My last day in Stockholm


Met up with my cousin Calle and trying to help him snatch

Cousin photo!

Post-workout tea at Espresso House

Managed to sneak in another poké bowl for lunch. I was very happy about this.

Running about town with Sanna in the afternoon looking in shops

We ended up in a toy store and Sanna found ice cream maker toy. If you know how much she loves ice cream you’d know how happy she was haha.
The day finished off with a lovely dinner with the family at Balzac. They had a lovely vegan dish which Anki and I tried. Super fresh and tasty. If I was starving it would’ve been a bit too small of a portion for me but I wasn’t super hungry for once.

It’s already been a week since I came back from Sweden. The day before you leave is always the busiest. You think it’s not going to be but there are always some last minute things that happen meaning you end up rushing all over the place needing to get errands done.

The morning was really fun, I met up with my cousin Calle at the gym. He really wanted to learn how to snatch so we spent most of the time just doing that and chatting. I love my cousin Calle and he’s always felt more like a brother than a cousin because we’ve always been really close. He struggled a bit with his mobility during the snatch drills. Mobility is really key for a good snatch so he’s got some things to work on now until when I next see him! HE said he was going to keep practising! Olympic weightlifting is difficult because it’s all technique and very precise. You really can’t cheat your way around it or almost do it, either you can do it or you can’t. As frustrating that truth can be sometimes haha.

We were in the gym for a while until we had snatched enough and then headed to the nearby Espresso House for a tea to properly talk about what’s going on in our lives. We could’ve sat there and spoken for ages but I eventually had to go and pick up my passport which luckily was ready to be picked up just in time. I’m very happy I’ve got a brand new passport for Australia so I don’t have to worry about it expiring whilst I’m there. That could’ve been stressful!

The wait was quite long at the police and by the time I was done I was STARVING, it was lunch time so I suppose that made sense hehe. On the way back to my parent’s I stopped by Hawaii Poké for another poké bowl. Again, I couldn’t get over how good it was. It’s probably one of the tastiest things I’ve ever had. After satisfying my hunger I went home to shower and get changed and then head to the bank. Where I randomly saw my old neighbour from when I used to live Stockholm. What are the odds off that? I haven’t seen her for years. I didn’t think she’s recognise me because she’s quite old and I hadn’t seen her for years so I didn’t say hi but it’s odd how things like that happen.

The rest of the afternoon I looked in some shops to pick up bits and pieces. I got some Swedish food things for Jamie which I know he likes and Sanna came and kept me company for a bit. It was so nice to see her  one last time before I left. We grabbed some smoothies at Blueberry as a snack whilst walking about. They’ve got some lovelies ones there. I had one with peanut butter in it (of course, I’m so predictable…). We eventually had to hug goodbye because I needed to head back to the parents to start packing.

We weren’t sure what to do for dinner, in the end we ended up going to the nearby French bistro Balzac. It’s lovely in there. My parents are obsessed with France and it’s funny how there are now two French bistros not far from where they live. To my surprise they had a vegan dish. I did not expect that at all. One of the elements was a vegan feta cheese, it didn’t taste like feta at all but it was still good. Not the biggest dish in the world. If I would’ve been my usual hungry self it wouldn’t have been enough. I find that so odd with veggie and vegan dishes because you do need more food to fill you up when you eat that way and yet restaurants serve you so little. The meal was a lovely way to finish my Stockholm trip with. I’ve got no idea when I’ll next be back but I’m so glad I’ve got this amazing trip as a memory when I’m far away on the other side of the world.

Proving Grounds 2018


Stella MCing away

Brought salads because the food at these events is usually not great 

Sprints and front squats 
G5 support crew 

Team Destined for Divorce (Ray J and  KJ)

Team G5 Jerks (Adam and Julie)

Super happy me!

The final WOD

And they were done!


Falafel burger at Drygate with the team

I got to hold baby Emily! One week old, she’s beautiful. Did I tell you I love babies? (Photo borrowed from Chris)

Some of the gang! (Photo borrowed from Chris)

I absolutely love competition days, whether it’s me competing or cheering on someone else, it’s just the most fun days. The G5 crew is always out in full force and we scream and shout from the beginning until the end. This time it was time to head out to Motherwell (just outside Glasgow) to cheer on our two teams who qualified for Proving Grounds XY at Ravenscraig Sport Centre, G5 Jerks and Destined for Divorce. Proving Grounds is one of the biggest mixed pairs competitions in the UK.

