Monday, 26 October 2020

Nothing is more dangerous than missed time with loved ones!


There it was a faint blue line, I had to keep blinking to make sure my eyes weren’t deceiving me & to also get rid of the tears! It was Friday 27th September 2019 and my dream had finally come true as I was pregnant! I cancelled my gym session and got ready for work as I couldn’t wait to go and break the news to my Mum and Dad. Before I got to my parent’s house I was washing up and I burst into tears, I was so happy, scared and also slightly sad that I didn’t have a partner to share it with.

My route to pregnancy was less than traditional and a far cry for what I had ever hoped or imagined doing. Like most people I imagined that I would have settled down with Mr Right and planned a family with someone I love. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out that way, I found myself at 40 years old, single and worried that I didn’t have much time left as my biological clock was ticking. So I made a decision to embark on motherhood alone, when I say alone I mean without a partner in the ‘traditional’ way as I had the support of my Mum and Dad and some amazing friends.

I made an appointment at a fertility clinic to look at using a donor to get pregnant. I can remember driving there feeling nervous, worried about what they would say and what the cost would be! But mainly I felt embarrassed and disappointed that I had got to this stage in my life and had not met anyone, I felt a failure in the relationship department.

After my initial consultation, several tests later and discussing with my parents I decided to go down the IUI route using donor sperm, which is basically like having sex at the right time without the fun! I was advised that IVF may be my better option due to my age and my fertility level, however, I went with my gut and wanted to try the most natural way possible. I had never tried for a baby before, in fact you spend most your adult life trying to avoid it that you don’t realise how complicated and how crucial timing is. I paid for three cycles (3 go’s) and I left it to fate.

I have always been one to try and think positive the majority of the time, I believe in the law of attraction and I had a baby boy and baby girl in my ‘vision book’. I also have a good looking husband so he is yet to transpire lol.

My period came after the first go and I was absolutely devastated! This really highlighted how much I wanted this and how much was riding on it, one attempt down and two to go. I booked myself into reiki, reflexology, stopped drinking and started to imagine myself pregnant. After the second round I started with the usual sore boobs, stomach cramps, feeling fed up, I was certain my period was on its way. I remember sat in a meeting at work and feeling disappointed as I thought my period had arrived as I had stomach ache, however, my period didn’t come and the following day I did my test as instructed by the clinic and there was my thin blue line!!

I flew round to my parent’s house before work as I couldn’t wait to tell them, my Dad was in the kitchen and he just asked what I was doing there and then asked if I was pregnant! I heard my Mum come running down the stairs as she had heard the news, they were both super excited as it was their first grandchild.

That Sunday I was round at my parents’ house and my Mum was in the kitchen crying. I was worried that she wasn’t happy for me, however, she was worried that history would repeat itself and that she wouldn’t get to see the baby. My Mum’s Dad lost his battle with cancer when my Mum was 5 months pregnant with my older brother. She was having treatment for secondary breast cancer which she was re-diagnosed with in 2015. I told her that she was being daft as she was as fit if not fitter than most people I know and was responding to treatment really well.

I was lucky that I had a fairly straight forward pregnancy, not much sickness, I still managed to exercise and started to grow a cute little bump. I got such a positive response from people when I told them that I had done it on my own and I soon realised that it was the best decision in the circumstances I was in. The best thing was I had no one to argue with over baby names! Over the first few months of my pregnancy my Mum had a few wobbles as her main worry was not seeing the baby, the week after I found out I was pregnant her treatment had to be changed as the chemo tablets she was on had stopped working, however, they had an alternative and could keep treating her. I kept telling her she was being daft as she was going to be around to be the best Nana ever!

After New Year my Mum started feeling more and more tired, a side effect of the stronger chemo. She had been so lucky as over the years she never really suffered with side effects of the treatment, she came to boot camp, kept fit and lived a normal life.

