Personal Training 27.6.16


Great way to start of the day with PT, Dan and James have been at the gym for a few hours and as usual they are in fine form and pumped.

Warm Up

Frog Jumps what in the hell are Frog Jumps? Surprise, surprise they are actually as they sound, that is  squatting in a frog like position and hopping the length of the gym and back for 20 jumps. Followed immediately by 20 crab crawls and then 20 spiderman crawls. Yep down on the ground just like spidey (think I am playing with my friend’s grandson Felix). Puffed after this exertion I think a minute break before we get stuck into the real session, however had to repeat everything again.

Progressive overload step ups and Kick Pyramid. 

Kicking into pads with right leg x 2, Right foot on a high box and stepping up with left leg x 2 whilst holding a 10kg medicine ball at chest height, kicking into pads with left leg x 2, left foot on a high box and stepping up with right leg x 2 whilst holding a 10kg medicine ball at chest height, increasing by 2 reps after each set up to 10 reps. One minute break and then working down decreasing by 2 reps with each set.

Pump  Bar Drop Sets

5kg Bar 20 reps of each of the following Military Press, Squat Press and Floor Wipes. Floor wipes involved lying on the floor holding the bar overhead with straight arms, legs raised up and dropping to either side (failed this one and just did leg raises instead).  Squat Press involved squatting and then raises the bar overhead. Increase to 10kg bar and repeat the same exercises but 16 reps this time. Increase to 15kg bar, repeat same exercises with 12 reps which is difficult at the weight. Increase to 20kg bar with same exercises with 8 reps.

Boxing Sprint/Core

I was either too slow or there were too many exercises today as no time to complete any of these in the 45 minute session.

100 punches with 20 step ups

80 punches with 20 leg raises

60 punches with 20 walking planks

40 punches with a 1 minute plank

Disappointed as I like planking and punching routines.

Thanks James for another challenging session





Wakeup Call or Hiccup?

Tuesday 2nd May, 2016

I used to start the day with saying I am blessed truly blessed and firmly believed this. But sometimes life and other things get in the way and we forget to smell the roses or stop to pick the daisies so to speak. I still do believe I am blessed and a recent trip to my gynaecologist has prompted me to affirm this each and every morning upon waking and put those positive thoughts out to the Universe.

Why is it that we get blasé about our health and wellbeing? We seem to cruise along with our busy lives and put things on the back burner. As someone who has battled cancer in the past (bowel cancer primary, secondary in my ovaries and a couple of lymph nodes in December 2001) I should be more aware and diligent in respect to my health. I put off mammograms despite several reminders and after a bad first experience realise they are not painful nowadays just a slight discomfort. During a regular pap smear in 2010 I was advised to start using “Vagifem” but no explanation as to the importance of using it forever and I assumed because I had been through menopause.  That Pap smear showed I had some abnormal cells and after a biopsy of the abnormal cells they were identified as being pre-cancer cells. In addition the gynaecologist suggested that the radiation I received in 2001 as part of my bowel cancer protocol had caused changes within my pelvic area. As a result I was to have regular pap smears and monitoring by my gynaecologist, however when I moved house in July 2014 I neglected to notify her of my new address. Fortunately as I was overdue for a review and Pap smear they contacted me.

On Tuesday my gynaecologist was examining me and had completed the Pap smear and we were having an interesting discussion about my adventures since my last visit, my upcoming adventures. She had just asked if I had any views on the correlation between the Swedish Model in respect to the Sex Industry and the high incidence of Domestic Violence in Sweden. Before I had a chance to respond I felt a distinct unpleasant stinging within my vagina and conversation was ceased monetarily whilst I asked what she was doing. She explained she was just examining me internally and externally with a vinegar type solution for changes in the cells in the vulva area and within my vagina and cervix using a colopscopy. Conversation was certainly halted when she asked me to look at the screen to my right side. She was pointing to a white area of abnormal cells which could be cancer or pre-cancerous cells. Only option is to undergo a biopsy to remove the suspect area for further examination. She said it could be done in her surgery and would take 30 minutes for the procedure. Unfortunately she didn’t have time today but I was to speak to her receptionist who would make an appointment for me.

