I am a member of the CSPC (Canterbury Sports Performance Gym) here in Christchurch and a lot of the times I have gone I have noticed various other members of my gym lifting much heavier weights than myself in various exercises. Most of these people compete competitively in the weight lifting arena in one form or another and it does make me slightly jealous of their strength. Along with seeing this in the gym I face it in the media also, actors who buff up for roles in film and TV and are lusted after by women worldwide.
I always just tell myself “well they are professionals” or “they get paid to look like that and get every bit of assistance needed”. Sure this is true in some aspects but it is not a valid excuse. A few weeks ago I was at my gym and noticed an older gentlemen (over 65) working out lifting some particularly heavy weights. The closer I looked I noticed that the weights he was lifting was of a considerable amount and he lifted them with very good form. But hang on this goes against my theory of “well they are professionals” or “they get paid to look like that and get every bit of assistance needed”!
The other day I was out visiting my best friends Dad in Oxford. He is over 70 and I have known him for nearly 15 years now and he doesn’t seem to have aged a day. When I asked him “what’s your secret?” he told me that for the last 50 or so years he hasn’t drunk alcohol, ate meat and has done some form of yoga/meditation nearly every day. Again this goes against my theory of “well they are professionals” or “they get paid to look like that and get every bit of assistance needed”.
Seeing these two older gentlemen made me realise that having a healthy lifestyle, feeling youthful and looking after yourself physically and mentally isn’t something you can buy or be paid to do, it is dedication to yourself, your health and wellbeing that gives you these results. It also showed me that age is no barrier to physical fitness and remaining healthy, it is a lifestyle that we should all embrace young and old. Introduce physical fitness whether it is yoga, weights work or simply going for walks into your daily routine and lose the mind-set of “I am too old”. Something is better than nothing no matter how old we might be.
So to answer my own question posed in the title of this blog, yes I do lift! It may not be at the same level as the competitors at my gym or I may not have the look portrayed by celebrities in movies and TV but it is a step in the right direction….A step in the right direction on my lifelong fitness journey and I can only hope to be as fit and healthy as the older gentleman I mentioned earlier breaking down those fitness restraints we impose upon ourselves.