Month: September 2017

A Postcard from Dubai

A Postcard from Dubai

It seems appropriate that this first postcard blog post is arriving kind of late. Mostly because I’m that person who always remembers about postcards right at the last minute, so that by the time they actually arrive to my friends and family I’m usually home from my holiday, long back at work and planning my next trip away. But hey, you know, why change the habit of a lifetime.

I decided on a postcards section for FlexFit almost without realising it. I wanted a space that wasn’t necessarily fitness related where I could record all the places that Tom and I are visiting on this great big adventure we’re having. I didn’t want it to be specifically reviews or advice either, which lots of travel blogs are. Just a bit of a log of where we are and what we’re doing so that a) I can look back on it wistfully when I’m back in a full time job and b) so that my mum (as no.1 follower of FlexFit) can keep track of what I’m doing.

An extended stopover in Dubai was first up on our travel itinerary. It’s not the sort of place I would normally think of for an actual holiday, so it made sense to take advantage of the fact that we were going to be passing by anyway, if only to tick it off a list.

The three days we spent there were more than enough. A perfect amount of time to relax in the sunshine, and enjoy a dose of luxury before the real travelling began.

I had made it perfectly clear to Tom that the first day we were there I wanted to do absolutely nothing but lie in the sun. Having worked right up until the day we left London and after a 7 hour flight I needed a chance to clear my head of admin and let my body recover. Luckily, lounging by the pool was the perfect cure. I rediscovered that delicious cycle of lying on a sun lounger, getting too hot, jumping in the pool, lying on a sun lounger, getting too hot, jumping on the pool etc, etc, etc… I haven’t had a holiday like that in a long time.

We did have a wander down to the beach in the evening as it got ‘cooler’. We spent the spending money my parents gave us as a leaving gift on a couple of drinks at the bar at the top of the Hilton Hotel in Jumeirah beach. The view from the top was incredible- beach and sea on one side and the bright lights of the palm on the other, plus a brilliant view of the Burj Khalifa.

The next couple of days was spent in a whirlwind of activity. Toms favourite being the hour we spent quad biking in the desert. Which was brilliant fun and totally insane to see the rolling sand dunes as far as the eye could see- just like in the movies. Our quad bike tour also included something called ‘sandbashing’ in a 4 by 4. it turns out that this means skidding along the sand and going very fast down the dunes in a jeep, with what can only be described as the Arabic top hits blaring on the radio. Very fun, but also quite a relief to get to dinner in one piece- an Emirati buffet which was also included in the price.

We spent the following day at the Acquaventura Waterpark at the Atlantis hotel. Like the rest of Dubai, it was pretty pricey for the tickets, but worth it for a day at the biggest waterpark in the world. We knackered ourselves out on the rapids and water slides – although I was too much of a coward to try the vertical drop where a trap door opens beneath your feet.

It was a great couple of days, lots of fun and plenty of time to relax. A proper holiday holiday, which is what I needed to mentally prepare for the weeks of backpacking that we have ahead of us. I would say that if you do want to go to Dubai, make sure you save enough money to take as spending money whilst you’re there. It’s not a cheap place. Uber is a good way of getting around without spending too much money, and make sure you get a hotel that includes breakfast.

I’m not sure if I’d go back to Dubai. It’s a bit too flashy for me and far too expensive. But it was a nice escape from reality before heading into the Sri Lankan jungle, which is next on our agenda.

Postcard from Dubai

Have you been to Dubai, and if so what did you think? Is there anything I missed? Also if you have any tips or backpacking around Southeast Asia, I’d love to hear in the comments!

SaveSave

An Update for August and September

An Update for August and September

It’s officially my last day in the U.K. before backpacking around Asia then moving halfway across the world. How that’s happened I don’t even know.

So I pretty much thought that now was as good a time as any to post a quick update for August/September, before wifi turns into a rare luxury and my posts become more erratic.

Unsurprisingly, the last month has pretty much revolved around travel preparations and frantic last minute money saving… but here’s a little bit of what’s been going on in my life, both inside and out of the gym.

 

August - September Updates

Pt/Work

I’m actually writing this just as I’m on my way back from training my LAST client in London. I’m not going to say last ever, but it will be a significant period of time before I’m back, so it does feel like a bit of a landmark! Thankfully my clients were all wonderfully supportive of my decision to go travelling. Sad for themselves, but happy for me, which is better than I could have asked for.

People think I’m crazy for working right up until the day before, but to be honest I really don’t see why not. I love my work and it’s not something I wanted to cut out early. Especially not so that I could replace it with organising my endless travel to-do lists! I honestly don’t think I would have known what to do with myself without the regularity of classes and clients.

I can’t wait to get to Australia and find out what opportunities there are out there. I want to stay within the fitness industry although I know that I may need to compromise whilst I build up my freelance business out there.

Life

Well, August was incredibly exciting, primarily down to the long-awaited Fit Bride Bootcamp wedding. It was such an amazing, happy occasion and absolutely everyone said that Staci looked gorgeous (which I did take a little bit of credit for!)

