Wednesday, 25 August 2010


Loads to write about but no time to do it! :=(

Friday, 13 August 2010

More classes

It's been a busy week here!

Went to the women's krav class last night. First off, it was GREAT to see big Lee back for the first time since his knee surgery. On the downside, he made us work hard lol.

We started off with some skipping just to warm us through. I *hate* skipping in bare feet as I always always manage to skiff ma tootsies with the rope at least once. It really stings with the plastic ropes as well :=) After some stretching and mobility we all grabbed a kettlebell and worked sets of 30 secs swings and 30 secs bodyweight squats. We then alternated swings and star jumps, then finished off with 20 secs and 20 secs rest of swings. Can't remember how many sets we did in total, so not entirely surely of the total work time.

Then we hit the floor for some planks and some leg raises. 3 sets of each, 20 secs each. Quick water break then we broke out the pads for some padwork.

Somewhere along the line in the warmup UTP 'pinged' her shoulder. This meant we needed to adapt the padwork slightly, so that she only held one pad for me instead of two. I took it nice and gentle as well, as she was using her weaker left hand. We also made sure we swapped holding and hitting really regularly. After a while though her other shoulder starting tensing up, so Lee suggested she sit out for a bit for a rest while I battered the heavy bag instead! A couple of the other girls then invited to join them so UTP and I moseyed on over. UTP made a good cheerleader for the three of us! We hit some good combos, starting with palm strikes then adding elbows, knees and kicks each time.

Another quick water break, and the gang voted to run through the Heave 6 stick drill again. UP's shoulder was feeling a bit better so she was up for joining in again. We managed to get quite a good rhythm going and this week nobody got clonked on the knuckles (or any where else!) which was a definite plus point! We still had a bit of flailing going on, esp when Lee suggested we try moving around as well. I *used* to be able to move and still do the Heaven drill but last night I could clearly only manage to concentrate EITHER on my hands OR my feet, but not both lololol.

Weather happened during the class. We had some torrential rain which really hammered on the roof for a while. It had eased by going home time, but I gave UTP a lift up the road anyway as she had a ways to go.

Good class though and glad to get home for my tea - was starving!

Thursday, 12 August 2010

This week's classes

I have to confess that I passed on Sunday Service this week. They'd relocated to Portobello Beach for the day, which would have been nice since the sun was shining. However after 6 hours of kung fu training the day before, I decided to stay in bed instead!

Chi kung and kung fu class.

In chi kung we focused on fine-tuning 'skills' rather than techniques. Nice relaxing class that set us all up nicely for kung fu lol.

In kung fu class, we were again working on refining our skills. It pretty much picked up on a lot of the stuff we covered on the Saturday, with lots of sparring / fighting and the emphasis on movement.

I'm actually not that great at the 'movement' bit! Somewhere along the line I either:

Acquired someone else's feet
Or forgot how to get the messages to move from my brain to my feet!!

Basically I'm inclined to 'plant' myself and stand my ground, rather than to move. Also I've noticed myself that my movement is generally linear rather than a mixture of linear and circular. I'm certainly curious where these habits have come from, and I do wonder if there's an element of 'laziness' in there somewhere. I'm sure I'll learn to move in time. Getting thumped is generally a good lesson!

Spin class at work. Nice hard class, with the usual mixture of flats, hills and sprints. Enjoyed it a lot.

Thought of going to krav or kung fu at night, but actually had too many exciting houseworky things to do. Instead, I got my 100 reps in at home like this:

100 kettlebell swings
30 single kettlebell presses (left and right)
kung fu supplementary exercises 1, 2 and 3 - 3 sets, 5 reps each

Spin class at work. This was quite a challenging class, with a fair number of hill climbs and lots of fast standing flats. Was particularly sweaty at the end lol.

Chi kung and kung fu class at night.

There were a couple of new people in for chi kung plus a couple of current students that I hadn't met before. Sifu focused on some basic techniques and kept the class fairly short. I'd had quite an upset stomach before training, and I found that the class actually helped settle it a bit.

There were only 3 of us for kung fu (the earlier class was actually quite busy) so we revised some of the stuff from the seminar then moved on to some weapons 'play'. Sifu was making the point that kung fu is 'principles' based so we can used the same basics techniques no matter if we are empty handed or if we have a weapon.

Fun class, and a bit different.

Spin class first thing. Kept it nice and light for a wee change.

Krav class tonight.

Kung fu seminar

Last Saturday Sifu ran a free seminar for current students covering most of the basics.

It was brilliant! We had a lot of fun covering things like stances and footwork, strikes and defences with plenty time for solo and partner practice. It was a great opportunity to meet more students and to really nail some of the basic stuff.

We actually started off the day by learning to get comfortable with being hit! Sifu's argument is that students can spend a lot of time worrying about getting hit with the result that they tense up and it actually hurts more than if they relax and go with the blow. So our first practice was around learning to relax and move. We started off with very light touches, and gradually the pressure was increased until our partners were delivering stronger blows. No-one was harmed in the making of this practice!

The rest of the seminar really built around these skills. I really enjoyed the challenge of the sparring / fighting - well, right up until Sifu picked me as a partner and demonstrated his skills, speed and efficiency! I think I managed to catch him maybe twice, both times more by chance than skill lol. I still have the bruises though.

Sifu also showed us some wicked tough supplementary exercises which I've been enjoying trying out at home. They are *hard*!

Basically the time just flew by and I couldn't believe it when our 6 hours were up. I'm really looking forward to the next session.

Friday, 6 August 2010

krav for girls

Last night was the first time I've been at the women's Thursday class for a good long while.

We started off with a circuit style warmup:

Inverted kettlebell rows
Double / single arm kettlebell swings
Kettlebell squats
Single kettlebell lunges
Jab-cross on the heavy bag
Star jumps
Ab roller
Single kettlebell press

All for a minute each

Then we moved onto the 'meat' of the class. We started off with some double stick drills:
high one cut, low two cut - right and left, just to get the feel of the movement before moving onto a Heaven 6 count.

I learned the Heaven / Heaven & Earth 6 count drill a few years ago, although I haven't practiced it for a while now. It took me a long time to learn! It was obviously new to a few people last night. Most people were fine with the right hand side but not so good returning with the left. It just takes time to learn though.

UTP caught me an excellent crack on the knuckles at one point - it wouldn't be stick work without at least one good knuckle rap lol.

There was a point to the stick work though. It was about learning the body movement for our next combative drill. Basically we were defending a static knife threat to the chest / throat. The attacker had the knife in their right hand and we used our left to drive the knife across our body and thus offline. By locking out the elbow and stepping forward onto the left, we were taking the attacker off balance and preventing them returning the knife. Obviously we followed up with a strike or several to the face!

We took turns drilling this and then finished up for the evening.

I had a very good night's sleep last night!!


This has been my first week of 'proper' training in a good while, so I'm pretty well fried today!

Went to spin class on Wednesday which was ok, legs weren't too bad at all. Thought about hitting the kettlebells again at night, but after Tuesda's session decided to lay off lol. Did spin again yesterday morning (Thursday) and it was quite a toughie - it pretty much flattened me for the rest of the day.

Finished off with krav class at night which luckily wasn't quite as tough as it might have been!

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Kung fu update

We're all back on with the kung fu.

Although my instructor has decided not to teach any more, he arranged for me to transfer to the senior instructor's class. Of course it's on a different night, so I'm having to juggle my week around a bit, but that's ok.

I went along for the first time a couple of weeks back and it was great! I'd been training one-on-one with sifu for so long that I'd forgotten how much fun it is to train with other students. The material was different for both chi kung and kung fu - more advanced, I think - but a new and good challenge. Also training with more senior and experienced students is always an advantage.

The senior sifu offers more classes so I will get to train more frequently as well. Classes are not running this week, as sifu is away on holiday. However he has invited me a day long seminar this Saturday which should cover all the basics that I need. I'm really looking forward to this!

So, whilst I'm sorry not to be training with my original instructor any more, things might just have worked out ok.

And we're back!

I decided to take a break from blogging for a couple of weeks since I was on holiday. Also, there wasn't much to write about really, as I haven't been training that much recently. Am back in harness this week though!

Things I have done this week

Sunday - Sunday Service in the Meadows. Sunday Service is a bit of fun - a bunch of us turn up at a pre-arranged time and generally run around playing with kettlebells, ropes, tyres etc. Great fun and a brilliant workout. It's also free!

Monday - toddled off to krav maga class. You can tell it's holiday time - a grand total of 3 students turned up .... Not that I can say anything really, as I haven't been to krav in quite a few weeks now. I was definitely out of sorts stamina-wise, esp when it came to running. Need to up my game in that respect. Otherwise we worked on defending against multiple attackers, which was fun.

Tuesday - first spin class in about 4-6 weeks. Again you could tell it was holiday time - a grand total of 2 of us for this class! Went better than I thought it might - my legs didn't protest quite as much as I thought they might (they're also not bad at all this morning!) When I got home, I chose to totally *fry* myself with some kettlebell stuff. Previously I've tended to train kettlebells for reps; this time I trained for time. And it was hard!

8kg for 3 mins
12kg for 2 mins
16kg for 1 min
20kg for 30 secs

8kg for 3 mins
12kg for 2 mins
16kg for 1 min

I added in some barbell chest presses and bicep curls just for fun, although my forearms weren't really laughing by this point.

Then I finished off with 100+ reps bodyweight stuff:

50 x squats
50 x crunches
25 x star jumps
25 x pressups

Then I went and lay in a corner for a while!!

