Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Adventures in Switzerland....Part 2

Following our climb up the mountain, it was felt that the 3 of us deserved a treat and what better treat then a visit to a Swiss wellness spa. And so we found ourselves at Solo Uno at Rheinfelden. We had been organised and packed our swimming gear already. My typical British reserve was tested slightly when I saw that the changing rooms were communal. eek! But there were plenty of cubicles to change in private and the showers had very discreet doors, so all modesty was protected.

Solo Uno has a range of pools, we started off with the outside pools which was very warm. It had beds and chairs to lie and sit on in the pool itself where you could watch the world go by. The water was also higher in salt then we are used to over here which made floating a breeze. There was a 'whirpool' section of the pool, which was circular and once you entered would spin you round. I got a fit of the giggles as Helen and Chris whizzed by, and then giggled even more when my poor sis, got stuck and couldn't get out, whizzing past me mouthing 'Help me'. (She got out eventually!)

We then tried out the large massage pool. This was amazing. Basically jets were situated around the pool, which massaged different parts of you. An arrow would light up when it was time to move you onto the next jet. My favorites were the jets situated under your feet which were powerful enough to raise you off the floor of the pool. It felt like having a reflexology massage. We tried out the jacuzzi and then moved onto the steam rooms. There were 3 of them, lit up like coloured boxes and each had a different steam flavour - eucalyptus, vanilla or citrus. We opted for the vanilla and it was heaven. Then off to try the alpine waterfall (bloody cold) and the Rainforest waterfall (lovely and warm).

Having being spun round like a spinning top, my sister exacted her revenge by challenging me to go into the 2 plunge pools. (I had already had a go at the cold one and being a total wuss made it up to my calves before squealing and running out like a girl). But after seeing an old lady do it, my sister was having none of my wussiness and made me go in again. The first pool is the ice pool. I went in and was challenged to touch the back wall. The water was up to my chest. It was freezing! But I did it. Then you plunge into the fire pool, which is heated to 40 degrees. It was an odd sensation, but my legs felt better for it! The final section was the dead sea pool, which was a pool that had the same salt content as the Dead Sea. People were floating by and music was played under the water.

We decided to go back into the outdoor pool, which was now under starlight. It was wonderful to float and lazily swim while looking up at the stars. Brilliant!

This whole experience was incredible. The spa was very busy, with couples, families and friends meeting up to 'Take the Waters'. Switzerland has a reputation for its health and with places like these it is possible to see why. What a wonderful way to spend a Saturday night. My other observation is that the Swiss do not have a 'no petting' rule. There were lots of canoodling couples. Blimey!

Adventures in Switzerland ..... Part 1

You may have noticed that I have been out of commission for a couple of days, well that's because Chris and I went to visit my sister in Switzerland. We had a fab time and I thought that my blog would be a great way to capture the long weekend. Here is Part 1!

On our way, me looking like Scott of the Antarctic
On Friday morning and fortified with a corking breakfast of egg and cheese muffin, Chris and I made our way to Manchester Airport en route to Basel, Switzerland. I get notorious giddy around airports, I love watching the planes land and take off and when I see the departure board, my mind whizzes with possibilities. As always, happens whenever we fly, Chris set off the metal detectors, despite removing his belt, shoes and coat. Chris had the obligatory pat down and was swiped with the hand held detector by the zealous security guard. The guard was great and explained that he was still in training which was why his face lit up with glee at the prospect of a search. Thankfully Chris was allowed to continue before the zealous guard began to snap on the latex! 

After a smooth flight, we arrived in Switzerland and met my sister, Helen. Basel is located in Switzerland, right on the border of France and Germany, so we quickly  hopped over to France and popped in to the supermarket to pick up supplies. Ahem. 

Right pair of alkies!
French supermarkets are great and the array of produce is dazzling. We then returned to Helen's apartment in Basel and after a yummy tea of steak and chips, caught up over a bottle of wine and episodes of Grimm. 

