Whose responsibility is it?

Last week I was at my old gym at Glasgow Uni for a workout as you know and while I was there I had a bit of a realisation. I was standing in the weights area in between my lifting and just people watching. I love looking about and seeing what people get up to.

As I was watching them doing their lifts I saw a lot of people who clearly knew what they were doing and on the other hand quite a few people who didn’t. There was a lot of poor form and in some instances I felt like some of them could’ve really hurt themselves. I’m not in anyway saying that my form is always on point or that I’m an expert but I could clearly see that these people probably would’ve needed some form of coaching or help.

A lot of the time poor form is due to the fact that the person isn’t even aware of what they look like when they’re lifting or a lack of knowledge of what the lift should feel or look like. I used to be there. I had no idea what I was doing and deadlifts in particular was a movement I didn’t get at all no matter how much I tried. When I was standing there watching these people on their journeys, doing these movements because they want to get fitter I felt bad because they are trying so hard yet if someone would’ve just told them to readjust slightly, they would get a much more efficient workout plus, more importantly, avoid the risk of injury.

I started thinking, do more commercial gyms have a responsibility to their members to make sure they move properly? Who’s responsibility is it to make sure that they aren’t hurting themselves and keeping good form? At G5 we have Stella watching us but we are also often working in pairs where we help each other acknowledge what we’re doing to help improve our movement. This just doesn’t really happen in commercial gyms. I don’t have anything against Glasgow Uni gym at all, I think it’s one of the best gyms I’ve been to but I’m just thinking of the culture around these gyms and even more so the big chains such as Pure Gym and The Gym.

I see loads of staff walking about in these gyms but I feel like it’s not in the culture of a commercial gym for the staff, who are educated in training people, to make sure the members keep good form. I find it so scary and worry when people are lifting heavy weights without being aware of what muscles to engage. I wonder if these commercial gyms might change now when smaller gyms are on the rise offering coaching and advise whenever the members are in the gym. I hope so!

What are your thoughts on this? I’d love to hear your experiences. I know a lot of the time people want to be left alone when training and can take it personally when you try and help them, as if they don’t know as much. I wish there was more of culture of helping and supporting. I was standing there at the gym watching these two friends doing deadlifts without engaging their core so they had a caved back, it might work okay with lighter weights (if even that) but once you start lifting, that could have really bad consequences. I’m not at all saying all commercial or bigger gyms are like this at all but this is my general experience from going to quite a few of them.

It’s such a contrast from the smaller gyms I love going to where the coaching is very hands on and everyone is helping out everyone. You welcome the feedback and the tips to improve.

I know there are induction sessions you can sign up to when you join a new gym a lot of the time where they take you through all the equipment and such but maybe the solution is for the gym to have a more hands on approach with the members in their gyms? I suppose the issue is the staff aren’t being paid the right wages for them to have that hands on approach, which is fair enough and an increase in wages would result in pricier memberships. Additionally, it’s also a matter of what do the members pay for? Is it just the physical access to the facilities and the equipment? Is it knowledge and education? Is it one or the other? Is it both?

I know Glasgow Uni gym also offers weightlifting workshops at times as well but I know from my own experience, that you don’t really tend to do to go to these things and just think that what you’re doing is fine. Which is why again I think a more hands on approach on the gym floor could be the solution. Just walking up and quickly showing what they could improve and then move on rather than a full hour or two of coaching because it’s difficult to captivate people for that long who just want to be in and out.

I really hope you guys take this post the right way. I am not in anyway trying to be arrogant saying I know everything and all people who go to commercial gyms are rubbish. Commercial gyms are a great option for a lot people, you get access around the clock, which means there are no excuses to not get a workout in. It’s cheap meaning it’s financially viable for a larger group of the population to go. You can go to loads of different gyms with the same membership. I’m just thinking that the culture and the relationships within these commercial gyms maybe has to change to create a more supportive environment where members and staff are helping and learning from each other.

It was just a thought I had coming from a very different angle from where I was when I regularly went to bigger and more commercial gyms. Maybe it’s just me who’s so used to the culture of the smaller gym and actually I’m overreacting? It’s just interesting looking at something from a different perspective. Maybe the what’s going on in these gyms is how it should be and it’s the members responsibility to make sure they exercise within their abilities? We’re all adults after all and should be able to fend for ourselves. I’m not sure, which was why I wanted to bring it up and see what you guys thought! I’d love to hear. I’m trying to see both sides. At the end of the day all I wish is for people to not hurt themselves and for everyone enjoy exercising, however that happens 🙂

Office cake culture

Hello my dears! No it’s not my birthday today even though I’m using this photo for my post! I’ve been invited to the BBC studios this morning to go on BBC Radio Scotland. You might remember I was on the radio a couple of months ago discussing women’s work clothes. I must’ve behaved relatively well considering they called me yesterday and asked if I was free to come in and talk about office cake culture 🙂

There’s been a recent survey released in regards to the culture around eating cake in the office, whether it is someone’s birthday or just the general availability of cakes and such in the work place. This is something I experienced a lot in my previous office jobs and I always said no to it (unless it was a raw vegan, sugar free, dairy free one, which it never or rarely was).

