Les Mills in The Netherlands

I keep getting asked online if I’m going to the upcoming workshops in The Netherlands, but unfortunately the answer is no. I was proud in the past I never missed a single workshop, not until the one that was 1 week after I gave birth, lol. But since then I’ve not been able to attend again, cuz here in the Netherlands they won’t let me go.

When I first arrived here I tried to register, but they told me I had to register through a gym that I worked for. The unfortunately thing is that I have not yet been able to get classes at the gym I’ve been a member of because I cannot speak Dutch. I’d kinda given up trying but I’ve since heard that other English speaking instructors have been able to teach classes elsewhere so I might give other gyms a go. However my chances here are small since Apeldoorn isn’t really a touristy area and they expect you to speak Dutch.

Anyway, back to the Les Mills issue. Here you must work for a gym otherwise you can’t go to the workshops. The plus side is that the gym pays for all the training and materials. I used to think this was an awesome idea and would have LOVED to have my materials paid for. God knows how much I’ve spent on my trainings and DVD’s etc……..I know I’ve spent about AU$2000 on DVD’s and CD’s alone. But now that I’ve actually seen it in action I don’t think it’s a good idea for the quality of the fitness industry. It means, if you want to become an instructor then a gym must agree to hire you and pay for all your training.

The negative side of this, is you could REALLY want to desperately become an instructor, be very very passionate about the program, have plenty of potential…………but unless the gym wants you as an instructor then you have no chance (I’m not talking about me here, I’m already an instructor. I’m referring to the system and people in general). On the other side of the scale, if a gym desperately needs an instructor, they just pick a person and send them on the training. Depending on the management this person could be someone who has the passion and talent. Or it could just be the manager’s girlfriend’s brother’s bestfriend. You get the picture.

At least with the Australian way if you’re really passionate about teaching, then opportunity to do so is much more possible. Then, after those who’ve done the training and shadowed a bit……natural selection takes place. If you’re a poor instructor, you don’t get classes. It’s that simple.

Here however, once a gym has invested in the training for the instructor, there’s no turning back. In my opinion it appears this is generating a greater percentage of poor instructors here. Instructors that don’t really give a damn. Instructors that, even after 3 months of doing the same chorrey (the no mixing issue is another gripe of mine, grrrr) they STILL make mistakes with the chorrey. Instructors that do random stuff just for the sake of it.

The fact that they do a release nearly the entire 3 months here is just another issue that in my opinion reduces the quality of instructors. They tend to get lazy. After so long doing the same release the participants know the chorrey, and so the instructors just don’t cue properly. I’ve seen, more than once, the battery go flat on the mic. The instructor stopped completely (while the class just continued on their own), took the battery out, put new one in and then came back to the class and resumed. The class all knew the chorrey to death (it was an attack class) so the instructor obviously didn’t need to cue.

Anyway, that’s another issue in itself. I cannot understand why I cannot keep updated in Les Mills, despite being more qualified than most of the instructors here (there is no requirement for formal fitness education here like there is in Australia, so most instructors here have done the module and that’s all), and I have all my international certificates. I would like to teach again, as soon as I can get a class in English or I learn enough Dutch to being able to teach in Dutch…….but yet I am being explicitly prohibited from going to the workshops. I absolutely do not understand the logic behind this? I can understand not allowing participants to go to the workshop, but I’m hardly a participant?

I’ve written to LMI and the Les Mills agent here about this, so I can only wait and see if anything comes of it?

I miss Les Mills classes as I knew it ­čÖü

First Snow

I’ve finally seen snow! I’ve never seen snow before in my life and wow, it looks so beautiful. Everytime I look out the window and it’s white and I keep getting amazed. I can’t believe how light it is and falls so softly. And when you gather a snow ball it’s so light aswell.

We went to visit family of Alexander’s during the day today, and they live in a quaint Dutch looking little villiage, and with all the snow it looked so much like a Christmas card!

Later when we dropped Alexander’s dad off home, Alexander took his dad’s dog for a walk where he found a park with a snowman and phoned me to tell me about it. Despite it getting a bit dark and cold I just HAD to go have a look. First I got lost trying to find him, and with the light snow falling after 5-10 mins I was starting to look a bit bedraggled. But eventually I DID find Alex (looking for me, lol) and the park looked amazing. It was all flat and white, undisturbed and just this snowman sitting in the middle. It was awesome!

People who know me know I HATE the cold, but the snow is worth it. If it’s gonna be cold then I hope it just keeps snowing ­čÖé

Outlook 2007 bug

It’s not a nice one. In fact at first I thought I had a virus or some sort of malware. The bug allows my Outlook to send out spam!

Basically I first noticed something wasn’t right when I got a request to verify the security certificate associated with my email account. The way I have my email account set up is to use the secure smtp through my web host which is hosting my domain. So what happens is the security certifcate doesn’t match the domain. That’s fine, it just means I have to confirm that the security certificate is a safe one every time I open outlook (my super computer knowledgable husband has now informed me that I can actually install the certificate so that I no longer receive that warning…….lol thanks for telling me NOW after years of being frustrated, haha).

Anyway, now that I’ve explained that, the other day when opening Outlook I got this request to confirm the security certificate when I had not actually sent any email. I ONLY get this request when I send an email normally. After a bit of looking around I noticed that there was no messages queued in my outbox yet in the bottom right of the status bar it said “Sending 1 of 4”.

hmmmmm

Not sure what to do I accepted the security notice and then within seconds I received emails bounced back. Those emails were spam messages. Meaning my account had just tried to send spam.

I run an antivirus at all times and Alexander and I have spent the last few days trying to track this problem. We installed a program called “UnHackMe” and did various other tests. Added to this Alexander started logging the DNS requests on his server. We hadn’t yet been able to figure out the source of this problem yet, although we hadn’t read the logs in detail as yet.

However tonight I started googling to see if there were other people out there having the same problem. It took testing a few different search terms to eventually find discussions on forums of other people having EXACTLY the same problem. The common denominator appeared to be Outlook, gmail and IMAP. I also have my outlook configured via IMAP to read my gmail (which I use to collect my email from all my other addresses and filter the spam).

It appears, after a bit of reading, that this is a bug in Outlook. As far as I can tell, Microsoft call it a “feature” (yeah right). This is appears to be a massive problem because it allows spammers to verify legit email accounts (which so far I’ve managed to keep my main personal email account free from spam) and it also uses these accounts to forward on spam.

I don’t understand it all completely, yet. But from what I can tell the reason the emails don’t appear in your sent items is because it uses the Outlook read receipt feature to send on the spam (these don’t get saved in your sent items). This seems to be only IMAP related. It’s far more complicated than that but my next task is to figure out a workaround (without removing my IMAP accounts entirely)……..which I might wait for hubby to help me out with that one. ­čÖé

Microsoft aren’t going to do themselves any favours if they don’t try and fix this one! My understanding is that this bug request was first submitted in Dec 2007!