Too Special For A Title……….Intrigued?

12 Sep

I just had the most amazing experience. Possibly one of the most magical experiences of my life.

So being in Honours and trying to survive the rollercoaster that is life, my body got a bit down and out. From feeling ‘out of it’ (constantly), to breaking nails, dry skin and hair, no appetite etc etc etc it was time for an intervention.

After breaking down and having my self a little cry (finally jeez), mommy dearest barges into my room, gives me the number of a reflexologist and instructs me to make an appointment asap. Despite the trauma of being woken up from my precious sleep (these days a good night’s sleep is an absolute luxury), I was sold on the words ‘lovely massage’..

To be honest I didn’t remember the rest of the conversation when I woke up the next morning. EEK. It’s fine move on.

So after much pondering, and suffering from the stubborness that I unfortunately inherited from numerous family members in the Behrmann family tree, I gave in and booked an appointment- from which I rushed home to write this blog post πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

This is an example of something I never even thought of indulging in, and to be honest, the things that we don’t plan almost always turn out to be the most fulfilling and life-changing. So if you want to feel unexpectedly fulfilled from a lifechanging experience, listen up.

It’s not like me to go into something not knowing what it’s about for the simple reason that I always want to get the most out of that experience, good and bad. But for some reason, naturally a plan of the universe, I went in blindly having absolutely no clue who I was going to, what she did and how she was going to fix me- and boy did I need fixing. It was probably also advisable (note to self) to at least know the address- here’s to intuition πŸ˜‰

So at 11:50 (it’s amazing how no matter how hard I try, I am ALWAYS early- it’s enough to drive someone bonkers), I walked into a cute little house in a complex in Woodmead and I knew this wasn’t going to be just any massage. Nope, mom was treating me.
I was immediately at home when I smelt the lotions and oils, saw bazillions of ‘Clarens’ branding ( see, mom it’s your fault I have such expensive taste!) and a book shelf- this is the moment when the angels started singing- of literature on earth energies, healing and psychology. My soul was in such bliss I had to control myself from thinking the books were for sale. Shame am I a complete nerd? Oh well, we’ll have to negotiate something in the next life.

I walked into the treatment room and I melted by the gorgeous aromas, more ‘Clarens’ products and the sight of crystals and Angel cards. Yip. I had come to the right place.
It was explained to me that she would start with my feet. What do you mean start? I thought, but decided to keep quiet and just go with it.

Next thing she starts fiddling and pressing into different areas on my feet, all along explaining to me which part of the body each area represented; my liver, kidneys, back and so forth. She also explained to me that my hands would start feeling clammy since my body would be releasing negative energies such as stress.

At this point you may be thinking how the hell do I find the cray cray people in the world but I promise you it was the most spiritual, uplifting, and ironically down-to-earth experience I’ve ever had. Believe me I know people who live with the fairies (I may be one of them) and this woman was more human than a lot of people.

I really think it’s important to find people who are in touch with energies. Sometimes we get so caught up in life that we forget our qualities, our loves, and the things that make us happy but for some reason are pushed to the bottom of the list so we can complete the shitty, boring tasks we ‘have’ to do.
I was brought back to my centre through the best kind of therapy: talking, laughing and massage treatment.
Not only was my body, internally and externally, being healed, but I was also laughing so much from the disbelief that she could read so many things about me without saying a word.

Out of the million things she found, the one thing that really stuck was that because I have such a creative, flowing energy, I need to dance and move. (I realise now why I’ve been going mad lately sitting at my desk all day completeing one assignment and task after the other). If I don’t move and dance and play and exercise my creativity, especially in my career, and I quote: I’ll “get depressed”.

Moral of the story? Screw work! I was born to move! yippeeeee

I’m joking.

I was told that I’m a lung person. Huh.
Well apparently lung people are very intuitive- one of the reasons she said I’d be a great psychologist (way awesome news). She knew this by the way, from massaging my back- I’m telling you this stuff is so frikkin cool!
This got me telling her about my dream patterns and from her interpretation, it’s possible SOMEBODY I know is pregnant, with a baby boy. OMW it would be so awesome if this turns out to be true. Just know, I called it! Well, my intuition did. ( Call me if you think it’s you and I’ll tell you πŸ˜‰ )

It also seems I’m a mix between the emotional and the logical. I need to be sensible, work hard and do what I need to do but at the same time have this unstoppable drive to play and dance and have fun. No wonder I’m stressed. Work hard, but I don’t care, but you gotta get good marks, but it’s important to do fun things, but this but that and pshhhh. I’ve combusted!
Okay fine that didn’t really happen but it could!!