To say I felt numb, scared and shattered would be an understatement. It is difficult enough the first time to suspect you have cancer and go through the tests. The second time is overwhelming and your mind ceases to engage as you know what to expect however it is important to stay positive. It was my mind that got me through bowel cancer despite being told I was dying and spending 7 weeks in Palliative Care halfway through my treatment.

Even though my positive self and mind are saying don’t panic it will be nothing, I am terrified and have become more so in the days following. I spoke to the receptionist who initially made me an appointment for the 14th June, ironic that date would have been my wedding anniversary. I said I can’t wait that long with my previous history. She then looked and made the appointment for the 31st of May.

I headed out of the surgery in a numb shocked state and immediately rang my friend Jill. We talked and she tried to reassure me that all will be well. Whilst talking I came to the conclusion that my Gynaecologist  wouldn’t have wanted me to wait almost four weeks for the biopsy and I returned to the waiting room informing the receptionist that I wanted to talk to the Doctor. She agreed saying that the Doctor wouldn’t have wanted the biopsy unless she was concerned with what she discovered when she examined me. When I spoke to the Doctor a short time later she said we could do the procedure in Hospital the following Wednesday. I was offered the choice of local anaesthetic or general anaesthetic. She suggested general as unlike having the procedure in her surgery a theatre in a hospital can be intimidating and scary.

The next week went quickly enough as I tried not to focus on the upcoming biopsy. I had the biopsy and had to wait a week for the results which was difficult. The good news is that once again the suspect cells turned out to be pre-cancer and I need to be monitored six monthly for a while. Once again a reminder of the problems caused by pelvic radiation and that I must use the Vegifem not only when I am sexually active or going to be sexually active. Lesson learnt from this experience is don’t take your health for granted and think you are bullet proof and be a little assertive and not feel intimated when confronted with the possibility of a serious medical condition.

Now must have that mammogram I have been putting off.


Impact of Radiation Therapy on Sexual Health and Intimacy – a personal account.


This is going to be a very personal blog perhaps a little too personal for some people, however it is important for a number of reasons. Firstly if my blog helps just one woman and stops her from having to endure the pain, anxiety, embarrassment and perhaps surgery as a direct result from having pelvic radiation I will be happy. I am not suggesting I wouldn’t have had radiation as it saved my life, what I am saying is that I would have been prepared and taken steps to avoid the health issues that occurred. I would like to see frank, open honest discussion on the importance for Doctors to adequately discuss the effects or potential effects that radiation can have on a person’s sexual health. This would result in patients being able to make informed decisions.

When I was diagnosed with bowel cancer in December 2001 the emphasis and urgency was on saving my life. The diagnosis confirmed by a colonoscopy on a Friday with surgery the following day allowed no time for a second opinion or an in-depth consultation to discuss my options.  I was shell shocked and being single I didn’t have a partner who could ask the questions that I was too overwhelmed to consider or think about.  I underwent extensive surgery to remove the primary cancer from my bowel and the removal of both ovaries and a couple of lymph nodes that were secondary cancer.  I needed 6 weeks to recuperate from the surgery before I had my initial consultation prior to commencing chemotherapy.

Imagine entering the Oncologist office alone and being greeted with the following “Miss Clarke it is highly unlikely you are going to survive”. No preliminary discussion, no softening just bluntness. I meekly asked “what do you mean”. He replied “didn’t anyone tell you that when they removed your tumour it broke and fell back into the pelvic cavity and there is no way they would have been able to remove all of the cancer cells”. I replied “no”. A normal person would have given up then and there with that news but that is not in my nature. Whatever we discussed after that is a blur. I do know we discussed the need for me to visit a gynaecologist as I left with a referral in my hand. The consultation with the gynaecologist was essential as apparently I was going to go through surgical menopause as my ovaries had been removed. Plus we discussed that I would need to have an infusion port implanted under the skin in my chest prior to starting chemotherapy. My chemotherapy regime was to be one week of chemotherapy every month for six months with 30 days of radiation commencing with the third chemotherapy cycle.  At no time did the Oncologist discuss the impact radiation would have on my body in particular my pelvic region and sexual health. He wasn’t aware that I had been celibate for a number of years only aware that I was currently single. Due to his bluntness and professional detachment I was just a patient so don’t think he would even consider that I was a sexual being.