I was very often thought of as being the weird one not wanting to eat cake. It’s not that I don’t like cake, you guys know I love an indulgent treat once in a while but I really think the issue is that we aren’t mindful about when we eat and just have it because it’s there. I think it’s a lot about social norms and you might feel rude saying no or you’re worried you might offend the person who brought the cake. I struggled with this at first and sometimes you almost felt a bit peer pressured to grab a slice even if you did’t wanted to. Not because they were forcefully doing so but you could tell people got a bit uncomfortable when I said no thank you.

I think another issue is a lot of the time it’s also poor eating habits amongst office workers, forgetting to eat and not eating nourishing and nutrient dense food which means you much easier fall for the trap when someone puts out a cake in front of you. If you instead had eaten a wholesome lunch and also had some nutritious snacks, you’ll feel full and therefore not feel the need to have cake.

I think the main questions we need to start asking ourselves when there’s cake out in the office for the third time that week is, do I actually want this? Or do I actually need this? Am I hungry or am I just bored? We need to think before we act instead of just grabbing a slice in autopilot. We need to realise how this constant sugar fest is impacting us. Instead save these treats for a special occasion with friends and family outside of work. Work is our every day life and we need to realise that we need to take better care of ourselves every day. We can’t just stuff our faces with whatever and think our bodies are going to be okay.

Increasingly we are getting more healthier cake options, such as the incredible birthday cake I got from my colleagues for my birthday last year. A raw vegan, sugar free, dairy free and gluten free cake. It’s great that we have these options that are better for your body but even those should be treated as a special treat and not be eaten every day. They are filled with delicious nuts, seeds, dates and other wholesome ingredients but it’s still a lot of fat and sugar. It’s healthy fat and better sugar but if we ate it every day, it’s a lot of extra fats and sugars we put in our body. It’s the overindulging that’s the issue when we need more balance. Especially in the office where a lot of people sit still all day and don’t move enough. You diet needs to reflect how much you move, if you move more, you need to eat more, if you move less, you should eat slightly less because your body doesn’t need as much fuel.

I could write even more about this and it’s something I am really interested in, just how widely accepted it is to eat sweets, biscuits and cake in the office space. I should probably keep some of this for my chat which is on at around 11.35 on BBC Radio Scotland today. If you can’t listen, don’t worry. I’ll post a link for the show if you’re interested to have a listen as soon as I can.

Now time to get ready before heading down to the studios! My friend Frankie works down there so I’m meeting up with her afterwards for a tea as well which will be lovely. Then I’m heading to the Art School this afternoon because Faye and a bunch from her class are having bake sale to take their degree show down to London and I’ve heard she’s got raw vegan brownies that I of course need some of (speaking of cake haha). I’m having dinner with Kajsa tomorrow evening though so I think it’ll be a great dessert. Plus the money goes towards all their hard work being showcased in London!

Today will be a fun day! Speak soon, M xxx

My why

Hello my dears! Two blog posts in one day? What is going on? Well it’s my lovely mum’s birthday today and as you probably know if you’ve been reading my blog for a while my mum passed away from cancer when I was just before I turned five, so over 20 years ago. It’s still something I struggle with, not every day but I don’t think it’s something you really ever get over. Especially on special occasions like this.

It’s tough and yes I had a little cry today but that’s okay and sometimes it’s just what you need. I had a cry and then went to the gym and spent two hours their with people I love. First I did the class and then I practised double unders, toes to bar, handstand push ups and handstands. All the things I need to start improving on. It made me feel so much better and being surrounded by all these happy and incredible people made me feel so much better. I know my mum wouldn’t want me to be sad but to enjoy my life so I did it for her. I did the workout for her. I did something that I love for her.

My mum’s fate has a lot to do with why I take my health and wellbeing so seriously. I know a lot of the time you can’t control if you get cancer or not but I want my body to be in it’s best shape in every single way to try and avoid getting ill. I want to live a long and healthy life and feel strong and energetic until the end. That’s my main motivation as to why I train like I do. We live in a society where everyone knows someone who’s battled cancer. It’s terrifying and I really think we need to start taking better of ourselves in order to hopefully prevent getting seriously ill. I’m not saying with training you can avoid cancer entirely but I do think if you’re body is fit and healthy you are giving yourself the best possible chance to live a longer life. You might still get cancer in the end anyway but perhaps your body could be strong enough to fight it.

This is also why I wanted to do my Crossfit Level 1 and also eventually do further courses to educate myself so I have the knowledge and tools to help others get fitter and healthier. I want to help anyone who’s looking for help to avoid disease and live a long and healthy life.

