Wednesday, 30 January 2008

The dangers of sofa fighting

Quite often my husband and I entertain ourselves with some sofa fighting a sport that we developed whilst drunk but now carry out on sober days as well. Our sofa fighting has its own set of rules which vaguely follow the Nevada State Athletic commission rules which are used in MMA (mixed martial arts), mainly no gouging! For me the sofa fighting is a great boost for my strength as my husband weighs a lot more than me and therefore I get a good workout. Obviously he normally wins but occasionally I can stand my ground usually by cheating with an elbow to the face (this is within the rules but is something we try to avoid.)

Last night however my husband managed a particularly good arm bar involving putting a large amount of pressure on my elbow joint and I now have severe tendon pain. I will get him back at our next sofa fighting session. Obviously I am not recommending that any of you try sofa fighting as it is not a particularly safe activity but if you are interested in Mixed Martial arts or Brazilian Jiu Jitsu then click here for more info.

I would like to take the opportunity to thank Liz Parkes form the Evening Herald for the lovely article she wrote about the art of dance in today's Herald. It is great to have such positive press especially in light of recent events with Plymouth University and their dance dance dance event. I would also like to thank Gordon Sparks for having me on his show on Monday, it was an absolute pleasure as always.

Stay Healthy,

Sam x

Saturday, 26 January 2008

The Anthony Nolan Trust & nasty exercise balls.

Before I discuss this years chosen charity I must first mention my unintentional exercise ball workout incident that occurred yesterday morning. I had had the bright idea that an exercise ball would make a great chair for our new reception. I had gone out and purchased the aforementioned ball and then set out about inflating it. Now the picture shown left is slightly misleading as it shows an average size pump but the ball I purchased came with a pump the size of a small mouse. I could probably have blown the ball up more quickly using wind produced from my bottom.

After 15 minutes of inflating the ball was far from fully inflated yet the pump had developed a hole and air was now leaking out of it so with the ball in one hand and the pump in the other I used my tongue to plug the whole and carried on inflating. I must have looked very silly. To cut a very long story short I now feel like I have just done my first pole dance lesson, my back aches, my wrists hurt and and I have cancelled my planned pole jam. I am sure that the exercise ball will be a great source of exercise in the future but yesterdays experience was less enjoyable.

Back to the topic of today's blog - Our chosen charity. Each year the art of dance chooses a selected charity to raise money and awareness for. This year we have chosen the Anthony Nolan Trust the trust are responsible for the bone marrow donor register and they help those affected by Leukemia. As I child I remember my uncle dying of bone marrow leukemia and this year Jo's husband was diagnosed with Chronic Lymphatic leukemia so we thought that the trust would be a good charity to support. I will keep you updated on any fundraising events that we are doing.

Tomorrow I have the pleasure of being invited onto BBC Radio Devon to discuss my recent problems with Plymouth University and their dance dance dance event. I will be on air at 8.15am with the lovely Gordon Sparks. More media news to follow.

Stay healthy and avoid inflating exercise balls.

Sam x

Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Angry & upset

Yesterday was a great day, I had two fabulous hours of teaching, got through a huge pile of admin and performed at the Saints annual awards ceremony at Raffles, all was good. So today I awoke with a big smile on my face ready to face the day, but my good mood was about to be ruined by a phone call from Sanjay at Plymouth university explaining why I was being denied the right to perform at the dance dance dance event.

It seems that certain individuals have decided that my performance would be unsuitable for children who will be in the audience yet I had already sent an e-mail confirming that my performance would be suitable for all ages. The individuals who have complained obviously are acting on a stereotype and have overlooked that the fact that my act is no different than a circus act such as trapeze or Chinese pole. How many children enjoy going to the circus and watching such acts? It is for these reasons that I felt I should be included and it would not have been the first time I had performed in front of children, There are always children present at the Women's Health fair and there were children present at the launch of the newly refurbished Lux park leisure centre. I have never had any complains from any of the families of these children in fact many parents have asked me I could teach their children.

What makes the decision worse is that the acts still performing include Salsa and belly dancing which have a definite sexual element. Despite contradictory reports on the history of belly dancing it is widely agreed that belly dancing was traditionally used to advertise fertility and eroticism.

