What happens at Tribal Gathering … goes on my Blog

My plan was to take a photo diary of what really happens at a Tribal Gathering whilst at the Liverpool Tribal Gathering this Saturday.

Turns out I’m rubbish at taking photos though and then even more rubbish about getting around to using them.

So here is the written version of what a Tribal Gathering / One Live / Les Mills Live/ GFX is really like:

  • You will start the day in your best Reebok, hair washed cleaned and down (maybe straightened), there may be make up- all of this will last approximately one track into your first class.

  • After this it’s endless top changes and baby wipe showers and an increasingly messy pony tail – depending on your mascara choices you may end up resembling Alice Cooper.  The toilets start to resemble your bedroom

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  • Except for some girls who somehow manage to maintain perfect hair and make up even as they are coming out of a GRIT session – these people are aliens
  • There will always be ladies cooking small humans who make exercise look more effortless than you do (respect here!)!

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  • Noone wears Nike… or Adidas
  • In fact 90% of people will be in not only Reebok but the exact same outfit- picking people out of a crowd will be like playing Where’s Reebok Wally
  • Body Pump is the first class of the day… for everyone… it’s the law. Unless you opt for Body Balance first… the Body Balancers are odd and us Pump people don’t really understand them… why would you stretch at the start of the day?????

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  • Everyone has a Polar or Fitbit… otherwise I’m pretty sure your training doesn’t count
  • Everyone will have a bag half the size of them. It will contain every piece of gym kit they own plus enough food to feed a small nation
  • Bumbags and bands on water bottles- say no more

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  • Everyone brings some form of sweets- Jelly babies, Haribo, pic n mix… it’s actually the law to consume sugar on days like this (normally whilst sat on the floor exhausted by life)

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  • 20% of your day will be taken up with eating said sweets plus buying and inhaling coffee
  • We gather in packs for this refueling and create much mess

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  • You spend another 20% of the day running past people you haven’t seen for months whilst yelling greetings
  • With the odd catch up towards the  end of the day when you’re now too tired to dash to classes and accept you might be late for Combat

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  • Another 20% is taken up with selfie taking (often on other people’s phones ahem)

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  • There obviously also has to be a picture on stage after a class so it looks like you just taught it… here’s Lou pretending she just taught Sh’bam….

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  • 10% of your time is spent trying to work out where room 2 is
  • In the rest of your day you may do some classes! Perhaps … just one or two…. Or y’know – 5…
  • Then you will get the required group selfie- otherwise you put all the calories just burnt back on plus 10%

  • If you’re me you will not do a single class you booked onto but end up in random things like Barre because you got over excited and followed someone. You may not even know the person you followed
  • You meet at least one person for the first time even though you’ve been Facebook friends for 3 years
  • You find out your friends have hidden talents during Sh’bam then force them to perform for you whilst you take photos

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  • All of this is done in the knowledge that you will be able to eat the mother of all cheat meals that evening (before the cake in this bag I had an immense hot dog and chips!)! All fitness instructors basically train to eat.  If they tell you they don’t they are lying.

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You Control You

I feel like my posts this week have been quite deep so I thought I may as well keep to the theme (don’t worry next week I’ll write about falling falt on my face doing box jumps or something).

I feel like I’ve changed and progressed a lot in the last twelve months and most of that has come from a change in mindset.  I’ve written about this previously in various forms but essentially I’ve just started doing little things, considering certain questions I hadn’t thought about before which has led to me taking more control of my outlook and emotions.

  • What are my aims- for this week, month, year, five years, 10 years?
  • Why do I want to do these things?
  • What is my purpose for doing what I do? What purpose will doing these things serve and will it get me closer to my aims?
  • What do I need to focus on right now to get to where I want to be?
  • How can I use my goals to motivate me to do things right now?

By starting to think about these things and structuring my life around these questions I feel like I’ve started to gain more control.  Even if things are not perf6ect right now there is a purpose for what I am currently doing which fosters a more positive outlook that before.

There are lots of things that happen in life I can’t control of course but I can control me and my reaction to those things and turn those reactions back to focusing on my why and purpose.  This is so much easier said than done and I often have blips where it doesn’t quite happen immediately but building mental fortitude takes time.

Have a read of this email which pretty neatly sums up where you can start with thinking about your why:

Why?: https://mailchi.mp/08cb9784151a/free-workout-316403

Love, Hate, Running and Me

I hate running.

And yet for someone who hates running I sign up to a lot of runs.

So it’s a lie to say I hate running really I suppose.

I like running. I’m just slow.

I can run for long periods of time at a steady pace.  I’m never going to get a sub 2 hour half marathon time but I’ve completed a number of half marathons, a number of 5 and 10k runs and one marathon.

What I really mean when I say I hate running is I hate training for runs.

I like going out for a road run- but for 15- 20 minutes, perhaps half an hour.