On Wednesday 11th March after a few days in hospital we got the devastating news that there were no more treatment options left for my Mum and that she had months to live! I was 28 weeks pregnant. My world fell apart and all I wanted was for my Mum to see my baby. I thought once she came home she would perk up and she only had 11 weeks to wait till she met her first grandchild. I never wanted to find out the sex of the baby as I wanted the ultimate surprise, I had to have a scan on the 18th March as the baby was measuring small, I was worried it was down to the stress. I asked at the hospital if they would write the sex down so I could pass to my Mum as in the space of a week she had massively declined. They wouldn’t do that so I booked a private scan for the following day so I could give to my Mum that way so would at least know the sex of the baby. That evening at 7.25pm my Mum passed away and my whole world fell apart. Nothing can ever prepare you for losing a parent, let alone losing one too soon. I lost my Mum, my best friend and my birthing partner. It breaks my heart every day that she never got to meet her grandchild. I never got to have the scan to find out the sex, up to that day I would have been happy with either sex, however, losing my Mum made me long for a baby girl, that way I could make some sense of it all and hope that part of my Mum lived on in a little girl.

Four days later we had to deal with our first mother’s day without her, then the day after, Monday 23rd March the UK went into lock down due to COVID 19!!

29 weeks pregnant stuck at home in a pandemic, lost my Mum and not sure if we can even have a proper funeral for her. I felt lost, heartbroken and so alone. Here we were as a family coping with grief, I was worried about embarking on motherhood without my Mum or the support of a partner and I had to listen to people moan about home schooling and working from home!

17th April we had a funeral for my Mum, not the one she deserved as we were only allowed 10 people there! She was loved by so many and I know that the crematorium would have been packed out if it had been any other time. We had to sit apart, we couldn’t hug family and friends who were there and we couldn’t have a wake afterwards. To say it was shit is an understatement. The one thing that did make it easier was that people lined the street when my Mum left the family home for the last time to say their goodbyes. We plan to have a full memorial service when all this COVID crap is over, never did we imagine it to have gone on as long as it has!

On top of all this I had to change the structure of bootcamp and deliver it over zoom, which served a purpose at the time but it is not the same as doing live training. I watched my turnover gradually decrease as people had to cancel contracts due to their own personal circumstances, just something else negative to deal with in 2020!

The last few months of my pregnancy were never how I imagined it, the image of me shopping with my Mum, preparing the house and generally getting excited was all blown out the window. Hospital appointments were attended alone, I was shit scared about giving birth and how I would manage looking after a baby without my Mum. The decision to go it alone was made so much easier as I knew I had both my Mum and Dad around, never did I imagine that half of that duo wouldn’t be around to see it.

On Thursday 4th June 2020 I gave birth to a gorgeous little girl with my Dad by my side. I never imagined that my Dad would be my birthing partner as he is squeamish like me and I am not sure he was even there for the crucial moment when my brother and I were born! My Dad wanted to be there and he said it would be what Mum would have wanted. Luckily he was allowed with me, only after I went onto the labour ward. He became a bit of a legend in the eyes of the midwives and he managed not to faint haha. After 4 hours of labour Sofia Lily Springthorpe was born at 02.20am weighing 7lb 9oz. It was a stressful few minutes after the birth as she wasn’t breathing on her own, there were about 6 doctors and nurses trying to get her to breath, I was in tears as I hadn’t heard her cry, I couldn’t take any more heartache. The cry eventually came and I held my daughter for the first time. I would like to say that I instantly found her beautiful, however, here was this little bruiser with a squashed face, hair matted to her and she was giving me some competition in the cleavage department! I soon fell in love and spent two days in hospital before I went home.

Those two days were hard, I had to have stitches, I had lost a lot of blood and my iron level was really low. I struggled with breast feeding and I missed my Mum like hell. To top it off I wasn’t allowed any visitors. In hindsight I probably left hospital too soon as I really didn’t feel well in myself due to the lack of iron, however at the time I just wanted to get home.

We moved in with my Dad as there was no way I could have coped at home alone! No one tells you about the first two weeks of motherhood and women must forget to go on and have more children. My emotions were like something off a Ronan Keating song as I wanted to cry all the time, the hospital must have forgotten to give me my Haynes manual so I had no idea what was right or wrong. To add to the misery, the first time I went to the toilet it felt like giving birth again, where was the gas and air when I needed it!!  I was in pain after having stitches so just moving in bed hurt, my once strong core could barely let me sit up out of bed and the once toned stomach now looked like a deflated balloon! No matter how rough it was at the time it was all made worthwhile every time I looked at my beautiful daughter (by this time the little bruiser had blossomed lol) The protection and love I feel for this little girl is indescribable.