Apart from my immediate anger at being pulled from the event I have spent valuable hours advertising the event, my students have been buying tickets and I have written about it in my blog as well as on my website. It seems all that time is now wasted and I have no way of trying to convince 'those individuals' to review their perceptions of Pole dancing. I would like to point out that Sanjay himself has expressed his regret that he could not get 'those individuals' to change their mind so I still wish him every success with the event and hope that perhaps next year people might be a little more open minded.

I will write something with a little more health and fitness content when I have calmed down,

Stay Healthy,

Sam x

Sunday, 20 January 2008

Unhealthy weekend.

The weekend started off in rather healthy fashion with some training on the pole followed by a visit to my grandparents which involved my Nan's legendary fruit salad i.e. fruit salad with a very large measure of cointreau. My Nan is amazing - at the grand old age of 84 she was sat learning how to send pictures from her mobile phone.

Saturday morning was spent with Sue, Rosanna & Rosie (Sue's daughter), we spent two hours on the pole and I now have the bruises to prove it. Things went kind of down hill from here when despite not having eaten I thought it would be a good idea for my husband and I to go out drinking. We ventured into Raffles and drank several pints accompanied by 6 games of Pool (I won 4-2). On returning home the drinking carried on and I was in bed asleep by 8.30pm. After sleeping for 14 hours I woke to face the fact that for the first time in 4 weeks I had nothing essential to do, no painting, no moving rubble, in fact no responsibility at all. It feels like a proper Sunday.

Now being a fitness professional I probably shouldn't be blogging about my 6 pint drinking binge but then again it isn't a usual activity for me so I am sure it won't hurt too much. Back to the subject of pole dancing and congratulations to Glamour Puss on achieving the 'Superman', if you know about pole dancing you will appreciate that this move hurts, learning it is excruciatingly painful and it feels like the skin on your thighs may rip at any point. I am currently trying to achieve the Superman into the figurehead, it would probably be easier if I had several vertebrae removed but I will keep trying regardless. Anyway enough pole talk for today, back to the pure Sunday enjoyment then back to work tomorrow.

Stay Healthy,

Sam x

Wednesday, 16 January 2008

Flexibility and other stuff.

Well the new studio is finally up and running and is fabulous - videos and other news to follow.

Although I never make any specific new years resolutions I have decided that I need to improve my flexibility levels, working on my flexibility now should help me in later life and will enhance my current repertoire of pole moves. I have been inspired by a lady called Elena Lev who is a performer with Cirque du Soleil - click here to watch one of her amazing performances. For more advice on flexibility and the importance of stretching why not visit the Georgia State uni website - it is a great source of info.
Also thanks to former world pole champion Elena Gibson - pictured above for the beautiful picture of her performing the inverted splits.

I have just two months to polish some performances ready for a few upcoming events, the first being Womens Health Fair which will be held on 6th march 2008, this is a great event and it will be the 3rd year that I have been involved. As well as our pole dancing displays there is plenty of other stuff to tempt you in including belly dancing workshops and a free bra measuring service. The event is always great to attend and whats more it is free, unfortunately it is only open to women so no men allowed!

The next event is the Dance Dance Dance event being held at the new Roland Levinsky building at Plymouth University. The event has been organised by Dr Sanjay Sharma to "create a cultural link between between the wide variety of local people, students and staff from different ethnic backgrounds to promote racial and cultural harmony in the campus and in the city of Plymouth. As through dance group unity is achieved, social bonds are strengthened, and worries and irritations have been erased or at least put into perspective". I will be performing alongside belly dancers and Morris dancers amongst others. To purchase tickets please click on the previous link. Tickets cost £4 each.

My husband has provided some input into my blog by drawing my attention to one of his favourite food sources the bacon sandwich! Click here to learn more about the ultimate bacon sarnie! I am not suggesting that you try the ultimate bacon sarnie yourself!

More inane rantings and news to follow,

Stay healthy,

Sam x

Thursday, 10 January 2008

Vote for Christi!

Our resident Saints fighter, Christi Campbell has been nominated for several prestigious awards by Muay Thai online. Christi and her trainer Sid have worked hard to get Christi up through the rankings and Sid has enabled some great match ups for Christi to prove her ability as a talented Muay Thai fighter.

To vote for Christi please click on the following links.
Best British female fighter of the year
Best underdog performance of the year (for her fight against Ruth Ashdown)
Best British Newcomer

Let's hope Christi gets the recognition she deserves.

