Sunday, 23 July 2017

Grateful

Hey guys! Today is going to be a post of how grateful I am for certain elements and people in my life, because when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade.

Friends
I'm very grateful for the friendships I have created over the past few years and I wouldn't change it at all.



  
Nouhaila
Thank you for your support in everything, especially getting me through all that exam stress with January exams! Knowing me and my love to rant about everything, it's great to have you on the other side talking about non-sense. Also, much thanks for understanding when I get super excited about everything, never mind how big or small it is and then getting excited with me too! I still owe you that Nando's, so as soon as you're back from Morocco (I'm so jealous!), let's hit it up!

For some reason we don't actually have many selfies together, except from a few pictures when I graduated from the IB last year!




Dengyan
So I thought I first met you whilst in the music department during secondary school and we'd end up chilling the practice rooms every now and again. Once we started talking properly, apparently we both went to that band practice thing and then discovered we ended up going to the same Chinese school from the age of 5.

Thanks for being there with all that drama from the past years and also sticking to your game and hosting all those BBQs in your little square, I very much enjoyed it all (and then Paul and I clearing up the place last year and refusing to do so this year!).

  
Becky
We weren't as close friends before our holiday in Lisbon but after the amount of stairs hiked, almost slipping on the castle steps, and sharing a room, it's brought us both closer. 
I seem to chuckle at our mutual love and goal of sunbathing and getting darker. It was just me constantly being like 'BECKY BECKY, DO YOU FEEL IT?' when it was just 22 degrees and the sun would pop out from among the clouds. I loved your excitement to book for a next holiday, somewhere with sun and right next to the beach, even before we left to fly back to London! 

See you at King's next year Beck!

Well done to all you girls for passing and surviving the IB and enjoy your time at uni! Before all that though, bring on Barcelona! 



Look how cute we were!

Jasmeet
I believe we met during a session where we both have niggles from training and was punished with 400m tempo runs! The pain was horrible especially since it was during winter training! Since then, we'd always meet up before lectures and during our breaks and we'd even know each other's timetable off by heart! It hurt to find out that our lectures alternated so when either of us were on a break, the other was in a lecture or seminar! I liked when I was imposter in a Maths lecture and not having a single clue what was going on! 

Thanks for always being like a mother for me and being my personal hairstylist before university athletics meets and just being that all-round kind person that you are!



Technology
I'm grateful for the development of technology we have reached to be able to communicate with people from the other side of the world with a press of a button at no extra cost! It was quite hard for me to see Dr. Dan move to country with a time zone of 5 hours behind me, but with the technology we have now, contact isn't lacking!

Health
I'm grateful to have good health and working limbs that don't affect my everyday life negatively, aside from the little niggles from training. Jessica Quinn (@jessicaemilyquinn on instagram), someone who had lost a limb at a young age from cancer, is such an inspiration. She's always so motivated to continue running and training and it just makes me think of what I take for granted!

Sure you get those little hiccups in life and things that bring you down, but when you look back on the things that you take for granted and the people that are there to pick you back up, it’s not so bad.

Love, 
Amy

No Lie by Sean Paul ft. Dua Lipa has been the song that really gets me into a good mood, regardless of what I'm doing!

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Athletics Update

It's been a while since I've written a post about athletics so I thought I'd give a little update on how it's all going!

Training
I'm actually trying to ease back in to training after one month off and I attended an open meet before I went back to training to see what kind of affect it would have had on my body. I can say that it'll never be happening again, since I ran half a second off my PB in the 100m, which is horrendous.

The first session back was a rainy one on Tuesday and it gave me a great excuse to just leave it until Thursday but Chloe being the more motivating partner just powered on and said “Better get your waterproofs on”. Everyone needs themselves a Chloe (bread).

Current PBs and New Goals
In my very first post of this blog I mentioned some of the goals that I had for the outdoor season that I wanted to meet. Those being sub 13.9 for the 100m and sub 29 for the 200m.


Actually happened to smash that goal 10 days later at an open and ran a 13.71. It was quite odd to have a heavy training session the night before on the track and to feel sore everywhere. Apparently it was a good tactic of my coach to be more reactive from the blocks. 


Similarly, my 200m goal was met a few days after the meet at the final LUCA series, taking 0.29 seconds of my previous PB to run a 28.85. Obviously this means that new goals have to be created because I constantly want to be improving! Now, this is what I want to be able to achieve before the outdoor season is over:

100m: 13.6
200m: 28.6

Technique
I'm still very much trying to work on my knee lift but with my weak hip flexors, I'm struggling to keep them up because before long, my legs start to burn. This is probably why I feel a lot stronger running bends since the knee lift doesn't have to be as high compared to running a straight! Honestly though, I believe it puts me in a heavy disadvantage when running a 100m or the second half of a 200m and it’s quite frustrating. One step at a time!

