Missed opportunity

Very frustrated, with being unable to work right now or do any gym classes, I’ve just had the opportunity for a permanent balance class and another balance fill in (but alas, had to say “no” as I’m still injured). I’ve been waiting for the opportunity for a permanent balance class since I returned to Australia, and I’m sure doing more bodybalance would seriously help me get my body back where it needs to be. However, with the disc injury I have right now, downdogs, forward folds and pretty much any stretch is completely out of the question at the moment.

Sigh, well, maybe this “time off” is a lesson in patience or something or other.

Pinched nerve

And after several months of teaching 2 regular pump classes each week, and the occasional fill in (still working full time in IT aswell), I am now off work suffering from a pinched nerve in my back. After a couple of days in hospital, nights of being unable to lay down and sleep and using strong painkillers to be able to get any sort of rest, I’ve had to take time off work. Due to the pain I’ve lost 5kg in just a couple of weeks (I bet it’s muscle/water loss…if only it were fat loss, sigh).

So it’s lots of rest, and can’t even do bodybalance. Haven’t been able to do a pain free down dog for a while now and doing lots of research on safe exercises. My chiro won’t give me many hints on what I CAN do, cuz he wants me to slow down and rest, lol.

But after 3 weeks rest I can feel I’m starting to feel slightly better if I move, and worse if I don’t move. Can’t sit or lay flat on my back, but apparently gentle walks is ok, and so are “pointers” (the pilates moves on all fours).

I’m also betting on using horse riding as a theraputic tool. I know I know it sounds crazy, but I’ve got my beautiful horse Kira and I know of many people who’ve had improvement from horse riding, including an old friend I’ve recently re-got-in-touch with after many years. She used just sitting on the horse walking, starting with 5 minutes per day and gradually increasing it.

Here’s why I think it’ll be beneficial. Our disc’s in our spine get compressed during the day, and it’s when we sleep that the disc’s decompress and the nutrients are able to feed the discs. Performing traction is the basis of using this principle, opening up the discs, decompressing them and getting much needed nutrients into the spine. I’ve also read about people recommending sitting on a fit ball and gently bouncing to get the same effect (my fit ball is deflated and in a box somewhere after we moved house 2 months ago). So, using this theory I could imagine that the gentle rocking of the pelvis while the horse quietly walks around would also achieve this effect………..as long as I don’t fall off! 🙂

I tried this yesterday afternoon, had the second night I was able to sleep through the night (since this has happened) and I only took regular Nurofen Plus for a painkiller. I was still sore in the morning, but not worse.

This is progress.

Bridge pose

In Balance, when we do bridge pose, on the videos it always explicitly explains that we must squeeze our buttocks while lifting up.

However I once had a PT client that used to do pilates who said to me that they explicitly state to NOT squeeze the buttocks.

Yesterday I participated in a pilates class where the instructor also said not to squeeze the buttocks in bridge pose and to try and relax the muscles.

So my question is, why is this taught differently between the 2 programs?


I can’t believe “You’re Shining” is in the latest combat! That breaks my heart, since I recommended that song ages ago and was dying for that to be in combat or attack.

I’ve been so out of it when it comes to all the latest Les Mills stuff. A few weeks ago I finally purchased the latest releases for combat, pump and balance. I hadn’t bothered, since I haven’t been teaching much and only doing the occasional balance here and there. Last night I finally extracted all my songs to itunes so I could listen to new music on the way to work (I have an hour drive). When I first got in the car, I initially put on the warmup for combat 44, but then changed my mind and started searching for the latest balance. For some reason I didn’t feel in the mood for combat. But while I was looking for the balance tracks the first notes of the combat warmup really struck me. I couldn’t turn it off! so I stayed with combat, and the music sounds awesome! I haven’t done combat properly since combat 35, when I was pregnant. I did teach BC41 a few times in the netherlands, but apart from that I’m really missing out on a lot.

So after listening to the whole combat, man I wanna do it again! I can’t believe the feelings the music gave me, that buzz and motivation! It’s a pity everyone is mixing now and I’ve missed it 🙁

I’ve been taking my fitness slowly and doing pump and balance, maybe a low impact combat class will be on the cards soon?


