motherhoodfaithfitness

sharing the joys, triumphs and struggles of faith, family and fitness!

Gym success and first veggies! 

Just a quick one tonight, managed to get to the gym sans enfant! Outcome = splits training in quiet room surrounded by mirrors to check form, plus a little flex n twerk when no ones around! Ahhhh no interruptions, no dog hair, no toddler pouring milk over your hair or giving you snotty kisses, bliss! (Though I do love those adoring little smooches too!)

Came home to whip up homemade beefburgers, potato, bacon and pumpkin cheesey bake and picked spinach and lettuce from my garden! The lettuce was so sweet and crunchy, I can’t wait for my herbs and other veggies to be ready, it’s really quite exciting being a gardener. 

Spinach is a great veggie, for smoothies, salads and I like using it in lasagne too. 

And I couldn’t link the gym and veggies in a finer way than to finish with this gem! Popeye the sailor man, with his super strength biceps after eating a can of spinach! 

 

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Ouch ouch, those pole dance DOMS! 

My quads have been aching and tight for a couple of days now, I am trying to pinpoint the offending exercise! Was it that 30 minutes of Pilates on Wednesday or could it have been my first pole class of the term? We revised lots of last terms routine and moves and I learnt a couple of new ways to transition from floor to pole. At the time I remarked to the other girls “Ooh I’m going to feel this tomorrow!” Not realising that I’d be feeling the DOMS effect for almost 4 days! 

  
I’m not sure if I’m enjoying the pain, but knowing I learnt something new that pushed my body’s limit is always a great feeling of achievement. I tried walking and stretching it out but the soreness is still there. I googled a few remedies and I’m hoping some of these help for next weeks pole class!

  

Coffee, massage, stretching, pre and post workout snacks…I’ve got this! 

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Backbend progress

Today’s focus is number 14 on the list,  “stretching daily to increase flexibility”

My back flexibility started here… 

 

And last week it was here…

 
The first picture was done on the bed so wasn’t a true start point so here is the week 2 to 7 comparison shot. I’m happy! 

 

I’m sure my brief morning stretches have been helping, and even a little progress is still progress! 
Here are some of my exercises for back flexibility, (I can’t do all of them yet!)

  
I’m looking forward to be able to do a bridge like the picture above and also be able to get into tricky pole moves that require back flexibility, here is the amazingly flexible Felix Cane’s “cocoon”, yep I may never get that flexy, but wow, that girl is fabulous, and in 10 inch stilettos too! 

  In pursuit of more bendy flexy vibes I went to my first Pilates class at the gym this morning. I was full of anticipation, the instructor was great fun, the ladies were lovely, but it hadn’t even crossed my mind that my dear boy would hate the crèche and I would be called out of class half way through…grrrrr! Still I have pole tonight so I’ll get my exercise fix later! 

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New dance studio news! 

Starting somewhere new is always daunting, will I fit in? Will I be the oldest/biggest/clumsiest girl in the class? What will I wear? Where do I park? 

Yes I’m a worry wart, sometimes known as a control freak, but I needn’t have been concerned, the new studio is welcoming, inclusive and sooooo much fun! 

We dance in heels, I have the most amazing metallic purple pole shoes, that are in my “gym bag”. As much as I love running shoes, these shoes are the ultimate in fitness wear! 

  

Try dancing in these babies, more over try going upside down!  Yes that extra weight on your feet makes every move harder, but so much prettier I think! 
Every week we learn new moves and then a routine. This term our class is dancing to The White Stripes “Seven nation army”. At the end of the class I am exhausted, sweaty and feel great! The next day I have been barely able to lift a cup of tea, or get out of bed! Nothing better than that DOMS feeling, you KNOW you’ve worked hard! 

  

That post pole grin, Can’t wait to go back next week and do it all again! 

