- Long, swishy maxi skirts
- Nice dreams about rain
- Making travel plans
- New bedding
See a list of my favourite Grace in Small Things here. What’s on your list this week?
Thank you for giving me something amazing to look at, a way to express myself and an urge to create. Strange how so much can come from a splash of ink, but every time I see an amazing tattoo it makes me want to up my creative game. Here’s to finding inspiration everywhere, right?
See the full list here.
When I was a very small child I took ballet classes with my sister. I loved the wraparound cardigans (still do, I should pick up some of those) and the leg warmers and the silky soft shoes. But when the teacher casually remarked that I’d never be tall enough to be a professional ballerina (she was totally right by the way) I lost all interest and stopped going.
Fast forward 26 years and I found myself itching to get back to first position. There’s something calming and disciplined about ballet that I enjoy as a workout – it’s hard but it’s structured. Less panting and running, more holding poses. Presumably this is why I also like yoga and pilates but am less keen on runny jumpy ball sports.
There are a few adult ballet classes in Cardiff (am I the only one who thinks ‘adult ballet’ sounds kind of dirty, btw?) but we plumped for Wonderland Dance Studios (be warned: their website is awful!) as you didn’t have to book and I am big fan of not committing fully to things, apparently.
I roped in Jen and Liz to come with me because I’m too much of a wuss to go on my own (thanks guys!). It was actually a really fun hour although the studio was very, very warm and our temporary teacher decided to take us through a routine which left me feeling as ungainly as a rhino in tap shoes.
However, even when the other people in the class were twirling and pirouetting much more daintily than I was, I was still finding it a fun, joyous experience so I will gladly take that as a win, thank you very much.
I’m not sure if I’ll go back – I don’t want to do it every week and I feel like maybe I wouldn’t see the benefit (or really improve) if I didn’t do it regularly, but it was definitely a fun one to try! ☺️
ps. If you’re wondering about the header photo, it’s from an unexpectedly muddy walk that I took in Cambridge about ten years ago probably. I had to throw my shoes away at the end 😂
Ah, this was such a fun one to tick off! Swimming outdoors is my number one joy and I hardly ever get to do it. There’s something so calming about being in the water and being able to feel the sun on your skin, no?
I added ‘swim in a lido’ to my Life List a little while ago – I knew there was one in Bristol but I had the vague idea that there would be one closer to home, after all, who doesn’t want to swim outdoors?
Turns out the people of Cardiff clearly don’t because there isn’t a lido for miles around (altho they’re redeveloping one in Pontypridd which is re-opening in September) so off I trotted to Bristol instead. I mean, in all honesty it wasn’t that much of a hardship, I got to hang out with Hayles which is always fun and the train journey there was totes easy.
So, Clifton Lido! At £20 a pop for non-members it’s not exactly budget friendly, but it’s a pretty cute place and the staff were charming and friendly throughout. Getting back into the pool after being in the hot tub was an error in hindsight tho – the pool was only 25°C and it was bloody freezing, ha.
While it’s a shame the weather was cloudy and grey (it threatened to rain but didn’t, boo) I still had a lovely time splashing about and chatting about blogging and boys with Hayley. If Cardiff had one of these I’d be in it every day. Who do I petition to get that started?
Swim in a lido was one of my Life List goals. See my full list here!
Dear Couch to 5K,
Thank you for pushing me to stick to a plan, even when I haven’t wanted to. When you’re goal orientated it can be tempting to pick up new items that you know are easy to complete, instead of goals that challenge you. So thanks for every time you kicked my ass because now I’m standing on the other side it feels pretty great.
See the full list here.
I only added this goal to my Life List recently, but it’s one I’ve been considering for a while. It’s not one I ever thought I’d be able to tick off and honestly, before the start of the year I had very little inclination to achieve it.
Which makes it all the more surprising that last week I ran my first ever 5K. I ran 5 kilometres, in one go, without stopping. It doesn’t sound like much but having reached the age of 31 before I hit that achievement, I’m feeling pretty happy!
I didn’t mean to do it. I was only on week 8 of Couch to 5K – I was supposed to be running for 28 minutes. Except I’m stubborn and (apparently) competitive (if only with myself) and once I hit 28 minutes I knew I just wanted to get my first 5K out of the way. It’s a big mental hurdle, I think, and I was struggling with the concept of completing it because previously my longest distance was 3.4km and after that I was tired.
I didn’t want to have to go for another run and get to another 28 minutes and then try and run a bit further, I just wanted to get it done. So I did.
I ended up completing it in 40:40 which is pleasing to the eye if not the fastest time on the planet. I still don’t feel like I’m fast enough to run Park Run, but that’s my next goal (that and sub 40!).
I’ve been posting ‘post-run selfies’ on Instagram as motivation (I don’t know why it works, it just does) – come join me there if you want to see a photo of my sweaty face every couple of days. Sounds appealing, right? ;)
What’s on your list this week? :) Let me know if you’ve written a Grace in Small Things post, I love to read them :)
Thank you for making me happy by being so god damn delicious. Sometimes you promise a lot and don’t deliver, but that’s okay – I forgive you. It’s worth it for that perfect, spot on avocado that fixes all. Thanks for keeping me on my toes.
See the full list here.
It’s funny how life changes, isn’t it. When we first bought our bikes we rode them quite a lot around flat, flat Cardiff with it’s pedestrianised roads and lack of inclines. Since we moved house two years ago to the suburbs, however, the poor things have barely seen the light of day. We live on top of a hill and also, conversely, at the bottom of a hill, so either way we cycle we’re either climbing a hill to leave or to get home – no one wants that.
But! I love my bike! It’s cute, it’s fun to ride and it’s quicker than walking. So when I wrote my 31 for 31 list last year I purposefully added “ride my bike 10 times” as a way to motivate me to actually use it. Otherwise what’s the point, right?
Spoiler: It didn’t work. Cycling is hard enough but there were a few things that compounded the issue, for me.
So! Last time I forced myself out on my bike I realised that I had a slow puncture in my front tire and honestly, I was just so over it. Cycling is great on a flat surface but I just don’t think I want to put the time and effort into learning how to traverse Llanedeyrn. I needed a new plan.
I know what you’re all thinking – I’m not a runner. I am so much not a runner that I regularly moan about how dopey I think running is and how unlikely I am to want to do something like that. (I am delightful company.) But! as part of my get fit pledge for 2015 I needed an activity that was cheap and quick and running fits that for me (once you discount the £90 trainers, ouch.)
I also needed something to fill the cycle ten times gap so I’ve swapped it to complete Couch to 5K. I’ve already completed 12 of the 27 runs and while it’s been tough it hasn’t been hellish (yet). I think it’s doable? I dunno. We’ll see how I feel in the next couple of weeks when it really starts to ramp up!
I felt weird about changing my 31 for 31 list – I am a rigid beast at times – but I’ve been trying to be more flexible lately. Cycling is a nice idea in theory but in practice, not so much. Instead of beating myself up about it or forcing myself to complete a goal I’m no longer interested in I’ve swapped it out for something that will benefit me. Win win – right?
In the meantime, if you’ve got any running tips or advice I’m all ears – I genuinely have no idea what I’m doing!