Sunday thoughts

What another good week. Is it just a coincidence that I’ve had two of the best weeks in a long time since coming back from my meditation course? Who knows, but either way, I’ll take it…

New things I’ve learnt this week

As I pointed out last week, I have been making a big effort to watch more training videos as a way to soak up more knowledge and reference points. I am finding myself increasingly drawn to watching American football training sessions, as they combine highly technical athleticism with ferocious intensity and huge volume, as well as mind-boggling budgets. The one that stood out to me the most this week was a video of Michael Jordan working out. I was expecting loads of plyometric work, fancy footwork, and all sorts of crazy stuff – not your standard bench press, bicep curl, and so on. Very interesting, and definitely food for thought!

I am also reading a great book, a birthday present from Steph, called The Pyjama Game. Although it’s about judo, in which I have no experience, the observations are so on point even when applied to jiu jitsu (which, in its Japanese form, was a precursor to judo – the first thing I actually hadn’t realised!). I am learning so much about the history of judo and the philosophies behind it, but one of the most interesting historical facts I picked up last week was that Percy Sekine taught judo in a German prisoner of war camp during the Second World War – they made themselves mats and gis out of cardboard from Red Cross parcels, mattress covers, and mailbags! There are so many wonderful facts and anecdotes and insightful quotes in this book, I highly recommend it to any martial arts enthusiast!

Lastly, though perhaps most importantly, I have just come come a little while ago from a massage job with the Kangaroos, the Australian national rugby league team. As the first time I have done a big job like this, it was a great learning experience for me.

New things I have eaten this week

  • As well trying new flavours of cupcake daily, I’ve been pretty busy in the kitchen department this week! Unfortunately, I can’t reveal anything about what I’ve been making as I have been doing some recipe testing for an upcoming cookbook. Very exciting, and great to be able to get in the kitchen with a purpose!
  • I tried Clearly Scrumptious Cranberry – they were really good, much nicer than the Golden Berry (Physalis), but not really anything special.
  • Tonight, Ben made us sweet potato gnocchi, which is a first. They were great – we had them with fire-roasted red pepper, smoked tofu, and the most beautiful little vine cherry tomatoes. They are so sweet and juicy! A perfect dinner to come home to after three hours of sports massage and a 15 minute uphill walk home from the station.

Other highlights this week

  • Pushing through a tough little bit of interval training on Tuesday night with my friend Steph. At the end of our joint session together, Ben got us to do 5 intervals of 1min hard on the cross-trainer at level 10, with 10 press-ups during our rest periods. Not the most vicious of sessions, but after a few weeks off any sort of cardio it definitely pushed me, and it felt good to get my teeth stuck into something nasty again.
  • My vegan food swap parcel and all its cupcake glory!
  • Sending my friend Viv some muffins and cookies to help her with her Vegan Challenge Month. It feels nice to pull my finger out and actually do something for someone else for once!
  • Getting back in the kitchen and cooking more inventive, healthy meals again. I do feel much better for it.
  • Meeting Ben for breakfast at Le Pain Quotidien after an early client yesterday morning. I got the Crunola Parfait again, despite them having a vegan “banana split” breakfast special, and Ben got a bread and pastry basket (not vegan). My parfait was delicious and just what I was in the mood for, and it was so nice to get out of the house and have a different breakfast. We then stayed for a couple of hours and got a whole heap of work done, so that was just as good.
  • Yesterday evening, we went back to Otto, introducing Steph to one of our favourite eateries. The food was great as always, as was the conversation.
  • Being offered today’s massage job, and going through with it. I really enjoyed the experience, and the players I met were all really nice. For having to work on a Sunday, it couldn’t really have been much better!

Well I think I’ll wrap that up there, as I am really quite tired now. I think it is time for a hot chocolate… It’s definitely one of those evenings. I hope you have all had a great week and an even better Sunday, I will do my best to entertain you with some good blog posts this coming week!