I’ve often wondered what a fifty-something woman is meant to do for a hobby. What do us older ladies like to get up to? I am definitely not someone who will sit at home and knit or crochet (that’s another blog entirely) and I’m not at all talented in the artistic department, the culinary department, the gardening department or any other section of the Good Hobbies Guide.
I had no hobbies other than my children and wine so as middle age loomed, I joined a gym. I only picked this gym as it has a little teeny weeny room upstairs which they called the Ladies Gym and I was quite happy with that as I was too afraid to mix with the bigger boys! I was very dedicated, even sometimes being brave enough to venture downstairs and use the big boy equipment when no one was looking. I realised pretty quickly that it wasn’t such a big deal as the men spent most of their time staring at themselves in those giant mirrored walls, doing the pose where they look like they have lost the boxes they were carrying and pulling macho grrrr faces whilst repeating the mantra “Look at me, I’m an Adonis”.
The girls that were already brave enough to venture downstairs were the sort that wore incredibly small and expensive bits of Lycra with ticks on them, whereas mine had Tesco Value printed on the arse pocket, and spent their time straddling the benches pulling the duck face pouts that we all know and love! The only exercise that happened was the strenuous task of posting selfies. I was very dedicated for a long time but soon realised that just because I went 3 times a week, sitting on the exercise bike for 45 minutes and covering 5km whilst playing WordBrain and Two Dots wasn’t exactly achieving the goddess-like body I hankered after!
I upped my game a bit and joined a Pilates class which I loved alot and would have kept going to but the instructor decided that Yeovil needed pilates more than we did. Any way it was probably a good thing it came to an end as every session I ran the risk of passing wind every time I did the hundred position. My arse muscles had a cracking work out every Wednesday! It did actually happen in class though, not to me I might add but to this man who came with his good lady. We were all trying to balance on our knees on gym balls. Well he let one rip didn’t he. His poor wife was mortified and couldn’t make eye contact with anyone. He just fell off all his ball and led on the floor in hysterics and we all tried to carry on balancing while pretending that nothing had happened. We failed dismally. There were balls everywhere. It was carnage. Yeovil benefited not long after.
Then, after stalking a friend of mine on Facebook, we’ll call her Liz, I discovered a Poundfit class existed near me. I have always wanted to do Poundfit as I thought this would satisfy the inner rock goddess inside me. I never got a drum set as a child but could listen to a drum solo for a looooong time… It makes my insides go gooey, you know the feeling!
As an aside I’ve always wanted to do Kangoo too but this would involve my bits bouncing up and down and I have yet to find a sports top strong and durable enough to contain my curvy (!) belly and my bad boys! Any way I digress. I signed up for Poundfit and went along to my first class. It was everything I hoped for and more. I was allocated a rubber mat and two drum sticks, or for those in the know, rip stix (get me!). I stood there waiting for the first song full of eagerness and excitement. The music started and the very lovely and very bendy instructor, we’ll call her Kelly tested her microphone. I started to find my groove and then every one there burst into a fantastically rehearsed routine banging sticks to the left, to the right, up above, down below, double time, and repeat.
Well I tried to keep up, I really did but I know deep down I looked like Steve Martin in The Jerk. I still loved it though and I still go now. I even signed up a good friend, Heidi, to come with me. She has anger issues (personally I think she’s psychopathic but I’m too afraid to ask her!) so now we both stand there, on our allocated mats, pounding our sticks frantically in an attempt to relieve the stresses and strains of the previous day/week/lifetime.
I should add at this point I’m no Jane Fonda and while adrenaline does wondrous things and makes me feel that I look like The Green Goddess (showing my age now!) , I actually look like Mrs Trunchball in lycra but you know what, I actually don’t care! I love Poundfit…. It’s my thang!
I did also try Strong. Bad mistake. I went to my first (and only) class alone, which was very brave of me because I’m actually a very socially awkward person (read wall flower/boring) . The first song came on, I stretched, I jumped, I bounced, I pointed, I planked, I touched the floor, I touched the ceiling, I touched the outer echelons of hell and died a thousand deaths. Then the instructor said, whilst breathing normally, hair immaculate and not even breaking a sweat, “that’s the warm up over ladies”. It was a very long hour but I did win a goody bag which I think was their way of apologising for near – killing me and saying “it’s ok, you don’t have to come back”! I haven’t been back yet….
I had a go at Boxercise too. This was just as awesome as Poundfit and it was like punching your friend but with permission. Again perfect for those with stressful lives! I can’t listen to a rendition of Jump Around by House of Pain without stopping in my tracks and leaping around like a loony whilst counting 1, 2, 3, 4! I even possess my own boxing gloves which kind of makes me feel really hard despite the fact that they now live under my stairs waiting for their next outing!
Anyway enough about me. No doubt in January 2019, every gym class in Britain will be over subscribed with those fantastically positive people that fully intend to get fit and losing those extra pounds whilst wearing the new Fitbits they had for Christmas which they have synced with their phone, their tablet and their nan’s microwave. Some of the same said people will be gone by March back to eating 3 packets of cheese and onion crisps, 2 slice of leftover cold pizza and a Snickers bar for breakfast after trading their Fitbit in Cex for the DVD box set of Game of Thrones, but good luck to them I say. Do what makes you happy. If exercise doesn’t float your boat, something else will I’m sure.
Now for the shameless plug…. All these fab classes I’ve talked about are run by an awesome bunch of very fit and very friendly people calling themselves Evolve Fit, headed up by Clare, the Bootcamp queen and her other half Paul the Plank guy… The Romeo and Juliet of the fitness world. Other health clubs are available! If you live near me look ’em up and join us. I’ll keep you a mat, just in case……