This feeds my soul

I had to take a photo in front of this shed, painted in one of my favourite colours!

The tour guide

Talking Tastebuds by Venetia Falconer back in the UK is one of my favourite podcasts. If you haven’t had the pleasure of listening to it, you’ve been missing out all this time because it is amazing. It is about food and it’s role in our lives and influence over our wellbeing. Venetia is an incredible lady and you should really go and follow her on every single social media platform out there. She’s a strong advocate of sustainability in every single sense of the word, from promoting a vegan diet to reducing waste in our every day lives and more recently she’s been using her platforms to promote sustainable fashion. A lady using her social media influence to really do some good in the world, I love her for it. Thank goodness there are people like her on this planet who care but also have the power to influence others to care.

Wow I went off on a bit of a tangent there! Back to my point, in Venetia’s Talking Tastebuds she has set questions she asks everyone who’s a guest on her show. In the most recent series, series three, there was a new addition to these questions which was “What feeds your soul?”. I love this question and yesterday I had a moment when I felt that this right here feeds mine.

It was a pretty normal day, the class in the gym had been a killer! As usual we started off with a strength piece, which on this day was two front squats every minute for 10 minutes. EMOMs (every minute on the minute) are one of my favourite things to do in the gym and I managed to do it with 140lbs which is just over my bodyweight. The last three rep max I tested was 143lbs, so I was really happy that I could do 20 reps at 140! To finish off we had two cardio pieces, they looked pretty alright on the board, however, one thing you learn from Crossfit is that the simplest looking pieces are the ones who floor you. This is exactly what happened.

First we went on the bike for five rounds trying to hold a 72 rpm for as long as possible every two minutes. After that I felt like I was going to throw up. Then after a bit of rest we were on the rowers, 1 min on and 1 min off trying to accumulate as many metres as possible for five rounds. I rolled off the rower after we had finished. All my energy was gone. We were all lying on the ground, contemplating why we do this to ourselves! Usually we do extra work after the class but I don’t think anyone did, no one moved for a good half an hour from their spot.

As I was leaving the gym chatting to PC I thought it was too nice of an evening to just go home so I suggested we should swing by the beach for a cool down walk. He liked the idea and decided to drive us to a beach he’s been talking about for a while called Gnotuck Beach, in Aspendale, which is further down the coast.

We got there and straight away I was blown away. Shoes were taken straight off. The sand was almost snowy white and so soft as I let my feet sink into it as I stepped out onto the beach. How good is that feeling of silky smooth sand between your toes? The water was turquoise and gradually went darker the further from the beach you looked. The sun was slowly setting on the horizon with the clouds looking like beautifully fluffy cotton candy, shifting colours into soft pinks as the the sun was gradually disappearing. We could’ve done without the wind but even with it, you couldn’t complain at all. It was breathtaking and I probably took a million photos because every second the lighting and colours changed slightly and I wanted to capture it all. However, photos just never do justice to sunsets in my opinion. I tried my best.

With a little protein shake to tie me over to dinner (any form of fuel was welcomed after that workout, I felt dead) and the beautiful scenery, I felt myself slowly coming back to life. My energy came back and I just wanted to skip, jump and run out of nowhere. I dipped my legs in the ocean and skipped in the sand. PC must’ve thought I’d gone a bit crazy but I just felt this spark and love for life in that moment, being on that beach and I thought, this is what feeds my soul. Being on the beach, by the sea with a friend talking about life. It’s in those moments you feel like you don’t really have any worries and you’re there in the moment taking it all in. This was especially needed as I the evening before had been feeling a bit down about mum, for some reason I was missing her a bit extra.

As we were walking there I was saying to PC that one of my goals when I worked at lululemon, which I wrote down for our vision and goals you have to do as en employee was to live in a house like the ones facing the beach we were walking on and waking up to that view every day. What more could you need? You could roll out of bed onto the beach every morning. It may feel out of reach at the moment but so did Australia for a long time and I somehow managed to figure that one out! One can always dream.

M xxx


The revealing of the final workout

The crew

Here it is!
We were clearly loving life

Done done done!

Prize time
Our boys came third!

Exhausted but so happy after an amazing comp day!

It’s been a long time coming but here we are, the final post about the final workout of the partner comp! At this point we were all pretty knackered after a long day of competing but we had one event left to go. We were intrigued to find out what we were going to do and dreading it slightly. We got gathered in front of the rigs and Tristan announced the final workout. Luckily no crazy movements like muscle ups, all doable but very shouldery, which is not my strongest part of my body! I knew it was going to burn.

One thing I was excited for were the pistol squats, I really like them and I thought Mich and I would be able to fire through them fairy quickly at the end and be able to get a decent amount of points in. We decided since Mich is stronger on the overhead movements she would do a couple of extra reps on the shoulder to overhead.

We got through the shoulder to overheads, where we struggled a bit more was the synchronised kettlebell swings. We kept on getting out of synch and getting no repped due to fatigue. We eventually finished them off and went on to the pistol squats. We decided to do tens and just pushed through. At one point my legs felt very wobbly and I got no repped because I needed to put my other foot down. Little things that happen, you shake it off and give it another go. I think we got to just under 100 reps and when the timer beeped for the last time, we left the floor feeling like we’d given it our all. The body was feeling pretty wrecked but wow, that feeling of happiness you have after finishing a comp is unlike any other feeling. Loads of emotions and genuine good vibes running through you. You feel so accomplished having pushed through all of that.

