I only had 5 bullets…

Yesterday I went Clay Pigeon Shooting….

Now this is something I have wanted to do for a very long time and I LOVED it. This was a taster session at the Laggan Outdoor Activity Centre at Gatehouse of Fleet. You should check it out sometime if you are into that sort of thing, The main reason we went was because I wanted to go climbing, turns out they don’t have a climbing wall.
The climbing things stems from my childhood. When I was younger my friends and I would climb the old Abbey near our house all day every day during the summer holidays… We went back with the kids about a year ago and had a little climb.
It made me realise how much I love that sort of thing. But I had just got caught up in being an adult too much.  Which can be a bit boring sometimes. I just made me realise that we should be doing things that we enjoy as MUCH as possible. Climbing for me is challenge, fun and you get that scared feeling as you know you could fall.
I know it definitely wasn’t the safest thing to do as a kid but it was what we enjoyed. I would probably struggle now to let my own son do stuff like that as he gets older.  Maybe in a controlled environment with a harness on… I just think we lose sight of being young and care free by doing all the things that need done all the time. Like the shopping, house work, bills and so on.
Sometimes just take the time to do something that doesn’t really get you anywhere in terms of productivity but makes you happy. I will go climbing soon enough but in the meantime the clay pigeon shooting was a worthy substitute. Incase you were wondering I hit the first two clays, not sure if it was beginners luck but it was a lot of fun.
There was also an 820 meter zip wire which was awesome too, pretty windy at the top though. So between that and Tough Mudder it’s been a good couple of weeks.
Here’s to more fun adventures…

Why Don’t You Sleep?

Now I am not tarring everyone with the same brush… However I keep seeing the same thing happening. People not going to bed early enough! Now you may be thinking how do I know this.

Well…
Ironically it’s through FACEBOOK. I wake up some mornings and I have notifications on my phone. This is mainly from posts to do with the gym or stuff I have been tagged in. So being the sad person I am I look at the time of the notification. More often than not it’s been at 11:42 or  11:49 pm.
I then often think to myself what are people still doing up at this time of day? Now I totally understand that some people just can’t go to sleep early. But I would beg to differ if it’s nearly midnight and you are still on your phone then this will likely be the reason you can’t sleep.
Stimulating your brain at that time of day will not be helpful to a good night’s sleep.
My other issue with this is that I imagine most people will be up reasonably early the next day for work or getting the kids sorted. So why choose to get less sleep just for the sake of seeing what other people are doing with their lives on Facebook. I may be wrong on this one and please tell me if you have a different opinion. Some studies show that the more sleep you get before 12pm is more beneficial to your overall sleep.
So maybe getting to bed just a bit earlier might help with everything else in life. You won’t know until you try and gaining sleep WILL benefit you. Checking social media at midnight will not so all I can ask is you put the phone down and count the sheep. There are other things you can do to help if you feel like you struggle to get to sleep in the first place. Things like reading, hot baths and ensuring you room is in complete darkness will all help with getting to sleep.
If you just can’t switch off then it make be a case of getting everything out of your head. Trying writing down a list of things you are currently thinking about or things you need to do the next day. This should get it out your head and allow your brain to switch off and get some well deserved sleep.

Don’t walk around in pain…

You always have a choice!

We see a lot of people coming into the gym for treatment for different things. Lower back pain, shoulder pain and just general aches and pains. Now luckily we have great people at the gym who can treat these ailments and get people moving again. But this is where the problem lies. People think a couple of sessions of massage or with a physio then everything will be sorted and it’s back to normal.

 

If only that was the case.

 

What happens is people get treated and then go back to doing whatever it was they were doing before being that their day job or playing their sport. The majority of the time they have the pain or discomfort is due to the things they are doing on a daily basis. Like sitting at a desk 6 – 8 hours a day. You do get injuries that are accidental like broken wrists or tearing a muscle but 9 times out 10 it’s poor movement that gets people in trouble.

 

People don’t want to put the work in. When our specialists treat a client they will then send them away with corrective exercises to do DAILY which will help with the pain and should be them back to full function. The problem is most people don’t do it. They are too busy, too tired or just can’t be bothered. But 3 weeks later they come back with the same problem. There is no sense in this whatsoever.

 

We all want the quick fix, the 30 minute appointment that will take care of everything and we can get on with ours days. However I am almost certain that this pain/discomfort has been built up over time and you just put up with it for a while before doing anything about it. So we can’t expect to be fixed in one appointment and without putting any work in to make it better.

 

It’s the same with people looking to lose weight. They spend months if not years putting weight on but end up expecting to lose it all again in 8 weeks. I am not the best at maths but it doesn’t work like that. You don’t need to walk around in pain because movement with  a purpose on a daily basis will make you feel great and keep you feeling great. Not everyone has the ability to move freely so if you do make sure you take care of business.