Today - spin class at lunchtime and prob some more kettlebells tonight.

Monday, 2 August 2010

Normal service ....

.... will be resumed shortly.

I have been on a much-needed holiday.

Thursday, 15 July 2010


Well the legs are much better, but my upper back has clearly just remembered all that kettlebell stuff I did last night. Am slightly surprised - thought it would have been my shoulders / upper arms that would have been protesting today!

Kung fu no more!

I got an email from Sifu last night telling me that he is stepping down as an instructor with immediate effect, as he would like to pursue his own learning and development for now. I am actually quite gutted about this, as he is an excellent teacher. I totally understand where he is coming from though. I have already emailed the other Sifu about joining one of his classes.

I shall miss my Thursday chi kung and kung fu :=(

On the positive side, I can at least return to Thursday krav maga now.

More personal training

Since I survived my first spin class in about a month, last night I cracked on with the kung fu training as follows:

Bow and arrow stance, glide step forward left and right - 5 each
Bow and arrow stance, glide step backward left and right - 5 each
Bow and arrow stance, drag step forward left and right - 5 each
Bow and arrow stance, drag step backward left and right - 5 each
Bow and arrow stance, open step left and right - 5 each
Bow and arrow stance, closed step left and right - 5 each
False leg stance, left and right - 5 each
Unicorn step, left and right - 5 each

Rear palm strike left and right - 20 each
Front palm strike left and right - 20 each
Rear cannon punch left and right - 20 each
Front cannon punch left and right - 20 each
Side strike left and right - 20 each
Thread palm defence left and right - 20 each
Brush palm defence left and right - 20 each
Inner defence left and right - 20 each

I then broke out the kettlebells for a more demanding session:

Snatch - left and right
8kg x 20
12kg x 10
16kg x 5 (my first 'good' snatches at this weight)

Single arm presses - left and right
8kg x 17
12kg x 12
16kg x 7
20kg x 5(r) & 3(l)

Overhead squats - left and right
8kg x 10
12kg x 10
16kg x 10
20kg x 10

20kg x 25

Definitely a lot tougher session!

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Thought for the day

Correct practice makes perfect

more kung fu skills

I had the DOMS from hell yesterday (despite the Tiger Balm) so again I used the time to get in some kung fu skills work.

I set aside some time to work on footwork. I found it a wee bit tricky as I don't have the right sort of space in the house. Suppose it's good practice though for 'real life'.

Bow and arrow stance, glide step forward left and right - 10 each
Bow and arrow stance, glide step backward left and right - 10 each
Bow and arrow stance, drag step forward left and right - 10 each
Bow and arrow stance, drag step backward left and right - 10 each
Bow and arrow stance, open step left and right - 5 each
Bow and arrow stance, closed step left and right - 5 each
False leg stance, left and right - 10 each
Unicorn step, left and right - 5 each

Rear palm strike left and right - 20 each
Front palm strike left and right - 20 each
Rear cannon punch left and right - 20 each
Front cannon punch left and right - 20 each
Side strike left and right - 20 each
Thread palm defence left and right - 20 each
Brush palm defence left and right - 20 each
Inner defence left and right - 20 each

My quads felt ok after this, so after a short break I broke out the kettlebells for:

Double press
8kg x 10

Overhead squats
8kg x 5 each side

20kg x 10
16kg x 10
12kg x 15
8kg x 20

Single arm presses
20kg x 1
16kg x 5
12kg x 10
8kg x 15

A very light session with the kbs!

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

I love the smell of Tiger Balm in the morning!

Quads are still smarting today so I applied a pretty liberal dose of Tiger Balm before I left the house this morning. Now even I'm sick of the smell lol.

Am planning some more kung fu skills training tonight, along with perhaps some light kettlebell work. Maybe a few swings to limber up and then some presses. Need to think about ordering a pair of 24kgs soon though.

Fried quads!

Since my quads were basically toast last night, I avoided any of my usual kettlebell or bodyweight stuff. Instead I used the time to get in 100+ good quality reps of my kung fu skills training. My reps looked like this:

Rear palm strike left and right - 10 each
Front palm strike left and right - 10 each
Rear cannon punch left and right - 10 each
Front cannon punch left and right - 10 each
Side strike left and right - 10 each
Thread palm defence left and right - 10 each
Brush palm defence left and right - 10 each
Front push kick left and right - 1o each

for a total of 160 reps

I actually enjoyed being able to focus exclusively on kung fu training for a while.

Monday, 12 July 2010

some achievements

1 - Single arm pressed a 20kg kettlebell above my head (3 good reps on the right, 1 slightly iffy one on the left).

2- Swung a 24kg kettlebell for the first time.

I am pleased with these :=)

Sunday Service - let us play

Run by the 'Very Rev'd' Rannoch Donald (Simple Strength) and Gerry Higgins (Bond Fitness), Sunday Service is a free and fun-for-all session on the Meadows, Edinburgh. Those who come along get to play with battle ropes, kettlebells, tyres, powerbags and all the bodyweight fun and games you can shake a wet summer's day at. You could almost call it fun-ctional training lol.

Went to my first Sunday Service last week. It piddled with rain the whole way through. The half dozen or so that turned up basically went home soaked through, covered in mud and knackered. It was great!

Yesterday was better as the sun was out. It was still pretty damp underfoot though, so I still went home covered in mud and grass. What did we do this week? Bit of running to warm up, our 100 reps (press ups and variants, lunges etc), then onto sets of 'explosive' kettlebell squats (full squat, up to halfway, down to full squat then explode up) interspersed with T pushups. My feet were all over the place due to the wet grass in this one so I ended up dropping to my knees for my own safety! Then we partnered up and one did alternate deep lunges whils the other ran out to a designated point and back again. 3 sets of this, quick drink break and we got on to the real fun.

Gerry set up various stations for us: kettlebells, explosive medicine ball throw, powerbag carry (25kg plus, run out and back), battle ropes and tyre pull. When we'd all had a shot each, we split into 2 groups. One group took turns flipping the tyre 6 times (flip one way, run round then flip it back the other - hilarious on wet grass ....) whilst the other ran out with a 16kg kettlebell tied to a length of rope. Once the rope was fully extended, you dropped the bell, ran back to the start then hauled the kettlebell in hand over hand. Pick up the bell up in the other hand and run back out, run back to the start and haul the bell in again.

Once we'd all had a shot and the groups had swapped over, Gerry decided to really finish us off with a car push! We paired up again and ran down Melville Drive pushing a Nissan Micra. That was good fun actually.

Fun session, the hour went really fast although I could prob live without quite so much running. Give me heavy things to pick up and put down again though and I'm quite happy lol.

Boy, do my quads know about those explosive squats though! It is unlikely that there will be any krav tonight - I think I would be a risk to myself and others.

Sunday, 20 June 2010

RIP mum

20/02/1930 - 20/06/2010

Friday, 18 June 2010


Well, that's my 2nd fast over. 4 hours early but I guess 20 hours isn't bad. Also, the Eat - Stop - Eat documentation suggests that the body starts to get the most benefit from the fast from around 18 hours.

Things to note:

  • Make sure I have things to do to distract me - being on the helpdesk (and thus unable to workout, go for a walk etc) isn't conducive to an 'easy' fast.
  • It will get easier in time.
  • My belly was still pathetically grateful to be fed!

Fasting - update


No really, I am starving. Not helped by one of my minions just offering to buy me a scone. Turned it down though. My stomach got v excited at the mention of food, rumbled loudly and did several somersaults. It's about to be v disappointed though, as it's got another 5 and a bit hours to go before getting fed.

It's not just me then

Just found out by chance that my mum's childhood best friend died on 20 May. I don't know that they'd kept in close contact over the past few years, but they were definitely very close into adulthood, marriage etc. My mum would be very sad if she was in a state fit enough to understand the news. I'm not going to tell her any time soon though.

fast fast fast

Fasting again today. Feeling quite hungry at the moment, so I think I shall go and make some tea in a little while.

I'm on the helpdesk all day today, so I have a feeling this fast might be harder than Tuesday's.

some smokin' kung fu

Excellent chi kung and kung fu class last night. As seems to be the norm lately, I was the only student in both classes. Sifu did tell me that he's had several enquiries from potential students, so this might not go on for much longer.

I did as the osteopath told me and rested yesterday, so my knee felt ok. It wasn't really up to kicking though, so we avoided that. As usual we started off practicing footwork, working linear movement and using open and closed steps to pivot. As ever we began training solo before moving onto partner work.

We then trained our strikes, starting with rear hand palm strikes to the high line and moving onto cannon punches to the midline. Sifu then moved us on to double palm strikes, followed by palm / punch combinations. These were all paired with appropriate attacking and defensive movements. Again we trained these solo to begin then with a partner.

We also spent some time on asking bridges, moving between the different styles of attack (closing, opening and gripping). As ever, this is the one that really appeals to me and that I seem to do quite well in.

Sifu then got the pads out and I practiced double palm strikes and punches. Getting the correct "kung fu" rhythm for this was surprisingly difficult. It's where to place / how to hold the first hand whilst the second strikes that I'm finding odd at the moment. I know exactly what to do with it for other arts, I'm just adapting to this one! I was gradually getting into it though, by slowing down the 'in-between' movements whilst keeping the strikes themselves quite fast. One to think about and work on at home though.

Yesterday was a *glorious* sunny day, and it was still hot at night. I had really worked up a sweat by the time we finished on the pads - even Sifu broke a sweat! - so I was glad to move on to force training. I live for the day that I learn what to do with my hands in one finger zen though! I expect a 'eureka' moment daily, but so far it keeps disappointing me lol.