So. I’ve made a decision that going to my dance classes is not taking time away from work, but actually enhancing it; allowing myself to express my energy and give my real self to the things I actually enjoy, and as a matter of fact, working hard is one of those things πŸ™‚

So even though you might not be as in love with the body, the mind and the connecting energies as I am, it really doesn’t hurt to see what comes up when you visit a healer (and they come in all shapes and sizes)- you may realise that you’re actually as brilliant as your parents say you are πŸ˜‰ ).

“Don’t Block With Your Face”

8 Sep

– Author Unknown

Now you’re probably wondering what they hell I’ve been up to with a heading like that.

Well, after a couple of weeks of letting my life get too hectic for my own sanity, as well as having let myself down by not being able to get up for a 10km road race I planned ages ago, I decided it was time to really step out of my comfort zone, and step I did.

I cleared my schedule (there’s always a schedule to clear isn’t there), built up some courage and marched into a gym for MMA- Mixed Martial Arts. Yes. I’m serious. Bitches Be Crazy.

Allow me to paint a picture for you: when I was a pipsqueek, my mom told me that she could always spot me on the soccer field because I ran with my toes pointed. A ballerina playing soccer- an entertaining thought.

So there I was in an MMA gym learning to fight.
First off was a warm up: sprints, back kicks, jumping, push ups, lunges and other such activities that resulted in my having to take a moment or seven to catch my breath ( you think you’re fit, until you do something πŸ˜‰ )

Next step was getting the position right, which is quite different from boxing where you stand sideways and use hip movement to get full power in your punches. This was actually quite uncomfortable. For MMA you have to stand square with your strong foot up at the back, hips parallel, fists up in front of your face to protect your jaw with elbows close together, pelvis in, shoulders up with your back hunched over. This was not ideal for someone with the posture of a ballet dancer and to say the least, my body was shouting at me- if my dance teacher had to see me like this she would plutz!

Then came learning how to actually move in that position- always pushing off that back leg, whether you’re moving forward, backward or side to side while staying in the hunched-back-shoulders-up-elbows-squeezed position- I’ pretty sure man was not built for this. Nevermind my body taking strain, it was hard work remembering all these things and moving at the same time- a true test of coordination.

The fun part came after, when we could finally throw a couple punches, but I never realised how technical it is to kill (okay fine I probably don’t punch that hard). From trying to remember to hold that turtle position, while punching high enough to ensure my forearm protects my face and making sure I punched with my first 2 knuckles and not my ring and pinky fingers, which apparently I’ve been doing all these years ;), sorry victims…, it was time to head home.

So now that I’ve actually done it- something I’ve always wanted to try- what’s the verdict you ask?
Well surprisingly, it’s not really my thing- I mean, I love killing and all, but I found it a little boring and pointless, especially for someone not likely to get into a fist fight anytime soon. I think it’s important for everyone to learn at least the basics of how to defend yourself and to be prepared if something does happen, but otherwise….meh… MMA has to be a passion to continue with it since it takes years and years to even begin to master the skills and techniques. I definitely learned to appreciate the professional fighters out there, yet do not understand the fun in getting your booty kicked, or your face (especially the face).

What I did get out of the experience though, and the reason it’s so important to try different things, especially those out of your comfort zone, is that it reinforces who you are, what you do like, what you’re good at and ultimatele enables you to improve the talents and abilities that you were personally blessed with. For me, I realised that no matter what, I’m a dancer at heart- I love to move, flow and express – to music while pointing my feet.

