No Woman is an Island

 

Today has been a good day. It began in a solo way, which I like sometimes. I went swimming on my own at 8.30 and when I say alone, I was pretty much the only one in the pool, except one family and about 6 kids on a swimming lesson in a separate lane. It was nice to have so much room. It used to be packed at that time so I can only think that is the looming cold weather that has kept people in bed and away from the water.

With such few people, it didn’t mean there couldn’t be any drama though. It seems to follow be around. I was on length 16 I think when an alarm went off. I thought ‘noooo a fire alarm… does this mean I have to go out onto the street wearing one of those tin foil cloaks?!’ That was my initial thought as I got out the pool. I was so engrossed in this that I hadn’t realised that a girl had ‘nearly’ drowned and that was what the alarm was for. One of the life guards was wet but I thought he was just pulling the girl out for our ‘fire’. Haha. It didn’t occur to me why we stood still by the pool for the 5 min and why they kept asking this girl if she was OK! I felt bad that I didn’t ask because I didn’t realise until they walked off to fill out paper work. I blame it on being 8.30 am on a Sunday! Turns out anyway that the girl had just gone slightly too deep and panicked but she was fine. I continued my swim anyway after as normal.

That was my workout for the day and meant I could pig out guilt free at the family party later… including my cheesecake (see my post from yesterday, A Cake of Cheese (Part 2) ).

From being alone at swimming, I spent the rest of the day surrounded by people. All of my close family was there today except from two aunties and and uncle. So close. But it’s hard to get everyone together at the same time and place isn’t it? So this was the closest we had come so I insisted that we took a huge group photo. I sensed it would be more trouble than it was worth with trying to get my Grandad out there from falling asleep in his chair, to get my aunties out there and my uncle who hates photos. People kept offering to take it and I was like ‘Nooo, I want you to be in it!’ God bless the timer function on cameras. We had two cameras balanced on plastic garden chair at the top of the garden steps as we all gathered around the patio area. You know when it’s pressed and you only have 10 sec to get ready? Well we did that and actually managed to all get together. The tall, broad men at the back and the shorter ones at the front. But being quite a tall family, some ducked. But it all worked and we got some nice group piccys. My gran also took one of all her children, a grandchildren one etc. It was really nice to get some recent pics.

It is important to get together with family and it got me thinking about we all need each other, hence my title ‘No woman is an island’. We all need people to be happy and the more family members there are, the better. The quote, ‘No man is an island’ is used in the film About a Boy where the young lad says at the end that there was lots of them now and it was good, always someone to fall back on. Extra support. And that is what family should be; a support network.

Anyway, the family party was good and my cheese cake went down well….. hope some of you have had a go at making it today! We have lots of things planned for next weekend with the Aussies…. just wish that I didn’t have to go to work in between. Their holiday attitude is starting to rub off and I have to keep reminding myself that I have to go to work tomorrow. Oh well, as I say, I am not an island and all my family will be there when I return!

See you tomorrow,

XSXS

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Gym’ll Fix It!

Hi guys, I’m back to start a new week, recovered from the alcohol fuelled weekend and raring to go! Well I was…. I went for  gym session (get me 😉 ) but now I am pooped! I thought after a weekend of indulgence I should go to the gym. It’s a free one at school and I am going to start taking full advantage of my work perk.

I told you that I used to have a swimming membership, well I quit it last week. I still love swimming but I just wasn’t using it enough to make the most of it so I thought I am going to start doing free things, like the gym, walking etc – as I am a girl always up for a freebie 😉 So yes, I went to the school gym about 3.30 for about an hour – actually for exactly 55 min of exercise (I am very anal when it comes to adding how much of a work out I have actually done!) I walked in and there was a kid in there, a 6th form student I assume, I said ‘hi’ and he didn’t respond, let alone look up… my mind was entering the whole rant of ‘kids today are so rude blah blah blah’ when I realised he had headphones in that were blaring music into his ears. Oops. This also reminded me that I had forgotten my MP3 player. Dammit. It was going to be a long hour….