Excellent class, really enjoyed - feel that I'm really getting somewhere now.

Thursday, 17 June 2010

If anyone is looking for me ....

.... I'll be in the fallout shelter hiding from the rest of 2010!!!!!!!!!!

Took my knee to the osteopath last night. Saw my usual guy this time. Usual Guy says it's likely nothing to do with my back / sacroiliac joint / whatever, but is the knee itself. He spent a lot of time poking around in the back of my knee - which was completely hilarious NOT - then announced that it was "a bit of a mess back there" with the popliteus muscle being extremely tight. Suspicion is that it was all that stop - start - stop traffic on the way to the hospital last Tuesday night.

So I'm on rest and ice.

So much for upping the activity levels.

I am officially Not Happy.

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Run for it!

Ok, so my knee was a seriously hurty thing last night and had me hobbling round the house. Might be due to speed-walking 1 mile round the sports hall as part of a student's research project, a spin class and 175 kettlebell swings (100 x8kg, 50 x 12kg and 25 x 16kg - was meant to be 2 rounds but the knee wasn't having it!)

Thing is, because they're saying it's referred pain from my sacroiliac joint I don't quite know what to do to relieve it. So there was me with an icepack on my knee and pain spray on my back lol.

Anyway, it was better this morning so I took it out for a quick trot round the "trim track" (who thinks these names up????) on campus cos it was a lovely morning. Got my run and my 100 reps in plus some serious protein in the shape of a faceful of insects.

Scheduled for spin at lunchtime - will see how the back / knee combo is doing then. I've also got an osteopath appt tonight, so it might be quite good if I'm quite sore when I go along.

First fast done

Finished my first fast about 5.30pm last night. I ate very lightly the previous night because I was training, so I probably fasted overall for the best part of around 28-29 hours. It was ok, except the bit where I was stuck in an interminable Equal Opps Committee meeting and my belly was making its opinion known!

Some good things about fasting that I discovered:

  • No digestive distress! When I'm under stress (which I have been a lot recently) it goes straight to my digestion. With no food, I had no symptoms. Result!
  • Training when fasting wasn't anything like as hard as I thought it might be. Admittedly I eased it this time with a sports drink - cheating a bit, I know but the aim is to wean myself off these as well.
  • The belly is ridiculously grateful for whatever it gets when it is finally fed!
  • It takes considerably less food to refuel at the end of the fast - and I really enjoyed it!
  • Fasting saves money - no trips to the shop or the canteen cos I'm bored.

Will I fast again? Definitely. Got next one scheduled in for this Friday.

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Fasting (and getting grumpy)

I've decided to have a go at this intermittent fasting malarkey, courtesy of Chris over at Conditioning Research who pointed me in the direction of Brad Pilon's ebook Eat - Stop - Eat.

I could certainly stand to shed a few kilos, and I'm not going to starve to death by missing out a few meals today. However my stomach can't read and it is currently demanding to know if my throat's been cut (ie where the h£ll is breakfast???)

I'm scheduled for my first meal around 5pm tonight. I had my last food around the same time last night. Luckily I've got a spin class at lunchtime so hopefully I'll miss the worst of people stuffing rubbish down their necks.

I suspect I will be v grumpy by the time I get home though! Hope nobody cuts me up on the A1 lol.

Only me!

Only I could get a midgie bite in the middle of my new (and still healing) tattoo!!

As if the tattoo isn't itchy enough on its own!

I actually went to class as planned!

Despite my weird knee /back combo hurty thing gaving it some major hurties Sunday night and yesterday morning, I duly trotted off to krav class last night.

It was a nice night so I had a funny feeling we might be outside for a bit. Had a wee nosy over the fence and the circuits class looked like they were having a fab time in the sun lol. Right enough Lee took us outside for the warmup. We started with a run round the pitch - I actually did okay with that, pretty much kept up with the others for the first 3/4s then had to drop right back for the last 'side'. Then we did some bodyweight stuff - squats, sprint out to the posts and back, star jumps, situps and some more squats.

Our 'audience' was growing so it was back inside for the class proper. We warmed up with some combos on the pads before moving onto knife defences. I was fine with the hand strikes, but I was wary of the kicks and knees just because of my sore bits.

Lee then had to leave to catch a plane so Michael took over and we worked through some knife defences. The first was a fairly straightforward response to a highline front attack - take the attacker's knife hand off your centreline and step through to off balance them. Was a good thing we were using wooden training knives - UTP promptly tried to slice her own chin off! That kind of set the tone for the rest of the session!

After working both sides, we then added some follow up strikes to the defence, and then added in a wrist press and / or strip style disarm. From there we looked at two defences to a midlevel attack. I confess that I don't like the standard krav maga defence here; it involves pushing the attacker's knife hand away, paired with a groin strike. The idea is to buy you enough time to run off. I guess it makes sense, but I was previously taught to monitor or control the knife hand, so the thought of having a live weapon 'active' felt odd to me.

I preferred the Tactical Edge version whereby you 'clapped' both your hands over the attacker's hand and used that to gain the leverage for the wrist press. Finally we looked at defending a knife presented to your back.

UTP needed to leave at this point so she missed the best bit - eyes closed, partner attacks you randomly with the knife. I got Michael attacking me - discovered that I am way too fond of the wrist presses, and tend to forget about other strikes such as groin kicks etc.

Fun class though.

Monday, 14 June 2010

Finally, some movement

Sunday morning I was determined to do at least some training, so the Other Half and I headed out to a local park for a run. I can't possibly match his sub-27 minute 5k pace so I let him belt off and do his thing while I did my own. At the end of the day, we probably expended around the same effort!

On the way home he finally expressed an interest in learning to swing a kettlebell, so I broke out the 8kgs when we got in. Showed him the two handed swing and let him loose .....

.... still waiting for him to finish 20 swings!

I honestly thought he was going to puke. There was me happily cranking out 50 swings, some single and double kb presses and the poor guy was floored. I guess the kettlebell is the great equaliser lol. If I sound unkind, it's only cos the Other Half had mocked me as he ran past me earlier.

On the more serious side, I guess I'd forgotten how challenging the kettlebell is. It works both as a resistance and an aerobic / anaerobic exercise. Certainly made me feel a wee bit better!

When Other Half abandoned his kettlebell for the shower, I moved on to my 100 reps. Pushed the boat out a wee bit and went for 120 - did 30 pushups, 30 crunches, 30 bodyweight squats and 30 star jumps.

what weekend?

I started the weekend with great plans for the training I was going to do. Quite frankly that went straight out the window when I overslept on Saturday! I'd had the choice of two classes to go to - either circuits at the Combat Ready gym or some 'Fun in the Park' with Rannoch. Got up so late, I effectively missed both. I did need the sleep though.

I decided to go over to my mum's instead, get some more packing done in the house then go and visit her in hospital. I figured this would give me the chance to do something different on Sunday.

So off I trotted. Got loads done in the house, even checked out the loft (not that I'm tall enough to actually get in it!) and the shed. Then my phone rung. My mother had taken another turn for the worse and could I go asap. Good thing I was at her house; it meant I got to the hospital in about 10 mins instead of anywhere betwen 20 mins and an hour.

Belting up the corridor to the ward I met her bed coming the other way. She'd had another respiratory arrest and was back off to the high dependency unit. On the plus side she was conscious and talking, on the down she was seriously

Once she was installed in the HDU I stayed for a while. She was restless and talkative which kept disturbing the oxygen mask so I decided to head off and let her sleep.

Went back to visit her briefly on Sunday. Half her things seemed to be missing in the hasty move so I wanted to check what had turned up and what hadn't and also to take some things away for safe keeping. Her chest was much clearer, not so much crackling or coughing. She was still awfully confused though. She told me that my dad had been in to see her - he's been dead for about 15 years. She was quite fixated on the police - I saw she'd had a naso-gastric tube fitted and wondered if it was some sort of reaction to the discomfort of having that put it. Nursing staff also told me that she'd been quite stroppy and nasty with them.

Overall staff were pleased with her progress, but at 80 I think the overall prognosis is not that good.

Thursday, 10 June 2010

knees the thing

Popped my troublesome knee along to the osteopath last night. My usual guy was busy so I got the director chappie instead. Nice how he gets the bigger, comfier consulting room lol.

Anyway, turns out the knee isn't the problem at all. This doesn't really surprise me, as I'm not generally (touch wood etc) bothered by my knees. It seems that the hurty bit is in fact referred pain from an issue in the sacroiliac joint. Some pummelling of this area and I was good to go.

Of course these things inevitably get worse before they get better, so the knee is complaining mightily this morning! I'm sure it will settle by the weekend.

Never made it to kickboxing last night of course, but I did get my Jungle Gym set up and had a wee try. It's basically a much cheaper version of the TRX suspension device. I'm sure it will be lots of fun!

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

training update

Unsurprisingly I haven't trained over the last two days. I had intended to go to krav class on Monday but had slept v poorly the night before and was too tired to even drive. Last night I had great plans to use my new Jungle Gym but those were superseded by going to the hospital. Hoping to make it either to kickboxing tonight or else break out the kettlebells.

My right knee is troubling me a bit this morning, and I have no idea what with. I'm guessing maybe I slept on it funny last night, or else it's from all the driving last night. We got caught in very heavy traffic before the Forth Road Bridge and a 20 min journey ended up being over 45 minutes. Very stop-start-stop right the way onto the bridge.

still ticking

Went to see my mother last night. She's quite poorly but still ticking at least. She has pneumonia - which doesn't surprise me in the least - and stopped breathing due to all the phlegm that had gathered on her chest.