Who would’ve thunk that MMA would be the reason I decided to finally conquer my ridiculous fear, after years of being out the game, and sign up for an open dance class.. Look out for my next post πŸ˜‰

I was going to leave you with a quote about trying new things in order to grow, but anyone can read you a quote that was written by someone once at one stage, and it will possibly mean nothing to you. So I’ll speak from the heart…
I’ve really committed to trying out things I’ve always dreamed of doing but always used the excuse that I don’t have time, to cover up the fact that maybe I was just scared. It’s easy to not do things. It’s easier to live life being safe, doing the ordinary things that everyone else does. But if you’re reading this blog, don’t fool yourself into thinking you like being like everyone else. We all want to be unique don’t we? Well being unique is a verb, not an adjective. You need to be strong enough to overcome the obstacles that, more often than not, are set by you alone.
I cannot explain how much I have learnt about myself by doing ‘silly’ things like trying out a pole dancing class, or a SWEAT 1000 class, or even an art class. I feared I wasn;t fit enough, or creative enough- excuse after excuse and you know what- I’ve made my body do things I never even thought possible and with the art thing- I’m actually quite good at it.. So go learn guitar (I’ve tried that too and it was fabulous) or whatever it is you’ve always wanted to learn or try or feel or experience. You owe it to yourself to live an amazing life and to take the time to uncover latent talents and loves that for some pathetic reason we don’t allow to be manifested… you can quote me if you like…

β€œI Like Long Walks, Especially When They are Taken by People Who Annoy Me”

2 Aug

Quote by NoΓ«l Coward
It’s taken me a week to write this post, but I guess that’s the point of my blog isn’t it.
We get so caught up in life; too busy with work, or studying and everything else that a week, or two, or seven go by and we’ve forgotten to enjoy our lives. We’ve forgotten to appreciate each day, remember to have fun, and sometimes even eat (I know can you believe I’ve been forgetting to eat?!)

Anyways, I’m back in action after the longest week of my life (Okay fine I’ll stop exaggerating), the second longest week of my life, and here to report on my 702 Walk the Talk experience which by the way I had been waiting for this whole year. I’m serious. Stop laughing at me. Appreciate the commitment.

So the 28th of July 2013 approached and after months of anticipation for the event, I was contemplating not following through with walking 5kms just so I could tell you lazy shits what it’s like to pay R120 ( I think it was 120- I booked so long ago I can’t remember. Best I drug myself with Gingko Biloba or Coconut oil tablets), walk 3 kms from the car to the STARTING LINE, another 5kms in a crowd of a trillion people, and then what felt like and another 5 back to the car. You’re probably scratching your head trying to work out how it was 3 the way there and 5 back but let’s stop judging shall we- why don’t YOU do it.

Now you’re also probably wondering ‘why so serious?’. Maybe it’s because I’m still recovering from Sunday, and if you’re a person who doesn’t like crowds and despises anything that entails an inkling of missioning, you’ll understand where I’m coming from.
Having to shlep to shlep to Marks Park for a walk smack-bang in the middle of your Sunday morning (11am) , is not so nice. Wouldn’t you agree?

Stop whining and be proud of me. I overcame my rationalisation and did it for the blog
(I don’t advise partaking in an activity other than because you want to) but anyways, I’m a leader πŸ˜‰ Okay shut up and tell the story.

So once we EVENTUALLY started walking, I was kinda happy to be there. I actually got quite emotional standing in a massive crowd of South Africans all there for a common purpose. It was actually quite inspiring and I couldn’t believe the number of people that actually showed up! I think you get the Discovery points regardless of whether you rock up or not. (Medical aids just want you money).

Back to the walking.

So it started out quite slow. It’s difficult to move with 49 000 people surrounding you, but you start moving at human pace eventually. It was such a magical day- we really do have the best weather in the world- and walking with people of all shapes, colours and sizes made me realise how great South Africans really are. When it comes down to it, we don’t actually care about what colour you are or what accent you have and if you have a dog, we love each other more πŸ˜‰

It was pretty cool walking through the streets I drive through almost daily. You only appreciate your surroundings when you take a walk through them. You seem to look at things differently and realise you never noticed this house here before, or how beautiful the trees are in this street. It’s important to look at the world through different lenses, and sometimes it means just slowing it down a little. That reminds me- I’ve always wanted to stop my car on Kelvin drive in Gallo Manor. It’s always the perfect location to watch the sunset, but I never take the time to stop what I’m doing and take in one of my favourite things in the world. Hmmmm. A promise to myself. For myself.

