The Day I climbed a Mountain Part Two

9 Aug

You may remember my previous blog post when I climbed Mount Snowdon earlier in the year. I always had it in my head I wanted to walk up Kilimanjaro, but my friend Diane wisely said “Why don’t you try Ben Nevis first, it’s a little less distance” (loving the understatement of the century there). So while I was still on a high, I booked the weekend away and that was my plan!

Early Saturday morning, I jetted off to Fort William with my partner in crime. We spent Saturday resting and planned to do the walk on Sunday. Sunday arrived in true Scottish fashion – wet.

We took a walk to the base of the mountain, it took 30minutes and by the time we arrived, I discovered that my walking boots weren’t waterproof after all. Then disappointingly sacked the walk and headed back into town to buy waterproofer.

Soggy Sunday

By Monday the heavens were on our side. We set off at 8am and got to the base at 8.30am. As soon as we stepped foot over the bridge to start the walk we could joke that we’d already gone further than the previous day! The initial walk wasn’t as bad as Snowdon – there was no ridiculously steep base. The terrain however, was very different. A lot more stones to step up onto, as opposed to just steep hills. I thus re-named the mountain “Ben Nevis – Britain’s Largest Neverending Stairmaster”. After an hour we stopped for a break. I was actually really exhausted! I confessed to my walking partner that I didn’t expect to get all the way to the top (I didn’t expect her to get there either, as she’s a smoker) but that I’d go as far as I could. The problem with Nevis is, it’s hard to stop with all the midgies around. Naomi was getting eaten alive by them so everytime I wanted to stop, I felt guilty because she was surrounded by them. Thus I didn’t stop as much as I wanted to/should have.

We battled on for another hour. At the two hour mark, we were over halfway up. I was convinced we’d be up by the three-hour mark and that thought kept me going. By the time we got to three hours I’d lost the will to live. My right knee was throbbing and my feet were burning. I was worried about making it back down again. I said I’d get to Five Finger Gully, near the peak, and assess from there. Getting to there should’ve been a relief, but when we spotted some guys from our hostel on their way back down and asked them how far it was, they indicated half an hour but warned us it was the toughest part of the walk. I literally got about 5-minutes further and lost my will completely. I told Naomi I’d be happy to wait for her to finish the walk and come back down to where I was, but she wouldn’t go it alone so I got annoyed and carried on walking. I wouldn’t let her miss her experience because I couldn’t hack it! So I limped up, slowly, in silence.

After an hour…

We made it!

View from the peak – the cloud cover was so poor you can’t even see the bottom!













I can’t quite believe I made it. I’m so grateful to Naomi for dragging me up that last part – I know I wouldn’t have regretted not making it up, as the views weren’t breath-taking due to the weather. BUT I’m so so pleased that Naomi had the inner strength to stick to her convictions and say we were either both going up or neither. That’s what a true walking partner is all about.

Luckily for us, the weather on the way down improved, and we were able to catch glimpses of the spectacular views.

View over Glen Nevis

So will I now go on to achieve my dream of walking up Mount Kilimanjaro? Well as Ben Nevis is 1,344m high, and Kilimanjaro is approximately 5,892m – in a word? NEVER!

Play hard, train harder,



When I went to The Olympics (for the second time)

1 Aug

I was very lucky on Monday, to have the opportunity to experience London 2012 live! As the title says, I have been to the Olympics before (she says proudly), I did the last winter Olympics in Vancouver in 2010 and cried like a baby watching the torch in Victoria and also proudly watched some Wheelchair Curling.

Four of us got tickets to the Boxing as it was Mummy FlickFit’s birthday and both of my brothers boxed when we were children so it’s a family shared interest. Firstly, the transport links were smoooothhhhhh!  I had planned the trip like a military operation, and despite getting on the wrong train *blush* and having to get on the dreaded tube, the journey went very smoothly indeed. We were at The Excel Centre within two hours from Brighton.


We went a bit photo crazy outside…

Outside the Excel Centre

In keeping with The Olympics, I wore my beloved Naturally Built jumper

The security process was fine too. I’d heard scaremongering about “You won’t be able to take your food into the venue” blah blah, but apart from The Army looking into my shaker which I had for later, everything was fine and not questioned.

The Boxing itself was fantastic! We got to see the Men’s 52kgs and Men’s 81kgs. All the way through the Men’s 52kgs I was marvelling at how these guys got to that weight and still looked amazing and had so much stamina; I don’t even get to that weight when I compete in Bodybuilding!

