Life is too short to do nothing with it.

We all have to accept that life is a cycle. There is a beginning and an end and what we do in the middle is up to us (with external influences of course). 

Over the last couple of months my family and I have been dealing with a lot of losses. The two most recent: Oscar, my Chocolate Labrador and Rusty, my Nannie’s cat. 

Oscar was a beautiful dog. Unfortunately cancer got the better of him in a very short space of time. I will always love him and he will forever have a place in my heart. Same with Rusty, he was a big fluff ball and loved curling up on people’s laps.

Here is one if my last photos with Oscar:

Around sad events and when you’re dealing with difficult situations, you need to include as much good as possible. Our little family went out for lunch for mum’s birthday to Loch Fyne near Peterborough. It is one of the most tasty meals I’ve ever had. Seafood ramen, get in my belly.

Along with this I’ve been slowly investing, growing and investing some more in my fitness business. This includes buying more equipment, including some brand new Battle Ropes! I have plans to get much more equipment and I look forward to using all of it with my clients and in my classes. 

Whenever I’m working on my business and growing and developing it, you need to make sure you still have time for other people. The people who are helping you get to where you need to be. The people who support you. The people who care. One of those is my boyfriend, Phill. On a weekend to his, I came down a day earlier and spent my time working on my business whilst in a beautiful bar down the road. This also allowed him to come visit me during his lunch break so we could spend a little more time together. Of course lunch involves food, so the photo below shows all the food we shared! The dishes from left to right were: Arancini, Burger Sliders, Calamari and Meatballs.

We also had our anniversary coming up. To celebrate we went to Ping Pong Vietnamese restaurant in Soho, where we had the set theatre menu and then we went to see Lion King. 

It was a magical evening and singing along to all the songs, seeing the fabulous costumes, choreography and acting. It was all truly mesmerising. It was the first musical I’ve ever seen and I would go see it over and over if I could. 

Recently, Phill and I have been lucky to be able to see each other every week. We try to alternate weeks of who visits who, but it depends on events planned and whose family and friends has an event organised. 

So, the following week, Phill visited me in Bedford. Seeing each other requires a date and with us both being huge foodies, guess what we did (again)!?  Went for a meal! Hello Pizza Express. Phill had a creamy chicken pasta and I had a Fiorentina pizza with olives, spinach and an egg. We shared polenta chips – heavenly. Along with winning some fresh dough balls from entering a competition they had advertised on the table! 

Life does get better and it isn’t always served on a plate. In life you have to work at things. Work at relationships, work at bettering yourself, work at making life better for others. One thing I had to work on… getting a uniform I felt comfortable in to work at the gym. 

Women are issued with leggings as standard. I realised when teaching in the studio that when I bent over, you could see my whole bum and underwear through my leggings at work. 2 months and I hadn’t realised. 2 whole months of members staring at my backside without me even knowing. I ended up wearing non-uniform leggings (although you could barely tell the difference) and getting in trouble. It took me a couple of weeks to come up with a valid solution. Why don’t I ask to wear shorts that the guys are issued. 

Voila! It paid off. 

Don’t be afraid to look for change, to ask for change and to create change. However small of a deal it is. If it matters to you and you don’t do anything about it, it will eat away at you.

Change is why I love the creative industry so much. The industry is constantly flowing and moving and coming up with original ideas, along with recycling and reinventing old ideas. The industry never gets dull. I guess that’s why I enjoyed my degree in Advertising and Brand Management so much. It just didn’t keep me hooked. Designing adverts about products and causes I didn’t believe in got the better of me. My better work was always in the areas I was passionate about. When you’re in advertising, generally you can’t pick and choose which brands you produce work for. I preferred to have creative freedom. 

When visiting my university for the last time this year, I went to the degree shows. My favourite piece of work: Katherine McLean’s. Not just because she is one of my best friends. If anything I would try to be critical to help her develop and improve her work. But no. My jaw dropped. Inspired by Barcelona and with bright pops of colour and geometric shapes, I was drawn in. You can genuinely imagine it being on the runway, as the images demonstrate. I could imagine wearing it on a runway and I’m not even a catwalk model!! The designs are something that would make anyone feel confident and I love that I’ve never seen anything like it before. It’s unique, creative and simply inspiring. 

