But First, My Back Story…

I really can’t stand going to the gym! And I think I know why. It’s because I used to work in one.

I was in the Army for 10 years; and as a Physical Training Instructor I spent my life either in the military gym, or taking PT lessons outside. And when I left the Army in ’02, my very first ‘civvie’ job was working as a Fitness Manager in a private health & fitness club in Hampshire. Since then, I have completely changed careers and now work as a graphic & web designer (always been a bit of a geek, and now make a living out of it).

I have tried gym memberships, but I’ve found myself either just getting bored, or frustrated that I’ve paid so much money for membership and am now just attending so that it’s not a waste of my money.

So…..I find that if I’m going to do something to keep me fit, then it has to be fun. I used to rock climb, but for one reason or another I had to give this up. The benefit of climbing was that you got fit….kind of….as a result of having fun. Dangling off of either an indoor climbing wall, or outside on a cliff’s edge was such good fun and the weight just dropped off of me when I did this. Add to this the ridiculous muscle tone that happened, and you had a pretty cool way of keeping fit.

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Indoor climbing, in 2011

So, I stopped climbing and had to find something else to do, that was fun, that would keep me fit. Horse riding! That’ll do it! And it’s not quite as random as you may think. The Regiment that I was in, when I served Her Majesty, was The Life Guards (no, not the Baywatch type, the mounted bodyguards to The Queen type). These are the guys (and now girls) who sit on horses, wear the red or black (actually REALLY dark blue) tunics, big jack boots, sword, funny hat, etc. So, being a horse rider was something that I could do, and I was never fat in the Household Cavalry, so thought that it would be a great idea to take up riding again.

I loaned a horse (couldn’t really afford to buy one at that time) and really got stuck into riding. I even entered my very first dressage competition and won a rosette for 5th place! Woop woop!

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Me and Gainey on our way to our first competition

Unfortunately one thing led to another and it’s sad to say that the loan horse I looked after had to go back to stud, and I never really found another horse that I had a bond with like the Arab horse, Gainey, that I looked after for a few years.

So….fast forward a year or so and I’m there, putting weight on, not going to the gym, not really doing any exercise, and wondering what on earth I’m going to do to shed a few pounds, get fit and have fun. I thought about a few different sports. Fencing, martial arts, to name a few, but either the local club’s owner didn’t quite ‘fit the bill’ for what I was looking for in an instructor, or it was just too expensive to start off.

This then takes me through to the point I was at for my previous post. Getting in touch with Sleek Technique and asking if it was okay for me to join their site…

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