Hippy Times #22 🏋🏻‍♀️

Wednesday morning and we have some life admin tasks to do today so after a slightly slow start – great night’s sleep – we are off into the town centre to sort out things such as the bank account, meet with our lawyer and try and sort health insurances. A growth day today for me so no training.

Thursday – off to find my happy place – Sparta gym. Well, the Spanish in the smaller towns are not as focused on fitness and training as I would like! Gym opening hours are Monday to Friday 8 am to 2 pm and then it’s siesta time so they reopen from 5 pm to 9.30 pm. On Saturday the hours are 10.00 am to 2 pm and they are not open at all on Sunday – yikes 😊

That said, I pop into the gym and sign up for three weeks which is the length of time we are in this area. It’s glute day today and for the first 30 minutes I have the gym all to myself apart from the personal trainer manning reception. The gym is actually intended as a boxing gym so some of the equipment I am accustomed to using isn’t here but with an ankle strap and some bands we can make this work. The basics are here – abductor, adductor, leg press, cables so it’s a good session and one where I feel I can load a little more weight on the machines as my hip is feeling good but I don’t want to push too far. So glutes completed, I do 30 minutes of cardio on the cross trainer then off home for a well-earned breakfast of oats and protein bread – I carried a couple of packets with me and am now thinking of how I am going to get this going forward as they don’t ship internationally.

I don’t have any scales to weigh in which is a shame however I would like to get a few good weeks of healthy eating and exercise under my belt before I weigh again. I’m back in the gym in the afternoon when they open at 5 pm for another 30 minutes of cardio. I have split the cardio into two 30 minute sessions as I find that my left knee can sometimes exhibit some referred pain from the hip operation so just need to take it easy until the strength in my muscles is rebuilt.

Friday morning is chest and shoulders – shoulder press, shoulder shrugs, lateral and front raises, push ups, scarecrows and rear delt followed by 30 minutes on the cross trainer. I am beginning to feel more normal – I probably feel the best I have since prior to my operation so am really looking forward to some serious training in the next few weeks.

There’s no afternoon session for me today as we are off to a belated ANZAC day BBQ with Keith and Eileen – we are house sitting for them in August so it’s great to get to know them better and their beautiful dog Rosie who spends most of the evening sitting on my knee.

Saturday and the gym opens at 10.00 am – this unfortunately means I can’t go today because we have to go and meet the couple we are house sitting for from 2 May at 11.30 am and I don’t really want to turn up there all hot and sweaty so I’ll do an early session of body weight, band and some free weight exercises by the pool. Dave and Fiona, the friends we are staying with, have a small selection of dumbbells which I have positioned outside by the pool so that I can use them early in the morning without disturbing anyone.

This morning is legs so I have devised a little training program making use of what’s available – step ups, calf raises, goblet squats, side lunges, rear lunges, walking lunges and Bulgarian split squats. For the rear lunges I have fixed a resistance band to the railings and am actually using that to ensure my stationery leg is pulling against the band in order to strengthen my abductors.

Today is my 6 week anniversary since having the hip operation and so I will now sign off Hippy Times. The next blog phase will take us through May to early June when David and I go to the UK so join me on Wednesday morning to discover the next challenge!

Hippy Times 🏋🏻‍♀️

Hippy Times #21🏋🏻‍♀️

As usual, not much sleep on the night flight (Hong Kong to Madrid), just because there’s a flat bed doesn’t guarantee sleep. The movies were not much good either so I ended up watching a few episodes of Scandal which I must admit I love.

I am walking around intermittently to exercise my legs and keep my hip from stiffening up. It’s a little awkward to do my stretches but when everyone else is asleep, I am standing in the aisle doing calf raises, knee raises, stretching and doing froggies and glute bridges on the flat bed.

When we arrive in Madrid, I have a 4 hour wait for the next, shortest and final flight. The lounge is not that easy to find but eventually I locate it having walking all around the airport – more exercise which is good for me. When the flight is called, it is leaving from the gate which is the furthest away from the lounge – according to the signposts, its about a 15 minute walk. There are travellators along the way which takes a little out of the walk but all in all, it keeps me moving and is good when you have been sitting for so long on all those planes.

