Surviving Bootcamp

There are many ways to survive bootcamp, one don’t do it and your survival rate would be exceptional, or two go into it with an objective and understand that it’s going to be difficult. Not impossible, or mere mortals like you and me would not even sign up for it, but definitely challenging. I have just finished 7 days of bootcamp, and my tips for surging are:

1. Research your bootcamp, and if possible sign up for a luxury one. This just means when you’re cold, wet, sore and fed up someone will pummel your aching muscles or wrap you in seaweed or plastic making it all seem possible.
2. Buy two good sports bras, at the very least. I’m a fan of shock absorbers, as I was not blessed with a marathon runner’s chest, so try to avoid mine and others’ black eyes. Also, jumping jacks seem to be a favourite of most bootcamp trainers.
3. Music. Bring your own as you’ll need it for those hill runs - I found that Keisha’s ‘Hideaway’ has a great beat to keep you going regardless of the pain. Also, be prepared to receive an education in all types of music, played loud!
4. Be open. It’s hard, the programme was not devised for your personal likes so there will be activities that you have never done or even like. It’s good to test yourself and push yourself outside your comfort zone, it’s wider than you think.
5. Don’t compare yourself. As women we have a tendency to compare ourselves, and find that we’ve failed because we don’t have Cindy’s arms, JLo’s…well everything, the only person you’re comparing yourself against is the ‘you’ that wandered into bootcamp.
6. You can take or leave this one, but it was one of my challenges. Be prepared to be hungry. Before Bootcamp I didn’t believe that I ate a lot, and I still think I do, but I cannot exist on 1500 calories and at least 4 hours of exercise a day. I was hungry at every meal, ate foods I dislike just because it meant more calories (beetroot we are done!). However, other than a mini-wobble where I caved and ate an apple I kept to the diet. It’s worth it, as my taut (ok flatter) tummy tells me.

I was also fortunate to find myself in a group of inspirational ladies (for that is what they are), who had experienced hardship, success, bereavement, disappointment, illness and confidence issues, yet kept on smiling through the 100th press up and really kept me going. Other than the return of my waist, I also found my role models.

So, those are my tips for surviving. I wish you luck in your Bootcamp journey, and thank Sean and ‘the Ladies’ for mine.

My ongoing battle with water…swimming at Bootcamp

I’ve been told that we always have to try something once, even though we’re uncomfortable with the fact, or sometimes even terrified by the very thought of it. As you know I do not like my head to go under the water (unless I have a hairdresser within 1 mile of me) but today I did aquatic circuits. I cannot say that I enjoyed it but with hindsight it was not the horror that I envisaged, though there was a little wobble when we had to throw our feet forward and then back without touching the ground. On parallel bars I would throw back my head and laugh (must remember never to do that as I’d probably throw my back out) at the ease of this, the reality in the water was a whimper, a prayer to the hair gods and to the main one that I would not drown. Surprisingly, I was ok, I did two repetitions and said enough! I’ve done it. I’ll probably do it again in 10 years with much huffing and puffing. But, swimming we shall never be, and I must admit that I’d rather do military circuits over that.

What on earth? Great spot but everyone seems surprised I’m here. Day 1 down. A lovely group of women, but is there any need to punish ourselves for eating? I’m writing this after my dinner of one portobello mushroom, a slice of haloumi cheese, a swirl of mash (not potato), a few small mushrooms, a handful of steamed vegetables, followed by Eton mess with no cream. All very nice but I’m looking at my apple (deemed contraband) like it’s the second coming. Losing weight is not going to be difficult, staying sane is a whole other ball game. 7.30am start, and I’m betting breakfast is going to be…small.

