At 41 – yes, it’s OK to say it out loud, I’m not going to spontaneously combust – I consider myself relatively fit. I know I should knock the roll-ups on the head, and my penchant for the odd kebab and chips on the way home from the pub, but compared to a lot of people my age, I’m in pretty alright nick.
When I go to classes at my local gym, I’m pretty cock-sure in the fact that I’m one of the fittest – I have no qualms about ballsying by way up near the front and feeling like I am a leader in the lycra pack. Plus I don’t mind seeing myself up close in the mirrors – not bad, considering. But, something has happened recently that has thrown me off kilter. This mirage of my fitness levels I have been absorbed in has recently been popped. Big time. It seems I have met my match. And we’re not talking the 23-year-old bimbos in the classes that don’t ever sweat and always wear full make up, but the older women. They are taking over. The fitness Grannies are on the loose, and they mean business.
Literally a couple of months ago there was only one older lady in the gym, an old dear who was always in there peddling away on the bikes. But she’s been gone for a while now so I just assumed she must have croaked. But, like in myth, some things that die come back bigger and stronger, and I swear this is what has happened. Since she’s been gone, there’s been an inundation of older ladies hitting the gym, but not just snailing along on the treadmill and on the rowers – one foot in the fitness grave. They are dominating the classes – aerobics, spinning, step, body pump – these over 60s are starting to flex some serious Grannie muscle.
But here’s the thing. At first I was thinking ‘Bless them! Bring it Grandmas!’ still assuming I was the tour de fitness force to be reckoned with. But, um, no. The harsh truth struck me last week, mid-Spin, with the weight of a Barbell being cracked over my narcissistic thick head – these older women were actually doing 2 to 3 classes back-to-f-ing-back. WTF? There’s a gang of them, going from step to spin to bodypump – and there’s me, puffing and practically apoplectic with exhaustion in a spinning session after a pathetic 15 minutes.
So I admit. I’ve been put well into my place by ladies 20 years my senior, and I have found competition in the most surprising of places. But now, this is where it starts hitting the dark zone, like the Triffids taking over Planet Earth – these older women are now taking the frigging classes! At aerobics yesterday, the replacement instructor was around 65 (old face, fit body – not bad) and I simply shrugged off her class as a ‘warm-up’ as I barely cracked a sweat – better keep her humoured, I thought, the poor dear, good effort and all that – as all we did were a few squats. But this morning, I am painfully swallowing my words. I could barely get myself out of bed my arse cheeks and thighs were aching so much. What has that old witch done to me?!!
You’ve been warned! Look out! The Super Grannies will be hitting your gyms very soon!