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As the Summer sets in and we are watching a variety of sport on TV, and witness optimum health and fitness with our sports stars, we can only observe our own reflection in the mirror, and set out to shape up.

I did that recently, having lost a bit of extra weight I am proud to report, but needed to tone up.  As always, with a really busy schedule and juggling act between family and career, decided to try something a bit different that would fit into my programme.

Fending off the jeers of colleagues I decided to explore the local Bowling Club.  Oh I know what you are all thinking, elderly men in their airtex T shirts, and their ‘other halves’ watching on whilst sipping lemonade.

But to my amazement, the local Bowling club was filled with young singles and couples, as well as some even younger contenders as well as the over 60s as in any club.  They were welcoming and helpful, and I played my first bowling game ever under the watchful eye of a private coach at the club, and discovered I wasn’t bad at all.  Plus the exercise regime was not strenuous but steady with all the bending and stretching, and the social interaction good as everyone was so friendly.

The club manager offered that I come back again before joining to make sure I was comfortable in doing so, and so I went away with a completely different attitude to Bowling Clubs.

As luck would have it, I was then invited to my local Tennis Club by a local acquaintance, and although I had a secret desire to be an ace at Tennis, had never cut it at school and it had been years since I played so told them that I had no talent for the game at all.   In fact I would be embarrassingly bad!.  My colleague, who was one of the coaches at the club assured me that it did not matter at what level I played, he would be able to help and inspire me to play.

I was quite excited at the prospect, and so only last week I took myself off to the Tennis Club which is literally two minutes away from where I live, and was again greeted warmly with drinks on the terrace whilst watching a variety of tournaments played at very different levels.

It is now down to me to decide which one ticks all the boxes, because both of them are great options to have, and as well as toning up, will provide some great diversification which we all need in our lives.

It is also great that these local clubs are open after working hours and at weekends, and so there is no excuse not to join.  Even with a hectic diary, it is possible to fit in a couple of hours a week as a minimum of time to allow for yourself, and can easily be scheduled in with your weekly visits to yoga or the gym.

I will let you know which one I decide to join, and you never know, I may choose both.  There are no rules to joining clubs, apart from the rules of the clubs themselves, and once you have put your prejudice and self-doubt in your pocket, you will be ready to go.

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