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The world is full of inspiring individuals. The reasons as varied as the amount of people who are getting out there and making a difference. This month Ché and I were lucky to get the chance to meet and train with Kim Ingleby at a motivating HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) workshop.

Kim Ingleby 2

Nicole Che and Kim Ingleby

Fitness boutique, Sweaty Betty Wimbledon hosted the evening with Kim – one of their empowering brand ambassadors. Kim is such an inspiring and driven woman. She is one of UK’s leading Mind Body Experts, founder of Energised Performance, regularly trains Team GB athletes and celebrities and won the Global Life Fitness Trainer Award 2013/14. This is on top of being an athlete herself, a writer and motivational speaker. Phew!

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Nicole with Kim Ingleby Motivation

The workshop started with a half hour goal-setting session with questions for us to answer, before Kim shared her own story with recent fitness and health challenges.

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Discussion with Kim Ingleby

The room was completely engaged as Kim shared her advice. She was full of knowledge, helpful information and has a genuine passion for helping others believe in themselves and achieve their goals – mind and body. Her love for what she does really shines through.

Being someone who wants to achieve everything at once, I took away just how important it is to only focus on a maximum of three areas of my life at any one time. When Kim is training for an event, training and nutrition are a major focus, so other areas need to be sacrificed such as time socialising. When she isn’t training as hard, she has more time for the other areas. It’s finding that balance at any one time and knowing what your focus is on. Whether it is career, nutrition, sleep, travel, friends, family, fun, or wealth, the key to keeping motivated is only focusing on three. Trying to do everything at once usually leads to feeling overwhelmed and less motivation overall to do any.

HIIT with Kim Ingleby

After goal setting and a warm up, it was straight into our Tabata HIIT workout. I wish I could say here that I breezed through, but that would be lying. It was the most challenging workout I’ve ever done and it was only 16 minutes.

Yes, you heard right. 16 minutes.

HIIT with Kim Ingleby 4

HIIT with Kim Ingleby 12

HIIT is short, intense exercise with shorter resting time. We did four exercises, each exercise lasting for four minutes. 20 seconds working with a 10 second rest, then repeat. This workout pushed me physically and mentally and my legs even refused to function properly for a week afterwards. It’s good to mix-up training and to challenge yourself in new ways. Only then do you know just how much you are capable of.

Push Ups

My face says it all. You want us to do what?!

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Stretching with Kim Ingleby 9

Stretching with Kim Ingleby 5

Post workout we all had a good body stretching session.


Happy with ourselves after the class and we’re still all smiling.

Do you have any fitness goals for this year, or have something new you’ve been wanting to try? Grab a friend and give it a go. If you are in London, check out Swetty Betty’s free classes here, which they offer to encourage local communities to get active.

Goodie Bags

A big thank you to Sweaty Betty Wimbledon for hosting the evening (and our goodie bags), Kim for taking such a motivating workshop and Vince for being our fabulous photographer. I definitely think you had the easier job.

All photographs are copyright and courtesy of Vincent Starr.

Get that body moving,

Mum and I_Christchurch Airport_New Zealand

The day had finally arrived and our three month trip through South East Asia was about to begin. In true Nicole fashion I wasn’t completely packed and a hurricane looked like it had hit my side of the bedroom, even though we were en route to move to London. For what felt like the thousandth time, I swore to myself that next time would be different. I would be the uber-organised, lightweight packer I envisaged myself to be.

Running around doing a lot of last minute organising and packing, Mike didn’t need to say a word for me to know what he was thinking – he’s already said it to me on more than one occasion.

Somehow we managed to make it to the airport with more than enough time – belongings and limbs in check – and members of our family to see us off. Perhaps to ensure that this time we DID leave the country. After a series of events – applying for the wrong visa type, not getting my passport back in time, two flight changes, then the devastating earthquakes in Christchurch, our trip had already been delayed by 18 months. I still couldn’t believe the day had finally arrived myself.

Hugs, kisses, last words of advice, tears and we were off through the gates to customs. Our journey to Bangkok was an interesting one, so a summary seems fitting.

