Archive | November 2013

Day 160: Gymnastic antics

Good morning πŸ™‚

Last night was the second of my gymnastics classes…it hurt more than the first one!

cartwheelIt was still a lot of fun, and I can still do cartwheels, albeit slightly more painfully than last time. Maybe I stretched more before I started last time, maybe I stretched while doing the cartwheels more this time, I am not really sure but I am sure with practice it will all come together.



This week we worked on tumbling :-S now when the coach said that, I was immediately terrified because the first thing that springs to mind is of course those very complicated routines you see in gymnastics competitions…

It was nothing like that.

That is tumbling, it is just far more advanced tumbling than we were doing! Tumbling just means linking moves together so our tumbles were made up from forward and backward rolls and cartwheels.

air track

To help with this there was an air track, which was like a long firmer than average bouncy thing filled with air.

We used it to warm up on and do some exercises, we had to jump along it and run along it and crawl along it using only our arms to pull us…that last one is hard…you wouldn’t believe how hard until you have tried it! We were not allowed to use our legs at all it really focussed on abs and shoulders :-S

There was one section where we could begin to fling ourselves around if we liked, that was when the coach was asked to teach free cartwheels. That is cartwheels without using your hands! It looks very impressive, but I decided it was a little beyond my abilities at this time!Β Matt tried it mind you, and nearly succeeded, although it was not the most graceful free cartwheel ever and there was a degree of falling over. I was pleased that I stuck to putting my hands down πŸ˜€

It was lots of fun, and I definitely learned some things. The main thing I learned was: do not skip tea before you go to a gymnastics class…make sure you have enough fuel to get through the class or your legs will go shaky and doing cartwheels will hurt!

with lessons learned for next time πŸ˜€ day 160 complete



Day 159: Nothing like skipping to wake you up in the morning

It was even better apparently because it was a fast skipping rope…

skiping rope

fast skipping rope

So that is ok then, I can do fast skipping at 7am…perfect πŸ˜›

Ok…it actually wasn’t as bad as I thought, and I could keep it up for longer than I expected πŸ˜€ not sure how long I did in a row without tangling my feet mind you, probably 2 mins. Then seemingly because I didn’t trip up and fall on my face, Matt decided to make it harder. I had to swap from foot to foot, 2 or 3 skips on one foot then swap to the other foot and back without stopping or falling down…surprisingly I managed it, for a short time, after a couple of false starts!

then came the cable machine oddness…there was a point where the exercise was introduced to me in the following fashion “now you are going to do something strange” I was not surprised!

apparently not a torture device...

apparently not a torture device…

I had to do:

Dead lifts + rows which is odd with a cable machine because you are being pulled forward so you have to engage your core,

Kneeling twisty sideways pulley things that were a little bit like wood chops only kneeling.

Backwards lunges with the cables attached to my ankles.

Sidesteps with knee lifts both outwards and inwards with the cables attached to my anklesΒ (Cables attached to my ankles o_O apparently someone thinks my balance needs work…)

An exercise where you lift up with one arm and pull down with the other at the same time (this was the odd one) with one cable thingie at the top and one at the bottom.

A similar exercise where you push and pull with opposite arms, with the cable thingies about shoulder height on each side.


handstand thingie

Then a small amount of handstand practice, and some corresponding wrist flexibility exercises. I was actually brave enough to do my walking up the wall backward handstand thingie in the gym, I held it longer than last time too πŸ˜€

After all this, it was time to start the Thai boxing πŸ™‚ It was awesome, because we were early we had loads of space and could move around much more than normal. (I knew there was a reason for getting up before 6am!) We put together more super long combos (I still feel odd using super in this context…as I write it I feel sarcastic but I am trying not to). They were awesome and worked really well, on the occasions where both of us remembered them at the same time, which was more often than you might think considering it was early morning! It involved quite a few kicks and new closer range knees which involve grabbing the shoulder and kneeing round into the side. It all got quite aggressive (although I denied it) but was awesome fun and quite hard work!

I also noticed how many people surreptitiously stopped what they were doing to watch… I guess it is more obvious in a mostly empty gym right out in the middle πŸ˜€

We did some kicking drills too and had a conversation about how I once got kicked in the ear by the (then soon to be) European champion women Savateur Β in our weight category.

To finish off we did some pretty odd looking (but effective) stretches πŸ˜€

You might think Day 159 would be complete by then…but it was only 8am…and it was of course there was dancing in the evening πŸ˜€

Not as much dancing as I had hoped as it turned out.