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Progress for 2015

It’s almost May…4 months of the year gone already.
So how am I tracking?
Goal 1 – reading my bible daily, ✔️
Going well, sometimes I don’t complete all the readings but generally I am reading everyday! Nicky Gumbel’s devotions are funny, warm and challenging and I’m really enjoying his insight and wisdom as I open my Bible. 

Goal 2 – complete 7 units of my degree this year. ✔️
Again, I’m on target. I passed my positive psychology unit with a distinction and am now studying Counselling Skills and Health and Wellness. I’ve just submitted two assignments and am keeping everything crossed I get a good pass on each.

Goal 3 – Middle splits, I’m at the last few inches, so will need to get the blocks out soon and start oversplitting. I’m working on my back flexibility too, which is shocking at present.  

Goal 4 – practice pole regularly, well not as regularly as I would hope, and my only tiny excuse is that I’m so sore from my Tuesday pole class that I can’t physically move much until at least Friday! 😥

   

 

I’ve started at a new pole studio, and I am enjoying learning routines, wearing heels and dancing! But I’ll write about that next time! 

Until then I’ll keep plodding along with my goals, one chapter, one unit, one stretch, one dance at a time! 

  

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Shifting the goal posts a little!

Sometimes you just have to take stock of your goals, consider life commitments, family, study, etc and readjust your original plan!
I’m crossing out the running a half marathon goal! Not because I don’t love it or don’t enjoy the thrill of a long run but because of my time constraints, a squeaky knee, and the fact that it hinders my other goal of middle splits training. I also have some other exciting things in the pipeline which will be taking up a fair bit of my time and energy, which I will share at a later date.
As I’ve already done 3 half marathons and a full one, I’m not too fussed at changing this goal. So my alternate goal is another physical challenge, which will complement my flexibility training and will increase both my cardio capacity and strength. Pole practice!
I can practice at home and can sneak in a 20 minute session more easily than building up running kilometres and needing a babysitter to boot.
I will be practicing fundamental moves, building up my upper body and core strength, developing my balance and flexibility.
Here are the current moves I’ll be practicing.

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I’ll probably change these every few weeks and hopefully get stronger, more flexible and confident in learning new tricks!
My dream move is the “Jade” and although I don’t think I’m anywhere near ready to attempt it yet, it’s one I am looking forward to trying when the time comes! (Crash mats, lots of spotters and a very grippy pole, perhaps a helmet too!)

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Current nemesis moves that I have been trying for ages are:
Brass monkey, Pencil and Ayesha!
They will be on my practice list over the next few months too.

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The dreaded Brass Monkey

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Pencil problems!

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Tricky Aysha pole move!
Yep they’re all inverts, and require balance grip and strength..
I’m working on it, 20 minutes at a time!
But by bit, little by little, step by step, our dreams and goals may become reality!
A changed goal is not a fail, it is not a dead end. It can be a sensible and necessary step to take, and one that can lead you to new pursuits.

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Take 2, maybe 3!

Goals are mystical things, they move, they grow, they disappear sometimes. They have the power to overwhelm or motivate. The secret is to set sensible achievable goals.
My four goals for the year are:

1. Read through the Bible in a year
2. Study 7 units of my degree
3. Get middle splits
4. Run another half marathon

How am I going? I’m a month into the year 1/12 of the way through. Am I progressing?
Yes, and no!
These are all long term goals so I haven’t achieved or been able to tick anything off yet.
But…I have completed a month of my daily reading plan. the bible in one year and am up to date! Win!

My second goal of study has been going well too. I am currently doing summer school and the unit is on Positive Psychology. I am absolutely loving the subject, it is so close to my heart and I definitely want to implement these theories into my everyday life. My first assignment on Happiness received a distinction which I’m so delighted with.

My third goal is a long term one, I’m about 6 inches off the floor in middle splits and I know those last few inches are the hardest and most painful…but I’m not giving up, I watched the tennis last night while stretching, my poor hubby had to endure me rolling around on the floor while he was trying to watch the game!