Tom and I made the most of being in America, extending our trip to both New York and Virginia. We took full advantage of everything, whether that meant sushi, pizza and donuts, or insane fitness classes and spontaneous hikes up waterfalls. It was like a little teaser for our bigger trip coming up and made us even more excited for our adventures!

Back home I dived straight back into my training. I have recently discovered that if there’s one thing that works wonders for my gym motivation, it’s preparing to move to a different country and go travelling for an indeterminate amount of time. And actually, no, it’s nothing to do with getting ‘beach body’ ready.

Rather, my sudden boost of energy has to do with the fact that I have a to-do list that’s longer than I am, and the gym just seems like a great source of procrastination.

I’m also just making the most of the fact that I can actually go to the gym at all. Although Tom and I will find ways to train whilst we’re away, we certainly won’t have that luxury of just being able to pop to the nearest (fully equipped, fully air-conditioned) gym for quite a while.

August - September Updates

I’m really excited and totally ready to go. I’m looking forward to experiencing a new way of life in both Asia and Australia and I cannot wait to share my adventures with all you FlexFit readers. But right now, it’s time for me to go and finish my packing…so I’ll see you on the other side!

August - September Updates

If there are any Aussie PTs reading this (or any British Pt’s who have worked in Sydney!) I’d love to know if you have any advice or tips for fitness industry work out there?! Please comment or email me if so!

SaveSave

SaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSave

Class Review: Ninja Warrior at Brooklyn Zoo NY

Class Review: Ninja Warrior at Brooklyn Zoo NY

Those who read my last post will already know that I would much rather spend a bit of money on a fun fitness class on holiday than go on-the-cheap with a few hotel room squats. Part of my itinerary planning will always involve researching nearby gyms and cool classes in the local area. Trust me, it’s totally worth it.

My latest trip to New York was no exception. There are no shortage of funky fitness classes in The Big Apple but with only three days to explore, the difficulty was actually going to be deciding which ones to hit, and which to miss. I stumbled across Brooklyn Zoo NY’s website on a quick google-maps recce of the local area. Not only was it right around the corner to our AirBnB (and a world-famous pizzeria) it was also a specialised gymnastic and parkour gym. Offering a range of classes from contortion & stretch, to house dance, to handstands, Brooklyn Zoo NY sounded ideal for my dancer-self and my free-runner boyfriend.

Fitness Class Review: Ninja Warrior @ Brooklyn Zoo NY

I immediately got in touch, and they kindly invited both Tom and I to try out one of their classes, and then take part in the open-gym session afterwards.

If there’s anything to beat a boring-old bodyweight session it has to be none other than Brooklyn Zoo NY’s Ninja Warrior class.

Yes. You read that right.

NINJA. WARRIOR. CLASS.

Loosely based on the TV show, the class teaches students how to tackle obstacles such as warp walls, salmon ladders and balance beams. Lots of climbing, jumping, and hanging from things, essentially. Did you ever play the game as a child where the floor was lava and you had to scramble your way across the room without falling in?

Yeah, that.

Anyone who knows me knows that this sort of thing is right down my street. So I sacrificed my hopes of catching a Broadway show in favour of running around like a monkey for a couple of hours.

My thoughts…

The class was mixed ability, which can be difficult enough for instructors to cope with in a regular fitness class, let alone one that uses the principles of parkour and has participants running up walls, flipping off podiums and running on barrels. Ok, maybe the flipping thing is a bit of an exaggeration.

Still, our Ninja Warrior instructor was absolutely amazing. Very patient and able to coach each person through the course regardless of their level. Every step was broken down and everyone managed to tackle each section. Even Tom, who has been free-running since he was a teenager, enjoyed the session and was given a bit of leeway to do his own thing as well. The class was thorough, but fast-paced and we got time at the end to practice on our own.

Fitness Class Review: Ninja Warrior @ Brooklyn Zoo NY

Although there was a lot of stopping and starting, it was a decent workout. Not one for those who prefer sweaty, breathless cardio-style classes, because it’s not done to time at all (unlike in the TV show). However the class was definitely taxing on the muscles and most of the obstacles required a huge amount of core strength and engagement. Both Tom and I were aching the next day, that’s for sure!

I wish that the class had been longer, because I felt at a bit of a loss during the subsequent open gym session. Having just conquered the Ninja Warrior obstacle course (and feeling like an absolute pro), is was disheartening (albeit very impressive) to then be surrounded by pros; trampolining, climbing and triple-backflipping into the foam pits. I think that if there had been more instructors on hand, perhaps, to help out any timid beginners that would have been a huge help.

Fitness Class Review: Ninja Warrior @ Brooklyn Zoo NY

As it was, I felt a bit to shy to practice on my own or try out anything that I had just learned because I felt like there was little encouragement from the other open-gymmers and that I would just be in someone’s way. The environment was almost hostile, which was disappointing having just experienced such a great class. According to Tom, this isn’t unusual in the free-running world.

Still, we had a great class and the instructors really know their stuff. It definitely makes for a fun and interesting evening if you want to experience a different side of New York! We left tired, happy and totally ready for pizza.

 Fitness Class Review: Ninja Warrior @ Brooklyn Zoo NY

 

SaveSaveSaveSave