I'm told that she did a quite spectacular swan dive when she arrested, and scared the bejeezus out of the nurses! Certainly didn't do much for me either, getting a phone call like that!

More worryingly however is that despite me being told that she has vascular dementia, this information appears to be missing from her notes and ward staff seem completely unaware of it! I have spent the last 2 days trying to resolve this.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

just when you think ....

.... that things can't get any worse, you get a phone call from the hospital!!!

Apparently my mother had a respiratory arrest this morning. Thankfully she still had a pulse etc, and they were able to get her breathing again. The staff nurse who called told me that she seems to have recovered and is now conscious and talking. They are going to move her to a high dependency ward later today.

Monday, 7 June 2010

Life's full of little ironies

Last Wednesday I had to go to the hospital with a lawyer to get my mother to sign some important papers while she still could. After that was done, I had a wee drive down memory lane, basically revisiting some of the places where I grew up. I drove past the house that one of my best friends at school used to live. I haven't seen this girl in actually quite a long time - we lived totally different lives after we left school.

The ironic part? We bumped into each other at the hospital yesterday - her dad is in the same ward as my mother. Go figure, eh.

new tattoo

Somewhere along the line, I seem to be having my teenage rebellion about 30 years too late!

I started colouring my hair about two years ago (partly as a dare and partly as a result of finding my first grey hairs!), then added a go faster blonde streak as a bet. Then I totally topped myself by getting my first tattoo last year. I liked it so much I got more. I got my latest on Saturday - it's a stylised tribal dragon on the outside of my right calf:

I love it but it remains a little bit tender ....

Friday, 4 June 2010


I ended up surrounded by a bunch of podiatry colleagues (one of our allied health sciences teaching areas) at lunchtime today. Told them about my new Vibrams. They did not approve. Which is to be expected really since some of them specialise in orthotics lol.

I don't care - I like my Vibrams :=)

a wee treat

This week I treated myself to a pair of these:

They are Vibram Five Fingers KSO. The idea behind them is that they mimic walking and running barefoot as much as possible whilst protecting your feet from grime and broken glass etc.

Yes, they look very odd.

Yes, they are actually quite tricky to put on.

And yes, they are actually very comfortable to wear.

I love to be barefoot as much as possible, and current thinking is that it's better for your foot to use all those bones and muscles as they were designed! Certainly a lot of the people that I have trained with swear by them ....

Awesome kung fu class

Still the only chi kung and kung fu student so still getting that brilliant value for money lol.

For the first time in ages my stomach was behaving itself and I even had my thinking head on the whole way through both classes, so it ended up being a really really good night.

In chi kung we started with the pushing mountains pattern and worked that for over 100 repetitions. Boy, were my arms and shoulders feeling it after that! Then we did the art of flexibility. Dancing crane is still a bit of an issue, but the rest was all good.

From there it was straight into kung fu footwork. I was a wee bit heavy on my feet to start with, but then we speeded up a bit and it got easier. We largely stuck with linear movements but also started to incorporate some open and cross-steps to allow us to pivot off the centre line. We practiced this solo and with a partner then moved into striking practice.

For striking we started as usual with the open palm, front and rear. Next we worked front and rear punches to the mid-level. We worked the focus pads for practice. Shaolin style kung fu really likes the smallest focus pads you can get; this is to help develop accuracy. I was really pleased with how my accuracy and power have developed over the past month. Sifu told me that there was really noticeable improvement. I've always reckoned that I was relatively slow in striking, relying on power more, but Sifu said that I'm actually pretty fast. So that was nice to hear!

We then looked at defensive patterns, working the brush and thread palm to the middle level. After some solo practice, we worked that with a partner.

We also did asking and bridging. For me, this is the bit that's probably most like my previous silat training. It combines footwork, tactile sensitivity, 'yielding' with your opponent's attack in order to return it etc. We got onto some quite complex gripping style moves, and those just totally made sense to me because they were so similar to the movements I've been used to in silat and other South East Asian styles.

We finished off with some force training. As ever I got my hands in their usual 'mess' for one finger zen but this time I think I've nailed what I do wrong. Let's hope I remember it for next week!

Poor Sifu though - I had more questions than a quiz book last night! He took it in good part though.

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Difficult times

My 80 year old mother has been in hospital for just over 3 months now. On Friday past I was told that they have finally diagnosed her with vascular dementia following a series of TIA (transient ischaemic attacks) or 'mini-strokes'.

Although I wasn't entirely shocked by this, it's still upsetting news. Because of the way the illness has impacted on her mobility (she can't walk unaided) she won't be able to go home. Yesterday I had to go to the hospital with a solicitor so that she could sign power of attorney papers and then I had to start packing up her house.

A lot of the time she is very lucid but others she is very confused, muddling up people and events from the past. Yesterday she asked me if I'd been in touch with an aunt who has been dead for about 30 years, and about neighbours she hasn't lived beside for even longer.

She doesn't know about the diagnosis yet - staff think this is best as it would probably upset her even more.

Starting to pack up her house yesterday was a lot harder than I thought it would be, but unfortunately it needs to be done. I will put her things into storage whilst everything else gets sorted out.

This week's classes


Frankly, Monday night's krav maga class was a bit of washout. No fault on the part of the instructor or of the other students - totally my own issues.

I've been under a lot of stress recently, and stress for me nearly always goes for my stomach with sort of irritable bowel-like symptoms. I had a run in with my mother's council landlords just before I left for class that really frustrated me and then impacted on training.

I was pretty gutted (pun not entirely intended there, but I'll go with it) cos it was a nice evening and Lee took us outside for a run round the main rugby pitch. I did manage a wee smile to myself as I toddled around, remembering the times I've stood opposite the main stand to watch games. Right enough, Boroughmuir RFC have totally revamped the ground since I was last here but the pitch hasn't really changed.

Anyway, I was dead slow and stop at running, even more so than usual. Then we were asked to do some 'bounding' type exercises but after the first set or so it was obvious that my 'gastric distress' wasn't about to let me do much more. So I did what I could.

Then we moved onto class 'proper', working releases from wrist grabs. We started off outside but after a wee bit too much attention from kids we went back inside. It was ok when they were sitting on the wall watching but it wasn't ideal when they started coming right up to us.

From the wrist grabs we then added some hammer strikes then developed into defending against two attackers. My head was mince most of the way through so not one of my more stellar performances :(


Spin class at work today. It was a good workout, and I didn't feel like upchucking during the sprints. After the disaster that was the previous night's krav class, I wasn't sure how my insides would hold up, but it was fine.


I had the day off yesterday to go over to the hospital, so missed out on spin class. I decided instead to go along to the kickboxing class at the Combat Ready gym. Again I wasn't sure quite how things would hold up, but it was fine.

We warmed up with some skipping then moved onto the warmup proper. We did sets of:

20 kettlebell swings
20 pushups on the kettlebell
20 squats with the kettlebell

and as a special treat on the last set:

20 crunches / sit ups with the kettlebell

Sets were interspersed with lots of lovely star jumps.

Onto the class proper and we worked a jab-cross combo on the pads for timed two 2 minute rounds. Each person did 3 rounds with a 15 second break in between the rounds. After the 3 rounds, we swapped pad holders. I was initially working with two other girls, but after the first few rounds Bear tapped me on the shoulder, announced that he had "broken his partner" and would now train with me lol.

After about nine rounds of the jab cross, we ramped things up a bit with a front kick-jab-cross-hook-cross-turning kick combo. Three rounds of that each and finally we were into a cooldown which consisted of working covers against outside attacks and parries against straight attacks from our knees. After 1 round each we then moved into a sort of 'free fighting' drill but again from our knees.

A bit of stretching and then we were done.

Really intense class - I was so sweaty when I got home I was straight into the shower!

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Flow restoration workshop

On Saturday I spent a happy day at the Flow restoration workshop organised by Rannoch Donald of Simple Strength.

The workshop was presented by two highly experienced physios who have been using kettlebell training to promote rehab and recovery from injury. Both Keith and Jonathan talked about their own experiences of using and adapting kettlebell drills to overcome their own physical issues, as well as covering some of the problems that can arise from PPKT (p*ss poor kettlebell technique).
We talked a lot initially about the body part most commonly injured by kettlebell training - the skin! If you've train with a kettlebell for any length of time, esp if you do volume training, you will develop blisters and then callouses on your hands. Keith covered what causes the blisters, how they progress and heal and how you can treat them. Chalk, apparently, is NOT the answer. Anti-perspirant is supposedly the way forward. I have yet to try this though.

We then looked at shoulder issues. This was really good for me. I had a nippy shoulder issue a couple of years back; damage to the AC joint and a tear to the bicep as a result of badly-applied lock. This has made me very wary of certain movements, esp with weight. As a result I am utterly PANTS at the Turkish get up. It's not that I lack the strength to carry this out, it's a lack of confidence. Keith and Jonathan taught us some excellent drills for training both the muscles and the brain. These were a total lightbulb moment for me and I think finally proved that I no longer have a physical issue in either shoulder. The osteopath has been telling me for months that I have excellent flexibility in both shoulders but I've clearly never entirely believed it .... Now I have drills that I can use to rebuild my confidence. Totally worth the cost of the workshop for these alone.

