Date posted 29 Mar 2022

For many people the first few months of a new year can mean the starting point for a whole raft of all things ‘new’. New job, new house, new hobby. Where I am concerned, January meant I was not necessarily looking for something new. Just something a little new and improved. Me!

Looking at the calendar, the next 12 months promises to be something of a busy and pivotal year for yours truly. And I want to be in better shape for it.  So there is work to be done.

Working with the kind friendly team at the Queens Diamond Jubilee Centre (QDJC) in Rugby, I have had the pleasure of undertaking a gym and general fitness programme using the Centre’s wide range of excellent facilities.

For me the QDJC is perfect as it is a quick 10-minute walk from home and as I also work for myself, I have the flexibility and can dictate (a little) as and when I do my sessions.  

So what are my reasons for doing this? Although I like to think that I am generally fit and healthy I do acknowledge that despite being an active swimmer 3-4 times a week, doing a lot of walking each week and [to a lesser extent] some cycling, my fitness levels are not what they used to be. My football and cricket days (both playing and coaching) are just about drawing to a close too; a combination of injury and other factors have seen to that.

The upshot then is one, I could do with losing a few pounds that I have gained in the last year or two (or five). My weight is steady and not impinging on my health but I don’t want to be in a position where it might.

Two, I want to be fitter and remain that way, especially now I am no longer involved with team sports regularly. Add to this there are a series of family events to look forward to in the coming year that I’d like to be in better shape for.

And there is also the fact that I have something of a landmark birthday on the horizon at the start of next year.

Therefore adding all those up, January into April seems a good pivotal point to do this, see where it leads, and hopefully see what changes may come from it.

Blue Monday in January, the third Monday of the first month and according to theory the most depressing day of the year. Not for me. I was up for what lay ahead so it seemed the ideal day to get this 12 week programme off and running.

The Induction with Russell was an enlightening experience with a full overview of what i was looking to achieve and how the centre’s facilities (and classes) could help me do that. If I thought there was any chance of easing me into things gently or moderately, then I was to be sadly mistaken. It was a very good test of my fitness levels, and despite a few questions before we got going, I have perhaps underestimated things and my current levels of fitness slightly (Not too much though).

The first 3 weeks and quarter period were a case of getting going, sticking to a pre-determined plan outlined at the Induction. And it worked really well with 4 sessions per week, with a rest day in between each session.

From there, the next three weeks to the six week ‘halfway point’ continued the drive and upping the intensity by trying new challenging equipment, plus also using some of the Centre’s other excellent facilities notably the pool, sauna and steam.

And there has been no let-up in the latest three week ‘quarter’, if anything I have stepped matters up to a level I’m comfortable at testing myself without going too far. I just need to master the pull-up bars and conquer the awesome looking step machine, but there’s still a few weeks to get there.

Overall so far I have really enjoyed the experience. The Centre has a really good feel and vibe about it and I enjoy my visits and sessions. There are a wide range of users in terms of age and fitness levels, the Centre staff are very friendly and will go out of their way to help. And the Centre is so very clean and tidy; you will never go short of spray and disposable wipes to clean down your equipment.

I have a couple weeks left of this programme and I’m feeling like I am progressing to where I want to be and achieving what I had in mind and set out to do back in January. And whilst I am determined to finish stronger than I started, there is always opportunity to keep my membership going after this is all done at Easter which I may well look to do.

If there is one piece of advice I would offer to you if you are considering joining a gym or looking to do something to maybe lose a few pounds for the summer and get back in shape, it would be to talk to the team at the QDJC.  It would be a hugely worthwhile investment in your time and in yourself. With so many different activities to choose from, if gym is not your thing there will be something available which will be.

And you never know we might be saying hello to each other in the gym, in the pool or on the spin bikes before long.