CFRB Marathon Row

Mim and I of course had to get matching outfits

Getting set up to go

Only 42195m to go…

And off we went!

Outfits on point

My turn! 12km 

We were very happy with our finishing time

Done done done!

My awesome girls

Time for the second round, mainly guys doing the entire marathon individually!

Hello strangers! It’s been a while. I needed to gather my thoughts and gather inspiration. It’s been nice to do my own thing without feeling the pressure of having to post on here. It’s been good and I’m hoping now’s the time for me to start writing again. I can’t make any promises on how regularly it will be because, I don’t want to force it but fingers crossed it’ll go a bit better this time around.

The reason I really wanted to write is that I really really want to share a bit about our marathon row at Crossfit Red Bluff. It’s been over two weeks since it happened now and wow, what a day it was for an important cause. In total we raised over 10 000 dollars for Polished Man. It just made it even more worthwhile knowing we in some way to contribute to making a change in the world.

When our coaches first mentioned we were going to do a marathon row in the gym my immediate reaction was no, it’s not going to happen! I had watched bits of the marathon row during this year’s Crossfit Games and it had taken some of the fittest athletes in the world around three hours to do. I couldn’t even imagine how long it would take me. It felt like it would put too much of a strain on my body and I was worried to hurt myself! When the coaches then said we could complete in teams of two or three I felt like that could be a good challenge. After some deliberation we decided to do it, originally Mich, Mim, Em and I were going to it as a four. However, our coaches really thought pairs would be the best way to make sure you really did push yourself outside your comfort zone. In the end we split the group in half, Mim and I paired up and Mich and Em paired up.

I was a bit nervous, Mim is an incredible rower and has years of competing in rowing under her belt. She would fly through it no problem. I had never done anything similar in my life and had no clue how my body was going to put up with all this rowing! But, it was a challenge and it’s good to push yourself to see what you can accomplish.

I didn’t think much more of the row until the morning of it when Mim and I were eating breakfast and were getting a bit nervous. We actually had to do this today. Scary thought! I don’t think we had quite mentally prepared ourselves for it but sometimes I guess it’s better to just take it as it comes. We had decided to split the row into two parts. First doing 12km each and then about 9km each. We wanted to go over halfway for the first one so the second round on the rower would feel a bit less daunting.

The gym had an awesome vibe when we came down. Everyone was a bit nervous but excited to see how the day would pan out. We got set up with all the rowers facing each other. We ran through some safety procedures and things to think about to avoid injury. Then it was almost time to go. We set the rowers to counting down our metres from 42 195m. Mim was first out on our rower. Then “Row row row your boat” was put on and away we went. It was amazing to see everyone getting started, we really had no idea of how long it was going to take some of us to do it but we were all in it together and cheering each other on.

Mim was on the rower for about an hour. Her stroke rate was insane to watch. Her technique is insane to watch. Considering she is recovering from a knee injury, you just would never know she had any struggles with it. That first hour for me watching went by really quickly! I’m not sure if Mim would say the same. Before I knew it, it was my turn to get on the rower. Scary thought.

I’m quite bad for going out too fast on the row, ski or bike because I get excited and get a bit carried away. This time around I was really focusing on trying to keep a consistent and steady pace. I did relatively well and was happy with the stroke rate I ended up doing. Not too far off from Mim’s, however less consistent in some parts. You would think that an hour on the rower would feel like an eternity but now looking back it’s almost like you end up in a trance. You loose concept of time and your only focus is really on those numbers on the screen, just making sure you stay consistent on those strokes. It actually went by a lot quicker than I thought and eventually it was time to get off the rower again.

I could feel my left glute and hamstring had seized up. Luckily, we had a masseur on hand who helped me out. I got a time slot after a bit of waiting and she said she could really feel I’d worked up some tension in there. It was very lucky she was there! I don’t know how long I spent there but all of a sudden it was my turn again. I could hear people screaming but couldn’t hear it was my name! Poor Mim had finished her row and was waiting for me to swap and I hadn’t heard her so she kept on going. Eventually I heard it was my name being shouted and ran across the gym to swap with her. I felt so bad. Silly silly me.

It was now the final 9k, after this we would be done! People were slowly starting to finish their rows, some finishing around three hours, which is crazy good! On the final two kilometres I was starting to struggle. It was getting really tough. I asked Mim to put on Spotify on my phone and get my headphones on. I needed to shut everything out and just go. Everything felt tired but somehow the music helped give me new energy and I improved my stroke rate considerably. I heard people gathering around us as the metres were ticking down. We weren’t far away and I heard some form of mumbling through the music of encouraging words. Eventually we got down to zero and our row was over! I felt dead. I rolled off the rower and then Mim and I got loads of high fives and well dones. I love how supportive and encouraging everyone is.

