FitBits - fitness for fun and wellbeing: 2015

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Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Setting goals for 2016





 

There aren't enough days in the week. 



This is a common problem I have when deciding on races and events for the year. There is no marathon in the 2016 game plan - I want to focus on running faster, swimming stronger, cycling longer, lifting heavier. 

I'll swap the winter marathon plan for a sports cocktail of mixed skill and intensity. Mastering the art of repetition and precision to land a skateboard trick; learning how to swim efficiently with grace; building the strength in my legs and lungs to carry me 185 miles over two days on two wheels in May. 

In terms of running goals I've got a few stragglers that have been following me around for a couple of years now... the elusive sub-25 parkrun that I've been passively chasing; the sub-50 10k that I actually never trained for at all and then DNS'd the goal race because I wasn't 'running fit' enough to shave over three minutes off. 

Well, that and the pull of the trail was too tempting when compared with 50mph winds along a seafront 10k course... 


I want a triathlon PB. 
I want to do a full pull up. 

Complete a Tough Mudder. 
Punch fear in the face and ride a black mountain bike trail. 
I want to go climbing again and get to the top of the wall. 
Get back in a kayak and see if I can still roll it.
I want to make more time for the yoga mat and learn how to relax and switch off every once in a while. 


And the scariest of all, the one that, if I'm completely honest, despite it being the most amazing experience, I've still been avoiding: I want to face my demons and get back in the boxing ring. It's happening... this March.

As much as I want to, I can't do all of this immediately. I was meant to be part of the #blogsquad for the Sport Relief Swimathon too but that's on the same day as my UWCB fight so I've had to choose. Maybe for the best as I was having trouble trying to fit in four runs, three boxing classes and four swims into my training calendar for the Spring!

Here's the event calendar as it stands, I've got a few more possibles up my sleeves to fill in the gaps...








And then there's the general life goals / areas to focus on:



Save some bloody money. (We're starting this by not going to Glasto this year for the first time EVER. WAAAAAAHHHHHHHH :(  )
Write at least one blog a week. 
Finish a book. 
Have a big clear out. (And I mean big - I'm far too sentimental). 
Call people more often. 
Go offline every now and then.
Do a bike maintenance course. 
Learn Greek so I can talk to my nan in her native language. 
Play Frank Turner and Oasis songs on my Fender guitar. 
Dread my hair and book in another tattoo.



This is all very nice, but as I'm sure you're aware, the problem I have is time. I've got an amazing new job and an endlessly patient and loving husband who puts up with my must-do-all-the-things-right-now attitude. 

I need to be brilliant at looking after both of these. These must come first.  

So, as I sit here and try to figure out how the hell I'm gonna fit all of the above in to just seven days a week, over 365 days in 2016, I think I'll just set myself one overarching New Year's Resolution:

To make it count. 

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PS. Do you like my new blog logo and header? Made by my mate Ralph
We'd love to know what you think! :) 

What are your 2016 goals?



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Sunday, 27 December 2015

2015: The year that ended perfectly :)


FitBits - A 2015 running and fitness review










I love writing these posts. 

I've been really looking forward to writing the 2015 review, and as I sit here on the sofa, the family in various states of consciousness around the house, I'm excited to delve into this year and all it gave to me. 

I said last year was my best year yet, and it was the year that I married my best friend, so I can't really let it top that. But it's bloody close... 

2015 has been a year of firsts - the first time I ran a strong 26.2 miles, my first triathlon, and the first time I stepped on a skateboard. Then, to top it off in style, I landed my dream job this month so head into 2016 raring to go.

Have a scan below if you fancy reading on...

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The hardest 10 miles 



FitBits | Running over Beachy Head Seven Sisters















I got my arse well and truly handed to me on a plate in the first race of 2015. The cold winter air cut deep but the sun came out for the Longman10, and our tired, undertrained Christmas-laden bodies were treated to quite possibly the most beautiful route I've EVER ran.