 The degree show all-round was impressive. I look forward to going to next year’s too! To top the night off at uni, we had to celebrate the success of everyone’s hard work by going on a night out…

A night out also leads to the dreaded, but somehow clothing co-ordinated morning after. 

From Staffordshire University, Phill and I went to Nottingham to visit my Dad and Stepmum with their gorgeous cat, Leo. He is one of the cheekiest cats I know and has a big personality, quite ironic that he looks like an absolute angel here:

That evening we went out for a meal (another one, yes!). I had a mocktail in the hope it would sooth my hangover – haha! For starters I had Crabcakes, followed by Green Thai Chicken Curry with Coconut Rice for main and a Chocolate Melt-In-The-Middle pudding for dessert. Om nom nom. I definitely, without a doubt, felt better after the meal.

Going off track a little now to the smaller things in life… many of which people call “very British problems”, or even “first world problems”, as everyone likes to have a good old moan whilst plenty of worse things are going on in the world e.g. wars, famine etc. 

Well here are some of the little irritations and even little pick-ups in life that are noticeable in life at the time, but both comparatively to others things and long term, actually have no relevance in life whatsoever. 

First of all… no-one wants to lose by 1 point in a game. No-one. But then again, no-one wants to starve to death or be caught up in a war zone, so we move on. 

One day I might actually win against Phill.

Moving on… I’ve been laughing at this joke for over 2 weeks now. I don’t think I will ever stop…

With all the politics in the world right now, Britain is having a pretty rough… but that won’t stop us creating games, having fun and enjoying ourselves. (You need to try this game just once – it was created near the end of the election, we found it very late the night before the results).

Okay, small things out the way…

Back to reality. 

Food. 

I won’t stop talking about food. We all love food. Once you get into healthy habits, healthier food tastes much nicer than unhealthy foods in my opinion. I prefer to eat vegetables than eat chips and I prefer to add spices and flavourings to basic things rather than overcomplicating food and processing food further. The picture below shows a breakfast I recently had in London made by Phill for us two and his sister, Dani. As you can see, it looks yummy. It tasted delicious. 

It only got better, later we had a BBQ with a couple more people over and on top of the sausages and burgers shown, we also had steak, multiple salads, BBQ’d prawns, Italian meats, olives and more!

For dessert we had the freshest fruit salad and I made a tasty Moroccan dessert, orange slices with cinnamon. All whilst playing Cards Against Humanity.

Between all of this I’ve been working, helping clients get fitter, more confident and feeling better about themselves. I’ve been building and growing my plans for the business and I’m on the way to making it all happen. I need to be patient with the progress and make sure everything is produced to a high standard. 

Remember, life is too short to do nothing with it. Make sure you live.

Time for some more tasty food!

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10 Minute Home Workout #10

The last of my written 10 minutes home workouts. The next ones after this will be videos! 

*Warm-Up*

Then workout:

30 SECONDS OF FROG SIT-UPS

40 SECONDS OF PLANK JACKS

50 SECONDS OF BUM KICKS

60 SECONDS OF REGULAR SQUATS

40 SECONDS REST

 (REPEAT 2 TIMES)

*Then Cool-Down*

If anyone has any questions, please don’t hesitate to comment or get in touch via the “Contact” Page!

Reflection

Over the last few days it’s been work, work, work. Last time I had a day off was 2 weekends ago and even then I was struggling fighting off the urge to do work on my business. I am determined, driven and eager to achieve my goals. All good, but I think I need a proper day off, or at least some time to myself where I think and do something, anything, other than work on my business.