My appointment with the Gynaecologist only discussed the need to go onto hormone replacement therapy. I commenced taking the medication at the same time as I commenced chemotherapy. I was advised to cease taking it after I was hospitalised with complications from the first round of chemotherapy and haven’t taken any since.

I had a consultation with the Head of Radiation Oncology prior to commencing my cycle of radiation. He was friendly and discussed in general terms radiation but nothing to do with how it would impact on my body. All I can remember is being told it would last about 5 minutes and that on my first session I would have a couple of crosses tattooed onto my backside so the radiation would be directed onto the same spot each time. To be fair the staff in Radiation Oncology and the Doctors were amazing, very supportive and caring and it is thanks to them in particular Dr Joseph that I am alive today.

Chemotherapy had knocked me around badly and with each cycle I had been hospitalised due to complications and I thought radiation couldn’t be as bad as that. However radiation was horrific as it progressively burns you, the pain is intense and you are totally exhausted. I slept for hours on end and had no energy to function outside of driving myself to and from the hospital. Halfway through my cycle I had to go into Palliative care and radiation and chemotherapy were suspended for several months. At all times the medical staff didn’t think that I would survive initially because my cancer was so advanced with secondaries from the beginning, the mistakes that were made that impacted on my survival probability and particularly when I spent 7 weeks in palliative care as I had abscesses on my bowel. However they didn’t realise my strength of character and fighting spirit and that I would do anything and endure anything to survive.  Therefore I don’t think my sexual health now or in the future was part of my treatment plan.

Despite studies showing that the effects on women of radiation to the pelvic region are extensive no-one bothered to discuss this with me and I didn’t even consider that I was at risk. I have subsequently been told that the effects will continue for the rest of my life. Unfortunately for me I didn’t become aware of or informed of the harmful effects of radiation until I was in the emergency department of Joondalup Hospital with a large tear in my vagina wall.

After I got divorced I spent the next 13.5 years celibate whilst I raised my sons. I was initially concerned when I started a relationship that my body may not function as it had previously because I had been through early menopause as a result of having my ovaries removed. However I didn’t have any problems in the four and a half years that I was in that relationship. The only issue I had was an abnormal pap smear and as the tissue within my vagina wasn’t pink and healthy looking my Gynaecologist said I needed to use Vagifem daily for a month and come back for more extensive testing.  She used a Colposcopy to look inside my vagina and took a biopsy from an area where the cells looked suspect. The biopsy showed pre cancer cells and I was told I would need to be monitored annually. She indicated that she thought the radiation was responsible for the abnormal Pap smear and that it had caused some damage to my pelvic area.  She suggested I continue to use the Vagifem but didn’t say it was essential for me to use it biweekly for the rest of my life. Due to the possible side effects of Vagifem and the risk of developing breast and uterine cancer from Estrogens I didn’t use it regularly.

After my relationship finished I wasn’t sexually active for a few months. The first time I was sexually active my partner had just penetrated my vagina and I was fully aroused, he wasn’t overly big when I felt a sharp pain in the left side of my vagina and blood was pouring out of me. At the emergency department I had to answer a lot of embarrassing questions as to whether we were engaging in rough sex, what had been inserted inside of me and so on.  Meanwhile I was haemorrhaging badly and was exceptionally embarrassed by their questions, as was my partner. They finally understood that because I had radiation in the past and the weakness and problem was obviously associated with that. I ended up having emergency surgery to repair the large tear and I was informed that the lining on the left side of my vagina was exceptionally thin and prone to tearing. It was to happen again a couple of months later when we attempted to have intercourse. Fortunately I didn’t tear as much as the first time as I was unable to have surgery as the tissue was too fragile to be stitched, The only option was to lie flat for a couple of days to see if the bleeding would stop by itself.

