Happy birthday boyfriend

Happy birthday to my other half Jamie! Today my love turns 24. He messaged me just after midnight last night when he was at work saying that he’s now old. Then what am I?! I’m after all two years older than him! Thanks for that Jamie haha. Being with you for all these years has been an adventure! We’ve done so much together and I love having you by my side through life.

Unfortunately Jamie has been working all day today but I managed to squeeze in a mini birthday celebration with breakfast in bed before he headed for work. I got him a peanut butter brownie from Riverhill and made some avocado and salmon sandwiches with a cup of tea. I think he enjoyed his little surprise. No presents today because we thought it would be nicer to have a nice chilled time whilst he opens his presents rather than rushing just before work. So his birthday has not officially been celebrated yet but at least it was something. Tomorrow we’ll do it properly.

Guys, I only slept for two hours last night and I’m so tired. I can’t even keep my eyes open whilst writing this post. I was sitting on one of kitchen chairs and could feel my head dropping and realised my eyes were closed. I just couldn’t sleep last night and dreamt nightmares. Safe to say it’ll be an early night for me!! Such a rockstar hehe.

I’m sorry it’s not a longer post today but I’ll be back in action again tomorrow with a bit more energy I hope!

M xxx

It’s official!

Hehe, already managed to make my certificate a bit dirty… Smooth Maddie, smooth…

Look what came in the mail the other day! This is incredibly surreal seeing my name on such a pretty and shiny piece of paper together with the title “Crossfit Level 1 Trainer”! It’s paper official now guys! Another incredibly surreal thing is that my name is in the trainer directory on the Crossfit website. So if you search for my name I come up. Crazy! Something I never thought would happen.

Now I just need to figure out my next steps and what I want to do now. Decisions decisions! I have a rough idea but have no idea if it will actually happen. I’ve got quite a big change coming up soon which is why I haven’t really actively thought of what the next step in terms of coaching and such. Sorry that yet again it’s all a bit up in the air and that I’m not telling you exactly what’s going on but once everything is confirmed I’ll let you know! It’s super exciting and very scary but a change is needed and I feel as ready as I can be. Terrified one second and super excited the next. I guess that’s what happens when you’re making one of your dreams happen! After years of wishing.

Speaking of Crossfit! 18.5 was announced and this time around there was an online vote, the Crossfit community got to decide for the second time ever what the workout would be. The first time it happened was in the actual Crossfit Games a couple of years ago. So I think this is the first time for that to ever happen in the Open, which is quite cool.

This morning I sat and watched the workout announcement, did you guys vote for the workout? I voted for the first option just because I thought at least I can get something done (hopefully). I’ll explain more about the workouts in my last Open post next week. I then watched the incredibly badass Annie, Katrin and Sara do the workout. I absolutely love those three women. They are so inspiring and see the three of them competing head to head like that in Iceland was pretty incredible! If I even become a fraction as good as them I’ll be incredibly happy. Man was it close with the girls only finishing with a couple of point between each other. One break too long and you could have lost the win in this case.

I’m excited to try out this final Crossfit Open workout for myself this evening! Chest to bar for me will be tough but I’ll go in and do my best as I’ve done with all the other workouts. It’ll be a fun time with all of us getting our submissions done and then heading out for some food to celebrate us all surviving the Open. Afterwards Faye and I will hopefully watch the latest Crossfit Games documentary. I cannot tell you how excited I am to watch it. We’ve been waiting for this for months and it’s finally time to see it. It looks absolutely insanely good. Even if you don’t do Crossfit you should watch it because the competitors at that level are like super humans and you get so inspired by them. My sister and her boyfriend have watched the documentary on Netflix and absolutely loved it.

Whose responsibility is it?

Last week I was at my old gym at Glasgow Uni for a workout as you know and while I was there I had a bit of a realisation. I was standing in the weights area in between my lifting and just people watching. I love looking about and seeing what people get up to.

As I was watching them doing their lifts I saw a lot of people who clearly knew what they were doing and on the other hand quite a few people who didn’t. There was a lot of poor form and in some instances I felt like some of them could’ve really hurt themselves. I’m not in anyway saying that my form is always on point or that I’m an expert but I could clearly see that these people probably would’ve needed some form of coaching or help.

A lot of the time poor form is due to the fact that the person isn’t even aware of what they look like when they’re lifting or a lack of knowledge of what the lift should feel or look like. I used to be there. I had no idea what I was doing and deadlifts in particular was a movement I didn’t get at all no matter how much I tried. When I was standing there watching these people on their journeys, doing these movements because they want to get fitter I felt bad because they are trying so hard yet if someone would’ve just told them to readjust slightly, they would get a much more efficient workout plus, more importantly, avoid the risk of injury.

