and too otherwise occupied to ever make that move. But maybe I’ll change my mind one day. When I retire? Who knows?
In the meantime I make do with walking, each step being counted by little pedometer number two (I flushed number one down the toilet by mistake recently). I try and do ten thousand steps a day, by parking a good ten minute walk from the office, moving around as much as I can when at work, briskly walking round the block when I get home if my target isn’t reached, and generally being as active as possible.
And I dance. Not in any supervised group formation. I’m way too undisciplined for that. But at home, in the kitchen whilst doing the dishes, alone in my bedroom or anywhere, anytime when my favourite music comes on the air. I even dance at work, when it’s quiet and nobody is watching, and sometimes in the supermarket aisles, although I try and keep it more low-key, to avoid being taken away in an ambulance to the local psychiatric clinic.
That’s enough for me. It might not give me a perfectly flat tummy and thighs of steel but I don’t mind. I feel fit and trim enough for my age. I’m sure I still have the energy of a thirty year-old and undoubtedly the sense of humour of a teenager.
And that’s fine by me!
About the author:
Juliet Young is the author of the blog – omgimfifty which she decided to create on turning fifty last year. She describes it as a self-indulgent observation of moments which make her laugh or moments which make her cry at this new stage of life.
Originally from Glasgow, Scotland she now lives in France with her husband and two daughters. She works in an English language school when she is not writing. Her next plan is to start working on a full-length comical book about being married.