This may have been at the Queen Elisabeth Olympic Park for some time now but just spotted some amazing exercise machines today. Not only is it a free way to pump iron but it also generates energy which goes straight back into the grid, or you can charge up your USB device right there and then!
Bad things happened last night in London town, but we will not be deterred from venturing out. Awesome skate today. Forever forward.
We had our first visit to Ultimate Ninja, a Ninja Warrior style training centre which has obstacles inspired from the TV show which originates from Japan (Sasuke).
The centre itself is very close to Hythe train station but as its a smaller stop the trains are less frequent. We decided to instead get an earlier train to Colchester Station (a bigger station with more frequent stops) which allowed a bit of buffer time. If there were train delays we had an option of a taxi from Colchester, but trains were good today so we opted for a forty minute walk instead.
The centre itself was good fun and it had a lot of obstacles to keep us occupied for the hour for a reasonable price of £10. (Best to book in advance). Having had a go at everything I have new found respect for successful contestants of the show who are doing these obstacles back to back.
As the title suggests we will be back again as we really like what they are doing. It will be interesting to see if they update some of the obstacles occasionally to keep things fresh. The journey time and train fare (£20 return approx) from London however stops this from being a regular venue for us. We envy the locals!
It took a couple of attempts but was very happy to have 'beat the wall!'
With never being content to just stay where I'm at I somehow came to the idea of trying out a move that combined rolling from inline skating to an ab roller style work out using one freeline skate. This took a few attempts. Unfortunately I came off shot on my first successful attempt, but unknowingly I had an audience in the background who vouched my accomplishment with an applause! I included another successful roll on the video clip, it's difficult to tell with my baggy trousers but my knees were off the floor the whole time.
For next time, could have straighter legs and would be good to be rolling the whole time!
I like to think I'm the first person to have done this, just so I can name this move the 'Transformer!'
Today I rediscovered the fun of bouldering at the Arch Climbing Wall's Building One and Biscuit Factory centres. Both locations are a few minutes walk apart with my preference being Building One just because of the peg wall which I got to try out for the first time. Tough Mudder used to have an obstacle dubbed 'The Liberator,' which was much easier because the wall inclined meaning you can rest your body against it. No such cheats on the peg board giving you a proper upper body challenge. My new favourite obstacle!
Would also love to able to do the under hang boulder routes one day. My finger strength and techniques aren't ready just yet..
As part of the SUP Armada event back in July we took part in a record attempt. 390 SUP boarders on a lake. It doesn't really par with other world records but Guinness has now officially announced that it's a record all the same. So I guess we're "world record holders."
First outing for my LSST jersey. However I was far from the skate scene from which the purchase was intended for. Cycle/skate jerseys are actually really good for yoga as it doesn't slip and try to suffocate you while you're downward dogging!
Nuclear Races today hosted an event with no running, but plenty of obstacles including their infamous Deathslide and Ziplines. The Nuclear Summer Party was great fun. You could go on the obstacles they had out as much or as little as you wanted to. This was brilliant from a filming perspective in order to get multiple shots and fantastic as a participant as it gave you a chance to hone your technique and get more daring with your approaches, such as Superman-ing it off the Deathslide!
Some guys from Southend Parkour came down to give a talk on their approach and philosophy to training and fitness. It was interesting even though some things contradict what others teach. For example they shot down the leg technique to get over a wall which I often use. Their reasoning is that "technique can only get you so far." I'm sure I've heard that being said the other way around too! Although I see their point in that we shouldn't use a technique in place of reason to get stronger. Whilst I have already been exploring other ways to scale a wall and I want to be able to muscle up, I will still be using the faithful leg technique for the walls if I'm going to save my strength for some of those more demanding upper body obstacles during a race. Race smart!
Got to say the parkour guys really do show us up when it comes to obstacle flair!
The Nuclear Summer Party was a fun day out and very good value at £22. It was a real shame however that the 'Gorilla bars,' were not accessible even though they advertised it. My friends I went with today are not fans of running or mud, so it was great to spend the time with them, as they definitely won’t be joining me on future Nuclear Races.