My last goal of running has fallen a little behind schedule, the combination of squeaky knees, hot weather, exhaustion from a 5am riser aka my son has impacted on my training.

Rather than be discouraged I have come up with a plan that will rein in my goals and keep them under my control rather than overwhelming me,
Work on at least two a day, the Bible reading is always on the list, and then pick one or two of the others. On work days two is all I can manage, but other days I can often manage three, depending on family commitments, assignments due and physical health.

Breaking goals into bite size chunks really helps me focus and not get disheartened. If I’m working on two I’m doing well, if I get three done I’m overjoyed! But no matter how I do today or yesterday, tomorrow is a brand new day!

P.S Today I read my Bible, studied for a couple of hours and plan on stretching while the men’s tennis is on!

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Middle splits progress

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Bible reading progress

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You’re never to old to start…..

Complete the above sentence.

What do you wish you had learnt/done/said when you were younger? Played a sport?
Read Shakespeare? Learnt a language?
For me I have wanted to get my splits for about 15 years, but was told by my gym instructor I was too old and my joints would suffer. So I didn’t bother. I realised at body balance classes I had natural flexibility but never knew I could increase it so dramatically at an older age.
My splits journey has been a lot of hard work, pain, time and persistence (and it’s ongoing) it is something I’m proud of, even if others say “but why?” I say “why not?”

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Last term I began my degree in Counselling,
I love learning about stuff, the more practical the better, so when hubby suggested I finally do a degree, it didn’t take me long to search all the options and enrol into an online course to study counselling.
I have 7 years to complete the degree, but hope to finish it within 4 or 5 years.
I am one of the youngest in my course, with a few 60 year olds to study alongside. The benefit of studying a subject like counselling at a more mature age is the wisdom and life experience we have hopefully gained over the years.

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Pole dancing and running are not just for spring chickens either. My dear friend who introduced me to pole is 50+, and I attend a class where we’re all over 40. We are affectionately dubbed “the cougars”!
Here we are in action, learning a move called the “martini.”

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So whether you’re young or older, you can always start something new.
You’re never to old to start doing what you love, or to learn new things.
Don’t worry about what others say, we only get one life to follow our hearts, make the world a happier and more loving place, and fulfil our potential.

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Goals – week 2 progress

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Just a quick check in…
✔️ I am up to date with my Bible reading.
✔️ I have started my counselling summer school subject (positive psychology – you’re going to be hearing a lot about this subject from me in the future).
✔️I have done lots of splits training.

The only goal I haven’t really focussed on is my running. Here in Adelaide we have had searing hot days, and I’m not a fair weather runner, so I have walked the dog and slow jogged a few 5km routes these last couple of weeks.
So yay for goals, yay for progress and here’s to more running, flexible hips, a positive mind and a faith filled heart!

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Rewards for goals?

I said yesterday I would think about some rewards for when I reached my 2015 goals. But I’m stuck! For me, it seems reaching the goal is a reward in itself. I can understand weight loss goals that are rewarded by a new wardrobe as that is often a necessity as well as a nice treat.
Although I’m about 8kgs over my ideal weight, I purposely didn’t set myself a weight loss goal, as I don’t find them very helpful, and after all, the number on a scale doesn’t define my flexibility, brain power, mental strength or spirituality. I do hope that a few kilos will come off as a by product of running and half marathon training, but that will be an added bonus not a focal point.
Anyway the only reward I could think of was, a nice massage after my half marathon and another item of the awesome Black Milk range when I get my middle splits. I think a touchdown shooter would be very applicable!
I love this Harry Potter one.

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Here in Adelaide, the weather has been scorching, awesome for stretching, not for running. So I’ve done 2 days of stretch classes and will do the RLNA dvd tonight now the breeze is blowing through my hot house.
Middle Splits….I will get you this year, and then I can get that awesome top!

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