Sweaty Betty blog
Empowering Women Through Fitness
I sat up last night thinking about what sport meant to me. This was mainly due to a skype chat with a fellow sports afecionado and friend. Sport is a huge part of my life. It has shaped my career as well as my social circle. It makes me somewhat selfish as i put training high on my priority list. Luckily i have understanding friends and a sports mad boyfriend but early morning training means that im no night owl and diets mean im also a very fussy dinner guest.
In order to really get to grips with the question i instead thought back to a time when there was no sport in my life. I got very sick following a sporting accident that saw me puncture my kidney. The years that i had spent building up skills and fitness were void. Some disappeared over night and other slowly diminished as the weeks wore by. My body was irreversibly damaged and i found myself then battling huge health complications for the next two years. Training was no longer top of my list. Working out was now not a pleasure but instead a reminder of how far i had fallen. Instead of invigorating me it served only to highight my weakness. I could no longer call myself an athlete. My title was stripped along with a huge chunk of my self confidence and identity. So how do i know how much sport means if i was able to live without it? Because i wasnt. The first chance i could i got back into training. I praised myself for every mile run rather than every mile lost. I put myself back into competitions knowing that i was no longer at my former standard. My love for sport is stronger know because i chose to do it for the right reasons. It has a time and place in my life and my heart. I want to do this forever and it is no longer about being at the top its about being at my top. I recognise my own strenghts because i am now very aware of my weaknesses.
I train for me, I train for life!read more
Well I've had great week trying out different things on the exercise front. First up was basketball with the rest of the team during our strategy away day. It was fast and competitive with 6'5 Greg (who plays a lot) showing us how to do it. We had a great time and even though we had quite a few newish people playing, everyone went for it. It was "most enjoyable" part of the day for a few (does that say something about our strategy day??? hope not!!)
Next, and much more challenging was my climbing at the Westway with my ex-triathlete, cycle-everywhere, climb-everyday neighbour, Mike. I had only done indoor climbing once before but had enjoyed the thrill of pushing myself out of my comfort zone. Mike had seen that I was keen and invited me down again to push me harder. I started by trying to get up as quickly as possible with the enjoyment purely coming from the fact that I had made it. I wasnt thinking, just doing. Mike could see that I needed to use my brain more so he took me to this crevasse with rocky outcrops and corners and overhangs. here i had to be much more imaginative and strategic, thinking about where to place my feet before just hauling myself up any old way. It felt more natural though, using the rocks to help me and hanging on to bits, taking my time to think my route up. It was tiring and extreme but ultimately thrilling. Next up was a wall that had 3 or 4 overhangs. by now my arms were aching. Mike could see I was flaking. I can see how important teamwork is for climbing. I was gripping with my fingertips, completely exhausted, adamant in my head that I couldnt pull myself up over this next overhang..there was no way in hell I could do it, my arms were shaking, I wanted to give up and Mike would say, ok just hang back on the rope, let your arms hang and relax for a bit. Then get it into your head you can do it. use your legs with the strong muscles to push yourself up - dont rely on your puny arms! I have never needed the encouragement so much...but because of it I did it. Wow it is the best feeling ever. Going from that I-give-up-cant-do-this-anymore feeling to doing it, achieving it.
Then at the weekend I went for a run with my 9 year old daughter. we had our ipods playing lady gaga etc at the same time as each other and ran to the park. We decided to do some fartlek training - she likes sprinting and I need to spice up my run a bit. Embarrassingly she is faster than me at sprinting, so I didnt stick at that for very long! but then she is not so good at the long distance so I had to encourage her then.
Normally my week of exercise tends to be quite solitary (apart from my beloved kickboxing), so it was really great to train with others. you get a real buzz out of being with others, encouraging them or needing them to encourage you. Teamwork. that's what it's all about hey?!read more
It is getting very chilly now and with our Running Session starting at 6pm now is the time for me to change my wardrobe for something which would keep me warm but which is light at the same time. There are plenty of lovely clothes in the Sweaty Betty shop but my favourite is the Thermal Run Pant and the Merino Run Top.
Thermal Run Pants have soft fleece inside which keeps you warm!!!
The Merino Run Top is the best top I have by Sweaty Betty. It is made with natural merino wool which keeps you very warm. I am not much of a pink girl so I have this top in the Blueberry colour.
FYI: This summer I was very lucky to be invited by the Sweaty Betty designer team to give them my feedback on the their lovely clothes and to see their plans for future ranges. It's so exciting to see those clothes I helped advise them about on the shelves in the shops now. The designers at Sweaty Betty are doing fabulous job!!!