The one hour flight seems really short, no sooner have we taken off than we are landing and it’s off to see if my luggage, which was checked in at Sydney airport all the way through to Valencia, has made it for the whole journey.

I have a very large suitcase which may be an issue heaving of the conveyor belt so I station myself and my trolley next to this rather large middle aged man and his wife just in case I need to ask for help. My small bag comes off first and then I see the suitcase on it’s way towards me. I am very conscious that I should not twist at the hips for another week and so thankfully, the suitcase is on the end that exposes both the top and side handles – it’s not trouble at all to take off the belt and lands straight on my trolley. Quick check of how the hip and knee feel and it’s off through customs.

We have a one hour drive from the airport to Javea and I must admit that once I get there, my hip / leg feels stiff, it has been a case of extremes for the last 24 hours with periods of sitting, slow walking, pulling a small case etc etc and I know that once rested, it will be fine. So, decide to follow with tradition in Spain and take a siesta in the afternoon as I know we are off out to meet a circle of Dave and Fiona’s friends tonite at the local pub quiz. This turns out to be a rowdy raucous affair but very enjoyable and shock, horror, our team comes third. We arrive home at 11 pm and I’m almost dead to the world, off to bed for me and I go out like a light.

Hippy Times 🏋🏻‍♀️

Hippy Times #20 🏋🏻‍♀️

Monday morning – the departure day has arrived. I set my alarm but am still awake at the normal time. Everything is quiet in Lexi’s house so I have to creep around and end up drying my hair in the back room with the doors closed in the hope that I don’t wake anyone as it’s only 4.30 am.

Lexi is up and is coming to the airport with me – as much as I have tried to dissuade her from this, she is insistent. The Uber arrives and off we go. I check in, there’s no queue but I am told my suitcase is overweight!! It has 1.4 kgs too much so Lexi and I scrabble around and remove stuff and then finally we manage to remove a few things to the backpack and it’s acceptable. We have a quick coffee and then it’s time for me to go through departures and into the lounge. Hugs and tears – as we both knew there would be and a final selfie and a wave good-bye.

The flight is pretty good and uneventful. I watch a couple of movies and read my book, a short snooze of about 30 minutes and before you know it, we are landing in Hong Kong. I have a day room booked at a hotel because there is a lay-over of about 8 hours. I check into the hotel, change and head to the gym to get rid of some energy. It’s pretty decent as hotel gyms go and I’m actually there longer than intended.

After freshening up and repacking my cabin baggage, it’s back to the airport. Cathay Pacific lounge has a good selection of food and I’m starving so have some Chinese vegetables and chicken. There’s also a counter where you can order hot food but as I know they will feed us on the plane, I don’t really need too much.

Hippy Times 🏋🏻‍♀️

Hippy Times #19 🏋🏻‍♀️

And so to Saturday morning. We have quite a lot to get through today – we are up early as we need to check-out of this Airbnb which is really a shame because I only have two more nights in Australia and it would have been good to stay but here we are, packing our stuff and packing the car to move back to Lexi’s place for a couple of days. The weather is great – a lovely true Sydney autumn day – a little cooler in the morning but with the sun shining it’s great. My little pocket rocket and training buddy wants to carry everything to the car and my suitcase is almost as big as her. So, car packed it’s off to Lexi’s to unload as we don’t want the stuff to be in the car the whole time while we are at the Fitness Expo then it’s off to the gym.

We didn’t train with Phil on Thursday because I went to the Gold Coast and therefore we have our second session (and possibly my last ever with Phil). We’re a little unsure of what we want to train today so we decide to do a full upper body workout. We are put through our paces today, heavy weight and high reps. There’s pull ups, rows, lat pulldowns, shoulder press, lateral raises, upright row to overhead and then tricep push downs – great workout, feels so good to exhaust my muscles.

We realise we left something at the apartment so we decide to drive back there and pick it up and then refuel with food at the Grumpy Baker.