"The hills are like someone's picked up a carpet of grass and shaken it out like a duvet"


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En route to sub 2 



FitBits | Brighton Half Marathon 2015

Something I've learned about half marathons in the last couple of years: running them is much easier when training for a full one. This year's Brighton Half was no exception - after a cutback week in the marathon plan, I was fit, strong and ready for a PB as soon as I woke up. 

"There was no way I was gonna slow down to marathon pace - it wouldn't have been humanly possible with such rested legs"


Read about why Brighton Half Marathon is my absolute favourite race here.       

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Meeting Mo Farah



FitBits | Tess Agnew and Mo Farah at the North London Half









I love this blog for so many reasons - the main one being that I love writing just as much, if not more, than running and chasing endorphins in the many ways that I do. 

Another reason is that it presents the most amazing opportunities to me, for which I am eternally grateful. Getting to meet the world's greatest distance runner after running my own half marathon plus a few extra miles on the marathon plan was just awesome. 

Read the North London Half race report with training tips from Mo Farah here. 


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The run of my life



FitBits | Brighton Marathon 2015

Where do I even start with this one. Even though I'd trained meticulously for months and gave it absolutely everything I had, I'm still in disbelief about what I achieved at this year's Brighton Marathon.

Making peace with my maranoia and setting myself three time goals worked wonders on the course. I was strong all the way through, even stronger at the end, soaking it all up.

"I started to count the number of people I picked off during the last few miles but lost count at 55 and got distracted by a water station.
Does that make me an arsehole?"


Read why Brighton Marathon was the run of my life here.  (And how I recovered like a boss here). 


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Becoming a triathlete :) 



FitBits | My first triathlon


























Even though I had the best marathon experience this year, it was overcoming my fear / personal barriers with swimming and becoming a triathlete that was my best achievement of 2015. Deciding to pull out of Fort William Marathon enabled me to really focus on my swimming and get up to 400 metres in one go to take on my first triathlon. 

For many seasoned swimmers that isn't far but for me it was a mile, and looking back at the training blogs I've reminded myself how challenging I found it. 

Read about the journey to my first triathlon in these posts:

The training:

The tri's:


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Falling in love with yoga



FitBits | Getting high on yoga


It took a while but somewhere along the way in 2015, in between all the cursing and huffing when my body wouldn't move into various poses, I fell in love with yoga. 

Like totally, head over heels in love. Just need to make more time for it in 2016. 

Read more about why I get high on yoga here.



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A BOSH family day out 



FitBits | BOSH Run Brighton

There are two reasons that make running in Brighton so special - the scenery, and the community.

The Bright 10 was an all-singing, all-dancing, come and run with us right now demonstration of the latter. Brighton's newest 10 mile race took in yet another seafront course (yawn for the locals who soon ate their preconceptions), and got me my first 10 mile PB by over 10 minutes.  

It was something pretty special.

Find out why I loved the Bright 10 so much here.  
                                                                  

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This Girl Can Ambassador



FitBits | Tess Agnew - This Girl Can Sussex Ambassador


I'm really excited to be working with Active Sussex and This Girl Can to help promote local sports clubs, fitness groups and different ways to keep active in the Sussex region. 

We've already made one video about Brighton's all girl's skateboarding group She Shredders - let's see what else Brighton has to bring! 


Find out more about my partnership with This Girl Can and Active Sussex here. 


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Learning to skateboard



FitBits | My first ollie - learning to skateboard


What was meant to be a check-it-out-and-report-back for This Girl Can has turned out to be my new favourite hobby which I CANNOT WAIT to get stuck into properly over 2016. 

Stepping onto a skateboard for the first time was much scarier than it needed to be and after a few weeks of doing it I have a better understanding and new-found respect at just how difficult it really is. 

Read more about how I started skateboarding and follow my progress as a beginner skateboarder a few weeks in here. 



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The dream job


FitBits | Make it count


January 2015 was the month I went to a workshop with Write This Run called A Bit On The Side. The workshop was about how to turn something you love, something you've been working on the side of your day job, your freelance project, or your hobby - into a reality. 