So being completely nutty about animals, you can imagine I was in bliss walking 5 kms surrounded by pups. I was especially impressed by Royal Canin who at every step of the way provided basins of water with colourful balls in them ( to add aesthetics to the canine experience of course), as well as on-the-go bottles with bowls attached to water your dog while you walk. Sorry I had to write that it makes me laugh. It’s the small things…

Then there was the free Powerade, which is so gross, but free nevertheless, fruit, water and even pamphlets advertising dog parlours ( I mean seriously people we’re walking the talk here!). All in all, a lot of activity with brands fighting to grab our attention- I’m serious Virgin Active and Europcar were dancing their ‘stuff’ off- although I’m not sure what ‘stuff’ Europcar actually has to offer.. See what negative experiences do, Europcar..

A fun day was had by all.. For 10 minutes at least. To be honest I got a bit bored just walking, and walking, and walking. I guess it’s cool if you go for the vibe and if it’s the only exercise you do the whole year, but for those of you non-chubbies, I recommend you try it once just to say ‘Yeah boy I’ve done it and literally got the t-shirt’, and then put it behind you. I look happy in the picture, but that was taken at the start of the race. I was happy the puppies had fun in the sun though.

On that note, I will definitely be partaking in a road (running) race on 11 August whereby I will be engaging in REAL exercise. So watch out for the post on that!

Here’s to a tighter tush.
702 walk the talk 011

702 walk the talk 015

Take Off Your Sock and Play With Your Shoe

25 Jul

– Quote by every parent

We all love our holidays. But after a couple of days of sleeping late, watching movies and going out for lunch, boredom strikes and concern prevails as all we end up doing is spending our savings on food.

This post is specifically for those poor souls who can identify with the catastrophe of having too much time on your hands to do with as you please ( Some of us don’t have that luxury πŸ˜‰ )
Since I have encountered this numerous times during my school and varsity breaks, as well as having to keep two little girls that I au pair for occupied during their school holidays, I decided to use this as an opportunity to try out a few activities that would not only keep us busy- especially something that would occupy a 7 year old and 4 year old for long enough, but that would also make sure the precious holiday time was enjoyed and leveraged to the full.

First activity on the list: Art Jamming.

It’s always difficult to find something to do a) that you haven’t done before and b) when the weather is crappy, so doing arts and crafts is always a good option, and when it comes to Art Jamming, it can also be quite cool for boys.

It took the girls numerous attempts to convince me to take them Art Jamming since it is something that you need to set aside a couple of hours for, but during the holidays it’s a perfect solution to those long boring days for this very reason.

So off we went to Melrose Arch to Jam some Art baby! Yet one thing I wasn’t prepared for, and this is a clumsy fault on my part playing mommy for the day, was that none of us were appropriately dressed for the occasion, and this includes having long hair, and wearing long sleeves!

When we walked in, despite not being properly greeted by the staff and therefore not really shown what to do, I had my 2 little experts to show me the ropes for what was going to be quite an expensive, but fun exercise.

First Ari, you have to choose your canvas. That’s easy enough. Then Ari, you must choose a colour to paint the background. Bright green, done. Then you have to dry t with a hair drier. Wow I must be getting old- in my day all we did was wait and blow our tiny human breaths til it was dry. Anyway, done. Then you have a choice of painting free hand or picking a stensil to trace onto the canvas and then paint to your leisure. Let’s choose a stensil shall we- most difficult decision of my life!

Eventually, after what seemed like hours of contemplation for me, and days for my little 4 year old (who is the most indecisive one of all) we made our decisions, sat down on our little stool wearing an apron that barely covers anything and started to express ourselves in a most artistic way- we even get our own easel!

This exercise was a most glorious one as we each went about our own business. Glorious until I looked down and there was lumo pink canvas paint not only ALL over my baby green jeans, but splattered over my Italian leather boots! If there weren’t kids around I’m sure you can imagine what words would’ve come out my mouth at this moment of compelte and utter disaster! And to top it off, I then had to fork out about R140 each to pay for this most exciting event. Inspite of having to shlep the girls to Woolies to buy a new pair of jeans for their au pair, we actually had a great time!

Although it’s not something I’d choose to do on my own or with friends my age, it’s nevertheless a great way to entertain our younger fellow humans and make sure their imaginations and little fingers are exercised and put to good use. And to be honest, although it’s a bit pricey, it’s a lot better than wasting that money on something that doesn’t allow them to express and develop their personalities.

