Searching for blog posts tagged with 'exercise'

The third post of someone who will probably run a multi-marathon!



When I first said I'd write this blog, I envisaged I'd report back every Monday on how well everything was going. I've obviously broken that already, as this week I've waited until Friday to write something. That's mainly because I couldn't think of anything profound to write, and I haven't trained as much as I hoped.

After a stunning start to my training, things have gone a bit pear shaped. Without sounding big headed, I would say I am incredibly fit and healthy. I don't smoke, I'm tee total, I eat healthily and I do a shed load of exercise. So why did I find myself in the queue at the pharmacy today, behind an old lady who smelt like a mixture of wee and biscuits, asking for a pair of stockings?!

I planned to run home from work on Monday, and expected a cold but fast run. Four miles in, I stopped because my leg really hurt. I had a dull ache that burned when I put pressure on it. And I got a kankle. I thought only fat people got kankles, but I had one. There was fluid on my lower calf, I didn't have much sensation in the area and I felt like I had polio and was dragging a dead weight. So I aborted my run and got the train home. That hurt more, because I had given up - but hoped it was for a greater good. What hurt almost as much was that on a packed commuter train from Brighton to Worthingat peak time, I had a table and four seats to myself, because nobody would sit next to a guy in a vest and shorts who was breathless and rubbing his leg! I felt like I had the leprosy and people didn't want to go anywhere near me in case I touched them and shouted "tag you're it. Now you've got the lergy!!!".

Well, after a chat with a doctor friend on the phone, I had it checked out. I have varicose veins in my left leg, and the lack of circulation was causing a numbness. The only treatment for now is hosiery! So there I was, standing in line at the pharmacy, waiting for someone to find a stocking for me, whilst the lady behind me looked accusingly. I obviously pointed to the old lady in front of me with a bag of industrial Tena Lady and gave eyes to suggest 'it's not me, it's her!'. The nice girl in the pharmacy came out and measured differnet parts of my leg and tried to make small talk. It went along the lines of "young people like you don't usually get varicose veins, you know. That's why the stockings are always brown - because old people love brown".

So this begs the question of when does healthy become unhealthy? Have I gone full circle and pushed myself so hard that my lifestyle is detrimental to my health? Talking to some people in the office yesterday, I was told I look tired, rough, dishevelled. Thanks, Bev and Mags. On top of that, I pee'd blood late last week after a particularly hard run/training session. I had the indignity of running so hard on sunday that I was dry heaving as I crossed the finish line of a race. And then I saw my physio today who said I was over pronating my left foot and it was causing excessive pressure on my leg. My answer is that I don't care. I'm not training for or taking part in these events to get fitter. Being fit is a benefit of competing of training - not the result. I have a resting heart rate of 44 beats per minute (normal is about 70) and blood pressure of 101/58 (120/80 is normal). Essentially what this means is that my heart is bigger and/or more efficient than most. 

So why am I taking part? Because I'm certainly not going to win them. I've touched on this before, but I have to look for little wins. The ones that only I notice. Last sunday was the first of my events. The Worthing Lido 4 mile race. My target was to beat 25 minutes. I did, with an official time of 24mins 40secs. That's an average of 15.7kmh or 6mins 10secs per mile. I came home in 27th position out of 436 people - so I came in the top 6%. This is the type of analysis I meant in my other blog - stuff that only I notice. More importantly, I did win in one way. I was the first runner home who does not run for a club - so I was the best amateur amatuer. A small victory indeed, buy one that I enjoyed none the less.

So what's planned for the coming week? A run on Sunday, as well as a photoshoot with the local rag from my home town, and then back to normal next week - apart from having to run with a single knee length sock on my left leg all the time. I have added another marathon to my list and a duathlon, too. For a full list of the events I have planned do far, see the just giving pages at - and whilst you're there, bung me a couple of quid!

On the plus side this week, at least I didn't tread in any dog crap!

Thanks for taking the time to read this - and big thanks to Nic 'Basher' Barratt and Laura 'Bummers' Bottomley for their extrememly generous donations this past week. They're both amazing people. Lest we forget those not with us any more - those are the people who put silly challenges like this in context!



