Stepping back into my local PureGym on Saturday was like Christmas had come early this year!!… And after the last few months we’ve all had, it couldn’t have come soon enough!
It’s odd to think how such a common thing we all take for granted like going to the gym or to your local leisure centre for exercise could be taken away from us so easily. Especially during a time when we needed it the most, but not just for the physical aspect of exercise and lifting weights, it’s deeper than that for some people.
The gyms are something unique to everyone; maybe for a mum it’s an hour to get out and enjoy a class with friends, for avid marathon runners or cyclists to train and work on their craft, for a group of young teens to all get together and work on their PBs, or for some it’s a space where they can work on themselves and their mental health.
Whatever it may be, the gym means something to everyone who goes there!
For me, it’s a combination of many things, but most importantly it’s about my overall health and wellbeing! It’s a place for me to pop my headphones in and go into a zone; “my me time” to think, move my body, and energize my limbs & organs, and of course to work on my body’s overall wellness.
So, needless to say I definitely missed it the last 4 months. Hearing Boris Johnson say those words on Friday 20th March that gyms and leisure centers would shut, I knew it would not stop me still getting out and enjoying exercising, but it was more that the gym has an irreplaceable atmosphere, and a space we all go to better ourselves and our lives. It’s a place where you gather motivation in all shapes and forms and come together to work out for your own personal goals, whatever they may be.
The last 4 months, exemption to just 2 full days, I have still got up every single day and done ‘something’ for my body and health. ‘Something’ being the key word.
We all had to think outside the box, and so I decided actually not to jump on social media and follow any particular IG lives or set workouts, but instead I decided to just do me and keep active anyway I could. My goal was just to “keep it moving!” and that is exactly what I did. I had a few bits and pieces at home consisting of kettlebells, dumbbells, a few weight plates and bands to keep me going on some light weights, but I also vowed to myself I would get outdoors every day to either walk, jog, cycle or paddle board! Yes, paddle board down the Thames! Still being able to have my “me time” and feel energized and active each day that I was still doing something for my mind, body and soul felt great, and that I was keeping up my active lifestyle ready for when gyms reopened.
I can’t lie, when we got the news they were re-opening PureGym again come the 25th July, I could virtually feel the UK’s gym-goers enthusiasm alongside my own. That feeling was doubled as I drove to Pure Gym on Saturday ready to step foot inside the doors that had been closed for so long! And boy did that feel like heaven!! Seeing people using the equipment, getting into a good routine, working up a sweat.
The endorphins are just different from a good workout in the gym and knowing how easily it can be taken from us, made it ever so bittersweet to be back.
I know some people will have some anxiety about going back, but I loved how respectful and considerate everyone was, cleaning up after themselves, making the most of the hygiene stations PureGym had put in to place, and all the safety markings and measures around the gym. If we all work together collectively protecting ourselves and others, fingers crossed we can help stop the spread of the virus and get ourselves healthier and fitter in the meantime too!
I will always still love the great outdoors and exercising there, I always have since young, but the gym brings a unique feeling of a space that will mean something different to all of us, but at the end of the day we are all there for one common reason; to better ourselves in one way or another and it’s like a mutual respect without a word being said. So, here’s to gyms being reopen, make every workout count, so we can be healthier, fitter and stronger together!!
Copyright July 2020. Article can not be used or reprinted anywhere else without the written authorisation and consent from Carli Jay.