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Category Archives: Work

A pain in the, er, back

Lately, my Twitter timeline has been full of people talking about back pain. Perhaps because I follow alot of people with young children (back-cripplers), who knows?

My husband and I run a back pain studio and I’m finding it really hard not to pimp out the business to my pain-riddled followers. Bad business sense? Perhaps, but the Twitter account in question is a personal one and I don’t want my followers to feel obliged to make an appointment or that something is being pushed on them.

So I thought instead, I’d just add a wee post for any of you who do suffer to give advice on how to manage back pain, the best ways to prevent it and who to see if it all gets too much.

Your best defence against back pain is strength. If you can get to a Pilates or core-strengthening class, you’re on your way to a stronger back which gives greater support to the spine and reduces vulnerability to injury. Better still, if you can it’s well worth going to see a specialist sports therapist, rehab professional or physio (even if it’s just one session) to get a specific core-based exercise programme.

Work on ‘activating’ your core each time you lift your child, twist or move with weight. Read here on how to do this.

Avoid twisting to lift or put down your child/something of significant weight. Stand straight on, keep your back straight and bend your knees.

A hot bath and ibuprofen can work wonders for short-term back pain.

If you get pain down your legs, there’s a chance you may have a prolapsed (slipped) disc. See a chiropractor or osteopath if this is the case.  If there is no prolapse, it could be tight muscles in your buttocks causing the problem. A good sports or deep tissue massage can see to this.

Sports or deep tissue massages are amazing for easing pain and tension. I’m not just saying that because it’s my job, honest.

Stay active. The more mobile you are, the less chance you have of seizing up and causing further damage. Keep walking, keep moving but know your limits and listen to your body.

If you don’t already, exercise. If you have a long-term back problem, seek advice from a physio or sports therapist before you do but exercise keeps us strong, supple and our joints mobile. Even if it’s just a 20 minute walk each day, it’s all good.

If you push a pram with an adjustable handle, make sure it’s not so low that you’re stooping over.

So, there we have it. I hope that helps some of you and please feel free to comment if you have any questions. Good luck!

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Will you be my friend?

A handful of times in my life I’ve met someone (usually female) and just sort of ‘clicked’. That happened today at work. My last client of the day came in and I felt like I could talk to her forever. We found out loads of coincidences and parallels in our lives and I found myself really wanting to be her friend.

Which is weird, because you can’t really just say to someone “will you be my friend?” especially when you’re meeting on a professional level.

If this were a sexual thing, with a bloke, it would be different (if I weren’t painfully shy and like, married) because then it’s acceptable to ask to see someone again, but what do you do in this situation?

Is it ok to ask someone to be your friend? Is it possible to do it without seeming sad, lonely and desperate? I’m none of those things *cough* maybe sad *cough* but genuinely would love to meet for a cuppa, perhaps a playdate and get to know her better.

How about you – anyone ever brave enough to actually do this? I’m genuinely intrigued.

Disclaimer: I realise I may sound a touch stalker-ish after re-reading this. I promise I’m a well-rounded, normal individual with plenty of *actual* friends. Not just the ones in my head.

Back!

Posted on

Jeez, it’s been forever since I’ve posted on here. I kind of fell out of love with blogging since it landed me in trouble a month or so ago. I took a little hiatus from Twitter and have left the blog (pretty much) alone for a while.

Anyhow, after a tricky few weeks I’m rested, back on form and ready to start again. So hi 🙂

So, yeah, what have I been up to for the last month? As always I turn to the good old iPhone for an update…

 Camping. We bought a (cheap) campervan a few years ago. Honestly, it’s been nothing but trouble. Something has happened every time we’ve been away in it, I’m convinced it’s jinxed. It’s cost a bloody fortune since we got it (there was a reason it was so cheap). Anyway, although this trip started well, didn’t end so well…

This was the view on (what was supposed to be)  our last day. The less said about that the better.

Decorating. So we’ve had a child in that room for 4 years and we’ve only just decorated. What of it?

Writing. And eating. And writing. I went to a fitness convention a few weeks back and attended a lecture on nutrition. Backed up by extensive research, the basic gist of it was that if we focus too much on counting calories, we can make the wrong choices and become deficient in nutients vital to health. Without the basic foundations of health we cannot lose fat efficiently which is where many people go wrong. It might all be a bit boring to alot of people (diet bore-yawn!) but I find it fascinating and as such have spent weeks researching the topic and have written my very own eBook.

Of course, part of that research was to find or write recipes which of course needed road testing. Man, that was hard. Why I felt the need to photograph these meals I don’t know but hey,they make this page look pretty.

