Monday, 31 December 2007

Happy new year

There are lots of ways of keeping fit and active but moving rubble to the tip and painting are not my preferred methods however needs must. The picture shown left is part of my new studio before we demolished all the walls. At present the studio looks like something out of a war zone but progress is going according to plan more or less no thanks to the structural engineer.
I think my deadline of Thursday 3rd January was a little ambitious which is why I have rescheduled the studio opening until the 7th January and will organise the launch party sometime after that.

For those of you who remember what I looked like before the refurb imagine the same me minus a few kgs and with grey hair, wrinkles and a dusting of white emulsion and plaster dust. Not quite my desired look but it will all be all worth it in the end. As you can imagine there is still a lot of work to do to get Phase 1 finished, I will start on Phase 2 later in January.

It is times like this you know who your Friends are, Jo and Tony have worked like Trojans, My mum has been an absolute start as always, My mate Chris has seriously redeemed himself and there are a few others who are going to be helping out with other parts of the refurb. Also thanks to Jamie, Nicky & Sue for givign up some of their holidays for me.

Anyway, I will not be blogging much over the next week but will try to find time to post a few more pictures to keep you posted on developments.

Have a fantastic new year and for one night only - don't stay healthy,

Sam x

Friday, 21 December 2007

Seasonal good news

Firstly thanks to all my students who helped to make our last week at Saints a special one Here is a picture, courtesy of Penny, of some of the girls pole dancing on Tuesday.

Well if any of you watched spotlight last night you will be pleased to know that drinking may be good for you, in moderation of course. The peninsula medical school has been researching lifestyles of the over 65's and has found that those who drink 2-3 units of alcohol a day are actually healthier than those who don't - Yippee. I love the idea of a Doctor recommending that you have a few pints.

I found some interesting stuff on the BBC website on their new mad about food section, there is all sorts of debate on buying locally and eating organic. There is a section on a family trying to live the organic lifestyle but finding it difficult to follow due to high costs and limited availability.

Now call me a hypocrite but I have just done my Xmas food (and beer) shop, my husband and I ignored the ingredients and just bought what we fancied. I say that but then I still found myself sneaking a peek at the labels and putting several things back on the shelves. I think it is safe to say that neither me or my husband will starve this Xmas and we may both be adding a few kgs to our bodies over the festive season.

Enough rantings for now, I pick up the keys to my new premises tomorrow and am really excited, I am just doing some last minute bits of admin in the office before my last lesson in Saints tomorrow.

Stay Healthy,

Sam x

Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Seasonal Health

If any of you have read Glamour Puss's blog today you will be familiar with her comments on modern Santa's. It seems one of our traditional xmas icons is a picture of ill health, he is vastly overweight, he lives on mince pies and sherry and he only works for one day of the year. Hardly a fitness role model!

While Santa has no excuse the rest of do feel the effects of the winter, we are all affected by sunlight so the shorter days and longer nights can hardly be beneficial. Seasonal Affective disorder is said to cause winter depression, flu bouts are more widespread and xmas spending can damage our wallets. On the plus side you get less risk of skin cancer and dehydration but I personally am looking forward to the warmer month.

For me the dark evenings and cold chill in the dance studio make me less motivated to get on the pole, apart from the fact that chrome poles in winter feel like icicles your muscles take longer to warm and the thought of wearing hotpants in the cold is hardly appealing. At one point this week my toes actually went numb through cold and I thought that if I ventured near the pole I would surely break my toes.

It seems a lot of my students have fallen victim to a lovely bout of flu nastiness, which is bad for them and bad for my business. As the flu virus is spread through sneezing and hand contact it makes it easy to catch, lets hope everyone gets better for xmas day.

I am now off for a medicinal warming beverage - ale, and a dose of TV. Exercise will ensue tomorrow,

Stay Healthy,

Sam x

Friday, 14 December 2007

An evening with 29 commando

About a month ago My Husband and I were approached by 29 commando (based at the Citadel in Plymouth) regarding an amateur boxing event to be held at HMS Drake, the event was being organised as a welcome home for troops who had been serving in Iraq. Although I do not agree with the war in Iraq I fully support our troops who had no say in the decision to invade Iraq and who have served us proudly throughout.