We awoke to blue skies and sun, perfect mountain climbing weather! We travelled to Reigoldswil, took the cable car to Wasserfallen to walk the Passwang mountain pass of the Jura. (I swear I'm not making these words up people!). The Passwang pass has an elevation of 1204m (approx 3900 feet) and is made up of a mix of trail, rocks and grass. The pass runs along the ridge of the mountain and at times was hard going. I sometimes suffer from a touch of vertigo and struggle if there are sheer drops to the side of me, so at odd times found myself humming 'just stare ahead, just stare ahead', trying to avoid looking at the sheer drop. We passed many walkers and Helen explained that it is quite common for people to climb the pass as a day out. Helen walks it quite often and said it was lovely watching a mum teaching her 7 year old boy how to walk the pass, picking routes to follow and placing feet correctly. I did none of that and scrambled, crawled and staggered the distance! Meeting one Swiss couple and facing the wrong way, looking into the pass rather than out at the views, the husband said that in 15 minutes time, the climb would be worth it. Only when I had passed did I realise that the poor man had my bum in his face the whole time.! 

And do you know what?... The view was worth it! (Those are Alps that you can see in the background!). We stopped for lunch on top of the pass. Cheese and ham sandwiches never tasted so good and the water was very refreshing. Even though there were about 20 people also lunching, there was an air of quiet as people just took in the views and enjoyed the moment. 



The descent was more arduous than the ascent, but the scenery was just breathtaking, the fields looked like they had been clothed in green velvet and through the whole climb, we could hear the tinkling of Cow bells. Heavenly. Switzerland really is a very beautiful country.

Thursday, 17 October 2013

An Exciting weekend... And why I can't catch trains

A few months ago at work I was lucky enough to attend a course about Coaching. I LOVED it! I took so much from the course and found coaching to be a really powerful tool. I have signed up for some coaching myself and whilst checking out one of my favourite websites, saw an advert for The Coaching Academy, who were running free 2 day courses, one of which happened to be for the following weekend in Manchester. I signed up immediately!

The Coaching Academy is the largest coach training organisation in Britain. It hosts free 2 day courses around the country as a taster course so that attendees can see if coaching is for them, which course is best for you and whether the Coaching Academy is the best fit for you.

The course was packed, with over 100 people attending. The first part of day one centred around what coaching is and the GROW model. We got the chance to try out coaching with other delegates and receive coaching ourselves. The afternoon centred on goal setting effectively. It utilised the Be/Do/Have tool and the Wheel of Life exercise. I have seen the wheel of life exercise used before, but the way that the trainer explained it was very powerful. Basically imagine 'Bully's Prize Board' from the 80's show Bullseye divided into 8 quadrants, with each quadrant representing something important in your life. Then you are asked to score each quadrant at the moment.  So for example, One of my quadrants was blogging. I scored myself a 4 out of 10 as I felt that I don't spend the time I want to on my blogging. Then in the next outer circle, you write what a 10 in your quadrant feels like, so for me I get to to blog 4 days a week. Then in the final outer circle, I wrote the goals that will get me from a 4 to a 10 (well hello Facebook!). I felt really good after day one and was already looking forward to day 2! 

The morning of day 2 kicked off with a session about limiting beliefs, the things that stop us from getting to where we want to. Again this was a fantastic and powerful session. We also discussed comfort zones, stretch and panic zones. 

There was a bonus session over lunch about the courses available and the afternoon centred on what it was like to train with the Coaching Academy, what a career as a coach looks like and what you can expect to earn. There was an element of selling in this section, but given the quality of training and the fact that it was free, it seemed only fair that we received a presentation promoting the Coaching Academy. And then it was time to say our goodbyes. 

I really enjoyed my 2 day course with the Coaching Academy. It was challenging, inspirational and a brilliant introduction to coaching. I would encourage anyone who is thinking about becoming a coach, or is interested in receiving coaching to attend. It only costs you the price of your train fare and a lunch! The training is high quality and at the end of the day, you choose whether to sign up immediately, sign up later or not at all. 

