At the beginning of the summer, I set myself some goals. I knew that with a new puppy, moving house and writing a dissertation, it would be hard to stay on top of everything – and I was right.
Puppy – Dylan, is now 6.5 months old. He is an F2 apricot cockapoo, with a lot more cocker than poo! He is a bundle of trouble and joy. Much of my summer was spent, exhausted; training and playing with him:
I also moved house and even managed to get most of my deposit back. Win.
And I somehow smashed out a dissertation, achieving a distinction in it and my overall MA.
But what about the rest? What about the yoga and the fitness? Well, I did manage to do my yoga almost every day – until Dylan arrived. Then it became more sporadic. I can, however, now manage:
- Headstand unsupported away from the wall for 1 min.
- Full handstand up against the wall for 1 min.
- Crow for 5 breaths.
I am yet to achieve:
- Pirouette bail for handstand.
One of the problems I encountered with my yoga, was nausea. I was doing inversions daily and I think I got a bit of an inner ear imbalance. When I stopped the daily practice and focussed on my new puppy, I found the nausea and light-headedness went away. I now avoid daily inversions, but still like to practice them when I can.
My main problem now is time. As a teacher and live-in assistant housemistress at my boarding school, I get one day off every 2 weeks. My first timing Monday-Saturday is 08:15 and most nights the earliest I finish work is 21:00. I am on lock up every other night, which means I finish at 23:00. During the day I teach a full timetable of English lessons, alongside:
- Lower school choir on a Monday evening.
- Film club on a Tuesday evening
- Hockey coaching/umpiring Wednesday, Friday and Saturday afternoons (this was my first experience of hockey since I was about 14.)
- CCF officer on Thursday afternoons.
- English drop-in Wednesday evening after hockey, mainly to support my fifth form GCSE class…
- Tutor/prep duty in house Wednesday evening/night.
- and every other weekend I am on duty in house which usually means a Sunday day trip.
I love my job. I love the diversity of my roles, I love the new skills I am developing, I love the pupils and staff I work with, I love that I have no commute and all my food is provided.
But finding the time to properly exercise has been tough. I can usually do one on a Sunday, even if I am on duty there is time before brunch at 10:30. It’s the rest of the week which is harder. Even though I am out on the astro for hockey sessions, I rarely get to work-out. I played my first ever match this week, staff vs students, and had some very sore legs after running up and down in the midfield for the entire match. It was great to experience a team sport, but I was totally out of my depth! Luckily, I had enough fitness and stamina to keep going, but my stick and ball skills were definitely lacking! I aim to come back stronger next season though!
Despite a lack of time, I have managed to maintain a decent level of fitness, although my consistency is nowhere near where it should be. At the beginning of term, I tried scheduling my usual workouts into my timetable, if I had a free lesson after break, or first thing in the morning etc. However, I found that if I were to be put on cover last minute, this would scupper my plans and leave me, unshowered and unprepared. The effort of changing, working out, showering and getting back into work clothes was difficult in the middle of the day. I am also a little embarrassed to admit that I will not teach without putting at least some make-up on, and taking it all off for exercise, then reapplying is a lot of effort alongside everything else I do.
About half-way through the term, I found myself a gym buddy and began attending the school gym Tuesday and Thursday evenings between 18:00 and 20:00. This went well, but it meant I had to adapt my usual work-out routines to a much more public space. HIIT went out the window as I had no timer and couldn’t quite bring myself to burpee/star-jump etc. in front of everyone. My gym routine was as follows:
- Warm-up: 5min incline run on treadmill.
- Weight-training 1: – Regular squats (3 sets, 12 reps); Regular deadlifts (3 sets, 12 reps); Lunges (3 sets, 12 reps.)
- Weight-training 2: Ski squats, Deadlifts (toes out), Reverse lunges
- Weight-training 3: Weighted bridge, Deadlifts (toes in), Side lunges.
- Burn Out: Pilates leg lifts.
- Cool down: Yoga stretches.
I like to do my weight-training back to back, with very little break, which gets my heart-rate up and acts as a cardio work-out at the same time. This routine typically takes me 30-40mins.
Pros of working out at my school gym:
- Sports coaches were able to help me with my form.
- Greater variety of weights.
- Going with a friend made me more accountable for getting there and getting done.
- I felt quite nervous using the weights in front of other people, especially men.
- It was sometimes hard to find a space to work in, as some people seemed to take up entire corners/sections of the gym.
Unfortunately, due to the cons, when my gym buddy hurt her knee, I didn’t feel brave enough to go alone. I have now gone back to my home workouts, which means I am doing more HIIT alongside my weight-training, but I miss the company and feel that I am rapidly outgrowing my dumbells. It seems silly to buy more when I can use the school gym for free. Hopefully, I can get back there soon and stay on top of my routine. I will need to set some new year goals to keep me motivated.
Finally, it becomes harder and harder to update my blog – it’s difficult to justify the time when I have books to mark, a dog to walk, pupils to help and squats to do. Here’s hoping that I can find a bit more time out to reflect from now on!