Extreme measures to keep up passion

Tony Perks

Tony Perks

I have joined a gym.

Yes I can imagine those who know me just spit out their morning coffee upon reading this. My best mate laughed and called me to check if I was okay when he heard the news.

He wasn’t having a laugh either he was genuinely concerned. He wanted answers.

“Tony you have always gone for a run, you have cycled, swam laps at the pool, you have never gone to the gym, what’s going on?”

Now before the rest of you start thinking it’s just a midlife crisis I’m having because I can’t afford a sports car, I must explain.

A month of bodyboarding and surfing over a recent run of good swell had me feeling great but I noticed my friend Josh could paddle the dark channels twice as quick as me (not good on the West Coast) and he was pumped to surf when I was exhausted.

I needed to do something about this. I can’t surf every day, I have work. I needed another outlet to keep fit when I wasn’t in the water.

My back was starting to niggle and I want to keep doing what I enjoy for many more years. So I joined the nearest gym to my work to make it easier on time.

Two months in and thanks to Mick Bourne I’m going strong. Mick has inspired me to work on simple exercises focussed on strengthening my body to keep me surfing heavy waves without switching to a Malibu just yet.

I feel amazing too, I have more energy, I’m now running 20km plus a week and getting on the bike and rower most days, I’m even eating healthier too but still have a vice for my flavoured milk.

So to all my friends wondering why I am going to gym, it is preservation to keep surfing, I encourage others to do it too, why not put some time and effort in now so you can keep going with what you love for longer?

I am not pumping iron (that still is something I do when I am pressing the steamer button to make my shirts straight) but I’m having a go because I want to keep doing what I love until I grow old.