Comp Day

Good morning my dears! Today’s the day, it’s competition day. Right now we’re sitting in Mich’s car on the way to Altona. The rain is pouring down outside and the nerves are slowly creeping up on me. I’m excited though! I can’t wait to get the first workout out of the way. Then I’ll feel a lot better.

I’m really struggling to think of what to write right now haha. So I’ll stop but I just wanted to stick my head in here and say hi. Let’s hope it all goes well and that we have the best time. I know I will surrounded by my Crossfit Red Bluff crew.

Speak soon my dears, M xxx

What is being healthy?

I promise they weren’t both mine! 

Some pictures from the weekend where we celebrated Mim’s birthday! She first had some friend’s over for drinks at her house, then we headed to a bar in Bentleigh called Sonder bar which had an amazing outdoor area in the back and we finished out night at Village Belle in St Kilda. A huge crew from the gym were there and loads of Mim’s lovely friends. We had such a good night celebrating the amazingness that is Mim. I’m so lucky to have her in my life, she just spreads so much joy and good vibes everywhere she goes.

Since I’ve started drinking a bit more than before and going out I’ve been doing a bit of thinking and reflecting recently on what being healthy actually is. Drinking alcohol brings up so many thoughts and dilemmas in my head. At the end of the day it’s poison and it really doesn’t do anything good for you but yet we still do it. It’s so odd! Why? Well, some drinks can taste good but I think there are drinks that are equally good or even better that don’t have alcohol in them. Okay, I admit it, it can be really fun to feel a bit drunk and go out and dance with all your friends. It’s more a social thing than anything. A lot of people have been saying, good Maddie, we thought you were being a bit too restrictive on yourself, you need to let loose. It’s more balanced this way. Is it a good thing I’ve started drinking again? I’m not sure and I do struggle with the thoughts of what it’s doing to my body. Not that I’m out several times a week. It’s been three times in the last month but compared to nothing for eight months, it’s a lot haha.

So what is living a balanced or healthy lifestyle? Like I said, before I came to Melbourne I hadn’t had anything to drink since my birthday in August, that’s eight months without alcohol. I didn’t miss it one bit, then all of a sudden since I got here it’s changed. I’m nowhere the party level I was at during uni but going out three times in a month for me is a lot. It’s been so much fun. One thing I definitely haven’t missed are the days after. Not that I’ve had a really bad hangover so far but I hate wasting days and let’s just say they’ve not been the most productive Sundays of my life. At the same time, I guess we can’t alway be super productive and once in a while we need to slow down.

Is this what a “balanced” lifestyle is? Is this what a healthy relationship with fitness is? Training hard during the weeks and having some drinks during the weekend? Rather than being strict and not having any alcohol at all? I didn’t drink before because I didn’t enjoy it and I thought it was unnecessary. At the end of the day we don’t need alcohol and it is after all poison. It doesn’t do any good. However, yet some say restricting yourself and putting boundaries to what you can and can’t do isn’t healthy or balanced either.

The same goes for food, everyone says a nice indulgent meal is good once in a while. I love going out for food and whilst I adore a Thai curry for instance I know it’s not the best for my body. Is that healthy? Eating good the majority of the time and then having some indulgent meals too? Looking solely on what it does for your body, maybe not. Eating nourishing and healthy meals would surely be the best way to go from a health perspective but would it really be that fun then? The next issue would be if you never had cake or a meal out, wouldn’t you feel like you’d be missing out? Would you feel restricted? Feeling restricted and not ever caving in to cravings could potentially lead to you binge eating at some point rather than just having a little bit of cake or having that takeout and not stuffing yourself because you don’t know when you’ll next have it. That’s why diets really don’t work. You can’t eat that restrictively for the rest of your life. I suppose you could but you’d be missing out on a lot plus I’d be mega impressed if you managed to always eat that way. I’m not saying it’s impossible but it’s hard work.

I feel since I got to Australia I’ve probably loosened up a bit. It’s a new place with new people and so many incredible places to eat. At times I’ve thought I might be a indulging a bit too much. Especially with so many incredible vegan places around! However, it’s part of living as well and I know that in time I’ll probably find a better balance once everything settles down a bit more. I suppose it also depends on what my fitness goals are and how I want to feel and I guess look. I could shape up and eat a bit better, not have those drinks at parties on the weekends when I do drink but I do also want to live a little. I’m not sure how long I am in Australia for and I want to make the most of it while I’m here. I’m still training about 6-9 times a week, eating health the majority of the time and I’m not out super often drinking. I guess in a way my life at the moment is more “balanced”. There’s a bit of everything. Is balance healthy? Do you guys see where I’m going with this?

I guess from a health perspective I was better before. I’m not saying one way is better than the other. What I’m trying to get to with this post is, health and finding the best balanced lifestyle is not black and white. It’s very much a grey area and you need to find what works for you. Your lifestyle varies also throughout your life where you have moments when you’re on a roll with your health and fitness and sometimes it takes a little dip. It’s not all a straight line and things happen. It’s okay, as long as you’re aware of it. I think I was probably a bit too harsh with myself when it came to healthy eating at times but I’m always learning and improving. I think now I stress a lot less about it all, as long as I’m the majority of them time eating well I’m happy.

What are your thoughts on what a healthy lifestyle is or being healthy? I didn’t really come to a conclusion but I thought it was worth bringing up because I feel like it’s something people struggle with a lot. Let me know your thoughts. I’d love to hear them.

M xxx

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!