I’ve been covering shifts and doing shifts all week – all of which we don’t get paid for at Pure Gym, as technically those hours replace our rent for the gym (yes, we have to pay to use the space to train our clients). To say the least, I’m absolutely shattered. I’m worn out. I’ve not had much time to talk to members, I’ve not had much time to train myself and I’ve been looking forward to being able to reorganise myself this week. On a positive note, I got to experience what shifts are like for other PT’s. What their classes are like. I got to try out teaching some classes I had never taught before and see whether I want to teach something like that regularly myself. I figured out in the end, I am very much my own person. I may enjoy teaching and exercise, but doing what I’m good at and enjoy the most makes me a more enthusiastic and a better teacher than something I’m not as confident in. So I will continue with the plans I had set out, knowing that the direction I am taking is the right direction.

My shifts changed as of Monday. Hello Monday morning 6am shift! I was dreading starting this shift, but at the end of the day, I ended up loving it. In fact, I love it even more than the previous shift I had at 6am on a Tuesday! The only downside was I wasn’t sharing my shift with another PT, which meant I had to do more cleaning and one of my hated jobs, cleaning the dreaded cross trainers and elliptical trainers. I’ve managed to avoid these for the best part of 2 months, knowing someone else could do that instead. In addition, I’m really going to miss having that company during shift time, especially in the morning – at least they don’t have to endure grumpy morning Jas any longer, haha!

Spin class was earlier, therefore my body and brain woke up properly earlier in the day. I wasn’t a zombie from 6am until 9am. When I went into work, it was the first time I felt ready to work in the morning and less zombie-like. As I walked in bang on time, the cleaner was just getting ready to leave. Perfect handover. Gym checks and Spin class complete, I was ready for not only the rest of the day, but the rest of the week. My body is now in motion. I haven’t wasted my Monday morning procrastinating as I usually would. I was productive. My business was productive. I also did my first timetabled induction that morning. After doing a test run on my manager the previous week and learning where I need to improve, the induction went smoother than ever. Good progress. I need to keep up the hard work, the positive development, the ambition I have to help others. 

Tuesday and Wednesday involved training clients and doing my usual shifts. Thursday was going to be my first day of rest in 2 weeks. It wasn’t. I didn’t go into work, but I ended up spending the whole day working on my business. I have so many plans underway and I’m excited for them to get rolling. I want to prove to myself that I can achieve anything and everything I set out to do. I can and I will. On Thursday I finished all my accounting and completed my tax returns for my first year of working. This was followed by some sad news and to be honest I thought this year’s sad news had been enough, especially since I started this new job. Life just keeps throwing curve balls at me. Right when I feel like I’m adjusting to how life has changed, it challenges me again. I’m not going to say what it is right now, because I’m not ready, I don’t think I will ever be ready… but I will wait for the results in the hope that the news turns out to be good news. Hope is what you have to hang on to. What you have to keep yourself moving forwards when times get tough.

Yesterday, Friday, definitely turned into “Friyay!”. My shift at work was fun. I taught my classes and then went into to town to hand out flyers for the Bedford Pure Gym £0 joining fee until the 10th May. If anyone is wondering what that promo code is to join, I’ll let you into a little secret (don’t tell anyone!)… it’s “SPRINGFREE”. Now go use it quick, before it’s too late! 

The time in town was fun, I got to meet loads of different characters of people. Some who laughed when I tried to get them to join the gym, some who took offence and some who greatly appreciated it. It was a roller coaster of reactions, but that showed how human and how raw we all are. It showed that each person is different and when you don’t discriminate with who you hand the flyers to and when they recognise that you’re just trying to get everyone to join, people respect that. They respect when others treat each other equally. It makes me happy when equality is recognised and appreciated in a country where everything is up in the air politically and socially. A world where everything is broadcast for a reaction. But coming face to face with normal people on an even level with no hierarchy or structure of authority, it showed the realness of how we live and perceive each other.

