BIG NEWS! + The importance of stretching

February 9, 2010 at 7:08 am Leave a comment

WOW! It has been an insanely busy past few days. Working Sunday’s is really making me appreciate full weekends lol.

School is already getting busy which I’m happy about. I can tell it’s going to be a really hectic year…

I have some really exciting news!!! Secondary schools around New Zealand have been offered the opportunity to go on a NZ Army Careers Experience trip.
I’m not sure if any of you know, but my other option aside from Massey University would be to join the NZ Army and get my Personal Training qualifications through that.
It would be an excellent choice because I would gain so much knowledge, I’d be at the peak of my fitness, I’d get PAID to be there and have all other expenses paid for me, I’d be under strict discipline (which I actually enjoy), and I’d always have a job there in the Army if I wanted it. Also, If I went on to study something outside of the Army at University later on, they pay my uni fees! SWEET DEAL!

On February 25th they are holding the fitness test to see whether I’m fit enough to qualify for the trip (I’m pretty confident I’ll pass, I had a test today which I’ll talk more about later in this post), it consists of a 2.4k run, press-ups and sit-ups. I’m not sure how many, but I’m keen to take the challenge. I can push myself to do amazing things when I want to.

I handed in my completed form to the careers advisor today and now I simply wait to see what will happen next 🙂

Today I had my “Fame” audition!! I Shall now reveal what song I sang….

I know right, anyone who knows me will be absolutely blown away by this lol. But hey, what can I say? She’s got a good voice! haha.

Moving on- Today I had my fitness assessment at the gym. I decided to get a training plan put together for me so I know what I’m actually doing and don’t injure myself with any of the strength moves…
IT WAS SO INTENSE! The trainer was awesome 😀 He was a real cool guy and we got along famously. I pushed my muscles harder than they’ve ever been pushed before, and boy HOWDY am I now feeling it!

I feel like jelly all over. Moving anywhere takes an enormous amount of effort.

I learnt something awesome too! It made my entire WEEK I swear haha! Part of the evaluation/assessment is to bike solidly for 10 minutes at varying levels of difficulty, staying between the speeds of 57-61 (which is a lot harder than it sounds) and they machine measures your heart rate. I found out that my cardio levels are pretty much excellent 😀 The trainer told me that he was very impressed and that they were pretty much the best you can get. I was SO happy to know I hadn’t lost my cardiovascular fitness and I was keep in great shape.

At the end, another of the trainers helped teach me this ridiculously painful stretch to stretch my Iliotibial Band (the muscle in your outer quad which is what is causing my knee pain, mine is too tight and doesn’t get stretch properly or often enough). It was so sore, I was yelling in pain most of the time (the guys found this absolutely hilarious lol), but I seriously felt so much better afterwards.

I must remind you all that stretching is SO SO IMPORTANT!! Never skip stretching just because it’s “boring” or “painful” or you “can’t be bothered”. Stretching is an excellent way to help your body recover from physical activity and help prevent injury. It’s tedious and usually painful at the time, but you come out so much better off. I’ve never finished a stretch feeling worse, I always leave feeling loosened up and more relaxed.

To get in a decent stretch, it usually takes around 15-20 minutes. Well for me it does anyway, because I tend to work my entire body during a workout and so I like to stretch as best I can. Each stretch should be held for 15 to 20 seconds, any less than that and it won’t have any effect. It takes the muscle that length of time to actually respond to the stretch.

Here are just a few of the stretches that you can do after a workout:

Honestly, if you skip stretching your muscles will get so tense and so tight, it will feel horrible, painful and can cause injury. Releasing those muscles is such a painful process (by process of deep-tissue massage… NOT FUN) that after you’ve gone through it, you wonder why you didn’t just bother to stretch at the time.

One of the main factors of my knee injuries is because I never used to stretch properly. My Iliotibial band and hamstrings got so tight that now they’re pulling my knees out. Every physio session is spent enduring a 40 minute deep-tissue massage which is so ridiculously painful it’s hard to hold a conversation, and acupuncture, which despite what you may have heard, HURTS!!!

Anyway, I hope that helped you understand how important stretching is… in other news!

Last night I had the biggest workout at the gym. I wanted to imagine I was in Triathlon conditions, so I biked on the Stationary bike for 30 minutes, RAN for 15 minutes (happily without pain!), did a few press-ups as per Army preparation, then swam for 30 minutes.

It was one HEARTY workout and the swim felt great to be honest. I’m stuffed today though!

I participated in P.E today and did the most running that I’ve ever done in the last 2-3 months since my injury.

I was taking it easy and jogging, I wore my running shoes and it really helped that we were on the grass because there was less impact. I was doing interval running for about 40 minutes before… the most unbelievable, unfortunate thing happened…

MY LEFT HIP GOT SORE. As in, the way my RIGHT hip was :/ I’m so annoyed at myself… when I was rehabilitating, I concentrating solely on strengthening my right side because I’d never had problems with my left side, now my left hip is sore and I’m back to square one 😦

Time to haul ass and strengthen those glutes ASAP!

I stopped running and sat out for the rest of the session. I did some hip stretches which gave instant relief but now my hip is hurting again :/ I’ve been stretching it a lot and it’s really helping, but I’ll just need to rest it for a couple of days and then get straight into working those glutes to fix it the way I did my right.

Anyway, I’m absolutely stuffed, my muscles are like Jelly and the season premier of Greys Anatomy is on in 25 minutes 😀 I’m so excited! Last nights repeat of the previous season finale was so sad it made me cry. It also made me want to ring up all my loved ones and tell them just how much I love them and they mean to me. I can’t wait to see tonight’s episode 🙂

Have an excellent night!


p.s- I’m sorry I haven’t been posting pictures lately. I’ve been so crazy busy that I haven’t really had the chance. I’ll try and get you guys visually up to date asap 🙂 There are BIG things happening this weekend which I shall be snapping up.

Entry filed under: Fitness, Health, Injury, running. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

Motivation A whole new world of pain.

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Hey there, my name's Jenny. I have a huge passion for cooking/baking, writing, yoga and photography. I love nature and my favourite thing to do is spend an entire day outside, breathing in crisp, fresh air. Even better if I have a pen and paper with me. I started out running in March 2009 but sustained an injury in October 2009 which has unfortunately prevented me from running. I've been experimenting with other kinds of exercise to find another one that clicks. Follow me on my journey to maintaining good health + surviving high school and pursuing a career in Journalism. I Hope you enjoy reading my blog!

Questions? Comments? Email me at

February 2010
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