I've been on a mission this past few weeks to find the real fun in fitness, and I'm glad to say it's been a stonking success!
I'm talking pure, unadulterated, jump-up-and-down-excited kind of fun - the sort where you don't realise how hard you're working out until afterwards and you bounce home like a kid on Tangfastics. (Cherries, always the cherries).
The mission commenced at the Virgin Sport Hackney Festival of Fitness & 5.5k last month, a couple of weeks after a difficult Brighton Marathon where none of my plans came to fruition thanks to the glorious bloody weather we had.
Unfortunately they weren't taking any more bookings when I went to ask if they could tidy up my side shave. Top tip: don't let your husband shave the side of your head when he's in a rush / too scared to go to the edges.
I arrived a little over an hour until the 5.5k start, which was just enough time to wander around grinning at everything before picking up my race number at the media tent and catching the end of the Thriller dance class.
Before I got into running, I started my fitness journey in a flurry of fun and frolics, with dancing, boxercise and fitness games, and Zumba was the first exercise class I ever went to. I LOVED IT straight away - just pure, unadulterated, don't-give-a-shit-what-you-look-like fun.
Joining the many others on the Go Fit Yourself to learn the steps to Thriller and Beat It with Fight Klub's Troy Dureh reminded me of those heady days, and that's what kickstarted my promise to rediscover more of that joy in the things I do this summer.
So, with that in mind, here's how I've kept that promise to myself over the past few weeks (and how you should get in on the fun too!)
After the dance classes at Hackney I booked straight onto the Brighton Zumba class that I used to go to a few years ago. I loved it just as much as I did back then and left dripping in sweat, 425 calories lighter, with a shake in my hips once more.
I didn't say anything about it being in time to the music, though, did I?!
Hitting the trailsThrow me down some singletrack and I'm the happiest you'll find me (as long as I don't break myself). After much faffing about we've finally taken the bikes to hit the Surrey Hills trails, getting some awesome guiding from Sean at Marmalade MTB - read more about our 121 ride last week here.
Two weeks in a row of mountain bike mayhem and we're ready to take our rediscovered flow to the trail centres in Wales this Bank Holiday!
Fight Klub 😝
A live drum n bass DJ, MC, high intensity boxing workout and kickass venue with lights, lasers and loud beats. I literally cannot describe to you the immensity of this workout! 90mins of epic, jump up, YES MATE beats that rain so hard you just have to keep punching.
I love dnb anyway but never go raving any more unless at festivals really so this was just brilliant. Never mind the boxercise, I skanked my sweat-drenched heart out.
870 calories burned, thank you very much!
Rugby!!A day after we had to put my beautiful boy Scabbers to sleep (Harry Potter cat no.3) I needed some serious cheering up so dragged my heartbroken self to have a go at rugby. It was pissing with rain, I hadn't played for more than 13 years, didn't know anyone and couldn't catch the bloody ball to save my life.
I had one of the most fun workouts I've had in a looooong time, and left soaking wet, caked in mud and full of smiles.
This week was week one of a four week beginner / returning players course at Hove Women's Rugby Club (every Thursday evening 7-8pm from now until 8th June, FREE!), and I have a feeling I'm gonna have to make some choices about which fitness escapades to fill my time with this summer...
triathlon or rugby? triathlon or rugby? triathlon or rugby...
In between all these shenanegins I've actually been able to run some pretty fast and comfortable runs which has relieved me no end as I thought I was doomed to a future of painful plods after the marathon.
It seems that sometimes, not training, not having any real goal other than to just enjoy yourself is the best way to exercise! I'm all up for this kind of fun for the summer until training for Beachy Head Marathon gets underway in August.
Until then, it's all about the smiles.
What's your favourite way to exercise when you're after a healthy dose of YAY?