The blog of a man who has just completed his 2nd marathon of 2011



So, only 50 to go. I successfully completed the second marathon of the year yesterday.

There's not yet a lot to talk about. I think things will get interesting in the weeks and months to come. Essentially, this is a marathon of marathons and at the minute, I'm at the start bit with the excitement and comfort and energy. Later will come the slog of the mid-miles where monotony kicks in, followed by the mental and physical agony of hitting the wall and then the success of finishing.

Strangely, I didn't hit the wall yesterday. It was some sort of paradoxical run where I was very mentally taxed but physically I felt generally fine. As I've said before, I love the idea that running causes a great deal of pain and I can stop that pain at any time but choose not to. It's being in charge of how hard I push myself and my mental toughness to not take the easier option.

Anyway... Enough of the cerebral stuff and down to the basics.

Yesterday's was my first ever marathon on a treadmill. Before this, I hadn't ever run further than 10k on a treadmill. Mainly because it's dull. I mean, it's mind numbing! Essentially it was me staying in one place with my legs going round, looking at myself in a mirror (pretty as I am, i can still get bored of myself) and watching numbers go (slowly) round and round.

I have to say, the people at Riptide Gym are incredibly helpful and supportive. They've sponsored me where the University gym wouldn't, allowed me to use all of their equipment and give me advice and support - all for free.

So up I got at 7.30am to go to the gym. On the treadmill ready to go at 9.15. ON A SATURDAY! There were a couple of small issues... Firstly, treadmill's aren't designed or programmed to run for 26.2 miles at a time (surprised?!?!), so logic had to be used. As far as I could work out, you could only time it in for 60minutes at a time, so this was going to be what I did. Under the agreement (with myself!) that as soon as it finished, I would start again! This is what I did. I have some videos that will be uploaded when Wid adds the module that allows it to the website.

So the first 60 minutes was steady if not a little tiring as the muscle aches from last week came back quite soon. I did 11.95km. That then finished and I started doing the next hour's stint. As I came to the end of that hour, I pressed a button and it allowed me to continue. So I did - up to 90 minutes as there were only enough spaces on the screen to go up to 99 minutes and I didnt want to start working at fractions of hours. Anyway... after 2 and a half hours I run at an average of nearly 12km/h and completed 11.95km in hour 1 and 17.92km in the second hour and a half. 2.5 hours - 29.87km done and 'only' 12.33km to go.

I ended up doing that final 12.33km in 67minutes 20 seconds. So a total for the full 42.2km was 3hours 37minutes and 20 seconds. Add in a bit of time for those changeovers (I wouldn't want anyone to think i was trying to steal a few seconds!) and I reckon it was still under 3 hours 40. Which was essentially the second fastest marathon I have ever run!

You know what could have been easier, of course? Instead of adding up all the distance and that sort of thing, I could just programme it to do four equal runs of 10.5km!!! What a numpty. But then did the constant maths in my head take my mind off the running? Probably not, but I'm in an uncertain mind as to whether I should change it or not.

That's it for now. Next week, look out for my chat about putting too much salt in my water, the great audition for a new TV show with some of the Passingiton guys and how I secretly hope my wee is dead orange when I finally finish running!

Remember, I wouldn't be doing this if a) I were not mad, b) I was not running for two really important charities and c) I didn't secretly want an MBE in the future for my endeavours in my life. Please follow me on twitter - @52marathonman or 'like me on Facebook

Remember too, there is lots more information available on my website 

For now - thanks for reading!

Completing my second personal CFGT challenge



After attending a spin class, another of my Commit To Get Fit personal challenges was to write a blog post about my experience with exercise and depression. Spinning wasn’t as bad as I feared so I thought I would stay on my roll and do the scariest thing on my list…

I still don’t know what possessed me to sign up for a Zumba class in January 2012. It wasn’t a crazy new year’s resolution or because I love to dance (I am a very inhibited dancer) or because  I just had to try the latest fitness craze. But something did and whatever it was it turned out it was a good move to make.

