Over the past five weeks I have enjoyed having Sarah as my mentor and I have been working on my weaknesses, which in turn has improved my strength and fitness each week. This has included attending gym classes and tennis sessions as well as running and improving my diet.
Firstly my achievements in tennis, especially serving, have been remarkable. I am able to serve consistently into the serving box which before I was never able to do. This enables me to have full games of tennis so I can further my tennis ability and enjoy playing the game more. In addition to this Sarah has worked with me on my volleying and ground strokes so my overall game has improved drastically. This is an opportunity I have never had before as I have never had lessons and I am truly grateful for all the advice and help Sarah has given me over the past few weeks.
Throughout the five week process I have worked on building up strength in my shoulders and wrists. I have done this through completing wrist exercises each day which has really strengthened them. Furthermore I no longer hurt my wrist when playing tennis. In addition to this, during body pump classes I am able to use greater weights and complete entire sets without stopping, especially the shoulder sets. This has also been demonstrated in the Ski Fit class where raising the bar over my head repeatedly would previously have been a struggle, whereas now I can complete the set.
Over the course of the Xercise Factor, I have tried to improve my fitness, with a goal from the beginning being able to run 10k in under an hour. Since my last blog I have run several more times with my best time being under an hour! I am thrilled with this accomplishment and will continue running in the future to get my time down even further. My next goal is to get my time below 55 minutes.
Overall, I have really enjoyed being a part of the Xercise Factor. It has given me a great opportunity to learn new things and learn more about myself, particularly how I am able to push myself to the limit. I think I deserve to win the Xercise Factor this year because I have been very committed throughout the whole programme; I have changed my lifestyle by incorporating running and eating a far healthier diet. This process has given me the confidence and motivation to continue this exercise regime for the remainder of the academic year and beyond once I have graduated. It has been a pleasure to work alongside Sarah and I sincerely hope we keep in touch after this experience is over.