After breakfast we drive over to the International Convention Centre where the fitness expo is taking place and Kath is competing. She has sent a text this morning saying that her hair and make up is running way behind time and she is completely stressed – she will be ready but it is stressful when you are already stressed about the competition.

We have a quick look around the expo and then take our seats to watch Kath on stage. We can tell she’s not really happy with hair and make up but she comes on to stage with her smile and tan and she looks fabulous. Her number is 88 – that’s a pretty good number and she struts her stuff looking amazing. Kath places 1st in her category Fitness Model 40+ – fantastic work.

We have to drop the car back at 2 pm so we do so and then we get the bus to Bondi junction to sort out the transfer of my phone number to prepaid and get a holder for the SIM card so that it will fit in the old fashioned handset that David bought for my Australian number before we go to Lexi’s place. We are meeting Britt for dinner at Osteria Riva in Bondi Junction tonite so we just chill and watch a movie. Britt will be moving to the UK once her visa comes through so I’ll be seeing her on the other side of the world. Dinner’s fun and we chat about all manner of things – farewell to Britt and we are off home again.

It’s been an active long day so early to bed.

I’m awake at the normal early hour so get up and spend some time doing some admin and reading whilst waiting for Lexi to emerge from the comfort of her bed. A gym session this morning that consists of full lower body workout. Leg extensions, leg curls, calf raises, squats, sissy squats and hack squats. We are now absolutely starving and head off for breakfast. It’s my last full day in Australia today – so just a few things to do. After a great breakfast of eggs, smoked salmon, mushrooms and protein bread, it’s time to shower and then off to have a pedicure. Lexi stays home and I go to the nail place in Bondi Beach then decide to take a walk along the promenade as it is such a beautiful day. I WhatsApp David sitting on a bench at the beach – it’s so busy and the weather is like a summer’s day.

Returning to Lexi – who’s been trying to take a nap but not having much luck – we have a cup of tea and decide what to do for dinner. If Lexi’s ‘boyfriend’ decides to join us then we’ll go out but if not we decide that chicken, veggies and sweet potato will suit us just fine. We go out to buy the chicken and come across an Italian bakery where we buy two small cannoli for dessert. We’ve been watching the movie ‘Sleeping with the Enemy’ because we have already seen Pretty Woman this weekend so thought we would have a Julia Roberts binge and Lexi hasn’t seen this film.

We have to get up early in the morning to get to the airport by 5.30 am so now it’s bed time – my last night in Australia.

Hippy Times 🏋🏻‍♀️

Hippy Times #18 🏋🏻‍♀️

Monday looms, the alarm goes off and we are readying for the gym. Kath is in her last week of prep so we are training together this week to help her push hard in the run up to comp. Kath, like me, isn’t working this week so has offered to pick me up and give me a lift to the gym and home again afterwards which is a fantastic help because otherwise it’s buses for me. Today we work on shoulders – upper body work is fine for me at the moment. I just need to be careful how I pick up the weights – shoulders suits me as I have rehab today and will do lower body there. A few tri sets today because there are three of us and that seems to work.

– 15 Reps of lateral raises

– Straight into 15 reps of front raises

– Straight into 15 reps of rear delts

All the above are performed with dumbbells (the rear delt exercise requires you to bend over at the hips). I have Lexi and Kath bending low but I can’t go beyond 90 degrees.

Three sets of these exercises with a rest of 2 minutes in between is followed by seated shoulder press – four sets of 15 with dumbbells – we all struggle on our last set which feels great.

Our final exercise is a barbell upright row. Kath is experiencing some discomfort in her left arm around the elbow area so finding it hard to grip a heavy weight so goes lighter than normal but increases the reps.

Kath has to do an hour of cardio and I do 40 minutes on the cross trainer before Kath puts her show bikini on and has a check in with Phil. He ups her food (carbs and fruit) which makes her very happy and he also cuts her cardio to one hour where she has been doing three hours per day.

