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Sixty-Something: Getting Back To The Gym After A Hamptons Summer

T.J. Clemente

As the sunlight in the day grows shorter, I become more thankful for my daily trips to the gym. (Photo: TJ Clemente)

The first seconds of stepping out of your home into the summer outdoors is always attention getting. It might be the heat, or the breeze, the sounds of birds, the smell of flowers or cut grass and even the brightness of the morning sun. As I am getting older I realize there are only a finite number of such mornings left. I guess this fact helps me appreciate the magic of the mornings more. A summer season in the Hamptons for me includes lots of lobster rolls, BBQs, cocktail parties and festivals. These activities cause a seasonal respite from hitting the indoor YMCA as much as I should have. Let's face it, why be indoors when you can be jogging or walking at a beach, or riding a bike down a country road in the best weather?

However, now it's time to find my little backpack I use to go to the YMCA and say hello again to my favorite machines, playing my favorite song lists, and feeling the tough love a sixty-something person must give his body to get a little more time on this earth.

East Hampton has a beautiful YMCA. It has those wonder machines, a pool, a locker-room, and a very inviting atmosphere of community. There are many other gyms throughout the Hamptons and this is not a promotional YMCA piece, getting a gym that you enjoy and are most comfortable going to is most important. That is a personal choice. I belong to the Patchogue YMCA these days, but it has reciprocal membership with East Hampton, which is wonderful since I go to my sailboat docked in East Hampton's Three Mile Harbor a few times a week. Thus I use the EH YMCA. In fact, when I lived in East Hampton Village, I belonged only to the EH YMCA, then I moved to Montauk and used the facility at Gurney's Inn Spa, and now I live in East Patchogue.

Walking back into the gym after not being there for the summer much is an experience. The sound of the machines in use, the smell of the cleaning fluids, the lighting, the music they pump in there and stuff like that makes me feel at home at once. In my case I got the, "Where have you been? How's your wife?" Luckily the answer to both of those questions was, "Great!"

I always enjoy the variety of outfits, fitness shoes, and now ways to keeps the phone on the body you observe at a gym. There are some strong fit folks at gyms and some not so much types too. At my age I am an in between.

I tried to not overdo my routine that first week back. After all, I don't go to the gym to go home and not be able to go up the stairs, or have pain getting out of bed. However, eventually I did get back to my usual routine. I must not lie; I never enjoy the first ten minutes. I usually wonder maybe today is the day I should cut it short. Then I find a groove and forget about time, until I realize it's time to go. Yes, for all those wondering I am the type that sneaks a look in the many mirrors afterwards to see if I look better after the workout and yes I am one of those who thinks he does.

As the sunlight in the day grows shorter, I become more thankful for my daily trips to the gym. I am fitting into my clothes and already feeling better healthier and happier. Except for those first ten minutes!

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