At my gym, aptly named The Pump House, I do weight training three times a week. Using moderate weight (not too heavy and not too light), I do three sets of twelve reps on twelve stations; a nice workout in about an hour. This exercise is relaxing and has improved my weight, muscle mass, bone density, balance, cardio and respiratory capacity.
A visit to my gym is good for an additional reason; friendships are formed there. Members greet each other with smiles and pause for a short conversation every once in awhile. My visit gives me the opportunity for a brief visit with Don, Roger, Greg, Dieter, Fred, two Bills, Pat, Mary, Barb, Helen, Jennifer, Jill, Alan, Tom, two Richards, Butch and many whose names I don’t know. We don’t know last names but we don’t need to know them. These friendships are real without having to know last names or details about our lives outside the gym.
We are there to accomplish life enriching objectives. Most of us are older and retired from work but not from life. We readily admit to having pains, old injuries and age related physical limitations but we are not willing to yield to them. Some are working to strengthen a shoulder or knee that has been replaced; continuing rehabilitation. We inspire and encourage each other. When a gym friend has not been seen for a few weeks the conversation often starts with a sincere, “Where have you been? We have missed you.”
Common needs and interests are great foundations upon which to build friendships. Get to the gym but leave the ear buds at home. In any gym, those who wear them are sending a clear signal to others – “Don’t bother me.” All you need are sneakers, a tee shirt, and some baggy pants. This is not a fashion show. For seniors, the very popular Silver Sneakers program makes gym membership free.