My journey ended up with me travelling on the wrong train and ending up at Manchester Airport! I didn't have my passport, so couldn't flee the country. I swear I always get lost in Manchester! 

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Films that ..... Inspire me to fitness

I love movies, and find that if ever I need a little bit of exercise inspiration it can always be found in a rollicking good film. So without further ado... Here is my list of films to inspire/motivate.....

1) Warrior - set in the world of MMA, this follows the path of 2 estranged brothers in the world's toughest Mixed Martial Arts contest, both fighting for different, but important reasons. Nick Nolte provides Oscar nominated support as the brothers recovering alcoholic father. This movie is just wonderful. It features a brilliant training montage scene (Chris will tell you I spend my life in a good montage scene!) and the end is just beautiful and makes me cry every time.

Warrior Trailer http://youtu.be/kY7HcUACs58

2) Hero - my favourite film ....ever. (If The Predator DVD had been pinched) Breathtaking and beautiful. A nameless warrior appears before the Emperor having defeated 2 enemy assassins, but is he telling the truth... And is everything as it seems? Wonderful martial arts and the use of colour is outstanding. I see something new in this film each time I watch it. 

 Hero Trailer http://youtu.be/9bFK2Iuo5eE

3) Haywire - watch this for Gina Carano, she is my inspiration... And boy does she kick ass! Gina is a former MMA fighter who has recently appeared in Fast and Furious 6. What I love about Gina is that she isn't your usual skinny Minnie Hollywood star, but shows that strong can be glamorous. The film itself is so so, but she is great.

Haywire Trailer http://youtu.be/KFV0Uvzpz0o

4) Terminator 2 - my friends will tell you that my celebrity embarassing crush is Arnie. What's not to love .... Arnie in leather on a Harley...... Sigh.......(returns from happy place). In this film, my exercise inspiration comes from Linda Hamilton. The sight of her doing pull ups is enough to have me running to the gym and picking up every dumbbell I can lift. 


5) The Karate Kid - this is the remake version with Jackie Chan not the 80's Ralph Macchio version. I love this film. It was made with the co-operation of the Chinese Film Board and the locations are just beautiful. Jackie Chan is his usual awesome self, training Jaden Smith for a martial arts competition in which he comes face to face with his school bullies. Amazing fight scenes and another cracking training montage. 

Karate Kid Trailer http://youtu.be/1u4DjQ5KZ9E

A special nod must also got to go to Fast and Furious 6 and any film starring Jennifer Garner. She is fab and again can kick ass! 

Watching any of these is guaranteed to make me itch to do exercise. 

What films inspire you to dust off the weights?


Saturday, 12 October 2013

Quick catch up....

Hey there, 

Hope you are all having a good weekend. I still have my cold.... And have managed to cough so much I am rapidly developing abs of steel :-) The nose portion of the cold has yet to arrive, so I'll be looking forward to that old chestnut! Today was spent curled up on the sofa, watching a combination of Strictly Come Dancing (go hairy Dave!), Agents of SHEILD and The Last Samurai. It was heaven. The weather has been cold and rainy, but one of those perfect Saturday rainy afternoons for curling up with a good movie. Next weekend will be a 4 day week for me as Chris and I are off to Switzerland to see my sister!!!!!! Yay! 

Have a great weekend xxx

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Bleurgh....cough cough

Hi there, 

It's nearly the weekend!!! Hope you've been having a great week. Well working 5 days, doing a 2 day course and working another 5 days is now taking its toll and I have picked up a yucky cold. It's only a cold, but I am quickly developing quite a sexy, husky voice even though I do say so myself!

And so I am curled up in my pyjamas already, comfy slippers on my feet and about to enjoy my go to "ill food" of tomato soup and crumpets, followed by a bit of telly watching. Sometimes, you've just got to give in, embrace the cold and (hopefully) feel better tomorrow. 

