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Alan's Second Blog

Started today (Friday) off with what I thought would be a nice relaxing, gentle, de-stressing, stretching Tai Chi class. Having never done Tai Chi I was looking forward to it and turned up at Lytham YMCA full of enthusiasm. All I knew about Tai Chi was from what I had seen in films. To me it looked like slow motion martial arts, without any contact. I arrived at Lytham and met up with Steve 'Bradders' Bradshaw who I was joining for the class. We then met Lee our instructor. He was very friendly and made us feel welcome. There was 3 other people in the class that after chatting to them told us they had been doing Tai Chi for a year. Lee and the others explained a bit about Tai Chi and told us what they got out of it, which sounded promising. We then proceeded to the 'warm up'. This was mostly stretches and moving our joints to get them ready. The warm up alone was a good workout but I also realised then that you needed to concentrate and think about what you were doing. After the warm up Lee took me and Bradders to one side and took us through the first form we would be learning. It was broken down into 14 movements. When we were doing it with Lee I found it easy copying him, but when he left us to practice on our own so he could show the more advanced members their new moves, I found it hard to remember them all. It was a bit of a struggle moving so many body parts all in different directions all at the same time. I suppose after lots of practice I would master it, but feel Tai Chi isn't for me. I would urge everyone to give it a try though as I felt I had a good work out from it. Master Lee had told us Tai Chi can burn around 600 calories an hour, which is hard to believe until you try it. At one point I had to stand still squatting slightly, balancing whilst the rest of my body was put into the right posture. After I felt my thighs had a good session as they were sore.

Then Friday evening I hit the gym once more. With some stiffness, aches and pains from my previous gym session and Tai Chi I had planned on taking this session slightly easy. But it didn't work out that way. I started with a warm up on the bikes, but got lost in the moment whilst listening to my MP3 and before I knew it had done 12 minutes instead of my 8 I should have done. I then moved onto the treadmill and once again lost track of time whilst watching the TV. I then moved onto chest presses and lateral pull-downs. I kept the same weights I had used last time, but managed a few extra reps per set. Cross trainer was next where I did the full 4 mins that my program required. (I skipped doing squats and dumbell lateral lifts as my thighs and the backs of my arms were sore, SORRY KATIE!!). Then back on the bike, where I must have thought I was racing Bradley Wiggins as I went on for 15 mins (5 more than I should have) and used a higher resistance than the previous session. Finally I finished with 10 minutes of brisk walking on the treadmill with a slight incline this time followed by my 3 minute cool-down. Despite going for longer I felt good and enjoyed my workout, might have to try and resist pushing myself too much so I don't over do it. Just hope I don't regret it on Saturday as I have a nice relaxing day of fishing planned.

Overall I have really enjoyed my first week of Fit Club, and despite the aches and stiffness I feel it has been very much worth it. I have also noticed I don't feel as stressed and wound up and that I feel very happy in myself. It has really helped that my family have been very supportive and encouraging as well as my friends. The staff at the YMCA and Radio Wave have also been great in helping and making me feel welcome, so a huge thank you to everyone so far for helping me on the long road to my improved fitness

Cover art for Castles

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