Let’s start at the very beginning…

Hello again! Some of you may remember when I started this blog last August, that the main premise was to document when I did anything that was ‘new.’ Queue a revert back to form and the lowdown on my latest newness!

I have always wanted to try kickboxing. I always thought that my levels of internalised rage could have gone to a better home and been unleashed in a much more enjoyable manner. Just ask Stevie, I didn’t earn the nickname of Brunter for nothing….

Needless to say it has taken me to reach the age of 36 before I actually decided to investigate this further. I took to the Googles and researched local classes in the Belfast area and found one that called my name. The Beginner Ladies classes take place in Victory Martial Arts (formerly Fighting Fit NI) and I signed myself up for 4 weeks of training for the great value price of £39.

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My first class was on Saturday morning. I got up and got ready and then spent an hour talking myself into and out of going. Ohhh the excuses I can make are AMAZING. Luckily having realised that about myself (see last post) I got into the car and made my way to class. I was greeted by trainer, Les McMaster. This was the start of the 4 week programme, I had already missed the first night because of work but when I emailed prior to signing up I was 100% reassured that starting on the Saturday wouldn’t be an issue. I had all of the usual worries about going, what if I was the only new person? What if everyone else was super fit? What if I collapsed due to sheer exhaustion?

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When I went in there were another 2 girls also going to their first class! Huzzah! I was not alone! We all looked suitably terrified but this was soon alleviated when we all got chatting and Les showed us around.

The class itself was AMAZING. The warm up was enough to make me want to lie down in a heap but there is definitely something to be said about having someone actually instructing. I am one of the worst people when I go to the gym, I get easily distracted when I have no guidance so this was perfect for me.

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We then launched into a series of kicks, alone at first and then we partnered up. I almost squealed with happiness when the pads were produced and we got to practice with partners. Again, never be scared to go to classes like this alone, there is ALWAYS someone else who will be in the same boat and what better way to make friends than by kicking them (sometimes a bit harshly). The amount of “oh sorry’s” and “oops did that hurt” that were said that day probably went into double figures.

When it was time to cool down I can honestly say that I haven’t felt as good in a long time. When I fall off the wagon the first thing to go is my eating, closely followed by my exercise so when I started regaining control of the food beast, it felt like it was only natural to get back not the exercise.

My second class is tonight. I still can’t lift my legs above ankle height from Saturday so COME AT ME, SMALL PEOPLE!!

Have you started any new exercise routines recently? Have you ever wanted to give a specific sport a go but always decide not to at the last minute? I know I’m not alone here guys. If you have an interest in Kickboxing / Self-Defence then give the guys at Victory a call and see what they have to suit! There are classes for all ages and abilities so get down and check it out for yourself!

Until next time…..

I lost my way…

Hello earthlings et al! Ughhhh I did it again, I fell off my life plan and into the arms of the non-blogging, pizza munching dark side. From around the beginning of June things got insane. I was blaming EVERYTHING for my inability to stick to anything. Same old story with me to be quite honest. June was t.o.u.g.h.

On reflection though I have learned a lot about myself and my own negative coping skills and strategies and in doing so this has definitely helped me to break these down. I fell into the trap of the old, “work is busy so I have no time to do anything” and “I’ll start again tomorrow,” or “I’ll start again on Monday.” The only issue being tomorrow never came and Monday was easy to bypass.

Despite saying June was tough it was throughout then that I was able to take a step back and have a quick look at what exactly I had done to sabotage myself yet again. I was so lucky to be able to spend time with my Gemini sister, Bridget. She had come to the UK and Ireland from NYC on a 2 month trip – we had the best of times. We talked about anything and everything and more on top of that and in doing so I was able to identify certain aspects of my lifestyle that were unhelpful. And through communication with Bridget and others I was also able to admit that to myself, which as we all know is the first step to changing anything. I love you, B!! We also happened to go to the maze at Castlewellan and although we were lightheartedly talking about getting lost in the maze as a metaphor for life, some of the analogies were SO close to my reality that they really stuck with me…

I always used to apologise for myself. I thought that apologising would make things better for everyone. Yet apologising for the way I was wasn’t changing anything for me. I then spent a load of time in going through my old social media postings and in doing so I saw that I was repeating the same age old mistakes and never actually doing anything about them. I mean, of course I have changed some things. I have gotten rid of some toxic people who did zippity ZILCH for my self-esteem or for my nerves, however old habits die hard and I can see exactly where and how I was allowing myself to revisit old, unhelpful coping strategies.

I guess I just wanted to drop in and say hello, that I am still here and that I am working every single day to turn some of the more deeply ingrained traits around. I guess that is also why I have been so quiet. Sometimes it’s less about the talking and more about the doing. So I hope you are all doing well and that this post is in some way beneficial to those of you who maybe are stuck in a rut. You can always make the changes. We’re all human, we all have setbacks. But now is the time to truly put yourself first. I shall be back soon with a more light hearted post I am sure. Much love, Danger Hearts xxx