 

 

Protein powder will kill us…

Yesterday you may have seen the story in the news about ‘Protein Powder’. Stating that some of the claims so manufacturers put on the labels of these supplements is…
‘Wrong and Immoral’
Now I am not saying for one minute that some companies don’t talk absolute BS to try and sell a few extra tubs of protein. But the problem is that all most people heard yesterday on the news was:
‘Protein powder is evil and we shouldn’t not consume it, ever’
Not that it can be taken as part of a healthy and balanced diet to get sufficient amounts of protein into your diet. Now if people are using these as meal replacements on a regular basis then we have a problem. We all know that 80-90% of your calories should be coming for whole single ingredients foods. Things like protein powder are just a top up for the system.
So please don’t be horrified by the news glorifying these claims to make you think it’s bad for you.
I do recommend buying a decent standard of protein powder to ensure it hasn’t got too much junk in it. If you use it now and again and it works for you then keep using it.
Add it to your smoothies, Take it after the gym if it’s going to be a while before you get a substantial meal. We NEED protein in our diets. So without it you won’t last long. Of course the sources of that protein must be taken into consideration.
But as long as you aren’t smashing 6 protein shakes a day then you are fine.
You heard it hear first. The news is brutal at the best of times, this is the icing on the cake.
Studies and research are important but it is also important to try and separate the good from the bad. It also important to sift through the nonsense headlines that the media publish to try and grab your attention and make you believe that certain products or things we consume are evil.
The devil is in the dosage. As always.

Tough Mudder 2017!

In just over two weeks a myself and a team from the gym will be taking part in Tough Mudder. Now this event isn’t something new and has been about for 5 years or so but I will be the first time I have done anything like this. I have wanted to do one for a long time but have just never got round to it. Time to see if I can actually manage it.

 

I am really excited and slightly nervous as don’t know what to expect and I am trying my hardest not to watch much footage of the obstacles before the event. Hopefully this will provide and element of surprise and no preconceived ideas. As I would probably just over think it and keep falling in the water at every obstacle. But I do know one thing for sure it’s going to be a lot of fun.

 

I think it’s great to challenge yourself with things like this and not just play it safe all the time. In that case it relates a lot to everyday life. If we just play it safe then we won’t be moving forward in life and be accomplishing the things we want to. So just make sure you step out of your comfort zone now and again to ensure you don’t get lazy.

 

The other part about Tough Mudder is the team aspect of it all. We have a group of 16 people taking part and the great thing is we all have different strengths and weaknesses that will be vital in helping each other get through the course. We will be all motivating and pushing each other on the make sure we all reach the finish line. You can only get so far in life on your own so have a great support network of people you trust is vital.

 

Well wish us luck and I am sure we will all come out the other side of the event with a big smile on our faces and a cider in our hands J But please just have a think about those two concepts:

 

  1. Challenge yourself and push out your comfort zone on a regular basis.
  2. You can only get so far on your own.

 

They are two things that will help you lead a happier and healthier life.

 

Take note.

I think I finished last…

This week I had my son Jack’s first ever nursery sports day. It was a big deal and he is still wearing his medal. At the age of 3 he loved it and it was good to see all the kids having fun.

 

Even in the rain 🙁

 

At the end of the kids events they announced a Mothers and Fathers race. I thought I should be ok at this, after all it is my job to be fit. That was until it was evident that it was an egg and spoon race. Needless to say I was brutal and finished pretty much last. Now obviously this was a bit of fun and it was great to get all the Mum’s and Dad’s involved.

 

Not that I am bitter 🙂

 

It just shows you even in silly things like this we aren’t good at everything. We all have different strengths and weaknesses. Some people say you should focus on your strengths and not worry too much about your weaknesses. Which is great in some instances like keeping fit. You might think for example that you need to run to lose weight. But in truth you suck at running and hate it. You also aren’t very likely to stick to it.

 

So that case don’t do it. Don’t force yourself to do something you aren’t good at and don’t enjoy. There is more than one way to lose weight. Sticking to something you are good at and are more likely to stick to will produce better results. I see people all the time trying to push through and do something they don’t enjoy. Join slimming clubs, run in the street or eat rabbit food. It doesn’t have to be this way.

 

It won’t come overnight but if you keep adding layers of good habits on top of the good ones you have already introduced then you will start being more consistent and ultimately get better results. Which is what we all want at the end of the day. So the message here is don’t get caught up and worry about things you aren’t good at, focus on the things you are good at and use them to your advantage. You will be happier in the long run to. It sounds like a win/win to me.

 

Right I am away to practice for next years egg and spoon race.

 

Mark

Sometimes things don’t go as they should…

I hope you didn’t have a flight booked in or out of London this past weekend. As British Airways went into shut down. Leaving thousands of travellers in disarray.

It’s unthinkable for a company of that magnitude to have their whole operation totally disrupted. Life can throw some massive spanners in your plans sometimes.

 

In situations like this what can you do? Sometimes nothing. I mentioned this quote last week in a conversation with my wife and a few friends that life is10% what happens to you and 90% of how you react to it. For the people at the mercy of BA’s flight schedule I can imagine how most of them have reacted.  Anger turning into rage and rage turning into sadness and disappointment. Then probably all the way back again.

 

Some people may have been able to get a different mode of transport, book a flight with another airline or manage to reschedule their trip altogether. But some people will be left helpless. I would never be easy to react to something like this in a positive way. However what choice do you have? Be miserable and sad or take it on the chin make a new plan and keep moving forward.

