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Fear of failure – what my expedition taught me about the upside of failing

Fear of failure – what my expedition taught me about the upside of failing

Of the things I have feared most in my life; the fear of failure is probably my biggest fear of all. It has played a major role in the way I have lived my life so far, but my expedition this summer has been a great learning school. Time to re-evaluate my fears. In school, my fear of failure meant that I didn’t pursue the subjects I didn’t think I…Keep Reading

Choosing Nordic Walking poles

Choosing Nordic Walking poles

Choosing Nordic Walking poles can be daunting, there are so many diffent brands and models. To help you, I have written a guide explaining the most common options. Nordic Walking poles are different from trekking or ski poles, mainly because they connect differently to your hands. Ski or trekking poles usually have a simple loop, which means that you loose your hand position on the pole if you let go…Keep Reading

Goal setting – or The Power of One Small Step

Goal setting – or The Power of One Small Step

Are you one of those people who think that change can only happen if it is done in a big and bold way? Are you convinced you need a complete life style makeover to lose weight? Is it even possible to achieve anything in life if you don’t set some big bold goals? Go big or go broke? This is the question I asked myself before I set off on…Keep Reading

Sea kayak expedition day 10 – Beachy head and the Seven Sisters

Sea kayak expedition day 10 – Beachy head and the Seven Sisters

These days, it seems like I spend as much time drying gear as I spend paddling. I am starting to understand that what makes a long trip in the UK hard is not do much the paddling itself, but the work it takes to keep your gear comfortable and in working order. The salt of the sea covers your clothes and prevents them from drying. Out on day trips, we…Keep Reading

Sea kayak expedition day 9 – The surprising kindness of strangers

Sea kayak expedition day 9 – The surprising kindness of strangers

After yesterday’s long paddle I decided to take it easy today and to stay an extra night in the very civilised camping in Norman bay. I was yearning for a nice cooked breakfast and the reception recommended the bakery in Pevensey bay, about a 20 minutes’ walk along the shingle beach. It felt good to walk and slowly my tight muscles loosened up again. The bakery was full when I…Keep Reading

Sea Kayak expedition day 8 – From dawn till dusk and beyond

Sea Kayak expedition day 8 – From dawn till dusk and beyond

Waking up at the crack of dawn, I find out that my phone has refused to charge off the full battery pack. So, no tide information, no pictures, and no alarm! I am lucky that the light woke me up at 5.30 anyway. Breaking up quickly, I manage to set off at exactly 7 am. Still feeling very sleepy, I paddle as fast as I can. But it still isn’t…Keep Reading

Sea Kayak expedition day 7 – They’re shooting!

Sea Kayak expedition day 7 – They’re shooting!

Before I set off on this trip I had planned very little. Just as well: I am learning now that whenever I do plan something, my plans will be thwarted anyway. It started on day 3 with my plan of going to Whitstable for lunch, when a shivering sandbank got in my way. Then on Tuesday I had thought of going to Folkestone, when the wind was much stronger than…Keep Reading

Sea Kayak expedition day 6 – No squirrels, no seals, but lots of bunnies

Sea Kayak expedition day 6 – No squirrels, no seals, but lots of bunnies

An appointment to the hairdressers had seemed ridiculous before I set off, but now, after less than a week on the water, my fringe is hanging in my eyes and my ponytail is completely tangled and matted together. I decide to use my day off to find a launderette to wash some clothes and a cheap hairdresser to untangle and cut my hair. By three pm I have done all…Keep Reading

Sea Kayak expedition day 5 – White cliffs…. and wind!

Sea Kayak expedition day 5 – White cliffs…. and wind!