I started thinking, do more commercial gyms have a responsibility to their members to make sure they move properly? Who’s responsibility is it to make sure that they aren’t hurting themselves and keeping good form? At G5 we have Stella watching us but we are also often working in pairs where we help each other acknowledge what we’re doing to help improve our movement. This just doesn’t really happen in commercial gyms. I don’t have anything against Glasgow Uni gym at all, I think it’s one of the best gyms I’ve been to but I’m just thinking of the culture around these gyms and even more so the big chains such as Pure Gym and The Gym.

I see loads of staff walking about in these gyms but I feel like it’s not in the culture of a commercial gym for the staff, who are educated in training people, to make sure the members keep good form. I find it so scary and worry when people are lifting heavy weights without being aware of what muscles to engage. I wonder if these commercial gyms might change now when smaller gyms are on the rise offering coaching and advise whenever the members are in the gym. I hope so!

What are your thoughts on this? I’d love to hear your experiences. I know a lot of the time people want to be left alone when training and can take it personally when you try and help them, as if they don’t know as much. I wish there was more of culture of helping and supporting. I was standing there at the gym watching these two friends doing deadlifts without engaging their core so they had a caved back, it might work okay with lighter weights (if even that) but once you start lifting, that could have really bad consequences. I’m not at all saying all commercial or bigger gyms are like this at all but this is my general experience from going to quite a few of them.

It’s such a contrast from the smaller gyms I love going to where the coaching is very hands on and everyone is helping out everyone. You welcome the feedback and the tips to improve.

I know there are induction sessions you can sign up to when you join a new gym a lot of the time where they take you through all the equipment and such but maybe the solution is for the gym to have a more hands on approach with the members in their gyms? I suppose the issue is the staff aren’t being paid the right wages for them to have that hands on approach, which is fair enough and an increase in wages would result in pricier memberships. Additionally, it’s also a matter of what do the members pay for? Is it just the physical access to the facilities and the equipment? Is it knowledge and education? Is it one or the other? Is it both?

I know Glasgow Uni gym also offers weightlifting workshops at times as well but I know from my own experience, that you don’t really tend to do to go to these things and just think that what you’re doing is fine. Which is why again I think a more hands on approach on the gym floor could be the solution. Just walking up and quickly showing what they could improve and then move on rather than a full hour or two of coaching because it’s difficult to captivate people for that long who just want to be in and out.

I really hope you guys take this post the right way. I am not in anyway trying to be arrogant saying I know everything and all people who go to commercial gyms are rubbish. Commercial gyms are a great option for a lot people, you get access around the clock, which means there are no excuses to not get a workout in. It’s cheap meaning it’s financially viable for a larger group of the population to go. You can go to loads of different gyms with the same membership. I’m just thinking that the culture and the relationships within these commercial gyms maybe has to change to create a more supportive environment where members and staff are helping and learning from each other.

It was just a thought I had coming from a very different angle from where I was when I regularly went to bigger and more commercial gyms. Maybe it’s just me who’s so used to the culture of the smaller gym and actually I’m overreacting? It’s just interesting looking at something from a different perspective. Maybe the what’s going on in these gyms is how it should be and it’s the members responsibility to make sure they exercise within their abilities? We’re all adults after all and should be able to fend for ourselves. I’m not sure, which was why I wanted to bring it up and see what you guys thought! I’d love to hear. I’m trying to see both sides. At the end of the day all I wish is for people to not hurt themselves and for everyone enjoy exercising, however that happens 🙂

18.4 Redo time


I’m sorry there was no post up yesterday! The day just ran away with me and before I knew it it was just too late for me to post I thought so I’ll redeem myself today with this post hopefully. It’s all about 18.4 and the Crossfit Open!

As I mentioned the other day, Faye and I watched the announcement together on Friday morning whilst drinking some tea. I was super excited when I first found out it was deadlifts. Not as excited when the other parts to the workout were handstand push ups and further along in the workout handstand walks! I’m glad I’d been practising handstand push ups and could get a couple but I’d never done it to a target before on the wall. More about that later on!

18.4 for female RX was: 21-15-9 deadlifts (70kg) and handstand push ups. So you do 21 deadlifts, 21 handstand push ups, 15 and 15, 9 and 9. If you got through all of that and you still had time left you started at 21 again but this time it was 21-15-9 of deadlifts (93kg) and 50 ft handstand walk in between each round of deadlifts. All of this in 9 minutes! Yup, 9 minutes and the elite will finish it in less.

I knew already then that if I did RX my workout would stop after the first 21 deadlifts and a couple of handstand push ups. The other option was to go scaled but I knew doing the handstand push ups would challenge me more and hopefully push me to do more than I was hoping for with the time pressure.

This time we all came in on the Friday evening to do our submissions to be able to get our Saturday class back and open gym on Sunday. So no trial run this time. I think that was just as well because ahndstand push ups are really tiring on your muscles.