Carole (Faye’s mum) very kindly picked Ellie and I up at my flat in the morning. It was meant to be the hottest and sunniest day of the year so far, and we were going to be inside all day. Oh the irony of life. What don’t you do to support your gym buddies? 😛 We got there just before the G5 team’s first heat started to wish them luck.

They were incredible all day the G5 teams. The WODs were heavy and tough, with a few surprise elements such as changing the barbells up for a wider one to test out the grip strength and adding weighted vests to the final workout. The final workout looked very juicy, air squats, pull ups and burpees all with an extra 6kg on for the women and 9kg for the men.

Not only did we have the G5 teams competing, we had Stella on the microphone commentating on the event all day. She did a brilliant job and sounds like a natural that lady! I don’t know how she doesn’t run out of things to say. It’s a long day.

In between workouts there were some vendors about you could have a browse at such as Greaves Sports and lululemon. The lulu girls were hosting a synchro burpee challenge, do as many synchro burpees as you could in 30 seconds. You had to be a guy and a girl. Chris and I gave it a bash and got 13. Then MJ and Ian swooped in and got an entire 15. That was impressive. 30 seconds really isn’t a lot of time!

Ellie seemed to absolutely love her first Crossfit competition experience and towards the end she was joining in on the shouting and cheering too.

If I would give anyone a tip for going to a Crossfit competition it’s bring your own food! You’re not always guaranteed there’ll be something decent to eat. I know most likely because I don’t eat meat there won’t be something available so I’ve brought food to all the ones I’ve been to so far. The food at Ravenscraig was really bad so I’m glad we didn’t have to worry about starving Ellie and I.

One thing that was amazing to watch was Steph Dekker competing in the RX category! She just qualified for her second Crossfit Regionals so she’s going to be competing in Berlin in May. It was crazy to see the level of her fitness in comparison to everyone else competing, she’s just playing a different ball game. Not a drop of sweat at any point in any of the workouts and didn’t seem to show any nerves whatsoever. She just walked in and smashed it and didn’t seem to take any effort at all. What an incredible athlete she is.

After the teams finished, we packed up and headed to Drygate for some burgers and celebration of the incredible teams. They really gave it their all and did G5 proud. It was incredible to watch them push and push through each WOD. You could see it was very trialling at times but they kept on going.

Chris from the gym brought his lovely family along to Drygate so we all got a chance to meet and hold their latest addition to the family, baby Emily. She was only a week old and so cute! I even got a chance to hold her and you just can’t take your eyes off her. She was so little and peaceful, didn’t make a noise as she was passed around to everyone around the table.

We were all knackered (or at least I was) after an eventful day. Competition days are tiring, even if you’re not competing because you’re so nervous for the ones competing and you scream and shout them through every workout. So I was quite happy to head home afterwards to my bed. Randomly on my way out I bumped into Kajsa who was at Drygate too! It was the best surprise ever seeing her! I haven’t seen her since before I went to Sweden.

I then headed out and was going to walk to the underground and take it home but it was still really nice outside even though the sun had pretty much set at that point that I walked all the way home. What a day, I knew it was going to be my last time supporting the G5 crew live before moving so I really tried to take it all in and really truly appreciate being there and enjoying every second (I always do but being a bit more mindful about it). I’m going to miss days like this, so incredibly much.

Sis visiting G5


I know this is super pixly but it was too cute not to post. I LOVE baby Samúéil. He is one of the smiliest babies I’m ever met.

Ellie doing her 35 calories on the assault bike
 Push press time!
And we’re done!!

A photo with SB is a must!

Finished off with a brunch outside at the new Singl-End in Merchant City

My sister finally made it to G5 on Friday! It was a long time coming. I’ve been wanting her to join in on the fun for forever but it’s just not been the right time until the other day. It was a great workout for her to do as well. For being the first time in G5, she took it all like a pro. She does train so definitely gives you an advantage rather than just being thrown in the deep end, it can be a bit of a shock the first time you realise how intense the workouts can be.