I like being in the fresh air, feeling the sun on my face on a nice day or the fresh feeling on a cold or wet day.

For me this type of running is less about keeping fit and more like therapy.  A time to either think, or to clear my thoughts, to stick on some cheesy music and just be present and take in my surroundings.  I tend to run down a cycle route close to my flat and like to people watch and look at the graffiti in the tunnels as I run.  If I stay in a hotel I always try and go for a morning run because I like running in different surroundings – sometimes pretty, other times less so.

So when I try and add training for an event into my schedule I struggle.  In part this is because my teaching schedule makes long regular runs hard to fit in without overtraining.  But it’s also because adding in set distances and set aims detracts from the enjoyment I get from running and I start to put it off.

So inevitably I go into every race I sign up to bemoaning my own lack of preparation and knowing it’s going to be a tough slog.

Normally once I get started I’m good.

This is because I also enjoy organised races. It’s  a mixture of the different to normal route, support from the crowd, the atmosphere, getting a goodie bag at the end.

Whilst short training runs fulfil my need for a mental break from life, organised runs leave me with a sense of achievement and push me to do the longer distances I know I’m capable of but rarely push myself to do in training (as someone once said to me I’m a bit of a match day player- I need that pressure to make me perform).

Yesterday I took part in the Great Manchester Run – I did the half marathon distance. The last four years I’ve done the 10K but last year they added in a longer distance so I decided to step up for my fifth year at this event.

My longest run in the run up to the event had been a 10K the week before. I taught five classes the day before so had definitely not rested my legs.  My diet had not been top notch during the week and I hadn’t hydrated well.  On the day it was HOT!

I ran at a steady pace and completed the course in 2 hours 21 minutes.  Given the heat I was really pleased with this time and felt pretty good throughout the run – even managing to run through a stich at around 5 miles.  At times I hated it, at other times it felt good.  The sprint across the finish line felt brilliant and although my immediate reaction at finishing was never again I know deep down that these type of events provide value to my life and I get something out of them.

I also know however that my training is never likely to be more than the odd 20 minutes run when I feel like running.  But I have decided that this is probably OK.  I know I can run up to 13 miles at a steady pace when I choose to, my general level of fitness allows this, and as long as I accept that I’m not about to set a world record my preferred training runs and my enjoyment of structured running events can coincide quite happily together.

Whatever training you enjoy doing – find a way to fit it into your life so it suits you.  That may mean readjusting your outlook on it or changing your goals, but if this means you enjoy it when you do it then it will add so much more to your training regime and make sure you continue to enjoy what you do.

Motivation (and the weather)

I struggled to put my thoughts on paper today, so I recorded it instead.

https://youtu.be/L2C3O6mnNrE

This is just my opinion and some may disagree but hopefully you still find it a little interesting.

I’d like to stress that people train and eat certain foods for all sorts of reasons and I understand for some dissatisfaction is an excellent motivator – in which case why not stick with what works.

But i think positive motivators and choosing activities that you actually enjoy and fit into your life can have such an impact on physical and mental health.

It did for me.

Your What and Your Why

Hands up if you’ve ever heard people talk about their ‘Why’ and done a little eye roll?

I’d put a little hands up emoji here except I haven’t worked out how to do that on here yet.

I always found memes and Facebook posts or inspirational lines about motivation a bit cheesy. Generally speaking the only cheese I have time for is the type I put in my mouth or the type produced musically by the likes of Busted or McFly.

That is until recently.

I’ve come to realise that the reason I felt like understanding what your Why is was pointless was because I didn’t really have a ‘What’.

I’d done the same job for over twelve years and did what I really enjoy (teaching) on the side and kind of thought that I had left it too late to look into making any big changes and to be honest didn’t really know what changes I’d make anyway. When people talked about being passionate about what they do I always felt a bit bemused.

I realise this makes me sound quite shallow.

I probably am.

Over the last few months however, with a bit (ok maybe a lot) of prodding, I’ve started to get an idea of what I’d like to do going forward.

I’ve worked out where my passion lies, what I believe is worthwhile doing.

I know the changes I can make now to work towards those goals and I have an idea of how I can get to where I’d ultimately like to be. How I can wok my own passions into my work life.

Once I worked this out I returned to the idea of my ‘Why’. The truth is once you know what you are working towards finding the Why is actually pretty easy. The Why is also the thing that motivates you to get stuff done now – even when you’re tired and it’s hard – because you know you need to do it to get to where you want to be.

So I’m still a ‘just get shit done type of person’. I can’t really stand fanfare. Those who need to know what I’m doing and why I’m doing it do, and for everyone else the chances are you won’t know I’ve been working towards something until I decide to write something sarcastic on Facebook!

That being said I’ve come to appreciate the power of knowing your own aims / goals / passions in your head because it’s only when you understand them that you will start to work towards them with any kind of focus.