From shoulders we moved onto knees, and ways that we could adapt the standard kettlebell swing to promote healthy movement in the knees and legs. Some of these required major co-ordination .... kettlebell - meet shin lol.

We also covered some weighted drills for the lumbar spine.

Things I liked about the workshop:

  • Lugging the kettlebells up 2 flights of stairs to the room we had been allocated.

  • Lugging the kettlebells back down the same 2 flights of stairs after Rannoch got us shifted to a bigger and cooler space.

  • Meeting up with the "usual suspects"!!

  • Shoulder drills!!

  • Gerry's ability to take photos of me 'supervising' (as opposed to 'doing') then posting them on Facebook and my line manager totally ripping me for it!

Because the workshop was presented by physios, elements of it were certainly geared towards the needs of therapists. The way it was done though meant that the information was still valid for my own personal practice. Also Keith and Jonathan are not your standard, physical risk-averse physios. They are both v much about giving people 'permission' to take risks with their bodies (within reason obviously) and to experiment with things like kettlebell training. They were also both v approachable.

Good way to spend a Saturday.

Solitary kung fu

On Thursday I was the only student at chi kung and kung fu class again. If nothing else, I'm certainly getting my money's worth from Sifu just now lol.

For chi kung we spent more time on the art of flexibility. I definitely need to spend more time practicing dancing crane - my knees really don't like it much. We also did lifting the moon which we haven't done much recently. I still can't quite match the movements to my breathing.

We then segued straight into kung fu footwork. Sifu told me that at this stage it's ok to focus on linear movement. In solo practice I was really keen to change direction and move off at angles, but actually I don't need to worry about that too much yet.

We also worked open palm strikes from the front and rear hand. For a while I couldn't figure out the issue with the kinetic chain on this. I knew there was a problem with the way I was synching my waist movement - Thursday I cracked it! I've been using a silat style gelek movement which rotates (or maybe even chambers) the hips in one direction first then quickly moves in the other. In Shaolin kung fu, you don't need that first movement. Once I clocked what I was doing, it was way easier not to do it!

The other thing I'm working on is breathing. I'm used to a sharp exhalation through the teeth on striking, often with sound effects. In kung fu the exhale is there but it's chi kung in style, ie open mouthed and without the accompanying sound effects. Sometimes I'm so busy avoiding the sound effects I forget to breathe out altogether!

Basically, there's a lot to think about and co-ordinate in this style of kung fu. This is because it's taught as a holistic art. When I get it to work, it's great though.

Anyway. In striking practice we've started to work on speed as well. From open palm, we moved onto looking at front kick, moving forwards and backwards. Backwards is interesting. I don't like bow and arrow stance going backwards, esp for kicking. In this situation, I instinctively prefer the false leg stance where the weight is more on the back leg. Sifu says this isn't wrong. It's not what he asked for, but it's not wrong!

After some solo practice of defensive movements, we looked at integrating defensive parries with footwork and strikes. So we had retreating footwork along with brushing away a palm strike, folllowed by two attacking palm strikes. That made much more sense when practicing with a partner, although under pressure I always revert to previously learned footwork!

It was a good class, especially learning to integrate skills previously learned separately.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Sleep deprived no more!

I finally got a good night's sleep last night. The previous 3 nights I really hadn't slept well at all, and what sleep I had managed was little more than a doze. I'm not sure what made me so restless; perhaps a combination of heat and other stresses.

Sleep deprivation is not a good thing. The world starts to look like a very strange place when you are mentally knackered. If I'd had the energy yesterday I would probably have been quite grumpy!

I wanted to train on Monday night but I knew I was too tired to concentrate, or even drive there. I didn't even feel like picking up a kettlebell :=(

Last night I though s0d this for a game of soldiers, necked enough valerian to floor a cow and went out like a light. So I'm back and fighting fit this morning. Today I intend to get through the work I was just shoving round my desk yesterday!

Successful weekend

As I write this the rain is 'fair stotting' down - bit of a change from the stunning summer weather over the weekend! It was fab to see such great weather but it was perhaps not entirely ideal for the Edinburgh marathon on Sunday. Sadly one relay runner collapsed and died and lots more were unable to finish. A colleague was running his first marathon and although he finished with what I reckon was an excellent time, he missed his targetted finish time due to keeling over with cramp at mile 24.

On the positive side, T'Other Half PB'd his 5k at the Edinburgh Park Run despite the heat on Saturday morning. This time he came in at a very respectable 27 min 20 sec.

At 6ft 2in (and most of that being leg lol) he should be a good runner!

His Park Run meant there was a bit of a queue for the car on Saturday morning! Basically as soon as he got out, I jumped in and zoomed off to the Combat Ready gym for the mop-up krav maga grading.

I confess that I actually dithered about even going along for the grading right the way up until I got in the car! I was reasonably confident about the material but I wasn't so sure if my overall fitness levels were up to the demands of the 3 hour session, especially in the heat. Because of the other things going on in my life just now, I feel my training has been much more sporadic than is usual for me. I was also not sure whether or not the hurty bits were going to let me down. Once I got there and we got going with a bit of skipping, my brain flipped over into Let's get it ON mode and I was fine.

Once we'd warmed up (oh the irony ....) and stretched off we headed straight into the seminar part of the session, reviewing the material we were going to need later.

We covered:

  • getting up from the ground
  • striking combinations on the pads
  • releases from front, side and rear chokes, headlocks and chokes on the ground

We also looked at:

  • front 'stomp' kicks
  • back kicks

Once we covered the relevant material we took a short break to re-hydrate then it was into the grading proper. We started off with the fitness test, which covered a combination of kettlebell and bodyweight drills.

We were then tested on a variety of padwork combinations and 'situationals'. Of those, one of the toughest had to be repping out 10 burpees to your partner's count. When you came back up from the tenth you had to defend a slashing knife attack! That was slightly challenging for the old cardio-vascular system!

We then spent some time 'slow fighting' and working all of striking and defensive tools. I actually really enjoyed this bit, although it was a challenge not to speed up! Clearly I still really love to fight lol.

We finished off with getting up from the ground quickly and safely, then they totally finished us off with one last physical test! The gym floor is covered with alternately colooured jigsaw mats. 10 of these were measured out and you had to jump into the first and do 1 press up, into th second and do 2 press ups etc, all the way up to 10. On the way back it was jump and 1 squat, all the way up to 10.

Then we were done! Literally :=) Quite honestly, my tshirt could have walked home on its own ....

But we all passed! Which was fab. We all worked so hard, and I think it's something we all really earned. Hope it's not so hot next time.

Friday, 21 May 2010

Kung fu

Was the only student at chi kung and kung fu class last night. It's a small class anyway, and the other students are currently tied up with either holidays, work or exams and studies. It makes for a shorter but more intense class!

We rattled through the usual chi kung stuff, had a short break then went on to kung fu. The structure of the class has changed a bit so that we now start with footwork, practising stances and movement. Last night we covered using the drag and glide steps to move in the bow and arrow stance. We also covered open step and pivoting, working both solo and partner methods. Finally we covered some defensive movements.

From footwork we went onto striking, practicing front and rear palm strikes and front snap kick from the natural poise. We worked these on the pads as well, looking to ensure that foot, waist and arm all move at the same time. It may take a wee bit more time to get that whole kinetic chain working smoothly!

We finished off with some more chi kung practice.

I do like the kung fu class. It's very traditional, emphasising the slow building of skill rather than a headlong rush to acquire 'techniques'. I do sometimes have a brainfart in the middle, defaulting to movements hardwired from other systems. I've noticed that particularly with the front snap kick. In Shaolin kung fu this is delivered as a real flick from a high chambered knee with the toes pointing down. Other styles I have studied would tend to use a low pushing style of kick which would impact with the ball of the foot. I'm still really having to think about this kick!

Sifu is very gentle in the way that he corrects your mistakes, which is nice. He has trained other styles as well so understands where a lot of these are coming from. I find it a very positive experience. It's surprisingly demanding physically though, even though it's a very different training emphasis from say krav maga or MMA.


Got to work this morning to find my ID badge and its holder bent, like seriously bent. It was fine when I took it off at home last night.

Needless to say it didn't work this morning! Our ID badges are also 'smartcards' which have building access control, print management, cashless purchasing, car park and gym access built in. It being broken certainly made life a wee bit challenging this morning. Security printed a new card for me but I'm still not sure if I've got all my accesses back yet ....

So what happened to my card between taking it off last night and putting it on again this morning? This is the question ....

Thursday, 20 May 2010


Got woken up about 0400 this morning by a foot in the bum!! Swiftly followed by another. It's not the first time my Other Half was booted me in his sleep. Most times I just move out the way, this morning he was *annoying* me, and in the absence of plates, I delivered a swift back kick to make him turn over. Was just dropping back off to sleep when his feet really started going. Honest to whatevers, it was like lying beside a prancing leprechaun! Another quick back kick - harder this time - and he was over onto his other side. No wonder the cat was on my side of the bed last night!

So I asked him this morning what that was all about. The first time apparently he was dreaming about fighting someone, the 2nd time he was running away .... Allegedly.

Balancing things up

My quads had a fair bit to say after the spin and a half earlier, so I thought I might balance things out a bit and hit my arms and shoulders. So I broke out the kettlebells for a quick clean and press session. 100 double presses with the 8kbs, broken into sets of course.

The 16s were calling to me, but common sense prevailed. I suspect my downstairs neighbour would be less than pleased if I dropped one ....

Spin. And a half

So it was lunchtime spin today. 3 regulars plus A N Other. Lot of resistance work to start, which was quite frankly interesting thanks to my *still* hurty calf. I'm not so keen on the standy-up bits at the moment, but I toughed it out.

