Every one of our members are incredibly important to us all at Colets. There are so many reasons why people decide to join us and we have enjoyed so many fantastic success stories over the years as members have achieved some wonderful results.
One of our most inspiring members though has to be Chris Parker who, six months short of his 90th birthday, is still using the club three to four times each week during which time he consistently completes 18-20km on the Concept 2 rowing machines.
Chris became a member of Colets when a gym was added to what was back in the 1980s, just a squash club. The gym at the time was located where you will now find Studio 1. A keen rower, Chris has been responsible for (and many of you may well be unaware of this) helping Colets to be a very successful force in the Concept 2 International Competition. In fact, out of 1800 teams that enter worldwide, Colets have been the top health club for indoor rowing on 12 occasions. One year, Colets’ members even managed to jointly row in excess of 3 million metres!
As Chris showed us a few photos from his almost 90 years, he emphasised how important being active has been for him – both physically and mentally. Although Chris has had a few scrapes over the years (by his reckoning he has used 7 out of what is hopefully 9 lives!), including being quite literally bombed out of his house in the second world war, there is no doubt in his mind that making time to exercise and being more active has helped him reach the age of 89. Chris shared many fascinating stories with us; from being a keen sportsman at school (and going on to be crowned Men’s Champion at Thames Ditton Lawn Tennis Club in 1968), delivering parcels for the Royal Mail on Christmas Day to when he was knocked over by a van when just eight years old! Whilst still at school, summers were often spent working on a farm and even today, Chris is still hands-on with his own manufacturing company.
When we asked Chris his advice for anyone looking to make a change in 2019 his advice was that we all must not forget the importance of exercise and activity in what is now a very hectic life. He recommends that we all try as hard as we can to exercise three times a week. He also stressed the importance of resistance exercise, particularly as we get that bit older.
Though Chris spends as much time as possible on the rowing machines, he has spent a lot of time using other areas of the gym and has regularly received new programmes from our gym instructors. One of his favourite things about Colets is our friendly and knowledgeable gym team.
It was great to catch up with Chris. We look forward to celebrating your 90th birthday with you next year