July 2011

Lawry first walked into the Forever Strong studio in early 2008 and cut an impressive figure. Unlike the familiar scenario of someone wanting to get fit and lose weight, Lawry was already in great shape and had been doing personal training with his wife Pam for many years. I started training Lawry and Pam on Saturday mornings and it was a delight. Lawry had a strong background in health, and Pam was well aware of the strong evidence of staying active throughout life, so we could discuss at length, between squats and rows of course, broader ideas of health prevention. Pam and Lawry, are in their 60’s but are more vibrant and energetic than some in their 20’s and are living proof, “You don’t stop exercising because you grow old, you grow old because you stop exercising”. Lawry and Pam are now in the running to win the 2011 Forever Strong client of the year main prize draw which is a $300 massage and acupuncture voucher from Mountaintop Chinese Medicine at 18 Andrew Street, or the consolation prize of movie tickets to enjoy during the Christmas festive season.

How did it all start & what training do you do at the studio?

We joined Forever Strong Fitness in 2008 not long after Meeghan opened the studio and we began with a weekly personal training session on a Saturday morning. We have now increased our training to include a Thursday morning class with Jasmine.

Is training together more motivating? What do you do to compliment personal training?

Yes, training together is more motivating: we coax one another to keep going especially on cold mornings; we talk about new exercises, the people we train with and, of course, catch up with what’s happening in Jasmine’s life. The social side of training is as enjoyable as the physical benefits, so rather than needing to be motivated, we look forward to the twice weekly sessions. On other mornings we run and walk with our German Shepherd, Sheba. She also gets a walk in the afternoon with one or both of us. We also follow our morning walk with a set of exercises and stretching to maintain core strength and flexibility.

Why is regular exercise so important to you both? And why do you continue to train with Forever Strong after such a long time?

We are both in our 60s and have a few ailments that are just part of ageing. Lawry also has a background in health. So we are very much aware of the evidence of exercise on both mental and physical health. We continue to train with Forever Strong because it is local (five minutes from home), a small studio and because Meeghan and her team are so friendly and welcoming. They also push us that extra little bit to improve our fitness levels (and record our improvements) so we feel, and know, that we are making progress.

What are your favourite indulgences and how do you stay on track and maintain a healthy weight and healthy lifestyle?

One indulgence is a piece or two of dark, Fair Trade chocolate most nights (for the antioxidants of course) and the occasional glass of wine or boutique beer. But we monitor our weight daily and if it begins to creep up, then we cut back on these things. But we do watch that portion sizes of meals are small, and eat lots of vegetables, fruit and fish. We also like to try new recipes.

Have you always been active from a young age or was there a turning point in your life where you both decided to crank it up?

Lawry played cricket from the age of 12 to 34 and is a keen golfer. He also umpired Aussie Rules football and has been running each day since he was 25. Pam had little interest in sport as a young person due to asthma but dabbled in tennis classes and water skiing. Later she took up snow skiing until she met Lawry who did not share that interest. She now enjoys golf. We both went to yoga classes for many years and that taught us about the value of maintaining flexibility. We are also keen on travel and do a guided walk in Europe most years. And that requires a good level of fitness and stamina to really enjoy those experiences so maintaining health is extremely important to us.

And one last thing… (anything else you’d like to add or is there something else you’d like to share?)

We both know what the evidence tells us about being active throughout life so we try to put it into practice. We both feel the benefits and are really pleased with how the staff at Forever Strong meet our needs and how they keep encouraging us.