After this I decided I needed to become educated in respect to the effect radiation had on my body and what I needed to do to ensure this never happened again. It took a good year for my body to repair as even an internal ultra sound would cause a small tear in my vagina. The prognosis from the Gynaecology Department that I may be unable to have penetrative sex again without the risk of tearing or tearing. Not the news any woman wants to hear or contemplate.

Radiation to the pelvic region in women can affect their fertility due to the impact of radiation on their ovaries. Periods can become irregular or cease for a period of time and in some cases will cease forever. If the  patient receives a small dose of radiation, periods will normally return to normal after a period of time.  Where a woman receives a large dose of radiation her body will immediately go through a state of Menopause and she will be confronted with the normal symptoms of menopause. It is difficult enough dealing with the effects of radiation and/or chemotherapy without the added complication of Menopause.

Tissue in the area that is receiving radiation therapy becomes pink, swollen and will appear sunburnt and after several days of radiation you will experience intense pain. This will cause the vagina to feel tender and this tenderness can last for several weeks. You will often end up with scar tissue, the walls of the vagina may become fibrous and tough and sometimes the lining of the vagina may become thin and fragile. Another side effect is the walls often may not stretch as much they previously did during sexual activity. This doesn’t always occur immediately and the affects of radiation may not become evident until several years later and is often a total surprise to the woman.

The scarring will often cause the vagina to either narrow, become shorter or both. This can be prevented by either having sex several times a week (which is normally impossible during the period of radiation and recovering from) or using a vaginal dilator on a regular basis. A rare side effect is ulcers or open sores within the vagina that take several weeks to heal after radiation ceases. Having regular sex is not an option to a number of woman who are not in relationships or have no interest in having sex. Even women who are no longer sexually active or have no interest in being sexually active need to be able to be examined internally by their gynaecologists or medical practitioners. When the opening to the vagina becomes so damaged by scar tissue or the opening so narrow that a speculum can not be inserted it will be impossible to have an internal examination.

A friend of mine who went through radiation of her pelvis as part of her colon/rectal cancer regime was told briefly that it was possible she would experience some problems with her vagina. She was given a hard plastic vaginal dilator and advised to use it after her radiation treatment was completed. No instruction as to how often or for how long she was to use it was discussed and certainly no alternatives were offered. If you are going to give women a vaginal dilator at least give them one that is not so clinical (this one was hard plastic that broke into two pieces) and one that they would want to use such as a soft silicon one.  Vaginal dilators need to be graduated in diameter so that progressive stretching can occur as not one fit suits every woman’s body.  Unfortunately for her she is unable to have penetrative sex without experiencing excruciating pain if at all as the entrance to her vagina can not stretch. This woman had four children by natural births, so had no issue prior to radiation therapy.

Each person’s regime of radiation therapy even for the same type of cancer is targeted to a different area of the pelvic region and the short term and long term effects on their sexual organs will be unique to the individual. Notwithstanding this certain factors will be similar i.e. decrease in length, decrease in width of the vagina, scar tissue to the entrance or internally, weakening and thinning of the walls of the vagina or loss of sensation. Some women may have one or more of these side effects and the lucky ones none.

Studies show that up to 50% of survivors of breast cancer and cancers that affect the pelvic region such as colon, cervical, bladder, ovarian will develop long term sexual problems. Interestingly it is the treatment not the cancer which causes the problems. In such cases it is essential that women seek help from a specialist health care provider when they become aware of the problem and for those in relationships to have an understanding partner.  You and your partner need to take it slow and concentrate on enjoying the moment and proceed with small steps, rather than focusing on the desired outcome.

So what is the solution to this problem? An initial consultation with a health care professional who specialises in sexual health in respect to radiation therapy prior to commencement of radiation treatment and regular follow up appointments would be a start.

Note: this article has been written from my own experience in respect to radiation therapy, advice from my gynaecologists and other medical practitioners and my own independent research. It is up to the individual to seek independent medical advice from their own health professionals. The intention of the blog was to make women aware of the problems that may occur and how to cope with the changes.

