Archive | April, 2019

Goodbye April

30 Apr

I’m not sure how a third of the year is already over (edited thanks to help from friends) but I am glad to see the back of April. Nothing bad or dramatic has happened over the last 30 days but over the last two weeks especially I’ve lost all motivation to do anything.

OK, that’s not strictly true. I have done somethings but a lot of the things that I have really enjoyed doing since the start of the year have been almost like a chore to me.

See if you understand what I mean:

  • This month I don’t think that I have managed to finish reading more than two books. I had been averaging a book every two days until the end of March. In April this ground to a halt. It’s not because I don’t like the books that I am in the middle of; it’s just that I read a chapter and then decide to put the book down rather than reading on. I feel like I have definitely reached my limit of trash TV, which has been filling the void, and that I can get back into reading in May. All the books on my to-read shelf aren’t going to read themselves!
  • I’ve had a wobble with my fitness goals. I was super motivated and ready to start increasing my running distances until I got struck down with a bad cold that sidelined me for the best part of 10 days. Getting back into cycling has been ok but the running has been tough. I won’t go into the gory details but I’ve had a very fluid cough which gets worse when I go running. Having said that, I have managed to run 24.8km and ride 92.3km in April. Can you imagine if I hadn’t have been tucked up in bed for so long? In May I am determined to beat these totals.
  • I haven’t made any progress on any of my challenges. In fairness some of them are reading and fitness related but, even the challenges I’ve started that I haven’t had an excuse to get on with, I haven’t been bothered to continue with any progress. My book has ground to a halt. I estimate 80% of this is due to lack of confidence and the other 20% is due to my motivation escaping me. I’m not sure how to tackle this one. I definitely don’t want to forget about the project altogether because I have spent so long on it already. Also I think some of the writing is OK so it doesn’t make any sense to just press delete.
  • Finally (and this one you may have noticed), I haven’t been blogging as much as normal. Obviously having less motivation to do anything means that I have had less to write about. If I am honest, I’ve actually missed sitting down at my laptop a couple of times a week and getting some writing done.

As you can see, April has been erring on the side of being a waste of time. It’s not all my fault though. I blame the weather. (I am British after all). I’ve felt all over the place with the quick changes between blazing-hot-gonna-get-sunburned-in-the-shade heat to lashings of rain to sudden flurries of ice-cold snow. Our optimism of having our first BBQ at the start of April but not being able to sit outside and eat since might be the source of all my de-motivation and disappointments in April. I was cheered up yesterday when I met with a friend who had said she had also spent most of the month moping around not being able to concentrate on anything. Sometimes it feels good when people are feeling exactly the same as you are because you realise that it’s normal not to be feeling like you can take on the world single-handedly every day.

I hope that May madness is going to help me have a bit more of a spring in my step. I have made plans to make sure that I get a few more steps towards completing some of my challenges, which will give me a boast, as well as keeping going with my running and cycling when time allows.

I hope your May is better than your April – even if your April was great!

make-the-day-great-4166221__340

Happy Easter

21 Apr

Happy Easter to all my readers and followers wherever you are in the world!

It seems like this Lenten time has gone quicker than ever before and this year is going even quicker. I did manage to keep my Lenten promise of exercising or doing something to benefit my health each day. I have been struggling with a very bad cold this week but I still managed to wrap myself up warm and get out of the house of a 30 minute walk around the village.

I feel quite proud of myself that I managed to keep my promise. There were many occassions when I really didn’t want to get my trainer on or get the bike out and go for a ride but I managed to and, despite the cold that I has completely knocked me for six, I feel a lot better for it. In the beginning it was hard but once it becomes a routine it becomes easier, mentally and physically. Now I am in the routine, I’m determined to keep going with my daily goal of doing something every day to improve my health and fitness. First I will make sure that I am fully recovered from this awful cold.

I will be spending the next few days relaxing and eating chocolate. I hope that you will also be enjoying your time with family and friends.

easter-2168521__340

Netball in Copenhagen

17 Apr

I’m just about fully recovered from a weekend in Copenhagen playing netball with Z├╝rich Netball Club, who I decided to join in January. I worked out that it had been almost 15 years since I had been on a netball tour which is one of the scariest things that I have heard in a long time.

