Motivational Quotes…

2015-02-fitness-motivational-quotes-21-jpg-fitness-motivational-quotes-IbOkhi-quoteWhen I started training just over 3 years ago, I had a bit of a habit of scouring Pinterest for fitness related motivational quotes. You know the ones, pictures of far flung beaches at sunset with a profound quote over the top. I liked them, I found a lot of what they were saying rang true with how I was feeling at the time and I found them strangely comforting and.. well… motivational.

Gradually as the time went on someone said to me that motivational quotes were rubbish, the time spent looking for them could be spent actually getting off your bum and doing something. This made sense to me. “yeah what good is a quote, just get on and do stuff” I told myself.

bannerWell what I have realised today is whilst that all made sense in theory, I actually liked the quotes, they made me feel positive. I am quite a negative person, hmmm maybe negative is the wrong word, maybe realist is better. I am quite good at over-analysing and thinking what is wrong/has gone wrong and what the worst case scenario is and then I am really good at beating myself up over things.

So actually I have come to realise I need a bit of positivity in my life and if that comes from quotes on the Internet so be it.

3d23a-you-cant-out-exercise-a-bad-dietThe other thing I have come to realise is you can’t let anyone tell you what to feel with this fitness lark. What works for one person, might not work for you. If you want to look at motivational quotes, do it. If you want to do spinning, great. If you want to train in a nice shiny gym with a sauna and Jacuzzi, fab. If being out doors, running up a hill and getting coated in mud is more your thing then go and smash it. There is, as they say, more than one way to skin a cat.

Ultimately no one can tell you what to do and how to feel about it and sometimes it is ok to try things and then say “do you know what this isn’t for me”. Find what works for you, don’t feel compelled to fit in to someone else’s vision of “ideal”.

H x

Times are changing…

Wow, not posted in ages. So much has changed since I last posted.

Over May half term I attended my Puddle Ducks Baby & Preschool training course. 5 intensive days with 2 fab tutors and 7 brill trainees. Then when I got back 2 weeks of super intense co-teaching (aka on the job training) followed by a rigorous assessment. (I got through the assessment so I am now qualified to teach Puddle Ducks baby and preschool swimming lessons. The following day I undertook my first solo classes. So it has been a manic old time. It is fair to say fitness and health has not even been on my radar. I’ve skipped training sessions, eaten rubbish and generally put all my energy in to getting through the Puddle Ducks assessment.

And now it has all died down I’ve taken stock of finances and realised I am skint, like super skint. So I’ve taken the very tough decision to part ways with my trainer after 3+years. To say I am gutted is an understatement. It has been an epic journey but life changes and I’m not in the same financial position I was 3 years ago.

That said, maybe this isn’t a bad thing. After all, they say a change is as good as a rest! I have come to realise how much knowledge I have acquired and also I now know that I do love fitness and eating healthily an I CAN do it. It has given me an opportunity to realise that whilst I might not be where I want to be, I have come a very, very long way.

So now I need to take charge of my own health & fitness. I wish Jason all the best for the future, it has been an epic journey, I’ve changed a lot and learnt heaps, I definitely couldn’t have done that without him. But for now I need to find a different way of working on my health & fitness that fits with how my life has changed.

Onwards & upwards.

H x


24kg_1My god. 24kg is bloody hard work. I knew I had to do a kettlebell session tonight. I didn’t do it last night and I like to do 2 sessions minimum on my own each week. Last night was an unmitigated children’s bedtime disaster, so it just didn’t happen. So I knew I had to do the work tonight and I really didn’t want to. I mean, I’d had a less than successful morning co-teaching for my new job, so realistically all I wanted to do was cry in to a bowl of macaroni cheese and then eat chocolate torte, an entire one to myself,  whilst watching the demise of Peggy Mitchell. It wasn’t made any easier by the fact a 24kg kettlebell swing is now part of my routine. 24kg is really bloody heavy! So I wasn’t relishing the idea of this particular routine, at all.

You see that is what is different to when I joined a gym many years ago. Back in about 2006 I joined a gym. I used to arse about on a few machines, walk on a treadmill, yep walk, not even run! I never even broke a sweat. If whilst using the crazy weights machines I felt even remotely uncomfortable, I’d stop, telling myself it was my body’s way of saying slow down. I mean seriously any slower and I’d have been going backwards. After a while the gym became a boring place and I sacked it off, told myself I was way too busy anyway.