 

That reaction and how you deal with complications and hurdles in your life will always be up to you. You always have a choice. Maybe not a choice of if your flight will go on time or even at all but a choice of how you are going to deal with it. Things won’t always go your way or what you think should be your way. Which means you need to find a new way, a different path to go down that will ultimately lead you to the same place.

 

Your goal won’t always be linear and run down a straight smooth path. There will be bumps in the road and maybe even detours to get you  there. But as long as you get there then that’s the main thing. Then it’s onto the next one. If we are setting goals that truly mean something to us and we desperately want to achieve then we will find a way. It’s just that sometimes the goals are based on what people think they want rather than what they actually want usually based on other people’s opinions. Be clear in what you want to achieve.

 

Whatever happens keep swinging.

The Trade Off

I recently put together a video highlighting how we generally spend our time on a daily basis. I am trying to show you that we spend every day trading our time between one thing and another. Normally between the things we want to do and the things we have to do. We determine which activities get given the most time and what activities get neglected.

 

I based the video on 6 different areas:

 

  1. Procrastinating
  2. Healthy Eating
  3. TV
  4. Relationships
  5. Social Media
  6. Exercise

 

Now there are other things that come into play like work and sleep but the things listed above are generally what we do with our FREE time. It’s all about focusing on what is important to YOU. You may have no interest in exercise, healthy eating and creating positive relationships in your life and that’s your call. However I can assure you that most of us want to look good, feel good and be loved.

 

Which means you need to prioritise these things to ensure this is the case. We all get caught up wasting time on our phones when we should be something more important. Therefore we must control our time and try not to waste it on meaningless tasks as much as possible. Time is something we can’t control and can’t get back so wasting it is bonkers.

 

I am pretty sure that from time to time you stop what you are doing, whatever that may be and say to yourself why I am doing this. What a complete waste of time. When you are spending an hour or two scrolling through various social media sites then surely there is something more productive you can be doing with your time.

 

All I am asking is that you look at your time spent doing things that don’t matter and maybe directing it towards the things that do matter. Then in time you will start to see the results of this time spent on more purposeful things. You will look better, feel better and have better relationships with people. Surely that is time well spent.

Are you stuck in your ways?

As people we all have different personalities and think differently about everything. Obviously certain people agree on certain things and others disagree depending on the subject matter. When it comes to mindset and how you view things you can either have a fixed mindset or a growth mindset.

 

A fixed mindset is where you have certain core beliefs that define you as a person. Typically with a fixed mindset you aren’t really willing to change these beliefs or progress/change. A great example of this would be back in the 90’s when the Internet first appeared and people said it was a fad and wouldn’t last. So far I think the Internet is winning that battle. It’s not being able to open yourself up to new possibilities.

 

I think we all can be guilty of this from time to time and get stuck in our ways and not push ourselves to do more and be more based on what we perceive to be reality. It could be how you were raised that everything is black and white and that is it. We all a product of our environment.

 

When you approach life with more of a growth mindset the possibilities are endless. You can do and be what ever you want to be. This clearly takes hard work and application but everything we do is evolution. We create something and we refine it and make it better as the years go by. Technology is always the obvious go to for referencing growth and evolution.

 

However in the world of science especially with things like nutrition and exercise we are always seeing developments. Things that people thought were healthy for you 20 years ago aren’t the same as what they are today. It just goes to show that nothing is set in stone except taxes and death so we shouldn’t view them to be so.

 

Expand your horizons and make sure you try to have a growth mindset instead of a fixed mindset when it comes to everything in life.

Why is it so hard?

I shall tell you why…

 

We get to a point where we are comfortable and we put our feet up (literally) and stop doing the right things. Our eating habits aren’t what they should be and we spend most of our nights chilling on the couch watching TV. More than likely smashing our way through some snacks. This is a pretty easy life, not too stressful or strenuous. You may have these factors in your day job and feel you deserve the rest of a night.

 

That is totally your call and if you are happy with the results of that then who I am to judge.

 

But then what happens is we get to a point to where we are uncomfortable with ourselves. We have put on too much weight from all the inactivity and snacks. Then it is an absolute mission as to where to start. We are stuck in our ways and it takes a lot for us to change.

 

No one likes change.

 

Especially if that means losing weight and exercising.

 

NEWSFLASH!!!!! OUR BODIES DON’T LIKE LOSING WEIGHT.

 

Our bodies want to hang on to whatever it has and doesn’t like when you try to do something about it. That’s why it’s so hard and why most people start well but quickly go back to there old habits and revert back to the couch and the snacks.

 

People put on weight over months and even sometimes years but they want to lose it all again in 12 weeks. It doesn’t work like that. You need to push through and continue when it starts to get tough. I promise you it is worth it. Looking good, feeling good and having confidence in yourself is MASSIVE.

 

Don’t let a bit of hard work stand in your way of achieving success. It’s like anything in life. If it’s worth having it’s worth working for it. You put yourself in this position and it’s up to you to get yourself out of it.