British 52kg hopeful Andrew Selby didn’t fight after getting a bye through the first round to the last 16. I was sad not to cheer for a Team GB fighter but the crowd made do with cheering for GB Referees or Judges instead – highly entertaining! I had my own fight going on with a gentleman sitting a few rows behind me, who, whenever I cheered for a fighter from one country, would cheer for the opposing fighter instead! That happened until it came to Tunisia vs. Tajikistan, when I wisely opted for Tunisia and was met with silence…

The bout of the day was in the 81kg category with Aussie Damien Hooper vs American Marcus Browne. Browne came out swinging immediately after the bell in Round 1 and caught Hooper off guard. Round 2 was subdued with neither man wanting to come within each other’s reach, and Round 3 was a scorcher where both slugged it out right until the bell. The crowd were going crazy and Hooper was the most emotional fighter of the day after his victory.

Inside the arena

I’m not an avid Boxing fan, but I’ll never forget my Olympic day out with my family. It helped focus my mind a bit more, and has gotten me right back into training! Now I’m off to scout out where the next Winter Olympics are being held, I sense a holiday coming on…

What olympic sports have you watched? What’s inspired you? What would you like to have a go at?

Play hard, train harder,



When the Olympic Torch came to Brighton and Hove

25 Jul

On Monday 16th July I had the utmost pleasure of watching the Olympic Torch pass through Brighton & Hove, before making it’s way up to Sussex County Cricket Ground for an evening of celebrations.

Being an avid sports fan, and an excited Olympic ticket-holder, it made sense that I wanted to see the torch in person and feel inspired. I wasn’t let down. I got the opportunity so see 87-year old Sylvia Baker who is visually-impaired, carry the torch through the streets of Hove.




Did you see the torch? If so where and when? Did it inspire you? Are you going to any Olympic events? 

I’m off to see the Boxing on Monday 30th July at the Excel Centre, Happy Olympics everyone!

Play hard, train harder,

Guest blog! How to train for a Half Marathon

19 Jul

I thought this guest blog might be a great idea, as remember when I did my own Half Marathon? Well I think there’s some sage advice in this article, and I don’t think my 5km runs are anything to be repeated if you really want to run a marathon.


A half marathon is a great long-distance race to run if you want to challenge yourself but aren’t yet ready for the punishing preparation of a marathon.

Even if the half marathon is not as intense as the full, more training and preparation are required to run it in order to avoid injury. Here are a few things that you can do to ensure that you make it across the finish line of your first half marathon injury-free:

Start from a Good Base

No matter what training plan you choose, you should not decide to run a half marathon if you have not already established a running routine. Before you ever begin training, you should already have a regular running schedule that includes at least 15 to 20 miles. Those miles should include both short runs and a weekly long run.

Once you have a solid history of running this weekly mileage — at least several months, if not a year — the you can begin your training for a half marathon.

Choose a Training Program

Even if you have been an established runner for some time and have logged many long runs, you still need to follow a training program for a long run like a half marathon. A good training program can help you pace yourself so that your body becomes accustomed to the demands of the longer runs but also has time to rest and repair itself to avoid injury.

A good training program will slowly build the distance of long runs while also providing adequate rest time.

Vary Practice Runs

Running long distances everyday on a treadmill won’t help you develop the way you need to for a half marathon. A good running program should include a variety of practice runs that include hill work, tempo work, and pace runs. This variety challenges your muscles and helps your body grow stronger.

Cross Train

Running uses a lot of different stabilizing muscles throughout your body. Engaging in a variety of exercises helps your muscles grow stronger and improves your overall fitness so that you can perform better on race day. Incorporate cross training into your program, including swimming, cycling, hiking, and other activities. You will strengthen your muscles, reducing your chances of injury on race day.

Practice Racing

Your training runs are very different from race-day conditions. Make sure you get your body accustomed to what it will be like to run on race day by signing up for a few practice races. These should not be full half marathons, but rather shorter races such as a 5K or 10K that follow similar courses. Try to select races that are run on the same type of path (asphalt or gravel) or that have some of the same conditions (lots of hills).

Get Adequate Nutrition

Some runners use a half marathon or other long race as an excuse to lose weight rather than to meet their fitness goals. In the process, they may start eating less while also running more. Make sure you are getting adequate nutrition and eating enough food to fuel your runs. You need to eat a balanced diet that is full of fruits and vegetables, lean meats, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates.

A deficit in your diet could compromise your muscles’ ability to perform optimally and could put unnecessary stress on your body, leading to injury.

Running a half marathon is a great accomplishment. However, proper training and preparation is required to make sure you finish the race as healthy as you started it. Your race t-shirt should be the only souvenir you bring home from the race — not an injured hip or a pulled hamstring.

Have you run a half marathon? How did you train? Did you suffer an injury? Tell us about your experiences in the comments!