For me I prefer the actual obstacle races as there’s something satisfying and purposeful about getting from A to B through a much bigger variety of challenges. I think the running gives you a boost of adrenaline and makes tacking the obstacles a lot more fun. I realised this when I was walking down the path to the zipline, it just all seemed to make more sense when I started running!
SUP Armada is a day festival of activities based around the aqua sport of Stand Up Paddleboarding at Bewl Water lake in Kent. It was an hour train ride from Charing Cross station to Wadhurst station where we took a 15 minute cab ride to the location. I'd recommend Elba Cabs, Clive our driver was very friendly and accommodating for us!
We pre paid our entry fee of £15 a while ago but we then on the day made a £10 donation for board hire and £2 for buoyancy aids which goes towards their charity. This led us to believe we could just pick up a board and paddle to take to the waters, this was not the case. As we were queuing up for registration we told there were "plenty of boards for all of us to use." It wasn't until we got to the lake we discovered that most activity slots were already booked up, if not till late afternoon.
Some of the instructors could see were a little miffed by the situation so one of them very kindly made time for a slightly shorter introductory session for our group.
It was the first time SUPing for the six of us and we all managed to stand up and get paddling fairly quickly. The more advanced turns which required us to move our feet had us taking plunge before figuring out our stance. I'd say it's a little more advance than kayaking but as we were on a fairly calm lake it wasn't too much trouble to get going, Just the head wind made it more challenging to paddle against.
After watching a race I could see people were using a bit of knee bend with their strokes to gain more power. So on my next session it did prove to be advantageous. (Knee bending seems to be a cross subject of a lot of sports!). An occasional wave from a passing boat gave the board a rock which stopped my confidence from getting too far ahead of myself!
The most exciting part of the day was the group paddleboarding. A massive board could hold eight of us for a fun but somewhat competitive race. We didn't come close to winning but it was great having a more unifying activity.
The final event was the World Record attempt for the most stand up paddleboarders on a circuit at once. Although it's one of those records which is more about organising a huge amount of people rather than an individual talent it was still a fun challenge getting around the 2km course. The wind certainly picked up for us which made it feel like I was on a treadmill, paddling right in front of the finish line for a couple of minutes! Well the organisers managed to pull the record off. 390 SUPs.
SUP Armada was a good event, although the individual activity sign ups could have been done a lot better. They should have known the volume of people who would show up! Would have liked to have done the SUP yoga.
Bewl Water is such a lovely area that I'd definitely like to come back again either for SUP Armada or as a place to make a long weekend of. We'd like to hire some bikes to tour the whole lake and hopefully we'll have more of that summer sun we were blessed with!
Today we had a good bounce around the West Acton branch of Oxygen Freejumping.
Whilst we enjoyed ourselves we did feel the health & safety and the staff weren't quite of the same calibre as at Airspace that we visited last month. No one could hear the safety briefing video and it seemed like the staff were just trying to crowd control all of the much younger and louder kids that were there.The kids were onto a world of their own as they darted right out in front of us all of the time. Plus it was so hot in there!
Their obstacle area wasn't as well thought out as one time I was about to swing across and I was again intersected by a little kid. Monkey bars were really high and the shorter people struggled to reach it. The foam pads dual was one of the more fun games, especially between the group of us to watch and to partake.
They do parkour at this centre but equipment seemed to have been packed away for the classes only.
Oxygen also do dodgeball games. I can't say that neither enjoyed it or not as I was out before I had a chance to know what was going on! Guess that was more my fault, hope I do better next time!
The basketball area was fun getting a little more hang time with the use of the trampolines.
So overall it was fun, but we just preferred the setup of Airspace.
"Any tips, reviews and advice are my own opinions and are not to be taken as professional view points. The information on this site is what has worked for me and is here for guidance only, but I hope you gain insight into the various activities I partake in." Jonathan Chen