Archive | October 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Not Just a Cat

Rest in peace Bobcat Little furry menace paws we’ll always miss you Advertisements

2nd Step Towards New Focus: Return to Lifting

I am aware that there are some people who would consider focusing on both lifting and running to be splitting my focus…but I love ย lifting and am getting to like running and for now at least want to do both ๐Ÿ™‚

If I focus on both…it could be considered double the focus…

Well it could in my world ๐Ÿ˜€



When I was on my Personal Training Training course 2 weeks ago, I did some heavy squats and bench presses and it occurred to me that I haven’t really improved my lifting since the summer…

Admittedly I have had a shoulder/bicep injury which stopped me a little, but the general gist was the same as everything else recently. I haven’t stopped, I just haven’t put enough effort into improving!

Outside of PT sessions ย I just haven’t done enough lifting to actually get stronger. So, in keeping with the idea that the best way to get better at a thing is to do the thing, I went to the gym on Saturday morning and started picking up heavy things and putting them down again in different ways!

I went to the leisure centre that has the free weights room separate to the main gym, which allows it to have more heavy heavy stuff, it also (as I think I may have mentioned before) manages to look like a dingy basement despite being above ground. That last sentence makes it sound like an unpleasant place to be, but I actually really like it in there, when you walk in and look like you know what you are doing the guys seem to respect you and let you get on with things…albeit with a bit of offering to help you with the heavy plates…which is a little odd as if you couldn’t manage them you probably wouldn’t be putting the things on the bar, but that is beside the point ๐Ÿ™‚

I went in there and I did some real heavy (for me) lifting for the first time in ages, and it reminded me that I love it!! It also made me take my first ever gym selfie :-S (sorry)

excuse the look of concentration...

excuse the look of concentration…

I did this (very egocentric) thing for two reasons…

the first was so I could say…look at me about to do an 80kg deadlift! ๐Ÿ˜€

An 80kg deadlift by they way that was part (the top part) of a pyramid set of deadlifts… 8 @ 60 kg, 6 @ 70 kg, 2 @ 80kg ๐Ÿ˜€

the second reason was so I could say…woohoo look at my new amazing gym trousers!! they are funky camouflage leggings. This is remarkable and worth noting for two reasons. 1) I am wearing leggings in a public place where there are definitely people (as opposed to running in the country where there are few people and it is often dark). 2) they are not black!! this represents a massive leap forwards in confidence on my part!

(and yes I know that I am not yet an ideal shape for leggings…but there is an improvement there and only in the gym…)

That was Saturday and I have done more gym stuff since then, although not so heavy, but I am definitely going to continue as I love it (have I mentioned that?)!

Now all I need to do is make a coherent plan to balanceย running and lifting ๐Ÿ˜€

Besides…how can I be a superhero if I don’t get stronger!!


1st Step Towards New Focus: The Reasons I am Running


Reading half marathon

As I have mentioned before, I have agreed toย run Reading Half Marathon.

As I have also mentioned before, I do not a believe I am a natural runner, nor am I anywhere near my ideal weight for running.

I have been faffing around, training, then not training for a week or so then doing a bit more and generally not putting as much effort in as I should be.

As part of my re-focusing I had a bit of a hard look at myself and my reasons for not running, and they are all stupid. I kept thinking that I don’t like running, I kept thinking that the pressure of having to run was making me not want to.

Then I noticed that these are all bigย fat excuses! I was looking for “reasons” not to run rather than just getting on and running!

just get running!

just get running!

A few weeks ago, I made Rachel do an exercise in motivation where I got her to write down the reason(s) she decided to run the Reading Half Marathon.

It was a good thing to do, it focuses your mind on the positive and the reasons why you want to do something rather than the excuses why you shouldn’t.

So as part of my remotivate and focus exercise last week, I did the same thing myself. I asked my self to complete the following sentence…

“I want to run Reading Half Marathon because…”

and this is what I came up with…

I want to run Reading half marathonย to prove that anyone can learn to run no matter what shape and size they are!

I want to run reading half marathon to prove to myself that I can.

I want to run reading half marathon to support my friend Rachel

I want to run reading half marathon to save some bears from horrible torture!