Day 1: success. Now for Day 2. Acrobranching baby! Let’s hug some trees (often out of fear of falling) and put our balance, agility and courage to the test, and that’s just from my driving! I’m kidding jeeeez. I’m the most responsible.

I was given strict instructions to make sure these 2 little bodies were kept active during the holidays and it was suggested that Acrobranching was a great solution. For those of you who have never heard of it, well at least now you’re finding my blog useful πŸ˜‰

Also in Melrose Arch ( these kugels sure do know how to have fun!), Acrobranching is catered to all ages, from 3 year olds to adults, and is literally a park with a huge jungle gym. From climbing, to balancing across wobbly bridges suspended high up in the air, to swinging down zip lines (all while you’re strapped to a harness of course), I thought this was actually such a nice idea for a party or with a big group of friends.

Although it could be fun for adults who like to be active and do something different, it’s really a great thing for kids as it challenges them, builds their strength, coordination and agility while having a lot of fun at the same time. My advice to you though is if you want to do it yourself, don’t take kids with you. The courses for different levels are separate and despite being in close proximity to each other, it’s not such a good idea to attempt to watch your kids from a Foofi slide. Unless of course you’re okay with the instructors there to monitor your kids. They’re actually really good and have a hands-on approach to help you get through the course.

It’s ideal to wear takkies and clothes you can move in easily. It may look quite easy from the outside but once you watch people do it, it’s actually quite challenging and maybe even a little scary.

It was then on to fill Day 3 with something else of substance. our choice: Colour Cafe.
Now you may be wondering “what’s with the artsy fartsiness?”, but these things are such nice ways to kill time and produce something at the same time; to have something to show for it. The girls and I have actually been to Colour Cafe a few times and have become quite the experts. All you do is choose something you want to paint such as mugs, plates, suagr bowls, decorative ornaments and the list goes on, choose your colours, stensils if you want and you sit down and have a wonderful few hours to relax, to chat and to create. if you’re not into the painting thing, you can also mosaic which is also really nice. You choose your gems or pieces of glass, the object you want to design such as a photo frame, a tissue box holder or letters of the alphabet to name a few and off you go; just the glass, the glue and you.

Previous Colour Cafe outings have been stupendous. For me it was really relaxing and quite exciting to pick up your creation a week later after it’s been in the kiln. This outing however was bordering disaster. ( these disasters seem to be attracted to me).
For some reason the girls got bored quickly, ended up asking the assistants to paint it for them while they bickered and cried and drew “pizza slices” on the table paper. For R470, I was not impressed and needless to say we won’t be back ( I’m sure to Colour Cafe’s relief hehe)

For the rest of you, it’s really a stunning activity to do in the holidays and what’s cool is you can make things to use around the house- so your time and money aren’t at all wasted. Well a little of your money is wasted- it is expensive, but still, it’s something nice to do other than eat and sleep and complain.

I hope this helps. I think it’s safe to say all kids get bored quite quickly so doing things like this with them will at least keep them occupied for a while and put a plug on the complaining. I also tried cards with them, but it was me who got bored πŸ˜‰ So get creative and if you do a little research there’s actually quite a lot to do in Joburg.

Ps: for some reason the proof-pics aren’t downloading. When they do I’ll be sure to upload them onto the post! Terribly sorry… πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

“Toughness Doesn’t Have To Come in a Pinstripe Suit”

9 Jul

Quote by Dianne Feinstein

For centuries (maybe I’m exaggerating), theorists, advertisers, men and women themselves have defined and redefined what it means to be a woman. Those humans blessed (and sometimes cursed) to be a part of the female gender have been nurtured, conditioned and most times explicitly taught how to eat, sit, walk, talk, behave and even flirt like a lady. Some of us rebel against these norms but nevertheless know about them.

We all have our periods, we all want to look and feel sexy, want to be treated like a princess- personally I prefer to be treated as an equal, and a queen, and one of the guys-(shit I really do feel sorry for men they have NO chance) and we therefore have a common, deeply-held understanding of what it means to be a woman. Right?

Well, after seeing this:

June 2013 BB pics 022

And experiencing this:
June 2013 BB pics 021
I had a new definition, and after trying out a pole dancing class for yourselves, I’m sure you will too.

I’ve always wanted to try pole dancing. With all this hype about it being an amazing way to improve fitness, body tone, agility and maybe even your sexappeal and shwarveness (yes it’s a word!), I was dying to try it.

