First Impressions of Summer School in Crete – a Retrospective


So the official reason I went to Crete during the European summer this year was to study an in-country language program – although, if I’m honest, the main reason I had for studying Greek up to that point was to attend the in-country program, so there’s some circular logic. I suppose that something that I didn’t quite understand and certainly couldn’t articulate had been calling me inexplicably to Greece for some time, and this was as good a way as any to get there.



Not With A Bang

After a two-year hiatus from this blog, this is a hard post to write. Putting the last two years into writing infers a kind of finality, as if by putting my experiences into writing they are finally made real. I strongly believe that owning your own story is key to being an active (co-)creator of your future, so it’s challenging to admit certain hardships yet-to-be-overcome into this narrative.


Keeping it Real: Outdoor Strength and Conditioning

There is no good time for disruptions, but sometimes it seems as if an evil fairy arranges for them to occur at the worst possible moments. It’s been a week full of disruptions (and it’s only Thursday!), so tonight the last thing I felt like doing was commuting and having to interact with other people in the gym in order to get my strength and conditioning training done.

Fortunately, I’ve been working on a program which emphasises body-weight exercises, and I’m now able to chin and pull my own body-weight (albeit not very many times.) So I really needed very little in the way of equipment – just some bars for pull-ups and dips, and a bench for back extensions and box jumps.


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Fitness Boxing

“I’d really like to get back to boxing,” she said. “It was my favourite form of cardio. I think if I could do that, then I’d really feel like I’d made some progress.”

I have a strained relationship with what passes as “boxing” in the fitness industry. I almost feel visceral pain when I see inept personal trainers having their clients spaz out on pads or on the bag with horrific technique. When I see them getting their clients to soccer-kick the bottom of the bag, or kick the pads when they’re being held on the wrong side of their body I feel like I die a little inside.

I’ve deliberately moved away from the “fitness boxing” or “women’s kickboxing” scene. While at first I saw it as my “point of difference” and marketed myself as a PT who could hold pads, I quickly became disillusioned by the clientele it attracted. Once upon a time, Muay Thai meant everything to me, and it pained me to whore it out and see it reduced to a calorie burner for people who only saw technical instruction as an impediment to the flailing of limbs that was making their “fat cry” in their quest for the perfect “bikini body.”

But I’ve gotten to the point where I may no longer be able to contain myself. Today, an intelligent, educated, driven, successful client with balanced, healthy, realistic goals asked me to start holding pads for her again because it was something that made her feel strong, healthy and powerful. If I say no to that, I’ve really missed the point.