Even while I was doing this exercise I had to readjust my thinking. My first instinct was “I want to run reading half marathon…well actually I don’t really want to”

I did think that, I admit it, but then I thought further…and it is just not true.

I do want to run the race!

I didn’t agree under duress, I decided to because I wanted the challenge, I wanted to help Rachel out and I wanted to prove something to myself and the world.

I chose to do this thing of my own free will and it was about time I started to remember that!

I realised that every time I said “I didn’t want to do it” or “It is a stupidly long way” or even when I declared that I was not a natural runner, that I was reinforcing my own negative thoughts. I was essentially pouring negativity on myself in such large quantities that I was washing away my normally positive outlook!

I wouldn’t put up with this from other people, so I am not putting up with it from myself!

I just hadn’t noticed what a demotivating effect this had been having on me!

So from now on I am going to remember why I chose toย do this…after all I did choose it ๐Ÿ˜€ I am going to print my reasons out in large print ans stick them up somewhere prominent! ๐Ÿ˜€

If nothing else…I really really want to raise money to save bears!!


go check them out!

Onย the subject of saving bears, Hauser Bears (my chosen charity) sent me a t-shirt to raise awareness for them ๐Ÿ˜€ they really are a lovely charity and do awesome work saving bears from horrible situations!!

Go and look at them!!

and if you want to contribute to my crazy half marathon fund then go here ๐Ÿ™‚

and just to prove that I am back on this training kick, in the last 9 days I have run 4 times ๐Ÿ˜€ 3 x 5 km and 1 x 6km ๐Ÿ˜€

now all I need to do is continue the momentum!

Oh yes…and there is this:


Can’t forget the chance that I might have to run to the TARDIS one day!

New Focus!

Well…not a new focus as much as renewed focus on the things I was losing focus on…

like my mission to become a superhero.

and my preparation for the time when Doctor Who wants me to travel in his TARDIS to far off worlds and run away from things, a lot…

I haven’t stopped, I promise, despite my lack of weekly workout posts, I promise I haven’t stopped. I am still doing a workout in some form or other at least 6 days out of 7!

I haven’t stopped, but I have plateaued.

I am not really improving with my running, I am not really getting much stronger, I am not getting any lighter…


I shall be as focused as this very focused cat!

I know what happened, as I reached the end of my 365 I started to worry that I would lose focus, so I set myself new goals and started insanity and then convinced myself that I wasn’t going to lose focus…

and just when I thought I was safe…I lost focus

a lot of things happened, work, study, wedding photography, life in general…

and I just haven’t been concentrating on my own progression as much as I should have been!

As I said, I haven’t gone backwards, I haven’t stopped, I have just stopped progressing.

So, I am going to treat myself like a client. On my personal training course I have learned to assess clients and work out goals and programs to help them achieve their goals, so I have decided to apply the same principles to myself!


I don’t think I want to look like that though…

I know this should be an obvious step, it really shouldn’t have been hard to realise that this is what I need to do, but for some reason it was.

I am often guilty (as I know many people are) of giving good advice to others and ignoring it myself, but this has to stop.

on day 365 of the project I was so happy with my progress and my achievement but I knew then that I had more to do, I just didn’t consider exactly how to go about it.

Last year’s method of doing something active (anything active) every day and eating sensibly was a good one, it worked and it got me this far, but I think the time has come to develop a more structured approach if I want to reach the next level.

After all…I can’t expect anyone else to do things I am not prepared to do myself!

So that is exactly what I am going to do.

I have set myself up a spreadsheet similar to that I have made for my PT course guinea pig with all the measurements and fitness tests I have to do and I am going to set myself short medium and long-term goals and develop a strategy for achieving them. Once I have filled in more of the sheet and made a new plan I will share it all with you.

But for now, I leave you with the knowledge that I am back on this journey with a vengeance ๐Ÿ˜€



Personal trainer courses and exciting new arm art!

Good afternoon people, I must apologise for my recent apparent reclusive behaviour and disappearance from blogland, but I have been snowed under with study in preparation for my Level 3 Personal trainer workshop which a) involved an advanced anatomy and physiology exam, and 2) took place this weekend ๐Ÿ™‚

when I say snowed under…I am not lying…I really was, but I did take a tiny all day break on wednesday to let a man draw on my arm with needles!!

