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I've been an avid gym go-er for about 5 years now. Previous to that, I'd never even set foot inside one. Slowly but surely, I became addicted. I've gone through various phases: cardio, working out at home, only wanting to run, just attending classes, and doing a lot of strength training. At the moment, I'm enjoying getting involved in lots of classes.
But how do I stay motivated?
- Feeling Strong: One of the aspects about working out that keeps me extremely motivated is how strong I feel. I'm proud to say that I can now perform between 10 and 20 full pushups in one go. Some days are better than others, but I can assure you that a year ago there was no way I could do that! The more disciplined I became with myself about working out, the stronger I became, the more I wanted to push myself to become stronger.
- It Becomes Fun: I'm one of those annoying people who looks forward to her gym time. I work from home, so there are some days where I don't move from my office or set a foot outside. Knowing that I've got a gym class to go to or that I'm hitting the gym at some point gets me out of the house. And I really do enjoy it! I've made friends, I know all the staff pretty well, and I love the feeling I've got post workout.
- Competition: I've always been competitive. Not necessarily with other people (I can be though!) but mainly with myself. When I began running, the main motivation to keep going and run faster was the Nike Running App that I had. I began to literally race myself, and see how much faster I could go. I still do that with myself, but less with the running. Now it's more about how heavy I can squat!
- MyZone Training Belt: St Michaels Hotel and Spa, the gym that I have been attending for almost two years, kindly gifted me with a MyZone Training Belt. MyZone is a strap that you wear around your waist which reads your heart rate whilst you workout. I was quite skeptical about it at first, because I'd had a bad experience with activity monitors in the past, but let me tell you, this thing is amazing. Syncing up to your phone via Bluetooth, you can use the MyZone belt no matter where you are. In my case, I've worn it to go running, spinning, to my weekly HIIT class, to my PT session, and even to do the cleaning (it was an experiment!). I love that I can see straight to my phone how hard I'm working in real time or whether I'm hitting my heart rate target. You can connect with others who have the belts and see how they're doing. You can even set up mini competitions between each other! I've found myself pushing myself way further than normal, and I can track exactly how many calories I burned. It's comfortable, and it's battery lasts for hours (I've used it 6x a week for a month and the battery is still at 80%!). In my gym specifically, they've even got massive TV screens which display everyone's heart rates. That's great when I've got a PT session and he can keep a close eye on how hard I'm working (or it's horrible because it means I can't get away with anything)! The best part though? You can win prizes! MyZone automatically enter everyone into cash prize competitions for people who earn a certain amount of points per month. So if you're looking for a bit more motivation to work out, maybe winning $10,000 will do it? It does for me!
- Boxing: Wow, I can't rave more about how much I love boxing! I've been boxing pretty regularly for a year or so, and at first I thought it was fun, but the stronger I became and the harder I could hit the pads, the more I love it. This is probably the activity that I'm having the most fun doing at the moment. It's really hard work, your heart rate soars through the roof, you pant and sweat, but the stress relief is immense, and you DEFINITELY feel like a bad ass. Just try not to hit your PT in the face like I did...
- Music: I find it really difficult to listen to music whilst working because I find it quite distracting. I love music, so heading to the gym has become my favourite way to listen to music now. I love to make playlists for myself which I use for months on end full of motivational, and quite up beat songs. I've considered making a Spotify playlist of my favourite workout tunes. Let me know if that might interest some of you!
- Apps: I'm never without my iPhone, so I like to put it to good use. Obviously I use the MyZone app all the time now, and it really is super effective. I recently discovered the Nike Training Club app, and it's awesome! Designed to be like a personal trainer, the app lets you choose a workout you want to do and then times you through it. It comes with images and videos on how to do each move, and let me tell you, these workouts are HARD! I did an abs and butt one a week or so ago, and I felt it the next day. I highly recommend it! Apps really help you to keep track of what you're doing, and motivate you to want to keep pushing yourself.
- Changing things up: One thing that I find really important is to keep changing up my routine. I get bored easily, so if I find something boring, I'm just not going to do it (or at least not with much enthusiasm). A good example for me was Body Pump. Last year, I was attending Body Pump classes between 2-3 times a week and at first, I adored it! However, after a few months, I knew each workout by heart, each song by heart and I was getting really bored. I stopped going, and started going to other classes instead, and the motivation instantly came back. If you're getting bored of your workout, take a break from it. Change it up. Try something new. Don't feel guilty for wanting a change!
I hope that this post has given you a few ideas for getting motivated to hit the gym if you've been struggling lately. Motivation comes and goes for everyone, it's just about finding ways to keep yourself entertained and excited. If you've got any other suggestions, or things that you do to keep yourself motivated, I'd love to hear them!
I know I keep going on about it, but all I want to do at the moment is shoot. I've been so enjoying getting my creativity back, and I'm fully indulging it. Cornwall is a tiny place, and the fashion industry is small down here. The nearest model agencies are hours away, and although I can still work with agency models (it just means they've got to travel further!) it's always good to have a selection of local girls that I know I could photograph at the drop of a hat if inspiration hit, or a job came along. So I'm on a mission to get to know more of the local models, but also discover some myself.