We were practicing for the story for Sunday’s dance out, so a lot of time was spent working out those dances and the transitions. Unfortunately I only know 1 of the dances in this particular story so only actually did 4 dances. It was important to get the story sorted mind you so that is how it goes sometimes πŸ™‚

chritmas elf

Hipster christmas elf

The story is that of Herne the Hunter (more info)

In a twist to the original story for one night only the hunt was invaded by a hipster christmas elf…Who I don’t think will be able to make it on Sunday…

The dances I got to do were: Avebury ring (x2), Maiden Castle and Fanny Frail. I did make up for it my doing my own stepping and jumping around in the background…I can only imagine that it was very helpful and artistic…

Now…Day 159 Complete πŸ˜€

Day 158: Why are there so many people?!

Specifically, why are there so many people at Broadbridge Heath Gym in the evening? (this is not a rant about over population)

Ok…I know more people go to the gym on their way home from work, is it easier than going out again later…I know that, that’s why I was doing it!

However, I was not expecting every piece of equipment to be used and there to be people waiting to use things…

no-treadmillI managed to get a treadmill…horror of horror…I was trying a new thing in my hobbit feet and simultaneously attempting to get over my fear of treadmills. I discovered that I could walk on a treadmill in my hobbit shoes but trying to run on it was still too scary. Possibly the combination of treadmill fear and very odd shoes made the experience more traumatic than it should be! I may have to accept that treadmills are not for me, and just get on with thing πŸ™‚

So after 7 mins treadmill walking for a warm up, I moved on to bike sprints, where I discovered that the feet holders on gym bikes are tall enough to accommodate people wearing actual shoes, so my feet kept slipping through, so that only lasted 3 mins! After this, I tried to do strength work, but everything was in use, literally everything… and waiting for stuff is just a waste of time and makes me feel self-conscious.

So I went home, and started again…

I did some aerobics style sidesteps and such to warm up (again) then did:

press ups from my app (16, 12, 14, 10, 10) with aerobic sidesteps and knee raises in the rests.

2 x 20 squats interspersed with 2 x kettlebell clean and presses, 5 per arm, Β 10 x kettlebell swing to stop above head turn round and repeat.

IMG_2626[1]I concede that I am documenting this in a slightly strange order, but I also went for a 25 min walk yesterday lunchtime πŸ™‚ I walked in my new shoes (this was a theme for yesterday) and I didn’t find them too bad walking around outside in the world. I will say, that they looked a little bit odd with my work trousers πŸ˜› but it is all good practice.

Day 158 complete with hobbit feet πŸ˜€

Extra: Haiku story

This is my story… where I was, where I am and where I am going, told in 5 haikus


Empty spaces left

Paralysed by the sadness

How do I get through?


Emptiness inside

Torn open by losses

Can’t be filled by food


Misery descends

Pretending to be cheerful

one face for the world


Happy memories

start to replace emptiness

returning to life


World filled with dancing

life changing realisation

I have to repair


Building a new meΒ 

Growing stronger every day

Memories honoredΒ 

Ok…there are 6 Haikus…the story was missing something with only 5

This post is a little bit different to my normal posts, it has been written for the WordPress Daily Post’s Weekly Writing Challenge find details here:

Day 157: Pumping in Hobbit feet

Hobbit feet!Β 


My new feet

ok…they are not technically Hobbit feet, they are my feet in my new Vibram Five Finger shoes (which should really be called five toe shoes but that is not as alliteratively pleasing)

they are both awesome and really really weird and freaky at the same time… They are going to take some getting used to and I am going to walk in them for a while before I try running!Β They are designed to simulate being barefoot, without actually being barefoot, so you don’t tear your feet to shreds. In theory they help strengthen your feet and allow you to use your legs properly. Once you get over the fact that you are wearing weird hobbit feet shoes, can see your toes and you feel like you are outside in your socks they are pretty comfy. Although my toes are not used to beingΒ separatedΒ so Wearing them for short periods at first is inΒ order!

In the spirit of getting used to my new feet, I wore them to Body pump class last night πŸ™‚ which was pretty odd… they kept distracting me!


Body pump in Hobbit feet

Β They were quite good to wear, you definitely got a sense of how your weight was distributed and it made you conscious of how you were standing. They are no good for doing lunges mind you, as you need to have your back leg up on the toes, this was extremely uncomfortable in these shoes…probably because my feet are not used to them and are used to being supported by trainers.Β 

Aside from my weird feet, body pump was pretty standard! I felt more tiredΒ this week for no identifiable reason, but I stuck to my increased weights and gave everything a good go so ended up getting a pretty good work out (as is to be expected of body pump) Β πŸ˜€ I am definitely looking forward to the new release of body pump mind you,Β I like a bit of variety!Β 

So with weights and hobbit feet, day 157 complete πŸ˜€

Day 155 & 156 More exercise reduces soreness

Or at least that is what I told myself this weekend! my upper body and core ached crazy amounts (as I have already mentioned) but gymnastics was completely worth it πŸ˜€ so this weekend my general philosophy was ignore it and more work will loosen the muscles up and make you feel better…and it worked πŸ™‚ up to a point…

anyway enough of that…it is bordering on complaining which will never do πŸ˜€

Saturday (day 155)

Saturday’s work out followed a similar to last saturday’s work out πŸ™‚ I started in the main gym on the cross trainer, on which I did 3 min warm up followed by 5 mins sprint intervals (20s as fast as possibly, 20 s normal) which is an improvement as not so long ago, I could only manage 3 mins!

