Category Archives: Other

How I won a free month at Virgin Active

“OK, if we don’t find this Virgin Active gym in the next five minutes, I’m going home!” I said with frustration, as my hands froze to my umbrella. “I bet you will absolutely love it within five minutes of walking in!”, my friend Ali consoled me. Naturally, he was 100% right.

It was a typical London Saturday in February – wet, windy, and all the tube lines near me were “suspended due to engineering works”, so it took me forever to get to Paddington.

I had been invited to participate in a circuit-based workout organised by Virgin Active in its swanky new gym in Merchant Square as part of the #MyWorkoutFor series. This one was all about getting fit for the slopes and was devised by the gym’s instructors in collaboration with well-known blogger Jack Edwards.

Continue reading How I won a free month at Virgin Active

Age is no barrier

A man in his mid-seventies dressed in an immaculate pair of cream suit trousers and black loafers walks up to me with a concentrated look on his face. I’d just been speaking to his daughter, so I smile and introduce myself. He tells me his name is Chris, and we shake hands.

Then I notice he has the same pair of climbing shoes as I own, a Spanish brand called Tenaya, so I comment on that and we talk about how difficult that particular type of shoe is to break in.

We are out in the sunshine, at the Harrison’s Rock climbing crag near Eridge, in Kent. It turns out Chris has been climbing on this Southern sandstone for over 50 years, and drags his daughter Rosie along with him on sunny weekends.

Continue reading Age is no barrier

‘Because it’s there’: Everest review

In 1923, renowned British mountaineer George Leigh Mallory was asked “Why did you want to climb Mount Everest?” His reply was: “Because it’s there.”

Stories of Everest climbs are no longer as scarce as they were in Mallory’s days, but few are as heartwrenching as the account written by Jon Krakauer after the expedition in 1996, which turned out to be one of the most memorable disasters in the mountain’s recent history.

Not that there have been few of those: the mountain has claimed over 250 lives since people began trying to scale its peak. But I guess the story told by the film, based on Krakauer’s famous book Into Thin Air, is the best known from that era (that’s what happens when you take a journalist on an expedition with you!).

Continue reading ‘Because it’s there’: Everest review

Time to think of Christmas

It’s September and I can really feel the turn in the season. There is a chill in the air and people around me are dropping like flies with stinking colds.

Yet for some reason every time I go outdoors into the crisp air I feel an overwhelming sense of excitement wash over me, mixed with a kind of wistful, aching undertone I can’t quite explain.

I’ve never been this excited about the onslaught of autumn, and it’s slightly confusing that I feel this way now, in a year when I finally discovered my favourite way to enjoy the outdoors, and have spent the entire summer doing so. I should be sad the season for frolicking around in the sunshine is over, shouldn’t I?

Continue reading Time to think of Christmas

Slackline: The art of balanced meditation

For someone as impatient as me, learning to stand (and eventually walk) on a slackline is a pretty frustrating experience, but it is an invaluable lesson in patience, which I so badly lack.

Read my latest post: Lessons in being patient

I’ve always wanted to try out slacklining, but between climbing, work events, and attempting to still see my non-climbing friends, I’ve found it hard to find the time for it. Now that I’m injured seemed like the perfect time to give it a shot.

So on a Sunday my friends and I took advantage of the nice weather and took the slackline out for a day in East London’s Victoria park (along with a hula hoop for good measure).

Continue reading Slackline: The art of balanced meditation