You cannot open a magazine these days without people exalting the value of exercise for women over 50. Before COVID Days I went to the gym twice a week and did Pilates but, since lockdown, my regime has gone to pot, as have any previously toned areas of my torso.
I have several female friends who rise early and bounce up and down with Joe Wicks online before breakfast. They swear that he really sets them up for the day and puts a smile on their faces. I do look at Joe Wicks first thing in the morning, he has a super Instagram page, but the thought of squinting at him on my laptop, whilst trying to keep up with his manic manoeuvres, just leaves me cold. The closest I have got to him was when I flicked through one of his cookery books in Sainsbury’s the other day. Likewise, my wonderful Pilates teacher is Zooming her classes, but there is no way I could adopt the required positions whilst looking at a 3cm digital version of her, without my glasses falling off.
When the UK went into lockdown on 23rd March I decided that I really had to remain positive and make the most of this time to learn some new skills, and get on with all those household projects that I had always meant to do, but never got round to.
I also suggested to the rest of my locked down family that they, likewise, should use this time profitably by learning to touch type or learn a new language. I created an extensive list of proficiencies to acquire including meditation, knitting and bread making as well as writing my blog, of course. I even went so far as to design a daily or hourly planner of my activities:
Well, it has finally happened… The one measure I was dreading. Boris shut my gym down on Friday. Don’t get me wrong, I actually HATE the gym, but I do have a rather handsome personal trainer…
A year ago, I realised that gravity and age were taking a noticeable toll on my torso and so I decided to join a gym. I suddenly concluded that ‘fitness over 50’ was pretty important. I must point out that up until this point I had NEVER set foot in such an establishment. Merely the thought of going made me break out into a post-exercise style sweat.
I decided that the only way I was going to stick to regular attendance was to find a handsome, young, male trainer. I therefore diligently ‘researched’ every gym in the area. Whilst various sales staff were pointing out the jet powered hair dryers in the changing rooms and the coffee bars, I was scouring the workout classes for an attractive male instructor. I finally found one.
This is Hard Fitness
Sadly, this was in a gym called ‘Hard Fitness’, which is exactly that. This facility has no proper changing rooms, no fluffy towels, no Chardonnay and no pastel yoga mats. Instead it has a boxing ring, a comprehensive set of torture equipment and an army of unattractive male clientele in baggy shorts and grey socks, but it does have gorgeous, toned Dan.
Unfortunately, The Lovely Dan is bipolar. During my PT sessions he is brutal; he shouts at me; he scolds me for slacking and he reminds me that ‘I don’t pay him to be nice’. Then at the end he puts on a winning smile and says, ‘Nice one Jayne, see you on Friday!’
The only other plus point here is that there are no glamorous and toned ladies in Lycra to make me feel woefully inadequate in the abs department. I can turn up in some old leggings and come out looking like a sweaty unmade bed, without anyone batting an eyelid or commenting on the fact that I have mascara dripping down my face.
Dan is offering to do Skype session with me from today, but it really won’t be the same. I am thinking of cancelling my membership and eating my body weight in Galaxy bars for the foreseeable future.
You can always follow me on Instagram @hownottohaveamidlifecrisis