Part One: Thailand
I love exercise.
I always have - 'Games' was my favourite class at secondary school and if there was a team, I was on it. Netball, rounders, athletics. I loved taking part. Now, just because I liked it so much, that doesn't mean that I was the best, or even any good at it. But I participated with enthusiasm, so much so, that I was awarded a medal at school once, not for being the best in my year, but for trying my best in my year. (Kind of like an honourable mention).
Anyway, what’s this got to do with Thailand? Well, in Feb/Mar I went on a three-week holiday to Phuket in Thailand. And no, I wasn’t travelling and seeing the sights, I was exercising. Three or four, sometimes five times a day.
I went on holiday to exercise.
Before I went I told a few people about it, but the response that I mostly got was, ‘Why do you want to exercise on holiday?’, and ‘Why in Thailand? if I went there I’d do other things’.
I’m no stranger to exercise holidays, in May 2014 I went on a Sunfit holiday. It’s run by the same people that do BMF and it consisted of a week doing exercise in sunny Fuerteventura. I had such a good time on this holiday and I definitely recommend it. After doing Sunfit I knew I had to do it (or something similar) again.
I came across the Thailand fitness boot camp through a company called Xtreme gap year, (who I imagine were advertising on Facebook), and the moment I saw it I knew I had to go. The website said that people go for all sorts of reasons and different lengths of time. But because I’m employed full time, there was no chance I could go for a long period of time, and so I asked if I could take three weeks off work instead of two and thankfully, they let me.
So three weeks off work in the tropical paradise that is Thailand, doing nothing but exercise, it really was a dream come true.
The holiday with Xtreme gap year includes your accommodation, access to all the classes, access to the gym, a free PT session for each week that you stay, and two meal tickets for 6 days a week. Flights had to be bought separately, and of course any other food that you ate, but being in Thailand it was very cheap to eat so that wasn't an issue.
The fitness centre I was at is called Titan Fitness. It consisted of a three level gym with all the usual gym equipment and also a separate area for the fitness classes which had a roof, but was open on three sides - which gave the lovely feeling of working-out outdoors, but being sheltered by the hot sun. It also had a mini obstacle course which when I saw I jumped for joy at, but in reality after all the classes I did I was always too tired to have a play! Doh! (My one small regret, if you can call it that!)
When I work-out I like being told exactly what to do. I don't have to think about it, I'm just instructed. I think that's why I like CrossFit and BMF so much. At Titan fitness they had multiple classes a day, all which were included, and I certainly made use of them. I also bought some additional PT sessions - so I had three each week I was there - and my focus was to build my upper body strength.
I made daily updates whilst I was there which you can read below.
The whole trip was a combination of excitement, tiredness, pushing my body to its extreme and then doing more, plus fun. I would go again in a heartbeat, and as soon as I’ve paid off funding my trip to World’s Toughest Mudder, I’m going to start saving to go back.
In my last week of the trip I got ill with extreme period pain. It was like nothing I had ever felt before, and it lasted 12+ hours. The conclusion was that all of my hormones were going haywire from me pushing so hard for so many weeks, and as a result my uterus just started contracting. I’m not angry at my body though, because as the year has gone on I have tracked my hormone cycle, and on numerous occasions during the year, I have performed superbly right around the time that my testosterone is peaking, (which is when you ovulate), and I can tell you, that that feels amazing.
Part Two – Ramping it up – My best summer ever – coming soon.
What's the best thing about going on a fitness holiday? Legitimately packing the majority of your ACTIVEWEAR!
This morning I had my intro and just did the first class, which was like one big circuit course. I only managed 2 and a half laps. It's ridic hot here and with jet lag etc. I think my body is in shock a bit! Light headed etc, but I'm taking it easy and having brekkie now.
I had a Thai massage this afternoon, it was great! Particularly when she climbed on top of me! also quite painful... and you can't be shy, cos when she did my front she swiped quite a lot of side boob! Felt good to be clicked and stuff. Now I'm just all oily. Everything here is health and fitness related. Food and exercise galore. The menus are full of shakes, protein and fresh food. It's lush. I had a green veg, coconut water, and pineapple juice just now. Not missing the cold at all, but I hope I adjust to the heat soon, 'cause I don't want to get lightheaded again. This afternoon I'm doing the assault course class. Supposedly the instructor is a bit of a shouty, mean, ex-navy seal guy that doesn't let anyone slack.... so not sure how I'll react to that, fingers crossed I'll survive, then I'm gonna do a spinning class later ) Now I'm debating whether to shower and change clothes or just stay in what I'm wearing seeing as I'm about to get sweaty again anyway....
The best thing about this holiday is that I get to wear shorts ALL THE TIME!
Yesterday I did the Assault Course class, which unfortunately did not spend much time on the obstacles at all....
Instead it was a ridiculously hard session using weights for 50 mins and we ended up doing 1 circuit of the small course. Bit weird, but there we go. I think they are missing out on a massive opportunity by not focusing the session on using the obstacles to get fit, but then I am an obstacle course runner, and so expect a lot. I'm gonna suggest it to them to see what they say. Afterwards my body was just jelly and so I skipped the spinning (everyone has said to take it easy your first week). I was supposed to do a run this morn, but the taxi booking to take us there got mixed up, so instead I did yoga, which is really bloody hard, then had my first PT session. My goal is to work on my upper body strength so we did lots of push & pull super sets. Had a quick protein shake, then did the cross training session (one major circuit with no resting). It's like I put in half the effort that I do back home, and still get tired half as quick! V frustrating, but hopefully I'll adjust soon. The coconut water is amaze, straight from the coconut and works out only a pound. Shower for me, maybe a nap and dip in pool, then I've got a strength & conditioning class at 5pm.