Up until now I think my conservativeness (is that a word? well now it is. I don’t feel like Googling) got the better of me but in the name of love, one night in the name of love…and of course my blog, I had made up my mind. I was going to expose my bare legs I’ve so happily kept clothed throughout the Winter, and I was going to release my inner goddess and swing on a pole!

I must be honest, I had to do A LOT of research to find a studio with decent rates. Seriously, I’ve been researching since March! But eventually I found a studio right near me in Rivonia offering a beginners pole dancing workshop for an hour and a half and for only R100! Many places charge at least R200/ R250 just for a one hour trial class..

So off I went with strict instructions to wear as little clothing as possible (so your skin can grab onto the pole better) and I arrived at the studio where pink poles, purple walls and a gorgeous blonde girl (obviously) greeted me. After a little warm up and stretch I was ready to ease into the art of being sexy.

Instead, we started with a routine. Crap. If you’re a dancer and you haven’t danced for a while you’ll know your brain goes a bit funky when it comes to quickly picking up a sequence. Before I knew it though I was a professional pole dancer! Without the stripping of course. Well, not really. I had learnt basic moves such as the body wave, fairy walks, how to climb, sit on the pole and even a couple types of spins- they are so hard! and put them all together in a routine to Michael Buble’s Feeling Good. Look dad! NOT.

To be honest I wasn’t really sure what to expect from the class but I thought I’d be able to nail the sexy part. Let me tell you you are concentrating so hard, using strength you never knew you had, bruising like a prune and pulling skin that should never be pulled that being sexy is the last of your worries! I have never felt so weak and so strong at the same time. One thing about pole dancing is you surprise yourself with what you can actually do with your body, and at the same time develop a new respect for strippers and professional pole dancers. It’s an actual sport you know. One day I’ll be the reigning champion…

Lea, my instructor you saw at the top there then did a little demonstration for the class. My world was turned upside down. Once the beautiful, slow music started and she started to dance, I found myself appreciating pole dancing not as something sexy, promiscuous and provocative, but as a magnificent form of dance. I had never seen something so beautiful- a combination of strength, movement, dance and feminity and I could do nothing but smile, as I would watching a ballerina or a Ballroom dancer.

My perception of pole dancing and what it means to really be a woman had completely changed after this experience. Toughness doesn’t have to come in a pinstripe suit, but beauty and feminity are also not only found in prima ballerinas.

Pole dancing for me is more than just a different type of exercise and a fun way to shape up your body. It’s a time to truly be the woman that you are. To be comfortable and confident in your own body, to be freely you with no one to judge you, and to use the pole either for support, or to let go and be beautiful. Just as you were made.

My suggestion is obviously to try a class and if you have the means, sign up for a couple to get a true experience. I went on my own but it could be so much fun to go with some girl friends. It’s such a blast, and a memory you’ll hold onto forever.

Ps. I’m sure your male counterparts would love for you to make it a memory for them too πŸ˜‰

β€œSometimes You Don’t Realise Your Own Strength Until You Come Face to Face With Your Greatest Weakness”

4 Jul

– Quote by Susan Gale

If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.

I love this quote by Bruce Lee. The words are so simple, yet so profound. ( Sometimes saying something in the simplest way is the most powerful; resonating with the ordinary and igniting the extraordinary).

I’ve always believed in pushing yourself further and taking on new challenges because there’s no such thing as ‘being the best you can be’- a cliche we’re all familiar with. There is always room for growth and change, always the possibility of self-evolution, and this particular plateau of being the best you can be does not exist.

It was for this reason that I decided to expand on my daily training at the gym and try out a SWEAT (Specialised Weight Endurance Aerobic Training) 1000 class. While making a list of all the experiences I was going to do for my blog, I actually didn’t even consider SWEAT 1000, but once recommended by a friend, I was not going to pass on this one, and here’s why:

SWEAT 1000 claims to be a total body workout that caters to all fitness levels (Sounds cool especially for a gym freak like me).
It works by asserting different positive stresses and strains on various factors to the human body, activating the endurance aspect ( as a sprinter, endurance is definitely something I need to work on) and therefore said to be the optimal way to train (Okay, I’m interested).