After this I once again braved the free weights room and found it even emptier than last week…there were only two people in there who were nice enough even if they appeared little unbalanced in their approach…however I know nothing of their work out plan so I can’t really comment. They left me alone and I left them alone and that was all fine πŸ™‚ I did the following (according to the stronglift program)

SquatsSquat 5 x 5 at 30 kg, bench press 2 x 5 at 32.5 kg and 3 x 5 at 30 kg, One armed rows 4 x 5 at 14kg. Followed by stretching. My goal for next time I do this, is to do full bent over rows with a barbel, I just keep finding a time when they are not available, and chickening out!

So that was saturday.

Saunday (day 156)

Sunday, was a very welcome Pilates class, the control of posture and stretching was very nice in my achy state. Today’s class made use of both the little green balls and the resistance bands.

lateral_trunk_muscles_with_the_pilates_ball_548__2I like working with the little green balls, it adds extra dimension to the exercises and adds another level so you can challenge yourself. After all there is no point in doing the same thing once it has become easy πŸ™‚ this is especially true for core strength exercises I discovered.


single leg stretch on a ball (thanks to the pilates studio blog)

the addition of a small squishy ball, destabilises you enough that the single leg stretch exercise (or the more advanced double leg stretch) really really works the core…this is a good thing mind you, as it would seem that core strength is integral so handstands, as well as shoulder strength, and I want to strengthen as much as I can to keep from collapsing on my head again!

so with an excess of core strengthening, day 155 & 156 complete πŸ˜€

Day 154: a day of DOMS

Good morning πŸ™‚

Friday morning heralded the return of something I had more or less forgotten about…DOMS! for those of you that don’t know, that is Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness and soreness, as far as I can tell is something of an understatement!


This is something that I remember happening, when I didn’t work out every day, but your body adapts to things that it does regularly and it gets to the point where you rarely get very sore…


you do something completely new and difficult and use your body in ways it is really not used to – like gymnastics!

However…It is a kind of good pain, because you know you have worked and you know that you will rebuild stronger πŸ˜€ and you know it will go away eventually and in theory, never be as bad again as it is the first time…in theory…

Friday also brought on another visit to Sophie the sports therapist who pummeled and prodded and stuck new tape to my shoulder with the warning that it might be sore for a few days… although to be honest what with all the other soreness…I couldn’t tell…

Because of all this, I decided to do a bodyweight circuit at home instead of gong to the gym…it was a good little circuit and it lasted about 45 mins, so at least that isΒ something. here is what I did:

15 mins on my step machine

20 x press ups according to my press up training app (I couldn’t do more, they hurt my shoulder!)

sets of squats (20, 16, 14, 15) with sets of 10 lunges per leg in between.

20 sit ups, 20 hip bridges, 20 bicycle crunches, 20 hip bridges,

Then my physio exercises from Sophie, and stretching + foam rollering πŸ™‚

It was quite leg intensive, as they were the bits that hurt least!

But DOMS or no DOMS, Day 154 complete πŸ˜€


Day 153: Thursdays are no longer tricky

I have found my new Thursday night activity πŸ˜€


That’s right, on Thursday evening, I went to an adult gymnastics class and it was awesome!!

I did gymnastics between the ages of 5 – 13 and for about the last 15 years I wished I had never given it up but there were no adult gymnastics classes around, and especially no adult beginners classes…

Until now!