To this day I look at Sofia and I can’t believe I have created something so beautiful and perfect. I often sit and cry when I look at her as I can’t believe my Mum never got to see her. I do believe my Mum is watching over us and that she has seen her, however, I never got to see my Mum’s reaction to her, to my Mum spoiling her and being the amazing Nana I know she would have been…….and Sofia never got to see my Mum’s beautiful face.

When Sofia was 11 weeks old I had to go back to the hospital where my Mum had been the week before she passed away as one of my breasts was lumpy! I thought it was down to pregnancy but my GP referred me to the hospital. I met with the consultant who straight away said he saw a lump! I had a mammogram, then an ultrasound and I had to have 3 biopsies there and then as they had seen some lumps which the wanted to investigate. I was sat in the consultant’s room shaking as he told me that he can’t say it’s cancer but he can’t say it’s not cancer! I was on my own and I walked out of the hospital in complete shock, never did I imagine my day would turn out like that. I drove home in tears and had to tell my Dad what the hospital had said. He was so upset as he said he couldn’t go through all this again. My heart sank with worry, if something happened to me what would happen to Sofia!! The wait for the results seemed like a lifetime. I had to go for an MRI scan and my Dad was allowed to the hospital with me for the results. Thank god they came back clear!! I have to go back in 3 months just to make sure they are pregnancy related! This on top of everything else had me at breaking point!

My Dad and brother have been absolutely amazing and adore Sofia (she is going to have them wrapped around her finger when she is older!). I have amazing friends who have the same views as me, so have been there for me from the day lockdown happened. I have had support from friends I haven’t seen for years and if it hadn’t been for all those people I don’t know how I would have coped. Sofia is also lucky that she has a group of ‘Aunties’ that adore her nearly as much as I do. In so many ways she came along at the wrong time as my Mum missed her, however, on the flip side, she came along at the right time as she has eased the pain of losing Mum ever so slightly and is the one thing in 2020 that has put a smile on my face.

COVID has effected people in different ways, for me it has taken away the experience I should have had when dealing with the biggest two things that will probably happen in my life. I shouldn’t be experiencing the death of my Mum so soon, or so close to me having my first child, let alone in the middle of a pandemic.

My biggest regret is not having the balls to embark on motherhood alone a lot sooner, if I had then my Mum would have met the gorgeous little girl I get to call my daughter. Nothing in the world right now can be more dangerous than missed time spent with those you love and care for!

Life is short, make the most of it!

Thursday, 30 January 2020

Diverse, energetic and challenging......

Can you believe that January is almost over! January normally drags, however, this year it seems to have flown by! Been busy and getting older might have something to do with it too! It has been great being back after Christmas, seeing new people as well as regulars putting their all into the sessions each week.

I was away with friends at the weekend, which was lovely and included walks (to the pub) great food and even better company. I honestly don't think there is anything better than spending time with and surrounding yourself with the right people. People who make you laugh, people who are there when things are tough and people who motivate you to be the best version of yourself without trying to compete. Surrounding yourself with the right people has such a positive impact on your happiness and energy.

Last week I shared the experience of a couple of clients and today I want to share the experience of a couple more. This week it involves our international client Gillian, who has been over for a couple of weeks and made a visit to our boxing session last night before she flies back this weekend!

Surround yourself with positive people and see how your energy improves!

Click here for diverse, energetic and challenging training

Click here improve health & gain confidence
Andrea (loves to laugh) Springthorpe
07949 959 547


Thursday, 23 January 2020

When apprehension evaporates with sweat!

Mid to late January is normally when people's new year resolutions tend to get broken, dry January lasted, for some, only a few days, the routine of getting up earlier to be productive is broken and I have found it hard to get back into the routine of writing a blog! If I am honest I feel like I have had a bit of a block when it comes to content......until this week! I have been gathering client testimonials and reading them has given me a boost and put a smile on my face, as the people who come to my sessions are what make what I do so enjoyable.