Kath drops me home and then I immediately go out again to rehab. I have a different physio each time as they were trying to fit in as many sessions as possible before I go overseas. Today it’s Hayley. She is lovely and we go through the normal exercises. Most of these are stretching exercises because we need to loosen up the hip and then try and strengthen the muscles. I chat to Hayley about the pain behind my knee and am advised they don’t believe it’s anything more than the muscles compensating and getting used to the different movements now that I am trying to walk properly and not alter my gait to compensate for a painful hip.

An hour and a quarter of Heel slides / froggies / hip hitches / walking / multiple stretches / glute bridges / quad and hip flexor stretches / balancing etc – she’s a hard taskmaster. I then have a 10 minute break before I go off to the pool. The same types of exercises are undertaken in the water but with a few additions such as cycles / walking lunges and crab squats. This feels really good. I finally get out of there at 12.30 – WOW a three hour session and I am starving and gasping for a coffee.

After lunch I get a What’s App video call from David. He has just woken up in Javea where it’s 6 am and I’m in Sydney at 2 pm. We discuss house sit possibilities and what he’s been up to. Some friends over in Spain are having an Anzac Day celebration (25th April for those who don’t know 😊) and have asked if I could take over some Two Up sets and an NZ flag. I start the online search for these items. I find that Australian Geographic Shop have the Two Up sets and there’s a store at Bondi Junction. Off I go and purchase two sets. Whilst there, I sort out the issue David had with his prepaid phone number with Optus. There doesn’t seem to be anywhere to buy an NZ flag so I return home and research this on the internet. Find somebody who undertakes to despatch the item by express mail the same day as the order so I’ll give that a go.

Lexi comes ‘home’ from work and we catch up on our days and just hang out.

Tuesday morning – Kath has again offered to pick me up from Bellevue Hill – great location for Bondi Junction and for rehab but definitely not for getting around to many other places! A couple of buses and a 40 minute journey to Darlinghurst Fitness First!! Glute day today. It’s fine for me as I need to strengthen my glutes after the operation – just need to be careful about angles and not too much weight which seems a little frustrating but I am actually doing as advised – WOW there’s a first time for everything.

– Tri set – 15 reps x 4 sets

– Cable pull throughs

– Squat jumps with cable

– Froggies – lying on your stomach on a bench with a weight between your feet

Then we move on to the abductor machine. Think we’ll do another tri set here –

– Tri set – 15 reps x 4 sets

– Abductors

– Bulgarian split squats

Glute bridge (strong focus on first engaging your glutes, pushing outwards with your knees and raising your hips – this is a rehab exercise I have been given to do and is good for stretching the hips

Just one more exercise on the back extension machine. These are partials and weighted so designed to engage the glutes and hammies and when the shoulders are in line with the hips, a short hold before lowering back down slowly. I’m not in a position to do these but it doesn’t stop me pushing my two training buddies.

A quick 30 minutes of cardio again today as Kath needs to check in with Phil. The scales are messing with her head and she thinks her definition has diminished – we try and assure her that Phil will get her in the right place and she is looking really good. I decide to have another quick weigh in whilst Kath is changing and I have lost 100g not much but considering I had a croissant, wine and ice cream yesterday, I’m feeling pretty pleased with myself. I think I will try and do another 30 minutes of cardio this afternoon. Need to be careful that I don’t push too hard too fast and sometimes it’s hard to reign myself in and put the brakes on but the pain behind my knee has almost gone completely and I am feeling really good.

Kath has given me a lift home and I decide to do some admin. I also have a new program to write for an older gentleman who has a sedentary lifestyle and wants to get into a better place in terms of his weight so that he can have two knee replacements. It’s not so hard to formulate a training plan for him and I include exercises that are specific for strengthening the muscles around his knees in preparation for the operation. I am so fortunate that I had good muscle strength prior to my surgery as I know this has helped me to recover quicker than the average.

Lunch time and I have tuna and steamed veggies – it’s strange how much I enjoy the food from my old meal plan when I haven’t eaten it for so long – makes me feel good too that I am eating clean for some (if not all) meals in my day.