I came in in the evening and wasn’t feeling good about the workout at all. I don’t know what it was but I felt stressed and really not up for doing it. I had loads of things going on in my head and stuff around me happening in my life and doing this workout all of a sudden felt like the last thing I wanted to do. Faye tried to calm me down but I couldn’t help but feel really horrible and I couldn’t even point my finger at why. I think it got worse when I was practising a couple of handstand push ups beforehand and couldn’t get a single one. Not even close. At one point I felt like I didn’t want to do it at all that evening. I just wanted to go home and try again on Sunday.

I stood there watching loads of people doing their submissions and in the end I calmed down and decided to give it a go. In worst case I thought I could just redo it. We set up for me to do it and off I went. The deadlifts felt so good, I love deadlifts and did the 21 unbroken. If you don’t get through the handstand push ups you will most likely end up tied with someone who got the same number as you so the time you finished the last set of deadlifts is your time breaker time so it’s good to finish them quickly.

I went over to the wall and stood there for a while and stared. I then decided to go for it. I went into my handstand (heels above the line marked out for me on the wall). That was new for me too, starting in a handstand and lowering myself down to then do my first push up. Before I had gone straight into the crouchy position and kicked up. It made a massive difference to where your hands were so I had to readjust them before kicking up into the handstand. I lowered myself down from the handstand, moved my hands slightly forward from my head, brought my knees down, stayed there for a moment and then just pushed with everything I had. “YES!” I heard Ange scream and I got my first rep. After that initial try it felt so much better and I felt my spirits lift a little bit. Maybe I could do this? The nine minutes went by quickly but I got thrown off by a quite a few no reps and in hindsight I realised I should’ve taken longer breaks to avoid spending so much energy on reps I couldn’t complete. I finished with 5 handstand push ups in the end and I felt a lot happier. I was glad I had done the workout.

All weekend I had thoughts about whether to attempt it again or not. Sunday open gym came and I still couldn’t make up my mind. I ended up not doing it then. To be honest it was so cold in the gym on Sunday I didn’t really feel like doing anything at all. I was like an ice cube and just ended up doing 100 calories on the assault bike, some rowing and other bits and bobs to stay warm.

I spoke to Stella about redoing it on Monday morning and later on in the day she said that I could come in in the evening to redo it during the late class if I wanted to. At that point I thought, why not? It’s only 9 minutes and I already had my other attempt on video so if I did worse I could just submit the other one. I had nothing to lose.

In I went once again. I had Carole, Faye and Ange help me (thank you guys!). It felt a lot more chilled this time around with not as many people watching as on Friday. Plus I was in a way better headspace. Faye counted down and then I started my deadlifts. I finished them 2 seconds faster than on Friday (33 seconds), meaning I had a slightly better tiebreaker time! I then went over to that wall once again. It’s funny in these workouts how you feel like you stand about forever staring at it but it’s actually only a couple of seconds looking back on the video. I went in for my first HSPU attempt and got no repped. I think I went in too soon after finishing my deadlifts. Not the best start!

I had told Faye to tell me when every 30 seconds or so had gone after every attempt so I gave myself proper rest. I waited and waited, then it was time for another attempt and I got it! My tactic seemed to work. I ended up getting 6 this time instead of 5 so only one more rep than my attempt on Friday but they felt so much better. Every time I got a rep I felt solid and strong and looking at the video I looked a lot more confident on each rep rather than on Friday when I was all over the place. I still got my reps but the technique wasn’t as good. I was so much happier with that attempt and was glad I made myself do it again and the thing is, it would only improve my positioning on the leaderboard as well.

A huge win for me even in this workout was kicking up into a handstand against the wall as confidently as I did for each rep. Not long ago that wouldn’t have even been possible because I for some reason got scared of the wall. Don’t ask me why haha! It was something in my head screaming no every time I tried. Now I do it as if I’d never had those thoughts in my life because I consistently worked to get past that voice in my head. Now I don’t really think about it much at all anymore and it’s so extremely liberating. I feel proud every time I do it.

I ended up enjoying 18.4 a lot more than I thought I would. Again, because it forced me to get out of my comfort zone and also stop and think about my tactics to get the best performance out of me. In my first attempt I got carried away after getting no repped and immediately tried again for a second rep rather than letting myself rest in between and save energy. I want it to go fast when sometimes taking it slow is the best way to get more out of me in these instances.

You always learn something! I can’t believe it’s already the last week of the Open. We were talking about that we haven’t seen any wall balls, box jumps or thrusters yet in any workouts so we’ll see what comes up. Imagine having them all in the same workout. Thrusters and wall balls are  very similar movement so that could be interesting!

After doing our submissions on Friday Stella is arranging for all of us to go for dinner to celebrate the end of the Open. Sounds like it’s going to be a fun night. Let’s hope the last workout is a good one! It’ll be exciting to see all the Icelandic Crossfit queens Katrin, Annie and Sara compete during the announcement of 18.5 and also the latest Crossfit Games documentary of the 2017 Games is released on Friday!! I am so freaking excited to watch it, it looks like it’s going to be epic. I think Faye might be coming over after dinner on Friday and we’ll try and watch it.