Yum, freshly squeezed apple juice and ground chicken.
Strength & conditioning class was good yesterday, they're doing 'Pull-up week', so that’s great! We practised dead and active hang, then hollow rocks and super man on the floor, followed by the same movements but on the rig (so practising the start of the kip). I need to do some more pull up stuff in my own time, but on day 3 I'm still adjusting, and have obviously started to ache a lot! So I think my goal for next week will be to go and practise pull ups every day. Last night I slept all the way through! I also slept in and missed the first class, but it gave me the opportunity to try the second class instead, and I really liked it. So that’s cool. (It was stations, like circuits split into upper, lower and abs) I really want to make sure I do some running whilst here, but I can only really do it early in the morning (or it's too hot). Despite doing SO MUCH exercise whilst here, my Strava/Runkeeper/Smashrun accounts are going to seem like I've done nothing! (boohoo). I bought some more PT sessions so that I have three a week, 'cause I really want to make sure I'm doing it right, and need to get my upper body stronger! Next one is tomorrow morning, hope my DOMS feel better by then (doubtful)! Last night I had some yummy frozen yoghurt, passion fruit and banana flavours, with raspberry flavoured coconut bits on top! It was good. I also had Pad Thai for dinner (had to at least once). I’ve got Olympic Weightlifting at 5pm, looking forward to that, then I'm gonna do the Spinning class!
Olympic Weightlifting was cool, we practised Clean & Jerk technique which I love doing. Then Spinning was interesting. Two to a bike, and whilst one is spinning (sprints) the other is off the bike doing exercises, then you keep switching, so it's like spinning intervals with exercises. It was good. Although last night was the first time I actually wanted to tell the coach to 'Fuck off!" I was putting in loads of effort and also dying at the same time, and their words of encouragement just made me so angry cos I wanted it to stop. It's rare I get angry during a work-out, but it worked cos I pushed through to the end. (I didn't swear out loud, just in my head). This morning I woke up at 6am and went for a 5k jog around the block. I took it super slow and still needed to stop for a break every now and then. Also, there aren't paths here, so when I got the main road I kind of just stuck to the gutter and hoped for the best. Then I had PT session at 8am where we did legs, that was cool, am expecting sore legs tomorrow. After PT I did the cross training session again, but luckily there wasn't any running! Just four stations and working together in teams of four/five. I'm kind of at the stage where if I stop moving and sit down for a bit I feel really rough and a bit sick, but if I keep moving I feel fine! Hopefully this will pass, 'cause I hate feeling rubbish when I stop moving, I need to rest at some point!
I had a really good class yesterday at Strength & Conditioning. Still on 'pull up week', and we were doing four different exercises that will help with doing pull ups, followed by a workout which I cannot remember at all what we did.
I had coconut chicken and mushroom soup for tea, which was very nice. Today I did Cross Training this morning, then I was feeling pretty rough, so after breakfast I fell asleep on the sofa! I woke up and had lunch (Salmon and veggies, yum) then I’ve been in the pool stretching and cooling off and reading my book by the side. It’s a book called Natural Born Heroes by Christopher McDougall. It was hard to get in to, and it is quite difficult to follow (so many names, and I lose track who is who), but still very interesting. In other news I'm sick of coconut water already, so I've given in and bought some electrolyte powder (I’ve not tried it yet), but I blame the fact that I bought a bottle of coconut water, and it just tasted... kind of like vanilla ... in a way. It’s hard to describe, but it was horrible, and after I drank that and tried drinking a fresh coconut, all I could taste in the fresh one was the horrible vanilla taste. Bleh. I'm hoping to give it a couple of days with the powder and then try again with fresh coconut. I've never sweated so much in my life, so it really is necessary to drink so much. Heading off to Strength & Cond. now, then hopefully spinning afterwards. It's Friday so people are going to a Reggae Bar up the road. Should be good.
I still ache all over, and I’m used to the fact that I get tired quickly, but also pushing through more often too Ooush.
Cheeky pic of me at the beach this morning.
Went to the beach for the first time today, had a fun work-out there and in the sea. The sea was glorious. Sand everywhere! Lots of crawling through the sand and we ended with a massive tunnel crawling in the sea under people’s downward dogs! Rest day starts from now! until Mon (yeay). I was meant to have PT after the beach, but we got back really late, so we re-scheduled it until Mon, and I'm quite glad because I'm tired! Not very achy anymore, so I will try to get another massage either today or tomorrow.
Back at it tomorrow with PT at 7am, followed by a class at 9am, then gonna try the Assault course class again, but that one is ridiculously hard, (plus the time on the obstacles is pretty much nothing!), so unless it's a really good class I dunno if I'll do it again because I like the class after it more, and I don't want to be worn out for that. I need to go down to Unit 27 - the Crossfit gym - and try chat to someone about The Open. I’m looking forward to it this Friday. Lots of people keep asking me what CrossFit is like and it's quite hard to explain! I have suggested they come with me to watch and find out themselves! I can't believe a week has gone already, it goes so fast. People come and stay for different lengths of time, so they are leaving all the time too, it's quite sad actually! You get to know someone for two days and they go! Ah well, that's what FB is for I guess.