The story of how a 69 year old man inspired an entire gym.
If you’ve been feeling the turbulent emotional waves of waning motivation lately, followed by guilt for not attending the gym, then the story of Jim Finnie may be the inspiration you need to get started.
Jim is 69 years old, but the staff at Planet Fitness Charlestown think he may just be the fittest man in the gym (or at least in heart and spirit). Jim attended his 225th consecutive PowerCamp functional training class this week, having gone every day since the gym re-opened in June 2020, after the Covid-19 shutdown. Jim has said that organising his life to fit in the optimum amount of time he devotes to his fitness program was originally a challenge, but something he was able to eventually overcome.
His story raises the importance of consistency, and also how beneficial going to the gym is for mental health and social interactions. You don’t need to be a superhero and go every day like Jim, but his encouraging words and inner strength is enough to get even the most difficultly motivated on their feet.
Jim Finnie has been competing around the world in Cross-Country Ski Racing for a number of years, and in 2020 he was proudly the oldest Australian still competing on the international circuit. Jim has completed 18 marathons and 3 half marathon Cross-Country Ski races, and would have expected this number to be higher if it wasn’t for injuries. Although Covid-19 slowed competition down, Jim has dedicated himself to attending Functional Training classes to maintain his fitness, and no plans to stop competing anytime soon.
Jim explains, “The Worldloppet Series of International Races has existed for 45 years and now runs in 20 countries, and I’ve raced in 14. In that time thousands of Australians have participated in at least some of the races. Only 79 Australians have been awarded either a Gold or Silver Medal. I’ve been fortunate enough to be one of the only 17 Australians who have been awarded two or more Gold Medals.”
Jim has his eyes on hopefully getting overseas to compete this year (if permitted), as he only needs to compete one more full marathon overseas to be eligible for a third Gold Medal, and then he will join the 4 Australians to have ever achieved this. How did he get here? Jim jokes about how he did not perform well at first, but he was so dedicated to improving his fitness, so he joined the gym.
“Before I entered a gym, I was under the impression it would be filled with young, fit people unlike myself. It was refreshing to find in Planet Fitness people of all ages and fitness levels in a Judgement Free environment,” states Jim.
The entire community at Planet Fitness is behind Jim, it wouldn’t be the same without seeing his smiling face and hearing his incredible stories every day. He’s offers continuous support to those around him and loves dropping pieces of wisdom from his years of training. He leaves us with this:
“I’ve seen too many people who want ‘instant results’ start at too high a level and quit as their muscles are sore or they don’t get the results as soon as they expect. Getting expert advice, being realistic with your short-term aims and consistent with your approach can be very rewarding, as I have found with many years association with Planet Fitness Charlestown and especially PowerCamp.”