Strength
Without changing my frame, I need to still gain more strength and power to be able to explode out of the blocks. I've been told that I have a good drive and reaction time so that my starts are good, but without power, fellow athletes are quick to pass by after the 60m mark. Definitely something to work on for this season! Relating back to technique, these hip flexors need to get stronger! Relating back to technique, these hip flexors need to get stronger!

Physique
I’ve never really had a problem with the way I look but of course everyone has their personal flaws. A more general goal would be to tone them abs! I understand that everyone experiences bloating after eating but it just turns into a round one-pack for me.

T-Rex arms Harry

Stretching
Simple as it sounds, I don't do it enough. I've got to make it a thing to stretch after training as well as before training. It's just not worth the injury for a short period of stretching!

Opens
I love the concept of an open meet. The fact that you have people from all ages, abilities and genders running together, all with the same love for athletics. After a while of competing in a few open meets, you begin to recognise regular faces who enjoy competing as much as you do.

It's also a great opportunity to try out different tracks that I wouldn't normally get to; although they are often out of the way and takes quite a while to travel to, it's worth it in the end!


London Anniversary Games
The London Anniversary Games were held at the Olympic stadium last Sunday and I hadn't been in the stadium since the 2012 Paralympics!
A new world record was set for the Mile walk event and it was my first time seeing an event like this. How do they manage to WALK a mile in such an incredible time when I struggle to run it?! Of course there was the anticipated 3000m race with Mo Farah which was a definite intense race to watch!

Let’s see how the rest of the outdoor season occurs and if I meet my personal goals!

Love, 
Amy

Recommended song of the week is Headlights by Eminem ft. Nate Reuss. Just love the emotions and words of this piece.

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Gymshark




How are we all doing buddies? Those who know me know that I would live in gym gear if I could because it's just so comfy, but more specifically I would love to live in all the Gymshark clothing. I always used to (still am in a way!) be a Nike girl and people often joked that I was sponsored by Nike because everything was just Nike.



Gymshark recently celebrated their 5th birthday and opened a pop-up store in Covent Garden and of course I had to go and check it out! 


Pre-release mesh crop top and grey seamless leggings!

There had been announcements of limited products and pre-release items, and they did really well to build up the excitement to it all. From all their live updates of the day on their Instagram stories and Snapchat, it definitely got me all excited!

I also purchased the leggings she was wearing but the matching bra to the these leggings and the grey ones were already out of stock by the time I arrived!
Gymshark athletes were also present at the event but there was only one person that I was determined to meet, GraceFitUK. She's such a down-to-earth person and a great inspiration of being able to balance training and studying Music at university!

I have thought about and considered applying to become a Gymshark athlete because it just seems so cool and you get to meet so many awesome people; so maybe some time in the future!

I first got introduced to Gymshark by a cousin and was told to try it out since I was so into fitness at the time. I was quite surprised that it was really decent material and you definitely get your money's worth! It was from then on that I became obsessed with Gymshark. 

With new releases, they have always been on Thursdays at 3pm (because I'm just that obsessed!) and it's gotten to that point that I would set an alarm so I could get onto the site before it all sold out. The brand has become so popular in the past year that some new releases get sold out in minutes.

This is some of my collection over the past year with quite a few bits missing!
I've managed to collect quite a few bits over the year, the material is just so nice to train in and looks awesome too. Here are a few bits that I recommend trying to get your hands on!

Seamless collection

Sports Bras
I couldn't help but buy them in all colours, oops. These are so comfortable, lightweight and supportive! Since it's part of the seamless collection, there are no seams which pretty much makes you feel like you're not wearing anything.

Tees
I only have 2 tees from Gymshark and of course they'd have be seamless. I knew during training in the summer I wouldn't want to wear a tight top since I would get really sweaty even from the journey on the way to the track. Similar to the sports bras it's just very flattering with lines in specific places that emphasises your body features.

This is the black flex leggings and black marl seamless sports bra paired together.
Leggings
The seamless leggings are another story, they just fit so well and hug your curves (although I haven't been blessed with curves in places!). Once I saw them in the promotion with the pop-up store I knew I had to get my hands on them, although they are a little more pricey-er than the other collections, definitely one of my faves.

Flex Leggings
These leggings were hyped up and all for good reasons; they're so cosy & pleasant to wear and easy to move in. Although it does get quite warm whilst wearing them, especially if you're wearing a darker colour but you do stay dry.


Unfortunately I managed to spike myself during athletics training on Thursday and created a small hole, which left me quite sad for the rest of the session. It was quite warm that day and especially since I had to run with the guys, I was at ease with the Flex leggings to make my way round the track.