I don’t know if any of you go to the gym. But it is an odd concept when you think about. Half an hour of running when you are still where you started afterwards and haven’t got anywhere – well in a literal sense! Hopefully you have made progress in getting tired, getting fitter and getting sweatier! I don’t know what is it about the gym but if I don’t stink afterwards then I think I haven’t worked hard enough. That is my measure of a good workout!

I did 25 min on the cross trainer today (with a 5 min ‘Cool Down’ – what is that about? I just end up running slower for 5 min!) and I swear without music every minute lasted an hour. It’s all about time at the gym isn’t it? You are counting down what you are doing so that you can move onto the next machine. 30 min took a sweaty lifetime I tell you. I kept trying to distract myself by reading the signs on the gym walls. And there are a lot. Who knew exercise had so many rules?! ‘Members please sign in,’ ‘You must have a towel to wipe down the machinery’ (turns out other people get very sweaty too!) ‘Only trainers must be worn on the treadmills,’ ‘pupils must not use the weights during school time,’ ‘Do not turn the TV volume above 40’ – heaven forbid that people will get deafened whilst they work out, it could make them run faster if it makes then jump though!

I read all these signs and a minute had gone by 😦 so then I started to play games with myself. I looked out the window and said to myself ‘when I see a year 7 pupil run past while doing football practise then I get to look at the timer’ Or ‘I’ll take a peek at my progress when I see a bird!’  I eventually survived the 30 min and then moved onto 20 min on the exercise bike. By this point, some other staff came in and they put on the TV music channels. Time went a little faster than and I was cycling to hits of ‘the Hot babes of America’ or something like that. Pussy Cat Dolls, Britney etc. And when I came to the last 5  min on the rowing machine, I told myself it would be roughly 2 songs worth as the display timer wasn’t working on the machine! The things you do to get through that gruelling workout. Tomorrow I am taking my MP3 player!

So guys, indulge all you want and have exercise free weeks because end – Gym can fix it 😉

See you tomorrow,

XSXS

Put all your Balls in one Basket…

Evening guys, you’ll be pleased to know that I am feeling much better after my headache and was actually motivated enough to take part in sport after school! I know! I play at my old school with the staff there – partly because it is right near my house, partly because I enjoy it but mainly because it took them 2 years to persuade me to come along and join in so I thought after starting a new job, I should make sure I still keep going! It is fun, a good workout but I’m not very good. I have never been very coordinated, competitive or ruthless – vital characteristics for team sports!

It reminded me of my two posts from a while ago, titled; Exercise is Dangerous as it can get very rough! There has been quite a few accidents since I have been playing. Touch wood, fingers crossed, I have only have ever had banged fingers or the occasional sore face from the ball hitting me. But once, one of the female student teachers went flying after tripping mid-air to get to the ball. She slammed onto the hard, wooden gym floor. I know it’s the ball you are meant to slam dunk, not yourself 😉 She went head first too and her head, above her eyebrow was gaping open. Awful. Game stopped because of this… the tired side of me sighed with heavy relief but the rest of me was really concerned for the poor girl. She went to hospital and it got ‘sewn up’. See how exercise is so dangerous?!

On an average day though, it is just anywhere between 6- 12 of us running up and down a school gym, throwing the ball back and forth until a good few baskets are scored. As I say, I am not very good. Today they were deciding on teams. Normally it works out with colours we wear… 5 people will turn up in blue and they will form one team. But today we were all inconsiderately in random colours so the teams were being picked to make it even in terms if ability. I stood quietly and said how it felt like school where I was always tha last to be picked 😦 haha! I sometimes feel quite awkward trying to get into a space and I find it hard to mark the other team… I think it is mainly because I am a bit ‘scared’ of the ball and can’t just ‘get in there’ as much as I would like. It took me a long while to even have a go at dribbling… if I caught I would be so pleased that I would  either quickly pass it straight it on in excitement and it would go to the other team or I would inwardly celebrate and then it would get taken off me in the meanwhile! Hopefully, I will get better with time though.