Straight after work I drove to London to stay with my boyfriend and his family for the weekend. When I arrived, I had a shower, had dinner and we headed straight to Danceworks studios. The previous night, a couple of my friends said they were over from Czech Republic and were going to another friend’s dance class (we all know each other from dance at uni). So, LJ and Ha An over from Czech Republic messaged me the night before asking if I was in London soon and fortunately I was, they invited Phill and I to Jerry’s dance class and said they hadn’t told Jerry we were turning up. So it was a lovely surprise for him when we arrived! We cracked on straight away with the dance and it was great to learn something new and different technique. Everything I learn, I can absorb and apply to my own dance classes. I can put my own twist on it and my own way of teaching. We all learnt a lot within a short space of time and I highly recommend going to Jerry’s dance classes if you’re in or near London on Friday evenings! Please comment if you would like more details and information! 

After the dance class we all went for a drink in a bar to catch up with each other. It’s been a couple of years since we all talked properly and and it was awesome to spend time with some of my best friends.

Now it’s the weekend, it’s time to have a proper rest. No work until Sunday evening. I hope you all enjoyed your weekends too!

10 Minute Home Workout #9

*Warm-Up*

Then workout:

30 SECONDS OF V-SIT UPS

30 SECOND V-SIT HOLD

30 SECONDS OF X MOUNTAIN CLIMBERS (KNEE TO ELBOW)

60 SECONDS OF FULL BURPEES WITH A TUCK JUMP

30 SECONDS REST

 (REPEAT 3 TIMES)

*Then Cool-Down*

If anyone has any questions, please don’t hesitate to comment or get in touch via the “Contact” Page!

Sweat, Stress, Strive.

Yesterday was full of time wasting. I had my clients as usual and did a nutrition consultation, which was beneficial to the member, but I feel sad when I know and they know I can help them further, but their finances don’t allow them to. After all, getting a Personal Trainer is an investment. A self investment. One that will benefit you for many years and decades to come. A Personal Trainer is a source of knowledge, a support system, a happiness provider. As we all know money can’t buy happiness, but with a Personal Trainer… it actually can! Someone achieving their physical goal, helps them mentally too. In fact, my aim is to get people mentally happier and working on the physicalities opens many doors and pathways to that. So when someone says they can’t afford Personal Training and you can see that they DO see the value in it… that does wrench at my heart strings.

Instead I say save up and you will be able to afford it. Save up and come back to me. Because it is never too late to make change. Positive change, good change, lifestyle change.

The rest of the day was spent aimlessly walking round the gym thinking about all the stuff I had planned to do with my time at the gym… that will be the first and the last time I go into work not making sure I have everything I need in my bag before I leave.

Today was a super-productive day. I had my shift from 6am-11am. Within that shift I have to clean the gym machines and equipment, teach classes and today I had a meeting with my manager to review my progress. Nothing new. Just the usual to me. I did however have to break it to my 9:15am spin class that my timetable is changing as of next week… they were gutted. So was I when I saw their faces. Unfortunately none of them were willing to change over to a Monday morning at 6:15am. I don’t blame them. Nonetheless, I am sure some people will want to attend a class at that time, probably before work. So I am excited to meet lots more members and see how much they can get their sweat on in my spin class!

The meeting with my manager went well and it was enough motivation for me to go and get another consultation directly after. I think I happen to be in the right place at the right time, with the right attitude. That kind of luck is helping me progress, along with good word of mouth and results!

Later on I went to one of my colleague’s 15 Minute Abs classes during his shift, followed by a staff meeting. I’m happy to say that I will be coaching the next Pure Loser that starts on the 12th June. The sign-up sheet goes up 1 month before in Pure Gym Bedford Heights, or just contact me if anyone is interested! 

Pure Loser, isn’t about “Losers”, as the name may suggest. Well it isn’t to me anyway. It’s about making people who do feel like they can do better become a winner. They will learn to win at the their own game. They will learn nutrition. They will learn exercises. They will learn, achieve and believe that they have the capability of winning, of getting fitter, of feeling empowered.

I am excited for this venture to say the least! Not only that, but my Pure Dance Classes start around the same time as Pure Loser, so May and June for me will be two busy months, planning, prepping and giving my time to members in return of the job satisfaction they give me.

