As much as I hate to admit it, right now my body is feeling pretty broken. My training has been going so well over the past couple of months, but it seems my body – which I always joke about being ‘wonky’ – has finally decided enough is enough, and that it needs a break from being constantly hammered without any thought of recovery and alignment.
I’m going to tell you a sad little story about my foot, my back, my podcasts and my snacks that’ll hopefully go some way to explain why I’ve been feeling so low recently, and hopefully prompt you to have more of a think about any pain you’re feeling in your body when training or otherwise.
“I didn’t realise you had a boyfriend!”, a work friend said to me the other day. “I’ve never seen him on your Instagram”.
With my Instagram being almost entirely fitness-focused, it’s no surprise my boyfriend doesn’t feature on there – despite being together for over 7 years, we don’t train together. Sure, he enjoys going to the gym and keeping active, but because of our personalities our joint training sessions can often lead to frustration.
Valentine’s Day seemed a good a day as any to address this. Do couples who train together stay together? What if you don’t? What if your other half doesn’t train at all?
Take a look at my back in the above photo. What do you see? Is it my chubby lats, forever evading a strict pull-up? Or is it my baby traps, slowly growing with hundreds of cleans? You’d be forgiven for not spotting my spine curving to the right and the protruding shoulder blade – after all, it was only a few weeks ago at an unrelated doctor’s appointment I became aware of my scoliosis.
I’ve always been a bad back sort of person – long before CrossFit, strength training and running, I was very horsey and spent a lot of time in my teens mucking out and falling off spectacularly. I even smashed up my shoulder when I was 11 and have a pin in it! I always thought it was normal for people to have a bad back, and had mainly ignored it, until CrossFit really brought the problem into focus – from my lack of mobility in simple things like squats to pulling my hamstrings on three separate occasions – and I decided it was time I got my back problems sorted once and for all.
I’d had physio and had been having regular sports massages, so I knew I had to try something different to make the change – I was recommended to try a chiropractor, so last week I visited Sam at Davies Chiropractic Care. View Post
Activity trackers and I haven’t always gotten along. I’ve had a Jawbone, which was terrible; a Vivofit, which was good but not hugely useful at the time; and a Nike Fuelband – that was more of a toy to compete with my friends than anything else. A year and a half ago, I said myself:
“I think activity bands are good for encouraging mainly sedentary people to hit movement targets”
Having always had active jobs (from a stable yard hand to retail assistant) I never dreamed I’d be one of those sedentary people – but now, seven months into my desk job, that’s exactly what I am. Sure, I train for around an hour and a half most days, but those hours being seated day after day can decrease metabolism and have also been linked with diabetes, cancer, and premature death. Eek.
I’m starting to feel the ill affects of being sat down, from slowly putting on weight to even tighter hip flexors than before. But what can I do about it? Do I just accept that now I have a desk job I should be sedentary?
For those who don’t know, I’m an SEO executive for Myprotein’s USA site. In plain terms that means I work to get us higher up the Google rankings in key terms related to our brand (which is a pretty big deal with Black Friday coming up), and I do this by writing content, optimising existing content, building links, and doing more technical behind-the-scenes stuff too.
I spend a lot of time sat at my desk – writing content, analysing reports, emailing external parties – and I spend some time in meetings. Even as someone who’s always had jobs where I spend most of my time on my feet, I even find the sat-at-the-desk stuff fun: I write about exercise, health and nutrition for a brand I love, and connect with others who have the same interests – it hardly seems like work!
I do realise not everyone is as lucky as me, but getting a job in health and fitness is not impossible. Read on my some of my top tips for getting to work in an industry you love.
Goals are so important not just in fitness, but in life, too. They keep you moving, focused, and above all, you get a huge sense of achievement once you’ve finally smashed those goals you’ve been working hard to achieve!
Running was my main sport, and it’s easy to set running goals – I want to run my first 5K, I want to run X distance in Y amount of time, I want to run the Manchester Marathon this year. Now I’m not entering road races or even running as much, I’m finding I have to be more creative about my fitness goals, especially if I want to make them SMART – that’s specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely.
You may remember that a few months ago I set myself two goals – a 100kg deadlift and a sub-45 minute 10K time, both to be achieved by the end of summer. Okay, I realise end of summer is a bit vague, but I sort of did that on purpose as I wasn’t sure how my life was going to pan out over the next few months. View Post
High maintenance is not a phrase I’d use to describe my beauty regime. My nails are bare, I wear as little make-up as possible – though eyebrows are a non-negotiable – and I let my hair air-dry. The last beauty technique is a risky one, as you never know how it’s going to turn out, especially after going to bed with a soggy head!
This isn’t because I think I’m naturally stunningly beautiful; it’s just because I’m lazy. If I’m not at work or in the gym I want to be doing pretty much nothing other than eating or laying still on the sofa, so my beauty regime maximises the time spent doing this.
I still want to look healthy, though I’m aware the natural look takes a lot of effort to look just that – natural. However, since I started working in sports nutrition and I’ve tried out more goodies, I’ve found some supplements provide surprising benefits other than sports performance.