Keeping Motivated Through Trying Times

Is there such as thing as keeping motivated in trying times or is it simply perception? You be the judge.

I have had my fair share of challenges as a result of being diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis in 2014. Trial drug programs, disease induced depression, monthly Oncology visits, Medication induced shingles, weight gain of 15kgs from steroid treatment and knowing that every time I get a cold I am not getting out of bed for a week and three rounds of antibiotics later I’m starting to feel better. This in combination with generally not feeling like getting out of bed due to the crippling pain is something I have barely spoken about until now but had to deal with behind the scenes over the past four years at one time or another.

The reality is there are many people worse off than me, I am not dying – I just have a chronic illness and, in spite of that, I can achieve anything I set my mind to.

FullSizeRender (002)Since being diagnosed with RA I have achieved an Ironman, one Ultra Marathon, two half Marathons, my first Trail Ultra Marathon and two half Ironmans. I have taken an overseas assignment in Manila and built a very successful sustainable team. I transitioned out of fast moving consumer goods into retail and have since found myself working for the number one beer brand in the world in my dream role leading an incredible team. All the while I found the time to give back to a sport that taught me so much about myself and my limits by volunteering for the position of President of the number one triathlon club in Victoria (@BaysideTriathlonClub) and on the Board of Triathlon Victoria.

With all of this the one achievement I have been most proud of is being able to be here today to tell you my story and represent the Tish and Matt and the amazing team at She Science.

To help me achieve all of these things my life has been based around goals, routine, under thinking things and amazing support from my close friends and family.

My goals are not all sporting based. In fact they are mainly career focused and I have some personal ones in there too.

If there is one thing that is clear to me you must always have a balance. Balance is good.

0658_51562Sonia Hanging Rock

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My daily routine is as simple as getting out of bed, doing some sort of exercise, going to work and spending time with my husband and adorable bulldog and talking to my Mum and Dad on the phone.

So often in our work and personal lives the universe throws us challenges. The only way I have found to get through these has been to ”under think” what has happened and simply keep moving forward towards my goal. Easier said than done – I know! I used spend hours – even days – trying to understand why and what people were saying and how this could have happened. All the while I was burning energy on things I couldn’t control and feeding my disease. Life is too short.

Support comes in many forms. For me it’s picking me up off the floor when I have had a fit and fallen unconscious as my body has been overwhelmed with pain. Or it’s having someone to complain to for the brief moment I let the emotion get the better of me. It’s still being included in social events and friends understanding when I just don’t feel like coming. Most of all it’s the support I get on the ground, on the phone or on social media when I line up at that start line and achieve what I set out to do.

What’s next for me over the next two to three years? Monthly oncology visits, radiation treatment, hitting some hard core work goals, completing the F45 Challenge (thanks to the @F45Oakleigh Team for helping me achieve), Noosa Triathlon (wait till you see the She Science race kit), London Marathon (assuming I make the ballot), Kokoda Trial and Ultraman AU.

What’s next for you?

IMG_0002 (002)By Sonia Dunne

Sonia is an accomplished Ironman and Triathlete who has an unstoppable approach to life. She is also a She Science Ambassador. You can follow Sonia @sonia_D2277

 

A Sports Bra That Has Everything You Want For Sport

Comfort, support, feeling good! Three things you want in a bra when playing sport!

I originally noticed how unsupportive the bra I was wearing was, when on one of my training runs I caught my reflection in a shop window as I ran past. I was horrified! It just so happened that one of my run routes was past the She Science store. Needless to say, seeing that ”bounce” was more than enough motivation for me to get a specialised sports bra fitting.

Wotto Collingwood V Adelaide (003)My in-store experience at She Science was extremely pleasant. I was met with a friendly face and helpful service. Not only was I fitted, I was able to wear test the bra on the treadmill to put it through its paces!

I was fitted for the Brooks* Juno*. From the moment I put this bra on I loved it! In fact, I loved it so much I had to go back and purchase two more.

The Juno is wire free and has smooth seams which means no chaffing and a super comfortable fit. Its high coverage and racer back configuration makes it a supportive, firm fit which really reduces the bounce.

Lou during the AFL Women’s Collingwood versus Adelaide match. Picture: Michael Wilson

The front adjusting straps is a practical addition as straps can be tightened while wearing the bra. One of my team mates has this bra and she has found it to be convenient whilst still breastfeeding her youngest.

I have found the thin foam moulded cups an added bonus for AFL, especially on a cold night at footy training when taking a chest mark!

