Monday, 20 October 2014

Blinking in the sunshine.

A change of focus as I go out in the world. 

The last few weeks have seen me diverting from my usual activities as I abandoned the comfort of my comfy chair and well-organised desk in what I call 'my cubby-hole.  I went over the county border out into the community to deliver a series of workshops to young entrepreneurs - or as I called them - the tycoons of tomorrow.

I am impressed with the support which Flintshire, through various initiatives, are providing for those who have dreams and want to start their own business. I take my hat off to all of them.

The Flintshire Enterprise Club /Dragon's Den Cymru offers support and engagement to people of all ages. The two groups which I met over three weeks were all at different stages of development in their fledgling businesses.

The purpose of the workshops was to guide them on how to deliver an effective talk or presentation.

I have to say, that I personally learned a lot. The two groups were diverse with the second group hoping to present their business to the forthcoming Dragon's Den Cymru.

I was also impressed that the Community Centre which I visited had a link with the school which adjoins the building. The IT suite was brilliant with the computers being linked into wide screens. (I first came across this collaboration when I started to visit my local gym and pool where nearby schools have full use of the pool and activity facilities.)

I try to inspire others to push back their boundaries but I have to say that these young people - of varying ages and abilities - inspired me. All I can say is 'thank you'. It was good to get back 'to the coal face' so to speak.

Rosalie xx

Read my article on LinkenIn

Friday, 10 October 2014

Precision Timing in the Pool

Weighing up the obstacles.

My twice weekly visits to our local leisure and activity centre go on, tempting though it is to skip one or two.
Monday is Aquafit day for me . It is on my planner as a fixture to be treated as an appointment. The exercises, although appearing to be gentle - well they are really - actually feel quite strenuous. There I have just contradicted myself! Twisting and turning, stepping forward and backwards through the water is not easy. The water flows around you as you march forward and then, on a shout from our Instructor, we go backwards with the water still flowing forwards. We march to the front, turn and march left, turn and march to the back wall, turn and march to the right before turning back to the front. We do contortions in the water; contortions which would be impossible for most of us out of the water. All good for the joints and mobility. And, I must say, working.

All good fun, especially when the polystyrene dumb-bells  come out of the netting. Now they are really hard work but it is a testimony to their effectiveness that I find them easier than in July. I am enjoying the lively music. I didn't enjoy this week though as the water was decidedly cold. Not just cooler than normal but a 'Brr' when you step in and submerged further down the pool. I didn't stay long; worried about standing in cold water for such a long period. (I think that they have been having problems.)

Onwards to later in the week for my gym and gentle swim session.

Dressed in my special blue activity trousers, bright pink t-shirt emblazoned with Centre Wings Andorra 2010 in silver on the front, and my polka dot blue lace up pumps, I feel ready for business. ( When enquiring about footwear for the gym and protesting that I didn't like trainers, I was curtly told 'it is not a fashion show'! I can be fashionable and sweaty can't I? I don't have to look scruffy simply because I am going for a work-out do I?)
The state-of-the-art gymnasium is wonderful. The lively music is encouraging; there are slots for iPlayers etc.; there is a choice of TV channels on the machines which have screens where you can set an exercise programme. Not wanting to develop muscles like Popeye, I set the weights for strength and mobility - keeping them lowish and something how I used to have them ten years ago. No, let's be honest - low!

The scales which I assume are accurate give me a lower reading than our digital ones at home. I am encouraged, albeit falsely but encouraged all the same. At least they are not higher!

To the pool.

When I first started in the pool in July, it was fairly empty in the general swimming slot in the afternoon. (General swimming means that it is for any age and you can go whichever way you want to and not keep to lanes as in the lane swimming slot.) In my case this means across the lanes as I have to be where I can touch the bottom and not drown.

As the weeks have gone by, along with the water getting cooler, it has got busier with some very strong swimmers.

So there we are readers, As these strong swimmers are racing up and down, I am keeping my eyes peeled for an opening to 'paddle' across in safety and not get mown down under the watchful eye of the lifeguard.
Yesterday, the water was surprisingly and thankfully warm again. Ready for the off, to my right I could see a silver head powering down the pool, arms trusting in the air before slicing through the water. Then to my left, I saw a black head bobbing up and down as another hulk  made light work of powering up and down in an underwater breast stroke. Two ladies swimming gently along while they chatted, laughingly looked on.
'I will get mown down if I am not careful', I commented.
As one passed one way and one the other, I spied my chance and moved off hoping to get across before they caught me up on the return journey! It really was a work of art. 

Perhaps I should brave a little deeper? I must have done it once to get my ten metres badge when I learned to swim many years ago in adulthood. But that was in the Plas Madoc leisure pool and I don't think it went as deep! The only consolation is that I am not the only one to use the width but children have an excuse and they never cease to amaze me with their fearlessness. It is good to see how much use the nearby schools make of the pool facilities with swimming times dedicated to them.

Now, back to website updates.

Rosalie xx