I came away inspired, with the kick up the arse and masterplan to make sure I was working in the industry that I loved within a year.

I got it sorted with a month to spare. I had planned to do a part time home study PT course this January, and was exploring a few other options, but then my dream job popped up and I went for it. 

I started earlier this month, and can't wait to get back to it in the new year - working in sports PR and digital communications. It's been a long road to get here, and I'm eternally grateful for the opportunities that have come my way in the last couple of years. 

I know that this is gonna be the start of something super special for me and my career, so stay tuned for more updates as I go into 2016 excited as ever




What has been your defining moment of 2015? 



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Tuesday, 22 December 2015

STRICTLY COME SKATEBOARDING

FitBits | Motivation - Do one thing a day that scares you
Thanks to Lululemon for this mantra to live by :)


It doesn't look that scary. Until you step on the board.

I didn't realise when I started skateboarding just how difficult it is to actually commit to stuff and land a trick. It's not the same fear I've felt when scaling a climbing wall, stepping into the boxing ring, or jumping into deep water. It doesn't make me cry, or panic, or rush with adrenalin.

It just stops me from trying.


Case in point: A few weeks ago we went to one of Brighton's quieter skateparks to have a play, and whilst Chris got to work reminding himself how to do ollies and learning how to pump round the bowl, it took me the whole session to grow the balls to skate in from what must've been a 4ft ramp. It's not overly high or intimidating - until I stood on the board at the top of it.

I've been skating weekly at Brighton Youth Centre with She Shredders so have got used to one place (with lots of friendly people to help me), and as soon as I put myself in a new environment it all went to shit.

After much faffing I got angry with myself and did it anyway, with varying levels of success:



Attempt 1:




Attempt 2:



A video posted by @fitbits_tess on


It seems really stupid watching these videos and seeing the turmoil I was in over whether I'd survive. But I stand by it - I really couldn't do it.

Biting the bullet


In the spirit of doing things that scare me and Getting. Shit. Done, last weekend, while hubs went white water kayaking at Lee Valley, I ventured off nice and early to the skatepark to fall over in front of the big kids. Or as few big kids as possible... 

I'm all over This Girl Can but at the moment This Girl's Not Quite Ready to take on the big boys so instead of going to The Level, Brighton's best and busiest skatepark, I headed to Hove Lagoon in search of space to fall on my arse in peace.

As far as decisions go, this was a good one - I bumped into a fellow BOSH runner and his 11 year old son and we had the place to ourselves apart from a few tiny kids on scooters. It's mainly thanks to him (and the rain for making the ramps too wet to skate first off), that after a few hours (yes, it really takes that long), I learnt to ollie.


FitBits | Skateboarding in Brighton - Hove Lagoon






Now that I've got my own board I can practice more than once a week within the safety of the She Shredders all girls sessions. I've mostly got my kickturns down and am a bit more comfortable riding the board, so the first big hurdle to start doing tricks is learning how to ollie.


A video posted by @fitbits_tess on


It's this that leads onto other tricks, enables you to skate up kerbs, grind rails and navigate a bunch of other obstacles. On paper it looks WAY EASIER than it actually is to do, and looks much more exciting when you freeze frame a video to get an action shot:


FitBits | Skateboarding in Brighton - learning to ollie
Not perfect but it's a start...


I started by holding onto the rails and breaking the trick down into its three parts: pop the board, slide the other foot, jump and land. Something I've learnt from the very little skateboarding that I've done so far is that it's all about muscle memory.

New favourite YouTube channel: Braille Skateboarding - loads of easy, broken down beginner skateboarding tutorials. 

When Chris first showed me the components of how to ollie my right foot literally wouldn't move into the position, but after doing it again, and again, and again... and AGAIN, my brain and feet played ball.

I think skating is just about the only instance in which Albert Einstein's famous quote about insanity: ('doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results') doesn't quite ring true.


A video posted by @fitbits_tess on


Moving away from the safety of the railings was a different story though, as I performed various incarnations of Strictly Come Skateboarding for everyone around me. Not quite sure what I was doing here, but it looks pretty nonetheless.