Regards Beverly



Energy Healing Workshop 25.6.16

Energy Healing Workshop Saturday 25.6.16

Thrive Wellness Centre which is where I go for Yoga classes is very innovation and proactive in promoting health and wellbeing through a range of complimentary holistic therapies and practices. The owner Bryan Carver has put together a team of health care professionals who work collaboratively to help their clients achieve optimum fitness and wellness. Services include Chiropractic, Naturopathic, Acupuncture, Remedial Massage, Yoga, Physiotherapy, Dietetics, Clinical Hypnotherapy, Fitness and Pilates. All staff are warm and welcoming and all services I have tried have been very professional and beneficial to my overall health and wellbeing.

A Clinical Hypnotherapist Tony has recently joined the team of practitioners at Thrive. Tony also practices Energy Healing and is currently running a series of Energy Healing Workshops, so I attended the workshop this afternoon.

I am no stranger to the practice of Energy Healing as I did a Reiki level one course over 20 years ago. Typically I am sceptical about such things, but with energy healing and Reiki I experienced and felt the energy from my session.

To quote from Thrive Wellness’s website “A typical energy healing session, will involve clearing, cleaning and repairing one’s energy fields and energy centres (chakras), while optimizing them to prepare you to move forward with life. The Energy delivers and engages at any or all of the levels of the Physical, Emotional, Mental and Spiritual Bodies. One may typically expect the following outcomes:

Shifts and releases with regards emotional issues, blockages, life issues and / or changes in thinking patterns and cognitive behaviour

  • A greater awareness in understanding yourself further, rediscovering yourself and your path in life
  • An awakening to a higher level of consciousness and spirituality
  • A deeper connection with the Divine, Higher Self & potentially shifting or raising one’s vibrational levels
  • Addressing of physical ailments, issues, pain”

We were welcomed by Tony upon arrival in the Yoga ante room and gathered mats, bolster and yoga blanket and entered the Yoga room. Today we had a small group of 3 people, one of whom was Bryan the principal of Thrive. Larger groups can build up more energy to be shared by the group but I was happy it was only a small group for our first session as we all had our body’s needs attended to by Tony’s energy.

The session was very therapeutic, relaxing and meditative. Looking forward to the next session.

Beverly Clarke




Hula Hooping

Hula Hooping

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Are you looking for a fun alternative aerobic exercise that will unleash your inner child? Hula hooping may be just what you have been looking for.

Hula hooping will provide similar results to other types of aerobic exercise such as dancing without the impact on your knees and other joints. An average woman can burn 165 calories in 30 minutes of hula hooping, whilst an average man can burn approximately 200 calories in 30 minutes of hula hooping.

It is essential to use a hula hoop that is the right size for you. The hoop should reach somewhere between your waist and mid chest when it’s resting vertically on the ground. The weight of the hoop is up to you. The smaller and lighter the hoop, the more energy it takes to keep the hoop going. But the bigger and heavier the hoop, the easier it is to keep going, which means you may be able to do it for a longer period of time. You can experiment with different hoops to see which kind and size you prefer.

My preference is a weighted hula hoop as I feel that I get a better work out with it as it takes more effort to keep it rotating and around your waist because of the weight. I have a 1kg and a 1.5 kg weighted hoop and initially I found that I would get extensive bruising around my waist until I got used to the weight. This is not unusual when you start hooping.

Hooping is a complete core workout. Regular hooping will define your waist, strengthen your stomach muscles whilst enabling you to burn fat in the often problematic areas. In fact hooping burns visceral fat, which is the hardest fat to get off as we get older and the most detrimental to the heart. Hooping is an intense workout for your entire body particular your heart.

Another benefit of hooping is that it improves your spine and flexibility. To keep the hoop up and moving requires a significant range of motion for your spine. Hooping requires you to make rhythmic rocking movements both forwards and backwards and shifting of your weight from leg to leg. If you are right handed it is natural to hoop to the right whilst left handed to the left. As you become more proficient with your hooping you can hoop to your non dominant side thus engaging both sides of your brain. It is important to hoop both clockwise and anti-clockwise as hooping is an asymmetric exercise which means it is working only one side of your body.

One of the most beneficial side effects of hooping beside the physical fitness benefit is the sense of joy and happiness. It is an activity that encourages others to join in with you and a hooping session always results in a lot of laughter and frivolity.

