This week’s member story follows Paul, who joined PureGym Bramley in 2017. While Paul was athletic at school, a football injury and having a family put a stop to his fitness. He started the gym following encouragement from his son, and now calls the gym his second home!
I was really into physical sports at school – football, cricket… If it involved running around, I wanted to do it! Even now, I remember just how proud I felt when I made it onto the school football team. It was a huge part of my life, and I even made it to the semi-professionals.
As I got older, my body started to slow down. I always thought football would be something I did forever, but when I got an Achilles heel injury, it was game over for me. I never really exercised outside of sports – by this point, I was working long hours to provide for my family, and my diet was more or less dictated by what I could grab and go during work. When I wasn’t working, I wanted to spend time with my kids. Keeping fit just wasn’t a priority.
Looking back, I can see how unhealthy my lifestyle was, but at the time I didn’t realise what I was putting into my body, or how little I was moving. One day, I just looked down at the scales and saw a number that shocked me. I was unhappy with my body, and I was concerned with my health. I just didn’t feel like myself.
When my son decided to join PureGym, he asked if I wanted to go with him. I thought, what do I have to lose? I didn’t even think about losing weight at first, it was really about spending time with my son and improving both my mental and physical health. Like for many people, my life can be stressful and I knew that going to the gym would help to release that stress.
I was quickly surprised by how much I enjoyed working out – the facilities at PureGym were great, and I loved the atmosphere. As I got into the swing of things, I found the weight I gained over the years came off easily. I was enjoying training, and I was more motivated to eat well too. I found I actually enjoyed eating a healthy, varied lifestyle, and I felt so much better for it – not just physically, but mentally too. Now, I’m in the best shape of my adult life. I’m working hard to build muscle and strength, and I’m enjoying the process.
There are so many ways that exercise has improved my life. People look at me and see the weight loss, but I’ve gained so much more as well. I’m more disciplined and focused in all areas of my life, and I feel more motivated to make and achieve goals. I have the energy to be more organised at home and at work, and I genuinely believe that keeping fit and feeling good is helping me to be a better person for my wife and kids, and for myself. I want to set an example for my grandkids, I don’t want anyone to make the same mistake I did and let their health slowly decline.
For me, PureGym was a great gym to get started – the staff are really friendly, and the facilities are great, no matter what kind of training you prefer. My son is now a Personal Trainer at PureGym Bramley, so it’s safe to say we both really love it there.
My advice for anyone starting their fitness journey is to do it! Put 100% into yourself and your health, and you’ll get great rewards. It pays to be patient, too. Fitness and health is a lifestyle, so don’t be tempted by quick but short-term fixes. Find an exercise you enjoy and focus on building your strength week by week, and look at how your life improves overall – not just by how you look!
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