It was bodybuilding that brought them together – and 20 years later Jimmy and Janice Thomson are still muscling up to one another.
The Whitehills couple will mark 12 years of marriage next month on 12.12.12 and although their days of competitive action are now behind them, the pair are still dedicated to their training.
Despite a 26-year age gap, the couple’s bond is as strong as ever as on weekdays Jimmy and Janice get up at the crack of dawn to hit the gym for 6am.
Jimmy, who celebrated his 75th birthday on Saturday, may have dumped the spray-tan and bronzer but he still hits the weights while 49-year-old Janice enjoys gruelling spin classes at Nuffield Health in Kelvin.
The couple, who now work a cleaning job together, met in 1992 at Duncanrig Sports Centre while members of the bodybuilding club and after eight-years their friendship blossomed into a heavyweight romance.
They married in Jamaica in 2000 and have never looked back.
“We were friends for eight years and Jimmy chased me until I gave in,” smiled Janice.
“The two of us were at the same club and got to know each other through training and doing coaching classes.
“There was also a big group of us that would go all over the country for competitions as well. Those trips were always good fun and we both won lots of awards during our time.
“It’s coming up for 12 years now and it’s pretty amazing we will celebrate that on 12.12.12.”
Janice was a runner-up at the British Championships in 1996, while Jimmy has claimed West of Scotland, Scottish and British titles during his time on the circuit, also winning bronze at the World Championships in 1997.
That same year he claimed the Masters Over-40s British title at the age of 60 and that is one of his proudest achievements to date.
He told the News: “That was a wonderful moment.
“Winning that after I had just turned 60 was unbelievable and to win bronze at the Worlds as well that year was just amazing.
“I always wanted to be a bodybuilder from a young age, but for whatever reason I just never got around to until later in life.
“But I’ve had quite a successful career for a late starter and although I don’t compete anymore I still train the same way as I always have.
“I used to go on a strict diet for eight weeks and then go to events and do my thing. I absolutely loved it and it was a great feeling going out in front of crowds of people and showing off the work you’ve done with your body.
“But now, there’s only over-40s competitions – nothing like over-60s events like they have in America – so I’ve stayed away from that because I don’t want to push my luck against the younger guys.
“Your skin tone starts to go a bit when you get to my age, so I’m happy to keep training with Janice and keep the wolves from the door.
“I’m as fit now as I have ever been and as much as I’d like to compete I’m really happy with how things are.”
Jimmy started bodybuilding at the age of 44 and his last competitive action came in 2002 when he finished second at the East Midlands Championships.
And now Jimmy – twice a winner of the East Kilbride Sports Personality of the Year award, in 1988 and 1998, – still keeps active outside of the gym with his work as an industrial cleaner, a job he does alongside Janice.
He added: “It’s great that we work together as well. We are rarely apart and the secret for me is that we are quite compatible. Our friendship developed over the years and it’s just grown stronger as time has gone on.”