  • Start out slowly and build up as it takes time to learn how to keep the hoop rotating.
  • It is important to keep your back straight and to have good posture. Having good posture allows better rotation of the hoop.
  • The hoop must be placed firmly against your back before your start to hoop.
  • Don’t rotate your hips

Most major cities now have hula hooping classes either indoor or outdoors and they often sell hula hoops they have made. Approximate cost of a hoop is upwards of $50 for standard hoops with weighted hoops being available only online. I purchased my weighted hula hoops from

I teach a number of my employees and clients to hoop and it doesn’t take long for them to become proficient and to start to learn different tricks. It is fun to add more than one hoop and learn to work the hoop down your body. As with most exercises it takes time, patience and practice but hooping is lots of fun.

Check with your doctor before using any kind of hula hoop if you have medical concerns, especially a history of back problems. And as with any physical activity, stop hula hooping and consult your doctor if you develop pain or other symptoms.




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Walking is the simplest, most accessible form of exercise and should be within everyone’s capabilities. Walking is low impact, requires minimal equipment, can be done at any time of day or night and can be performed at your own pace. You can get out and walk without worrying about the risks associated with some more vigorous forms of exercise. Walking is also a great form of physical activity for people who are overweight, elderly, or who haven’t exercised in a long time.  If you have any concerns or a pre-existing medical condition, please check with your Doctor before embarking on your new exercise regime.

No special equipment is required and walking is free with many added health and wellbeing benefits. If you haven’t exercised for a while start off with a simple 30 minute walk around your neighbourhood and build up from there. You will improve or maintain your overall health by increasing your cardiovascular fitness, strengthen your bones, reduce excess body fat and tone your body among other health benefits. Your risk of developing health conditions such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis and some forms of cancer will be reduced.

Irrespective of how busy we think our lives are or whether we think we don’t have time to include exercise into our schedules, everyone should be able to fit a 30 minute walk into their schedule.  You should walk at a “brisk” pace which means you can still talk but will not be breathless.

I rode my bike to my local nail technician a couple of weeks ago and my technician was talking to me about exercise. The lady next to me was morbidly obese and said to me I was lucky that I could exercise and she expressed she didn’t know where to start. I suggested she start off by walking around her neighbourhood block for example with a 10 to 15 minute walk morning and afternoon and build up from there. We only fail if we don’t try and continue to make excuses for maintaining the status quo. I am uncertain whether or not she took it on board as she made a number of excuses as to why she couldn’t start.

We are fortunate in Australia to have access to numerous nature reserves, bushland, beaches, rivers and parks to walk in and our suburban areas have good footpaths to walk on.

Whilst 30 minutes of exercise will maintain and improve your overall fitness, you need to exercise for longer if your aim is to lose weight and keep it off.

Walking for fun and fitness isn’t limited to strolling by yourself around local neighbourhood streets. There are various clubs, venues and strategies you can use to make walking an enjoyable and social part of your lifestyle.  It is amazing how quickly the kilometres build up if you are walking with a friend or group of friends. My girlfriend Jill and I have been known to walk up to 12 kilometres each way to go out to dinner.

There are numerous applications on modern mobiles to measure distance covered, calories burned etc. that encourage and motivate people in their exercise endeavours. It is a good idea to have a pedometer to measure your movement throughout a day and compare it to other days or to recommended amounts for your age and ability. This may motivate you to move more and set goals. The recommended number of steps accumulated per day to achieve health benefits is 10,000 steps or more.

Our bodies tend to get used to physical activity, so continue to increase your intensity as you are able to improve your fitness levels. You can increase the intensity of your walks by:

  • Walking up hills or over rougher terrain.
  • Walk with a backpack containing a brick
  • Walk with hand weights
  • Walk at a brisker pace
  • Do longer walks a couple of times a week.
  • Train for challenge such as the Trailwalker for Oxfam, or to do part of an iconic walk such as the Cape to Cape in Western Australia or The Great Coastal walk in Victoria or any of the amazing walks in any of the Australian states.