But now I know aside from seeing results, if I want any kind of satisfaction & sense of achievement, I have to push beyond my comfort zone (sorry, I IMG_20160517_202054042hate that phrase!) I have to sweat, get out of breath, feel nauseous, feel burning and aching muscles. And do you know something I might feel like I am about to die but I do take a lot of pride in knowing I am making progress, more reps, heavier weights, shorter rest periods, more sets. So yes, I did feel a little smug swinging 24kg about in the gym while other gym goers eyed me up suspiciously, yes I actually do know what I am doing, I’m focussed and I can do this shit. (NB I didn’t feel quite so smug doing squats with 2 x 12kg  kettlebells in the rack position because that is really hard work!)

So yeah, I don’t always feel like it, but once I drag my arse off the sofa and I do my thing, I feel frickin awesome! Who’d have though, little me swinging about heavy things, getting sweaty and loving it!!

H x


Post-Tabata sweaty face 

Had a training session tonight, tonight it was Tabata. I’ve not done any proper Tabata in forever, probably since before I got pregnant with the boy so over 2 yrs! (bloody hell where has that time gone!)

So for those of you who don’t know, Tabata is a Japanese High Intensity workout, created by Izumi Tabata. It is short, sharp and fast. You have

  • 8 exercises, you spend 20 seconds on each exercise
  • 10 seconds in between each exercise

So each set takes 4 mins. I then had a 1 min rest between each and did a total of 4 sets. Doesn’t sound much does it? 20 seconds per exercise, 8 exercises. But it is surprisingly a great workout. I love it. I was sweating heaps, literally it was dripping off me on to the bench we were using. (In the picture, if you look carefully you can see how soaked my hair was! )

What I love about Tabata though is, it is simple and effective. I have been known to do Tabata workouts while on holiday in Cyprus, the one and only time I’ve ever been on holiday and came back with no weight gain!

Tabata is great if you are stuck for time. Today my session was bodyweight Tabata (a great workout given the extra bodyweight I seem to have LOL) but Saturday we are looking at kettlebell Tabata too, which I am excited about!

Anyway I really enjoyed my session tonight, I defo feel like I am back on track with my training, it has been a long time coming but I feel more like I used to before I got pregnant. This post-natal fitness lark is defo harder than I thought it would be, but I am getting there.

H x

Hill sprints…

Stupid post training face 

February 2015

Jason – “Soon enough you’ll be doing hill sprints up this hill”
Me – “hahahahahahahaha yeah right”

May 2016
3 hill sprints with not much stopping and some actual running and keeping going even though my calves felt like they were going to explode.

I NEVER thought I would do that. Swinging kettlebells about, no problem, even burpees and press ups but running up a hill seemed very unobtainable. But I did it. It hurt. But I did it.

My strength is getting there but my cardio is defo something to work on, but there is a little bit of me that now believes.


H x

Running up that hill…

And if I only could,
I’d make a deal with God,
And I’d get him to swap our places,
Be running up that road,
Be running up that hill,
With no problems.

Running up that hill, or as it is known by me and my mate Amanda, that f**king hill. I was owed a training session so we decided to stick that session in today, my 35th Birthday.  I got to the session in a really positive frame of mind.

We walked up that f**king hill and I had a funny feeling what was coming. Hill Sprints. Bloody, bastard hill sprints. These have been my stumbling block for a while. There is always something you have a mental block on. In the past it’s been burpees or step ups with a medicine ball, powerbags etc but this time it has been hill sprints.

Now let me point out this hill is pretty steep, this ain’t your average hill. I don’t know what gradient but it is steep. The path is uneven, it can be muddy at times. Standing at the bottom is very daunting, You trudge the first few metres and then you look up at how far you have to go & just think “christ, I can’t do this” Now the last time I did “hill sprints” was epically challenging. I certainly couldn’t sprint them, I stopped quite a few times, I cried and I almost bottled it. I eventually did them but it was the slowest walk ever, at one point i debated crawling on my hands and knees. (see )

