Heading home!

I can’t believe this week is over!!! I have just been reading through my previous posts and I can’t believe I felt so alone earlier in the week. Today I have been fighting back the tears as I have to leave these 7 amazing women and continue on my path. I am going to really miss them all! We have been through one hell of a week together.

On the way to the airport, Martine and I were all shell-shocked and she hit the nail on the head when she said, “I feel like I’ve been through some kind of trauma!” It will be so good to get home and decompress a little before embarking on our post-training and more studying.

The test went well. By some miracle I managed to get 100%. We all passed and it was such a relief. Jen was such an amazing instructor. We were very blessed to have her with us.

Sitting here at Houston Airport waiting for my connecting flight to Orlando. Can’t wait to see Bill. I will pick Gwennie use from school tomorrow (she is still at my MIL’s). I can’t wait to get my hands on her! I hope she will be pleased to see me too!

I hurt, I ache, my brain is fried!

Had another good day today. We did a lot of hands-on adjustments which was really helpful. Another long day though as I was awake at 5am, in class at 8:15am and not home until 8:30pm.
We had a fun evening out as a group. We went to Tacos and Tequilas and had some amazing Mexican food. I had the most fabulous cucumber and jalapeño margaritas (to die for!). The tacos were fab too. It was a great place…. had a cool ambience and they even made our guacamole to order at the table!

I feel that we are definitely gelling more as a group. It began yesterday, when we grouped together for lunch, and again today… definitely a breakdown of any walls and insecurities with each other. Quite honestly, it would be hard not to. We have sweated together, made fools of ourselves in front of one another, got frustrated and teary together, adjusted and manhandled one another’s bodies…. if that doesn’t break the ice, then I don’t know what will.

Honestly, they are all great girls. I am constantly reminded that everyone has a story. And people’s stories humanise and soften them.

I have really bonded with Martine, the other British girl here. I think we’ll be friends for life. There is just an understanding and a connection there on many levels. I will be particularly sad to say goodbye to her. We both admitted tonight how glad we are that one another is at the training.
She’s the one I’ve trusted with my almost teary outbursts and vice versa. She’s a beautiful woman, not only on the outside (which is obvious when you see her- stunning!) but on the inside also.

Tomorrow, Martine, Rachel, and I are taking a day off class as our bodies are just DONE! We don’t have to be in until 10:45am, so we will study for the exam in the morning and maybe do a little packing. I am dreading the exam. I am just so tired that I fear I am not retaining anything.

Sunday is going to be a long day. We have to be at training at 8:30am. Have to check out at the hotel beforehand. Will have to go straight to the airport from the studio to catch our flights. I won’t get home until around midnight.

I can’t tell you how much I am looking forward to sleeping in my own bed though… and seeing my hubby, daughter, and dog. Just get me there, please!

A Much Better Day!

Today has been a major improvement on yesterday! Whilst tired, I have been able to get through this day with a smile on my face and positivity in my heart. Thank you all for spurring me on. Whilst I would like to say it is because I got a good sleep, I can’t, but I think it is more because of the good support I received from family, friends, and boss… and possibly the fact that I indulged in the most amazing burger and fries last night! I was so worth it, let me tell you! Have been eating a bit like a rabbit since I got here and I think I just needed some good old MEAT to make me feel better! Hahaha!

It’s been a long day. Four of us went in to do the 8:15am class and then we practiced our set-ups (for teaching all the different exercises throughout class) for an hour before beginning training. I got to teach standing-seat today. “What’s that?!” I hear you cry! Well it’s one of the many amazing seat exercises that make your bum look absolutely fabulous in jeans! It went pretty well and I got some good positive feedback and helpful constructive criticism. It was one of the other girls’ turn to have a meltdown today. Bless her… she was just being hard on herself. I totally understood her frustration. Secretly it helped me to know that someone else was feeling the pressure. I think everyone has felt tired and overloaded with information, but I think each of us is reaching that “Oh shit!” moment at different stages.

We’ve pretty much worked our way though the manual…. we just have to implement everything physically now. It’s amazing how much we have covered in just 3 days. My brain is on fire. I feel like I am going to be dreaming about this stuff soon. As it is, it is the first thing I think about whenever I wake up (during the night…. several times!!!).

I managed to read some and study tonight. Tomorrow I have to teach warm-up. We are all teaching sections of the class. Then we are working on hands-on adjustments. All good fun! I like that part particularly, as I have done a lot of adjustments during my time as a yoga instructor. I’m not afraid to grab and body and tweak it!

I’m currently waiting on the hotel’s laundry service. I’m getting though workout clothes and Bar Method socks like there is no tomorrow! Had to do a little wash to tide me over! Nine hours a day of being a working, sweaty body will do that! I hope they come soon coz I’m ready for bed!

