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Anne Ritchie

I’m Anne Ritchie. I’m 71 and I’m retired. I wanted to improve my fitness, something I’ve not really had time to do when I was working. My son already came to DMC Fitness, and he was making good progress, so on that recommendation I decided to give it a try.

I knew that my posture was very poor, particularly from years of working at a computer, but also not holding myself properly for a long time. I had a reasonable level of general fitness, but there were some specific things that I wanted to improve. Principally, my posture as well as that my upper body strength wasn’t very good and I was aware of being less strong than I wanted to be when doing things like working in the garden or carrying luggage up stairs. Those were the things that maybe aren’t the goals that a lot of people have but were very specifically what I wanted to get better at.

I started when I was 67, so I have been coming for four years. That is when I stopped work. I had time there that if I didn’t do something specific with, would just get swallowed up in all the other day to day busyness. So I allocated some of the time that I had been using for work to improving these things about myself that I really wanted to achieve.

My posture is very much better than it was. I notice it myself. But also other people have actually commented on it. I think what’s important about that for me is that as I get older, I was thinking that if I didn’t do something about this, that I would end up very stooped and frail looking and I really didn’t want that. My mother had wonderful posture and I noticed it in her. As she became a much older person and I thought, if I’m going to look like that and feel that kind of confidence that she had, then I need to do something. And I’m absolutely certain I wouldn’t have achieved it if I hadn’t had Pablo to help me do that.

Pablo is very understanding of what I want to achieve and he constructs the exercises that we do and the routines that we have to help us achieve a lot. He’s also introduced a whole load of other goals for me about my general fitness. He helped me start from a pretty low point, being very encouraging and he is ALWAYS encouraging.

Anne dumbell bench press

Previously, I had tried going to the gym just on my own and it never worked. I couldn’t get on with the machines. It felt like an alien environment and now I feel comfortable in a gym. I feel comfortable in what I’m doing with the machinery because Pablo’s there as a human intermediary between me and this alien environment. And I do notice such a difference in my attitude to being here.

It’s a discipline because I come every week, I do make an effort the rest of the week to improve the workouts that I do at home or to be mindful of keeping some of my strengthening exercises up. And when I pass a shop window and notice I might be stooping a bit, I correct my posture, but that’s entirely, I think because I have the discipline of getting my homework marked on a Friday by Pablo.

You might feel nervous about coming to a gym, like I did. I didn’t think that it would be for me. I honestly didn’t think that I would get the kind of results I have. I didn’t have any expectation of enjoying it. I think that’s the bit I’ve maybe missed so far is that I actually enjoy coming. I look forward to it. I like seeing Pablo and I like feeling that I’m achieving something and in an environment where I now feel comfortable.