Sep 222014

Community Fitness Sessions by Fiz Phoenix
I started attending the ‘Circuits in the Park’ in Moorside Park about eighteen months ago. I had heard about the sessions through Dan, (from Pioneer Fitness) that he was running sessions there each Saturday afternoon, no matter the weather. I ventured out to the park one Saturday afternoon, not quite knowing what to expect! Would it be too hard? Would I be able to cope with all the different activities? And most important of all, what will the people be like?
When I arrived, I paid my £5 to Dan and joined the group of strangers milling around waiting for the session to start. There were lots of stations set up which we were going to spend a minute at each, completing various aerobic and strength exercises. Dan demonstrated each station, including the newly installed outdoor gym equipment. The first session flew by and turned out to be more fun than I was expecting. I decided that I would return the next week.
It is eighteen months down the line and I am pleased to say that I still attend the circuit sessions. There have been a few changes to the sessions from when they started. The Friends of Moorside Park have secured funding from various sources which means that the sessions are now only £10 for ten weeks. This means that they have reduced dramatically in price and are suitable for “any age and any wage!”
The number of people that now attend the park is phenomenal! The sessions started with a mere ten or twelve and we now have about 23 each week. After seeing the success that I was having going to the park, I persuaded my Mum to come along with me. We are a great team and push each other to the furthest reaches of our potential. We have met lots of new people that we can now call friends and we socialise on regular occasions.
The sessions normally consist of a short warm up, followed by the main session and then a cool down with stretches at the end. Some days, there will be stations set up where you work individually and other days will be working with a partner. Everyone is so friendly and encouraging that you never struggle to find someone to go with! Something else that I like about the sessions is that each week we are challenged to do something totally different, so there is no chance that your body will get bored! Because of Dan’s training, he able to differentiate all the activities to suit any ability or individual need. For example in the case of an existing injury, Dan will find another activity for you to do. So it really is open to anyone!
I really enjoy the sessions because I feel that I can push myself to my own personal limits and do this with no one judging me. My fitness has improved no end and I feel that each week that I go; my strength and aerobic fitness are improving. So much so, a few months ago, was able to take part in the Pretty Muddy Race for Life which involved having good core strength and the stamina to get round the 5k course. The sessions are also unique as they go ahead in any weather and are always outside. It feels good to outside training in the fresh air!
I also enjoy the sessions in the park because of the people that come. We all go there for the same reason – to get fit in a fun and friendly atmosphere. As I have said, they are a lovely bunch of people and I look forward to catching up each Saturday.
I have to say that the circuit sessions not only successful because of Dan, but they would not have come into fruition without the hard of work of Louise, the Friends of Moorside Park Chair. She and her husband, Jim, are enthusiastic and hardworking. Without them, the circuits wouldn’t happen and I would probably still be a couch potato! I would like to say thank you to all of them for helping me achieve my goals and feeling good about myself!
The sessions run every Saturday and there is always someone here to give you a hand if you are unsure. So if you want to have a go at something slightly different, then pop along on Saturday at 1pm.