Jessie is the younger sister of one of Tom's friends, and we'd met a couple of times before, but never really spent much time together. As I began to think about who I'd like to try and photograph in the next few weeks, Jessie came to mind immediately. I'm sure you'll agree with me that she's beautiful! I got in touch with her, asking if she'd ever done any modelling. She hadn't, but was up for trying. We waited for a sunny evening, and got together for about an hour to chat, walk around and snap a few pictures.
There was no pressure, nothing scary. No hair and make up, we just grabbed a few shirts, I brought some hats, and we got shooting. And it was really fun! She was a natural in front of the camera, and I'm really happy with the shots I got from our evening. I'm sure you'll be seeing more of Jessie on here in future.
I've been obsessing over cameras of all kinds since the age of 15. My first camera was the Nikon D80 I stole off of my parents after I decided I was going to get really good at taking photos. I still have that camera; it's photographed below on the left hand corner. I still use it! It's my backup camera should anything happen to my Nikon D800 - AKA. The big boy.
I got my D800 the moment Nikon released it. They hadn't released a new full frame (AKA what the pro's use for all the camera newbies out there!) camera in years, but I knew one was coming. Rather than spend a lot of money on the older D700, which would be out of date in a matter of months, I waited. And I waited. I waited for almost a year, and yes there were many times when I almost caved and bought the D700, just because I was so desperate to upgrade. I'm so glad I didn't though, as I've had my D800 for 4 years now, and it's just as wonderful as the day I got it. Sadly, it's the only camera not photographed here... for obvious reasons. ;)
I've also been collecting film cameras for years. I've actually got a few more film cameras in Switzerland, but they've not yet made their way to Cornwall. I'm sure they will one day. In the mean time, I'm sure you'll agree that I've got plenty to play with! I got my "Nikon F3" for my 18th birthday, and it was my first "real" film camera. I've been in love with it ever since, and it still is my go to film camera. Most of the 35mm work you'll see has been done with this guy! I was very kindly given the "Mamiya C330" 3 or 4 years ago, and I've sadly not used it as much as I would like. I keep meaning to get it out more often. I'm not used to the "looking down" you have to do to shoot with a twin-reflex lens, so I tend to grab any of standard "look through the view finder" cameras whenever I'm shooting. The images that I have produced with it, I've always loved though, so it's a camera I'll never give away or sell.
Anyone who knows me, knows that I love instant film. I got this Polaroid camera two years ago, after the original one I had broke. Needless to say, I adore this camera, and thanks to Impossible Film, I can shoot polaroid as much as I like (or as much as my bank account would like, I should say). My FujiFilm Instax Wide is a much loved camera. It's so easy to use, and the film is so reliable. This is the camera I take with me when I really want instant film, but I don't want to worry about whether the polaroid film might not work (Impossible film is great and I love it -- but sometimes it can be slightly unreliable).
The Boots Beirette and the Holga are my two least used cameras I'd say. The Boots Beirette was a camera I picked up impulsively in a charity shop, and it's definitely a lot of fun, but totally different to any camera I've ever used before, and the films I've got back from it are always hit and miss. The Holga was kindly given to me by my brother a few months ago, and it's not yet gone out for a test run... Maybe I should take it out for a spin and share the results with you all!
I've got so many more camera's that I'd like to purchase and try out, the main one being a Polaroid SX-70. That's on the top of my list. What are your dream cameras?
Spring is here, and in Cornwall that means intermittent days of sun and rain. We've been venturing out into the sun whenever we can, and hiding in our flat on the rainy days. The addition of Sky to our home has been a bit of a distraction -- Sky Movies is pretty incredible! Bank Holiday weekend meant that friends from around the country have been down to visit, and it's been so lovely seeing them all again; reminiscing about old times and discussing the future. We're all doing such different things, but doing so well at whatever we're doing. It's so refreshing.
As you can see, I'm keeping my promise to myself to shoot more film. Much to the disgust of my bank balance, it's happening, and I love every time I get images back. I'm not sure if it's holding the images in my hand, or if it's the nostaligic qualities that the images hold. All I know is that I can see myself investing far more time into it in future. I want to learn all about it! That's also meant a lot of time watching Youtube videos about film cameras that I have no idea how to use and wanting to get my hands on. I'm considering borrowing a few from the University this summer, just to have a play with. I'd love to hear about any recommendations you have! Are there any cameras I should absolutely try?
The images in this post were taken on two separate days: the first a walk along Gwithian on the North Coast of Cornwall a couple of weeks ago. The second was during an afternoon chat and walk at Kynance Cove with Alex from On Serpentine Shores. I've been scouting for locations to shoot in soon, and with so many shoot ideas brewing (and shoots actually being planned as well!) I'm so excited for the rest of Spring and Summer.
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