My Husband and one of his trainers Carl Robson from Saints ABC provided two fighters for a demo bout at the beginning of the night and My husband and I provided two ring girls to give the lads some extra entertainment. The organiser - Carlos- seemed happy being pictured above with Tamar & Nikki who were the two ring girls for the evening.
The show featured 10 bouts and was watched by approx 330 members of 29 commando all in full military attire. The amateur boxers fought hard and displayed their fitness and passion. I was moved by the post-interval ceremony which involved giving out honours for bravery for those who had fought in Iraq. The stories were amazing and I couldn't believe the level of courage displayed in terrible times particularly in the Helmand Province. I think it is easy to forget how many people have lost life in this awful war and also how many people have survived but have been left with debilitating injuries.

It was an eye opening night (especially being surrounded by 330 men in uniform and being one of only a handful of women present - what terrible hardships I have to endure). Thanks to Tamar & Nikki for representing the art of dance agency in such a positive way and for cheering the lads up immensely and thanks to Carlos for organising such a brilliant event. I will be posting more pictures from the night on my website ASAP.

Stay Healthy,

Sam x

Wednesday, 12 December 2007

Plymouth's new life centre

Time to get my controversial head on, do we really need a life centre in Plymouth and is it going to achieve it's proposed goals. My concern is that the life centre is just a vote winner for the council and as with other projects such as the Theatre Royal and the Pavillions the project will be badly managed and underfunded and probably demolished within a few years - oh what a cynic I am. The council are stating that the life centre will feature non traditional activities such as rock climbing and yet we already have theses facilities in the city.

Small business' such as mine provide such facilities on a daily basis with no funding or government help, it is so frustrating to see our council preparing to throw a huge amount of money at something that Plymouth does not need. I agree that we need improved swimming facilities but apart from that I do not understand the attraction of the life centre. It is more likely that the life centre will bankrupt small business and wonderful projects such as those that happen at the Barbican theatre.

Again, please excuse my cynicism but will the life centre be a centre of excellence or a centre of moderation for underpaid council staff with a lack of well paid fitness professionals? One of the reason people are happy to train with smaller centres is due to the personal touch that they experience. My last point is that the council are supposed to make decisions that benefit the people of Plymouth and I feel that with the life centre and other recent decisions this is simple not the case. I think I have made my point and should now get down of my soap box.

If you want to get fit and active the there are a vast array of activities happening right under your nose so get out there and look for them, As my husband always says the hardest part of getting fit is actually getting of your backside and turning up at a training session, the rest is easy. Here are a few links that may help you find the new activity you have been looking for:

The council's sports directory (last updated 2003!)
Imara ladies fitness.
Mountbatten watersports
Rock climbing on Dartmoor
Amateur Boxing
Pole dancing & Burlesque
Dance and Theatre
Plymouth YMCA- a list of all the YMCA classes from badminton to aerobics to volleyball.

Stay Healthy,

Sam x

Sunday, 9 December 2007


I think I am having the perfect weekend. I feel completely de-stressed and have experienced some of the delights that make Plymouth special. Next time I hear someone say that Plymouth has nothing to offer that person may experience some verbal wrath. The weekend started on Friday night with a festive fayre at the Plymouth Art's centre. My mum, myself and two very good friends - Elaine (who I went to school with) and her husband Roger- tucked into a beautiful nut roast, roast potatoes and rosemary nutty sprouts. After the festive finery we popped into one of Plymouth's oldest pubs, The Minerva, for a pint of Hobgobblin. Then it was off home to decorate my new real xmas tree.

