Dear All at GOLDS GYM,
It has been almost three years when I first heard your tagline... Change your Body Change Your Life'.To be candid with you, I felt indifferent, and the reasons are not far to seek. I was then a 57 -year-old-lady, had lost my husband some time ago, my three children - grown up adults, and married - were themselves moving into middle-age, my grandchildren were growing up at too rapid a pace for my comfort in front of my own eyes, and life was seemingly in -its-last-phase... The last thing a person can think, for a traditional lady of a prosperous and powerful family with strong name in the world of business was a tagline that clamed, and promised, change.
I have lived in India for most of my lives, despite of my travels abroad, and during my lifetime, there were no gyms as such, and women worked at home running the household as conservative housewives, and mothers, bringing up children and taking care of husband and in-laws, for their fitness~ Technology was low.. Despite our family's affluence in women-at home’s life, and we did all the work manually. That was what provided for the calories and fat consumed, unabashedly, for us Marwaris as a community are known for our love for extremely rich, though vegetarian food.
Change did happen to our country and the world, but I was by then too busy coming to terms with my change in the life of my family: my children, my moving fro school to college, getting married: having children, my husband slowly passing the mantle of our successful business to children… myself changing from mother to grandmother. When
Gyms, calories, fitness, saunas, steam and such stuff happened to India I was already too old to care for my body…As long as I am not too unwell, I figured out, life was fine...
Gold: another women fantasy, especially Indian. Gold ornaments, gold jewellery, gold, gold and more gold. I am sure when I decided, on my children's insistence to join a gym, and of course, by them quite a few of my own counterparts, older women, were at it or had tried it, I was more attracted to the core of your Name and whatever it meant to me than change.
I think GOLDS has gone beyond its tagline and changed my mindset. It has
made me challenge my beliefs and mind-stuck-positions that age can or should be a barrier. It is never too late too be fit, never too late to exercise, never too late to enjoy good health and a feeling of goodness about your own self, achieved through a sense of fitness of one's own body, mind and soul.
I have lived a great life, thanks to my parents, and then because of my husband, and his family, and then my children, and grandchildren. Then came this new family, the GOLDS family. Since joining the gym about 3 years back with my two sons, I was always in two minds about am I at the right venue, amidst right people? But I never bothered. I recollected the days when I used to go walking around the Ridge Road. I used to walk kindda regularly until one day there was an in vain attempt to snatch my chain from my neck. The incident shook me. I stopped going for walks. Then I thought of walking along with Mrs. Hiranandani Up and Down the slope, but thought I would get tired and not match her pace. My husband encouraged me for the Hanging garden but psychologically two to three rounds would get me tired and home would be the next best location. Golds has become another dimension to those who contributed immensely to me, and my sense of myself and my life.
The Family here started with a sweet Namaste Auntyji from Supriya (Front Office) She used to see me coming and going along with my two sons. While they would change quickly and get on the treadmills, I would take my leisure time and slowly get on the treadmill. Would slowly get on to pace 3.5 and scale up gradually to 5.5. Occasionally my son would come to me and increase the pace to 6 or 6.5 with inclination to motivate / trouble me. I was getting used to and well accommodated to this healthy family. I would look at the machine and sometimes decide to clock 300 calories or compete with myself to walk a distance of 6 Kms or look at the watch and decide to walk for 90 minutes. I started to enjoy the machine. People would come and go, look at me, enquire my well being by signs. The trainers both male and female would ask me for a refill for my bottle of water etc. I never felt out of place.
About a year back, when my children came to pick me up from the Gym on my birthday with a Birthday cake for me to cut and share with the sweet family at the GYM, they suggested me to have a personal trainer who would ensure proper toning and take care of me in the gym as they had by then stopped coming to the gym because of work and travel. And soon I met Bharat, Bharat Sawant.
With Bharat, the depth of the GYM started feeling shallow. I got onto machines I had seen others get onto. Cardio, weights, stretches I started getting into the cyclic cycle. Initially I felt I could not do it, but soon Pushpaji Ek Aur... Ek Aur (one more) started doing the trick. I started enjoying it. I made sure I did not miss the gym. Specially the days I had my Bharat Sir's turn. He made me do all the machines turn by turn, stretching me beyond capacities, all with a smile.
Of course, being able to stretch as much as I could when I was a young bride a good 40 years ago doesn’t harm the cause. I can cycle and walk without help. Sooner than later, one of these days, I hope to outcycle my sons and daughter, and beat them in some walking race. Who knows, I may even participate in some 6-km-jogging race for Mumbai citizens. I can't but funnily wonder if I had discovered GOLDS a few decades ago, I may have even considered challenging the present California Governor for a boxing match.
I want to use this letter to state my profound gratitude to all of you at GOLDS, including Bharat Sir, who have made this transformation in me possible, and helped reduce the inevitable pain of such a change and even made it pleasurable. You are awesome because you kept your word though I did not believe, and more as I am turning 60: you changed me, my mind set and thinking, and my world. And yes, the body too....
I look forward to being one of your thousands of fitness conscious members for now, and till my last day...
NAME: Pushpa Dak
AGE: 60 years
MEMBER AT: Mumbai, Napean Sea Road, India
“Garden View”, J. Mehta Marg, Napean Sea Road, Mumbai – 400 006.