This was the result…


Itl looks better than that now, as it has healed a lot and this is only the first sitting, there are going to be two more in which there will be more shading and it will continue further down my arm with more biomechanical awesomeness!

for biomechanical, think HR Giger…

it is very exciting and what you see there took 4.5 hours of sitting still! Which was worse than the needle thing!

that was wednesday… which was awesome! I made up for the sitting still with lots of dancing in the evening, well quite a lot, it is not actually the easiest thing to do lots of dancing with a fresh tattoo all wrapped up in clingfilm on your arm!!

So aside from that I spent the next two days curled up on a sofa with a laptop trying to get everything I needed to do done…

I did…sort of! I got everything I needed to do for my exam done and the rest I am still finishing but that didn’t harm my learning on my course this weekend ๐Ÿ˜€

My course was 2 days long in lovely Portsmouth, which is nicer than London and easier to get to!

this is where I had my assessment

this is where I had my course…you may recognise the picture from my gym instructor course…

It was at the Mountbatten Centre, which is a distinctive and oddly shaped building that I thought was older than it is…but that is not hugely relevent to the story ๐Ÿ™‚

The first day of the course involved lots of information and practice of the sorts of tests you have to do when you first meet with a client.

things like, measuring blood pressure, and measuring people, and working out body composition. (I am going to put more of this in another post, there were calipers and everything…calipers deserve a post of their own!)

This part of me made me slightly paranoid…When I work out my body fat percentage, or my BMI or my body density it just make me realise how far I still have to go! At one point I started to question whether people really wanted an obese personal trainer…

However, there was a reassuring whole class discussion about how people actually like trainers with a story, how people these days are not always looking for the adonis type young male trainer or the blonde barbie type female ones. The fact that noone on the course met either of these stereotypes also helped ๐Ÿ˜€

After this we had an advanced anatomy and physiology exam…woohoo…way to finish off the morning! Actually it was not too bad and although we didn’t get to find out until the end of Sunday, I’ll tell you now…I passed ๐Ÿ˜€

The afternoon was all about the practical aspects of preliminary fitness assessments that we should carry out when we first meet with out clients!

we got to try them out on each other, and consequently we all had to have a go…

fitness test, that should be ok, I hear you cry…


the cardio VO2 max fitness test involved jogging for a mile.

also fine, in principle…but this was indoors…in a gym and that meant only one thing!!




seriously, even this picture scares me!

This is where my stubbornness overrode my fear and I got on the treadmill like everyone else and did my 1 mile jog test, in 11 mins 21 seconds! which is officially the longest time I have ever spent running on a treadmill in my whole life!!

Yes that’s right folks you heard it here first (or maybe second if you are my friend on facebook) I went on a treadmill for 11 mins 21 s!!!

after this dramatic turn of events which I literally only made it through by tapping into my will power reserves (yes literally…I was clenching my fists to stop myself pressing the Emergency Stop button!)

I basically feel like I narrowly escaped a dramatic death, or possibly episode of flailing about and landing on the floor!

we did things like press up tests and learned partner assisted stretching ๐Ÿ™‚ this was much nicer!!

The second day was much more fun, we did a lot of resistance based tests and learned advanced resistance techniques ๐Ÿ˜€

I like advanced resistance techniques…


ok…not that heavy…or that (nearly) naked!

we learned such things as pyramid sets and negative sets and drop sets and supersets…and then basically got to try some out ๐Ÿ˜€

which was awesome as it meant that me and the woman I was partnered with (also called Rachel, but not the one you have heard of before) got to do some good fun heavy lifting!

we did pyramid bench presses and squat drop sets and some preloading for bench pressing…it was lots of fun…and now my legs ache!!

we then added to the fun by playing with more functional bits of equipment…you know…all the good stuff I learned about on my course a couple of weeks ago ๐Ÿ˜€ which meant that I got to play standing on a bosu having a med ball thrown at me…again ๐Ÿ˜€ yes…believe it or not, I actually enjoy that ๐Ÿ˜€

Generally speaking it was an awesome weekend ๐Ÿ˜€

Now I just need to find a guinea pig to practice on before my assessment ๐Ÿ˜€

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