Sunday, 24 April 2016

Skeleton Bobsleigh

I have been on the Army Skeleton Bobsleigh team for 3 years now and it truly is the most exhilarating and rewarding sport. The Olympic bobsleigh track at La Plagne in the French Alps had many of our team shaken, stirred and terrified in 2015. So many of the Army Skeleton Bobsleigh team were pleased to hear that the 2016 Championships were going to be held at Winterberg, Germany. This year we were really pleased with the amount of novice Skeleton athletes that came to compete at the Army Championships. We spent the week prior to the Championships being coached by Stuart Hayden. Stuart kindly came back to coach the Army team this year, which we were very grateful for.

After finally mastering corner 9 (which was no easy feat), I was able to retain my Army Champion title. For the men’s race, this year, the title was taken by Nathan Jackson, a very promising athlete, who has spent a great deal of his own time training and competing around Europe this season.The Inter-Services Women’s Skeleton Championships was a very close race this year. The Army women’s team beat the RAF team by just 0.01 of a second. Chelsea Ainsley, a novice slider from the RAF team, slid very well this year and is one to watch for next season. This year was the first year in a long time where the women’s Army team won gold at the Inter-Service Championships and I could not have been prouder of my team. Nicky Moxon, Sarah Raby and Rhiannon Graham all slid superbly. The men’s team also did us proud, winning silver.

The first British Championships under the newly merged British Bobsleigh & Skeleton Association took place the following day. Laura Deas saw off the challenge of fellow GB Skeleton slider Jor’dan McIntosh to claim gold. McIntosh capped her comeback season following brain surgery with the silver, whilst I took bronze, less than 24 hours after retaining my Inter-Services title. It was an absolute honour to race alongside such promising GB athletes. I hope this season that we see more novice sliders introduced to Skeleton as the sport seems to be going from strength to strength.

Wednesday, 6 April 2016


Physical training has always been something of endless fascination to me. Having read so many reviews about the benefits of CrossFit, I decided to take a look for myself. I really want to notice a change in my body. I have always been very lean, a natural runner, but I long for more muscle mass and a stockier frame. I want to be strong, not skinny. 

On Monday I attended my first CrossFit session at CrossFit Colchester. The coaches were really friendly and we got started straight away.

Warm up squats - 3 sets of 5 (increasing weight each time)
Main set - 4 x 9 squats - 30kg - every 3 minutes - (30kg is all I could manage)

The WOD (Workout Of The Day) then followed.

50 air squats
15 wall balls
15 box jumps
10 burpees
10 lunges

20 minutes. For time. 

It doesn't seem like long. I can tell you now, it was brutal!

To say I was exhausted, post workout, is an understatement. I have never felt so depleted of energy in all my life! My legs felt like they were going to buckle underneath me on the walk home! But I LOVED it. The sweat, the determination, the atmosphere in the gym. It felt amazing to be a part of that positive energy.

The atmosphere was fantastic and the coaches helped give feedback on technique throughout. As a complete novice, I thought I would feel somewhat useless. This wasn't the case at all. The coaches made me feel so welcome and equal. Although I feel like I have been hit by a bus (my quads and bum are SO sore), I feel motivated to return tonight for my second foundation session! 


I recently read, in Scientific American, about the therapeutic value of blogging.

Scientists (and writers) have long known about the therapeutic benefits of writing about personal experiences, thoughts and feelings. But besides serving as a stress-coping mechanism, expressive writing produces many physiological benefits.

Research shows that it improves memory and sleep, boosts immune cell activity and reduces viral load in HIV patients, and even speeds healing after surgery. A study in the February issue of the Oncologist reports that cancer patients who engaged in expressive writing just before treatment felt markedly better, mentally and physically, as compared with patients who did not.

Well we shall see!?