The ones I did land weren't perfect, and were static, so it'll be interesting (and quite possibly frustrating), when I start practicing moving ollies.


FitBits | Skateboarding in Brighton - learning to ollie



We're flying to France tomorrow for Christmas and although I'm not taking my board, I know I'll lose many more hours than I already have watching skateboarding videos on YouTube and Instagram, getting lost in a virtual world of flip tricks, vert ramps and bails.

I've been searching for adult lessons and local / London indoor skateparks and have a list of places to visit in the New Year.

Every run or cycle ride into town now passes (and circles) The Level with great intent. I'm basically stalking Brighton's skating population, dreaming of a day when I can grow a big enough pair of balls to join them.

2016 will hold that day. I promise!  

Where it all started:

Have you tried skateboarding? Any tips for a beginner greatly appreciated!

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Friday, 18 December 2015

How to start running and fall in love with it


FitBits | How to start running and fall in love with it


My best friend wife went for her first ever run this week and I feel like a gushing proud parent. After years of laughing at me for totally getting off on running, getting up early to bosh out a seafront plod or even taking my running shoes to Glastonbury for a dose of festival endorphins, she's finally dipped her toes in the water and downloaded the Couch to 5k app.

You have no idea how much this excites me.

She's gonna get to experience so much. That first time she'll run for 10minutes non-stop. Then 20. Then complete a full 5k. Then parkrun, her first race, and who knows what else. It'll be hard, and sometimes she won't want to run, but hopefully she still will, and every time she runs that little bit further she'll feel invincible.

And one day, it'll just click, like it did for me, (and you?) and she'll be running and suddenly everything will be beautiful in the world, and her favourite track will come on, and the sun will come out (or heavens open), and a supermassive grin will creep over her face.

And right there, she'll fall in love with running.

(Pretty please :) )


FitBits | Running Show 10k
10 points if you can spot me mid-faff with my earphones...


Sport England's latest Active People Survey released this month shows that less than a year since This Girl Can* was launched, the number of women getting active once a week, every week, has increased by nearly 150,000

As someone who spent their teenage years and early 20s inhaling junk food, smoking 20 roll ups a day and sitting on one's arse 90% of the time, I find that pretty amazing stuff. I can't remember any campaigns when I was growing up encouraging more of us into sport.

There was no social media so I guess it was a lot harder to generate the reach that's available nowadays, but essentially, I couldn't be arsed and had nothing or no one to really inspire me to change that.

*Read more about my partnership with This Girl Can and Active Sussex here


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Back in the game 


I'm just coming out the other side of a few weeks break from running and right now I need all the inspiration I can get to get back on it.

So here's a few ideas for my friend, for me, and for you if you need it, to start running and fall in love again, or just for the first time ever if you're a beginner...




If at first your run is shit...


FitBits | I have great desire sign | Brighton seafront
...Try, and try again. 

This is such an important lesson for beginners as well as seasoned runners coming back after a break. I've only had a few weeks off but at the moment every run is uncomfy and ploddy and just not right. I'm feeling no love right now but I know that running rewards consistency so I'll keep plugging on. 

If you're just starting out, start slow, and build up steadily. Don't go out too fast or far - your body needs to adapt and will do so much better if you're patient with it. 

The Couch to 5k app is a great place to start. 


Explore new routes


FitBits | Stanmer Woods trail running Brighton


Living in Brighton is a runner's paradise, with the seafront, cliffs, rolling hills on the Downs and muddy trails of Stanmer Woods. Even with all this choice I do tend to default back to the same old seafront route though, so over the next few weeks as I train for Brighton Half Marathon, I'll be exploring more of the trail to keep things interesting. 

Don't let yourself get bored - joining a club or running group is a great way to explore new routes if you're nervous going out on your own. 


Sign up for a race


Nothing is more motivating than the deadline of a target race. No marathons for me next year - 2016 is all about the triathlons, cycling and short, fast runs. 