Perhaps it wasn’t a coincidence that this first trip to a sports centre coincided with my struggle to wean myself off anti-depressants. I had been battling for months to break my dependency but as much as I hated being on them, it was still just too difficult without them.

I don’t want to go into detail about my depression here but if you are fortunate enough not to have been afflicted by depression then this is one of the most accurate and brilliantly written (and illustrated) descriptions of depression I have read.

So what am I trying say here? Well, I truly believe that joining the sports centre and starting to take some classes helped me come off and stay off anti-depressants. I had been told and read about the positive links between exercise and mental well-being but since School I have always associated exercise with P.E. lessons and P.E. lessons, to me, were the most self-esteem crushing experiences ever. So why on earth would I try and do that to make myself feel better!?

But what I discovered through Zumba and now through boxercise, hula hooping, circuit training, aerobics, fencing and spinning (!) is that 1) it isn’t like being at School 2) it can be really fun and 3) that exercise provides the perfect head space to stop thinking.

It turns out it is impossible to have spiralling thoughts while you are sweating and it feels amazing to have that control back over thinking. It is a relief that hadn’t managed to find before, even with anti-depressants, and that I now can’t see myself being well without.

The fact I that look better than I ever have is an extremely welcome bonus but the biggest and most important benefit is that I feel balanced and in control again. And when I don’t – I know that whenever I need to, I can go to the sports centre and do something that will help me refocus.

Having come to the end of this piece I think I wanted to write this blog as part of CTGF partly to share my experience with others, but mainly to acknowledge and say a huge thank you to SussexSport. Without your inspiring staff, range of classes, great facilities and affordable membership I think I would still be struggling to regain my balance. THANK YOU and see you at lunchtime. 

I may have overdone it



I woke up this morning aching all over.  After being attacked by Amy in Admissions in the Kung Fu taster session, I joined the Yinyoga class.  We had to hold each posture for five minutes and I hadn't realised how much I had stretched myself until today.  I have Pilates tonight (more stretching) and Dynamic Bodywork tomorrow, which is a combination of dance, yoga and pilates.  I am also going to try to fit in a couple more classes before Friday.  The question is, can you overextend yourself?  Is it better to work through the discomfort or give your body a rest?

I love yoga



For the past year I have been doing yoga at least once a week.  I’ve felt less stressed now that yoga’s part of my regular routine and it does make a big difference to how I feel. I’m more relaxed when I’ve done yoga that day. The deep breathing helps you to relax, improves your mood and ability to concentrate. If you’re just beginning to get fit, no matter what your size, shape or fitness level, yoga can be a bit daunting. However, everyone  can work at their own pace. It is meant to make you feel good. After a year of going easy on myself and just going as far as felt comfortable for me, I am surprised at how quickly I have improved.  I never thought I would say this as I am not that flexible and of a heavy build.  When I first tried yoga it was to relax me whilst I was quitting nicotine.  I found it frustrating as everyone else in the room seemed to know what they were doing.   It was intimidating to stand in a class  in front of those enormous mirrors and try to feel relaxed at first. I had no balance and often fell over.  As time progressed, I got a little better, and have noticed changes in different areas of my body, mainly my flexibility. You do improve and see results and now I’d recommend it to anyone.



Everybody's free to wear sunscreen



I have very much enjoyed the sporty month of May and made changes in my life which I know will make a difference going forward.  I am now eating more healthily and exercising more.  Indeed, I will be officially joining the gym tomorrow! For me, Commit to Get Fit has been a really positive experience, and long may the positivity continue!

As I endeavour to stick to my good intentions, I have found some words to inspire me from Baz Luhrmann's,  "Everybody's Free (to Wear Sunscreen)" which dispenses some timely advice on well-being.  My favourites are:

"Be kind to your knees, you’ll miss them when they’re gone"

 "Enjoy  your body, use it every way you can…don’t be afraid of it,  or what other people  think of it, it’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own..."

"Dance…even if you have nowhere to do it but in your own living room".

"If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be  it."

Rest assured, I will be following these tips, especially the one about my knees - very worrying...As for sunscreen, the fair-skinned amongst us know that sunscreen is not just a freedom, but an absolute necessity!




