Jess Swarbreck

Jess Swarbreck

Kenzai Member
Trainer
Tired but ticking along
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All my spare time this week I've just wanted to sleep. I don't feel ill at all, just tired- its weird.
I'm still enjoying Reach - it feels good to be working on things that have been neglected for so long.
Hope you're all having a good week!


Is this really so hard?!
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I can't say today's lesson resonated with me, I feel SO good after each session, even the incomplete sessions.
That said, I have been wondering why I'm struggling so much to complete the evening stretches to the allotted times. Is anyone else finding that? I'm barely making it to 2 minutes on any of the stretches.
I'm laughing at myself now but mid stretching last night I was cursing the program thinking it was ridiculous to ask someone to stay still for 10 minutes. I realise that is crazy.
Maybe its all just too emotional and I'm avoiding it!
I realise I need to re-apply myself. It'll piss me off if I genuinely don't have the discipline for this.


Reach - Day 1
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My dear friend Kate called me up at the weekend and suggested we do Reach together starting Monday.
Knee jerk reaction which I'm glad I kept to myself was fucking hell no, i don't have time to do anything else!

Well...here I am.
Really excited to try this.

I used to think I had quite good flexibility but have realised recently that my ankle/calf flexibility for one is terrible.
Looking forward to doing the assessment later to see what else I suck at.

Let's do this!


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Meet Bo. 11 weeks and finally today allowed out of the garden.
We took her for a very short walk (all she's allowed at the moment) and I carried on from there on a run.
I've been putting off working out properly since Christmas as its been so cold and wet- felt great to get out again today and blow out the cobwebs.
I'll thank my amazing KB2 teams for inspiring me to do so...and my new pup who I could not be prouder of!
Woof! xx


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KB3 and a year of Kenzai challenges!  
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Another epic challenge from Kenzai which has once again brought the highs, the lows, and the unexpected to a 90 day 'journey'.

Its amazing how much happens in 3 months. Once again I find myself in a very different place to when I started. I knew I was in for a big challenge, both with Kenzai and in my personal life 3 months ago. I was perhaps the most nervous I've ever been about getting through it all. College work, professional qualifications and exams and a new job.

I knew KB3 was the thing to keep me on an even keel but perhaps one thing I hadn't factored in was needing to balance all this with things at home which are all pretty new still. Having moved a long way from London, making new friends and keeping things sweet with loverboy at times have stolen the limelight from Kenzai. At first, I found this very difficult (see blog 'downturn') but since then I've managed to balance things out a little more.

Last Saturday marked the final hurdle with my college finals which I'm pleased to say I got through. Needless to say the final three days of my holiday were the most enjoyable days I've had in some time! (See photo!)

Of course, the result of not being completely strict with myself in these final few weeks is that I'm not at my leanest. I'm ok with that, even if its not what i intended at the start. I always find, after several weeks of hard training, that I become much happier in myself and the need to push things to extremes dissipates. I'll never find it too much of a struggle to work out or eat right but I do always struggle with body image when I'm being lazy about training! I've realised during KB3 that self acceptance is easier the more I train, and the more I watch others train. Not rocket science, is it!?

As I talk about often, my key motivator for fitness and healthy eating has always been mental health and sharpness. I'm just so much better when I'm focused with training in this way and I'm grateful to Kenzai programs for over a year of being on consistently good form. I've got a lot done in a year!

A lot further back on my blog I've talked a bit about my struggles with ADHD over the years and I was quietly celebrating last month which marked a year of being completely medication free. Again, I have Kenzai to thank because, the day Thomas took me on as an assistant trainer was the day I finally took the courage to let go of a crutch that I'd relied on for so many years. Aside from a little bit of weight gain, the rewards of this have been really positive and I'm happier about my health than I've ever been.

I've loved KB3, thank you to each of you in the team for your encouragement along the way, and I'm sorry I've not been as present in the later stages as you've been for me. Thank you also Thomas and Patrick for your support.

Here's to the next challenge :)


On holiday
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Sorry for the radio silence guys. I'm away with family in France. Lots to celebrate with big birthdays and being all in the same continent for once. Beautiful day today- which was dads birthday so we did a very Kenzai friendly bbq.
Not able to enjoy things quite as much as I want to as I have my big exam on Saturday. Still, training wise things haven't fallen to pieces. Been on a couple of gorgeous runs and lots of swimming. Won't say I've totally avoided the rosΓ© πŸ™„
Anyway, just checking in!
Peace.


Brexit :(
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A very sad week for the UK, and I'm feeling pretty depressed about it.
Having moved back to England 4 years ago, I've only really felt settled recently but have spent this week quietly wondering what kind of a future we have here now. It's early days and who knows what will be but for now this sense of uncertainty is my overwhelming feeling and the only thing I can write about.
Waiting for assessment results and counting down the days to final exams is of course exacerbating these feelings so I'm trying to keep things in perspective.