So there it is guys, a post devoted to my love for Gymshark and I very much recommend trying out there brand!

Love,
Amy


I've been going through my old music playlists recently and going back to love The Weeknd again, and Twenty Eight is the chilled song that I've been loving.

Sunday, 2 July 2017

International Baccalaureate

Two of my technically 'international' friends that I met during my time doing the IB!

Welcome back buddies, today's post will be about my personal experience with the International Baccalaureate. It wasn't a common course that was being taken in my area that I was studying in since most students would go on to do A-Levels or apprenticeships. After meeting a few international students in uni though, I realised that I wasn't alone in all the pain of studying the IB.



Basics

IB consisted of 6 subjects, compared to the typical 3 or 4 you take in A-Levels. 
Alongside the subjects came TOK (Theory of Knowledge), which was just a way to change your way of thinking and have different perceptions and opinions on situations. On the side was CAS (Creativity, Action and Service) just to broaden yourself doing sports, some kind of art to express yourself and volunteering. Lastly was the Extended Essay (EE), 4000 words, a mini thesis, which is basically nothing now compared to the assignments given at uni, but it must be the piling of different subjects that made it seem so difficult and daunting.



The highest score that could be achieved is 45, with a scoring system out of 7 and 3 points rewarded depending on the mark from TOK and EE (scored with the traditional A-E). It was a must to study literature, a language, mathematics, a science, a humanities and an arts subject. There was also a grading between within a subject of Standard level (SL) and Higher level (HL) and at least 3 HL subjects had to be taken. 


I took: English HL, Maths Studies SL, Chemistry SL, Geography HL , Spanish AB Initio SL and Music HL. With Chemistry HL and Maths SL, I dropped them both down a level because Chemistry and higher level was too much for me and realised that I wouldn't need Maths at standard level if I was going to study Music or Geography at Uni, so it would be an easy 7 to boost my overall point score.

I didn't want to carry on learning English or a learn new language because it just wasn't my thing. Honestly, I think the Music department was the reason I stayed onto sixth form, and the fact that piano lessons were provided for free since they can get expensive with private tutoring.

Exams and assignments
All subjects had assignments, including maths which was absolute nonsense at the time.
Exams started at the beginning of May, on that May bank holiday with 13 exams over 3 weeks and some back to back. Can you believe that it was 2 years of work in 3 weeks?!

Music had 2 set works that had to be studied, analysed and memorised for the exam. Rossini's Petite Messe Solennelle was a extended piece with 14 movements, and my music buddies out there will know that is so long, and we had to know all of it!
Gershwin's American in Paris was a lot shorter and more exciting but with a very disappointing ending.


This was me nearing the end of the second year and thought I was genuinely going to fail.

Results
Results Day was not long after the exam in July which is a month before A-Level students.
Graduation was a few days after and some students in the past years have had been results day after graduation, anxious about their grades, but not for us!

I got my results the day before the official day of results at the discretion of an IB ambassador and for UCAS (UK way of applying to university) the entry requirements had specifics with HL subjects and overall points but I missed it by 2 points, including 1 point under with Music. Luckily my Music grade got boosted with the grade appeal (with mine being among the 3 that change out of at least 30 other grades!),which meant that I met the criteria of HL but still missed overall points by 1. I was panicking for the whole month since I could only find out if I could possibly get into King's on the national results day for A-Levels. I didn't need to stress out and all though, because I got in!

Best of luck to my fellow IB-ers receiving their results during the upcoming week, it doesn't all go downhill, I'm an example!




Looking back
Was it worth it?
After reviewing and letting a year past by, it was definitely worth taking the IB compared to another equivalent course, it allowed me to spread the overall point score over the 6 subjects so it could all balance out.

What did I take away from it?
DO NOT LEAVE THINGS TO THE LAST MINUTE! (As much as I say this though, I still do so with mega procrastination levels, as does everyone else). I started properly revising 3 weeks before which was the worst idea ever, but I did do everything single Maths paper prior (explaining the 7 in Maths). Organisation is key here if you want to pass, there's a large amount of paperwork after all the assignments and all balanced with revising across 6 subjects.

Would I do it again?/What would I change?
Of course I'd do it again (as crazy as it sounds), 
The IB is supposedly meant to prepare you for University, but only if you're on top of things from the start and revise regularly throughout the course and not a massive revision session of everything from the 2 years.

That's all from your buddy, enjoy the week!

Love,
Amy

The Hills by The Weeknd was a song that was pretty much on replay for me last summer and it's back again this summer!

The Hills: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yzTuBuRdAyA

A remix version of The Weeknd ft. Eminem: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=the+hills&page=&utm_source=opensearch

Grateful

Hey guys! Today is going to be a post of how grateful I am for certain elements and people in my life, because when life gives you lem...