If you're just working out how to start running, choose a 5k or 10k training plan that you can keep up with, and give yourself plenty of time to get ready for race day. If, like me, you're coming back after a break, choose something that requires enough effort that you can't blag it and makes you keep lacing up even when you can't be arsed. 

It's a sub two-hour half at Brighton Half Marathon this February for me, and I'm running out of time so best get moving!! 


Run with others


FitBits | Poppy 10k Bexhill running



I don't think I really loved running as much as I do now when I used to run on my own.

I'm lucky enough to be able to run with (or 2 miles behind) my turn-up-and-smash-it-without-training husband, so it's nice to experience it together. I'm also part of BOSH Run, Brighton Triathlon Race Series and have made running friends from RunBrighton and other marathon training groups in the past, so have a nice big crew to call on or bump into in training and at races.


FitBits | BOSH Run Brighton seafront




parkrun is also great. I love it for so many reasons. Its inclusivity, community and motivation to get up and out on a Saturday morning. There's more to it than just plodding round the park. I used to just turn up, run and head home straight afterwards but now I use it as a weekly catch up with the many friends and familiar faces I've met through running in Brighton.

The latest parkrun newsletter features an inspiring lady from my parkrun at Preston Park, Mandy Miles. (Actual name, amazing, right?) Every single week, she's there.

Mandy epitomises everything I love about parkrun, running, and Brighton in general. If you spend a lot of time on the sidelines thinking you're not a runner or can't join in, think again and have a read of this.

This Girl most definitely Can.


FitBits | Preston Park parkrun Brighton - Mandy Miles







 

Every single one of the people in this photo are amazing and there's plenty more where they came from. You just need to join your local running club, group or parkrun to find them. (And totally join BOSH Run on Facebook, it's awesome). 


How did you start running? When did you fall in love with it and how?


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Saturday, 5 December 2015

RUN YOURSELF HAPPY





You have no idea how good it feels to type this.

I've had a really crap couple of weeks. I've been signed off work because my RSI flared up badly (I'll blog about this once I'm properly recovered), and it's safe to say that a fair amount of cake and overpriced Brighton lattes were consumed. I'm definitely a comfort eater. Carrot cake please.

Unfortunately for me, my angry knees also had things to say around the same time so I've been under physio orders to get back on my glute strengthening exercises and not to run until they calm down. Weights have been a no-no since the RSI took hold; cycling hurt too when gripping the breaks, and I was too scared to try a swim in case it aggravated my arms. I did throw some wrist guards on and got out on the skateboard though, when I couldn't hack daytime TV any longer.

But basically, there's just been a lot of Homes Under The Hammer and a very stressed and unhappy Tess.





Oh and then after finding out our lovely old family cat had advanced lymphoma this week, we had to put her to sleep. Third time I've had to do it, never gets any easier.

So yeah, it's not been the best time, to say the least. Especially seeing as my last post was such an unashamed 'oh-my-God-I-love-my-life', sickening, OTT make your life count plea to anyone who reads it. I've been working really hard recently and I think this is my body's way of telling me to sit the feck down.

But, (and it makes me so chuffed to be able to type for this long without pain - a record!!) I'm coming out the other side, my knees are letting me run again, and I'm now able (and have been recommended), to spend short bursts on the computer to get me back in the zone slowly in time for starting my new job on Wednesday.






It felt so good to pull on my trainers and get out there again this week. Not being able to work, blog, use social media or basically use my hands at all left me feeling pretty hopeless, and all I needed was a run (and a write) to clear my head, but couldn't until now.

It's funny how putting one foot in front of the other repeatedly can flood you with so much happiness, isn't it?

How does running make you happy? Do you find running and writing as cathartic as me?


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Sunday, 22 November 2015

MAKING IT COUNT




I love a good cliche.

I'm a total sucker for positive vibes and don't care who knows it. Life really is far too short - you've gotta go out there and do what you want to, grab every opportunity with both hands or it'll be too late. (I'm going back for these tomorrow...)