I felt bad that I didn’t do my full row so afterwards I did the 500 metres I’d missed! It felt good to have redeemed myself a little bit.

We then spent the rest of the time leading up to our lunch break cheering on the final teams and individuals finishing off. Yes some incredible people did the entire row on their own! It was so impressive (and a bit painful) to watch! When everyone had finished it was time for a lunch break. I was so hungry after all of that and stuffed myself with a veggie burger and sweet potato with hummus Mim and I had brought with us. It was soooo goood.

Once lunch had been served and devoured the afternoon heat started. This heat had mainly individuals doing it and wow, they did so well! It looked awful at times. I can’t imagine how difficult it must’ve been mentally and physically to not have anyone to switch with so you can recover! They got off the rowers a couple of times to stretch and shake off their legs. Everyone else was just hanging around shouting encouragement and cheering these individuals on.

Three and a half hours later everyone had finished! I think I must’ve been on an endorphin rush or something previously because I just crashed at this point. I felt knackered! Plus really disgusting. I just really wanted a shower and more food. Mim and I left not long after everyone had finished. As soon as we got home we ordered a vegan pizza from Crust (the only pizza I’ve actually ever really liked) and waited for it to arrive. That pulled jackfruit pizza is insane and wow it tasted even better after all that rowing. Then a warm shower awaited! We had to get ready for Perry’s birthday celebrations. A pretty good way to round off a very eventful day. We were knackered but still had a good time.

I’m so glad I took part in this amazing day! So many people came down to watch and cheer everyone on. We had the BBQ on and yeah, it’ll be a day I’ll always remember. A great excuse to spend time with all your friends in the gym whilst raising money for charity. A Saturday well spent.

My Aussie 26th

Brunch with Mim at Urban Projuice

Best pancakes I’ve ever had

We had up Unlimited to ourselves!

Legless ladder climbs

With my birthday twin Mich

A poke bowl to finish the day off

Hello my dears! Long time no speak. I’ve had some serious difficulties finding time and the motivation to sit down and write anything. I’m trying to figure out whether blogging is something that still excites me. Maybe this is just a rough patch I’m going through and the inspiration will come back soon. I don’t want blogging to feel like a burden because it’s meant to be for fun. It was something I wholeheartedly loved and poured my soul into and I feel at the moment the posts are falling flat. I feel like I’m not putting as much thought into them as I used to. Fingers crossed I will wake up one day with more motivation and inspiration to write.

Either way, during the time I’ve had my little break I managed to fall flat on my face practising handstands and handstand walking! It was after class and I have been doing loads of practising against the wall, then PC helped me the other day and I got two steps on my hands with him ready to catch me in case I fell. So the other night I thought here goes nothing and tried it on my own. Ads came over and tried to coach me and a couple of people were standing there trying to support and encourage. The first couple felt alright but I couldn’t quite get the right balance. Ads said I had to push my legs over my head a bit more in the handstand to find better balance. I did and then all of a sudden, I think I was concentrating so much on my legs I forgot about my arms. My arms came out of the locked out position and all of a sudden my entire body was caught by my face on the ground. It all happened so quickly but I remember thinking in those seconds before, why am I not falling to the side? Why am I falling straight down on my face?

I think I was in slight shock at what had happened and I heard everyone around me watching saying ouch. I couldn’t feel any pain at first but after the initial shock settled I could feel the throbbing underneath my eye and I thought, shit this isn’t good… Apparently there was blood and I couldn’t see anything considering the injury was just underneath my eye. At first they were panicking that I’d scratched my eye but luckily, as you hope you would do when you fall against your face, I must’ve closed my eyes. I got an ice pack to help with the throbbing pain and laid on the floor for like an hour laughing one second and crying the next. My incredible friends just sat there next to me giving me hugs whilst I was having my meltdown. I was so annoyed with myself for my fall and that I had a massive cut on my face. On the other hand me even attempting to do a freestanding handstand was unimaginable up until only a week ago and now I’m actually trying to walk on my hands. Never in my life did I think I’d be able to maybe achieve something like that. So it was a win in a way. There’s always a silver lining. So yes, I’ve been getting some weird looks from people the past couple of days!

My bashed up face was a great look for when I turned 26 the other day haha! It feels like that came out of nowhere. Since when am I 26? I feel no different from the day I felt 20 and now I’m closer to 30 than 20. Being far away from home on your birthday, especially your first one in a new place could easily feel a bit lonely I think. No family there and your friends you’ve known for years are way away. I did feel a little bit homesick when I got messages from everyone and wishing they were here with me but I still had an amazing day.

