In the days of my youth, I was something of a speed walker.
You had to be in the 1970s, if you wanted to watch Sue Lawley on Nationwide and still arrive at the Red Lion in time for first orders.
But sadly my athletics days are long gone and the big physical challenge for me lately has been applying Voltorol to my lower back. For the harsh truth is that over the last couple of decades exercise is something that I have been putting off until tomorrow. That must change.
So slowly, tentatively, I have been dipping my toes, quite literally as a matter of fact, because one the safest forms of exercise for someone of my fitness level is swimming.
Out of consideration for our residents I have swapped my ancient Speedos for a pair of knee-length shorts and, as readers of this column will know, I have been popping up to our brand new £30 million leisure centre which is magnificent quite frankly.
It is a real pleasure to do a few lengths of powerful front crawl and butterfly in the pristine surroundings of the Kensington Leisure Centre.
Anyway, it turns out that I am not the only one who has decided that the hour has come and that they simply must do some exercise. Since we have opened our new leisure centre in North Kensington and handsomely refurbished our Chelsea gym there has been a very pleasing upturn in gym usage.
The number of members across both gyms is now 4,800 – up from 2,950 for the old gyms. The number of pay as you go users is up too.
In all, we had 64,000 gym visits in May alone; 29,000 for swimming, 20,000 for the gym and 15,000 for classes. And we’ve got more kids doing swimming lessons as well with 1,700 pupils taking the plunge.
We have spent a lot of money on our gyms but the early signs are that we are seeing a return on that investment, in more people taking better care of themselves, in more people having fun and in more young people getting involved in sport and fitness.
If, like me, you belong to the Angel Delight generation, it could just be that you too could do with a little exercise. If so you could do a lot worse than check out our excellent gyms.
There is swimming, weights, treadmills, cross trainers, an amazing array of exercise classes and crucially, a very friendly and encouraging atmosphere. All the details are on our website www.rbkc.gov.uk