Then it got really interesting. The last four tracks were designated as sprints (WTF? We'd already had at least 2 sets of sprints by this time) - but to make it more interesting we each got the stopwatch and a chance to call the shots. Recipe for disaster if ever there was one, to be honest lol.

Anyway, first track was 3 sets of sprints - 20 secs on, 20 secs recovery. 2nd track was increased resistance, and 3 sets of 30 secs on and 30 secs recovery. Then it was my turn. Nae faffing with resistance, just 20 secs on and 20 secs off all the way through. Then it was The Rush's turn. OMG - whoever thought giving him a stopwatch was a good idea! 10 secs on and 5 secs recovery all the way through! Burst just doesn't even come into it!! Even the instructor was an interesting colour by the end of the track - but it serves him right.

The guys all laughed at me when I got back to my desk cos my face was about as red as my hair!

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Gym fail!

Fail no 1
I turned up for spin class at lunchtime today but no-one else did, so it was cancelled:=(

Fail no 2
Thought I would go to the gym instead. Nice idea. Now, at various times I have forgotten my t-shirt, shorts, socks, towel etc. This time I forgot my sodding *SHOES*! I'm happy enough to train barefoot, but Health & Safety, hygiene etc means that the Sports staff wouldn't be that thrilled by that.

So no gym for me.

To quote one of the Sports guys: "What a donkey!" (mind you, he said it with a colourful adjective in front lol)

Ninja fail

I clearly need to work on my ninja throwing skills.

I confess to having had something of a domestic rage incident a couple of weeks ago. I'm generally pretty laid back, but the Other Half was winding me up something chronic. Upshot was I ended up chucking a plate at him (it was what I had in my hand at the time - one time it was the cat). Unfortunately the s0d ducked and the plate smashed to smithereens! On the plus side, it was the plate that already had a chip out of it. Also on the plus side, it's the fastest KatieKat has moved in some considerable time lol.

Numpties that I work with are threatening to club together and buy me a set of plastic plates out of IKEA!

Living in 'interesting times'

May you live in interesting times is often attributed as a Chinese curse; others argue for more recent and Western origins. Irrespective of the source, it's certainly held true for me in recent months!

Personal circumstances (and hurty bits) have meant that I have't trained as much as I might have liked to. I've certainly been to classes and I've gone running and I've chucked kettlebells around, I just haven't written about it much. However, I had a complaint last night that my lack of posting was leading to a lack of entertainment and could I please fix that asap. So here I am lol.

Last night was krav. Lee is back in harness after his time away, and boy did we get to know about it! We started with our usual wam up run. I took it really easy, trying to respect the hurty bits. We then moved into sprints and it took prob about the first set for my achilles / calf thing to seriously make its presence felt until I was basically chasing Saturday's £40 osteopath bill up and down the hall. Och well, I guess these things will get worse until they get better really. On the positive side though, my wrist really had nothing to say about the incline pressups.

After the pressup / situp combos we moved straight into padwork, working jab-cross-jab-elbow. We then added a 'wrenching' move to unbalance our partner, followed by a swift knee and finishing them with a cheeky wee back kick to the back of the knee.

From this we moved on to train turning / roundhouse kicks on the big shields. I bet the rugby club don't really leave their tackle shields lying around for us to use this way! Mind you, I used to watch club rugby in Edinburgh and I've seen the abuse those shields take - trust me, our kicks are *nothing* compared to what those guys do to them lol.

After some practice chambering the knee high and flicking the kick out, we moved onto some knife defence. I'm sure it's not supposed to end up as some kind of bizarre spiral dance, but that seems to be how UTP and I often end up! A couple of the guys had to leave unexpectedly early, so we turned it into multiple attackers with knives instead.

Lee picked us up on "intent" - what he meant was training like you mean it, so that the skills are hardwired in and there should you ever be unfortunate enough to need it. He was quite right in what he said, but I think that it can often be difficult for women to go in 'hard' against a partner. There's lots of reasons for this, most of them around socialisation and expectation. Men often think that it's because women are delicate and fear being hurt themselves. I'm sure that's probably true for some women but it's definitely not the case for all. I think the biggest issue is actually around not wanting to be responsible for hurting others. I know I've certainly spent an awful lot of time apologising to other people for clattering them during training, and I'm always conscious of holding back a bit esp if I'm partnering another woman. It's not necessarily always great for my training, but it's easy sometimes to misjudge the power you can put into techniques. I certainly don't want the reputation my pal had for unnecessary brutality - even the guys were scared of her.

On the flipside, I had one of the guys make a comment to me last week about how myself and his female pal always "really go for it" when we train with the guys. The way he said it, it felt like criticism in the sense that it wasn't natural or feminine or some other such thing. And that comes back to the socialisation / expectation thing. No wonder women get confused!

Ok - not quite sure how the soapbox managed to sneak in there.

It was lovely to see another friend that I used to train with at the women's class last night. I think she's planning to come along regularly which will be good. Hope her turned ankle is nothing serious though.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

It's been a while

In spite of the hurty bits (several - see below), I toddled off to krav class last night. You have NO idea how glad I was that only 3 of us turned up so that we focused on skills rather than fitness lol. We had our obligatory warmup of a run round the hall. In my case this was much more of a lopsided lurch and I got lapped at least once.

Was delighted to see UTP (Usual Training Partner) back after her Beltane adventures. I miss her chat and giggles during training. For those who might frown on laughter during training - I do actually take class quite seriously, but for me fun is a v important part of learning.

Lee is apparently away just now, so poor Michael had the pleasure of our company. He took us through some basic skills such as stances, footwork and strikes. Ideal for myself and UTP, since we've both been away a while. We also did some shadow boxing, working a variety of punches, elbows and knees. After some padwork, we moved onto 360 defence against hooking attacks from high, mid and low level followed by parrying against a straight attack. Then just for fun we threw a knife attack into the mix.

The hour passed quickly and it was nice to be back.

Shall probably have the achilles / ankle / heel / whatever thing prodded by the osteopath tomorrow.

Monday, 3 May 2010

note to self ....

.... do not stay away from Circuits class for so long next time. It won't hurt as much if you go regularly :=)

Current list of sore bits (only some of may be related to the foregoing):

  • Toes on left foot (still twinge a bit occasionally) - Self-inflicted
  • Back of right ankle / heel (hope it's not an achilles problem) - Thank you hindu squats!
  • Right wrist - No idea, but it was obviously a doozy
  • Lower back - Sleeping at a v funny angle, so I blame the cat for this one

I would like to go to krav class tonight but it's going to depend on sore bit no 2 above. I went for a run yesterday (Sensible? Moi? As if!) and it hurt like a really hurty thing afterwards.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

psycho kitty!

Took the day off work yesterday to take the cat (Josie) to the vet for a check up.

Josie is a longhaired tabby tortie who will be 11 on 01 May. She is full of tortie 'attitude'.

Actually, we nearly didn't make it to the vet at all. First of all Josie pulled a disappearing act when I got the cat basket out, then when I did find her after about 10 minutes she did a 'psycho kitty' on me. I ended up having to put my grappling gloves on to try and get her out of the wardrobe. I still lost, and my gloves have scratches on them ....

Of course as soon as I phoned the vet to say we might not make it, out she came looking a bit sheepish. Grabbed her, chucked her in the basket and off we went. The Cat Clinic is roughly a 20 min drive from the house and Josie ranted and raved the whole way there. She also had a fair bit to say while we were sitting in the waiting room which isn't like her.

Anyway, Simon eventually called us through and Miss Butter-Wouldn't-Melt-In-Her-Mouth emerged from the basket to be told "hello beautiful" etc etc. Check up went well, no health issues, Podgebelly has gained half a kilo, and her wee 'toilet issues' are a likely result of her fondness for chicken korma(!) and apple pie and custard(!!). Josie ends up lying on her side getting her tummy rubbed and you could see the wee student accompanying the vet thinking that she'd made a good career choice.

Then out came the claw trimmers and the you-know-what hit the fan!! The wee student was suddenly not so keen on veterinary medicine lol. Suffice to say Josie and Simon had a fairly major disagreement over her claws, and how she never dislocated her front leg I will never know! I'm pretty sure it was wrapped round the back of her ears at one point. She's certainly a good wee grappler - there was two of us holding her upside down and she still got out of it! Anyway, Grumpy Knickers ultimately lost the argument despite swearing like a trooper and attempting to deploy most of her sharp bits and her claws got trimmed.

Simon added insult to injury by picking her up and giving her a cuddle. He didn't see her frown, but I did. Then he put her back in her basket, she dithered a bit and he gave her bum a wee push. And she whirled round, swore at him - and swiped him an absolute beauty across the palm.

Josie normally really adores Simon and is generally a sweetheart with him, to the point of being a total tart. However yesterday it was more like Welcome to my world! This is the Josie I live with lol. I was mortified btw, even though cat scratches are an occupational hazard in his line of work. You really don't want the reputation associated with having a cat who savages the vet. It was funny though, right up until the bit where he was bleeding.

So the big match summary goes something like this:

Vet 1 - 1 Cat

Cat won on penalties after extra time.

Thursday, 8 April 2010

a world first

Have just been to the world's first self-directed spin class. 3 participants, 1 CD and nae instructor. So of course we decided to do the class ourselves lol. Ok, so maybe we didn't quite manage to be doing the same thing at the same time, but we meant well and we all had a v good workout.