I had an awesome work out yesterday and can now manage about 3 half pull ups- progress indeed! I now love back day as it always makes me focus. We also had a great weekend with my dad (one of the original PCP graduates...https://kenzai.me/peters/blog ) and of course took a rare opportunity to work out together which was fun! Things are ticking along and one thing I feel very settled in is training mode! There's never two ways about it- I train, everyday, and thats just how it is!

I saw this photo on instagram earlier and had to share it. If Brexit does one positive thing, let it be to warn Americans that the unthinkable can happen. Don't forget to vote!!!


Busy busy
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Just home from an incredible weekend at a wedding in Spain. Here's a photo of my sister and me all scrubbed up! Of course a wedding is one of those situations you'd be crazy not to enjoy so, needless to say I'm needing to re-centre and put the effort in even more AGAIN this week. I'm not entirely happy with the way KB 3 has taken a back seat as of recently but it's all continuing to positively contribute to every aspect of my life. So I'm not complaining.
I do want to step things up a gear but it's into another busy week-a busy work week, a final assessment for a course all day on Thursday and then my amazing Dad arrives from HK on Friday for the weekend. I will do my best.
Happy Monday team.


Woof
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Oo lala 7 days no blog. Time is flying!
Things are just about ticking along. 'Rest' week with full body integration work outs felt long overdue last week- I think that Kenzai along with some pretty intense ski days over the past few weeks required some real rest days which I hadn't been allowing myself. Anyway, last week I definitely did allow myself a rest! Feeling much stronger for it this week although after my indulgence (which lasted all weekend) it's been tough getting back into it all this week.
Good thing is that we're dog sitting this week so she motivates me to get outside early and go for a run. She makes me run faster too :)

Phone is out of storage space so couldn't get a decent lunge spot in view of my computer camera...settled for a squat this week.

Busier than ever at the moment so not being the best team mate. Looking forward to catching up with you all this week.

Peace X


Motto
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Question of the week- what mottos do you live by?
It was a toss up between two extremes...well I guess that sums a lot of us up here at Kenzai right!?
One thing I'm often told is 'slow down'. Simple but sobering. Necessary often but rarely actually invoked. Feels good to slow down, particularly if you're prone to rushing like me.
The other, I actually had framed a few years ago. Its like YOLO but ruder. See picture. It always calms my fear of failing if occasionally gets me into trouble :)


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I attempted a pull up yesterday and didn't even come close to moving in an upwards direction. I managed a few more negatives than the last back work out but they really hurt. Not in a good, that's my muscles working way- more of a grindy I'm not doing this right kind of way!
Beginning to wish I'd considered my abilities before committing to this challenge of 5 pull ups. Why do I even want to do this!? Party trick!? Anyway commit to it I have.
In the lat pull down machine I can just about manage 45kgs for around 5 reps which means I either need to lose 20kg or get 20kg stronger. Ahem.


Pull ups. Day 44
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Managed to do the negatives today but less and less each set. 5,3,2,1 I think. Great way to train if you can't manage the full pull up. I've been using a bar to do assisted pull ups but I think the negatives are better training. We'll see...
New little goal for day 90: 5 full pull ups (no assistance).


Downturn
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It was bens bday on Wednesday and I threw a surprise party for him. It was great although I did have a few drinks. Felt really dehydrated and awful the next day and missed my first work out. Gutted and have been beating myself up about it for two days. As a trainer I know I need to just move on and not be too perfectionist about it but I have to say this experience has humbled me. Having been on such a massive high with training, it was a shock to wake up on Thursday morning feeling so monumentally shit and then a little depressed about it all this morning. Oh how the mighty have fallen!

One positive is that I have blown off a lot of steam, I feel 'levelled out' again, if a little bit jaded after a not-so-great work out today. I know this will change and I'll be feeling good again after a few days. It feels good to blog it out! Have a terrific weekend everyone πŸ’ƒπŸ’ƒπŸ’ƒ


Honkers running
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Beautiful shots of HK
https://vimeo.com/167832390


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So who else is on apple, egg white and yoghurt for dinner?
I have had many many an evening feeling underwhelmed on this meal BUT i have discovered something rather wonderful. Cinnamon stewed apple with yoghurt and vanilla.

Here's another recipe to try:

1. Peel and chop 2 or 3 cooking apples and put into a pan with the juice of an orange and 1-2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon.

2. Cook until Apple is soft.

3. Mix 1 apples worth of cooked Apple mixture into your yoghurt portion along with a few drops of vanilla extract.

You're welcome ladies and gentlemen. Enjoy 🍏


Jan 8th, 2018

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