Getting up early is now becoming a routine, and packing up the kayak is taking less and less time. As bothersome as a steep pebble beach as helpful it proves to be if you want your kayak back into the sea; she just slid herself down. I set off in good time and said goodbye to my beautiful beach. I hadn’t even paddled five minutes when a seal popped its…Keep Reading

Sea kayak expedition day 4 – Help from new friends

Sea kayak expedition day 4 – Help from new friends

I wake up around 7 with the sun burning on my tent. I feel lucky that commodore Alastair had given me a key fob to the Herne bay sailing club, I really need to pee. I slip on my shoes and scramble out of the tent, only to find out that the key fob doesn’t work! One of the things I really like about Britain is that there are public…Keep Reading

Sea Kayak expedition day 3 – Shivering Sands

Sea Kayak expedition day 3 – Shivering Sands

The boat was packed early, but camping by a pub, I couldn’t resist the chance of celebrating Sunday with a full English breakfast. The kitchen didn’t open until 9, but I was allowed to wait in the pub. Enjoying their wifi I used my time well by writing and posting my stories of the past day for you. The downside of lazing about in the morning and eating huge brekkies,…Keep Reading

Sea Kayak expedition day 2 – More Seals

Sea Kayak expedition day 2 – More Seals

Waiting for my brekkie to cook I have a few moments to write about yesterday. I left Gravesend just after 8 in the morning to catch the best of the tide. The water was flat and silver, shimmering like a mirror. Michal Madera, who did a full circumnavigation of the UK with his wife Natalie in 2013, had warned me about the shallows on this stretch. It was high tide…Keep Reading

Sea kayak expedition Day 1 – From Squirrels to Seals

Sea kayak expedition Day 1 – From Squirrels to Seals

When I announced my plans for the summer, I wrote that it was about time to exchange my conversations with the squirrels for conversations with the seals. For the life of me, I didn’t expect that to happen within the first hours of the trip, but that is exactly what happened. I woke up excited and a bit nervous. The past couple of days Steve had been a great help…Keep Reading

Getting ready to leave

Getting ready to leave

How to make the impossible possible? How to go on an expedition when you have very limited cash? How can I make sure I still have work in September and make sure you can still walk this summer? Going away for 2 and a half months means not earning any money during that time, so I have to take some drastic measures. I have decided to give up my appartment…Keep Reading

Picking up the new kayak

Picking up the new kayak

What a fabulous weekend this turned out to be! On Friday afternoon I flew to the Netherlands to pick up my new kayak, and I hoped to be able to see some friends before I set off on my expedition. I know the Netherlands is a very small country, but not in a million years did I expect to see so many of them! On Friday afternoon my friend Linda…Keep Reading

Fit and Happy in a kayak

http://www.fitandhappyoutdoors.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/happy-firewings.pngFit and Happy in a kayak

Fit and Happy Outdoors founder Ailien is mega busy preparing for her 10 year anniversary of living in the UK: “I decided it is about time I got back in a kayak and exchange my conversations with the squirrels for conversations with the seals. It is also time to see all those bits of the UK coastline I never had time or money for to see. So I am going…Keep Reading

Clare Balding Nordic Walking

Clare Balding Nordic Walking

Missed Clare Balding’s ramblings broadcast about her Nordic Walking experience with a group in Nottingham? Read on and listen to it here! Clare takes a lesson in Nordic Walking as she joins coach Catherine Hughes in one of her classes in Bramcote Park in Nottingham. Some of those who regularly attend, are a group of mothers with their daughters, all of whom have learning difficulties. Nordic walking has proved to…Keep Reading

Exercise and lowering high blood pressure

Exercise and lowering high blood pressure

Exercise: A drug-free approach to lowering high blood pressure. Having high blood pressure and not getting enough exercise are closely related. Discover how small changes in your daily routine can make a big difference. Your risk of high blood pressure (hypertension) increases with age, but exercise can make a big difference. And if your blood pressure is already high, exercise can help you control it. Don’t think you’ve got to…Keep Reading

Don’t just sit there, move!

Don’t just sit there, move!

              More and more evidence is showing that sitting for long stretches at a time is not very healthy, to say the least. Sitting for long periods increases the risk of diabetes, heart disease and death, researchers suggest. And scientists from Leicester and Loughborough Universities say harm is done even if people exercise the recommended 30 minutes a day. One journalist from the Independent…Keep Reading

Improving your health the friendly way

Improving your health the friendly way

              How often do you tell yourself you should do more exercise? And how often have you decided to lose weight, only to crumble at 4 in the afternoon with a big bag of crisps or a donut? We often feel so bad about ourselves. We beat ourselves up because we didn’t call our parents, or because we didn’t do our work right, or…Keep Reading