My chiro is amazing. There’s just nobody like him, I just have to say it. You’d think a knee injury would have nothing to do with my back, but after seeing my chiro and getting my hips straightened out again (it’s a process over a few weeks to get back to normal) my knee suddenly stops hurting. He also fixed up an ankle problem I’ve been having since I left Australia. I’ve had a muscle that was tight and sore down the front of the shin and if I ever tried to run or do any sort of impact, my heel would hurt. So while I was getting my treatment from the chiro, I asked him to have a look at my ankle. A very painful adjustment, but it feels MUCH better and I look forward to being able to do more impact again.

Yep my chiro is magic. I’ve seen a few now and none are like him.

Injured Knee

I’ve started getting much more motivated to get back into fitness since getting back to Oz, and since finding a wonderful park down the road Alex and I regularly take Connor down there to play and I do some mini fitness sessions for myself. I’ve been getting motivated to do intervals, jogging up the hill and walking down, lunges and a few pushups and stuff on the benches etc. I think I’m getting inspired to start doing some private PT outdoor sessions again like I did when I was pregnant. At least, I would be able to do some of these while the weather holds out. So in the meantime I’m getting all my paperwork together to register and insure again with Fitness Australia again, and once that is done I may start taking on clients on a casual basic, possibly in a child friendly atmosphere but that idea I need to explore.

Alex and I have even decided to program a fitness schedule to make it to the City To Bay fun run in October this year. I was 5 weeks pregnant when I did the last one in 2007, and before I decided to actually move to the Netherlands it had been my plan to get fit again for the next one in 2008. That never happened of course, and after suffering from falls on the stairs and bad medical care, I never really got back again. Now I’m back with my trusty chiro again and progress is now ready to go up!

The only downside is, with all that extra motivation I got a bit hyper while mucking around with Alex and did some plyo lunges on the concrete. Sigh, I guess it’s hard to face the fact that my body must take it slowly, and I have injured my knee. Will see how it goes, but I’m supposed to be teaching my first balance fill in since getting back in Australia on Thursday. So ice and rest it is in the meantime.


With most people going on holidays at the moment (it’s the summer vacation period here), it means I’m doing a few extra fill ins, and today I did my first vive fill in. I haven’t done a lot of vive since I did my training on BV4, but I’ve noticed while the music seems a bit cooler, the difficulty in the choreography hasn’t changed.

I don’t get why this program has such difficult and unintuitive choreography? I mean, I guess the participants don’t really notice the difference cuz they just follow the instructor, but for a program that is supposed to be an entry level program and for the “fragile eggs” in the fitness industry, I really don’t think they should have difficult “off phrase” movement combinations.

Most of the class is ok, but for example in track 2 “Jump”, the combination has to start on counts 5 & 6 and finishes on 3 & 4. I mean, I can get it, and the moves go with the “Jump” lyrics in the music, but comon surely this can be choreographed better so that it’s not off phrase? The other programs i can mostly learn just off the notes and DVD without having to physically do it (BODYATTACK, BODYPUMP, BODYCOMBAT, BODYBALANCE), but just this one stupid move I had to practice several times to make sure I would get it right (it just doesn’t feel natural for me to move off phrase), and even then, I still made a mistake in the class.

Track 3 has a more complicated move that resembles a move in BODYJAM. Hubby tells me he saw it in jam also although it’s a bit more complicated in jam I guess.

During my training it was emphasised about the type of people doing BV, and we were taught things like, if people couldn’t get up off the floor how they could do move sitting on the edge of the stage so they could still get up, and how others could do some of the moves sitting in a chair. Judging on this latest release it doesn’t look like they’re targeting that market anymore especially not with “Ponies” in track 5.

On another note, the presenter’s voice of track 5 on the video reminds me exactly of Jo’s voice teaching attack back at Goodlife. Especially with doing hamstring curls, step touches and ponies, I feel like I’m in Jo’s attack class again!

Epe fillin

ah so now I’ve been asked to do a fill in at another centre, which isn’t a problem in itself, but it means I have to drive on….


…..the freeway….


