Rainbow Beach

Let’s get physical

GemLife Rainbow Beach residents enjoying the new indoor pool

Daily exercise has become a way of life

IT WOULD BE RARE TO FIND A DAY OF THE WEEK WHEN GEMLIFE RAINBOW BEACH HOMEOWNERS GEOFF AND JACQUIE PICKER ARE NOT PARTICIPATING IN SOME FORM OF EXERCISE.

Their hectic routine includes Pilates, dance lessons, lawn bowls tuition and ten-pin bowling once a week, a workout at the gym and ballroom dance practise twice a week, plus swimming and beach walks at least four times a week.

“I’m also keen to fit in time on the golf simulator soon,” said Geoff as he talked up the many advantages of having a brand-new, well-equipped Country Club on site.

Keeping fit and healthy has long been a daily goal for the couple who will this year celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary.

They have been associated with sport for most of their lives having both worked for the NSW Sport and Recreation Department for more than 20 years, with Jacquie a metropolitan regional director and Geoff, manager of operations.

“We were involved in the 12 sport and recreation camps where children could go to learn lots of different outdoor activities ranging from archery to sailing and canoeing. The camps are a wonderful way to get kids into sport and some of the students have even become Olympic medallists,” said Geoff.

Jacquie also ran ‘come and try days’ for anyone who wanted to give sport like golf, lawn bowls, tennis, AFL, soccer and cricket a go.

“We also encouraged both our daughters to play sport and keep active,” she said. “They also learned jazz and tap dancing and appeared in a lot of shows at shopping centres and in eisteddfods as well as featuring in many television commercials and movies.

“Our eldest daughter was the first to jump in the air on a Toyota Corolla advertisement, remember those? And she also appeared in the award-winning Australian movie Careful, He Might Hear You.”

She said after the age of about nine, the girls began playing softball and it became a family affair in which Jacquie also played and Geoff coached and umpired.

The couple, who moved into the GemLife Rainbow Beach resort the day before their 49th wedding anniversary on 14 December last year, have been blown away with all the facilities now at their disposal and they have wasted no time in experiencing as many as possible.

They have even gained advice from an exercise physiologist who provided them with a personal program when using the equipment in the gym.

“I don’t lift 40kg dumb bells, but our physiologist has designed a program for each of us which uses everything from the bike to leg presses and walking machines. He also showed us how to use the equipment correctly,” said Geoff.

A favourite pastime is ballroom and Latin dancing which the couple took up in their 50s after their children left home.

“In the beginning it was just a social thing, but we ended up competing overseas,” he said. “In our most recent competition, we competed in Monte Carlo and took out the top couple prize for swing dancing in the Arthur Murray European Championships.”

Jacquie and Geoff, who have five grandchildren – one of whom is 17 and up for selection into the Western Sydney Giants AFL team – can be seen stepping out a foxtrot, rumba, cha-cha, tango or swing regularly on the dance floor at the resort’s Country Club and have often been approached by fellow residents, keen to get some tips.

“We are more than happy to show others how to do the steps, which can be adapted to any music including that by modern artists like Taylor Swift,” said Geoff.