What grabbed me though was this part: The class integrates interval training, functional training, core stability work, athletic training, and agility training; combining everything of the highest level of physical training into a 1 hour dynamic class that is different every single time. (Perfect! Who doesn’t get bored at gym after a while? At some point we all reach that plateau..)

So I was sold.

I booked my first class, which is complementary (sick!), at Morningside Shopping Centre (it’s downstairs by Pnp) and I was good to go. I made sure to eat well that day and drink lots of water for this class was surely going to test my fitness, my stamina and my mind. I was shitting myself.

It’s been a while since I’ve pushed myself physically. It’s easy to go slow at gym, to take it easy, do what you feel, and there’s no one to judge your technique or if you do 10 reps the one time and 8 the next. So I really wasn’t sure how fit or strong I was- this was going to be a test, one which I was wasn’t so sure I wanted to know the result of.

Anyway I put on my big girl panties and off I went, only to find every single person I know there. Wonderful, I thought. Like what else did you expect you monkey..It’s Morningside, doll. Tough shit, you’re here, now do what you came to do.

I was quite surprised that the studio was as small as it was (obviously I expected it to be much bigger- it’s SWEAT 1000! This is for the beasts!). Okay, it’s cool just go with it. Treadmills on the right, floor work to the left- this can’t be too bad I thought.

Honestly, when am I going to learn.

The class was starting, and looking around at all the hot, chiselled bodies, including and especially the women, my heart was racing. This is it. Here it goes. OMG I’m gonna die! Stop it you fool!

The music starts to pump, half of us on the floor, half on the treadmills and the instructor starts to direct us over a microphone through the blasting, but incredibly awesome beats (I need to get their playlist!), and all I kept thinking was ” and I thought I was a multi-tasker!”.

So there I was, squatting those squats, lunging those lunges, pulling and pressing and balancing AND SWAP! A few seconds to catch your breath ( I’m pretty sure they were split seconds) and onto the treadmills we go- jogging, then running at an incline, faster and faster. By this point my legs were complete jelly and I needed to take a minute or 10 to pull myself together.

A count down from 10 and it was time to swap again, this time doing jack knives, push ups and explosive thingies I always watched people doing at gym and decided then that I wasn’t going to attempt it in public. But there is no hiding in this class. With the instructor telling you what to do and an assistant/ cheerleader pushing and motivating you, you can’t help but break passed that plateau.

At 27 minutes and 45 seconds passed ( do NOT look at the time you’ll peg!) I had had enough and wanted to go home, but after the halfway mark, I was loving it. You really just have to push past the jelly legs, closed chest and feelings of nausea to get to a point where you’re actually smiling while you sprint and start jamming to the beats with a power in your legs you never knew existed.

This is the reason I chose Susan Gale’s quote to describe this experience. You really don’t know what you’re capable of once a) you build up the courage to try something new and scary and b) once you push yourself just a little bit further, past your plateau.

I left that class feeling on top of the world and wanting to go dancing in a club (so not like me, well the club part). Honestly it was one of the toughest things I’ve gone through physically and one of the best!

Since then I’ve actually been pushing myself more at gym, resting less between exercises and running faster on the treadmill. I feel empowered, as cheesy as it sounds, but once you accomplish something difficult you feel like you can do anything and I think it’s important to do that for ourselves, whether it’s exercise or something else.

We can’t move forward unless we run faster and work harder than yesterday, and making a decision to try something new or something that scares you is not only healthy for you, but it does something to your mind that cannot be taught by a teacher or learnt in a book. Sure I can’t walk properly my quads are so sore, but I’ve also never felt more sexy and more ready to take on the next challenge. It’s such an awesome feeling!

So really, even if you don’t love sport or exercise as much as I do, do yourself a favour and sign up for a free class- It gives you more than a total body workout. They have branches in Morningside, Norwood, Bedfordview and Nicolway. I’ve decided to do it once a month ( it might be a bit pricey if you’re still starting out and trying to save) as a benchmark for my fitness and just to make sure I keep pushing myself.

If you want me to send you a picture of me sweating just let me know ( It’s unneccessary and weird to post it on the blog), but for the normal people reading this, go check out the website, or even the Facebook page which looks really great.

And one last thing, liberate yourself from the limits you’ve created for yourself and go beyond your plateau. How else will you become as ripped as Bruce lee….