I have managed to get a few baskets in whilst playing… got 2 in today yay! When i first started, everyone was so enthusiastic when I got one in…infact I think once they all kept throwing it to me until I got one in! It is slightly embarrassed as they all say, ‘Nice basket, Sam!’ I asked myself why I feel embarrassed because I can comfortably take compliments about most things but when it comes to sport related things I feel a bit awkward and I think it’s because it always been a bit of a stigma for me because I have never felt confident about it or been any good at anything like that! But as I have got older, I make myself try different things and I think at the end of the day at least I have haha a laugh and got some exercise in…. as dangerous as it may be 😉

As I said, I am not very competitive and I just like to have fun… my sporty friends laugh at this and day its more fun if you are competitive. Nah, I can have just as much fun by laughing at myself dropping the ball than anything else!

So guys, don’t be scared to try something new… it may be dangerous but it’s ok, as long as you have fun 😉

See you tomorrow,

XSXS

Exercise is Dangerous! (Part 2)

Hey guys, sorry, another two parter. I don’t want you to think that I’m not being original or creative enough to think of new titles.. it isn’t that, it’s just that today tied in too well with yesterday’s topic so it’s a double whammy, a two-sided game or a two-step dance if you will. I have even more evidence that physical activity is just far too risky!

I’m going to start with how I am currently feeling.. which is bloomin sore and achy. I hate to admit to you all but I didn’t take my own advice from yesterday and today I did even more exercise; aerobics even (minus that wrist spraining step though!) I did an aerobic dance, Club Land DVD with my boyfriend’s brother’s girlfriend. My legs were already aching from stepping too much yesterday (plus running around the Leisure Centre car park trying to meet up with the patient/victim’s Mum).. my poor, poor calves! I have also discovered later in the day that my ankle seems to be swollen. At first, I thought it was an insect bite as there is a big lump at the front with a little red dot.. but the side of the ankle is swollen too, but it doesn’t hurt much just when I put pressure on it. (Doctors please post diagnosis in the comments at the end!) So yes, If I had followed my own advice, I would be sitting here ache free and satsifyingly full of delicious, creamy chocolate….

The exercise DVD was fun.. in a painful, torture like way. We had fun making fun of the perfect dancer type female instructor, which brings me on to my next piece of harmful evidence. What exactly does a Club Land DVD do for your confidence and self-esteem?! My mate said that she likes the fact that woman has a ‘perfect’ body and a sexy and glamorous persona as it is something to aim for/someone to look up to. I, personally, feel like a big, sweaty whale in comparison and I’m normally pretty happy and confident in my own skin (even if it does have blemishes like ‘normal’ people!) So, I was having trouble taking this girl seriously as she didn’t seem to show any human qualities like pain, sweat or breathe! She kept reminding us to breathe! I thought, ‘Do you actually breathe? Is there an end to this robotic exercise act??’ And don’t get me started on her outfits! What did me and my mate wear? Some casual gym trousers and a vest top… what do you wear to the gym? Similar I would guess. We were so close to putting our gold bikinis on but thought better of it………

Seriously, who does a workout like this?!

Haha. I really think also that they haven’t thought about their target audience…. I mean why are the women half-naked but the men covered up? I may feel like lunging a bit more and jumping that bit higher if I thought I was impressing a half, naked fit man! (Yes, I know it’s TV but we clearly aren’t in reality here!) I actually said about ten minutes in that I hadn’t even glanced at the men yet! The sparkles of the two pieces and orange, sunny glows of the female flesh weren’t letting my eyes divert even for a second.  Another hazard that could have occurred if we were dancing with these people in the real land of exercise is getting our eyes popped out with the blonde ladie’s boobs! I honestly thought they were going to escape out of a pink, lycra boob tube at during the combat section. (That also gets me… why the costume changes? I want to burn calories not watch a fashion show! 😉 )

Amazing, choreographed dancers that they were…. these doll-like people just aren’t what I look for in workout buddies I’m afraid! I want someone to drip onto that screen, with their hair scraped back and to not smile all the time! And to be wearing some jogging bottoms and a t-shirt.. yeh fitted is fine as I know it’s TV and they have to sell these DVDs! Then, you see, I would feel amazing because I would be like ‘Yeh, we are the same you and me, we have matching outfits, we are sweating and I can do (some) of your moves…’ Maybe she could even dig into a chocolate bar at the end and I would happily tuck into the reward for a team effort!

