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Commit To Get Fit 2014!



The MPS Admin Commit To Get Fit 2014

In the beginning...

We started our Commit To Get Fit journey.

With Naomi at the helm as Team Captain, we were thoroughly (read: forcefully) encouraged to take part in as many activities as possible. Everyone from the administrative support in Maths and Physics signed up to join the team as soon as we heard the event was taking place.

WEEKS before the event itself, laminated activity posters and timetables were given pride of place on the office walls such that whichever direction you looked there was a reminder to get our booties moving!

Early favourites for activities (which will no doubt be popular with other staff members too) are the archery, trapeze and the morris dancing. Obviously the morris dancing will be the most oversubscribed and so I reserved a place for the entire MPS admin team. I am sure they will appreciate my kind, thoughtful gesture when we are smacking each other with sticks and jingling our bells at each other.

Our photographic record of the horrors will be posted here. If you want to see how we're getting along (and fancy a damn good laugh) then check back soon.

The Commit To Get Fit 2014 will run from the 30th April until the 30th May 2014.

The start of our journey - Boundary Walk



Blog update as the Commit to Get Fit challenge gets started....

The Commit to Get Fit 2014 challenge started off in wonderful fashion yesterday as we went on the Boundary Walk, run by the UoS's SussexSport and with some commentary provided at key points along the route by Geoffrey Mead.

Continue reading 'The start of our journey - Boundary Walk'...

Archery - William Tell, Robin Hood and Katniss Everdeen - eat your heart out!



Archery requires a combination of skill and strength... oh dear...

The Commit to Get Fit 2014 challenge continues with Sinead, Sarah, Naomi and Matt taking part in the first of three archery sessions.

Continue reading 'Archery - William Tell, Robin Hood and Katniss Everdeen - eat your heart out!'...

Commit To Get Fit 2014 - The Activities List!



Update - Activities are booked in!

The first wave of activities for the Commit To Get Fit 2014 have been booked!

There's quite a variety on the list so far - with everyone signed up to at least one activity over the month and some doing loads!

Continue reading 'Commit To Get Fit 2014 - The Activities List!'...

CtGF - The Two Musketeers!




To round off Week 3 of the Commit to Get Fit challenge, Team MPS have gone all out with activity, events and fun!

So... where to start?

Continue reading 'CtGF - The Two Musketeers!'...

CtGF - Apologies for Absence



A collection of updates from far-flung correspondents

This update pulls together the activities from our colleagues who are away from Sussex at the moment - Sally and Debbie.

Continue reading 'CtGF - Apologies for Absence'...




Up, Up and Away! (plus some down in-between)

All go at MPS, as we sent some of our colleagues off for a lunchtime trampolining session!

Continue reading 'Trampolining!'...

Week 2 - Activity Reviews Round-Up



Activities Round-Up!

MPS comes charging into Week 2 of the Commit to Get Fit with another mixed bag of exercise and activities. Sadly a few of our teammates are on holiday at the moment, so we are getting regular updates from them via email.

Continue reading 'Week 2 - Activity Reviews Round-Up'...

CtGF - End of Week 1 update



The first week of Commit to Get Fit comes to a close

The first few days of the CtGF have been eventful, active and most importantly FUN!

Continue reading 'CtGF - End of Week 1 update'...

Week 3: High-flying, Hampered and Hanky-waving



A change of pace

This week was a little different, in that most people were doing odd activities here and there. I'll start on Monday, when we were the very happy winners of a Motivational Prize hamper from Sussex Sport! Delicious treats and smelly cheeses (much to the disgust of some staff) brightened up the office and we saved them all to make our next team meeting a snacky one!


^^^ Look at it up there! Yum! ^^^

This hamper was devoured at our recent team meeting - although the pungent smell of the cheeses did make some of us run for fresh air!

The food went down a treat and certainly made up for the aches and strains of our activities.

I got yo back

The next activity was the session on Back Care, which was attended by Felicity. The session discussed some safe exercises to practice at work and home.

Again, the reports are that this is another example of "what we're supposed to be doing feels unnatural" - as it is very easy to get into bad habits when it comes to postures.

When Felicity described the correct seating position - where your back isn't under unecessary strain - I found myself writhing and wiggling around uncomfortably to try and replicate it.

Oh dear! OK, maybe I should have attended the back care session myself... and MAYBE I took a lot of pleasure from sitting in the "incorrect" (slouchy but comfortable) seating posture.

Human Origami

What naturally follows back care?.... Why TRAPEZE of course!

Naomi and myself tried our hand at the beginner's trapeze session on Tuesday afternoon.

