Waaaay back when I started blogging, I found a lady that I liked, who wrote words that I liked, in an order that I liked. Her name was Sarah, her blog is Mumzilla, and she’s become a friend too. One of her posts, forever ago, was all about her favourite things.
I joined in, way back before I had my own proper website and I delivered the entirety of this blog from my trusty iPhone. As it’s a slow news day, I decided to give it a bit of a spruce for 2017, and I thought I’d write about my favourite things from the world of fitness. I’m a fairly decent worker-outer, but I couldn’t be without any of these bits and bobs.
Long story short, I’m a member of a fantastic Facebook community called Run Mummy Run. They’re the most amazing bunch of ladies, and one of them makes beautiful jewellery for runners (well, all sporty types I guess) to commemorate their achievements and inspire their challenges. I suffer from pretty bad race day anxiety, and I asked Nicky to make me a bracelet that I could wear on the day of my first half marathon. I’d done the distance in training so I knew I could actually do it, but because I was running it on my own I just needed a bit of extra pep.
I chose this silk band bracelet and it’s got me through two half marathons now. It makes me very happy, and I’m proud to wear it with my Run Mummy Run threads.
I can’t tell you how much I love going to the gym. PureGym launched a few years ago and pitched itself as a no-frills, cheap and cheerful set of gyms up and down the country. This business model has been replicated with a few other chains, and I honestly think it’s a brilliant move because it’s brought the cost of gym memberships right down. I used to pay £35 a month for a pretty ropey gym that had dated equipment and not enough of it. Oh, and no air conditioning. Back then (we’re only talking six or seven years ago, mind), this was the standard and health clubs would happily fleece you for £40 a month. No wonder people stopped going. Now, they’re more accessible than ever – I pay £19 which is less than £2 a day. You’d be hard pushed to get a takeaway coffee for less than that.
I get to the gym at least three times a week, and four if I can manage it. My membership means I can go to any PureGym in the country, and so I usually alternate between two. One is about a mile from my house, and the other is four miles away now that we’ve moved. But I still prefer that one, because it’s “my” gym. So yeah, two of my weekly gym visits come with an 8 mile run to get there and back, but it’s good for distance training and endurance.
They send me quarterly updates on how often I’ve been and how long I’ve stayed, which I love. Check me out – over 60 hours in the first three months of 2017. They should charge me rent.
For years, I carried those cotton drawstring bags with me to the gym. God knows why, they’re rubbish and the straps were always too long. I found this backpack from Evecase and it’s been a gamechanger – it’s really light, with loads of room to hold my towel, water bottle and keys, and plenty of pockets. Plus it’s waterproof and you can bung it in the wash every so often, if you’re so inclined. The straps are padded and they yank in tight enough so that when I’m running to the gym, the bag isn’t bouncing around all over the place and bruising my spine.
It’s cheap as anything, too – less than a tenner on Amazon. A seasoned runner might even pop a couple of 1kg weights inside for added resistance. Yeah alright, pipe down love.
I got an iPhone 7 (Rose Gold, baby) last year and I hate running or working out at the gym without music. I really, REALLY covet a pair of those wireless headphones with skull-shaking boom, but for the moment I’m rocking the plain old iPhone earphones. Funny story – you know the iPhone 7 has an adapter jack thingy? When I got my new phone, I took my old earphones and hooked the adapter jack out of the box. It broke, after a few months, and I got a cheapy off eBay which also broke (don’t accept imitations, kids). Off I went, into the Apple store, which is like a drugless version of Studio 54. The guy happily exchanged the broken jack for a new one.
As part of my closing conversation awkward prattle, I commented that it is a BIT silly of Apple to manufacture headphones that you need a jack to use. “What did you do with the headphones in the box then?” said Mr Apple. “Hmmm?” said I. “You know, the headphones that have the lightning adapter on anyway, so you don’t need the jack?”
So, they’re my absolute fitness must-haves. How about you, what couldn’t you manage without?
-SJW May 2017