After the meeting I helped out around the gym a bit before heading off home to do some meal prep for the rest of the week. I never thought I would get this into meal preparation, but I really have found an avid love for cooking. I love trying new things, different flavours, different cooking techniques. It brings back the whole memory of when Phill bought me a sushi cooking class for Christmas and when I was cooking there I felt in my element. Back to food prep today… I cooked 2 separate meals, creating 5 meals worth of food in total. The first one shown in the photo below is chicken, rice noodles, beansprouts and a few more stir fry veg with a garlic, ginger and chilli sauce.

The second dish I cooked was pan-seared lean beef along with a homemade tomato sauce, containing peppers, olives and onions. It all tasted delicious when I tried it, so hopefully it will taste just as good when I reheat them to eat over the next couple of days…

Bon Appetit!

10 Minute Home Workout #8

*Do a Warm-Up*

Then workout:

30 SECOND SIDE PLANK (ON YOUR LEFT) 

30 SECOND SIDE PLANK (ON YOUR RIGHT)

30 SECONDS OF FLUTTER KICKS

60 SECONDS OF SQUAT THRUSTS

30 SECONDS REST

 (REPEAT 3 TIMES)

*Do a Cool-Down*

If anyone has any questions, please don’t hesitate to comment or get in touch via the “Contact” Page!

London, Food, Family, Friends and Fitness.

Straight from work last Friday I went to London and stay at my Boyfriend’s with his family. The following morning we went to Leicester square to meet a friend, unfortunately when we arrived at Leicester Square, the meet up was cancelled, so Phill and I went for breakfast at Bella Italia on a little date instead. 

Phill had the Veggie Full English and I had a Mozzarella, Avocado and Pesto toasted sandwich (as shown in the photo above). It was okay. I wouldn’t go much further than that. Probably one of the worst breakfast’s I’ve had at a restaurant. We had to ask for avocado for the Veggie breakfast, because they forgot to put it on Phill’s plate. Then I took a bite into my food and it was like a mouth full of dryness. The bread was bone dry and the mozzarella was grated instead of fresh, which means it is kept in potato starch – even more dryness! Even the flag was upside down. For the price i guess we should have expected it, it certainly wasnt value for money. Let’s say, we won’t be going there again.

From here we explored a bit. First to M&M world to buy lots of chocolate, followed by dawdling round until we thought that it would be a good idea to go looking for somewhere nice to eat for lunch.

We went to Covent Garden expecting to be walking around for a bit looking for somewhere nice to go for lunch. As soon as Phill pointed out Wagamama’s, I practically ran to the door. Wagamama’s is my favourite chain restaurant and I can never get enough of their food! They serve Japanese cuisine. Absolutely delicious food every time, no matter what you choose! There was no disappointment here. In fact, it was one of the most beautiful Wagamama restaurants I have been to in terms of atmosphere and decor.

To drink, Phill had Green Tea (which is completely free!) I had Kiwi, Avocado and Apple Juice. They were both refreshing and very yummy. For main I had the Wagamama Ramen (shown below). This was full of noodles, boiled eggs and different types of fish and meat. It was heavenly. Phill had Vegetable Katsu Curry. Unfortunately I didnt get a photo of this, but he said that it was also really good. I can vouch for this, as I had a bite too! 

To finish we shared Banana Katsu Fritters with Salted Caramel Ice Cream. It was definitely too salty, but I think that’s just our taste… personally it was one of the better salted caramel things I have tried. The meal overall more than made up for our crappy breakfast. Hopefully it won’t be too long before we return.