“The Most Difficult Thing in Life is to Know Yourself”

19 Jun

– Quote by Thales

It’s a strange thing feeling vulnerable to yourself. To be placed in a moment that goes on for what seems like a lifetime where your innermost truth is exposed, not to people around you, but to your greatest critic and strongest motivation- yourself.

I will always remember my parents telling me “just be yourself”, and I’m sure your parents said this to you too a couple times, but did you ever question who or what is ‘myself’?

I think we’ve all been brought up to just know who we are and to always be true to ourselves and this is surely a cause for our stressful lives. Wouldn’t you agree that if we all just had an hour a day to ourselves, just to be with ourselves in complete silence, that we would be happier, more content, more confident human beings?

Well, I always thought I knew myself- how my mind works, how my body works. I am ‘me’ after all, and since I have always been involved in sports, dance and other forms of musical expression, I really thought I was completely aware of everything there was to know about myself.

So in light of my blog, I went to a couple of yoga classes at my gym. I had tried it once before but it never really did anything for me, so I decided to give it another chance, for the sake of my vitality. This experiment I was going to do properly so to give you a reliable account of what it’s like to be a yogi.

My verdict: it was cool, relaxing, but that’s about it. Don’t get me wrong I loved the time to myself but being quite an active person, I got bored after the third class.

But I wasn’t giving up that easily- there has to be a reason for an entire culture of yogis.

So I decided to go full force- I signed up for Hot Yoga.

Hot Yoga. Doing Yoga (done), in a hot room (I’ve been to Thailand and Israel), so bring it on.

HOOOOOOLLYYYYY SHIT.

If I told you I died, that wouldn’t be enough of an expression to explain it. My friend Natalie (whom I dragged to the classes with me) ran out the class to throw up- True story.
I have never been so challenged, physically and mentally, and I have never experienced so much sweat coming out of my body at one time, actually in all my life altogether.
It got to a point where you are sweating so much that you end up enjoying it ‘cos it feels like you’re actually under water- it’s actually a pretty cool feeling. And there you are, in poses you could never dream up in your mind no matter how imaginative you are (Men, send your chicks, you’ll thank me πŸ˜‰ ) sweating, maybe dying a little, but let me tell you, I have never felt so invigorated!

For those of you who have done hot yoga before, you’re probably laughing at me because you know exactly what I’m talking about. For those of you who maybe have never even heard of hot yoga, this is how it works:

First of all, I highly recommend you go to a proper hot yoga studio, like the one in The Wedge, or the Design Quarter.

Dress code: tight clothes in which you can twist yourself into a pretzel
(I would recommend you go naked, otherwise wear as little as possible, to avoid wet regret)
Try bring your own yoga mat ‘cos the douchebags charge you to use theirs’, and have a pedicure ‘cos it’s all barefoot (men that goes for you too).

Yogis are very serious about their yoga. For them it’s an integral part of their lives and if you do anything to mess it up for them, like talking, they’ll probably kill you with their super-flexible-mega-twisty-back-flip-summin-summins. So be quiet, be serious, maintain focus at all times, and remember to breathe. If you don’t you may just pass out.

I think I’m making this sound dreadful. Quite the contrary.
If you need time to yourself, to relax and be in quiet but at the same time feel like you’re doing something, this really is a great thing to pick up.
It really is for anyone. No matter how big or small, how strong, fit (or lacking thereof) you’re guaranteed to feel revitalised, calm, and strong enough to kill someone who pisses you off.

So going back to ‘knowing yourself’, I really recommend that you go to just a few classes. Even just the experience of making yourself aware of muscles you never thought existed, where your real strengths and weaknesses are (I promise you don’t know until you try hot yoga) and how powerful your mind is. It can really teach you things you can apply to your everyday life, and if it doesn’t, well you can tell people you can do a perpendicular hand stand on the wall.

Unfortunately I don’t have photos to show you- I wasn’t going to test their strictness, but seriously, just go try it. Most places offer beginner specials so you can for example do what I did and pay R250 for 10 days unlimited classes. Just make sure not to pick a spot next to the creepy blonde guy wearing an almost-speedo and who gives sweating a totally new description.

So in the beautiful words of Miguel de Cervantes “Make it thy business to know thyself, which is the most difficult lesson in the world”.

Namaste

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