I've got a lot to be thankful for right now - a gorgeous husband who is my world, an awesome network of friends and family, lots of exciting projects on the go, and starting next month - my dream job, working in sports communications.

At the beginning of the year I went to a Write This Run workshop and came out of it with a renewed motivation and kick up the arse I needed to draw up my masterplan and actually make shit happen instead of just talking about it.

Set yourself a goal, and make it happen




Do you want to be the person who wishes they'd done something, or regretted not trying harder when it mattered?

Have you ever started something you really loved only to give it up because it was difficult, or inconvenient, or you didn't progress quick enough?

Sometimes taking the easy way in life is too tempting. Just in case, you know, it all goes tits up.

When was the last time you said to someone who was doing something awesome: "I'd love to do that", even though you've never made any moves to actually try in the first place?

Don't you want to see what you're made of? 

As a writer and word porn aficionado, the December cover of Outdoor Fitness struck a chord with me.

They don't have to tell me twice. I'm on it, don't worry.

Embracing FOMO





Me and hubs popped into town for a roast today*, and came back with two skateboards. I started skating with Brighton She Shredders a few weeks ago and every time I learn something new I bounce home like an excited child (watch the video with #ThisGirlCan and ActiveSussex).

Although always hugely supportive of everything I want to do (and patient beyond words with my impulsive, everchanging must-do-all-the-things-now disposition), Chris was not the first person to have reservations about my dodgy knees and warn me about the risk of injury if I take up skateboarding properly.

"You'll definitely fall. What if you really hurt yourself? You won't be able to run." 

It took me the time taken to clear our plates to convince him that it's obviously a great idea and that he of course also needed to start skateboarding again too, after giving up a few years ago. He really does need to get a hold on that FOMO of his.

Work in progress:



Make your life count. Fill it with adventure. Do things that scare you. Try something new. A new skill you want to learn? Go do it. Now. Do it all.

You really do only live once, and all that... :)



* Pork belly at The Fountain Head, Brighton is the absolute sex. That is all.


What do you really want to try but haven't done so yet? 
How are you making your life count?


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Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Why does yoga make you high?




Tonight I had the most nourishing, wholesome and goddamn beautiful experience of my life.

I'm not even joking.

There was a moment - alright, a few moments - where I was so flooded with serotonin, and peace, and (hold tight, it's coming...) love, I nearly burst into fucking tears right there on the mat.

Does anyone else float out of a yoga class on a bed of bliss? 


I haven't had time for yoga recently. Or actually, I haven't made time. I've been so busy with work, projects, training and general life that the idea of setting aside some time to just breathe was out of the question.

Which is funny because the one thing that would balance everything out is yoga.

I've realised, from flirting with it for a good couple of years now, that it's something I really *need* in my life. I've been dining out on amazing free classes and intro offers for too long.

It's time to invest. 

I'm gonna spend the next few weeks trying out different Brighton yoga, meditation and mindfulness classes to find the ones to commit to. I'll bring you my findings soon but for now, let's look at why so bloody awesome:

Why does yoga make you high?


Photo I took from Brighton Yoga Festival - read about it here.

 

1. Binging on oxygen 


All that deep breathing. That lovely, nourishing oxygen massaging your internal organs, easing your tight muscles, flooding your system with space. You breathe into every inch of yourself, starting the class closed, finishing wide open.

It's magic.


2. Treat yo'self 


We lead busy lives, always on the go. People are everywhere. Deadlines, to do lists, and chores; training plans, family commitments and social lives.

How often do you really take time out for you and only you?

There is no better way to reconnect with yourself than to practice yoga. Unless you're treating yourself to full on meditation, in which case - hang on - I want in.


3. Bloody good stretch 


I dunno about you but I work a desk job, and as much as I love it, I could really do with moving more. Apart from my workouts, I spend eight hours a day hunched over a computer before coming home to sit on the macbook or watch telly.

I rarely ever get my 10,000 steps (more on this later), and every time I stand up from my desk parts of me click and jolt back into place.