So I was apprehensive to say the least. So the first two ascents were very sedate, a gentle walk (I still felt out of breath!) but nothing too bad, did some squats, lunges & walking single leg deadlifts at the top. All good. But the 3rd time “when we get to the concrete water trough, I want you to run”. Now this concrete trough is only a few metres from the top. But omg, it hurt. My lungs were burning, my thighs were horrifically painful but “its ok he only makes me do 3” I thought, WRONG!!! “Let’s go again” he said. So back down we went and back up, this time jogging from about half way up. Now if I thought my lungs were burning last time, then I was mistaken because oh my god I honestly thought they would explode this 2nd time, my heart felt like it was going to burst. “it’s ok that will be it” WRONG!!! “let’s go a 5th time” he said, “are you kidding me?” I said.  No he wasn’t. This time he wanted me to run the whole way (when I say run, I mean the slowest jog ever,  team GB will not be needing me any time soon!) Now i didn’t manage to run the whole way but the fact I attempted and finished it was a big thing. But oh my god I really thought I was going to keel over. I have never felt such burning in my lungs.

It wasn’t perfect. I still keep saying “I can’t” (note to self I must work on that!) But it was a million miles from my last attempt.

I’m glad I’ve done it but that was really bloody hard. I had to push, I mean really push past the pain in my lungs and legs, I had to consciously make that decision to do that, to reason in my head that yes it would hurt, a lot but the pain is temporary and the positives outweigh it. That is something I have struggled with in the last year or so. It is the hardest part of training, to push yourself through something you know will hurt when every cell in your body is screaming “no, don’t do it, go home”. I had forgotten what it felt like to do that, the euphoria you get from achieving something you thought you couldn’t and also being so sweaty your hair is literally dripping. I’ve not done that in ages and my god it was hard but it felt so good. It is the thing I’ve been missing, I didn’t even realise till tonight, how much I have been holding back.

But yes everything aches now and I fear getting out of bed in the morning maybe interesting. but for now I am well chuffed.

H x

Rose tinted glasses…

Nobody said it was easy
No one ever said it would be this hard

Coldplay, I bloody love this song.  And, it is resonating a lot with me today. I had a little scout round the Internet and found this interpretation

“Basically, this song is saying that “he” screwed up. He doesn’t know how to explain it, because it was against reason, whatever he did. He wants to be able to explain what he did with science and reasoning, but he just can’t, because love doesn’t work like that. And this person means everything to him, so he wants to try it over again, but the other person thinks that there should be something to explain it.”

Substitute love & person for training and you’ve essentially hit the nail on the head with where I have been at recently. I’ve screwed up and I want to explain why with science and reasoning and I can’t, because there is no reason. I can give you a million excuses about children being ill, OH being away, undergoing my training to become a Baby & Preschool swimming teacher and it is just all nonsense. Ultimately I’ve not done what I needed to do because I wanted the easy life.

Now I’ve been training long enough to know there is no easy option. You do or you do not. You make a choice.

One of the things I’ve been thinking about recently is the fact as far as training goes I have rose tinted glasses. I fondly remember starting all this fitness malarky and in my head it was amazing, awesome, lovely, I enjoyed every session and it progressively got easier.

WRONG! It was hard, I cried (more than once), it hurt (a lot). There were things I found stupidly hard (step ups with a medicine ball, flinging a powerbag about, BURPEES!!!!) and gradually I mastered them and something new came along and I felt progress and it hurt all the time but I got to a point where I wanted to push myself because I’d already surpassed what I thought I could do. But no it wasn’t easy at all. I certainly did not enjoy every session.

And I think I’d forgotten all that, i’ve not been pushing myself, I’ve been holding back. I wish I could explain why but I don’t know. For some reason I’ve become reluctant to just let it go (No Frozen sing-a-longs please), I’ve been reluctant to let myself go.  I suspect last time I didn’t really know what I was doing, I just went with it and took everything 1 day at a time, but this time I’ve already got an idea of how it feels and it ain’t pretty.

MjAxMi1kZjYxOWQ5OTE2MmExMDNlI’m frustrated at me, I know my PT/ Trainer/Coach/Yoda is frustrated. We’ve had an honest discussion today and whilst I might not have wanted to hear what he had to say (because I’m mad at myself) deep down I know what he says is right.

So as I see it I’m now at a crossroads. I either get a grip, sort myself out and start doing what I know I can do, regardless of how much it hurts or is uncomfortable or I can jack it in. I’m not about to quit so I’ve just got to suck it up, accept it will be uncomfortable and get on with it.

H xx