FitBits - fitness for fun and wellbeing: February 2016


Saturday, 27 February 2016

Jack of all trades... master of none?

I haven't written much this past few weeks.

Work has been busy (but brilliant), the weekends hectic and the evenings I'd usually be writing have been replaced with boxing in preparation for my fight in a few weeks.

THREE BLOODY WEEKS TODAY, in fact. This time on March 19th I'll have either already had my fight or be gearing up for it, with an army of friends cheering my corner. You can sponsor me here.

I've got some of my favourite people coming to support me and they've assured me they're not coming to see me lose, so even though I know it's just banter, the pressure is on to win.

To be honest though, I'm just preparing myself mentally to actually get back in the ring and do my best, whatever that may be on the night.

It's genuinely terrifying stuff, this boxing lark. You can be so confident and capable on the bags and pads but as soon as someone starts trying to punch you in the face it can all go to shit in the blink of a (hopefully not black) eye.

Training on the whole has been going really well. I've absolutely loved the fitness and felt strong, like it's actually going in this time. Just wish we had a bit more time to get ready.

We started sparring a couple of weeks ago and until last week there were no tears, but I had a crap session and balled my eyes out after getting battered over and over as we were being paired and watched for matching. Think the pressure got to most of us girls last Tuesday, there weren't many dry eyes in the room.

It's all part of the process though, and I have to remember that. You have to have a bad spar to learn from it and come back stronger. I've given myself the rest of the week off for a break.

This is a video of me and my little mate having a good spar the week before last - it's nice to actually face someone my own height for once, and we feel quite comfortable fighting each other so it'll be interesting for both of us if we get matched.

A video posted by @fitbits_tess on

So yeah... 21 days left until I step into that ring so stay tuned to see how I get on.

In the meantime, there's the small matter of Brighton Half Marathon to run tomorrow, which at the moment isn't feeling like my finest decision in the lead up to fight night, but I'm hoping I won't have to drag myself too hard to the finish.

I'm parking my sub-2 goal for now and am just gonna run happy in my new kit from Brooks* all the way to the annual post-race pudding. Maybe even walk a bit. With a smile on my face, cheering on friends, soak it all up, ftw.

It's actually quite liberating to not be worrying about a time goal, fretting about nutrition, stressing about splits and race kit and on-the-day strategy.

Let's go and BOSH this half, shall we? 

I'm quite looking forward to seeing if two runs a week, (mostly intervals or sprints) and a feck load of boxing will get me through 13.1 miles without too much trouble. Stay tuned. Edit: turns out it does. Happy days :) 

Once that's done, it's back to boxing Tuesday (hopefully, post-half recovery allowing), beginner skateboarding lessons Wednesday (more on this soon), and oh yeah, I reeeeeallly need to get swimming as I've also got the Swimathon Simply Swim 5k to do between 9-20th March haven't I?!

The phrase Jack Of All Trades, Master Of None, may be ringing a few bells right now, but I'm just filling my days with things I love to do, and I can't really see any harm in that... :)

Ask me on Monday if that's still my opinion however...

Brooks supplied kit for me to run the half in, race/kit review coming soon


What's got your energy/attention right now 
(full or otherwise)?

Friday, 19 February 2016

[VIDEO] Synchronised Swimming with This Girl Can

My Swimathon training hasn't exactly gone to plan. In fact my whole 'I can train for Brighton Half, Swimathon and boxing at once' plan has fallen flat on its arse, as preparation for my fight next month has taken priority. 

I have a plan though: I'm not wearing my watch for the half next week (first race EVER without it!) to take the pressure off (goodbye sub-2), and will make sure I get a few swims in from next week onwards. 

Saying that though, last week, as part of my This Girl Can ambassadorship with Active Sussex, I did get manage to get down to the pool, and joined Brighton Dolphins Synchro team to try my hand at synchronised swimming!

Now, I'm sure you're aware, I’m not well known for my elegance. I like to punch things/people, lift heavy and run hard. I finish my workouts drenched in sweat and ready to inhale whatever food crosses my path. 

So as you can imagine, I was apprehensive about synchro. Mostly of the deep water (having only learnt to swim a year or so ago and still got a thing about being out of my depth), but also of the precision and poise required to pull it off in style. 

I aint no mermaid, let me tell you.

However, despite my best efforts to drown (and I really did try hard), I lived to tell the tale and the Dolphins looked after me marvellously. They’re a really friendly (and patient!) bunch and never stopped encouraging me to keep trying even though I had a proper meltdown half way through. 

If you fancy a go, they train three times a week at Prince Regents Swimming Complex in Brighton, and take part in local and national shows and competitions all throughout the year! 
Visit their website here.

Find more about how to get active in Sussex on the Active Sussex website


Have you ever tried synchro? 
What sport would you like to have a go at?

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Saturday, 6 February 2016

White Collar take two: Punching fear in the face

I've been putting it off for too long.

I've had my excuses - no time to dedicate to it, too much else to train for, not the right time - but really, if I'm totally honest, I was just too scared. Every time I went back to watch my friends have their moment I got jealous - I wanted to do it again but I let the excuses get in the way.

I'm still scared now, maybe even a little bit more so because I know what to expect. I don't think I went into that ring the first time round totally prepared to actually fight. You can spar all you like, but nothing prepares you for what it feels like to fight your heart out.

Then there's the first time you take a punch to the face, the stinging of the eyes and lump in throat; the absolute annihilation of your senses in the ring and complete battering of your body in training as you try to push out just one more punch, just one more squat jump, just one more press up.

Learning how to anticipate what's coming whilst blocking punches and knowing the right ones to throw back.

The training is brutal, and immersive, and totally fucking awesome. I feel ready to take this on again. To face my demons and get back in the ring.

We're coming to the end of week two already and this time I feel like it's sinking in a bit more. Where as the first time I did it was all women, this time it's mixed, so we're training with the men and fight night will be mixed too.

I'm trying harder to nail the technique - head movement, blocking, ducking and footwork. I need to move and think like a boxer.

This time I'll be fitter, stronger, quicker.

This time I'll focus harder.

This time I've got an army of friends coming to cheer my corner.

This time... maybe, just maybe, I'll win.

Oh, and this time, the whole process and fight night is getting filmed, so stay tuned!  

I'm doing this for a personal challenge but also to raise money for Cancer Research, so if you fancy kicking off my sponsorship and throwing a few pennies my way, please visit my Just Giving page! 


Have you ever boxed before? 
Would you get in the ring for Cancer Research?

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