Sunday thoughts

Another odd week – this time much more of a positive overall feeling than last week, which is odd because training was stopped abruptly by a torn hip flexor early in the week and a couple of evening events later in the week. I also spent a small portion of the week stressing a little about everything connected to the launch of Great Expectations Fitness – getting a new phone number, giving final pieces of feedback on my logo design, ordering the kit that will constitute my “uniform”, planning my work leaving do/outdoor training session – but once I got that sorted in the middle of the week, I was much more relaxed about everything.

Then obviously there has been the lead-up to my final days of work after 18 months with the company – including welcoming a new colleague to the team, seeing one of my team transfer to another team, and preparing all the handover bits and pieces and trying to make sure all the loose ends were tied up. Not to mention all the emotional events of the last couple of days – a surprise dinner at Manna organised by my colleagues, people emailing me and popping over to my desk to say goodbye and give me big hugs, the amazing treat hamper my colleagues put together, the three goodbye cards I got and all the lovely messages in them, clearing out my desk… But overall everything has been full of positivity.

Now before Sunday becomes Monday, some Sunday thoughts… But not before I’ve shown you all the beautiful treats I was presented with!

The Challenge leaving presentI don’t think I need to introduce you to any of these as they are all products I rave talk about on here. You can’t see it in this photo, but the basket is gorgeous too and will be so useful! It is adorable that they put so much thought and effort into this, I am so touched and impressed and spent most of the rest of the day just looking at it – when I got home, I actually reconstructed it exactly as it was to show Ben. And then we both stared at it a little longer! Cat, Jade, Abi, Laura and Cardy, if you guys are reading this, thank you again – but I don’t think I can thank you enough!

On top of that, I got a beautiful bunch of blushing peach-coloured roses. Well, I say blushing peach – the wrapping said “cherry brandy” which I think is a gorgeous way to describe them! And obviously some chocolate too. Hannah and Zahra – if either of you read this – thank you both too, you are wonderful!

Right, Monday is creeping ever closer so let’s get on with it.

New things I have learnt this week

  • I learnt a little bit about the anatomy of hip flexors due to my injury. I had been feeling very sharp pain but only in very specific positions and movements, so as Ben prodded around trying to localise the site of the injury, he talked me through the different muscles and we identified it as a pectineus tear. He explained that it’s not a muscle that often gets torn – most of the cases he has seen of it have been in footballers whose lead legs get run into during a tackle (think doing the splits very violently at an odd angle, when you’re not actually flexible enough to do the splits). It’s a strange experience because although it is a very small muscle, this is only my second “real” injury. It’s quite strange going through all the mechanisms of helping an injury heal (no caffeine, lots of greens, no training at all that could aggravate that muscle) for such a small injury which, to be honest, stopped hurting after about 24 hours.
  • Ben also talked me through a hamstring tear he was examining, showing me the sides of inflammation radiating down the knee, letting me feel my way up the muscle to feel the change in texture, explaining how the hamstring tear results in lateral knee pain, and how after about 24 hours it would start to feel very tight and like it needed stretching, but that it must not under any circumstances be stretched. It has been a week of muscle tears!
  • My next therapy assignment is due tomorrow and is on the ACL, so I have been trying to do some reading around that but haven’t managed to concentrate much on it because I’ve had so many other things going on!

New things I have eaten this week

  • On Saturday, Ben and I went to East Street restaurant on Rathbone Place for lunch. They have plenty of vegan options clearly marked, and as Ben is still on his unofficial London Vegan Pledge month, we got 4 vegan options from their Express Menu deal – Ben got the Nonya Tofu & Lime Curry, which was very tasty despite being a little too zesty for our liking, while I had the Tahu Goreng tofu and mushroom stir-fry which I thought was incredible. As accompaniments I ordered the Sesame & Ginger Salad which pretty much blew me away for something so simple, and Ben ordered the Goi Cuon fresh rolls which were really tasty and came with a really flavourful dipping sauce. Plus, the service was quick and super friendly, it only set us back £22 for more food than we could comfortably eat, and they had Lush soap in the bathroom – a big thumbs up from me!
  • The stick of RJ’s Natural Licorice from my leaving gift did not survive long! In fact it lasted until about 5pm on Saturday afternoon. Now I am a fan of licorice anyway, but that was before I had tried this stuff. This is like no licorice I had ever tasted – smooth, soft, almost creamy, with a real herby aniseed taste to it. It was much more substantial and satisfying than a normal sweet. And it was totally what I needed wanted at that moment in time! Wonderful!
  • I joined friends for dinner in Sadaf in Bayswater. The least said about that the better, I think. The food was OK, but really only just OK, and the service wasn’t overly attentive or friendly. Maybe it was because we were in a big, loud group? I shall give them the benefit of the doubt and assume so, but either way there are so many better places to go in the area I wouldn’t recommend it. Luckily the point of the evening was to see my friends and not to eat a gourmet vegan meal, so no hard feelings.
  • Today I went to the Allergy + Free From Show and V Delicious, so I sampled plenty of new and tasty products there – but I will save that for a dedicated write-up in a couple of days.

Other highlights this week

  •  There has been a lot of talk of food and treats… So it’s worth me pointing out that I had a great training session on Tuesday! We did a fair bit of sparring, almost all of which was watched closely by the coach, so I worked really hard and got plenty of feedback – including lots of positive feedback about the improvements I have made, which never gets old.
  • Obviously going to Manna was a highlight, but what really struck me was how much fun I had with everyone. Sure, I always have a good time with my colleagues, but I don’t think the lot of us have ever been so relaxed and chatty around each other, so that was great.
  • Coming home to tea having been brewed by Ben in time for my arrival just makes the evening so much better!
  • Ben also got me an organiser white-board (which is actually metallic, not white) – it has a weekly planner, to-do list, message section, and pinboard section. I get excited about these things!
  • Going into central London with Ben on Saturday, on a sunny day, to actually browse the shops. It had been so long since I had actually gone into shops that weren’t food shops, with the intention of finding something nice (not just cheap and acceptable) for myself. In the end, I didn’t find anything, so it’s back to online shopping for the time being, but it was lovely to wander around taking our time and I ran into a friend in her shop who I hadn’t seen for a while, so it was good to catch up albeit briefly.
  • Seeing my friend Viv before she goes off to Ghana on her MSc research project. I am so proud of her! I gave her a Nkuku “Eva” bowl and matching cup – turned out she already had some items from the same range, which I had no idea about! I love it when gifts work out so well.

All of today has been a highlight in itself – a lie-in, a lazy morning, a bit of tidying and organising and laundry, off to the Allergy Show on my own (it’s been a while since I did anything on my own that wasn’t grocery shopping, working, or training so that was actually quite refreshing), home knowing I had nothing to rush back for, drafting up my write-up of the expo, then having a wonderful dinner cooked by Ben – a coconut-based madras curry with tofu and sweet potato, topped with crispy sweet potato curls, and served with chapatis and mango chutney – which I followed up with the last of the chocolate ice cream, a lot of white tea and a whole lot of blog-writing!

And on that note, I think this has been my longest Sunday thoughts post ever, and it is now Monday – my first official day of self-employment! Unfortunately it’s too early in my new job to take paid leave I feel… So I hope that if you are working tomorrow you are sleeping soundly, and I shall leave you with all my best wishes for the week ahead!