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 🙂

 

Walking on Djurgården


“Spring in the Plant Shed”
Slightly blinded by the sun!

Surrounded by stunning plants and herb plants

My beautiful friend
If there is one thing I love in Sweden, it’s all the bread. You just can’t compare it to anything you get in the UK


Hello Stockholm from the other side!

Lunch at Flickorna Helin, one of my favourite places

We had their homemade veggie curry

Then we couldn’t not have one of their cinnamon buns and we also shared a raspberry and blueberry raw ball. Nice that they had a slightly healthier option as well.

More walking along Djurgården.

Love this girl!

Hello my dears! I’m back in Glasgow! Sorry for going silent here but the last two days were busy busy with lots of emotions. Saying goodbye or “see you later” (it’s not actually goodbye) is tough when you don’t know when you’ll see your loved ones next. My cousin Mickis and I cried on Saturday when we said goodbye and I thought I almost made it through saying goodbye to my family yesterday morning without tears but as I walked with my bags to the underground, I felt them rolling down my cheeks. I just love them all so much  and there’s always going to be a part of me left in Sweden as I have so many loved ones there. I know it can’t stop me from pursuing my dreams and not go. As much as I love Stockholm, I don’t feel like it’s the place for me right now, or ever. We’ll see but there’s just so much to see and do in the world!

It was an odd feeling arriving back in Glasgow, a place that has been my home for so many years, knowing that it soon won’t be my home anymore. I’m not sure when the next time will be when I fly back here and if it will ever be home again. Here is where my reality and every day life has been happening and soon it won’t be. I have no idea what the future holds but I know this city will always feel like a home to me, no matter when I come back but I know it won’t be the same and it’s scary. My Glasgow chapter is coming to a close.

As soon I got back, Jamie and I went for some lunch. It was really nice to see him, I feel like I’ve been away for so long and we had so much to catch each other up on! Then when he headed to work I went and saw Faye for a tea at Singl-end.

This morning I was finally back in G5. I was contemplating going back yesterday afternoon but after my early start I was knackered and decided to stay home and get organised instead and have an early night. Stepping back into that gym made me so happy but it was also bittersweet, knowing my sessions left in that gym are numbered. I can’t even think about having to leave that gym and the my amazing friends there, so for now I’m not trying to think about it and enjoy every second I’m in there. Soak it all in and enjoy it as much as I can. The workout was a lot of fun and sweaty! It’s quite warm here at the moment and I can’t get over how bright it’s gotten in the mornings. Makes the morning sessions a lot easier to get up for. In the summer months the morning sessions are the best I think.

I’ve still got so many things to share from Sweden so I’m still going to be posting about that too! On Friday I met up with Sanna again, the weather was stunning so I requested to go for a walk on Djurgården. I’ve written about this island many times before but for those of you who are new to the blog, it’s an island right in the centre of Stockholm owned by the Swedish Royal family. As soon as you walk over the bridge it’s like you enter an oasis. It’s like a different world and a country break right in the middle of the city. You almost forget how close you are until you stand by the shore and see Stockholm on the other side of the water. Either you get there by boat or just cross one of the bridges. There’s so much to do there such, something as simple as a picnic in the summer months but there’s also an amusement park, Skansen (the outdoor museum and zoo), plenty of other museums and cafés and restaurants.

Sanna and I walked along the shore for a while and then headed towards Rosendals Trädgård (trädgård means garden). It’s a stunning area where they grow organic crops of all sorts, sell all kinds of plants and also serve organic homemade delicious food made from local produce and cake in their lovely café. They’ve also got a lovely little shop filled with delicious bread, buns, cookbooks, beautiful crockery and so much more. It’s a wonderful place and somewhere you definitely should pay a visit.

We continued our walk and were getting peckish a bit further on and decided to go to Flickorna Helin. They’ve got a lovely outdoor seating area and their food and cakes are so tasty. I’ve taken Jamie here before and he refers to this place as the one with the best sandwich ever because they have an incredible Club Sandwich with chicken and curry mayo with loads of other components in an incredible dark bread. When I ate meat I used to love that sandwich and Jamie still talks about, so that says a lot haha.

Sanna and I both had their veggie curry. It was served with courgetti and a fresh mix of vegetables. It was incredibly tasty the dish and you got it served with a yoghurt dip, I usually avoid eating dairy as I try to eat as much vegan food as I can because I want to for several reasons but the curry needed that little something because it was a bit on the sweet side (it had mango chutney in it) and just adding a little bit of the yoghurt just took it to a new level.

I love that they include a tea or coffee in the price when you order food, it’s a common thing when you order lunch in Stockholm. When we were standing by the till to order food we had been so tempted by their deliciously smelling cinnamon buns and I mean you can’t go to Sweden and not have kanelbulle, as we call them, so Sanna and I shared a kanelbulle and they also had a raw ball I wanted to try, it was a raspberry and blueberry one so we shard that one too. It was all incredible, I really think Flickorna Helin is a lovely place to go for lunch or fika on Djurgården and in Stockholm in general. Not to mention, the building they’re in is so cool!

We then headed back towards the bridge, crossed it and we were back on the busy streets of Stockholm. I’ll never get over how much I love the contrasts of Stockholm fro the hectic streets around the centre and the calm around Djurgården and Gärdet. It’s incredible and very unique.

Now I need to get showered and get on with my day! God I can’t even think about how little time I’ve got left! I should really write a list of everything I need to do. I need to get travel insurance, sell off more stuff on eBay, cancel our home insurance and all other direct debit things and start thinking about trial packing, to name a few things!

Speak soon lovelies, M xxx