We plan to be at the studio for 8:15am again tomorrow. Practice first and then class afterwards.

A Brand New Day!

Firstly I want to thank everyone who has left me comments or sent emails of support. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it! Yesterday was tough all round, but today is a new day and I am back to my positive and cheery self.

I didn’t sleep much better. I seem to wake around 1:30am and then doze for the rest of the early hours, but I did enjoy listening to a crazy thunderstorm and rain this morning. It felt almost cleansing.

I am going in to the studio early this morning with 3 of the other girls to take the 8:15am class. Then we plan to practice our set-ups with each other before starting training at 10:30am.

I think tomorrow morning, I will skip the practice of set-ups (as long as I do okay today) to study my manual. I’m going to take the advice of my husband because honestly, I just can’t focus and retain anything in the evening after a long day taking in sooooo much information. I have to study for a quiz we are doing on Sunday morning. It pertains to the first section of our manual which is 84 pages packed full of information!

Okay, drink coffee and go team!!!!!


Well, I had another not so brilliant night. Again I woke up around 1am and then was pretty restless the rest of the night. I feel pretty wiped out and need to get it together. I turned on the TV and found the Disney channel. Mickey Mouse and his friends were doing their gay little dance and I just lost it. The tears started and I am just a weepy mess. I need to get it out of my system and pull myself together. I have to push out all the negative thoughts that are creeping in, put my big girl panties on, and deal with it.

I just really miss Bill and Gwennie. I know they are perfectly fine, but right now I just feel pretty alone. I feel like the old lady in the group out here! I am the only one who is married and has a child and I don’t feel like I have anyone with whom I can relate to.

I know this is just a blip on the radar and I was warned by the girls at the Orlando studio at there would be days like this! I just didn’t expect it to hit me quite so soon.

OK, time to put on my make-up and my smile and suck it up. I can do this!


WOW. I have a feeling I am not going to be able to post much on here from now on until I get home! It is FULL-ON!!!

It went great today. Just a very long day. I had a rough night sleep wise. Awake every hour from 1am onwards…. my room and bed are great but my mind was doing overtime! Got to the studio at 9am only to be told that our trainer didn’t want us doing a class as she was going to teach us one and wanted us to be fresh. I ended up going to Starbucks for a bit to kill time.

Jen, our trainer, is really great. She is funny and knowledgeable and seems very fair. She taught us a class, and then we all had to get up and teach sections of class. Nerve-wracking, but I was grateful to my boss, Karen, for giving me a heads-up so it wasn’t a complete shock! Then we got our manuals (bibles!!!)…. they are very thick and have all the rules, set-ups, and so on written inside. We have to learn, read, eat, and breathe this thing! I have 20 pages to read tonight.

We have a test on Saturday, pertaining to the first section of the book. We will take our anatomy and physiology tests at our local studios in 2 weeks time.

There are seven of us girls training…. 3 from the Austin studio, 1 from Denver, 1 from New Orleans, and 1 from LA, who is also British. Three of us are in the same hotel. I think we will probably start getting together in the evenings to study and test each other. I walked home with Martine (the Brit) tonight. I got a cab to the studio this morning. Rachael, the girl from New Orleans, is staying in a different hotel but has hired a car. She is going to pick us up in the morning. We are very grateful! She stayed after training tonight to observe a class. Katie, the Denver lass, went shopping! Bless her! These youngsters have more stamina than me!

I am the oldest of the bunch!!! I would think Martine is probably in her 30s but the others are mid-twenties.

Everyone seems nice. Obviously the Austin girls are pretty tight as they all know each other but they have all been very welcoming.

And now I must away to my new “Bible”. It awaits me with a glaring stare. And then I must try and get a better night’s sleep! Us 4 out-of-towners are taking a class before training in the morning.

Pass me the ibuprofen!!!!

I have arrived!

I had a good flight into Austin. All went smoothly. I was pretty tickled at the huge guitars they had in the baggage claim of the airport. I took a pic of my favourite one (see previous post) and also found one later in front of my hotel… which I liked even more! It was called Twinkle Twinkle Lonestar. I feel a bit like a little twinkling lone star in this big ole city!

I threw all my stuff in my room and decided to get going and take a walk to find the Bar Method studio. It was easy to find thanks to my handy iPhone gps! It was a good 30 minute walk. My phone took me the direct route and I passed by what seemed to be a campsite of sorts for homeless people. I took a different route on the way back! No offence to homeless people, but there were a lot more of them than there was of me! It was a bit intimidating.

Austin seems interesting. As with any city, there are lovely bits and downright grotty bits! The restaurants and bars I passed looked pretty cool… and there are a wide variety of different eclectic types walking around!