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!

Commit to Get Misfit



Widening Participation are taking on the Commit to Get Fit challenge, as a department and as two competing teams owing to numbers, so both myself and Chris Mason will be documenting our team’s respective efforts on SPLASH. You can read his (frankly more amusing and better written) blog post here. However, I think we can all agree that ‘Misfits’ is a far superior team name to ‘Thin White Duke’ and that we will probably win everything.

We’re looking forward to doing lots of activities together as a whole team but have also decided to introduce an element of competition between the Misfits and the Thin White Dukes. Given the heated debates this morning on what counts as mindfulness/relaxation (smoking: no) and one of your 5-a-day (onion bhajee: definitely not one) encouraging people to be more competitive may have been ill-advised but we’ll see.

We’re awarding a point for each of the following:

  • 30 minutes exercise (can gain 2 points for an hour)
  • Team class, walk or activity
  • Drink 2 litres of water
  • Eat your 5 a day
  • Try a new sport or activity
  • Relaxation, mindfulness or wellbeing session
  • Abstain from your nominated 'weakness' e.g. chocolate
  • Bring in a healthy snack for the office (maximum 1 per week)
  • Eat healthily in general

Whichever team has most points by the end of the month has to buy the other team lunch. Who knows, we might all be so inspired by Commit to Get Fit that it will be a delicious salad rather than cheesy chips.

We made a good start on Friday by joining in with the boundary walk, always a nice highlight of the month and a chance to meet colleagues from across the University.

WP team on the boundary walk for Commit to Get Fit

Here are some of our team goals to give an idea of what people are hoping to get from the month:

Anne-marie: I always enjoyed a bit of keep fit, and was fairly active up until I had my first baby 18 months ago(!!). Since then I have had the perfect ‘excuse’ to not fit in any exercise – at all. Without a doubt it isn’t so easy to find the time or energy now, with childcare arrangements meaning my only available timeslots were between 5am-6am (yuck) or after 7.30pm, when all I want to do is eat and flop, but it isn’t impossible and CTGF is the perfect motivation to kick-start a new routine. I can definitely give 100% to a healthier diet and healthier living too, and am looking forward to reaping the benefits!

Claire: I have always been fairly exercise-averse, apart from long walks and the occasional game of badminton with friends, so despite participating in Commit to Get Fit for the last couple of years, I haven’t really committed. This year I am determined to make a real difference, hopefully one that will last into at least mid-June, after which our outreach work reaches a peak and we all have to resort to custard donuts to make it through July. I am aiming to do 30 minutes exercise every day and have signed up for lots of exciting classes: bouldering, fencing and trapeze included. I will try to eat my 5 a day and not have as many fried egg sandwiches.

Paul: As a new member of staff I’m really excited by the prospect of CTGF.  At my previous place of work we didn’t have any similar programmes and nipping out of the office to do some lunch time exercise was more frowned upon than encouraged, so I feel very lucky to have the opportunity to get fit guilt free. I already exercise regularly so my main aim is to try out some new things and I’ll be taking part in Trapeze, Handball and Fencing.  My diet could certainly improve a little so I’ll be giving up chocolate and trying to drink more water.

Sam: Not only am I giving up alcohol but Mark is as well to support me through the month. So the Dunnetts are Dry! Which is quite an achievement as we have to pinch space in our neighbour’s glass recycling bin every fortnight (all done under the dead of night)! Sam also suggested we include the mindfulness category and has offered to do some lovely reflexology sessions for the team.

Stephen: I have always been a big sports fan but struggle to find the motivation and time to fit it in. I have been trying to lose weight for some time, with mixed success. Hopefully CTGF will trigger my competitive nature and give me the push I need to give up all the gym food and exercise regularly. I am aiming to go all month without any junk food and aim to get as many points as possible to spur the misfits to victory.

Healthy snack of the day: slices of apple spread with peanut butter… sounds bizarre but eliminated my custard cream cravings.

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!

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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!

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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!

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



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

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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!

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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!

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Two generations of useless explorers



More adventures from MPS!

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

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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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