I have no idea what made me Google adult gymnastics, but I did, and I found a class open to all abilities πŸ˜€ So I got myself along there and had an awesome time! What is more I took Matt the Trainer with me which was cool. He was not there as my trainer by the way, that would have been odd…he just wanted to have a go at gymnastics. ( I have a sneaky suspicion he has done it before but he said he hadn’t done much…hmmm…). If you take someone with you to a class who is fit for a living I guess it is not really surprising when they are good at things… I was just pleased to not be going on my own!

gym 1


The class was a lot like I remembered as a child, with one major difference:

things that used to be so easy as a child, were now really difficult!!

who’d have thought backward rolls would be so hard! and Handstands…

my goodness, the first one I tried resulted in me collapsing on my head…it was not graceful, I improved slightly,and by go three I managed not to collapse completely, but it is going to take a little bit of time to get that strength back up I can tell you that!

my main success of the evening, Β was cartwheels. I was slightly apprehensive about Β trying it, I had all sorts of visions of disastrous collapses, but it turns out…

I can still do cartwheels πŸ˜€

My first one was a bit shaky, but they improved all through the evening πŸ˜€

This is going to take some practice, and some considerable arm strengthening…but it is so much fun πŸ˜€ We are definitely going to go back πŸ˜€

day 153 complete and awesome πŸ˜€

Day 152: dancing myself dizzy

ok…that is not strictly speaking true, I was dizzy in the day so the fact that I was dizzy while dancing was not a massive surprise.

Because if this, and the fact that we taught a lot of dances to the new people meant I did not do as many dances as in recent weeks, this is not a bad thing mind you! Teaching dances to new people (especially over the winter) is a very important part of practice after all, I am still new enough to not know all of the dances yet so still need teaching myself. As well as that, the teaching and walking through part means I get the opportunity to try dances in new positions which is excellent πŸ™‚ It also means I got to take some pictures πŸ™‚

thors hammer

Thors Hammer (i didn’t take this one…)

this one is of the ance known as Thor’s hammer, which is generally considered to be our rain dance, dedicated to the God Thor, it brings on Thunderstorms, and rain and all sorts! however we thought it would be fairly safe to do inside πŸ™‚ I am in that pic ( nearest the camera with wiggly hair!)

violent stick clashing in Our Henry

violent stick clashing in Our Henry

there was a great deal of violent stick clashing and general merriment in our henry which I have to say is an awesome dance, I love doing it, now I even know it in more than one place πŸ˜€




Trevor levitating

Trevor levitating

there was even a small amount of levitation in a dance called Herne’s Oak (I think). All in all it was an excellent practice, I even danced labyrinth…which didn’t help the dizziness, but it was fun!

the dances I did this week were:

Maiden Castle, Our Henry, End of the World (x2), Thor’s Hammer (x2), Foul Mouthed Cat, Labyrinth and Fanny Frail.

Day 152 complete πŸ˜€

Day 151: strange things to do with a core bag

Hello world…sorry for my brief period of hibernation…rest assured I have been doing exercise in between the copious amounts of sleeping I have done over the last couple of days!

Anyway…on to Tuesday (day 151)


pretty Autumn walk

On Tuesday lunchtime I went for a walk, I am vaguely embarrassed at taking a self portrait thingie however, I felt the need to show off my hat and my duffel coat…it was very chilly, I needed a duffel coat!

Anyway, it was a nice walk, I went about 2 km although I didn’t track it with anything I just marched about and got slightly lost (which is a little odd as I was about 10 mins away from my work but shhh). I feel I should have been running but it was good to get some fresh air and walking about done in the middle of the day…and it got me a little bit closer to mordor!

That however was not the main focus of Tuesdays activity…in case you hadn’t guessed by now, it was PT day πŸ˜€ and I had to do some slightly strange things with a core bag and a trx. But only after a warm up on the cross trainer, which sneakily contained 2 mins of sprint intervals too…

ballchestpressWe started off with chest presses, chest flies and one armed chest presses on the pilates ball…I think the point of the chest press during this is to distract you from the fact that holding yourself steady with your shoulders on a pilates ball while waving your arms around is an incredible core strength exercise…


core bags

core bags

Than came the core bags, has anyone out there tried to swing a 10kg around their head without, a) hitting themselves in the head, 2) dropping it on the increasingly worried looking man doing stretched next to them…no? well I have now, and they are tricky! What about holding the end hold, and sort of swinging / flicking it up and over until it is sitting on your shoulder, then repeating onto the other shoulder? well..a.gain…I now have done that…it is more tricky than some people make it look in their demonstrations! I also did core bag power cleans, which were a piece of cake in comparison.

the trx craziness for today involved squats, rollouts, straight armed pull up thingies and muscle ups…oh and attempting to hang from the trx handles then they are at the very top of the frame…turns out this last on hurts my taped up shoulder!

then came the hitting and the kicking πŸ™‚ there was lots of it πŸ˜€ it was awesome… we were building up and putting together longer and longer combinations, similar to the one a described in detail a couple of weeks ago. It was awesome fun and quick and hard work, a lot of the difficulty came from remembering what we were supposed to be doing, there were a few times in the combos when one or other of us forgot the next thing and there was nearly mishap…

there wasn’t though πŸ˜€

Day 151 complete πŸ˜€

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