It's really not good for us to be so sedentary. I come away from every yoga class stretched out, realigned, and well and truly reset.


4. Let it go 


It's amazing how much tension you hold in your upper body without realising. How many times has a yoga teacher had to readjust your shoulders or prompt you to really let your neck and head go in a forward bend?

Or let go of the tension in your forehead and jaw in savasanah?

(And isn't it just glorious when you do?)

For me, yoga is the ultimate stress releaser. No matter how tough my day's been, how hectic my life is, I know that when I'm on the mat it's time for just me, and only me.

I'm so excited to finally make more time for that. 




Do you literally get high on yoga? Please tell me I'm not the only giddy, 
floaty yogi in the room! 



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Wednesday, 11 November 2015

[VIDEO] This Girl Can Tess Tries | Brighton She Shredders






See my skateboarding progress a few weeks in - learning to ollie! --> 


When I was 13 I was down the skate park every day – grinding rails, ollying kerbs, showing the boys how it’s done on the half pipe – with Bad Religion and The Vandals playing the soundtrack. You must remember that epic soundtrack.  

Behind the controls of my PlayStation I was quite the pro skater. 

My love for Tony Hawk ran deep, and I'd spend hours and hours perfecting my tricks and collecting the challenges, (who remembers the hidden tapes?!) not before meticulously kitting out my deck and trucks for optimum performance. 





It never really occurred to me to try it for real. Growing up in Hastings, I was surrounded by skaters, but all of them boys. I used to muck about on my BMX, hanging out down the BMX track and jumps in the woods, pretending I knew what I was doing. I had a lot less fear then. If only I could muster a bit more of that guts when throwing myself down the mountain bike trails in Wales to actually commit to some bigger jumps! 

I loved BMXing and kept the skating for the computer screen – too embarrassed to try it for real in case I bailed.  


Trying it for real: She Shredders Brighton 


Nowadays, I've got a bit more confidence to try out new things and join new groups. This blog's always been about finding fun in sport and fitness  after all, the key to staying active is finding something you love, not just something you feel you have to do, like pump iron at the gym or start running just because everyone else is. 

I’m excited to represent This Girl Can and Active Sussex to help encourage more women and girls into sport - whatever we're into, however old we are, wherever we are in our fitness - there's something out there for everyone. 

I figured pushing 30 is the perfect time to start skateboarding for real. Brighton’s got a huge skate scene with some really fantastic facilities to play about and practice new skills – for both male and female skaters, of all ages, shapes and sizes. 

It's a bit daunting to just rock up at The Level as a beginner, but I may just have found the perfect way in. 











She Shredders is an all-girls skateboarding group run by the UK No.1 female skateboarder, Lucy Adams. Every Thursday evening from 6.45-8.45pm, a friendly and close-knit group of female skaters take over the indoor skatepark inside Brighton Youth Centre. 

A few weeks ago I went along to have a go to make a film about it - and now I'm hooked! Any fears and hesitation I had were soon washed away as Lucy and the girls showed me the basics. Within a couple of hours I’d learnt how to push off, turn the board, and even had a go on a couple of the smaller ramps.  






Yes, I fell off a few times - of course I did. But I got back on for another go – and you totally would too. It's so much fun and is amazing how far you can progress in such a short space of time. Alright, it might take me a good couple of years to get anywhere near as good as I was on Tony Hawk, but I'm excited to give it a go and see what happens.

Since filming this video I’ve been back again and have already roped a couple of friends into it! I've also been perving on boards and am totally gonna treat myself pretty soon to a board of my own. 





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Find out more about Brighton She Shredders on the Active Sussex website and also on their Facebook page

There's currently a Crowdfunder campaign going to raise money for a much-needed upgrade of the indoor skatepark at Brighton Youth Centre so if you can spare a few pennies please do! 

It's a really great facility that offers so much to the community - I'm excited to think about how brilliant it really could be with a bit of investment. 

Big thanks to Laura Evans for making this video! 


See my skateboarding progress a few weeks in - learning to ollie! --> 

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