Strong Mums was super busy, with babies everywhere. I finally got to see cutie Samúéil again after them being away over Easter and me being in Sweden. He has grown so much and has started moving about loads. I couldn’t believe how much he had grown since I last saw him. Still just as smiley!

I loved Friday’s workouts. For the first part we were allocated either the ski erg, assault bike or rower. You had a 5 minute time cap to do 35 calories for scaled or 50 calories for RX individually. Ellie and I were on a team with Sara and we were given the assault bike. Oh that assault bike, how can you hate something and kind of love it at the same time? It’s painful at times but you know it’s good for you. I went first and when I sat there, Sara and I were told we’re doing the 50 calories. I wasn’t even sure I’d finish 50 calories in one go under 5 minutes! I’d never even attempted such a big cycle on the assault bike before. I knew it was going to be painful haha. Or as I would say, interesting (just to make it sound a bit more positive).

Stella yelled go and off I went, I tried to do a more steady pace at first and then blast it out towards the end. As I was sitting there struggling Stella came up and said that Faye had done it in 3:59 so I had that time to beat. No pressure… How on Earth was I going to beat that?! That was an amazing time. Around the halfway point, 25 calories, that is usually a longer push for me in one go, it was tough thinking I had another 25 to go. At one point I couldn’t really feel my legs anymore. Towards the end I could hear Stella shouting the time and knowing I had Faye’s time to beat I dug in deep and pushed for the final calories. I wanted to get a good time on this stupid bike.When the display finally ticked over to 50 calories I couldn’t have been happier. I ended up with a time of 3.40!! I was over the moon. I got off and tried to crouch down to grab my water off the floor and my legs were all over the place. I had no control over what was going on haha. A bit like Bambi on ice!

Then Sara did a brilliant run with her 50 calories and then it was Ellie’s turn. She had 35 calories to do and she smashed it. I was so proud of her.

The next bit was a five minute time cap for finding your 3 rep max front squat. Ellie and I paired up and I started. After that assault bike I wasn’t sure what was going to happen to my legs once I put weight on them. Anyway, weights on the barbell, lifters on and magic belt on. Let’s go! I started off with 55 which felt good. Then I did 60! My three rep max for Rainhill was 55kg so I was really happy with 60 but I felt like I had more in me. We loaded on 65 which is over my one rep max. I got them too! I thought maybe, just maybe I could get 67.5 as well. I got the first rep and the second one but on the third one it got too heavy so I dropped it. Either way, I got new PBs for my three rep (ten kilos heavier!) and one rep max. I was really surprised when it happened.

Ellie did amazing with her front squats considering she never does them and got 42.5 kg! Strong strong lady. I even got her in my lifting shoes so she looked like she meant business!

The next part was a three rep max push press with a 5 minute time cap. I started with 40 kg which went fine. Then 45, a bit tougher that one but I got it. Then 47.5kg! I got those too (I was so happy with that). Then attempted a bit heavier (I can’t remember the weight) but at that point my arms gave up. 47.5 kg for a push press for me is heavy. I usually jerk for that kind of weight so thinking that I can now push press that weight made me really happy.

The push press is a bit more down to technique and timing a well as strength. Ellie struggled a bit on those but got 25 kilos and did more practise ones on it until the time cap just to get a feel for the movement. I think her, like me, and a lot of other women struggle with our upper body strength. Both her and I are built very similar, a bit smaller in our upper body and muscular around our bum and thighs. It’s taken me a long time to build up the strength in my upper body that I have now but it’s better now than ever. When I was in Sweden I did a lot of strict overhead movements and pull ups and I think that’s really helped.

The finisher was as many burpees as possible in 5 minutes! Not an easy finisher but interesting to see how many you could actually squeeze in in that time. Five minutes feels like an eternity doing a workout like this. The goal for scaled was 50, intermediate 70 and 100 for RX. I was aiming for at least 70 but really didn’t know how it would go. The issue I struggle with is that I sometimes go out too hard at the beginning and then fade, like with the assault bike. I’m now trying to get better at pacing myself and go nice and steady at first and then push towards the end. About 50 or so burpees in my legs were on fire but as we say in G5, you can always throw yourself on the floor and get up again so that’s what I did. Just keep swimming as the Great Dory of Finding Nemo also says. I got past 70 and the five minute time cap was approaching. In the final seconds I managed to squeeze a couple more in and got 78 burpees. Not too bad, not too bad at all. I didn’t stop ever to break and went consistently throughout the time and I was really happy with my effort.

