These guns ain’t made for Body Pump


Holy crap I can barely move my arms. And if I have to pick something up off the floor, it’s taking a good five seconds to encourage my thighs to get up again.

No, I don’t have the flu. Much worse (because this is self inflicted) – I went to a Body Pump class. Which shouldn’t have been that much of an ordeal given the amount of work these guns do every day. Surely these muscles have benefited from the daily toddler lifting/bending while lifting/achieving feats that you wouldn’t think possible while conducting daily tasks carrying a child doing some sort of flailing plank?

With small child’s bed time and subsequent scream-fest to consider, it has been harder than I thought to find a fitness class that fits in with the schedule.But then again, this is Cornwall, not New York where I imagine there are all night spinning classes mixed in with some sort of new fangled thing that has really good music and gives instant weight loss. Or something…

The other fitness class I’ve done recently and actually properly enjoyed is Clubbercise – a far friendlier affair that takes me back to my teenage years. If Clubbercise had been around in the 1990s, I’m sure there wouldn’t have been quite as many nights I’d like to forget. But I guess sales of Hock and Liebfraumilch would have suffered so… you’re welcome cheap wine industry.

Anyway, Body Pump, for the uninitiated, lays claim to being the quickest way to lose weight and tone up – there’s a bar,  weights, press ups and squats to test the strongest of wills. I thought it was perfect for a time poor, lazy mare like me who lacks the willpower to commit to exercising three times a week (or whatever it is we’re supposed to do now. Am guessing this advice has been superseded by something much less achievable, in the way that the recommended five a day fruit and veg has now become a highly realistic seven).

This isn’t my first BP experience… The introduction to my tricep muscles (or reminder of how much they can hurt when you use them) began 10 years ago. Me and a former boyfriend went religiously for about a month – he threw up after the first one and two days later I couldn’t pick up the office telephone.

I did sample another BP class – one where I didn’t feel bad for selecting a couple of 2.5kg weights… However, this class no longer coexists with the child raising requirements and so I’ve had to look elsewhere. Which brought me to the door of the instructor from a decade ago. The instructor who works on the ‘you’re not letting me down… but yourself’ school of motivation. It worked – grrr – the weights were heavier than before (a whole 1.25kg – oh yeah!). But I’m already feeling ropey…and obvs looking forward to the proper pain in two days time when the combining daily tasks with carrying the flailing planking toddler is sure to be even more entertaining than usual…

As always, I welcome your views on this sort of thing – how do you find fitting in child raising, work and exercise? Can you recommend a class that can boast results without killing muscle groups that you don’t know exist until you hurt them real bad?!









Paddle your own canoe


(yes, I know it’s a boat, but same difference…)

I think I’m having a bit of an identity crisis at the moment (first world problems, yeah?). Recently divorced after a ten year plus relationship and I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t actually know myself at all.

It is Tinder to thank for this realisation – I know, I went on Tinder. Do you think a little less of me now? I was only on it for about five minutes before I realised what a bad idea it was – am hopeless at small talk in person, so what hope did I have of striking up a conversation with someone who had deemed me worthy of communication based on a photo? Yes, I’d also judged based on a photo – whatevs… (sidetrack – should that be ‘wevs’? Still learning cool, chilled, breezy speak. And yes, merely stating these three things means I am none of them…).

Where was I? Oh yes, Who Am I?

So, yes Tinder helped me establish that I had no direction, no real interests and no clue as to what I wanted out of life/my next relationship/dinner that night. The limited conversations I had with men centred around them asking me what I liked to do (um, given the nature of this particular app, am now not sure if these weren’t actually life/recreational questions but more of enquiries of a ‘spicy’ nature…)

Having a pretty much full time job and a small child kind of help distract from these important questions. (Dinner being the most important, obvs.. I’m doing it again…)

Back to ‘The Canoe’. Have you heard the phrase ‘Love many, trust few, always paddle your own canoe’? I only heard it recently – but it had one of those lightbulb moment effects.

Looking back over my adult life so far, I think once I was in a long term relationship I sort of coasted. Compromise meant, a lot of the time, not doing the things I wanted to do and instead trying to accommodate someone else’s interests. I wanted to share experiences with my partner, not do things in isolation. So I didn’t do much at all.

(That’s not really a pop at my ex, by the way – this is squarely on me. We didn’t have many shared interests – warning sign anyone?! But, that shouldn’t have stopped me from doing anything I wanted to do.)

By putting all my focus on my relationship, I forgot about learning and growing for myself. And appreciating that life isn’t about looking for what will happen next, but what is happening in the here and now. I didn’t paddle my own canoe, I just wanted to be carried along with someone else’s.

In true Bridget Jones generation fashion I have turned to books for inspiration (although the books are no longer on the shelf, but on my Kindle). Yup, when once I would have scoffed at ‘Feel the fear and do it anyway’, I’m now gaining some well-timed and much needed motivation. I’d recommend it. But if you want less ‘self help’ guide and more ‘kick ass advice’, go for Cheryl Strayed’s ‘Tiny Beautiful Things – advice on love and life from someone who’s been there’. She’s wise, that Cheryl.

Will I go back to learning the guitar? Learn a language? How to do electrics and stuff? Who knows for the moment. But I’m enjoying learning the things that I didn’t know I didn’t know about. (have to read that one carefully!!)

As the quote by Emerson goes: “Life is a journey, not the destination.”