High: Flying Singapore Air and getting the row with extra leg room. Score!
Low: Mike’s t.v. wouldn’t work, even after numerous attempts of flight crew re-starting it.
High: Flight attendant walked off saying he would see what he could do… The word ‘upgrade’ ringing in our ears.
Low: Airline policy – no upgrades, unless it’s a medical emergency (brief thought of making Mike fake seizure in aisle).
High: Supervisor said he would give Mike a voucher to use for Duty Free and some magazines for compensation.
Low: Magazines were a Singapore Mens Health, Readers Digest and a National Geographic (had to laugh) and the voucher could only be used on purchases for the in-air Duty Free; most of which cost more than the voucher.
High: Made it to Singapore airport where we had a 3 hour stopover.
Low: Our flight was delayed by 45 minutes.
High: Made it to Bangkok just after midnight.
Low: Mike’s pack didn’t arrive and couldn’t be located.
High: Finally got to accommodation for much needed sleep.
Low: Had to give our passports at check in. Realised at this point I was no longer in possession of my passport (@#*%). At this stage I had about zero care factor due to being so tired and needing sleep.
High: Receptionist called Bangkok airport and my passport had already been handed in. Lucky!

Advice: If you’re going to lose your passport, do it at the airport before you clear customs. As I found out, it’s the best place you can lose it.

Mikes pack got delivered the next morning, so all possessions were accounted for. I was also advised I was no longer allowed to be responsible for any of our valuables during the trip… Rightly so and probably wise.

We were ready for the adventures to begin.

Bangkok baby,

100 happy days_week 11

2014 where are you going? Can you believe a quarter of the year has almost gone by? Are those New Years resolutions a thing of the past, or are you sticking to making your goals for this year happen? If your goals have been shuffled under a pile of paperwork (a.k.a. your executive filing system), do they need to be reviewed, or are you holding yourself back from achieving them?

Go get ’em tiger. The year is zooming by, so make sure you’re taking steps towards achieving what you intended to for the year now. Don’t be blowing the dust off your list on December 31 (when you’re re-writing your resolutions for 2015), wishing you had ticked a few more things off. Make it happen.

This past week I put my money where my mouth is and took part in a 10km run (the first time I’ve ever run that distance). Taking steps towards my goal of running a half marathon this year. If this non-runner can do it, you can too!

Days 71 and 72

Day 71: Couldn’t help smiling seeing this cute face over the shoulder of a commuter in the underground on the way to work. Just hanging out on his way up the escalator. It’s a dog’s life.

Day 72: Super excited to be nominated in Low Cost Holidays’ Blogger Awards 2014 in the category of ‘New Kid On The Block’. There are some fantastic bloggers across all the categories.

I have also just realised that the awards ceremony date is day 100 of my #100happydays. Hopefully winning the category will feature as my 100th day post. Voting is open until 15th April, so please help me win and click here to vote. What better way to finish off the challenge!

Days 73 and 74

Day 73: Taking part in a 90 minute, 6.30am session of hot bikram yoga as part of Lululemon’s Cheeky Yoga Day. Sweaty work, but a great start to the day.

Day 74: I love having smothies for breakfast, so like finding new ideas for inspiration. This bango-tango one by Vegie Head sounds delicious.

Day 75

Day 75: Play dates with a good friend. We went for a nice stroll through Battersea Park (okay, it was because I got us lost), before attending Brides The Show. I think our favourite was The Photo Emporium photobooth.

Days 76 and 77

Day 76: Completing my first 10km race! Could not have been happier achieving this goal, which was a big personal accomplishment. I have never been a runner and never would have thought I would be able to run 10km. You can read all about it in my post Achieving the Once Impossible. Looking forward to the next 10km event already. One step closer to running a half marathon this year.

Day 77: Spending time with family. Living on the other side of the world, it’s nice to have a family member living in London. Can you guess which one I am related to?

Happy days,

Completed_First 10km event_Richmond 131 Vertical

The sense of self-achievement is such an empowering feeling. Yesterday I achieved something I once thought would have been impossible. I completed my first 10km running event – the Richmond 10k – alongside a friend and we ran the full 10km. The first time for us both. To some this distance isn’t far, but for me it is a huge personal accomplishment.

I’ve never been a runner, but have always wanted to run a half marathon and decided this was the year. No more excuses. To stay on track with training and keep motivated, I’ve decided to do a few 10km events before tackling 21km.

Before the race, the furthest I had ever run was 7.5km on one of my recent training runs (most have been 3-5km). Going into the race yesterday, my soul determination was to run the full distance. No matter how slow I had to jog, I was going to keep putting one foot in front of the other and run that full 10km.

At 5km we celebrated by high fiveing each other and a lady running next to us. Around 7km I got really bad stitch and it would have been easy to stop (in a training run I likely would have), but having Stacey next to me and the determination to run the full race, I kept pushing. Nothing was going to stop me!

It was such a great experience being part of an event. The people around you and the energy from supporters cheering runners on and clapping from the sidelines really pushes you to keep going.

Pre-race smiles with Jessi and Stacey.

Pre-race smiles with Jessi and Stacey.