Buying a xmas tree was a very satisfying experience, I went to the Plymouth Garden centre where I was greeted by two members of staff, both of whom provided the best customer service imaginable. The shopping experience was made even more enjoyable with a chat to a lovely old lady who was also perusing the potted trees. She told me of the days when her husband was alive when he and she would buy a 6 ft tree from the garden centre, now she still visits the garden centre each year but buys a smaller tree so that it is easy for her to manage. For someone who is normally a humbug at xmas, I was certainly starting to get excited about the holiday season.

Saturday was set to get even better as the day started with a salmon and poached egg breakfast followed by a trip to the Flameworks art 2 go exhibition at the Royal William yard. The exhibition featured some great pieces of art from local artists including one of my favourites, Katie Lake aka Mistress Metal. After viewing the exhibition my mum and I found ourselves in yet another exhibition- Masa Vision. The company have recently moved from premises in Colebrook, Plympton and their new exhibition at the Royal William Yard is well worth a visit.

So what the hell has all this got to do with health and fitness, well it is about relaxation, spending time with my mum, enjoying some of Plymouth's finest bits and of course the icing on the cake was my Husband returning home from Thailand last night. My whole body feels truly alive, I am mentally prepared for my return to work tomorrow, the lease on my new premises has completed. Life simply couldn't be better, even my cat seems to be ok considering her illness.
For more ideas on how to enjoy all the Plymouth has to offer go to Secret Plymouth or try the Heralds What's on guide. If you are reading this and are not in Plymouth then get yourself here asap!
To summarise, life is short so try and make the most of each moment, value your physical and mental health and enjoy life to the full.

Stay Healthy,

Sam x

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

Christi wins!

Fantastic news from Thailand - Christi beats her Finnish opponent with a unanimous points win, clearly winning all 5 x 3 minute rounds. This is an amazing achievement from this 15 year old from Plymouth, she has just represented her country in front of the king in Thailand in front of the palace and televised to over 20 million people. Go Christi!

There is not really much I can add, Christi has trained and fought hard, she more than deserves this win, she is a gutsy lady and a role model to all of us. I will post a video of the fight as soon as I have it.

Lastly if any of you want to know a little more about salsa dancing then read Jo's blog for more info.

Stay Healthy,

Sam x

Monday, 3 December 2007

Invasive procedure.

I can't believe it is 6 days since my last post! Things at work have been so busy that I just haven't had the time to write. Firstly news from Thailand, Christi weighed in 51 kgs today for her pending fight tomorrow. She has done all she can with her training and now just has the pre-fight dance to worry about - the ram muay. The pre fight dance is essential in Thailand and allows the fighter to show of their strength and flexibility and hopefully intimidate the opponent. Some of the moves may be acting out things like shooting your opponent with a bow and arrow or writing their name in the grave. It is important that Christi gets her ram muay right as she is performing in front of Thailand's king.

Today was one of those days that us ladies prefer not to do, It was time for my routine smear test. I sat nervously in the waiting room, I know that smears do not hurt and a re just mindly uncomfortable but they just seem so invasive and generally horible. I remember my first smear, I went into the nurses room to be met by a smiling lady who happened to be a neighbour, the last thing you want is to know the person doing your smear. Just to make matters worse today I met two old friends in the waiting room, both of them were waiting to see Dr Ward-Booth. Now if you are at my doctors surgery and you want to see anyone it is certainly Dr Ward-Booth (tall, dark & very sexy) rather than a nurse with a speculum.

The nurse asked if I would like some extra tests while I was there so I thought I might as well get the full MOT out of the way and make sure there were no nasty bacteria hiding in my nether regions. it then turned out that my smear had been called 12 months early due to an admin error but I resisted the temptation to walk out of the consulting room and rearrange for the following year. The tests were fine and painless and it is always better to be safe than sorry.

It is funny how I dreaded the thought of the smear but yet think nothing of paying to be waxed! The waxing is booked for tomorrow so my nether regions have will have had their full MOT!

Enough talk of my bits - more writings next time I get a chance to escape from work.

Stay Healthy,

Sam x