Catie Keeler is the primary researcher and writer for Her most recent accomplishments include graduating from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill with a degree in business and communications. Her current focus for the site involves 30 year fixed and mortgage rates calculator.

Play hard, train harder,


Getting back on the clean eating wagon

9 Jul

This post is inspired by my BNBF Southern report which, yes I haven’t forgotten, I just know it’ll be a long blog so finding it hard to find the time to sit down and write it!

That competition was on June 24th – since then, in 2 weeks, I have eaten, what I wanted when I wanted. The time has come however, for me to do what we all do from time to time, and make a pact with myself to regulate my eating a little more.

Daunting isn’t it? Even as a bodybuilder, I’m just the same as any other person trying to eat healthily – I have the same struggles even if when I get my head down, my motivation is a little more than average.

So in this post I’ll be detailing my steps to getting back to clean, sensible eating:

1. Make sure your head’s in the game

This is the same with giving up/cutting down anything – if you don’t really want to do it, you WILL struggle! Only do it when you’re ready.

2. Prepare your meals

Sounds basic right? It’s not as easy as it sounds. You need to consider where you’ll be for that day, when, how long for, plus always be prepared for any unexpected eventualities (car breaking down etc).

3. Drink more water

Again, sounds basic but during the two weeks I troughed everything in sight, I can safely say, I barely drank my standard 2 litres a day. Water fills us up, it aids digestion, it helps the body’s metabolic processes work *waves hello to fat burning*

4. Don’t take your calories too low

A rookie mistake – “I want to eat healthily so I will do but in turn I’ll eat less” – it won’t work. If I think back over my last two weeks, each day I’d guess I could’ve consumed anywhere between 2-4000 kcals a day. Yes I’ve gained weight but the point is, if I clean up my diet and cut my calories instantly, my stomach will be screaming murder at me and I’ll probably cave in by the end of Day 1! So be sensible, eat a little more initially, just keep all food clean, then as your stomach adapts, adjust your calories accordingly.

5. Keep busy

If there’s a time you know you munch (for me it’s after dinner), keep busy! Tonight (Day 1) I have a client until 7pm, I then plan to do some cardio and get home for dinner about 8pm. Eat, watch Easties, and start to unwind for the evening to get an early night, thus minimising the munchies. Failing that I’ll sit in bed reading as it’s rare I’ll get up to eat if I do that.

Once I’ve gotten past Day 3, I should be fine.

What are your strategies for cleaning up your diet? How do you stick to your goals? Any more tips that should be included here?

Play hard, train harder,

Protein pancakes recipe

29 Jun

I’m always looking out for new recipes so when I won a tub of AthletEQ in Berry flavour at the BNBF Southern, I thought I’d see if I could make some lush blueberry pancakes.

This version of AthletEQ is a soya-based protein so great for vegans. It also has freeze-dried berries in it too so is a great source of anti-oxidants!

Flick’s EQ Pancakes (makes 2 servings)

2 scoops AthletEQ protein in Berry flavour
50g oats
3 egg whites
Tbs PB2 Peanut Butter powder (although ordinary peanut butter will work just fine!)
25ml water
Tsp Coconut Oil (for cooking – again, a normal spray oil will also work fine)

Again, nice and easy, blitz all products in a blender (except coconut oil).
Heat frying pan on high heat and add coconut oil. Reduce heat to stop oil burning.
Pour in batter and flip after 1 minute.
Voila! I made 4 pancakes from this mix.

Macronutrients (per serving)
Carbohydrates 19g
Protein 21g
Fat 5.5g

These do come out a funny purple/brown colour, but don’t be deterred, they’re yummy! The blueberry protein really retains its flavour! You could mix some PB2 into a thin paste and then drizzle this over the warm pancakes – let me know if you do!

Play hard, train harder,

Quick recipe

28 Jun

Before I write up my report from the BNBF Southern (I came 2nd by the way); I just wanted to share a quick and great idea.
I LOVE Hummous, but the macros don’t suit my diet (not enough protein). So, I came up with a quick easy way to increase the protein content – add in Natural Whey protein!

Flick’s Hummous recipe (makes 3 servings)
265g chickpeas (drained weight) = 1 tin
3 tsp tahini
3 cloves of garlic
50ml water
3 tbs lemon juice
1/2 scoop natural whey protein

Put everything except water in blender and mix. Add water slowly until desired consistency is reached.

Macronutrients (per serving):
Carbohydrates – 20g
Protein – 10g
Fat 5.5g

You could add in more whey protein to increase protein a little more.

That’s my tip of the day! Watch out of my Vegetarian Blueberry Pancakes next!

Play hard, train harder,