Before the race, others had asked what time I wanted to do the race in. Just running the distance was enough of an accomplishment for me, so I didn’t mind the time it took to complete. Realistically I thought it might take about 1 hour, 10 minutes.

Seeing the end come into sight and crossing the finish line with Stacey was the best feeling. I felt so proud. We had done it. We were beaming as we were handed our medals and had completed it in 1 hour, 2 minutes.

After finishing, we waited for Jessi who was running the half marathon. Standing beside the finishing chute was quite emotional watching people running in – some were crying, some looked exhausted and one dad was running down holding his young daughter’s hand while friends and families were cheering their loved ones on.

Everyone has their own reasons for running a race – for fitness, personal accomplishment, overcoming a challenge, in memory of someone, or for a cause close to their heart. For everyone coming down into the finish line, you could see the pride in their faces. You really can achieve whatever you set your mind to and when you do, it’s an amazing feeling.

Thank you to all my running inspirations – Mum, Shane, Scott, Liz, Becs, Cat and Jessi – seeing your continuous self-improvement and achievements with your own personal running has really kept me motivated.

Do you have any personal fitness goals? Start today. You will never regret the hard work when you feel the sense of accomplishment when achieving your goal.

Achieve your impossible,

Group Photo Happy Ending_Jungle Flight Ziplining_Chiang Mai_Thailand

“Happy birthday. It’s jungle flying time!” It was the start of our three month trip around South East Asia and I was woken on my birthday by an excited Mike, with a surprise present to go ziplining and abseiling with Jungle Flight.

We were picked up from our guesthouse and driven deep into the heart of Doi Saket rainforest on one of Thailand’s highest mountains, Doi Lankah. At times our mini van struggled up the steep, pot-holed hill and we all held our breaths hoping we weren’t going to roll backwards down the winding road.

We opted for the Jungle Explorer tour (the shorter of the two options), which lasts for 4 to 5 hours including round-trip transfer time. 24 platforms, 16 ziplines, 3 abseils and 2 sky-bridges. Basically a whole lot of fun and awesomeness.

Ready to go_Jungle Flight Ziplining_Chiang Mai_Thailand

After arriving it was time to get kitted out with a harness, helmet and an attractive spearmint green hair net. I only felt nervous after we were handed a bamboo stick each. Certain they were spider beating weapons, visions of using it Jackie Chan styles to bravely ward off any ginormous jungle spiders, while Tarzan-ing through the rainforest played in my mind. In reality, I would have whimpered, crying like a girl had any big spiders come remotely within stick whacking distance.

Brakes_Jungle Flight Ziplining_Chiang Mai_Thailand

“I’m confused”.

Our Thai guide looked at me and smiled. “Don’t be confused. All will be clear”. Obviously I was still looking confused, as he added “They’re your brakes”.

Sorry. My what?! If I’m flying across a zipline towards a tree, I had hoped there would be something more than a stick to help slow me down. Deciding to roll with it, I figured these guys must know a thing or two more about it than me.

We were given a safety briefing, told how to use the equipment, then before I knew it we were off whizzing along our first zipline. It was so much fun. While we were given specific instructions of how to cross the ziplines, the guides were very entertaining and would cross laughing, upside down and in all sorts of crazy positions.

Canopy_Jungle Flight Ziplining_Chiang Mai_Thailand

The setting itself is beautiful amongst the lush, green forest. In-between the ziplines and walking, the tour takes you up and down spiral staircases and across sky-bridges high up in the trees. Then there is the abseiling…

I’ve abseiled before on school camps – bring that on. Little did I know, the Thai version of ‘abseiling’ on this occasion meant dropping down a rope while one of the guides had us on a pulley system. That stomach dropping feeling gets me every time and the guides enjoyed letting us free fall just enough so we let out a squeal (males included), then they would lock the rope to slow us down just before we reached the ground. We started off with a 10m drop, before working our way to a 20m and finishing with a 40m descent. It was a good feeling when my feet touched the ground after the last one and our group learned I am a good squealer.

Guides_Jungle Flight Ziplining_Chiang Mai_Thailand

Halfway through we stopped for a water break and rest. Our guides were fascinated by Mike’s size and build. Looks like he made himself some new friends.

Tarzan_Jungle Flight Ziplining_Chiang Mai_Thailand

Happy Ending_Jungle Flight Ziplining_Chiang Mai_Thailand

We all finished the course in one piece and luckily didn’t need to kung fu any spiders. After our ‘Happy ending’ (see photo above), we went back to base for a delicious Thai lunch and received a souvenir t-shirt, both inclusive in the tour price. Lunch was quickly devoured after working up a large appetite. Jungle chest beating and vine swinging will do that.

Happy endings,