This was an hour long session in the Sports Centre's Dance Studio - directly above a full examination hall! - where we were instructed by the cheerful Hazel.

Things got off to a good start when we walked in the door. Hazel greeted us and asked "So are you here for the trapeze?", which we quickly confirmed. Then Hazel frowned, looked at me directly and asked "And are you wearing.... THAT?

I was wearing that.

The article of clothing being challenged was my rather restrictive trouserwear. It was not obviously apparent why this would cause concern. It became a little too obvious once we started the warm-up exercises.

After a couple of laps of the room (very quietly as we were told that our bouncing was disturbing the exam) we moved onto some stretchy poses.

I believe it was on the second or third star jump that I heard the rip. It echoed around the room like the trumpets of doom, and for the rest of the warm-up I was in great danger of showing the bottom point of my star.

Once we got onto the actual trapezering, it was actually quite good fun. I could see in an instant that thorough warming-up was necessary, because the first task was to hang from a bar and then fold ourselves in on... ourselves so that we tucked under the bar! Easier said than done - especially for a lanky, stiff so-and-so like myself!

After looping through ourselves (like a hanging backflip) we then swung our legs over the bar and perched like parrots for a few minutes while getting our breath back. I can understand why they constantly need feeding crackers if it's that much hassle getting up there!

Bound and gagging

The end of the session was a bit of rope fun. We were taught how to climb up the rope like monkeys - actually the first time that I managed to get some height off the ground on a rope - so I was dead chuffed with that. One of the other participants had to go and climb right to the top though, didn't they? Setting a challenge to each other to get to the ceiling. Far too show-off for my liking....

After that, we got to try the silks. This was more like the trapeze, only more awkward to get started. Wrapping my legs around the silk was difficult, then trying to wiggle myself into a perched position ended up with my bum on the floor. Attempt number 2 and I managed to get up to the main position, where I was told by the instructor to "flip upside-down and go spread-eagled". It was at this point that I confessed to the instructor about my trouser malfunction. I told her that it was not advisable for me to spread, for the benefit of the spectators more than me. She accepted my argument.

Photos of me and Naomi are below for you to gawp at:

Taking the time

The following day, Sally and Chrystelle went to a mindfulness session. I think with the run up to the end of the academic year, a session on taking a couple of minutes in the day to focus and calm yourself would be a great idea.

I'm not convinced that either of them have been able to put that into practice yet - but hopefully they will bear it "in mind" when things get stressful.

With a hey-nonny-nonny

The week ended with another interesting activity - the ghetto street stylings of Morris Dancing!

Oddly enough, I couldn't get anyone else to sign up for this one with me - maybe they were all busy that day.

The event itself begun with a short demonstration from the Brighton Morris Men, lots of twirling and stick-bashing and hanky-waving. Obviously everyone around for miles took notice and rushed to join in with us .... actually all joking aside, they managed to convince around 50 people to get involved!

We then split off into groups to learn a short routine in parts - firstly bowing and waving, then weaving between each other before doing some sort of leap into the air. It took some (i.e. me) longer than others to pick up the steps - but after a few attempts we were spinning like May Day dancers.

Grand finale

It then all came together with a final performance of our routine - which we absolutely NAILED - right up until the final twirl. I was minding my own business, wiggling and twisting as expected but then somehow managed to fall over myself on the last move!

So what is possibly the least dangerous activity on the roster, and I somehow managed to come away with a twisted ankle. Utter genius. Still hurts now. Some sympathy please.

Photos from the morris dancing are below:

As an update on our "Get Far" progress, we managed a grand total of 1774 miles during the course of the month - so we almost made our target! We made it all the way up to Twatt, past Wetwang and almost back down to Thong. So close... and yet so far.

I think we're all quite proud of ourselves for sticking to it and challenging each other to do something unusual and active!


Nearly done....

So now there's only one last update to do before the end of Commit to Get Fit! Such a shame as we've all had a great month.

The MPS Team Summary will be posted up next week but we've had a lot of fun during May!

Commit to Get Fit 2014 - MPS Team Summary



Naomi - Team Captain!

Difference it has made: I am not anti-sport, just completely unmotivated. CTGF has made me seriously consider taking up some new activities; namely hoop and archery but I am also looking into the likelihood of getting a push bike and cycling to work (about 5 miles each way so this would be a considerable commitment for me!).

Difference to the team: As a new member of the team, this month has helped me feel more integrated. It has been a really nice way to get to know people better outside of the office. Being nominated as team captain also meant that I had to get stuck in and lead by example.