What on earth? Great spot but everyone seems surprised I’m here. Day 1 down. A lovely group of women, but is there any need to punish ourselves for eating? I’m writing this after my dinner of one portobello mushroom, a slice of haloumi cheese, a swirl of mash (not potato), a few small mushrooms, a handful of steamed vegetables, followed by Eton mess with no cream. All very nice but I’m looking at my apple (deemed contraband) like it’s the second coming. Losing weight is not going to be difficult, staying sane is a whole other ball game. 7.30am start, and I’m betting breakfast is going to be…small.

devilbehindthetwins

securelyinsecure:

Black Girls Rock: Twin Dancers Are Accepted to American Ballet Theatre’s Prestigious Summer Program

Twin sisters Nia and Imani Lindsay have been accepted into the prestigious American Ballet Theatre’s (ABT) Summer Program on scholarship. The young girls have been walking since 8 months and have been dancing ever since. At 10-years old the two are trained in jazz, ballet, contemporary, hip-hop, and tap dance. They are also fluent in English, Spanish and French.

While they reside in Canada they made a trip to New York City to audition for ABT’s Summer Intensive program and found time to sit down with Cipriana of Urban Bush Babes to discuss their big news, bullying, their beautiful natural hair and why they love Misty Copeland: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ply4Rjz_UZM

Such an inspiration! I am so insanely proud of these girls.

I can only dream of being this flexible.

Tongue tied - let’s band together.

Today I was asked to define effective client engagement. To me this is providing the client (costumer for retail or B2C) with what they need and when they need it by understanding them, who they are, and their needs. The rise of the (ill used?) term ‘Big Data’ has allowed us to demand, and receive, investment for tools that help us to better understand our clients through better analysis and segmentation. Marketo, Eloqua, SalesForce to name a few. I know this, I live by this and yet when asked was unable to articulate this. Why? Let’s put it down to fatigue, the view, the format of the meeting…or was it the fact that my brain was too busy absorbing what my peers in the room were saying? An opportunity I don’t get often outside of my company. As Marketers we all have the same challenges and by discussing them we can overcome these challenges or at least band together to show how it can be done or why it cannot be done that way (something we’re not programmed to do). Even though I wasn’t as eloquent as I’d have liked the opportunity to listen to senior Marketers from the same industry was invaluable. Next time i’ll say it, and…remember my business cards. Sigh

I know my local loves me, does yours?

So why do I think my local loves me? Well first let me define what I mean by ‘my local’, it’s not my local pub or even my local area, of which there are at least 5 (good pubs). It is rather the fact that I have discovered places where they know me, and I know them. I grew up in a mid-sized village in Scotland where everyone said good morning and asked how you were, and (get this) really cared. So, this sense of belonging has always been important to me, and it’s been missing for the last year. It’s amazing how that sense of dislocation makes the difference between feeling lost and being really happy.

So, let me know tell you what else is great beyond this service to me and my ego. There are a number of good eateries, bars and restaurants around here, so good in fact that they have been featured in our version of ‘The Metro’ newspaper, Conde Nast and Grazia - yup Frank’s Cafe. The eateries range from the ubiquitous chicken chains, donar kebab establishments to the 3 that I particularly want to mention. The first is The Flying Fish - truly excellent fish in batter that remains crispy even when cold and chips that are never too soft but have the right crunch, and you can bring your own bottle. 

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Then there is what I call The Greek but actually has a proper name The Vineyard. ‘The Man’ and I have our own table that we always sit in - our backs to the wall, our favourite wine (try the greek wine), while we people watch. The food is tasty and plentiful, the service quick, the atmosphere relaxed, and most importantly very good value. 

My last, and favourite, is Maloko (I’ve been told that it means the journey in Cameroon). I’m not sure why I love this place more than others, but I’ve just spent the last couple of hours in there reading my book after tucking into a galette stuffed full of ingredients that are good for you (sitting here feeling smug after eating quinoa), followed off with beetroot, carrot and apple juice. If you know me you’ll know that I’m not a fan of beetroot so it’s got to be fairly spectacular to tempt me to not one but two glasses. You can also bring your own bottle (for those of you thinking this why I like these places, it’s not after all I’ve just spent the afternoon drinking juice).

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I think that it’s the simplicity of these places that attracts me, there is no pretension, no queues (though you’ll have to queue on sunny days for Frank’s cafe) or judgement. Obviously there are other places that I visit but I can’t and won’t mention them all here, as I’d be here all night and you’d switch off. Suffice to say that the combination of them all has provided me with a true sense of community which I believe we all need regardless of who we are. 

I’m always intrigued by what makes people hang out in an area so I’m now wondering what your locals are that you love.