It’s 2pm and time for a What’s App discussion with David. He fills me in on some vehicles that he has seen locally but nothing that really peaks his interest – I’m sure he will fill you in with more details on the To Senija blog.

I decide to take the bus to Bondi Junction and do 30 minutes at Fitness First on the cross trainer. That done it’s back home. Lexi will be later home this evening as she is going to get her nails done after work.

We decide to watch MKR as I’m quite intrigued to find out which team is excused from the table – the suspense😊 Well, they are stringing it out and again we don’t find out today. After that, it’s the series final of The Good Doctor – great entertainment.

Wednesday and it’s a PT session for Lexi and me with Phil this morning. It’s a back session and he pushes us today – great session of assisted pull ups, lat pull downs, seated row etc.

Kath doesn’t need to be at the gym until 7 and we need to be there for 6 am so unfortunately, no pick up for me today. Lexi takes her motorbike to go to work afterwards and I take an Uber. I have planned out the buses to get back afterwards.

I meet a friend for coffee in the Grumpy Baker, just over the road from the apartment and we spend a lovely hour chatting about fitness and general life events – she is taking a 6 week holiday starting in July and may well come to Spain – would be great to see lots of our friends coming to visit – short stay or long stay – everyone is welcome.

I have my final hairdresser appointment today at 12 noon with Tori at Saba Hair in Crown Street at Surry Hills. I’ve been going there for quite some time now and it was really easy to get to when I had my scooter but now, it’s two buses and 50 minutes – ho hum, now I really am missing Scootie more than ever. The daily catch up with David needs to be later today because of the hair appointment. He tells me of the pub quiz they went to last night and about the two vehicles that are top of the list for purchase. One of them is actually a dual cab ute – in great condition with reasonable mileage. This could come in quite handy when we collect the stuff we have shipped to the UK but we need to consider comfort etc for the couple of long drives we will make. He is test driving that and a Mazda today.

Lexi and I are cooking a stuffed chicken breast dish tonite and we’re going to make roast potatoes to go with it – partly so that I can teach Lexi how to cook these. We prep together – it’s fun. We’re punctuating the culinary preparations with wine – bad habits, empty calories – last week in Australia – RELAX. Dinner is consumed whilst watching MKR and yes, Sonia and Hadid are the two who leave the table – what a couple of complete arrogant, disrespectful and rude ‘ladies’ (and I use that term loosely) they turned out to be.

Thursday morning – growth day! This means Lexi gets a lie in and I am off to the Gold Coast for the day to have coffees and lunch with some friends before I leave. It’s the normal 4.15 am alarm for me today – not that I need an alarm – my body clock knows when it’s time to wake and I don’t normally need the alarm to help me.

My flight is early at 7 am so no time to exercise beforehand – I struggle with growth day but it’s an essential part of growing those muscles, resting and refuelling. The flight is on time and uneventful. Arrive in the Gold Coast and pick up the hire car. I’m driving to Chevron Island to meet with Petta who is a lovely friend from my days at Caltex. I’m sure she won’t mind me saying that she has taken up my 3 month body transformation program and is doing really well. She looks amazing. The training plan and meal plan that I have given her is clearly working as she has lost weight, become fitter and looks great – you can really tell she is progressing well and is so enthusiastic about the program. She is a great ambassador for me. We spend over an hour just catching up at a really lovely café … Tribeca NYC … if you’re on the GC and want to have some nice food – great service and great coffee, you should give this place a go.

It’s then off to Wyndham to catch up with all the girls there and of course Barry Robinson who I have worked for and his one of the nicest, most charming and energetic bosses I know. He is always positive and encouraging. He’s my sort of person and it’s always so good to catch up with him.