Think it might catch on?

back to normal-ish

So far this week I've managed to get to 2 of my usual 3 spin classes, and I'm planning to go to the 3rd this morning. I do like spin.

My foot is still bothering me a little bit, so rather than go to the kickboxing class I broke out the kettlebells again last night. This time my workout looked like this:

25 star jumps

50 swings
10 & 10 snatches (right & left)
10 double clean and jerk
25 bodyweight squats

50 swings
12 & 12 snatches (right & left)
10 double clean and jerk
25 press ups

50 swings
15 & 15 snatches (right & left)
5 double clean and jerk
25 crunches

10 & 10 overhead squats (right & left)

Apart from almost clonking the cat in the face with the kettlebell mid-snatch when she decided to nip past me, training went well! Chi kung and kung fu class tonight, then hopefully back to properly normal next week.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

No krav

Since krav class was cancelled due to it being Easter Monday, I thought it was the perfect excuse to break out the kettlebells for some strength training.

After the usual mobility work I knew I want to work sets of swings, presses and double kettlebell squats, incorporating 100 reps in between.

My workout looked like this:

25 star jumps
25 x swings (16kg)
5 & 5 presses (12kg)
12 x front squat (2 x 12kg)

25 bodyweight squats
25 x swings (16kg)
10 & 10 presses (12kg)
15 x front squat (2 x 12kg)

25 pressups
30 x swings (16kg)
10 & 10 presses (12kg)
12 x front squat (2 x 12kg)

25 crunches

Overall it was a short workout but a hard one.

Monday, 5 April 2010

challenges, challenges

Lent may be over but I have decided to try and keep going with the no chocolate, no crisps, no fizzy juice etc. I actually wasn't even interested in chocolate yesterday. I definitely want to keep going with the no fizzy juice as it has no redeeming qualities whatsover.

Going without these things for the last 6 weeks has been an interesting exercise. If nothing else it demonstrates how much of British 'snack life' is built around them. I've stood in our shop at work wondering what the hell to have that isn't crisps, chocolate, sweets or biscuits. I'm glad I didn't decide to ditch baked goods as well, or I really would have been screwed! The shop doesn't sell fruit although the canteen does - unfortunately the quality is so poor that it's not worth buying. I often nip into the 24 hour supermarket on the way to work and pick up some fruit to snack on.


Well, I *intended* to go to circuits on Saturday morning but in the spirit of epic fail I spent so much time trying to find the &^"%%!$ Home Delivery Network depot at Newbridge I totally ran out of time to get there. On the positive side, at least I got my parcel.

I certainly made up for it on Sunday with some personal training. I decided to train for volume so after some mobility work I hit the kettlebells for:

500 swings
100 shoulder presses (both sides)
plus 350 bodyweight squats

I then finished off with some chi kung and kung fu stance training.

Thursday, 1 April 2010

some other stuff

I did do some other stuff recently.

Almost 2 weeks ago now I got the opportunity to attend a 2 hour kettlebell masterclass with master trainer Steve Cotter. I treated myself to this session since I ended up not being able to do the CKT training over that weekend.

It ended up being an excellent session. Steve had us work on just two lifts - the single arm snatch and the double clean and jerk. I'm not especially fond of either lift, which probably made it so much the better for me. I've never been that good at the technique for the clean and jerk, so I really liked the way that Steve broke the lift down into clear stages which we could practice and build on. I appreciate this 'chunking' style of learning.

We worked sets for volume rather than weight, which was definitely challenging! We certainly got through a lot of chalk. When I saw the pics from the event I realised that black had not been that a great choice to wear - I'm head to toe covered in chalk as you will see from this pic lol.

The other great thing about the class was that I got to meet up with a lot of the friends that I've trained with previously at Rannoch's KB1 and KB2 workshops. Quite a few of us keep in touch, and it's always nice to meet up again.

The next day I *hurt* (self inflicted, I know) but I did head off to the Combat Ready gym for a 2 hour krav maga refresher session. I was so tired I could really have done with not going but I had already promised UTP that I would go along. Actually, we were both so shattered that I don't think either of us trained to our usual sort of level which was a real shame because the session covered a lot of good stuff across levels 1-3.

It was certainly a busy session on the mats which made some of the ground stuff 'interesting' to say the least! After training, I had to zoom home, shower, change, eat and charge off to the hospital to see my mother.

another day ....

And a difficult one at that.

A meeting meant that I didn't get to spin class, and I was very late leaving which meant zero chance of getting to any classes.

However, I did my mobility work then hit the bodyweight exercises for my 100 reps:

30 pressups
15 lunges - right (rather tricky because of my toes)
15 lunges - left
40 bodyweight squats

I also picked up the 16kg kettlebell to push press for a few good reps. I've had the 16kg for a while now but have done little with it, so I really wan to start getting used to working with it.

I then did some kung fu stance training and finished with chi kung exercises.

It was a nice short little session that really took my mind off the stuff that's been going on at work.

Wednesday, 31 March 2010


Snow gone, wind dropped a bit - at least the flagpoles along Seafield Road weren't bent double this morning and the sea was staying where it was supposed to be instead of being up and over Newhaven Road! It's still sleeting and horrible but since it's currently not lying I can live with that.

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Today's training

On the plus side, I at least made it to spin class today.

It's been a while - probably 3 weeks, if not more - since I last did spin, so I kept the resistance lower than I normally would but kept my speed up. Class was good and I'm glad I went. I always miss spin when I don't go regularly.

Since I didn't make it the hospital, I broke out the home training again tonight.

I started with general mobility work to loosen off a bit, then went straight into some kettlebell swings. I cranked out an easy 25 on the 8kg just to warm up, then another 25 on the 12kg and finished off with a working set of 50 on the 16kg. I also did 100 bodyweight squats to keep up with the 100 reps challenge.

I finished off with some chi kung exercises and a bit of kung fu stance training.

Today was one of those very difficult days at work, and I wasn't particularly inclined to train tonight, but I'm glad I got stuck in. I certainly felt better afterwards.

In other news ....

I got a phone call from the hospital earlier tonight to tell me that my mother is being moved to a different ward. This is the 4th or 5th different ward that she's been in in 2 weeks. By all accounts they're still no closer to finding out what's actually wrong. And thanks to the lovely weather that we're having, I wasn't able to go visit her tonight :=(

Not happy

It is snowing. I am not happy.

I *hate* driving in the snow.

personal training

Finally got back to my personal training on Saturday there.

I started off with chi kung exercises and some kung fu stance training. Then I went on to mobility work before getting stuck into 100 reps:

25 star jumps
25 bodyweight squats
25 press ups
25 crunches

On Sunday after I did my chi kung and stance training and mobility work, I finally picked up a kettlebell for the first time in a while.

I went for 100 swings along with 100 reps which were the same as Saturday's, ie:

25 star jumps
25 bodyweight squats
25 push ups
25 crunches

Once these were done I did some kb presses, first with the 8kg then with the 12kg and then with the 16kb. Then I cleaned two 12kgs to the rack position and did a couple of sets of squats. I then finished off with a set of swings with the 16kg. I did a little bit of stretching and then hit the shower.

challenge update

Challenge no 1 - kettlebell swings
Long since finished - thankfully!

No 2 - 'Lent'
Surprisingly, still going strong. Nearly caved last week though. Was v late leaving work and was absolutely starving. Managed to only lick the vending machine instead of buying any rubbish from it.

No 3 - chi kung and mobility exercises
Unfortunately largely went the way of my other classes and training over the past couple of weeks. Pretty disappointed with that actually, although I got back into the swing of it over the weekend.

No 4 - 100 reps
See above.

Last night's krav

UTP was MIA due to having hurt her ankle. We missed her :=(

We were a small but select bunch who were really put through our paces last night. The warm up consisted of a series of races, done in pairs:

Whilst one of the pair did star jumps the other sprinted out and did either - punch bag, squats or pressups. You then sprinted back and your partner sprinted out and did the same whilst you did star jumps. We did two each of the three exercises for a total of 6 races. My partner duly informed me that I was a nice shade of pink at the end - I think he meant puce actually!

We then went on to our pad work, moving quickly through our combatives. Then we looked at getting up from the floor in a hurry, in case we fell or were taken down by an opponent. That was interesting - I was fine right up until the bit where I had to bend or push off from ma poor wee tootsies.

From there, we went on to defending what I suppose would best be described as 'rear naked chokes'. Somehow I don't think the krav defence for this would be entirely legal in the MMA world!

We then had a quick trot through checking and parrying an outside hooking attack before the lovely Lee lined us all up and had a swing at us all - all in the interests of verifying that we knew how to defend this attack, of course. Then we split into pairs and practised attacking each other. Cue loud sounds of flesh on flesh impact! Sincere apologies to the poor guy that I think I kind of really dunted at one point - hope it wasn't as bad as it sounded :=(

Overall, a good class. Definitely a good workout anyway.

On the plus side ....

.... ma wee tootsies weren't ever broken, just badly sprained.

I popped them along to the osteopath on Saturday, along with a 'tight' shoulder. He's an excellent osteopath but derives way too much amusement from the things I do to myself lol. He does always tell me that at least I bring him "interesting" things to work on.

Difficult and challenging

That's about the kindest description of last week.

Not only was my mother (who was 80 in February) still in hospital, but significant redundancies were announced at work. So far, it would seem that I am not currently at risk. I suppose I should be grateful / relieved / pleased etc, but it's hard to feel anything for myself when lots of other people will have to leave. I think there is more of this to come as well. The situation is not good.