It was then Ellie’s turn. I really wanted to make sure she was pacing herself and didn’t tired herself out. It’s tough when you’ve never really done something like this before. Usually you do a shorter blast of burpees and not a five minute burpeeathon! I told her to aim for 50 and everything else was a bonus. We started off with her doing 10s and then a I got her to take a short break, walk around in a little circle and then did ten more. I could tell she was getting tired and we instead changed it to fives with shorter breaks for her to catch her breath. She was a real champ and before the time was up she’d managed 54 burpees. She did amazing.

I loved how happy she looked throughout the entire class and I know she’s been struggling with stress at university (I can really relate to that, those of you who have been following me since my uni days know how stressed I was whilst I was studying and training kept me sane). She even said she wanted to come back so we’re planning in for her to join in a couple of times before I leave for her to find out if this could be something for her.

After training you of course need a nice meal and we needed a catch up so we headed to Singl-end’s second venue which just opened in Merchant City. It was slightly sunny and being the desperate Northern Europeans we are, we sat outside despite how cold it got when the clouds passed the sun. Just for those little glimpses of light and warmth. The new Singl-end is lovely and very cosy! They really lucked out when they got their hands on that venue. The food was delicious, portions a bit smaller than the other venue but still super tasty. We sat there for ages until it was time to carry on with our day. At that point I convinced Ellie to come with us to Proving Grounds to watch her first Crossfit competition, I was so happy to have her join us on the cheer squad fun!

By the way, in two weeks today I’ll be waiting to board my plane to Australia. I can’t believe it’s happening so soon. I’ve still got loads to do before I leave but I’ll get it done! Two weeks, that’s really no time at all!

Avicii

Oh my god, what’s going on?! When I read last night that Avicii had been found dead I was in shock. I couldn’t believe it. 28 years old. He had so much life ahead of him. His music was the soundtrack to my teenage years and my early twenties. When I was out clubbing in Stockholm in my wild party days, especially in the night club Rose, I still remember when they put on “Levels” and how the whole club went euphoric. Everyone was singing even though there were basically almost no lyrics in the song and dancing. It was an incredible moment and one I still remember to this day and I can truly feel that happiness whenever that song comes on. It really brings a smile to my face.

“Wake Me Up” we used to play during the summers in Spain during uni. Whenever I hear it, it takes me back to those gorgeous carefree hot summer days. I can almost feel the sun rays on my skin.

“I Could be the One” is just another incredible tune which makes me remember my uni days. Some amazing days.

These are only three of the many songs which I adore created by Avicii. Tim, you’ve created so many incredible songs to help me remember some of my happiest moments of my youth. I know it makes sound old but what I mean is, when these songs will come on in ten or twenty years time, these are the memories and feelings they’ll bring up. It’s incredible how music is so much more than the song, it’s the moments you listen to them. They help you remember, even when you thought you had forgotten. Music is one of the few ways I’ve actually been able to feel a memory and just a hint of the emotions you had in the moment they were played. It brings back so much to you, it’s like time machine.

Tim you left far too soon. I hope wherever you are you will continue to spread your music and your passion the way you did here with us. You will never be forgotten and we’ll continue to create beautiful memories to your songs in years to come.

Sorry I just had to write something because I find this incredibly sad and I can’t even imagine what his friends and family are going through finding out this news.

However, life goes on for the rest of us here. The sun is shining beautifully in Glasgow and today, despite the sad news, is still an exciting day because two teams from G5 are competing at Proving Grounds! It’s one of the UK’s biggest mixed pairs competitions and it’s just outside of Glasgow so very soon Carole, myself and Ellie (yes I managed to get my sister Ellie to come along!) are heading over to cheer on the teams competing for G5 but also support Stella who is MCing the event. It’s going to be so much fun watching her in action as well.

Time to get ready to get going, Carole is picking is up at nine. Have a lovely Sunday 🙂