You need to warm up by walking at a leisurely pace so your muscles have time to warm up and once you have warmed up you need to increase your speed to a level you are comfortable with. It is important to do some stretching exercises to stretch your leg muscles at the completion of your walk. Each stretch should be held for 20 seconds and you should target your calves and thighs.

It is essential to wear comfortable lightweight clothing and appropriate footwear. Ill-fitting or the wrong footwear can cause blisters, foot or shin pain and even injuries to soft tissue. Always take adequate water to avoid dehydration and drink plenty of fluids pre and post walk.

Personal Training Ring Fit 20.6.16


Start of the session with being told to grab a broomstick. No we are not going to jump the broom stick but use it to stretch the shoulders. Broomstick held out in front with hands spread as wide as possible, arms straight, raise broomstick up and over head and down back by 20. Football runs is simply legs apart & slightly squatting and running on the spot.

Choices are always good, not normally a feature of my PT sessions so the choice between a tuck jump or a burpee was a treat. This was combined with a rope pull for the drop set. 20 Tuck jumps and rope pull by 10. The rope pull involves James holding onto one end of a rope and providing resistance whilst I have to pull him towards me over a distance of approximately 6 metres. Doesn’t sound much but do it 10 times and it certainly works your arms and upper body. 16 Tuck Jumps and 8 rope bulls, followed by 12 Burpees and 6 rope pulls.

A well earned breather for 1 min and it was gloves on time which had to be left on for planking. 200 straight punches, 1 min plank, 150 straight punches, 45 sec plank, 100 straight punches & 30 sec plank, 50 straight punches and 15 sec plank.

Bosu ball which is the piece of equipment James is standing perfectly balanced on holding the sign. Sitting on the bosu ball with legs crossed and raised off the ground Russian Twists for 30 seconds. 20 pushups with hands holding onto bosu ball and core balanced. Standing on the Bosu ball with feet wide apart for balance 20 squats, Russian twists for 30 seconds. These four exercises were repeated 3 times.

Finished off the session with 10kg Pump Bar and 7 metre sprints diagonally across the gym. Squat press which is holding the pump bar squatting and then raising it overhead. 20 Squat presses, 10 sprints, 18 squat presses, 9 sprints, 16 squat presses and 8 sprints, 14 squat presses and 7 sprints, 12 squat presses and 6 sprints and finally 10 squat presses and 5 sprints.

Another tough session over time to head home. Thanks James for an interesting challenging session.



Abseil/Zipline for PMH May 2016

Hardly slept the night before the zipline adventure as the enormity of this challenge was going around and around in my head. We have to be barking mad, why else would we eagerly sign up to zipline down 165 metres from the roof of the QVI building? Thoughts of at least we raised $500 each for the PMH Foundation to buy valuable equipment for Children’s hospital did little to quell my fears. We walked from Jill’s house in Leederville into the city and our nerves or at least mine were mounting.

Just had time to check in and don our bright orange t-shirts and have a quick last minute toilet break before we were ushered inside the building to be kitted out with our harnesses, hard hats and gloves and receive our final pep talk and instructions. Our harnesses were fitted and checked by the team of volunteers before we caught the elevator up to the 39th floor. We walked through the plant area to an outside area. The view was spectacular as we could see the ocean out to the west. We climbed up a spiral staircase to the rooftop and the nerves totally kicked in.

I asked if Colin was assisting in the zipline area and was told not at the moment as he was alternating between abseiling and zipline areas. Now Colin had promised me we had a date on top of QVI and he would be there to encourage me over the edge. Some friendly banter ensued between the other team members from Adventure Out Australia with one quipping to Colin “Don’t make promises with your mouth that your body can’t keep”.  All of the team members were friendly, encouraging and supportive. Jill knows by now that I have to go first as without her encouragement I will not have the courage to commit where heights are involved. So like a lamb to the slaughter I climbed the few steps to the platform and started to get attached to the rigging and received some further instructions.