In the morning I headed to the gym to do some of the extra programming. I got quite a few questions about my face situation and a lot of birthday wishes. So sweet! I did the gymnastic extra programming and then one of the extra cardio pieces. Once I got back home Mim and I got ready to head for brunch at Urban Projuice in Albert Park. I was there a couple of weeks ago with my friend Georgia and we couldn’t believe how good their pancakes were. It’s a lovely place with a healthy and nourishing menu. I think the pancakes are more on the indulgent side of the healthy spectrum but what are birthdays for?! Mim loved the pancakes just as much as I did and it was hysterical listening to her commentary about how good they were as she was eating them. The big breakfast is tasty too, not quite up to some other ones I’ve had but still really good.

After lunch Mim thought we should go to a place called Up Unlimited for a birthday activity. It’s a climbing centre where you not only climb on your standard walls but there are random objects and weird things to climb too. It’s kind of difficult to explain but I think the pictures gives you a good idea. Each place you climb has different levels you can do to challenge you. We had the entire place to ourselves which was pretty nice. Heights make my feel a bit dizzy, it’s come with age. When I was younger I had no problems with it at all but what better way to spend your birthday than to face your fears? You clip on and off to each wall yourself and it’s all automatic. At first it’s a bit scary just throwing yourself off the wall relying on a machine to slowly take you down to safety but after a few rounds you eventually didn’t even think twice before jumping.

An hour in there is a serious workout. We got so warm and our arms were shaking towards the end. The biggest struggle was that our hands got sweaty so it was difficult to hold onto the grips! Haha the struggle was real. Chalk wouldn’t have been a bad idea. We had a blast in there and our hour flew by. Mim and I were saying it would be such a good time to have everyone from the gym come down and do it together. I think there would be some serious competitions between everyone trying to beat one another.

By the time we had finished it was almost time for the gym again. This time around it was time to do the class. I was really looking forward to it as it was deadlifts! Three rounds of five reps increasing weights. I finished on 235lbs which is 106.5kg! Considering my last recorded one rep max was 108 I think, that’s really not bad at all. We then had a cardio piece which was double unders, toes to bar and rowing if I remember correctly. Juicy! We then hung around and did a bit more training afterwards before heading home. I needed to get some work done so I ordered a poke bowl on Ubereats, it was really good and had that as a little cherry on top of a really fun and eventful birthday.

Thank you again everyone who sent me so much love and birthday wishes. You made me feel so special and appreciate you taking the time to write to me!

Comeback on the mat

Yoga, yoga, yoga we meet again. Whilst I stay very consistent and disciplined with Crossfit, yoga on the other hand has dipped in and out of my life for the past couple of years. Once I’m in, I’m in and I go but once I’m out before I know it can be months until my next class. I think we all have that one thing we struggle with to keep consistent with and mine is definitely yoga. I know how good it feels when I’m doing it and how good I feel once it’s done but yet it just never seems to stick for a prolonged period of time. Things get in the way or I find a reason not to go, even though I do want to go and know my body needs it. I don’t know if that makes sense but hopefully someone else out there can relate to this.

Last weekend I was in the local lulu store here in Brighton and was speaking to the girls who worked there. I knew they had classes on and asked about when they were. 8.30-9-30am on Sundays. Perfect because it even meant I would have enough time after the class to cycle to track! How good is that? I decided then and there it was time to dust off the cobwebs and get back on the mat. It was time for a yoga comeback and yoga debut here in Australia. Boy, it’s been a long time coming!

The weather really wasn’t pretty when I opened the blinds in the morning yesterday, grey clouds and random showers… You never know with the weather here in Melbourne what will be coming next so I still packed to be able to go straight to track afterwards. The lulu store is only a short bike ride from where I currently stayed and as in the good old days in Glasgow, I was the first one there haha. Old habits die hard! I just think if you’re making the effort to go, you might as well make sure you get a spot in the class and go a bit earlier. The worst would be showing up and it being full. It wasn’t long until it was full outside the shop and they were letting us in to grab a mat.

I got a spot right in the front. I know a lot of people find it awkward to go to the front of the class but I prefer it because otherwise I can’t see what the teacher is doing if I’m unsure of the pose. Truth be told, even though you think people are watching you because you’re at the front, no one actually is. Everyone is fully immersed in their own thing and busy figuring out if they’re doing the pose right, I promise. Don’t let the fear stop you from going to the front to see better. It wil make such a difference to your experience.

Immediately when I sat down on the mat it brought back memories of lululemon Glasgow yoga, except in a far bigger space! It felt familiar and a bit like home. The songs playing through the speakers I’d heard before during many yoga classes and it felt like I actually hadn’t been gone from the mat for over three months. However, during class I was soon to find out my body did not quite agree. I was stiff! Some poses surprised me because I could still do them relatively well and others were shocking. It wasn’t quite as bad as I thought it would be but it’s an odd feeling when you remember how much easier it used to feel and how your body now can’t quite move the same way but it is to be expected when you haven’t done anything for such a long period of time.

