My war on Soft

“Hi, is that Soft? Look – we need to talk. You and I are finished.”

soft - marshallowI detest my soft, flabbiness. Guerrilla Training is so right for me – because I know that softness will one day be gone.

And yes, I know that setting fitness goals should not be based on body shame.

It’s just that I’m a work in progress.

Meanwhile I can grunt, pump, swear and generally bash my way out of the more passive aspects of femininity – and that’s just fine by me!

I hate burpees but I hate soft even more!
I hate burpees but I hate Soft even more!

Well do I remember recoiling in self-disgust whenever a bloke I got off with remarked “You’re so soft!”

In Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew, Kate’s humiliation is complete when, having been “broken” by her husband, he then makes her tell her fellow women why they should be subordinate to men.

Her speech includes the following:

Why are our bodies soft, and weak, and smooth

But that our soft conditions and our hearts

Should well agree with our external parts?

Detail from The Hostile Forces, Beethoven frieze, by Klimpt
UPDATE: I still don’t want to look like this

Of course, this Shrew will not be tamed – and thinking about the above all this helps as I’m wondering “Why in God’s name am I doing these repeated burpees if the last time I tried I nearly threw up?”

Now maybe thinking about Shakespeare when I’m working out is slightly weird – so let’s include that practical Bible of my youth – good old Cosmopolitan.

In a magazine so dedicated to empowering woman, I found it somewhat bemusing to chance upon an article written by a man who really didn’t mind the fact his girlfriend had plump thighs.

In fact I’m wondering if – after the article was published – he still had a girlfriend!

Yep, it works for me!
Yup, it works for me

He luxuriated in the opulence of this poor individual’s cellulite – referring to her upper legs as “two teddy bears” he could snuggle up to in bed, and pondering over why woman’s thighs were not included as an enjoyable non-leafy snack.

So again – armed with my “no man’s going to enjoy my fat” mantra – I spring, jump, hop, star-jump – you name it – as vigorously as I can!

So now you’ve seen inside my mind as I’m working-out – and it’s not very pretty, is it?

All I will say in my defence is that my broken metatarsal – and subsequent ban from the exercise that suited me – did put me that bit nearer becoming the bingo-winged, large-breasted, soft-flabbed creature I dreaded becoming.

I can sooo relate to this
I can sooo relate to this – but I know it’ll be worth it!

I’m looking forward to running my hands down my un-teddy-bear-like thighs and feeling the solid muscle.

And I can’t wait for upper arms that don’t wobble like jelly.

Soft – you and I are so over!

The change won’t happen overnight but it will happen – now the control’s returned.

Now it’s up to me to reclaim the fitness I deserve.

Your Marathon needs YOU!

KITCHENER RECRUITING POSTERThe people of Stoke-of-Trent are getting a call to arms.

Organisers of the Potteries Marathon 2016 are already urging runners to sign-up after the event returned this year after a gap of some years.

It’s still a challenging course!

But seasoned runner Graham McLaughlan doesn’t think this should put anyone off.

 It’s hot, hilly and hard but it’s a marathon box you must tick for the passion and pride that the Potteries people possess.

To say ‘I’ve run the Potteries Marathon’ is a real badge of honour!

Steff Garvin, of Penkhull, can certainly relate to this. I caught up with her afterwards in the Greyhound Inn in the village (well, the pub’s as good a venue as any!)

Charity runner Steff is a woman of her word!
Charity runner Steff is a woman of her word!

She explained: “Last year when they said they were going to bring the Potteries Marathon back – you know how I am, I do silly things for charity – so I said if they were going to bring it back I’d do both, the Potters Arf and the Potteries Marathon for charity.

“And I am a woman of my word!”

Steff’s father, Rob Garvin, is an old hand when it comes to the Potteries Marathon – having run it in 1988, 1989 and 1993 – with a course personal best of 3 hours 35 minutes.

“She’s her own person, Stephanie is, and she’s pretty determined and I thought she’d do it if she even actually had to crawl over the line!” he told me.

Glad it's all over!
Glad it’s all over!

It’s not a course to be underestimated – as Rob knows all too well!

“It’s a tough course especially at this time of the year in the summer, in June, it can be very hot,” he said.

And the hills?

“The dreaded Porthill Bank at about 18 miles, and then in Bentilee, up to the Thistlebury, at about 21 miles, something like that.”

So how did Steff cope with all this?

“I was quite shocked because at the end I was just – my legs were hurting so much and I was just – you know “I don’t care, I don’t care anymore” and then I came over the finish line and I thought I was going to do about five hours and it was 4.56 so I was really pleased with that for my first attempt.”

This pic was taken in the 80s but the hill's still there!
This pic was taken in the 80s but the hill’s still there!

And good news for me – I met a runner who also broke his metatarsal (a few years ago at uni) – but still clocked up a respectable 4 hours 36 minutes, in his first full marathon.

Adrian Lorenz, from Silverdale, said he could still feel it when he runs – especially up the hills.

“It’s just physically and mentally, I think, quite demanding… Because you get to the bottom of another hill after like 15 miles and you think ‘Not another bl00dy hill!’ but I’m glad that I’ve done it.”

Marathons are – of course – a great way of racing charity cash.

Steff’s a seasoned fund-raiser and this year she was running for Approach, a local charity helping people with dementia – a subject close to her heart as her late grandfather suffered from this condition.

You can visit Steff’s JustGiving page here.

potteries marathon logoHere, courtesy of The Sentinel, are some Potteries Marathon Facts:

  • The race was initially launched in 1982
  • It’s the first time the full marathon has been held since it down-sized to the Potters ’Arf in 2004
  • Runners are not allowed to use headphones during the event due to safety concerns
  • Runners will have to complete the course within a seven-hour cut-off period
  • The marathon needs a minimum of 1,500 entrants to cover costs

Back to Blog

Just a quick post to mark my return to the Blogosphere!

The way of the Futurama - I'm on it
The way of the Futurama – I’m on it

If I’m honest, I’ve been working pretty much every day for the last month – doing stuff I love, admittedly – but it does rather tend to take over.

I’m certainly looking forward to getting back into my workout gear again.

My question is – how on earth do people manage to do it all?

I still regard myself as a relatively rooky blogger so any advice will be welcome!

The challenge of the written word?

A lot of the time travelling with work means I live out of a rucksack.

That, in turn, leads to packing issues with the laptop – so in practice that means no laptop no blog.

The mending metatarsal sometimes reminds me of its presence as I walk down the street – as if to let me know that, this time, it’s not to blame for my lack of an exercise regime.

I'm getting there...
I’m getting there…

From an intellectual point of view my brain’s still relatively scrambled – therefore I plead guilty your honour to my current lack of sizzling creativity.

Meanwhile I’m looking forward to some glorious updates both regarding my own fitness progress and everyone else’s – so watch this space!