This is quite scarey for me, which I can’t remember if I’ve explained before, but the people here drive on the freeway crazy compared with tiny ol’ Adelaide that only has one freeway it can really call a proper freeway. And here, they drive pretty much the same style at 120km (or faster……..mostly faster) as we do at 60km on Main North Road. So to sum up, it’s a bit scary.

Before going to the class I was therefore more nervous about driving on freeway than ever about teaching the class…….especially cuz teaching classes, even at strange gyms just doesn’t make me nervous these days. But I was trembling holding onto the steering wheel while driving onto the freeway. Luckily the freeway was pretty quiet by Dutch standards and I could easily get on to the freeway, and I like it when there’s a truck in front of me and I can just sit behind the truck while all other cars overtake. On when the left lane is clear do I dare to try overtaking.

Well, it’s only my second time alone on the freeway and me and tom (tom) got there and back safely. Oh and the class went fine aswell, and I’m filling in again next week (another drive on the freeway…….oh dear).  


We finally had our launches for BODYBALANCE 45 ( our launches are a LOT behind Australia I know!) and I taught the standing strength track out of the half block we presented (the other other was pilates, as it was an express block format for the launches).

Since at the launch there’s lots of new people trying out the classes, I tried really hard to use as much dutch as possible. This is a huge challenge for me with new choreography, and I don’t teach it as well (it just flows better in your own language, and people tell me that balance sounds better in English anyhow), but I think I did ok with some of my new words.

My new favourite word of the moment is “Drai” (I have no idea of the spelling!) which means “turn”. I use it all the time now:

  • Turn your toes left
  • Turn yourself to the back wall
  • Turn your shoulder out
  • Turn your knee out
  • Turn you hips forward

The different examples are endless………..a very useful word to know in Dutch for teaching balance classes 🙂

Anyway the launch went well, and I was doing the options, which was a good thing since my sacroilliac was still a bit tender and some of the moves were still a little painful for me, such as the full cobra/up dog.

And I really like the track I had to present aswell…….very nice track.

Don’t sneeze

Well the last couple of weeks I’ve had a cold, and last week I managed to sneeze and strain one of the ligaments around my sacroilliac joint. So it’s been back to the chiropractor for me and lots of rest.

I’ve still been doing my balance classes, but this has basically meant no combat or pump for a few weeks until it heals again.

So, tonight I had to skip the launches which is at Achmea in the South (I teach at North). Didn’t really NEED to go, but I wanted to see the launches anyway.

Our launches are on Wednesday 1st, so I’ll be there for that no probs.

Dutch Dally

Well, I’m recovering from my first ever Dutch Dally, a social gathering of Les Mills instructors and participants, first inspired by the original EUROMAD held in the UK in 2004, set up by forum goers in The Netherlands……..or rather, set up by John. . These events allow some people to meet for the first time and has developed many great friendships! People have attended these events from all over the world, including EU, Australia, UK and USA.

However, while it was a first for me, I had already been to a less formal BBQ at John’s last year where I met most of the people (as well as EUROMAD where I met the UK members). So the main difference this time round for me was the classes and the fundraising aspect.

There was one new member that we all hadn’t met before, so Bev it was the first event. Although Bev seems to have been quite affected by the fact her name is the translation for a very explicit sexual act that I think most British people would never want to admit to! 🙂
Despite the fact that we have totally different taste in music it seems, I have found another friend in the Netherlands (we are still coming to terms with the music clash but we are negotiating a compromise over this problem 🙂 ).

The weekend was a lot of fun, doing classes, drinking, talking, partying. Although was fitness is struggling quite a lot, I was very proud to be able to complete 2 combat’s and 1 balance. Sounds a very small amount of exercise compared to what I used to do, but this is more than I have done in a long time and a huge challenge for me (especially with both the combats having the esquiva from BC37 and 38, ugh)!

As for the drinking, it seems my ability to drink has seriously plummeted aswell………now I’ve finally stopped breastfeeding I found myself suffering a lot after only 2 beers and 2 advocat’s (I wish I could have drunk more of that Advocat John, but it just wasn’t happening, lol).

