Notes by Nectar

Your destiny lies in your own hands

After almost two weeks of doing no exercise whatsoever, I decided I needed to do something. I was back in Dubai after a great trip to Bali (including a yoga retreat) and wanted to get back into a routine.

I tried a new yoga studio on Sunday evening – Eco Yoga Sanctuary at The Village Mall. I’d popped in to see it the day before and decided to give it a go. I signed up for the Vinyasa Flow class with Edita at 7.15pm. I was there a bit early as I wasn’t sure how long it would take me to get there during rush hour – not long at all! Although I think the traffic has been light since I got back as a lot of people are away for the holidays. It was a good class – although I found it weird seeing myself in the mirror, especially during the balancing poses. I found it really distracting! There were only two other women there (it’s a women’s only yoga studio) – although the studio is big enough for 10-12 people to fit comfortably, I’d say. I didn’t have to take anything with me – mats, towels, napkins, water are all provided. After the class, I decided to buy a package for AED750. The package was normally for 10 classes but they had a special offer of AED750 for 15 classes – and valid for three months. Perfect!

Funnily enough, the day before I’d mentioned to my cousin that I was going to find a new yoga teacher. I thought I’d ask around and see what people had to say and then decide what to do. Later on that same day, as I was leaving my flat, I opened my front door and there was a business card on the floor in front of me. It was the card for a yoga teacher! What is it they say? When you’re ready for something, it will find you (or something like that). I plan to call him too (eventually).

I did nothing on Monday and Tuesday. I was feeling lazy and starting to panic about how I was going to catch up with all my work! Pete sent me a message on Monday evening – he was back from his holiday and wanted to know if I was ready to start training again. Oh yes, please!

I had a session with him on Wednesday morning, after a four-week break. I was looking forward to it and dreading it at the same time. I also wondered how low my fitness level had dropped while I’d been away. He told me the session wouldn’t be too difficult, but it wouldn’t be easy. As usual, then!

We were back in the gym and it looks good! New floor, new lights, new coat of paint, the treadmills all have new running belts and some of the padded areas of the machines have been reupholstered (if that’s the right word to use!).

2015-12-30 10.59.25

I started with a 10-minute warmup on my favourite treadmill. The speed remained constant at 5.8 km/h and I started with a 1% incline, increasing it each minute until I was walking at an incline of 10% in the last minute. I had some water and then we did the whole stretching routine.

After that I did the following circuit:

  • Treadmill x 200 m at 7.5 km/h
  • Combined deadlift/shoulder press x 6 (15-lb weights)
  • Treadmill x 200 m at 7.5 km/h
  • Combined deadlift/shoulder press x 8 (10-lb weights)
  • Treadmill x 200 m at 7.5 km/h
  • Combined deadlift/shoulder press x 10 (3-kg weights)

I was ready to go home after that, but Pete had other ideas. I had some water and then did the following circuit on the weights machines:

  • Bench press x 12
  • Lateral pulldown x 12
  • Chest press x 12
  • Rest
  • Repeat

I felt like the weights I was lifting were much heavier than I’m used to and really struggled with that – apart from the lateral pulldowns. I had some more water and went back to the treadmill for 4 minutes – alternating walking and running every 30 seconds.

I had some more water, wondering what further torture Pete had in mind. Thankfully, all that was left were two abs circuits:

I had a short rest and then did the second set of abs exercises:

And I was done, yay! I did some stretches after that and went home, pretty sure I’d be aching the following morning.

For some reason, I was up at the crack of dawn on Thursday morning. I even managed to get a great photo of the sunrise from my balcony.

I wasn’t aching as much as I thought I’d be after my session with Pete the day before. My pecs were a bit sore but that was all. I went to a 10am Hatha Flow class at Eco Yoga Sanctuary and really enjoyed it. There were only three other people in the class and the teacher was good. I think this could become my new weekly yoga class…

I didn’t work out again over the weekend, but I did decide to treat myself to some new workout clothes. I’d heard there was a new shop open at Jumeirah Town Centre so I went to check it out – it’s an Australian brand called Lorna Jane. They had some really cute clothes… but nothing really suitable for me. I don’t like wearing tank/vest tops to the gym, I also don’t like very loose T-shirts that gape at the top when I’m doing pushups or burpees, or gape at the bottom when I’m doing a shoulderstand. Also, I’ve noticed that a lot of ‘active wear’ brands assume that women like to exercise half naked. Is that true?? Anyway, I realised I’d need to be a flat-chested stick insect if I was going to fit into anything in the store. I tried on a couple of yoga pants but balked at the price of AED395. That’s over US$100!

I went to Mercato after that, looking at New Balance and Nike. They were both on sale and I managed to pick up very similar training pants for AED69 and AED79 from both places as they were on sale. Bargain!

Low point of the week? I can’t really think of anything, so that must be good…

High point of the week? Finding a new yoga studio, back to training with Pete and being back in a routine of sorts. Also, on Saturday I realised I’d been smoke-free for an entire year!

Weight loss? I’d put on a bit of weight over the last few days in Bali, but it seems to have dropped off since my return. I lost about 1.5 kg this week!


Read more updates here.

4 thoughts on “The final few

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