Xx




Tuesday, 8 October 2013

The day Caddyslims (nearly) met a Brownlee Brother


Hi everyone,

First of all, a massive thank you to all of you who have read my blog, taken time to comment and liked the Caddyslims Facebook page. You're all brilliant!

Next of all, I want to tell you about Chris and mine's amazing day out in London on 15 September where we watched the grand final of the ITU World Triathlon series. We have been following the triathlon series religiously this year, which started back in April, catching highlights on the TV of the 7 races taking place around the world. This year the grand final was coming to London. So with our train tickets booked and with enough food made to feed all of the athletes taking part, we travelled down to London on a drizzly Sunday morning, rucksack bursting with homemade pasties and sandwiches.



Now, I would be telling a big fat fib, if I was to say that we went to cheer on all of the triathletes for their endeavors, in actual fact we were going to cheer on Alistair and Johnny Brownlee, who are Yorkshire lads and of whom, Yorkshire is very proud (so no bias there then!)

We were unable to get into the area where it was possible to view the swim and transition bits, but got a terrific place in Hyde Park about 300 metres from the finish line along the banks of the Serpentine. This meant we would see loads of the action as the triathletes completed the 1,500m Swim, 40km Bike, 10km Run.

The race started promptly and I was lucky enough to be standing next to a girl who was watching the BBC coverage on her th'iphone, so we could keep up with the placings following the swim. Following the swim, the athletes enter transition and change quickly to start the 40km bike ride. (My sister and I once discussed transition and she seemed to think that she would have time to do her hair, maybe have a shower, catch a bite to eat - no Helen, you get a box and your shoes are glued onto the cycle pedals!). We knew the athletes were coming, mainly be the car coming down the road flashing 'They're Coming' but also by the roar of the crowd and they whizzed by. I saw 2 Brownlees!!!!





The action continued with Alistair trying to encourage the other athletes to work together to increase the pace and maybe dispatch the weaker riders in the group (by dispatch I mean leave them behind, not kill them or anything). The athletes completed the 40km bike ride in no time at all and entered transition to get ready for the final part of the race - a 10km run. When Alistair got off his bike, it was clear to see that something was not quite right. He was wincing in pain and starting to struggle with the run. But I have to say he had a cracking pace on him when he passed us.

By the later part of the stages the race was down to 2 men, Johnny Brownlee and Javier Gomez. Whoever won the race would be crowned world champion. With Alistair bellowing at Johnny as the passed each other on the course, Johnny made a break with about 200 metres to go. It wasn't enough and Gomez won the race on the line.

It had been an exhilarating and exciting race. Once the national anthems had been sung, the crowd began to disperse, so I suggested to Chris that we go and have a look at the transition area.

Whilst we were waiting there, who came out to collect his bike but Alistair Brownlee!!!! He came over to the crowd to chat, sign autographs and take pictures and gaaaaagh I went really shy! When I worked in a bookshop and we had authors coming in to sign books, I always felt really star struck and would gibber away like an idiot. And so determined not to be a gibbering idiot in front of Alistair Brownlee, I stood there, said nothing, looking like a numpty and looking like a crazy stalker woman. (Doh!).

But I have to say, Alistair was lovely, really down to earth and happy to meet people even after a disappointing race.



Next  year the triathlon series starts in Auckland on April 5 and 6. It comes to London on May 31 and June 1. We are going to be watching again and of course cheering on our favourites

If you would like more information about the 2014 ITU World Series, then check out its website at 

http://wts.triathlon.org/


Monday, 7 October 2013

Caddyslims enters the 21st Century

First of all, I would like to preface this post by letting you know that I have just had to ask the lovely Chris what century we are in. Not bad for a history graduate!

But now for some exciting news (drumroll please) ....... Caddyslims is now on Facebook !! I have a page and everything! To find out more, and without sounding like Sally Field, please like my page www.facebook.com/caddyslims 

Now I'll have to do some more posts...... Yay! :)