So I enjoyed Club Land purely for the entertainment value. The DVD is perfect for watching with your mates to admire (or cringe) at the outfits, enjoy the music , watch the pretty dancers or let you boyfriend have a treat! Next time, I’ll try Nell McAndrew or Davina McCall (no offence ladies, I’m not saying your boring; I like your ability to keep it real and maintain womanly bodies!)

Just incase you had forgotten the wonder of the gold bikini already 😉 Wanted to leave you with a lasting, mental (or is that metal?) picture!

Have a relaxing evening!

See you tomorrow,

XSXS

Exercise is Dangerous!

Well it has been a typical Manic Monday in the words of The Bangles. (I only know The Bangles because my parents listened to them when I was little – honest!) I can tell you truthfully and honestly that exercise is bad for you… and I have the hard evidence to prove it. So if you are sitting there reading this eating cake then please continue because if what happened to my friend, happens to you today then I want you to at least have some extra fat to cushion the fall! Or just don’t do exercise at all and keep yourself safe!

I’ve said before that I go swimming quite a lot. I have a membership for the pool but my friends often want to go to various exercise classes too. I normally say no because I don’t want to pay extra and I try to go swimming as much as I can but since I was on holiday I thought why not? I actually had an invite to go to a Body Combat class tonight with my boyfriend’s brother’s girlfriend but I turned her down because I wanted to spend the only free evening I have with my bloke…. turns out that would have been the safer option for me and my friend. We ended up going to a Step Aerobic class this morning instead. (Step not Steps.. .. no she didn’t get beaten up by band of five excitable singers). I suggested this one because I had done similar ones at Uni and it was good…. that is why I now feel guilty. I was also the one who joked that the big plastic steps can be dangerous when you are stepping left, right and over them and I said in jest ‘I hope I don’t fall off it.’ But nooo it was my mate that did…. mid left step/jump/lift whatever you want to call it. She smashed onto the hard, wooden gym floor.

It was funny to start with and she seemed to be laughing too. She refused help to get up by myself and the instructor and just wanted to be left. I found out later that she was overwhelmed by the attention and was too engulfed in pain to talk about it. At the time I thought her injury was just a case of bruised pride and that she was embarrassed… So I left her and carried on stepping here and there. I’m never in time with the rest of the group but I always think that surely if I’m moving and stepping for the full 50 min then I’m still getting a workout right? If I slow down to learn the complicated moves then I burn fewer calories so I just do my own thing really… haha. Is it wrong also that I was so exhausted after this second routine that I was glad of a distraction with my mate? As it meant I had an excuse to take a break? Oooh oh so wrong I think!

I looked round at one point and my mate seemed in agony and she then admitted that she was in a lot of pain. I tried to ring her Mum, who lives no far away. I was going to take her to the hospital then and there but the Leisure Centre had to record the accident and got their First Aid people to have a look. There was paperwork, which of course she couldn’t fill in! Why in our society does everything come down to paperwork?? So in the end, her Mum took her to hospital and she found out that both wrists are sprained. I hope she won’t mind me telling you all this… because I think you all need to be warned about these ‘steps’…. tread carefully people!

I actually felt quite upset after I left them because there seemed nothing more I could do and as I said I did feel slightly guilty for getting us to go to that dangerous activity! The one thing I thought I could do was to make sure she didn’t get a parking fine, as she had to leave her car there…. be thankful for small mercies they say! Could have been worse too I guess.

Later on, she phoned me to tell me how she was and the ‘verdict’ and I then stupidly said that I’d text her later. She was like,’Erm Sam, I can’t text!’ So back to the old-fashioned phone calling we go. I actually phoned her parent’s home number later on and I don’t think I’ve done that since I was ten and we used to arrange to play at each other’s houses!

So there you go, physical activity is dangerous! DO NOT go to the gym tonight… stay at home and eat chocolate… you might to avoid the stairs too… because this movement lark is ‘wristy business’ (doh, sorry that was such a Dad joke!).

My friend should make the most of having people waiting on her and rest up! and thankyou my friend for a good blog topic 😉

See you tomorrow… on a less eventful day I hope!

XSXS