It’s not easy loosing someone you love. It never is but through all of this I’ve got a meaning in life and it’s to help and inspire others so they take the steps to be healthier. I’m realising more and more that I want to do everything in my power to help others be strong and healthy. I think it’s the base to start with fitness, then no matter what happens you are giving your body the best possible starting point. What I went through with my mum has given me a purpose and whilst it was devastating to loose her she has given me so much strength to push through in life and made me want to be the best possible version of me I could be. I’m trying to turn this as much as I can to a positive in some way and it gives me drive and motivation to do be more and be more in life.

I love you mum and I wish you were here! Miss you always but I know you’re still watching wherever you are xxx

My focus 2018

Okay okay, yes I might be one of those who like to set some goals at the beginning of a new year. I like having something to work towards! It makes me feel like I have a purpose. Not much for resolutions but more to have points, which I’d like to keep in mind as reminders. I do have a list of fitness related ones as well, which I thought I’d do in a separate post so here are the more overall ones. If you have any yourself you’re working on in 2018 please share. Let’s inspire each other!

1. Find a job I love

After leaving my job at the end of 2017 I now need to find something I enjoy doing once again. To be honest I’m really struggling to figure out what I should do and I’m feeling anxious about it. I know I’ll find something but now it’s time to really take some time to sit down, maybe write a list and figure out what I’m meant to do and what my purpose is here on this planet. I need to do something with a deeper meaning. That’s why I started this blog, to share my journey in the hope it might help someone else. I just need to find somewhere where I can do this in other parts of my life as well.

2. Read to learn

I feel like since I left uni, learning is not as much of an obvious part of my life as it used to be. In 2018 I’d like to read more informative books to develop as a person and also to open my mind. I don’t ever want to be a person who stops learning or stops developing. I want to be a better person in every aspect I can be. I’ve already started on this point and am currently reading a book I got for Christmas, Chasing Excellence by Ben Bergeron. He’s the trainer of the Crossfit Game champions Katrin Davidsdottir and Mat Fraser so I definitely feel like there are things I can learn from him. I’ll write a little review of it here on the blog when I’m done. Maybe I should start a book review category? What do you guys think?

3. Less online time to be more present

I know this is a funny thing for me to say, considering I blog and love social media. However, I’m feeling more and more that there’s a time and place for it. I want to be more present when I’m spending time with the people I love. Therefore, I’ve started making more of a conscious effort to put my phone away when I’m with them and giving them my full attention. I love doing Instagram stories and stuff and will still continue to do so, however, I want to choose those moments and maybe not all moments need to be documented and that’s okay. Some moments are just for me to enjoy for me and my loved ones.

4. Travel more and more adventures

Whilst I did do a fair bit if travelling in 2017 I didn’t really go to many new places or countries. Something I really love to do. I love to discover, explore and go on adventures so in 2018 I want more travel and more adventures. Preferably in the heat and sun! Once I have a job this will be something I’ll be looking into. One of my amazing friends Marija has been living in Tokyo since August/September last year and I’d love to visit her. Okay I’ve been there before but I was very young and would love to experience it as an adult with my beautiful friend.

5. Try new things

This is something I always try to do, trying new things. I think it’s part of life trying new things and even things you don’t even think you’ll like. Let’s don’t ever get comfortable, let’s get out there!

6. Don’t let fear stop me

This is a very important reminder for me in 2018. I worry about not being good enough and being scared to do certain things. This year I really want to focus on not letting fear stop me and getting out of my comfort zone. It ties in a bit with trying new things. I truly believe we grow from pushing outside our boundaries and doing things that scare us. I don’t want to look back later in life regretting doing certain things because I was too scared. I started doing in more and more in 2016 and 2017 and I want to continue making a conscious effort to do so.

7. Live sustainably

Living sustainably had become increasingly important for me. Recycling has always been a part of my life and taking care of the planet is extremely important to me. We all have a role to play. Towards the end of last year I started looking into more environmentally friendly and cruelty free cleaning products and such as well as my plastic use. Plastic is something I’m getting extremely sick of and it’s literally everywhere we go. You guys might remember my blog about the ridiculous amounts of plastic in the supermarkets here in the UK (if not read it here). In our home I’ve made a conscious decision to stop using cling film (very unnecessary when you think about it) for instance. I have been thinking about adding a category about this on the blog to share how I’m getting on. Any feedback would be appreciated!

8. Make time for friends and family

Something I always try to do but is so important and I think we need to remind ourselves of. The importance of spending time with our loved ones whether it be boyfriend, girlfriend, friends or family. Sometimes we get caught up in everyday life and how busy it gets and we forget to make time for these important relationships. Even if it’s just a quick message or a quick catch up over a cup of tea for an hour. I try my best with this and want to make this a point again for 2018 to make sure I make an effort.

I’m feeling excited about these focuses and sharing them here with you guys means I have nowhere to hide and no excuses. There might be more points that I’ll add in the next coming weeks as well. It’s not set in stone.

Come on 2018, let’s make this a good year! xxx