How's your day going?

The story so far: 

Got up with the intention of attending a  Body Balance class at the Leisure Centre.

Arrived and found no parking spaces and vast numbers of cars arriving and disgorging children. (Many children.) Undaunted, I finally found a parking space and went in to join the class, around five minutes late.                                                                                                                                                                           

Turns out it's a 'bring your own yoga mat' class. I have no yoga mat.

Undaunted, I find a space and start to take part. The reaching and stretching is refreshing and liberating. Then we get to the 'Downward Dog' and my sight goes a bit odd. It takes me a while to realise that I have 'popped ' my left contact lens.                                                   

I cease my Downward Dogging and slowly and methodically search for the blue-tinted lens.

Success! I have it.                                     

I leave the class, clean and reinsert the lens and return to continue the class.   

All goes well until the next Downward Dog, where my left eye spits out the lens again. I retrieve the lens, reinsert it and leave.

 I realise that I have become' legend'.                                                                                                   

For the instructor, I'm 'that bloke who arrived late and left early 'I wonder if he's ok?'

For some members of the class, I'm 'the bloke who joined the class but couldn't hack it.'                     

For me, I'm the guy who can't risk losing a £150 contact lens and having to drive home on one eye.   

How's your day going?  


no downward dog for me. 


'tis a necessary evil for me, I'm afraid.


I prefer sleepy Mog. My Saffron shows me the Waysmiley

If only...


Reading the above has a sting to it.....

I have a friend who I'm taking to the gym with me, at his wife's urging. (He's gotta lose a few & get his blood pressure in line).... I got him a yoga matt, training gloves, cool water bottle & helped him pick out some training clothes +.... I feel for him, he feels out of place, I can see he feels embarrassed.... But he keeps at it...  People are nice there, he made a few friends and he likes to hang out with me & the crew.... But... It ain't easy..... My heart really goes out to him...... Keep at it (D).... it takes time, but it pays off....



Thanks for taking the time to read this.

I take my at off my hat to your friend for getting started.

Many people have preconceived ideas of what a gym is and can do. Also, if it's not a place he would normally go it'll be really weird.

He needs to remember what he is there for and that it is all a means to an end.He doesn't need to get all dressup with the latest gear to get the job down. I wear tracksuit bottoms an old t-shirt and trainers. Sometimes white socks get thrown into the mix.

Fashion doesn't matter, it's the function he should be looking at.


As you know, its more of a lifestyle.... but for my mate, at this time, its more of an event...


i've tried Body Balance at the gym and found it tough.Given up for now. However I do a five minute stretch workout first thing in the morning which I got from a National Health e-mail and when the weather is dry I live in a part of England where brisk walking is an easy pleasure.. I also swim and when it gets to the end of May this is sea swimming. I sometimes do a mild gym workout.

IMO fitness is a necessary job for older folks when we care about wanting a long life and have the time and health to get into it and people with health struggles should be able to get tailor made exercises from their National Health physiotherapist.

Short term gym subsidies are sometimes available with a doctor's note. 12 years ago I had 3 months worth of Gym at only a fiver a month as my bipolar meds had made me crave carbs and I had gained 20lbs, thankfully I am now on a far lower dosage. 

Trust me, I am a physio's daughter and my father lived to 91smiley


I would love to read more about your long term career in Fitness, Dragao. Non-fiction is my favourite reading and, judging by the reader's response to your blog, I am sure many of us would-be fit people would be interested and find your writing a worthwhile read. All the best, Rach xx


For my sins, I finally got back into a class this morning. For me Body balance is a physical check up - to see what is working and what needs attention.

Briefly, I've had two near death experiences in the past five years as a result of what may be medical malpractice/lack of care. I'm in a rehab phase and Body Balance is my measure of how I am recovering my flexibilty and posture.

I've got an osteopath and a podiatrist on the case and we're starting to sort it out. 

I had managed tio avoid hospitals for 37 years and then became a 'frequent flyer'.

I'm glad the NHS were organised enough to give you stretch workouts. Many areas are not that lucky. I recommend a group called Make Movement Your Mission (MMYM), who you can find on facebook They specialise in exercise for older people who might have balance issues.


I totally agree that fitness is  a "necessary job for older people". However, we got sold a pup ages ago when it was 'decided' that when you retire, everything stopped. When I was in the Civil Service, in the late 70's, a retired man was lucky to last four years. 

They just stopped beiing active and died.

Due to better healthcare, people live longer now. The question is - 'What do you want your quality of life to be?' There is a company called Later Life Training who specialise in training Instuctors to work with Older People. They cover from sitting classes to circuits. Their people generally work with physios and help set evidence-based exercise programmes for their client group.

GP gym referrals are, sadly, only as good as the gym staff they are referred to. I have seen gym staff doing 'one-size-fits-all' programmes, because 'its quicker'. I have also had the honour of working on GP Referral schemes for Heart and Parkinsons patient,  where each programme was tailored to an individual and monitored closely.


WIth regard to my Fitness career. I fear I know where too many 'bodies are buried' and have many too many scurrilous tales of the behaviour of physiotherapists when under the 'affluence of incohol'.

Maybe more human tales may be told of clients' progress, but that's for another day. x


My local gym provided the mat although the regulars brought their own. When  a person tries a new activity they may not want to buy items of kit until they decide they want to go back for more BTW I have a charity shop gym mat at home which is clunky but sort of 'all-purpose'   

What would happen if you wore specs with a strong grip reather than contact lenses, Dragao? Mine only hit the mat about once but I did not work out very strenously.

Hi Rachel, 

For my sins, I 'liberated' a length of foam which we use when camping.  I'm not short of the kit, I just didn't know it was a 'bring your own' affair.

The contacts I was using were new ones. The old ones neer had this problem. I reverted back to an old left one and had no issues apart from not being as bendy as I used to be.