First dip

Sometimes when you’re all caught up in your training bubble you forget to take some time out to let the body recover. It’s like a hamster wheel that keeps on going and you are in autopilot, going through the motions. I love to train and have most of social life there, therefore I don’t think much about it. I just do it.

After Battle of the Bluff last Sunday (I will be writing about it soon!), a rest day on Monday was definitely needed. The day couldn’t have been timed better as it was 30 degrees here in Melbourne that day. So the afternoon was of course spent on the beach and it was amazing. I even dared to have my first dip in the ocean since I got here. It was pretty cold but on a day like that, very refreshing and cooling. I was there for a good couple of hours and my lovely Mim came down to join me for a bit as well. Melbourne would not be the same without that girl in my life. Always have the best time with her. Living with her is so much fun.

I’m so glad we did make the most of the beach weather because it has been pretty awful here since. One day it was 14 degrees and raining. If I thought the weather changed drastically in Glasgow, I think Melbourne weather probably beats it. Never thought I’d say it. However, Melbourne is considerably warmer, sunnier and drier than Glasgow overall!

What I wanted to say with this post is, yes the gym is important, your fitness is important but take time to live as well. It’s okay to skip the gym once in a while to do other things. Don’t feel guilty about it, enjoy what you’re doing instead to the fullest and know that it’s not going affect your health and fitness goals. There’s more to life than training.

Now a week on I’m feeling recovered and ready to work on some new goals. There is so much I want to improve on for Battle of the Bluff next year and I’m excited to get to work. Especially now when my chest is almost entirely back to normal and my shins have recovered. I’m doing my rehab exercises to improve the stability in my legs and I want to focus even more on my upper body strength and gymnastics. I’ll go more into detail about all of this in a separate post.

Today when I walked into the gym and saw one of the workouts I got nervous. In total we were going to do 70 push ups. I had slight flashbacks to a workout we did a while back which had an obscene amount of push ups where I was struggling big time. I was the last one left and my coach Pete was next to me talking me through the final reps as I seriously did not think I was going to finish the workout. My arms felt like jelly and I was so grateful for Pete’s support, I couldn’t have finished the workout without his help.

This time around was a different story and I didn’t expect it at all. I managed all the push ups and wan’t last! Not that it really matters when you finish but that is a considerable improvement since the last time and I managed to stick to the same amount of reps in each set before taking a break. I was over the moon with that. One of the guys at the gym Svick who works as a trainer came up to me after and said my push ups looked really good and I kept my form to the end. His comment made my day because my struggle with my push ups has been really tough and to hear they looked good, wow. It’s all I want, to move well and keep my technique on point because that’s how you get better and stronger. You can’t cut corners.

Now it’s time for me to sleep! Sleep well my dears, M xxx

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.