Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Getting Fit, not Cross

I'm now just over 2 weeks into a new fitness regime called CrossFit, and it's certainly getting me fit and surprisingly not too cross!

I really wasn't sure I'd like it because it's all the things I tend to avoid - squats, lunges, weights, sweating and getting very red in the face. Of course it's all the things I actually need to get me fit enough to be able to manage and also enjoy the trek to Everest Base Camp.

CrossFit focusses on strength, endurance and high intensity work which will improve my ability to cope with the altitude on the trek. It's also very varied and strengthens and conditions the whole body so it'll stop the constant recurrence of injuries that I've experienced with running. At least that's what Pete and Andy, the guys who run CrossFit HG3 in Pannal, near Harrogate - http://crossfithg3.com - are telling me. And from what I've seen and done so far I think they're right.

I'm going 3 times a week. Yes - 3! (And continuing to run, do Yoga, Pilates and aquafit - what a glutton for punishment!). I'm half-way through a 4-week Foundation Course which is all about developing the techniques and skills and learning the basic movements of CrossFit. There are about 10 of us on the course and already there's a real sense of team spirit developing between us.

At the end of each session there's a WOD - work-out for the day - which is a killer.  For example, yesterday we did a 400 metre run, followed by 30 each of kettlebell swings, sit-ups, jumps onto a box, medicine ball throw-ups, burpees, push-ups, then a final 400 metres. Totally exhausting! And it's really hard keeping count when you're completely cream crackered. 

I'm one of the slowest at these WODs and this did bother me at first but I've realised it's about competing with yourself rather than the other people in the group. And we're all starting to support each other. There's lots of 'come on Jackie'  and 'keep going - you're doing really well' from Pete and Andy and I just LOVE praise. We don't get enough praise as adults do we? I'm like a child again - a few gold stars and I'd be glowing with pride!

I'd never heard of CrossFit before but there was an article in the local paper about CrossFit HG3 having just opened so I got in touch. And Andy and Pete have very generously offered to support me with my fundraising for Women for Women International by organising some events in the CrossFit community.  Isn't that fantastic?!?!

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Early days...

Over a month has gone by since I signed up for this adventure and I still feel scared, excited, exhilarated and scared. For various reasons it's taken a long time to set up this blog but I've been able to do a whole host of other stuff to get me well on the way with my fundraising - have a look at my Fundraising Events page.

These early days of making contacts and getting ideas and planning a fundraising strategy - otherwise known as the running around like a headless chicken phase – are not easy but I can see that it’s simply par for the course.

One thing that has made it a lot easier, though, is the tremendous support I've had from family and friends. The ideas, contacts and offers to help have been pouring in and it's great to feel I'm not alone with this challenge.

You see I must admit I'm a bit of a worrier. And I really don’t want to spend the next few months worrying. I want to enjoy the challenge and I’m going to use all the things I’ve learned from my Yoga ( see http://www.yorkshirewellbeing.co.uk/ ) to help me. The style I'm learning is the Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga and one of the principles is to do less and achieve more. This is not about being lazy and hoping for the best, it's about having an intention to achieve your goals and doing what's necessary to achieve them, but then trusting that whatever happens is meant to be.

For some reason the film with Kevin Costner where he hears a voice telling him to ‘build a field and they will come’ keeps coming into my mind. Ok, so this challenge doesn’t involve any baseball, but if I do what I can to make people aware of what I’m doing and the amazing work of Women for Women International I have to believe the money will come.

Also, in this headless chicken, one step forward two steps back early phase I keep reminding myself – you can’t eat an elephant all at once!

It’s not the easiest thing to do – asking people for support and money. Does anyone like doing it? I’ve already found myself squirming even when I’m only asking people if they’d like me to come and give their group a talk about what I’m doing! I WILL get better at this though. As soon as I think of the level of suffering that women in war-torn countries have experienced and the challenges they face my embarrassment and discomfort pales into insignificance.