Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Finding Fitness

Its high time I gave a fitness update.
Well, I've been building up slowly. My regime has consisted of two or three walks a week and two sessions with a trainer doing mostly weights and other muscle building work, although I have also been known to do the odd bit of boxing too - don't laugh! All this has been working well and I am excited to report that last Wednesday, G and I walked eleven miles! Yes, eleven miles. OK, so I got a bit bratty after nine miles and G had to coax me along like a small child - that is until she decided to taunt me and did a quarter mile of 'spotty dog', just because she can! And OK, so I did hurt quite a bit afterwards. But I did it!
The really exciting part for me as I undertake this challenge is that I am actually enjoying this fitness malarkey! I know that I complained at the end of the eleven mile walk, but over all I enjoyed it and I really enjoyed having done it. That seems to be the key part of obtaining fitness; you might not exactly spring out of bed and rush to put your walking boots on, but you know inside that you'll feel so good when you've done some exercise that its well worth getting up for. I've never particularly suffered from sleep deprivation, but I do get very stressed, yet since exercising I've discovered a deeper level of sleep and a great way to stress-bust (especially that boxing stuff!). I've also found a way to keep myself generally happier at a time when, lets face it, I'm not feeling particularly happy (perhaps this, in part, was the key to Georgie's infectious smile?). And, the interesting part, but the part I struggle to put into words, is that I feel some closer connection with my body, or with my physicality. Its all very well writing a PhD and being stuck in your head the whole time, but you don't tend to realise how alien your body starts to become and how little you listen to what it wants, what it needs. Somehow, by exercising, I'm starting to feel more complete, if that's the word, or is it more well-rounded? I don't know, but somehow I feel more 'there' than I have felt in some time and this can only be a good thing.
The only downside to all this has been some injuries which have set me back. Because I have started with absolutely no level of fitness whatsoever, or what G describes as a 'standing start', I've suffered with the tendons in my knees and hips, which have had to take up the strain due to the lack of calf or thigh muscles (my calves measure 29cm at widest! I literally have the legs of a chicken!). I've also been hurting my back regularly, although that is in part a PhD-injury brought on by carrying a heavy laptop and books into London and sitting in heavy wooden chairs at the British Library.
I've been seeing a great Physio, however, thanks to G, who regards Physiotherapy as a continuing discussion with her body. She sees her Physio every couple of weeks so that she can take a holistic approach and listen to what is going on with her body both when she is training hard for races and when she is taking time out and perhaps getting into bad habits. Anyway, she has been taking me along to her sessions and I too have had the privilege of starting to build up an expert knowledge of what my body is doing within exercise and without. Of course the answers aren't always rocket science - ice packs and rest - but sometimes its a real shock to discover that your pelvis is somehow two inches higher on the right and that is why you've had agonising pain in your back!
So, this picture is of me out on a measly five mile walk last Sunday - easy - bet you never thought I say that, but I hope it conveys a least something of the new Charlotte I'm working on?!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Over Half Way There!

I'm pleased to announce that I have reached the £2.5K point- thanks to Piglottie. I have recently sent off cheques to the Rainbow Trust for £50.00 from yarn auctions (organised by Piglottie) and a whopping £120.50 from her card sales!

What this also means is that I've reached the minimum amount of money required to take part in the trek. To make that clear, you have to raise £2.5K so that the charity is adequately rewarded for supporting you to take part - about half of the amount covers the costs of actually doing the trek, but I raised that through other means! So really, I've reached the half way mark as far as my own target goes, but actually I'm all the way there as far as the trek organisers are concerned so (break out the Champagne) Peru here I come!

(What is even better is that Piglottie isn't finished yet. She continues to produce cards at an amazing rate and has just launched a great range of fairy and sheep cards.)

I'm also working on raffles at the clothes shop I work in. The first draw will be on Saturday 19th and the prizes are
1) a £50 voucher for my hairdressers
2) a £100 pound Fenn, Wright Manson voucher to spent at our store (Jane & Dada, 33 High Street, St Albans).

We will then be doing a raffle monthly (until I head off for Peru) with similar luxury prizes, so hopefully I'll make my £5K target in no time - fingers crossed!!!