Celebrating. My Dad turned 60 this month so we had a family weekend in Devon, grown-ups only. My Stepmum asked me to make a golf-themed cake which I feared would go horribly wrong but was actually pleased with the result. I *think* it tasted ok but it was consumed at 1am after an evenings frivolities so none of us can really be sure.

Marvellous.

Cycling. I was volunteered (thanks, husband *waves fist*) to do a charity bike ride from Bristol to Weston yesterday with the kids’ nursery in aid of the Dame Kelly Holmes Legacy. 30 Miles, I thought, I can do that. I cycle to work and regularly do a longer ride of  20ms or so on a weekend so thought it’d be fine.

Then they asked me to cycle home again. Yep, stupidly agreed (it’s for the kids, innit?). It was hard, especially on the way back when there were only 4 of us who didn’t get the train back so the speed was increased and there were less stops. All good though, an amazing effort from all and yes, I do have a very sore bum today.

If anyone is kind enough to want to donate to the foundation by the way, you can do so via Paypal using the email address andysherlock@yahoo.com giving your name for the sponsorship form. Thank you 🙂

Nothing happens by chance, my friend

Luck:  Success or failure apparently brought by chance rather than through one’s own actions

It would probably have been more appropriate for me to have written this 2 days ago, on Friday 13th but I was out having way too much fun on my mini-adventure so didn’t get the opportunity.

My husband and I started a business 5 years ago. Frequently, we are told “you’re so lucky” referring to us being given this opportunity. Each time, I wince internally and bite my tongue, for what we’ve achieved has nothing to do with luck.

I have quoted the Oxford English definition of luck above. Our success has not been bought by chance, rather 6 years of hard work and sacrifice.

When the company Andy & I worked for hit tough times 6 years ago, we decided the risk was too great by staying there, like sitting ducks waiting to lose our jobs (and being deeply unhappy at work).  We set about starting our own sports therapy and rehabilitation studio.

For 6 months or so we were swamped by business plans, finance applications and spent weeks in business start-up seminars until we were finally ready to make the leap and register our business. That was the easy part compared to what came next.

We found premesis to rent and had an offer accepted. I found out I was pregnant 2 weeks later. Bad planning? Perhaps, but it would not hold us back and we went on, full steam ahead. To cut a very boring long story short, negotiations went on and the lease took 18 months to complete.

Andy had already left his job and was operating in the same place but on a contracted-out basis. I was studying for an accounting qualification and have a very vivid memory (and I think video evidence) of me, sat at the computer with a 3-day old nursing baby, entering invoices into our bookkeeping system (to clarify, I was entering the invoices, not the baby). I sat my first exam 6 weeks after Finn was born, those first 6 weeks a blur of nappies, very little sleep and accounting conventions. NOT how I imagined my first 6 weeks as a Mum.

No sooner had we got the keys to our new studio than I had fallen pregnant a second time (this was not a mistake by the way, unplanned would be my term of choice). The studio was a bare shell so a 7-month-old Finn was kept occupied in his playpen in the corner whilst Andy and I (in between bouts of nausea and exhaustion) painted, plumbled, built and created our studio, our dream finally realised.

I worked until 2 days before giving birth. Andy took 2 days paternity leave then continued his 14-hour working days, leaving me (often sobbing) with 2 babies on my own. I continued to work weekends after Max was born. He’d accompany me in his car seat and watch on as I number-crunched and desperately willed my lagging brain to keep functioning.

2 years on and the business is flourishing. Andy is still working the long days and misses out on a lot of the boys’ growing up. Yes, the business is doing well but, as anyone who’s run a business knows, that money is channelled straight back into the business so we’re yet to see a financial gain.

We’ve recently employed a fantastic personal trainer/sports therapist. Hopefully soon Andy can start working more ‘normal’ hours and we can have a better quality of life.

Reading this back, it sounds like I’m having a right old whinge. I appreciate many people are in much worse positions than us and we’ve achieved a lot which I’m incredibly thankful for. This was a dream of ours for a very long time and there’s nothing like seeing your dream finally realised and we love every minute of our jobs. I do, however, reiterate that we’re not ‘lucky’. ‘Lucky’ would be winning the lottery or finding a tenner on the street.

We’ve worked bloody hard for what we have and I urge anyone who has an ambition to do the same. We had very little money to start-up, it was all done on believing in ourselves and using our confidence in that belief to gain faith from others that we could make it work. And we have.

Another fine example of following your dreams is Helen. Her ambition has just been realised in the shape of Lionheart magazine, a beautiful, inspiring independent magazine. Proof that if you want something badly enough, you’ll make it happen, luck or no luck.