Since being back after the Christmas break I have had new people sign up, even though they struggled to walk after the taster ;) It can feel scary coming to something new, even for the avid fitness fanatic, let alone someone who hasn't exercised in years! For someone starting after the new year can be twice as hard, this is normally when most people feel they are the most unfit they have been. Add to that, the regular exercises are normally kitted out in their new gear (from Christmas presents) so can look even scarier to a newbie!

Everyone has been a newbie at some point, whether that is in their job, a new town or starting a new exercise regime.

Today I wanted to share with you the experience of a couple of my clients, see what they have to say instead of me for a change! This week is the story of Stacey and John, watch out over the next few weeks for what some of my other clients have to say....including an international one!

If you want to embark on your own journey then click one of the links below.....

Click here to get fit, have fun and train with like minded people

Click here to kick start your healthy eating.
Andrea (was also a newbie once) Springthorpe
07949 959 547

Thursday, 9 January 2020

Capture your Happy moments

I have just sat down in my second office (a well known coffee shop) to write my first blog of 2020 and I realised that it has been over 2 months since I wrote my last one! Not great to say that I used to do them on a weekly basis!

I actually felt bad that I hadn't stuck to my weekly routine for the last two months of the year! Plus I missed my weekly coffee shop blogging as I am very much a people watcher and forgot how entertaining this can be! (apart from the guy sat behind me who thinks that the whole of Huddersfield need to listen to his phone conversation!!)

A few years ago I read about doing a yearly 'happiness jar' - at the beginning of the year you have an empty jar and over the year fill it with notes, memories on things that have made you happy, smile, laugh and things you have achieved. Then after New Year you open the jar reflect on all the positive things that happened that year! Instead of getting drawn into the negative New Year mindset of things that didn't happen or things you could have done better.

I could have wrote a blog in the last two months of 2019, however, when I look back at all the blogs I did write this out-ways the two month the fact that I am back 'on it' in early 2020 is an achievement.

The same goes with Health & Fitness, don't beat yourself up because you (like most other people) let diet and exercise slide over the festive year. You might be sat breathing in so those extra pounds can fit into your skinny jeans, however, remember those festive slides are probably occasions which put a smile on your face! Accept the blips, accept that you are human and most of all accept that you will soon get back into your routine.

If you are reading this and you never had a health & fitness routine in 2019, then it doesn't mean you can't start. Create a habit early on so when December is upon us again you can enjoy the festive season with a smile on your face.

Fit 4 Force sessions were back in full swing on Monday and I think there are a few aching muscles amongst the bootcampers this week. I would love to hear about more aching muscles and see people enjoy exercise this year, so as a special offer if you sign up in January you will receive a FREE copy of the 21 day LifeForce transformation plan.

Contact me or click one of the links below to find out more!

Click here for your 2020 exercise regime

Click here for a plan to reduce the Christmas excess
Andrea (glad to have some routine and know what day it is again!) Springthorpe
07949 959 547

Thursday, 7 November 2019

Two things that go together

Today I thought I best pull my finger out and get a blog out before you all worry that I have been missing in action!

I am currently sat on the sofa under a fleece blanket listening to the rain, not only outside, but also dripping down my hall wall as I have come home to a leak!!

On my way home, I noticed a lady who was walking in the torrential rain in what looked like white summer trousers along with a thick winter coat. First I thought how those white trousers won't stay clean for long in this weather and then my second thought was how the two items of clothing didn't seem to match as they were for different seasons.

This got me thinking about fitness and how you see people who exercise consistently yet have a shocking diet. Also those who are really strict and healthy with their food, yet don't move! Then there are those who are bad with both!

Many of us know or have heard that good results come from 30% exercise and 70% diet, I agree that these two combined equals 100% dedication. Unfortunately one hour of exercise does not outdo the other 23 hours of the day if you are making bad choices when it comes to food. I am not saying that you can't enjoy the occasional treat, I enjoy the odd treat otherwise life would be pretty dull! However it is how much and how often we have those treats that are the difference to getting where we want to be or staying the same!

