Subscribe to our eNewsletter and get the latest program and event information.
Email Address
(607) 277-3861
Fax # (607) 277-0247
(607) 319-0149

  News and Events


January 8, 2016

Island Health and Fitness


"The Un-Gym"


I always hated gyms. Low ceilings, crashing weights, smelly socks. Gyms made me claustrophobic.

Besides, I jogged and bicycled outside. I did aerobic dance and tumbling and yoga in bright, wood-floored studios...


But all that exercise caught up with my knees and shoulders. Fibromyalgia made it worse—I’ve got a light case, but when you feel fine, then suddenly for no reason find that any exercise hurts and exhausts you, motivation disappears.


So, in December of 2006 I checked out the new Island Health and Fitness. Open space, lots of natural light, a quiet room if I wanted to escape the minimal noise, and the only smelly socks are mine after a workout. And wonderful machines, where I could work each muscle group separately, as needed and tolerated. The Un-Gym!


Of course, Island has musclemen and women, and I enjoy watching them from my balcony bike. But there are also plenty of older folk like me, plenty of heavier people along with the skinny types. When you visit, look around—there’s someone like me, someone who isn’t thin, isn’t a gym rat, but wants to stay little more fit.


Nine years later, I still go about three times a week, unless I’m travelling, or have broken my ankle. (I’ll spare you the long tedious tale of recovery!)


I haven’t turned into one of those thin athletic types, but I can lift heavier grocery bags, walk for miles when I get to go to a faraway place, and avoid many of the problems that come with age.


Did you know that we lose muscle mass beginning at age 30? Even if you’re active, you still lose some muscle. It’s called sarcopenia, a creepy name for a creepy thing. It gets worse after age 75. Knowing about that definitely motivates me to get to the gym. I don’t worry about continual improvement, or Getting Thin and Fit. I just go.


Sometimes I see folks I know, and we catch up. Sometimes I chat with Nikki, who trained me on the cool machines.


Sometimes I just count repetitions and meditate in the light from the big windows.
Check out Island Health and Fitness for yourself. Even if you’ve never been to a gym before. Even if you hate gyms. Because this is the Un-Gym!"

-Judith Pratt,
Member since 2006

© 2013-2015 ISLAND HEALTH & FITNESS | 310 TAUGHANNOCK BLVD. ITHACA, NY 14850 (607) 277-3861 | 903 HANSHAW RD. ITHACA, NY 14850 (607) 319-0149 | ALL RIGHTS RESERVED