The wind was strong on the roof and to counter the wind the zipline consisted of a double rope line for stability. As I sat on the each of the rooftop looking down, I thought I can’t do this however was determined to do it. We were meant to slip off and stop a few metres down on a ledge before descending fully, however once I was committed to go and actually moving I didn’t stop. It was terrifying initially until I settled into the descent and looked down and saw Jodi my daughter in law waving at me. I called out Jodi, Jodi and started waving madly all fear had left me by now and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

Now committed to signing up earlier next year so I can do the abseil rather than the free fall zipline as really want to experience walking down the building.


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Big thanks to the management, employees and volunteers associated with Adventure Out Australia as without their work this incredible fund raising adventure wouldn’t be possible. The return to the charity percentage is much healthier than other similar events. I would encourage anyone who has ever wanted to try abseiling to contact the team at Adventure Out Australia as they are friendly, encouraging, patient and very encouraging.




Training Day for PMH Abseil/Zipline 10.4.16

The Abseil for PMH is an annual fund raising activity that raises valuable funds for the PMH Foundation. It is held over 3 full days and this year 350 people had signed up to either abseil or zipline. Unfortunately we didn’t get our application in early enough so missed out on abseiling option and had to settle for ziplining. This year everyone who had signed up had to do a half day training session with Adventure Out Australia in a quarry near Kalamunda. This was at no cost to the participant and the time and effort that the management, staff and volunteers associated with Adventure Out Australia put in over several weekends was amazing.

It was raining heavily in the morning with no sign of the rain clearing so I was concerned we would be training in the rain. The information email we had received in respect to the training day was training would be held rain, hail or shine. Not good considering I am precious about getting my hair wet. By lunch time the rain had stopped but the clouds still suggested rain was likely.

Arriving at the quarry we were welcomed by the team from Adventure Out and kitted out with gloves, a harness, and hard hat. Instructions were given as to the training program for the afternoon and how to use the equipment. Participants were either going to undertake zipline training or abseiling, with the people who were abseiling being required to tackle both cliff faces. We had a steep climb from the bottom of the quarry to the top and walked around to the zipline area. We waited in line for our turn and my nerves kicked in long before it was my turn. I was attached to the ropes and encouraged by Colin who was in charge of this area that it was perfectly safe and was simply a matter of stepping off. Unfortunately I can’t switch off my mind and despite edging over the side twice I insisted on being bought back up as my mind needed to know what happens on the ascent and what happens once you reach the bottom. I therefore had to walk back down the floor of the quarry and watch Jill’s descent. Once comforted I returned to the top and with lots of encouragement from Colin I descended. At the bottom he insisted that I come back up and have another turn and I am pleased I did as the second time was much easier.

As I am getting a little more confident each time I abseil I am determined to conquer this irrational fear I have of heights. I think a full day of abseiling with Adventure Out should conquer it once and for all.

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Beverly Clarke



Personal Training 17.6.16

Ring Fit 17.6.16

After being late for Monday’s session I made sure I was early today. Did a 10 minute warm up on the exercise bike instead of sitting around waiting. First up today was a 5 min warm up on the rowing machine with the last 1 min being a sprint.

Power bag hop involved hopping or jumping over 5 bags which were placed evenly along the floor with 10 Burpees either end. A minute break in between each set and repeated 3 times.

100 hundred straight punches followed by 20 pop squats and I was told that the pop squats had to be continuous not stop start which I had done previously. Was stopped a couple of times during the repetitions of these as I wasn’t doing it properly. This sequence continued thus: 80 punches 18 pop squats, 60 punches 16 pop squats, 40 punches 14 pop squats, 20 punches 12 pop squats. Have to confess I was stopped a couple of times during the boxing as I was slapping at the pads not hitting them correctly. Arms do get tired but must  be done correctly.

Inverted pull ups sounded interesting but also suggested this could be challenging. Inclined pushups were fine but the inverted pull ups were impossible as I simply didn’t have the necessary upper body strength. Solution was to do 10 inclined pushups for each set instead.

Finished up with 20 leg raises in my own time as the session was over.

Thanks James for another challenging session. However exercise wasn’t over for the day as I have a self imposed rule that if the weather is fine I don’t drive somewhere that is less than 10kms from my house. I either walk or ride so I rode to and from my hairdressing appointment and on the trip home decided to ride along the river bank as more interesting and scenic than the main road.