The big day is Saturday 25th August 2012 and the event is a London to Brighton cycle ride in aid of Jeans For Genes. I will be part of Team Donna Ida and to put it bluntly, I am completely petrified at the thought of doing this!

I had signed up about a month ago, after having returned from holiday and having decided to eat out instead of go to the gym. It was over dessert when I realised that I needed some kind of challenge to keep me fit. Last year, I had sponsored Donna Ida for her charity run and so I thought this year I’d give it a go myself. Except for this time round, there was more to choose from in terms of events: a 5k run, a trekathon and/or a bike ride.

My choice of event was a no-brainer. Why? Because the bf is a cycle geek and I love watching his eyes light up. Also, cycling’s more fun than running and I get to go to the beach afterwards! So I promptly signed up when I returned home that night and in the sober hour of the following morning, I realised the seriousness of what I had committed myself to. I had to train for a 57 plus cycle ride; there was a very large hill at the end of the journey and given the summer we’ve been having, there was also a likelihood that I’d be doing all of this in the rain – probably with a bit of gusty winds thrown in.

But to be frank, I wasn’t going to let reality biting dampen my spirit because the truth of the matter is that I love doing stuff for charity: no matter how big or small. Every day situations always make me smile.

Jeans For Genes focuses on helping children with genetic disorders, which affects 1 in every 25 children born in the UK: 30,000 babies each year. I don’t have any children but if I imagine myself in the situation of the parents of the children which Jeans For Genes help, I can only think of the wonderful work that this charity does.

Whilst writing this post, there is just over 2 months to go before I have to be cycle fit. And in that time, I will be letting you know how I go with my training: from my training schedule to my weekly training updates. For the cycle geeks amongst you, I will be uploading my weekly training routes which you can apparently download onto your GPS. (Yes, the bf is getting very excited about this part).

For sponsorship, there is also a JustGiving page for Donna Ida’s team which you can find here. If you would like to sponsor me, all you need to do is include my name in your sponsor message: King’s Road Rocks!, Chelsea Girl or my real name … Mina! Any of them will do.

So here goes, I’m psyching myself up, let the summer of sport now become personal!

Over the weekend, I visited The Body Professionals who are based in Parsons Green for an induction session with a personal trainer. I had appeared on their radar after a tweet I’d posted about my slackness in going to the gym. I don’t know why but I was definitely more hardcore in December than I am in January – maybe because the thought of Christmas and New Year’s Eve feasts were slightly frightening me. Anyways, I’d actually lost weight between November and the start of January, so I reckon I was also feeling complacent. Big mistake! I needed motivation and soon!

So I accepted an invitation to check out The Body Professionals to see what they had to offer. True, I am already a member of a gym and they do have their own trainers there. But I was thinking about my readers, knowing that quite a few of you live in the Parsons Green area – so I gave up the start of my Sunday evening to have my butt kicked and my muscles put through a good workout.

The Body Professionals are housed within a yummy mummy members club called Cupcake and whilst they all operate within the same building they are entirely separate businesses.

Upstairs there is a gym and a studio. There’s nothing intimidating about this venue. It’s inviting and warm and not just for the ladies. Apparently, the husbands of the mummies downstairs tend to drop by on their way to work for their own personal training sessions.

So how was my experience? It was fab and I’m not just saying that. (I tend to avoid writing about something when I’ve got nothing nice to say.) The reason why I enjoyed my session was because it was thoughtful and enjoyable (if you can believe it?). I was requested by email to let the trainer know about the level of exercise I was used to, so by the time I arrived at the gym, my workout plan was ready. I’ve had inductions before and usually I’m asked on the spot what I want to improve and a training programme is put together in 30 minutes (and that includes going through the exercises).

At The Body Professionals, I had a full hour and discovered a lot about my strengths and weaknesses. I ran around the studio, feeling like a plum but it also gave me a huge wake-up call and reminded me that whilst I love spinning, there are other levels of fitness I need to look after. Amazing. And I now also have a fitness plan to work on until I get to the next level.

If you want to have a go yourself, these guys offer a free initial consultation. And if you want to go further, they have special deals on at the moment. Hurrah for January!

As for me, I think I’m going to keep in touch with this lot. If anything I’m already sold on the idea of trying The Wolf Run, which one of the trainers is the expert trainer for. Well, I can’t do the April date but apparently, they’re planning a September event. If it doesn’t fall around my birthday or (not married) anniversary then I’m thinking, why not? I like a good challenge!

The Natural History Museum has to be my favourite building in the world and it looks especially stunning in the winter with the lights in the trees that surround it.

Winter is also my favourite time of the year because of the ice skating rink that opens up here until the new year: this season, it closes on 8th January 2012. On weekdays, the ice rink opens from 10am until 10pm and in the weekend it is open from 9am until 11pm on Saturdays and from 9am until 10pm on Sundays.

There aren’t the market stalls that have been there for the last few years. But there is the usual bar that looks down at the rink and there is a hut next to the rink where you can buy food.

There is also a lovely carousel next to the rink for the children or the child in you to ride on. I love carousels!

This evening, I tried to make a dream come true and enter the Guinness World Records by joining the largest spinning class in the world. Virgin Active gyms around the world simultaneously took part in a spinning class at 6pm GMT and for 15 minutes, the goal was for no one in the class to not stop pedaling. In fact, no one in the class stopped pedaling for the entire 45 minutes. The class was hardcore and atmosphere was focused but on a Monday night, it felt good to enjoy a sense of accomplishment. I can only imagine how those in Australia felt, given they were spinning at 4am.

The next stage is for all the participating Virgin Active gyms to send their video footage and witness statements to the Guinness World Records and if all goes well, we get our certificate sent to us via email.

In the meantime, I love my medal!

A couple of weeks ago, I took part in Cycletta South and had such a great time!

This was Cycletta’s first year and you wouldn’t have guessed. The whole event was so well organised. There was plenty of help with punctures along the way and plenty of people pointing cyclists in the right direction. Though, how I managed to take a wrong turning I don’t know. I guess it has a lot to do with all trees looking the same to a city girl?

There was a great turn out and plenty of female camaraderie along the way.

Victoria Pendleton, who supported this women-only cycle event, stopped to hang out and talk to us ladies as we scoffed biscuits and rehydrated at the half way refreshment point.

And at the end of the 40km route, there was a Cycletta village with massages, helmet hair treatments, manicures and yoga on offer!

I’m definitely doing the Cycletta ride again next year! Thank you Bikeminded and Cycletta for giving me this opportunity!

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