When you add up all the total time you’ve actually trained in a comp day, it may not seem as much. It’s a lot of waiting around and the workouts normally only last for about 10 minutes or so but the entent you push yourself to during that time is more than you’d ever do on a normal training day. The doms you get the next day and how tired you feel proves once again that it’s not about how long you train for, it’s how hard you train for during the time.

Once the final was done and dusted it was time for the prize ceremony where we found at that our boys Matty and Tim had taken third place. We were so unbelievably happy for them! What a great job they’d done. After the ceremony the girls and I decided to go for dinner somewhere because we were starving! We ended up at Sister of Soul in St Kilda, a fantastic way to end our day of competing.

Fridge adventures

Life doesn’t always pan out the way you expect. Sunday was a prime example of this. I woke up to make my breakfast and opened the freezer to get blueberries out. The first thing that caught my eye was how our frozen bananas were looking very brown and then I felt how the freezer was awfully warm. I had another look at the rest of the food in there and realised it was all defrosting. No wonder the flat sounded quiet, the compressor wasn’t running. I opened the fridge part and yup, same there. It was lukewarm.

As soon as Mim got up I told her what had happened. I started Googling how you figure out whether a fridge is repairable or not. Adulting stuff that I have no idea about yet. After some discussions, Mim and I figured there is not point in investing money into an old fridge and thought we were better at looking into where we could get a new one from. I frantically messaged people on Facebook market place. Hoping someone would reply as soon as possible. We knew at that stage in the morning it was out of our hands so we decided to still go to yoga, which we had planned on doing the night before. Perhaps needed after the less than ideal start to our day.

I cycled down to lululemon Brighton and Mim drove. I was planning on going to the track session after with the gym crew and needed my bike. Mim’s boyfriend Tom joined us for yoga too, which was such a nice surprise. It was really fun to have their company because usually I go alone.

Yoga has once again fallen off my radar for a while. I’ve been wanting to start again but just haven’t found the time with everything else going on. Therefore I was really looking forward to getting back on the mat and boy did it feel good! I felt quite stiff and the feeling of the body slowly getting rid of the stiffness with every movement was amazing. Lying down in savasana at the end of class was the cherry on top. I hadn’t felt that chilled for a while. God I’ve missed yoga and I hadn’t even realised how much I had missed it until I was there doing it. That’s the tough part, when you aren’t aware of what you’re missing until you are there doing it. It’s difficult to get back into something when you’ve forgotten about if there’s not much reminding you of it. I have noticed a bit more stiffness in my body than usual but that’s about it. That’s when you need to just get up, put on those gym clothes and go, force yourself to remember.

Having been back on the mat now I was once again reminded of the many reasons why yoga needs to be in my life. I’m now looking at studios in the area to see if there is somewhere I can try out. Mim was recommending Warrior One Yoga, which is quite nearby. I’m tempted!

After the class I turned to my phone to see if we’d received any replies about the fridges and bingo we had. There was a girl in Elwood who said we could pick it up in the next hour. Only small problem we had was, we had no way of transporting a fridge! Mim had the great idea of asking our friend Eric at the gym. The amazing guy he is he said he would help us out and he even had a trailer. What a guy! I decided to skip track, as much as I like going, having a functioning fridge was a bit more of a priority this day. We headed back to the flat and waited for Eric to arrive.

He picked us up and off we went to Elwood, which is not far from where we stay. We got to the building, and it looked alright from the outside. We went inside and walked up the stairs and that’s when things got a bit weird. There was a massive mattress in the stairwell outside the flat, there were cables going across from the flat across the hall to the one where the fridge was, that flat didn’t even have a door! It all seemed a bit odd. I knocked on the door, no answer. I knocked about three times until a young scrawny looking guy answered the door (he was clearly on something) and he barely even looked at me or spoke to me when he opened the door (Mim and Eric were standing at safety distance away from it haha). There was a lot of loud noises coming out from the flat and when I peaked inside there was just piles of stuff and writing scribbled all over the walls. My gut instinct was to leave and I mumbled this to Mim and Eric who agreed and we ran off. We couldn’t stop laughing on our way out, that had been stressful.

Still fridge-less we drove off far away from that place. I had received another reply from a guy in Beaumauris from good old Gumtree who was selling his fridge. I messaged him back asking if we could pick it up in half an hour and that wasn’t a problem. We were just hoping this place would be a bit more normal.

Luckily it was, they even had a rottweiler puppy there called Marley that we got to play with. Now that’s what I call a good turn out! She was incredibly cute. We strapped up our new fridge onto the trailer and then Eric helped us get it up into our flat. What a relief it was when we plugged it in and you could hear it working. It was now two in the afternoon. A pretty long start to the day but we were so happy that it all worked out in the end. Eric had to then leave to pick up his cute dog Kendrick at the groomers and Mim and I ran out to grab something to eat because we hadn’t eaten since breakfast. I’ll write more about that meal in a different post because wow. It was so goood.

So yes, you never know what’s going to happen when you wake up in the morning really, this was not at all what I had in mind. But, that’s what makes life interesting and we had a good laugh about it all along the way. The people at the first place I don’t think even realised we’d left because they never messaged us after we left. I’m so glad we left when we did!

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