After lunch, we had plans to go meet another friend who was visiting the UK from Austria. I’ve been excited since making the plans for this! We had plenty of time to get there and it was a good job we did. We came across a gentleman who was hunched over sat on the floor. A homeless man. A lady had her head turned at an angle and was looking at him strangely, thinking “something is wrong”, we could read in her puzzled look. She came over and said she wasn’t sure if the guy was alright. I looked a bit closer at him, his face was bleeding, dripping onto his jacket sleeve on the coat he was wearing. Something was wrong. I tapped him on the shoulder a few times and shook his shoulder a little bit, asked if he was okay. No response. He was breathing, he had a pulse. But, passed out. I got Phill to call an ambulance. The bimbo on the other end of the phone wasn’t a huge help. We explained exactly where we were with multiple location references and it still took her a whole 5 to 10 minutes to finally put it into maps and send someone on their way. Fortunately a paramedic turned up like the speed of light. Dave was his name. A lovely guy. Skipping a lot of the details Dave did a great job until a big ambulance turned up. When the guy regained consciousness we talked to him, helped the paramedic get the information he needed. We were unsure what to do when the guy said to us “take my money off me, I will just drink it away, it doesn’t help”. Obviously we weren’t going to take money off him… It was part of his possessions. He ended up putting his money inside his shoe when he left for the hospital. It confirmed for me that you shouldn’t give homeless people money. Just food. 

Later that day, I went onto do more research. On the Crisis website, they advise not to give money to homeless people as the majority have a drug or alcohol addiction and many are begging for the hell of it. Many aren’t even homeless. I learnt from a university project that Shelter offer help to every homeless person within 24 hours of them taking to the street. How accurate that is, I’m unsure. Nonetheless, the guy we found had a tag. He had been offered support.

I question though, is the support offered enough? Is there something more that can be done? What can we do to help other than donate to charities and give them food. I will continue to research and I will get back to you all on that one.

Anyway, off we continued to Camden Town to meet my Austrian friend, Andy. 

Camden was super busy, so we went for a walk by the canal to escape from all the rush. We stopped by Costa for a drink and a catch up before continuing on exploring.

On our way round Camden we came across this poster that made us laugh…

As we all know, it’s the perfect description of Donald Trump.

We then went to Kings Cross Station to see Platform 9 and 3/4 from Harry Potter… we would have queued up ourselves, but the queue was ridiculously long. This was all free, so it’s worth it if you have the time!

The station’s architecture, shown above, never ceases to amaze me. It is mesmerising.

After that we went to The Shard and took a few photos. For me, this is my favourite architecture out of all iconic London buildings. Phill and Andy thought I was obsessed! (Obsessed with getting good photos maybe!)

Here are some more photos of different locations we explored throughout the afternoon…

Exploring London was fun and seeing Andy was wonderful! But next time it’s our turn to visit Austria!

Back to Phill’s it was time to play games with Mysty and give Phill a haircut!

Following the haircut, we went for a family meal to a Brazilian BBQ all you can eat restaurant. I came out absolutely stuffed. Everything was delicious. Utterly mouthwatering. The weekend was exciting and filled with tonnes to do, as usual when I go to London! 

Throughout the week I have been focussed on work. Each week I have a set of tasks I need to try and complete and this week the intensity got ramped up. I try my best every week and that’s all that I can ask from myself and all anyone else can ask from me really. I do keep pushing to do better and I know with consistency and persistance, I will get there!

This week I have changed the way I am creating programs for clients and making them more valuable. Clients will get more for their money and hopefully even greater results. The clients I have so far are already getting results, but with the customers at mind, I want to further this.

This weekend just passed was lovely. Phill came to visit me and on Friday we went for a meal with my family this time! We went to what is called “Pudding Night”. You order your main course and this is followed by a sharing dessert for the table. After that you can go up to the buffet and help yourself to as many desserts and puddings as you like. However good it tasted, I think my waistline needs a break! 

This week I got back into training after a couple of weeks of having to rest my knee. I feel like my body is ready to go again. So expect to hear lots about training on my next blog post!

On Saturday Phill and I went out for a walk. The weather was glorious, so why not!? We captured a lot of beautiful photos and even saw a Muntjac Deer! We were spoilt to see such an amazing sight and more spoilt with the fantastic outcome of the photos…

Make a wish!

P.S. I will post the video of the deer to my Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/jshearsmithfitness