Fitness Rave.

31 Oct

Thought it would be appropriate to post about the half-marathon I did on the weekend.

Nike Run To The Beat was its name and 13.2 miles was its game.

For those of you who know me, you’ll understand my love of running. For those of you who follow me on Twitter, you will also know. And I’m sure some of you (who are probably not reading this) no longer follow me because of my love of running. The tweets that piss people off who don’t do any exercise. Guilt is a bitch.

I registered for this race last year when I heard about the music aspect. Run to the Beat has several stages along the route where musicians and DJ’s play pumping tunes to keep you motivated.

I enjoy running with music. So I had my ear phones plugged in for the race but took them off every time I saw the sign ‘TAKE EAR PHONES OUT NOW – TUNES COMING UP!’ – very useful. So I got to enjoy both my own music and the DJ’s along the way.

I must say the route was pretty miserable. I mean, who wants to run around London to see the sights when you’ve done the Two Oceans?! My expectations were low, so I wasn’t disappointed.

I managed to beat my Two Oceans time by 20 minutes which I was genuinely stoked about. I really appreciate what running does for me physically and mentally. I was so aware of the conversations I was having with my legs during the race and the impact of negative and positive thoughts on my energy levels. It was a really rewarding experience - especially because I trained against a time I wanted to beat. I achieved a goal. It was very painful for a  day or two, but now I’m just floating on the post race cloud. And I cant wait to get out there again.

I’ll be going home to Cape Town in March and realised I am there for the Two Oceans. Better get my entry in.

I got to relive by Run to the Beat race via the website which is totally epic

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I prefer the world Fall to Autumn

23 Oct

I also thoroughly enjoy Autumn in London – it really is the most magical month.

Much better than Summer, oh wait, that’s because London skips Summer and goes from an elongated Spring straight into Autumn.

These Autumn inspired pics below were taken while I was out and about in East Dulwich, my new hood, where I love to document my runs.

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Home away from home

22 Oct

I had a rough couple of months leading up to my last holiday.

General home sickness, family news making me want to move home accompanied by overworking and general lack of inspiration and creative expression was a recipe for a miserable/panicked Amy.

Only when I go on holiday do I realise how much I need it. Just a few days away from the rat race, into the sun & Mediterranean sea and I was on top of the misery.

tough times.

I came back feeling so rejuvenated and also, dare I say, grateful for what is, my home away from home.

I spend a lot of time in Canary Wharf – if anyone reading this lives or has lived in London and has spent any time in Canary Wharf, you may agree that it borders on being the worst place to work – only cement and ants. Very little soul or character. Most people in the area are angry and robotic ( how can you blame them when they work in banking) Sorry bankers, judgey I know.

I work in the only creative agency in the area – stand out like a sore thumb on the tube. I had a conversation with my colleagues on the weekend ( cus we dont spend enough time together during the week) about the fact that we don’t look like we work in the wharf. How the bankers must think we’re on our way to Stratford, but are then horrified when they see us get off at Canary Wharf, “She must work at Tesco’s”, they assure  themselves.

Don’t get me wrong – we look great. We just don’t wear suits. We just don’t belong in Canary Wharf.  Feeling like oil in water when on the jubilee line travelling underground in armpit hell, doesn’t stop me from going in every day. The moral of this story? My crazy group of colleagues make it all worthwhile. Lets calculate.

8:30am – 6pm every day 5 days a week. that’s 9.5 hours x 5 – a total of 47.5 hours a week. That’s 28% of my life.

It’s important for that 28% to be a source of happiness &  inspiration.

Meet some of  these sources of daily joy:

KP

Emily

Budgie.

Ezra: our token musician, what a hottie.

Yasir /Yaris

Tim, with child.

Natasha

Unick.

Brozhan

AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST, The Romanians: Daniela & Livia

my utopia?

11 Sep

For me, Oslo is like a dreamland, where all my anxiety dissipates and peace of mind is the only option.

I know you think OK, well all holidays feel like that, right? No. Not for me. Some are stressful. Some come with irritations and exhaustion. Not Oslo.

I have a few friends that live there, making it more appealing and it makes for a really awesome holiday destination because I get to see the city through the eyes of locals. But also for many other reasons which I will now go over:

It is a healthy society with a high standard of living and equality.

Low crime, low social unrest, good education system, good incomes, pensions, care for the weaker in society, etc.

Amazing landscapes, especially in the Fjord country, but all over.

Being arrogant is frowned upon, there is a sense of openness to others and a respect of differences.

They have a tax structure that prevents huge inequalities in society, equality of opportunity in education and work for all.

They have the highest per capita newspaper readership, high engagement in political debate with few barriers for people entering politics.

It feels like everyone is an activist. But that may be only those in my immediate network.

It feels like my idea of Utopia. If there was ever anything close to it, Oslo would be it for me.

Have you been? What did you think?

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Many Ogilvy Hands: 2012

16 Jul

In March 2012, I traveled to Uganda with other volunteers from Ogilvy London to help build and teach in a rural community, Buikwe.

