December 31st. The last day of 2014 and, for many, a time of reflection so I thought I’d jump on board!
First – for those who followed my suggestion of keeping a happiness jar in 2014 – have you opened it yet and read through the events that made you smile this year? I just did mine and it was really lovely.
Second – the main reason for this blog post is to give you a little snapshot of the Lovefit year in summary. It’s been quite the year, so I have broken it down into sections for you to peruse at your leisure.
Amber’s physical challenges
2014 saw me signed up for rather a lot of events, which meant I spent most of the year in training for one thing or another, all whilst battling a spinal injury sustained at the start of the year.
First up was the StrongFirst certification back in May (which I blogged about HERE). This kettle bell certification is one of the toughest out there, and puts me in an elite group of instructors who truly know what it is to respect and perfect the art of training with bells. As a result I have been able to help many of my clients with significant strength gains.
Then came the epic Quadrathlon-of-doom, as it shall henceforth be known (read more HERE). I completed this race with my husband, Martin, on 12th July. We swam 1.5k across a freezing loch, climbed no fewer than SEVEN munros – all of which were over 1,000m at the summit, kayaked a whopping 11km and topped the day off with a 54km cycle. All in just over 15 hours and tackling torrential rain, 40mph winds and a mild dose of hypothermia. Tough day at the office 🙂
In September I took part in the Cambridge Spartan Race along with several Lovefit members. (You can check out our encounter HERE). We got a glorious sunny day and shared a lot of laughs. I’m already signed up for next year’s event. Who’s with me?
Since then everyone has been asking me “what’s your next challenge?” and for a long time I just kept schtum. As most of you now know, however, my next big challenge is going to be childbirth and motherhood. It seems that having got the Quad out of my system I was lucky enough to conceive and am expecting a baby in April. Yes, that does mean I was 9 weeks pregnant during the Spartan race (!), but thankfully I have had a very pleasant, symptom free pregnancy. Let’s hope that holds for as much of the third trimester as possible.
Courses and Education
As per, I have invested a lot of time and money into keeping myself educated and up to date within my field. Below are some of the highlights of the year, along with a growing pile of books that live by my bedside:
– Women’s Health Summit, two-day conference (Mar ’14)
– Strong First Certification (May ’14)
– BTN Nutrition conference (Nov ’14)
– Advanced Pregnancy Course (commenced Nov ’14). This is a 6 month course and one of the most comprehensive bits of education I have ever invested in. The course content is so diverse that my peers include midwives, pregnancy massage therapists, pilates instructors, pelvic health physios and obstetricians.
As always, the women I work with continue to amaze and inspire me with what they accomplish. I’m not going to name anyone here because the accomplishments are so far-reaching and many of the people I am referring to won’t even consider what they’ve done to be an achievement. But believe me, everyone has achieved something great this year, and it’s not just the races that I’m talking about. Here are just some of the things I am proud of:
Entering her first Race for Life.
Giving up smoking.
Conceiving and giving birth to a healthy baby boy after losing two stone.
Changing her family’s eating habits for good.
Doing her first full press-up.
Seeking a counsellor to help with her relationship with food.
Completing the London marathon.
Attending every single block of bootcamp in 2014 (this applies to multiple people).
Learning to swing a kettlebell with great technique.
Recovering from severe pneumonia and having the courage the get back to exercise.
Completing a Turkish Get-up with a 14kg kettlebell.
Man, I LOVE my job!
I am lucky to work with wonderful women, not only as clients, but as part of the Lovefit team too:
Victoria has worked with almost all the new 1-1 clients who came to Lovefit this year and, although she has now hung up her bikini and killer heels, she continues to train while she researches her upcoming book on disorderly eating and body dysmorphia within fitness and bodybuilding competitions.
Many of you will have worked with Tosha when she stepped in to cover bootcamps, or at her running sessions earlier this year. She is now 30 weeks pregnant (congratulations!) but you’ll be seeing more of her in the future.
And last but not least, we have a new addition to the team in the form of Bettina, who is the Lovefit PA and queen of all things admin. She joined us in November and will be taking on increasing responsibility as I prepare to take a back seat when baby Brammah first arrives.
And in other news…
– Lovefit co-hosted a beginner kettlebell workshop with my friend and colleague Charlie (of Cambridge Bootcamps).
– We held two weekend retreats in glorious Norfolk.
– I found myself cycling in the window of Sweaty Betty’s Trinity Street store when the Tour de France came to town.
– I managed to land myself the role as regular health and fitness writer for the Cambridge News. Check out my column in the supplement every other Monday.
– Many of the Lovefit ladies joined me for a yummy Christmas meal at Bills restaurant a couple of weeks ago. A great way to round off the year.
And here’s the year summarised in photos:
Let’s hope 2015 is even more amazing for all of us!