We arrived at the hotel with the news that they had overbooked the twin beds in the hotel so we had to make do with double beds. This was slightly daunting considering that some of us didn’t know each other well. There wasn’t a great deal that we could do about it and I was so tired I could have slept standing up in a broom cupboard.

On the Saturday we headed to the venue. The hall was packed with teams from Sweden, Holland, France and Germany. It was a mixed tournament so it wasn’t a surprise to see a few men there but we were the only team to only have women playing. I know from experience that its not always an advantage to have men on a netball team but it would turn out that these men had played before and were pretty handy on the court.

The tournament was opened by Zindyi Mandela, the South Africa ambassdor in Denmark, who I later found out was the daughter of Nelson and Winnie Mandela. She gave a great speech about how important it is for women to be involved in team sport. How amazing is it that she took the time out of her day to come and wish a group of expats all the best for the day!

I had completely forgotten how physically demanding a sport netball is. Playing competitively is so different to training with your team mates. My legs were almost dead after the first few games. Luckily the organisers provided snacks and cake to help with blood sugar levels.

We played 8 games in total and, although we didn’t end up winning the competition, the games that we did lose were by very small margins. After the prize giving we headed back to the hotel for a quick shower and change before a buffet dinner at a local restaurant with the other teams and then onto a trendy cocktail bar called Curfew for some celebratory drinks.

I woke up the next day still shattered which is yet another reminder that I need to improve my fitness. I could barely walk up stairs for the next few days. After a late-ish breakfast we went on a free walking tour, visited The Little Mermaid Statue and headed back to the airport.

Thank you to my team mates Claudia, Lauren, Lorna, Kim, Arran, Abby, Chelsea, Emma and Konio for a great weekend of netball and for such a great time. I’m hoping for an equally great weekend in another European city with the girls soon!

40 Before 40 – Challenge #26 update

7 Apr

This is possibly one of the most fun challenges that I chose for my 40 Before 40 list of challenges. I am going to learn 40 different origami designs.

I must say that some of the designs are a lot harder to make than they look. I did start making a butterfly and gave up because I got completely lost about what I should fold where. I might come back to it later and try again because I don’t like to be defeated by something that seems so simple. I haven’t been

In a strange way I have found it quite relaxing. It’s very satisfying to take a piece of paper and turn it into something different entirely. It tends not to take very long as well which means the satisfaction is immediate. I have noticed though that it is incredibly difficult to fold a piece of paper exactly in half so that all of the sides are in line. If you don’t believe me try it yourself. Perhaps it’s just me.

Here are the first ten of the origami designs that I have made. In case you don’t see the connection (!), all of the designs are animals.

  • cat
  • dog
  • fish
  • shark
  • pig
  • rabbit (I think it looks more like a kangaroo)
  • frog
  • fox
  • turtle
  • crab

Here are the photos as evidence. Are they good enough that you can which animals are in each photo?

img_5548.jpg

img_5395

 

Fast approaching Easter

3 Apr

With only a few weeks until Easter, I am on track to complete my Lenten promise which was to be active every day. Lent is 40 days long which means that technically Sundays don’t count – if you include the Sundays in Lent there are 44 days. I have been keeping fit on Sundays even though I could have been having a rest. The weather has been good so it makes sense to get out when possible.

So far I have been combining running, cycling, netball and doing core strength exercises. I have started to notice that my stamina and endurance is increasing and I’m feeling more confident. However, I haven’t been able to lose any weight which is disappointing because that would be a nice side effect.

I must admit that I prefer to get out on the bike or put my trainers on and go running rather than doing core strength exercises. Even though it doesn’t take as long (there is no way that I can do more than 15 minutes of planks, sit ups, push ups etc) I really hate it. I can tell that it is having a positive impact on my running, cycling and my endurance in general but I just don’t like doing them. We also do these exercises at the end of a netball practice and I hate it with a passion.

Over the last 29 days, I have run or biked a total of 105 kilometers or 65 miles as well as taking part in 5 netball sessions and 6 sessions of core strength exercises. I’m pleased with that. It’s certainly not the longest ever run or biked but my knee is holding up. This time last year I was barely able to limp around 2 kilometers twice in one week. This is definitely progress!

It is often said that it takes 30 days to form a habit so I hope even when the next two weeks are over that I am able to continue with my exercise habit. I might not have time to go as often but even being active four or five times a week would be great. If the weather stays nice then I will have no excuse!

gym-life-3449526__340