From the moment we lied down on our yoga mats to start the class my body just went yeeeees! It felt nice to be lying there relaxing and listening to the calming voice of the teacher. It’s something I had missed. A moment in the day where I mindfully take time to chill and switch off. The gym is that to me too but in a very different way.

The class got me thinking about how it’s all relative. How tough you find something is so relative to what you’re used to. I struggled at points during that class and even thought that any class at Red Bluff I would find less of a struggle than this yoga class. It wasn’t particularly difficult. It is just different to what my body is used to do. It’s more in your head than capabilities in your body. You’re in a pose and your mind is telling you it’s too tough or too difficult to stay in it. A bit like when we’re in Crossfit class and your mind is telling you you can’t do something, however with going consistently you’ve learnt what you’re capable of and can push through. It’s all learning about what your body can do in different situations and that you actually can do more than what your mind first thinks. Yoga definitely tests and challenges you in a different way. Some poses I was dying in but got through.

I’m now feeling a lot more excited to get back into yoga and going to the lulu classes. As I’ve said many times before, just getting yourself to the gym or studio is a lot of the time over half the battle, once you’re there you just do it. You don’t really have a choice haha.

Afterwards a brand called Heal’r was there serving up their delicious healthy hot drinks. I caved in and bought their mushroom and cacao powder because I’ve become obsessed with mushroom lattes. Track was cancelled due to the rainy weather so I got on my bike and cycled home. That’s two days I’ve let my body rest from training. The longest for a while but I think it’ll do a lot of good. Now I’m really excited to get back in the gym this afternoon.

Box jump falls

It has been going a bit too well at the gym recently, in terms of I haven’t managed to rip my and or fall and cut myself. It’s something that happens quite a lot because I’m not the most graceful person you’ll meet in this world, I’m definitely more on the clumsy end of the spectrum. So yes, all signs were pointing towards something would probably happen again soon and it did on Thursday morning.

I went to the 9.30am class because I had a meeting in the afternoon so I wouldn’t have been able to get to the 5pm class that I usually go to. On the board we had thrusters for weightlifting and then the cardio was running, box jumps and dumbbell thrusters. Heavy dumbbell thrusters! All very tiring movements on the legs. Box jumps are one of those movements you have to fully concentrate on what you are doing, if you zone out for a second you’ll most likely fall and hurt yourself. A couple of rounds in I was getting tired and for a second on the box jumps I was not thinking about what I was doing. Anyone who has box jumped knows this is a big mistake. The second I realised this I snapped back into what I was doing but it was too late and I fell right on the edge of the box on my shin.

It all happened extremely quickly! I shrieked from the scare but didn’t feel any pain at all really on my shin. I immediately continued my box jumps and thought that I somehow must’ve manoeuvred myself to avoid the worst damage and pain. Falling on a wooden box on your shin is one of the most painful things I’ve ever experienced so I was relieved when I couldn’t feel anything. When I finished the box jumps I looked down at my leg and there was blood all over my white leggings. Perfect day for white leggings hehe. I just thought there was nothing to do be done now and finished all my rounds of the workout before sorting it out. It was cut either way. I loved that workout, it was brutal but so good to push through.

After recovering a bit I turned to my shin and had a look. It would not stop bleeding! Adam kindly helped me get it plastered up and disinfected. What a guy! My shins just look more and more messed up with every fall I make. Not the nicest look but I guess it gives them character. It took a good while for it a calm down and stop bleeding but lucky it wasn’t as deep as I was dreading it would be. I’ve had some cuts that have been real chunks and it is awful.

I think that’s enough of box jumps injuries and blood in one post! This is the less glamorous side of training hehe. Not that anything is particularly glamorous. You’re mainly just covered in sweat and chalk to be honest haha. Sometimes a bit of blood.

It’s Sunday today and it’s going to be a busy one! I’m going to head down to the lululemon Brighton store to try and get a spot in their yoga class. Yes guys, I’m making a yoga comeback after not doing anything since I got to Melbourne. We’ll see how this goes, if I get a spot that is. Afterwards, if it’s not pouring down with rain, I’m going to the track session. It’s looking pretty grey out there and with my cough still lingering in the background I don’t really want to be caught running in cold rain. We’ll see what it looks like after yoga.

Later on today I’m meeting up with Em, Mim and Mim’s friend to go to Vegan Shack! They’ve been wanting to go for so long and I am dying to go back so we’re all looking forward to that. Other than that I need to get packing. It’s not long until I’m moving out and Monday’s are a very busy day for me so I need to get started today. It shouldn’t take very long because it’s basically just putting all my stuff in suitcases really.

Alrighty, it’s hopefully yoga time my friends. I’ll speak to you soon. Have a lovely day xx