#PeopleofCardinia – Ron Spencer

“My life has always revolved around a level of physical fitness. Firstly as a boy scout with camping expeditions, then as  a Merchant Seaman for a few years to see the world followed by a twenty year career in the Metropolitan Fire Brigade.

 As job satisfaction in the Brigade waned, I retired early in 1988 to be a farmer. We built and then operated a 160 ,000 chicken farm in Nar Nar Goon. After the sale of that farm, we moved to Sale where we bought and operated and 180 cow dairy farm. Both farms were very satisfying to run but restrictive on one’s lifestyle. Both also required a level of physical fitness.

Retiring again in 2006 brought us to Pakenham. I watched as the Gymnasium and pool were constructed and within the first few weeks of operation, I became a Member. Fitness has always been important to me in my working life and recreational pursuits. Now that I was finally retired, I needed little motivation to be a regular visitor to the Complex.

Lockdown was frustrating but I found ways to keeps fit. Prodding was not required to return once the restrictions were lifted. Again, I cannot remember a day when I wasn’t happy that I went to the gym. Sometimes a little sore but always satisfied with my efforts.

The staff since the beginning of gyms operation and despite the change of operator have always been pleasant, helpful and only too willing to create and amend a fitness program for me. A great group of dedicated people who strive to improve the lives of the Membership. It is always a happy environment. I am a two day a week visitor unless I am training for a trek then its three days.  A dedicated Tuesday is set aside for bushwalking with Pakenham Bushwalking Club. I find the formula of three days a week of exercise just right.

My greatest achievements have been weight loss ( 15 Kgs over the years ) and a fitness level that allows me to pursue my trekking adventures. I have trekked to both Everest Base camps, South face in Nepal and North face in Tibet. Life changing experiences. Awesome vistas to behold at the top of the world. In Australia the Larapinta Trail, Northern Territory and the Overland Track in Tasmania are very memorable. Locally the Great Ocean Walk and Wilsons Prom maintain my enthusiasm to walk.

Motivation to me is like life itself, it just happens. A regular EVOLT 360 scan keeps me informed as to where I am and what I need to do. A future goal in my trekking adventures would be to climb Mt Kilimanjaro in Tanzania or Machu Picchu in Peru. Sadly, with International travel restrictions in place now and into the foreseeable future makes that that goal very unlikely. Meanwhile I must continue with my master plan, live well = live longer.

Most of my time is spent in the gym, but my Monday RPM cycle class and the pool are my other favourite places. I foresee nothing much changing in my fitness regime. I have reduced my intensity a little but always try to push myself that little bit more. The mountains and trails beckon.

Life is Good.  This is not a trial run, this is it. !!!!  Make the best of it.”