Tonight I plan to keep it simple and go to the TGI Friday’s in the hotel. They also have a Starbucks here… oh choirs of angels sing!!!! Then I will come back to my room, practice my set-ups for tomorrow, have a nice bath, and snuggle up with A bit of TV and bed!

I plan to take the 9:30am class tomorrow before we start our training. I called and reserved myself a spot.

I’m looking forward to meeting our trainers and the other trainees tomorrow. I’m pretty nervous too, but hopefully I will soon get into the swing of things!

Have just spoken to Bill and sent a video message to Gwennie. I loathed leaving her this morning. She woke up with a cough. Typical! She seems bright enough in herself. I just hope it doesn’t t develop into anything worse. I hate to put upon my MIL like that… although I know she doesn’t mind and is more than capable of looking after her. But I’m her Mum and I worry. It’s what we mothers do, right?

Ok, I’m off to unpack my case and get settled!

Getting ready for the off!

I am currently sitting in Starbucks catching up in a few emails and whatnot whilst G does her admissions testing for a local private school downtown.

I just got off the phone with my lovely new boss, Karen, who was checking in to make sure I am all set for ‘the off’ tomorrow. I feel very blessed… Karen is very warm, kind, and approachable. I also have to hasten to add that she is very kindly paying for this entire trip and course for me… and I will be getting paid whilst training. Bill tells me this is standard protocol but I am nevertheless very impressed and extremely grateful.

This afternoon I have to pack up my case. It shouldn’t be too difficult…. 7 pairs of workout pants and tops, my Bar Method socks, and plenty of deodorant! I also have to pack a case for Miss G. She will stay with Grandma for most of the time I am away. Poor Bill has a crazy busy week with a weekend of inventory coming up at his shop. Lots and lots of work. I am very grateful to his Mum for helping us out so I can go away and complete this course! Grandparents rule!

We have left G with Grandma several times in the past. They are great buddies and quite honestly, G doesn’t ever bat an eyelid when we leave her. This time however, I am feeling particularly emotional. I think it is because I am leaving all three of my babies at home…. Bill, G, and our beloved Lab, Kate. Plus this will be the longest period of time that I will be away from all of them as a collective unit! I know they will be just fine! It’s me that is getting all weepy eyed and snotty just thinking about not getting my daily hug and support from my man/my giggles with my sweet little fairy/the warm big brown-eyed look and happy-to-see-me waggy tail from my dog. I’m such a sap!

I’m excited to go and learn lots of new and cool things. I can’t remember the last time I travelled to a new place by myself like this… a place where I am not just a few hours drive away from home. It’s been a while! My hotel is about a mile and a half away from the local Bar Method studio in Austin. I am hoping it’s all in a pretty safe area as I plan to walk to and from the training each day. Everyone keeps telling me what a great city Austin is. I won’t have much time to sightsee at all, but hope to see a little bit of the area if I possibly can.

I am going to be training 7 hours a day every day. I plan to take a class before we start work in the morning. Apparently we have an Anatomy and Physiology exam at the end of the week, so evenings will be spent studying. I hope I can dig some old stuff out of the nursing corner of my brain! It’s going to be intense!

Kendra, one of the instructors from the studio here in Orlando, is flying out to join me for the final 3 days of training. It will be so great to see her! She would like to become a trainer of trainee instructors, so she needs to attend several trainings in order to apply for this spot. She will make a great trainer. She is currently dance team leader of the Orlando Magic.

I won’t get home until close to midnight on Sunday night. I will be pooped but so excited to get home… and I will be roaring over tout de suite on Monday to pick up my little Munchkin! I won’t be able to wait to get my arms around her!


I’ve had a blog about being a Brit in America. I’ve had a blog about losing a baby. I’ve also had a blog about being a Mum. And then I lost my inspiration to write. Not that I am uninspired about my life and certainly not about being a Mum, but I just found it hard to find time to sit down and compose a post at the end of a long day!

I became a little wrapped up in Facebook and found that most of my Internet time was spent reading people’s posts there and commenting on them. I find it a good tool to keep in touch with my family and friends from back home, and also to keep up-to-date in my various interests, be it fitness, entertainment, or current affairs.

But I have missed writing a blog. I don’t need to tell you that writing is good therapy for most people. Well, that and a large glass of Pinot Noir!

So now I am excited as I am entering a new phase in my life.

I am going back to work.

After almost 5 years of being super lucky and getting to stay at home with my soon-to-be 5 year old daughter, something wonderful has fallen into my lap. And I am really excited about it!

Let me back up a little.