Off Shoulder Olympia £65
Warm and cosy? Tick. Long and flattering? Tick. Stylish yet comfortable? Tick. Great for Yoga cool down? Tick. With all these great features, this is my new favorite jumper. I bought it last week and have already worn it for Yoga but have also dressed it up with leggings, heeled ankle boots and a fitted jacket. I have definitely got my moneys worth already!
I planned a trip home this weekend and with that comes of course a hill run. I had wanted to do a half marathon as the roads are quieter and thus easier to navigate than London, however the inclement weather soon saw me off. Instead i took to the hill and managed, a better than last time, 10 laps. As i have said before at the height of my training i could previously manage 12 easily. 10 was a success and on a personal level made me happy that i am making progress towards being as fit as i formally was. Ill be at my parents again on thursday night and so will run on friday morning. I will of course be aiming for 12.read more
I tried a new sport today, and thats a rare thing for me to say. I have struck a deal with my flatmate in which i take her running three evenings a week in exchange for her doing callanetics with me. Tonight was a gentle 2mile jog followed by an hour of callanetics. Its a non-impact sport. A cross between extreme stretching and pilates. My core muscles were shaking by the second exercise. I would like to point out that i live with a pro-dancer and thus i looked even worse doing it. The video that we used (i know how very 90's of us) is from the 80's. The music is to die for as are the homage to Fonda outifts. My favourite part...? when she anounnced that the following exercise would turn my bottom from a pear into a sweet juicy peach. Ill keep you posted...read more
Sporting goals are important to me. I train better with a goal in mind. I am more focused and determined. I also find it easier to give up late night dinners and eat chicken for breakfast. A couple of months ago i introduced the idea to Sweaty Betty and now i am proud to say that every one of our team members now has a sporting goal. That inspires me. If there is one thing that you introduce to your training, take it from me, give yourself a goal.read more
I taught this pose to the Bath Betties Yoga Club this week. It is an excellent pose to improve balance and to strengthen the legs and shoulders. I often teach the pose in three levels. For level one, just try holding the top of your foot while the heel of the foot is against the bottom. For level two, try lifting the opposite arm in to the air. For level three, try leaning forward and pulling the heel away from the bottom. My top tip is to be next to a wall in case you wobble a little.
Photo by Chris Hays Photographyread more
Sweaty Betty’s newest boutique, Kings Rd 125 celebrates its arrival into a new community in collaboration with Howard Napper. Appropriately born at 147 Kings Rd, Howard is a Yoga Teacher, Author, Broadcaster and Lifestyle Expert, one of the best known faces of Yoga today and renowned for his open approach to the practice. Sweaty Betty will be offering a unique workshop and Q&A with Howard, focusing on understanding and unlocking the stresses of modern life. Situated at our new store, in the heart of Chelsea, this event will take place on December 16th from 6.30 - 7.30.
In his recent years Howard’s open and knowledgeable approach has enabled him to reach out beyond the confines of traditional yoga to address some of the fundamentals of the human condition, including stress and the way in which we age. In this workshop, we will uncover the nature of stress, as well as discovering effective mechanisms to cope with the stresses of a modern life. We will also understand what is meant by 'good stress.’ Through ancient yoga techniques we will learn how the body is more than capable of dealing with stress. We will use dynamic yoga positions to relieve the effects of stress on the body in conjunction with the use of passive relaxation techniques to balance the body’s central nervous system. This workshop is aimed at all levels and is ideal for anyone who has ever felt the daily pressures of life.
Sweaty Betty Kings Rd 125 is the newest addition to the Sweaty Betty boutique family. Sitting in the company of LuLu Guiness and Jamie Oliver’s Recipease, we were recently awarded 'Highly Commended’ in the 2009 Retail Interiors Awards, Best Small Store category.
'We feel Kings Rd 125 is the perfect fit for our continued focus as the point of reference for Well Being in the community. Only minutes from Chelsea’s Farmers Market, the 'local hero’ coffee shop, studios and spas, its’ location is also perfect for our free yoga, pilates, running and workout clubs.' Tamara Hill-Norton Sweaty Betty Founder
This collaboration is deeply seeded in our ethos to empower women through fitness and is a great extension of the free weekly clubs we offer from our 25 boutiques nationwide. What is more - it is a great introduction to a community within which we hope to provide a focus for fitness and well being.
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