I’m having lunch with some of the girls – such a laugh and you know it’s incredible how many people are intrigued by what David and I are doing and once they know somebody who is doing this they all seem to want in on the action – it’s great. Life is for living and you only get one shot at this so make the most of it. A few of them ask me what I am going to do about competing in Europe. Well, I am going to compete! I know that I am now more determined than ever to compete in Europe and once hippy is back to normal, I will start training again in ernest. The seasons are obviously different in Europe so I just need to do some research on when the comps are and where – WOW wouldn’t it be great to compete at Olympia 😊 I think I can get myself there but I will probably enlist the help of Phil Harding who has been an amazing mentor and coach to me over the last 17 months. He doesn’t normally do online coaching but as I have spent time with him, I think it will be easier to persuade him to help me achieve my new goals. I’ve gone off track a bit here but it’s a necessary distraction especially when everyone keeps asking what I will do.

So lunch and other catch ups done, it’s back to the airport. I’ve received a text message from Virgin that says there may be some storms which will mean flight delays – gee I hate that but the skies are clear and I check in with Lexi in Sydney and she says there doesn’t appear to be anything untoward there so we should be OK.

It’s odd but hippy didn’t set off the alarm when I went through screening in Sydney but on the Gold Coast, here we go. The lady at security is lovely and as the machine buzzes she asks me if I have a hip replacement or any other prosthetics and then I have to have a full body check with the machine that bleeps. When I’m in the lounge, I have my daily call with David. For some reason, What’s App and Skype don’t work so I call him using FaceTime and we discuss the transfer of monies for the car and what else he got up to yesterday. Today I think he is having a chilled day – the first one since arriving in Spain so it’s really well deserved – he’ll be so tanned by the time I get there that I’ll having some catching up to do but for the time being, I need to keep my scar out of the sun.

I also exchange texts with Kath to see what she is going to do about training tomorrow and it’s a full body pump up and she offers to pick me up. YAY – what a great friend she is, and I am so excited to see her on stage on Saturday. I ask if she has a plan for the training or if she would like me to put something together – she has nothing definite planned so I’m going to put some thought into this whilst I am on the plane.

When I arrive home I start to pack stuff as we need to move from our Airbnb back to Lexi’s house as we can’t stay any longer and we can’t find anywhere reasonable to stay for Saturday and Sunday night. I decide that it would be a good idea to book a hire car for Friday and part of Saturday. I have lots of places to go such as rehab, moving, the gym, the Fitness show etc and figure that it’s probably just as cheap to hire a car as to take Uber everywhere.

Kath picks me up on Friday morning and we are off to the gym. I think I am more excited about her competition than she is – she still has so much to do today – posing practice, registration for the event, tan etc.

Our training session is a full body pump up so we do a couple of exercises for each body part followed by a little cardio and then Kath will check in with Phil to see how she’s looking.

I have been trying to get my eating back on track after my spell in hospital and few weeks off so on Monday I weighed myself on the scales at the gym. As these are different scales to my normal ones, I am treating the reading as a starting point rather than benchmarking it against where I was prior to being admitted to hospital. I wasn’t too disappointed with the weight which was up 3.5 kgs on my pre hospital weight. I am told the hip replacement weighs about 1 kg heavier than normal bone but I’m not going to use that as an excuse! That said, my weight since Monday has dropped steadily each day and I have lost 600g since Monday morning which I am very happy with especially as I have not been eating totally clean.

Friday is my last rehab and the physio is very happy with where I am. My movement is fluid, the pain in my knee is all but gone, I am walking normally and can move my knee to a 90 degree angle but don’t go past that yet as it’s not 6 weeks since the op.

Friday evening and another friend, Larissa, joins us and we decide to go to the Waratahs vs Lions game at the Sydney Cricket Ground. We have tickets that allow us into the Trustee area so we head off down there. Unfortunately when we arrive, we are refused entry as Lexi is wearing ripped jeans and they are not allowed – such strong rules as she looks great with a nice black top and black jacket and to top it off, heels. So off we go in an Uber back to the apartment and Lexi changes her jeans whilst we get the Uber driver to wait and then take us back again to the game. It’s a bit of an uneventful game but we have a great time eating a burger and just chilling out. We leave 10 minutes before the end as the score is Lions 19 and Waratahs 0 – no amount of miracles will see them win this game.

Hippy Times 🏋🏻‍♀️