I was born in the seaside town of Poole in Dorset on England’s beautiful south coast. I grew up an only child, fortunate enough to go to private school and then on to Parkstone Grammar School for Girls. I started ballet at the age of 2 and dancing became my entire life. I was always in some form of dance class or another and performed in numerous shows and competitions. I left school at 16 to attend the Arts Educational School in London as a Musical Theatre student. At 18 I landed my first job with an all-girls dance troupe… touring the Far East. I continued on this trend for 11 years, being lucky enough to visit and work in such countries as Japan, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea, Ibiza, Switzerland, and Austria. I had a little break somewhere in the middle, where I came home for a year and taught contemporary and jazz dance to children at my old local ballet school.

In August 2001, after a particularly bad break up with a then boyfriend, I came over to the States to visit my father, who had moved Stateside a few years prior. I fell in love with Florida and its gorgeous weather and enjoyed the feeling of pastures new. I decided to go back to school and obtained a student visa. I ended up going into the Nursing Program at the local community college and graduated with an Associates in Nursing Magna Cum Laude.

During this time, I met and fell in love with my husband, Bill, a fourth generation Orlandian. We were married in 2005.

I worked for a couple of years at a local Women’s and Children’s Hospital as an RN on the Postpartum Ward. When our daughter Gwennie was born in May of 2007, both Bill and I agreed that I would be a stay-at-home Mum for a while and so I hung up my scrubs.

I know how fortunate and blessed I am that I was able to do this. Being a Mum has completely changed my life. For the better. I feel grateful and blessed that I was able to see and partake in every little phase of G’s life as she quickly and persistently evolved and changed.

And now here we are… she will soon be 5 and starts Kindergarten in August.

I have tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat as I write. My little baby girl is growing up. Where is that damned pause button?

It has been in the back of my head about what to do once G is in school. I certainly struggled with being fully dependent on my amazingly supportive husband and felt that I wanted to able to contribute in some way. I was hesitant to think about going back to nursing…. particularly on a hospital floor. I didn’t want to be working long 12 hour shifts (which usually mean 13-15 hours) which meant I would need to find someone to pick G up from school and so on.

I had no idea something great was going to fall into my lap!

In September of last year, I decided to go and try out a new fitness regime. Having read about The Bar Method online and perusing the various YouTube videos, I thought I would like to give it a try. Fortunately for me, there was a studio in Winter Park, so after dropping G off at preschool one morning, I went along and took a class. I immediately fell in love.

To quote the official website, the Bar Method technique draws from the principles of isometrics, dance conditioning, interval training, and physical therapy to create an hour long, ballet-barre based class. The result is a noticeable “Bar Method” sculpted body featuring:

– Firm, elongated muscles
– Reduced body fat
– High muscle definition in the chest
– Improved posture
– Long, narrow thighs
– A lifted seat and defined hamstrings
– Strong, flat abdominals
– Increased stamina and energy
– Extended youthfulness

After years of going to the gym and doing the same old routine, I finally felt like I was doing something different and beneficial for my body. I was into yoga for a few years and even completed about 400 hours of teacher training in Ashtanga Yoga. I ran on the elliptical and lifted weights 4-5 times a week, but I just felt I had hit a plateau. The Bar Method just totally kick-started my workout and my mental psyche.

In just a month I started to see and feel a difference in my body. I certainly started to use muscles that I hadn’t used in a long time/ever!!! Aside from the obvious physical benefits of The Bar Method, I also found myself excited to go to class each morning after I dropped G off at Pre-K. The owner and instructors are all amazing there… so friendly and kind and helpful. AND I love the clientele. I had found some of the local yoga studios a bit snobby and cliquey, but I immediately started to make friends with ladies at The Bar Method. It is just generally a great sense and feeling of community as soon as you set foot in the door. So refreshing and appealing. Add to that the fact that the studio is just gorgeous… very modern and clean-chic with a spa-type feel. Of course I was pretty pumped to see all the beautiful barres and mirrors in each studio. It made me feel like I was finally home!

After a month of practice, the owner made asked me one day if I would be interested in becoming an instructor. Would I?!! In December, I had an interview and “got the job”! I was pretty ecstatic as I really feel this job is right up my alley… and the fact that it is part-time and has flexible hours works well with my responsibilities of being a Mum and a wife.

So long story short (or is it too late to say that?!) I am off to Austin on Sunday to take part in a week-long intensive training course. I will then come back and train onsite at the studio for a few months until I am ready and capable to a) teach, and b) take my final exam to become certified.

I’m really excited (and a tad nervous at the prospect of leaving my sweet little girl and hubby for so long) for this new chapter in my life, and thought it would be fun (?) to blog about my journey. The training process is really tough for The Bar Method, but I like a challenge, and I am hopeful I can do a good job.

Watch this space!

The Bar Method- A Minute of Power and Beauty