Achievements: The majority of the activities that I did throughout CTGF were things that I hadn’t tried before. I made a point of signing up for things that I wouldn’t normally get a chance to do and that I considered a challenge. I was particularly nervous about Trapeze so I was really proud of myself after that session! I think the biggest achievement of the month though, was raising £200 for the Rockinghorse children’s charity by dressing as a musketeer. All for one and one for all!



I went on holiday during the Comit to Get Fit month. I took part in the following walks and events in Peebles, Scotland.

Most of the walks started from Peebles, the exception being the John Buchan Way – a 13 mile linear walk from Broughton back to Peebles following long established hill tracks with a total climb over three main ascents of 800m, beautiful, empty country except for a few sheep and cows.

Our ‘day off’ was in Edinburgh where we chose a variety of attractions such as The Castle, Holyrood Palace, St Giles Cathedral, The Scottish Parliament, Princes Street and ‘Arthur’s Seat’

On the Sunday we were joined by a local rambling group who led us up and over Kirkhope Law 500m and then another steep downhill to Glensax where we had to jump across the ‘burn’ as all the bridges had been washed away. A gentle return to the cars was followed by an excellent tea for all at our hotel.

The next day we had a gentler walk along forest tracks, stopping at a visitors centre for our lunch before returning by Tweed side. On the last day I did a tranquil 7 mile walk along the river Tweed, taking in several historic landmarks, fields and woodland.

I do a fitsteps class every week and also walk most evenings for around half an hour to 40 minutes.



I really enjoyed the Commit to Get Fit this year. It was great to get involved and it was even better seeing the photographs of everyone making a fool of themselves!

Can't wait for the next one!


CGTF gives us all many opportunities to try new activities particularly if we are on the Uni Campus. However even if we are a term time employee, as I am, there is still the opportunity to join in this team event, create your own goals, and forward your adventures onto the 'Captain' - for MPS Naomi.

I took the opportunity of increasing the length of time on the activities that I already do, making sure that I completed five one hour sessions each week as a minimum target. Being on holiday in France, Portugal and Centre Parcs Longleat did not hamper my efforts. It was great to be able to go swimming most days, not only in the swimming pool of a local fitness club, but also in the seas of the 'med' in 30 degrees. Not to mention the 45 runs that we took down the rapids at Centre Parcs over a period of 4 days. I realised after a succession of 10 runs down the rapids that it was like swimming 60 lengths at least I was so tired that I could barely swim one length. It was quite astonishing particularly as I had been swimming 20-40 lengths each day in Portugal. I also walked ever day. In addition to increasing the usual activities, I also learnt a new game - shuffleboard. As well as playing some of the old favourites such as pitch and putt.

The great thing is that you don't necessarily need to be on campus to take part and contribute to your team's progress. CGTF doesn't have to be hard work. It can be great fun and you can join in anywhere in the world. The proof is in the pictures.



Overall I think it’s a great event. Everyone in our team of 12 did something to participate. It’s a good opportunity to try something new. Mostly I appreciate the team building that is a happy result of the project. It’s good to be reminded to be fit and healthy and get out of our office chairs!



CTGF 2014 was a fun experience that encouraged teamworking. Our team captain and resident blogger both made it easy for us to participate in events and encouraged us to work together to achieve success. They also raised a large amount of money for the Rockinghorse Appeal by dressing up for the fencing, enduring a considerable amount discomfort along the way! Well done Naomi & Matt!

I particularly enjoyed the Archery session and I found the Back Care session very informative and helpful.

I look forward to the next challenge



Although I didn’t get involved in many of the extra activities laid on (shame on me!) I was very aware of the amount of mileage I needed to cover and extra gym work needed to keep our miles up. I even cycled to work in the rain to keep this going and arrived at work looking like a drowned rat on a number of occasions. That's dedication for you, especially when you’ve just blow dried your hair!

What I will say is that although I’m generally a bit of an exerciseaholic, the commit to get fit scheme did encourage me to do that little bit extra, just an extra exercise class here and there and an extra bit of walking at lunchtimes. Feeling great for it all and plan to keep it up!



As I regularly go to my own gym, I aimed to try activities that I’d never done before, whilst also going to my own gym, and had a fantastic time trying out hooping, mindfulness plus learnt how to be more back-aware (which is very useful!). I asked an instructor at my gym to give me a new programme at the start of Commit to Get Fit, and feel completely re-energised doing this new routine.



Having participated in last year’s CTGF, it seemed a good idea to carry on the tradition and indulge in a few new things this time round. As well as my regular one hour lunchtime walks – come rain or shine – trampolining, Feldenkrais and back care were my choices.