At least I finally got to go and visit my mother last week. She's in a high dependency ward (which tells its own story I suppose) and I wasn't allowed anywhere near whilst I still had the cold. She certainly better than she was when she went in, but her doctors are still no closer to finding out what's actually causing her symptoms. She has low blood pressure and can't walk without falling over. Actually, she can't even sit up for very long. All a bit worrying really.

I was on annual leave on Friday and spent a chunk of the day charging around doing bits of business for her, eg paying bills, sorting out her pension etc. It's a really good thing she set me up with access to her pension and bank accounts at the tail end of last year really.

I suppose I should be glad that she's at least in the right place, but I don't exactly live next door. I'm not a million miles away but far enough that I don't get into the hospital as often as I might like. Still, just got to get on with it I suppose. There are worse things that could be happening right now.

That didn't last long!

Being 'back', that is.

My cold got worse and the last thing I felt like doing was training. I was halfway ready for krav on the Tuesday, but realised the best thing to do was to stay home. So I did.

And it panned out that I didn't really do much of anything last week either. I just felt so run down and out of sorts.


Tuesday, 16 March 2010

I'm b-a-a-a-ck!

Went to krav class night, despite tender toes and a cold. And I survived without too much pain.

I chose common sense during the warm up and walked instead of running. Felt a right numpty though when I got 'lapped' several times. After the warm up we moved on to our benchmarking. I normally like the challenge of this, but I was a bit concerned that I maybe wouldn't do as well as I could due to my cold. Well, I shouldn't have worried about that! Shoved a menthol cough sweet in my mouth and off I went.

Press ups: 60 (55 - improvement of 5)

Bodyweight squats: 175 (140 - improvement of 35)

Really, really wanted 200 on the squats. The legs were willing but the rest of the body cr@pped out on me! Felt a wee bit wobbly - esp around the arms - afterwards and it took me a wee while to get into things once we moved onto the pads.

We started off working alternate palm heel strikes - jab, cross, jab. Once we were comfortable with that we worked on punches, elbows and knees - jab, cross, straight elbow, upward elbow, knee. Here we were training the footwork and body positioning for each strike. Finally we added in shin strikes delivered off a roundhouse kick, first one then two. Lee quite correctly picked me up for not kicking properly, but UTP jumped in to remind him I had a sore foot! The kick was right footed so I needed to spin on my dodgy left foot which I was being wary of.

We also practiced hammer strikes from a variety of angles - high downward, side and low downward. Lee pointed out that this particular strike is much more effective when the arm is kept relaxed until the point of impact. Hammer strikes are fun!

We then looked at defending a roundhouse kick. This involved a variation of the 360 degree parry from last week. Essentially it's the same move, but delivered at a low level to parry (or indeed catch) the kick as it comes in. The parry takes the defender off the line of the attack, puts the attacker off balance then allows the defender to move to a zero pressure area where they are chest to back with the attacker. This allows the defender to deliver a variety of moves, eg kick to the groin, hammer fist to the head etc.

This led onto to hubud. Hubud is similar to the pelampas drills I've done previously. The one we practiced last night involved defending a right hook attack on the inside using your left arm to check the attack, then folding at the elbow both to 'pass' the attacker's arm and to begin pressing it down. You then bring your right arm up to continue to pass the attacker's arm across their body, and then use your left hand to press / check the arm down across their body.

Although I'm used to this style of drill, I found it hard to remember to 'fold' at the elbow before passing the arm. I'm not sure if this is because I've just gotten used to just passing the arm 'high' then checking down or if it was a height (lack of) issue. It was certainly easier to fold when working with UTP who is shorter than me. The folding movement certainly makes sense, so worth practicing.

This was a v small class - only 5 of us and just the one guy. Poor guy fairly got picked on for the demos esp the kicking to the groin lol.

Got spin class today, so it will be interesting to see how the foot holds up for that. Will decide later about krav class tonight.

Monday, 15 March 2010

bruised but unbowed (and unbroken)

Decided not to waste NHS time by going to have my toes x-rayed as I was walking much better - albeit slowly - by Saturday morning.

In fact, I'm *almost* back to normal today, although it might be a wee while before I'm running or jumping / skipping again. Now all I have to do is work the 'kinks' out of my calf and the opposite hip which took the strain when I was hobbling about ....

Of course now that the toes are better, I've got a cold lol

Friday, 12 March 2010

uh oh

Showed toes to Uni Nurse (henceforth known as "Nursie"). When Nursie had finished laughing, she suggested it might be an idea to show the toes to a radiographer at my local A&E dept. I did ask her where her sympathy was - she said I'd find it in the dictionary between 'sick' and 'syphilis' and if I made an appt she might be able to rustle up some compassion ....

On the plus side, so far the cat has not stood on my toes. She's a hefty lump (bit like myself really lol) who likes to sleep on the bed with us and is noted for clomping over your feet and ankles during the night.

this week's classes

Despite the whole Busted Toes Incident, this week hasn't been a total loss in terms of training. We have had:

Saturday - circuits
This was a bit of a 'mean mother' of a class, to be honest. We had:

standing rotations with a 7kg medicine ball
kettlebell swings and snatches
rollouts with ab roller
ladder (to improve foot speed) with bodyweight drills at either end
plyometric jumps (I was pants at these on the first circuit, but nailed it on the next)

Once we done several circuits of these stations we moved onto kettlebell drills (eg swings, presses, squats etc) followed by some bodyweight drills. Then it was onto the bags for some timed combinations, which inevitably end up being more challenging than you think they ever will be. We finished off working the Thai pads in pairs, with the padholder shouting out the combinations and keeping the defender moving. This one challenges the brain as well as the CV system! Good class, good workout.

Monday - krav maga
This one started off with the challenge of the sprint shuttle runs, in which my main achievement was being slow lol. Once we'd burst ourselves doing that we did some bodyweight drills to really finish us off.

We then looked at some of the level 2 strikes in isolation before moving onto the pads to work some combinations. Poor UTP (Usual Training Partner). I was slightly over-enthusiastic with a front kick and the pad smacked her in the nose. No harm done and she got her own back with the "1, 2, 3 Ow!" dance later on.

We then revised the check / block and counter defence from last week. UTP and I kind of flailed at each other for a bit before we settled into a rhythm. If I'm honest, this one always throws me when done at speed because krav seems to prefer to work this defence on the inside whereas I previously trained something very similar but from the outside. So there's a whole mental flap going on which can make me flail at bit at times. I'm sure it's highly amusing for others to watch.

Tuesday - krav maga
We started with skipping, then moved onto bodyweight drills - 3 sets of:

25 squats
25 pushups
25 crunches
25 star jumps

Then we moved onto working combinations on the Thai pads with our partners. These got steadily more complicated, and moved us through the striking ranges from close to medium to long.

Marcus then split the class into student levels so we could work on the relevant self defence. In our group we worked as a 3 on defence against a side headlock, on parrying and defending striking and on stop kicks. 5 mins from the end we had the whole Bust Toes Incident ....

Wednesday - no class
Not specifically because of ma wee tootsies - I had already signed up to go to a lecture in town.

Thursday - chi kung & kung fu
I wasn't sure how the toes would hold out but it was generally fine. Although I normally find chi kung v relaxing, I was actually quite fidgetty last night. Because I've been limping, my right side has been compensating for the left, so my right hip is all sore.

I wasn't sure how I would get on with the kung fu class, but the Sifu was brilliant. I stayed at the back out of the way and did what I could. In the stance training, I kept my stances shorter so that I didn't have so much weight on the left foot. The footwork training was generally ok, but I was slower to move because I had to 'think' more to make sure I didn't put too much pressure on my left foot. Striking work was fine, kicking was tricky for balance but I was ok if I speeded up.

We had an odd number in class so instead of partner work, I kept on with the solo training then rested my foot towards the end.

Going to class was obviously a risk, but because the training isn't high speed or high impact I felt it was one that was worth taking. I'm finding that keeping the foot moving is more helpful than not.

Today I have much more flex in the foot so am v hopeful that it's really on the mend now.

Thursday, 11 March 2010


My toes have gone several very interesting colours. It should be worth a couple of photos later on lol.

Even though there's still not much 'flex' in the toes, at least I'm walking a bit better now. Driving was a lot easier today as well, which is all good.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010


Well, a couple of toes any way.

I suffered what would be best described as an "imapct" injury at krav last night. Now, I'm not 100% sure what happened, as I was looking at the guy I was kicking rather than at my foot. We were practicing stop kicks, I kicked and we both think he misread the line my kick took. Result - my tootsies met - I think - the edge of his foot. I think they bent under rather than back. I do know that it hurt quite a bit and sent me to the mat yelping and swearing. Amusingly I did manage to leave the imprint of my toes on his foot so not one he'll forget in a hurry lol.

It was just one of those things, no fault no blame and definitely no malice intended. Poor guy was more upset about it than I was - gave me a big hug at the end.

It was funny though; it was one of those classes where you got that kind of sense of 'impending doom' during the warm up. You know the feeling - that one that says run for the hills cos this is gonna hurt! I have a few lumps and bumps to go with my limp today. I remember pulling my neck / back as well, but again I wasn't the only one. We were working in a 3 practicing defence against side headlock and I think we all ended up with neck / back strains.

I've managed to make it into work, although I was swearing every time I had to change gear. I have to drive into town tonight, which is a bit of a concern. If my foot is really bad though, I will get my partner to come out and get the car.

Maybe I am getting too old for this malarkey ....

Ma poor wee tootsies a couple of days later ....