Things are getting harder. I am under no illusion about that. The sessions are taxing and testing and my body is firing at close to capacity to keep up and keep pushing forwards. But John’s expertise ensures that I’m not being pushed beyond what I am capable of and I realise that he is a better judge of that than I am!

The body and mind don’t always work in sync

Sometimes the mind is saying “give me more, I can handle more” and the body doesn’t thank you for it and expresses its displeasure by breaking down.  And on other occasions the body might have plenty in reserve but, for whatever reason, the mind is devoid of drive and motivation. This is where the coach/trainer is so valuable. They know when your body can deliver more when it might be suggesting otherwise, they know how to cajole a reluctant mind into life and they also know when the best thing to do is just to sit down with a cup of tea and have a natter!

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So far body and mind are coping, mainly because I am genuinely enjoying myself, thriving on John’s company and teaching and feeling completely elevated by the whole experience.

But I can’t deny the body has started to do a couple of peculiar things that I am beginning to find frustrating and hilarious

Parisa Louie Ultra-Fit Challenge week 3_2

At Crystal Palace there is no shortage of steps to run up and we have been doing plenty drills on them. I’m enjoying these, they are hard and dynamic, but very obviously effective. However, they are also becoming a point of inadvertent comedy. I happen to also be learning Salsa once a week and not for a moment did I think these two worlds would collide. It seems I was wrong…

John is telling me that I must make short sharp arm pumps as I sprint up every step. In itself this isn’t too tricky, but something peculiar is happening to my hips as my arms do their thing. As I drive each arm my hips start to swing and I seem to be creating a unique fusion of athletics training and Latin America dance! Hopefully I’ll be able to work this out of my system soon.

I’m just worried I might start sprinting across the salsa floor next!

And we have recently been drilling sprint starts on the Crystal Palace track. I have never done anything like this and it is such an amazingly powerful and explosive discipline. If you thought it was just about going from a standing start to running as fast as you can you’ll be wrong. Just as I was. I really had no idea that there is so much technique involved in starting and getting into your sprint stride.

There is a hugely powerful arm drive that is just as vital as the drive charging through your legs, but once again I seem to have found a way of complicating what should be fairly straightforward. As I try and blast away with the most powerful thrusting arm movement I can muster i get all out of sync with arms and legs. Funny thing was , I was absolutely fine when doing it naturally, but when John got me to concentrate on it and really improve the drive, I just got uncoordinated.

Parisa Louie Ultra-Fit Challenge week 3_3

It’s like walking being the most natural thing you can do, but when somebody tells you to really concentrate on your walking it goes all weird!

We have started to look more closely at technical matters and precision of movement. Whilst I am not going to be turned into an elite track athlete through this process (not in 16 weeks anyway!), learning the correct ways to move to achieve optimum performance is fascinating and just shows how smallish adjustments in even movements we take for granted can make a big difference.

I’m already seeing increases in reps and intensity and I’m able to handle more than only two weeks ago. The evidence of progress is already there and there’s no better encourager than that!

Next week sees the end of Month 1 and 25% of our programme completed. I know significant progress has already been made and I cannot wait to see what results are coming next!

Check out Week 1 and Week 2 of Parisa’s Ultrafit Challenge and grab a professionally designed fitness plan yourself!

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