Meet Eric Farquharson, Swift Fitness York Gym Member
We asked Eric to let us know when his love of the gym started, and he how maintained his focus.
I guess I’ve always tried to keep pretty fit, influenced by grandparents who ran a farm where there were always plenty of strenuous chores at the weekend.

However, it was in my mid-thirties when you could say things ‘took off’. I worked 7 miles from home and was lucky enough to have shower facilities at the office so I began to jog to work and back occasionally.

As I was putting in the miles I thought I’d try a half marathon and from then on I was hooked. The commute to the office on foot became almost daily and as it was the height of the marathon era I entered one, then another and another…!

I completed around 50 marathons including London, Paris and New York.

The trouble was I was training so hard I looked like hell on legs. I was so gaunt people thought I was either really ill or was a dope head! I had to have a change of lifestyle. That’s when I hit the gym. I began a couple of times a week but as you get talking to other gym users you pick up advice and tips so I would weight train 3-4 days a week but keep up my running at weekends…..but no more marathons!

With a love of seafood, fish, chicken and pulses it didn’t take too long to start seeing a difference coupled with a change of gym routine. I now trained a different body part on each visit working each muscle group to exhaustion.

I continued in this way for several years but was getting a bit bored with the same format. I noticed my local college offered a Gym Instructor Level II course one night per week over a one-year period.

I enrolled at the tender age of 58 surrounded by colleagues at least 35 years younger than myself but I was undaunted. Although I enjoyed learning about the skeletal structure and muscle groups it was the practical work in the gym I found most beneficial.

It’s amazing what tweaks to your technique can do plus, of course, the opportunity to learn new exercises, for me it is also about establishing a routine. I have my gym session every morning and build it into my day.

I’ve brought up three kids and had a stressful job so it always bugs me when people say I can’t go to the gym as I have no time. It’s easier than you think to make time and the benefits are massively worthwhile.

Gyms open early so get out of bed an hour earlier!  It also has a benefit to your family as they tend to follow your example and there is nothing more rewarding and exhilarating than competing in a physical challenge with your kids. Now, approaching 65 years of age, I intend to carry on with my gym sessions.

I may get to the time of life where I forget where it is and what to do when I get there but when that happens I may be able to squeeze out just one more marathon…

Eric Farquharson