Whilst I really enjoyed trampolining and indeed did it last year as well, I think I have to come to terms with the fact that my mind is a lot younger than my body and certainly my back. Feldenkrais was a bit yogaesque and I enjoyed it but couldn’t quite work out why my body was doing what it was (note, no hallucinogenic drugs involved in this process).

It would be good to have tennis back on the agenda for next year, in the meantime I won’t ‘keep on running’ but I will keep on walking, swimming and yogaing.

Thorough enjoyed Matt’s blog and keeping us all informed and entertained. Naomi inspired us all with her boundless enthusiasm.



Again, really enjoyed the challenge this year. I attended the running session and really enjoyed running part of the boundary run. It was a challenge for me as I only run on tarmac, but felt really good afterwards.

I also made an effort to improve my fitness level by trying new classes at my local gym, such as “body balance” and “circuit” classes. I really enjoy the circuit one and now attend once a week.

Following the CTGF last year, I decided to get a bicycle. Nothing flashy, but I really love it! With the nice evenings we have had, I’ve been cycling a lot along the seafront and go to town on my bike rather than taking the bus.



As with all staff events that we can get involved with, our team dove headfirst into this fitness challenge.

I think that I, along with several colleagues, was a little daunted by the prospect of actually shifting bottom and getting active. Commit to Get Far was only in January - surely I don't have to do TWO lots of exercise in a year!?!

Once I'd gotten over the mental hurdles, I was open to the suggestions being shouted around the office.

Archery? Yes please.

Fencing? Why not?

In the end, trying out a whole bunch of new things wasn't as scary as I'd imagined. Although my clothing and muscles are yet to recover from certain activities (Morris especially), I don't regret a thing. Well... maybe the trapeze....

Thank you to everyone for their enthusiasm and encouragement, and for the reports on activities which were included in the blog. I can't wait for the next challenge (so long as we can postpone it until at least 2015 for my recovery).

Well done Team MPS!

The Cap'n Walks The Plank (a.k.a. Coldean Lane)



Shivvering me timbers

Our Team Captain, Becky, took up the challenge to walk home - although the weather wasn't as kind for her odyssey!

Continue reading 'The Cap'n Walks The Plank (a.k.a. Coldean Lane)'...

Boxercise, The Long Walk Home and Mountain Goats



Another eclectic update from MPS!

This week we have been taking the fitness to another level, getting involved in more physical activity and forgoing transportation home!

Continue reading 'Boxercise, The Long Walk Home and Mountain Goats'...

Netball, well, sort of...



Netball Crazy!

The torrent of team trials and tribulations continues into this week, with a quick update on the Netball session.

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A flurry of activity at MPS!



More activities for MPS

There has been a flurry of activity over the past week, with a whole bunch of different activities being undertaken by our team.

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You're a wizard, Harry



Another weird Commit to Get Fit update from MPS!

Hats off to SussexSport again for the unusual but very welcome inclusion of Quidditch in the lineup this year!

Continue reading 'You're a wizard, Harry'...

Commit to Get Fit 2015 - It begins....



MPS Commit To Get Fit 2015!
Another year, another month full of fun and activity!

Continue reading 'Commit to Get Fit 2015 - It begins....'...

Marvellous Montenegro, Wonderful Wales & Delightful Derbyshire



Updates from our Foreign Correspondents!

At Team MPS we enjoy sending our team off around the country to promote healthy living and exercise.

This year for Commit to Get Fit, we sent 3 people off on diplomatic missions around the globe - starting local with our dispatch of Debbie to Wales and Sally to Derbyshire - before going international and sending Sarah to Montenegro!

Continue reading 'Marvellous Montenegro, Wonderful Wales & Delightful Derbyshire'...

Broken Car, Frizzing Bees and Climbing Up The Walls



More commitment from MPS!

Another update from MPS, this time a little closer to home - so no need for holiday-snap-jealousy.

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Going the extra mile



More updates from MPS!

Another day, another bunch of aerobic action over at MPS!

Continue reading 'Going the extra mile'...

Two generations of useless explorers



More adventures from MPS!

An update from blog author Matt today on last week's fitness activities!

Continue reading 'Two generations of useless explorers'...

Dance Like an Egyptian and Sting Like a Bee



A (belated) Boxercise and Egyptian Dance update from MPS!

Due to a blog backlog, it has taken me ages to get these updates onto the blog!

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Commit to Get Fit 2015 - MPS Team Summary



Commit to Get Fit - MPS Team Summary

A few thoughts on the end of Commit to Get Fit 2015 from Team MPS!

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