So if you want to be consistent with your results and be work on that 100% dedication then click one of the links below...

Click here for the 30% of dedication

Click here for the 70% of dedication
Andrea (even gives out chocolate at bootcamp on special occasions!) Springthorpe
07949 959 547

Tuesday, 15 October 2019

16 years to beat a World Record!

Back in 2003 Paula Radcliffe set the world record for women's fastest marathon in London, with an impressive time of 2.15.25! This weekend that record was broken by Brigid Kosgei at the Chicago Marathon in a time of 2.14.04!

It is a shame that an English athlete no longer holds the record, however, to hold it for 16 years is very impressive! Especially as nutrition and training experts become more knowledgeable, however, having said this, I believe genetics and natural talent play a massive role. When I used to run Marathons (I started round about the time Paula was breaking records), I know that even if I worked with nutrition and training experts I would never achieve world records.

However, over the years I did change the way I trained, fuelled correctly and broke my own records! When I look back at the days I used to love long distance running (it's a long time long distance running and love have gone in the same sentence lol), I started training by just doing LSD (long slow distance - not the drug!) and yes I did the miles, but never got any faster. I was constantly tired and wanted to eat rubbish! The year I got my PB, I ran less, combined my long distance runs with speed training and incorporated resistance training. I felt stronger (and happier) through-out my training, my physique was better (the runners paunch decreased) and my goal of running faster was achieved!

Now over the years I have come across a lot of runners, who just want to run miles and miles and miles as they worry that they won't get any faster! In fact those that train that way generally don't get any faster as they are normally riddled with injury. The runners I know who are successful, combine speed training with less mileage, do some sort of resistance training and come to my bootcamp haha!

Joking aside, I always promote that you mix your training up, if your body gets used to doing the same thing you never adapt, you never progress and often pick up injuries.

So if you want to mix your training up, then click one of the links below and let me take the stress of planning your work-out out of the equation. Now I am not saying I can help you break I world record, however, I can help you towards your own records!

Click here to break your own records

Click here to eat like an athlete.
Andrea (happy that hit my running goals) Springthorpe
07949 959 547

Thursday, 10 October 2019

World Mental Health Day

Today is World Mental Health Day, so what a great opportunity to discuss the benefits exercise has on mental health.

We are all aware of the physical benefits exercise has, however, exercise also has many benefits when it comes to mental health. It can help with anxiety, depression, stress. It can help improve memory and help you sleep better (god knows what my memory would be like if I didn't exercise, as it is bad enough already!) All the aforementioned are things which, if left to their own devices can have a negative impact on physical health too.

For me exercise is part of my daily routine, not only to improve physically, but mentally too. It is my time to switch off, to do something for myself and gives me a great start to the day, both physically and mentally.

Yesterday I had a meeting first thing so I didn't have time to go to the gym, my start to the day was being sat in the car (and traffic) for a good couple of hours. I felt sluggish and tired most of the day. Now it might have been co-incidence, however, this morning I was back in the gym and I have felt so much better..... and being more productive.

So many people turn to food, alcohol or other substances to try and make them feel better when they are low. These may have an acute effect on how they feel, however, long term will only make them feel worse!

If I have had a busy day at work, or been cooped up all day I often go for a walk or run after work, there is nothing better than getting in the fresh air and getting active to make you feel better! This is something which you can incorporate with friends, over the summer I have been meeting my friend once a week and heading out for a walk, instead of our usual 'coffee catch up'. Not only does this make us feel better, it is saving money too (as we have to go to 'popular' coffee shops as my hot drink making skills are pants!)

A lot of clients often say how they have times where they can't be bothered to come to their sessions, however, 60 minutes later, they feel better - even if they are sweaty and shattered. It is the same for me teaching a class, because even though I don't join in as I am instructing I feel better as I am still moving, I am walking around, demonstrating exercises and currently some of my sessions are outside. I also have some fantastic clients who put a smile on my face.

So get active, improve your physical and mental health and do it with like minded people!

Click here to improve your mental health as well as physical

Click here to eat yourself happy
Andrea (helping improve your mood) Springthorpe
07949 959 547