2017 intentions for the ‘body’

Parkrun

As a child – I ran – most do!

As a teenager – I ran a lot (more on that in another post).

Then a snowboarder took me out on a black run. Three months on crutches followed.

At University, I wiped out during a ski race injuring my back.

Running ‘career’ over.

But I still loved running, I get jealous seeing runners, especially bouncing around off road. So at various points as a adult I’ve tried to get back into it, various injuries allowing.

But it’s hard work. I’ve realised while making these intentions and writing these posts that I’m not very good at anything now that requires me to work hard cardio wise. It’s been hard to get my fitness back up. I’m strong, I have good flexibility and core, I have good balance. But fitness and endurance – hmmm.

So with a couple of friends as running buddies, a new pair of trainers and snazzy leggings, I’m doing the NHS couch to 5k with the aim of doing a local parkrun.

A pretty small distance, but I will be proud and happy. And hopefully this time, I’ll keep running.

Cycle 100 miles

I learnt to ride a bike as a child.

As a teenager, my friend and I spent hours of freedom out and about, even though we lived in London.

Then I stopped. It seemed like very hard work (see above)

Then came along a biking mad boyfriend and he got me a mountain bike and I enjoyed it!

However other sports and activities, like climbing, dancing, mountaineering all came first. Despite easy access to mountain bike trails, I didn’t get fully into it and therefore didn’t get my confidence and skills up(and fitness – noticing a theme here?).

Then four years ago, my foot decided it had had enough of being bounced around on and I developed Osteoarthritis.

End of my climbing and dancing days, new sport needed.

During the 2012 Olympics, I had been inspired and motivated by the amazing Team GB cyclists, on the road and track.

So enter Tess (with the help of Quest bikes in Worthing).

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Isn’t she beautiful!!! I was in love (once I changed the saddle).

A friend also had a road bike and so started many hours cycling round the beautiful countryside. We’ve discovered many wonderful quiet lanes, cosy cafes and welcoming pubs.

For the last two years, we’ve done the Davina 70m sportive, last year joined by a couple more friends in the pouring rain. Now it’s time to up the distance.

My main issue, as with sport in general, is various parts of my body agreeing with the intention. Falling down the stairs before Christmas was not helpful with getting in the miles.

But I love being out, with friends or on my own. So, 2017 = 100miles sportive. Where – to be decided, when – probably late Summer – I’ll need the time to train!

P.S. Two things I found help with long / hot  / wet rides. Painting my fingernails bright pink and collecting hedgerow flowers in my handlebars. Makes me smile when I’m head down pushing up a hill!

Swim Lakes

My Grandmother was a long distance sea swimmer.

I have always loved water. Since 19 I’ve lived by the sea.

I’m happiest when by the water.

But I couldn’t actually swim effectively.

I could swim, I could do breaststroke properly, but it hurt my back. What I couldn’t do properly was front crawl, I couldn’t get the breathing right, couldn’t get into a rhythm and flow.

But more and more I was loving the ‘wild swimming’ thing. I’ve got all the guides, whenever we came across water on mountaineering trips, I’d be in it. I’ve many friends who share my passion, and they’d all taken the plunge and learnt to swim properly.

So last year, thanks to an article in the Guardian (that I now can’t find – but there are lots of great articles to motivate you to get in the water) I discovered the Shaw Swimming method and a quick google search found a local teacher Clare Hughes. What drew me to the method was its links to the Alexander Technique and working with people with injuries, particularly focusing on back alignment.

Clare is wonderful. From my first 1 on 1 lesson, I was hooked. I had only learnt a few basic moves, but already it felt like I was dancing in the water. A few 1 on 1 lessons and a 4 week course later and I could swim, with breathing, rhythm, everything. Most importantly my back didn’t hurt and I felt energised after a session.

I’ve still a long way to go, particularly getting my swimming stamina up as I can only do 2 lengths at the moment. But it’s given me the confidence and skills to be able to get out and properly swim.

And that means open water. I prefer lakes / river, I don’t like the salt, though living by the sea with little fresh water around, I need to get over that!

So, my final ‘body’ intention is to swim lakes. Any, all. Wherever we go, I’m going to find water to get in. Hopefully, if I get my stamina up, I’ll do an open water swim event, but I’ve no idea if that will be this year or next. For now my inspiration is my swimming mentor Cat, and an amazing woman I heard speak at Alpkit’s Big Shakeout festival last year – Vivienne Rickman Poole.

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