Ten years ago, Jennifer Grey, who was battling obesity after having her thyroid removed, decided to start a fitness club.
The Bluegum Ladies Fitness Club celebrated its tenth anniversary, last week, with a three-course meal at the Bluegum community centre in Bonteheuwel, and Ms Grey looked back with satisfaction at how many people the club has helped.
She, for one, now enjoys much better health. The thyroid gland produces hormones that regulate metabolism, so after her thyroidectomy, Ms Grey found it hard to lose weight. But she says the club gave her the support she needed to do just that.
“We support one another on other matters also,” she adds, describing how the the club has evolved over the years.
“We are a close-knit family who understands and love each other. We are also like a support group. We pray for one another, and we go on regular outings. I never thought we would reach 10 years, but we always had faith in God. Our motto has always been that God is the cement that keeps this club together.”
Katie Links, 85, the club’s oldest member, has been with it since the beginning.
“Being among people who love one another and have fun while exercising is much better than sitting at home. At my age, being inactive can make my limbs go stiff. I like being active, and the best part for me is that we keep each other in prayer.”
Jamielah Davids, 70, joined the club after a hip-replacement operation. She has also had two knee replacements.
“The doctor told me to keep active after my operation. I heard about the club, and, although I didn’t really know Jennifer at that time, I went to her house and told her I would like to join the club. It was the best decision I have made.”
The club started with 10 members; it now has 60.
“I am very proud of our ladies,” says Ms Grey. “Many are chronic patients, but they don’t shy away from fitness challenges. We can probably do planks for longer than some younger people can.”