Finding time to be fit for life as we age
TERRY Harris doesn't think there's anything particularly special about him... and that's the point.
It's exactly why he agreed to do this story, to let people know they can be just as fit and feel just as good as him in their 60s and 70s.
At 71, the South Toowoomba resident said people often remark they wish they, or their dad, could do what he does.
That includes CrossFit sessions at the gym three mornings a week - to which he cycles 8km each way - men's yoga twice a week and kayaking and fishing most weekends.
"It's just my lifestyle; it's what I do," he said simply.
The cycling, he said, was these days just "a warm-up" for the gym.
However, he used to take part in charity rides, including Melbourne's 210km Around the Bay, and is keen to get back into practice aiming to Ride the Range (though probably not the most gruelling climb route).
CrossFit is essentially a combined workout of weights, athleticism and gymnastic designed to build strength and increase fitness and endurance.
Terry said his daughter got him involved about five years ago, and he hasn't looked back.
Always "fairly active" he believes it is just a case of making the time to exercise and adapting to your age.
That's regardless of whether you are still working full-time, part-time or retired, as he has been for about 18 months.
"I used to go the gym at 6am three days a week before work, so I've got that discipline in my life and I still do it," he said.
Retirement, he stressed, wasn't the end of something so much as "the start of a whole new life".
"I have aches and pains sometimes; I am getting older, but I work through them and like anything you compensate and adapt."
In his case, that meant giving up running, which he swapped for cycling when he started suffering shin splints, and in turn taking up CrossFit for broader fitness.
"Sometimes it hurts a bit, but I don't let that hold me back and I like to challenge myself," he said.
"At the same time, I'm not stupid about it. If I feel a twinge in my back I don't push myself to keep going and damage it, I move onto something else."
He said he had found yoga was the perfect complement to his other activities, increasing his flexibility, mobility and strength.
Having tried yoga which was "all lycra and candles" with one of his daughters, he had been pleased to discover BrikMan Yoga, designed specifically for men only as well as mixed classes.
"It's just amazing," he said of the results.
He described trainer Greg Cawley as "very down to earth", with the men's style targeting flexibility and strength, which suited him, and no fancy outfits to wear.
"It's hard work but Greg's mantra is always that you're aiming for progress not perfection, so you just work within your limits to improve what you can do," he said.
"Anyone can be fit - it's just making the time to get out there and exercise."
To find out more about BrikMan Yoga, phone 0435 755033 or go to gregcawleyyoga.com.au or for CrossFit Toowoomba phone 0423 763423 or go to crossfittoowoomba.com.