The weekend just went so fast though, TOO FAST. I missed Rien’s rubik’s cube in action (I’m looking forward to seeing the piccies you took too, I will get them off the laptop asap!). Lisa and Dean, you know it’s LOVELY to see you again, Vicki I didn’t initially know you were coming, but I’m glad you could make it…….fantastic to see you again 🙂
oh now that I’ve started writing names I run the risk of forgetting people. Janne and Sjouke (it was also Sjouke’s first time at a Dutch Dally), we mustn’t wait till an “event” to see each other again, considering you live in the same apartment block as us! I have to say thanks to all the shape team, Keyla for babysitting Connor while nearly EVERYONE did combat (no other program can boast that eh?), and all the other babysitters who helped out. And most of all, thanks to John and Monique for hosting us all.

For Sunday night dinner that was a different experience for me. I didn’t get a translation and all I knew was “thin slices of beef”. After I got the entree I was very jealous of Janne and wished I was vegetarian at that moment, lol! I had my first ever something-or-other with raw beef……..luckily the pine nuts and whatever else was in it was so strongly flavoured that I couldn’t taste the “meat”.

Anyway, I think now as I write, the UK people will be packing/driving and catching flights.

It was hard saying goodbye to everyone!

“Food bigger factor than exercise?”

I read this article in The Australian and I don’t like the message it sends in my opinion. The message that you shouldn’t exercise if you want to lose weight is bad. The article suggests that diet is far more important than exercise in losing weight, and that exercise is more likely to make you hungry and therefore eat more. It therefore claims that you are better off not exercising in order to lose weight.

The thing is, doing less exercise CAN lead to more obesity…….if you eat the same and do less, the maths is simple.

It is true that you cannot solely exercise to lose weight, but then none of my fitness education has ever tried to say that. As far as I know it has always been known that that when losing weight, nutrition is 70% of the equation. It is true that you get hungrier when you exercise.

BUT, this does not mean it’s healthier to lose weight via diet alone.

The benefits of exercise are many:

  • Increased metabolism
  • Prevents heart disease
  • Promotes healthier blood sugar levels to prevent or improve diabetes
  • Improved muscle tone (what good is being skinny and saggy?)
  • Feeling better (it is well known that exercise releases endorphins)
  • Boost self confidence and prevents depression
  • Improved quality of life (being stronger and better cardiovascular system means you can do more in life with less effort)
  • Promotes bone density to protect against osteoporosis
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Boosts immune system

Now I’m sure there are many benefits I may have missed…….but basically people who suggest that we should just diet and ignore exercise are encouraging people to be self obsessed about weight and actually miss the whole picture…….the whole picture which includes your overall health, not just your weight!

If people ONLY try to lose weight, they invariably fail. If people instead choose to believe in a healthy life style and stop obsessing about scales………..then these people are more likely to be sucessful in their goals!

Straightened out

After a few appointments my back is much straighter and I’m feeling better than I have in AGES! I hardly get any pain now and I’ve started doing classses again so this is huge.

I did balance over a week ago and I felt fine and had SOOO much more flexibility. It is clear that I’ve obviously needed to see a chiro for a while (haven’t seen one since I left Australia). I took it easy in the balance class just to be careful, but I didn’t really feel like I HAD to do options………but I did some anyway. It was the latest release of balance too and the first time I’ve been able to do this release. But then since then I’ve been sick with a cold………..AGAIN!

Now that I’ve got access to a chiro let’s hope I can keep straight now 🙂

Back relapse

Things have are suddenly not so good for my back. Yesterday, while it appeared I did almost nothing at all, a simple little turn while walking away from the table has rendered me almost unable to stand. I can’t stand up straight and I’ve been in agony for 24 hours now.

At first I thought I had triggered another disc problem which I originally had over 10 years ago, but after seeing the doctor today he thinks a chiro should be able to sort things out. The scarey thing is my spine is quite visibly obviously out of line. I’ve only seen spines like this in pictures! Unfortunately I cannot ring a chiro until tomorrow so it’s at least another night in pain…….hopefully I can get in straight away with a chiro!

I hope my back settles down soon so I can get back into the gym once and for all!