I can’t quite believe six months has passed and my David Lloyd Leisure Nottingham membership at the West Bridgford Club has come to an end. Time to review the goals I set myself in this post:
Quality Family Time
Swimming became a much bigger part of family life, the large family changing rooms took the stress out, the outdoor pool felt like being on holiday, the warm indoor pools were lovely – swimming no longer felt like a chore.
L was a really confident swimmer already, but G has had nowhere near the same number of lessons and had less interest in learning. Breaststroke just wasn’t clicking for him, but a few months into our membership he’d gained confidence and decided he wanted us to help him crack it. L held his arms and I held his legs and we made the movements for him. Later he tried a length, me next to him, L in front. He made it confidently.
Last month, after months of splashing about in the shallow end, he moved up a swimming group and achieved not just one, but two length swimming badges in one lesson. The pride was immense, for mother and son!
The best part of our membership has been seeing his confidence in water really flourish and swimming suddenly click into place. The holidayish atmosphere of the outdoor pool really helped him to make the connection between the pools that he loves to be in on holidays and learning to swim more confidently so he can have more freedom on holidays.
I’m embarrassed to admit we only managed to swim and spa once over our sixth months membership, but I recommend it, it makes for a cheap night out when you have to pay for a babysitter as well!
I enjoyed working in the business lounge after a daytime swim, or meeting friends to work together. A change of scene makes a real difference and helped me to see that working at home all the time can make me less productive. What puts me off working outside the house is wasting time getting there and finding decent wifi, working at exercising at David Lloyd kills two birds with one stone. Although, there was a risk of getting distracted by people I know wanting to chat – but nothing headphones and facing the wall can’t solve.
A dip in the outdoor pool was a brilliant way to switch off after a busy day, or to break up a work day and mull over ideas. The indoor pool and jacuzzi were fab too. The swimming facilities really impressed me.
Although I had to pull out of the half marathon due to an injury, I did feel the benefit of the training I did in the gym – the Synergy 360 kit inspired me, it is the kind of stuff I have enjoyed doing with a personal trainer, and was fun to use.
However, I failed miserably to stick to anything despite lots of gentle nudges from the booking app and email system. Six months, with the summer holiday and lots of travel in the middle passed so quickly. I was a little annoyed at myself for not making more of that opportunity, but it’s also taught me more about what makes me truly enjoy exercise.
Ultimately, we’re an outdoorsy exercise family – I run twice a week and walk the dog – gyms feel intimidating and are not my natural habitat. With hindsight, I wish I had simply set a goal to do one pilates class a week to compliment my outdoor running and walking, along with a a swim or two with the kids, instead of trying to do lots of gym stuff, which in all honesty, probably isn’t ever going to be me. Perhaps also if we hadn’t been about to move I would have made more effort to make gym buddies – I did enjoy the sessions I did with a running friend who is also a member.
I absolutely loved the outdoor pool though, having a decent pool is really important to me. I’m never going to be a wild swimmer so I would join a gym just to have a chance to swim outside.
We all enjoyed meeting up with Donna and kids from Ordinary Cycling Girl, and with Emily and her kids, from a A Mummy Too for a swim and lunch. Having an indoor and outdoor play area, table tennis, pool and an enticing cafe area with healthy food for all the family makes for a really easy day of grown up catching up around the kids. The kids benefitted from having a familiar base to socialise in. Grown ups were able to talk life goals and work plans in depth around them – something that rarely happens on playdates!
The food is not the most innovative food I have eaten in gyms, but it is an offering that keeps families happy, with plenty of options the kids liked and lots of healthy variety for grown ups. We enjoyed not cooking and eating there instead once a week and I loved having lunch cooked for me when I took work to do at the club.
I noticed the friends who were already members got the most out of it by having ‘gym buddies’ or ‘tennis friends’. During the review we decided to move out of the area, so invested less in the making new friends aspect of socialising. However, I did notice it made it easier to get to know other local mums and the kids often found other children to play with. So I could recommend the clubs as a way to settle into a new area. There are lots of social events too, from Bonfire Night to Halloween to Summer BBQs and Quiz nights, a great way to meet new people – there were lots of emails reminding me of these.
David Lloyd worked well for us in terms of quality healthy family time, social time with other families, time as a couple and a high quality workspace was a real bonus. The setting is great and makes exercising together relaxing and rewarding. It worked well to have a familiar place to all go together, I’d underestimated the value of that to family life.
Six months isn’t long, but I hope this and my other posts, about the David Lloyd family offering and my diverse goals set after joining the club, could help you see how the different facilities could work for you and you family. David Lloyd is much more than a gym, and as a non gym lover, I kind of like that.
I was given family membership for sixth months, editorial control and opinions my own.