The Big One – Sheffield, 5th September 2015

We are back from Sheffield. This was my 3rd fitness showcase this year and I really enjoyed it. Especially that I finally managed to get a couple of friends to go with me. That’s how the three musketeers (Serena, Tony and I) found ourselves on the 6:37am from St Pancras to Sheffield yesterday. Not without trouble, mind you. Serena changing her mind about coming the last second, me going to the wrong station in the morning…

Anyway we had ambitiously all signed up to 5 sessions each a few weeks ago when booking the event. In my case it was 4 indoor cycling classes and PiYo (Pilates and yoga combination). But life always gets in the way somehow. Serena had had a tough week with a new qualification course and assessment, I had 2 weeks of 12 classes a week in a row with no day off. Hence on the 6:37am train we were a bit dubious of how the day would unfold, secretly hoping for a sauna or a lie-down area at the venue…

We took a cab from the station and headed for The English Institute of Sport in Sheffield. What a venue! Massive building with an indoors athletics track (full of kids having some sort of games or training), numerous studios, weights area, a whole room full of boxing rings etc. Pictures of locals like Jessica Ennis-Hill on the walls 🙂 It was so big you had an impression that there weren’t that many people attending the event itself.

The organisation was top notch. Registration area where we got our tickets, certificate of attendance etc was very well organised and surrounded by a few stalls selling fitness clothes, music, sound systems and the like.

You get this on arrival and registration

You get this on arrival and registration

Sheffield presenters

We headed for our first class – we all booked the same cycling class. We were late but thankfully they hadn’t started yet.

As we walked in they were 1 bike short and mine and Serena’s faces lit up (yes, you have read it right) so we each said: “Oh, shame. Don’t worry about me. You take the bike. I’ll just watch” while thinking: “YES! I can WATCH it and give my legs a rest!”. But the organisers swiftly came up with extra 2 bikes so we were both back on.
The instructor was Doyle Armstrong – a guy that I talked to over the phone and Facebook countless times but have never actually met. He is the one who told me about the whole event in the first place.

I must admit I was disappointed when I learnt a couple of weeks ago that the bike were not going to be MatrixIC7 but Technogym. I really wanted to see pros teach on Matrix. But it was a very good class nevertheless.

Doyle used My Ride video system so we didn’t have to visualise but could actually see the terrain we were supposed to ride through. The video was very good and Doyle’s sense of humour came through when throwing in little challenges that were tying up very well to what we were seeing.

Shame my legs were refusing to cooperate. And judging from the evil glances I was getting from Serena in the back row, her legs were on the same page. Both our sweaty faces seems to be saying: “3 more cycling classes today?! No way!”. Tony was soldiering through but then we all know: TONY IS NOT HUMAN.

The class was over. I went over to Doyle to introduce myself and was greeted with: “I know you’re Izabela!”. Underestimated the FB pictures again 🙂  Then it was Tony’s turn to head for the Kettlebells class and us two… well, we headed for… cafeteria…

OK, the little cafe was cozy but not big enough for the number of people there on the day. That was the only negative I can mention.

After a breakfast we headed to the registration area to swap our cycling classes tickets for something less strenuous. We signed up for an Old Skool Garage Jams and Shredded Body (?!). We also managed to both buy some useful instructors’ items.

Good prize and finally could see the actual size of the mic windshields before buying them!

Good price and finally could see the actual size of the mic windshields before buying them!

Man, the dance class was great! Garage music is so much fun. There were people of all ages. No wonder I get so many requests for garage music in my classes. The choreo was demanding though. At least for me. And as the class progressed every time we heard: “From the top!” Serena and I would look in horror at each other: “What is the top!? That was like hours ago!”.

The instructor Jo Parry-Ali was full of energy, infectious smiles and boy can this girl move! And on top of this she makes harem pants look cool when I can make them look like an oversized PJs in the best case.

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Then it was lunchtime. Armed with Google Maps we decided to look for a health food place called Nando’s… It took a while to get there and then by the time we found the way back filled up with nutritious chicken the chance of taking the Shredded class was just as likely as teaching it… Another short break. We looked exhausted. I was getting cramps in my adductors. Serena stretched out on the sofa in the canteen. Tony… bought a sandwich. But then we know: TONY IS NOT HUMAN.

Then it was time for next class. I was overjoyed with the prospect of lying down on my mat just a bit worried that if there will be too much yoga and relaxation nobody would be able to wake me up.

The instructor Rachel Holmes turned up wearing the most funky and colourful leggings I have ever seen. She was all colours, smiles and toned muscles. She clearly knew loads of people in the class.

And off we went. And I must say: I needed this class. Beautiful stretching, challenging core work and realisation that hit home: I need to do it regularly. My hamstring are so tight it is insane. Rachel does daily workouts on Periscope. You should definitely check her out. The class went in a flash.

We were all signed up for the final class. But just like a few other people that I saw walking around or sitting slumped up exhausted and yawning we decided to take a rain check. we headed off to the town instead. We only had like 40min before the train back to London but Sheffield town centre is so nice, clean and open spaced. We loved it.

SheffieldSheffield Tony
The train trip home was a right laugh. And don’t judge us. Yes, we had drinks on the train. Yes, Tony accidentally belched as loud as a Canadian moose prompting us to almost combust with laughter and embarrassment.

All in all it was a great event. Very good value for money as the whole day of classes was only £30. The train booked in advance cost us around £35 return. Nando’s around £10… Gin & Tonic £2.20…

I was overjoyed with the thought of having a day off today and so was Serena. I woke up at 8:45am after 10 hours sleep with the thought: I DON’T NEED to be ANYWHERE today! Serena is spending time with the family. And Tony? Tony had a Bodypump class at 9:15. But then we all know: TONY IS NOT HUMAN.

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