Each of us had to raise over £1, 200 which funded our trip and went towards the cause.

A few years ago, Ogilvy teamed up with International Needs on a project whereby the agency would send volunteers to the village 3 times a year to help build a secondary school. The village at that time only had a primary school where education for the children stopped at 14. The secondary school, which is now almost complete, brings education, and therefore, freedom to many young talented people in the community. Whilst there, we are introduced to the sponsorship program which exists to aid those who have no funds to attend the school being built. In all honesty, this is most families.

 

By donating £20 a month, a child at the junior school is able to move on to the secondary school and further their education.
It is also worth mentioning you will never come across a more enthusiastic group of kids, desperate to learn and willing to walk up to 3km a day to get to and from school.

I sponsor a 7 year old boy named Brian who now has a chance to fulfill his dream. In reality, without an education in this part of Uganda, a girl will most likely get pregnant, with no money to support a family, never mind herself. £20 is what I would spend on a shop at Tesco’s for a night’s dinner and perhaps some chocolate and a magazine. Perspective much?

I feel so honoured to have been given this opportunity and would encourage anyone and everyone to explore what you can do to help your community, a community, if everyone did, I’m sure life would be better for more people, including yourself.

I filmed this with an iphone and my a+ boyfriend, partner, companion, helped me edit this to a point where it could be enjoyable despite my shaky hand…

Hope you enjoy, and please visit http://www.manyogilvyhands.com/ if you’d like to know more or get involved in some way.

The Four Phases of a healthier type of addiction

25 Jun

Just like peanut butter, and tattoos, for me series-watching comes in phases.

Phase 1 = discovery ie. the day I found crunchy organic peanut butter at Woollies and ate it on toasted rye bread and almost died/had a baby/went to heaven.

Phase 2 = enjoyment of discovery ie. After discovering tattoo-ing and deciding to get one at a poignant time in my life, I floated around in a tattoo bubble, looking at it constantly, feeling wonderful, watching LA and Miami ink – engaging in everything ‘tattoo’.

Phase 3 = Once a series/peanut butter nuttella combo/tattoo experience is discovered, and enjoyed and finished. One starts to think about taking a break. Maybe not consciously, maybe consciously (in my case with peanut butter I sometimes need to throw it away to reach this point so I don’t become obese) And then consider something else, maybe start reading a good book/ running more/ move to an inadequate equivalent to peanut butter, like cheese or marmite/ dye my hair instead of getting another permanent mark on my body.

And then…

Phase 4 = withdrawal kicks in. ie. “its been almost 2 weeks since I have had peanut butter/watched a series non-stop for 24 hours…l think its time” ( tattoos may differ here in time frame, after having mine done in August last year, only now am I starting to really withdraw)

On the weekend, after about a ten day break from series-watching ( New Girls, which was fabulous) I engaged with Homeland. HOMELAND for me was one of those ‘must watch next episode now or wont sleep kind of series’ – a similar experience to Lost and Dexter.

I started watching on Saturday and finished at 12 last night. Its amazing and not the American War Hero type drama you think its going to be when you start watching.

Then, @Stellllaaaaaaaa put season one of ‘Girls’ in my Drop Box. Looks like there wont be a phase 3 this time…

But, I am winning in the peanut butter arena. I threw away my last tub about 3 weeks ago (this is very long for me) Withdrawl started kicking in last week, so I am happy to announce I have a tub in my bag ready to take home with me after work! Wonderful!

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YES, VERY NORMAL, I KNOW.

If I am totally alone here, I don’t really care, because after 28 years I actually enjoying being weird me :)

Happy series-wathing/peanut butter-eating/tattoo-ing!

my precious

21 Jun

Missing home a lot this week.

Found myself closing my eyes this morning on the train dreaming of sitting somewhere on kloof street with a coffee and a magazine, maybe a friend too.

When I start imagining signal hill-running I have to stop, otherwise I float into a world of endless dissatisfaction with ‘now’

It’s quite tough here. And its making me tough. Which is why I stay.

Toughness is relative, but to me, its constant highs and lows. But I do find, the lows last longer here.

Have realised how totally sheltered I was from the world and things not going my way.

Have grown up.

Will be forever grateful to my friend Julia Durrant for talking me through her experience in London. Her words echo every time I doubt why I moved over here.

When I come home, which will be sometime soon, like within the next 18 months, (who knows, I keep telling myself that to keep me going) I will be clearer on what type of life/home/job/ I want. and I will be able to get it. I will have the confidence to get what I want and ask for what I need. I will appreciate the mountain more, and the stillness. I already feel all these things, so am hoping the next chapter here before I come home will only bring about more growth and epiphany’s.

I will hug my sausage dog Thandi, and never let her go.

But first, I have the Temper Trap and Gypsy Kings to see live before the Olympics start at the end of July.

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Endless ‘once and lifetime opportunities’ in Londontown.

I complain and bitch about you London, but its also how I feel about my family. So really, you should be flattered.

amyout

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