The new studio should be up and running on Monday - full details and pictures to follow. I will also be blogging about the controversial new Plymouth Life Centre and providing you with some useful websites to give you the best fitness advice to keep you in shape, here is one website to keep you going, it is the BBC's fitness advice website.

For those of you following the progress of Catt Wakely the latest news is that the doctors have reduced her dose of sedatives whilst continuing to monitor her progress, Catt has been crying since the sedative reduction which is actually perceived as a good sign, she is still categorised as critical but is on her way to making her first steps towards recovery. I wish her a full and speedy recovery and am thinking of all her family and friends at this very difficult time.

Stay Healthy,

Sam x

Tuesday, 8 January 2008

Studio update

The lovely Richard & Martin from Sandalwood flooring restoring the studio floor after Jo and I removed all the tacks!

The studio to date prior to the floor being restored. I never want to see another paintbrush again but alas there is still more work to do! No peace for the wicked. I am looking forward to teaching tonight and having a break from DIY.

Welcome back to all the university students, look forward to meeting some of you on Wednesday at the
University of Plymouth pole dancing club meeting. Nixi's blog features ongoing info about the UPPDC, any of you wanting to join can sign up at the freshers fair on 14th January at the university.

If any of you are following Catt's progress please click on the facebook link to learn more as the site has been updated today. Apologies for the mistaken link I provided yesterday and thanks to Amytree for noticing it!

Stay healthy,

Sam x

Monday, 7 January 2008

Don't take your health for granted

Over the xmas period I have received several very unexpected pieces of bad news about some of my friends, the first bad phone call happened when Rosanna called me to say that Catt pictured right had suffered a blood clot on the lung (thromboembolism) and was in intensive care. At first I thought i was dreaming as Catt is only 23 and is a dance instructor who seems to be generally fit and healthy, we tend to associate things like blood clots with those with unhealthy lifestyles. Unfortunately Catt is still in intensive care awaiting a major op, she is responding to sound and seems to have some reflexes. Catt is greatly respected within the pole dancing industry so I hope she gets well soon, for any of you who know her and want to wish her well please click here.

Within 24 hours of the news about Catt one of my best friends Chris Passmore, a local businessman who has stood by me in difficult times and has always been a great friend, was rushed into hospital with kidney failure, dehydration and pneumonia. Chris had only been with me the day before as he was helping me with my refurb. He is responding well to treatment and just needs to look after himself to fully recover.

My point is that life is never certain, you really must make the most of each moment as you don't know what is around the corner. For Chris & Catt they may have been lucky but for others this is not the case. Life has to be a balance of health and happiness, Making the most of each day without killing yourself, looking after yourself well enough that if you do make it to see another day then you can still enjoy it.

I was going to start writing a healthy tip of the day but I will stick to my overall health advice:
Drink lots of fluids

Reduce your intake of toxins such as caffeine
Increase your intake of antioxidants - green vegetables are usually a good source and things like green tea are packed full of them
Eat little and often rather than gorging yourself
Eat more slowly - most of us eat too quickly which is not good for us
Exercise at least three times a week -find exercise that you enjoy
Get some fresh air- get out by the sea or on the moors away from pollutants

Lastly if any of you are unlucky enough to be suffering from the current strain of Norovirus then click here for advice and stay away from my dance studio!

Stay Healthy,

Sam x

Friday, 4 January 2008

knee pain and other ailments

There are lots of ways to keep fit but kneeling on a hard cold wood floor removing about 3000 tacks is not my idea of a nice workout. The problem is that you either kill your knees by kneeling or kill your lower back by stooping forwards to protect your knees. Neither is recommended. I can't believe that some people do this for a living, rather them than me.
I have just taught an hour on the pole and found it quite difficult due to the aching joints and two week break from being on the pole. I am just about to teach for another hour so will keep it brief again - normality will resume after the refurb and I will be full of useful fitness advice!
Please ignore Jo's blog as she is evil (only joking!), they don't call her the Lordette of darkness for no reason!
Stay healthy,
Sam x

Wednesday, 2 January 2008

Building chaos

More pictures of the refurb as promised - a little behind schedule but getting there slowly!!
No blogging tomorrow as i am pole jamming with the elusive but legendary Glamour Puss!
Stay healthy,
Sam x