I used to dread putting my old sports bras on, as I knew I would end up with wire digging in, indent marks from my straps and the bra not actually doing its job.Wotto Devils 2017 (003)

I am so glad I found the Juno as it’s the most comfortable sports bra I have ever worn. Do yourself a favour, as they say ”look good, feel good, play good”!

 

(*The Brooks Juno was previously under the Moving Comfort brand. Lou was fitted into the *Relaunched 2017 version of the Juno. This bra was updated and re-released in March this year. It is now easier to get on, has moisture wicking moulding in the cup and the fasteners have been updated.)

Lou playing in the VFL for the Eastern Devils. Picture: Russ Canham

 

LouBy Lou Wotton

Lou is a 2017 Collingwood AFLW player, accomplished Ironman and triathlete. Lou is a She Science Ambassador and you can follow her on Instagram @wotto19.

Rundies – Sports Underwear That Doesn’t Ride Up!

I have always worn minimal underwear due to that horrible undie line you always seem to get underneath your gym wear. You can feel it creasing as you walk and consciously are forever pulling them down to lessen the effects of ”that” line.

Then along came the Berlei Free Cut Boyleg Briefs.  Super light and comfy, you feel confident knowing you don’t have a baggy bum!

wwrw1a_neq_1WWRW1A_BA1_3As a She Science Ambassador, we get to try lots of different types of apparel and underwear and when I saw the Berlei rundies, I wasn’t convinced they were for me.  However, upon starting to wear them, initially just under a pair of jeans – which I highly recommend, I noticed how comfortable and light they really were.

I am now a convert, wearing my Berlei rundies under all my gym gear and even casual gear from time to time, mainly because I need a few more pairs!

These are undies you can count on, the inside tape holds them in place so they don’t ride up and the cool max material keeps the moisture away from your skin. Truly comfy undies!

By Wendy Snowball, Mountain Bike Coach, @spincyclecoachingsolutions

FB_IMG_1467005445202Wendy Snowball is a She Science Ambassador, Mountain Bike Level 1 Coach and Skills Coach, She Rides Leader, and placed 4th in the World Masters Championships. You can follow her @spincyclecoachingsolutions, and on Facebook as Wendy Snowball.

 

Running Is All In Your Head! Set Your Mind That You Can

I am not a runner. I have never been a runner.

My body had been trained to run 22 yards and back at pace wearing pads, gloves and carrying a bat. Or, it was trained to take off quickly to chase a ball in 39 degree heat at the height of summer. My body was comfortable with this for over 15 years. From an early age I’ve conditioned my body and my brain that I’m not a runner.

But now I am. I am a runner because my head allowed me to be. Sitting fairly and squarely on each of my shoulders is a logical, practical, passionate, perfectionist brain that makes decisions, sometimes in consultation with other parts of my body, but mostly on its own.

I played team sports at high school and took up club cricket in Year 7; I love feeling part of something bigger where everyone is working together to achieve a goal.

So when the group I do personal training with raved about the runs they’d recently completed and the ones they’d signed up for in the coming months, my imagination was captured and I wanted in.

IMG_3218 (002)It began with the 5kms Run 4 The Kids in 2013. More nervous than when I walk out to bat, I sooked up a treat at the start line admiring all the families running in memory of a loved one. I ran the 5kms without stopping and cried again at the finish line elated to share in the overwhelming sense of achievement with my friends– I had done it!

Since then, I haven’t looked back and have actually enjoyed running and all that comes with it: the training, the early starts, the injuries and the weather.  Mostly I enjoy the group of people I train with. We all come from different walks of life, our fitness levels vary and our availability to run is scattered but we all have the same goal – to run.  The support from this group is incredible, which is needed when I feel like rolling over and going back to sleep – I don’t because I don’t want to let the group down because they rely on me to support them too. Plus, the breakfast and chat afterwards makes it even more enjoyable!

IMG_3747 (003)We’ve run:

  • Run Melbourne
  • Melbourne Marathon 10km
  • Zoo Twilights @ Melbourne Zoo
  • Run the Gap at Halls Gap
  • City 2 Surf in Sydney and;

The furthest I’ve ever run – The Gold Coast Half Marathon in 2015. In the six months leading into the ‘race’, our group was committed to each other and to training. Every Sunday morning at 7.30am we’d hit the streets regardless of weather, emotion or life circumstance. So often I would feel that there was no way I could run up the hill or 10kms let alone 21km, but as the months got colder, the distance got further and upon returning to the car I’d realise we’d just run the furthest I’d ever run. I had a grin from ear-to-ear and may have done a little ‘look what I just achieved!’ dance, much to the amusement of my fellow runners! The weekend at the Gold Coast is the highlight of my running career, I did it and I did it under my goal of 2hrs 30mins – an experience I will never forget nor could have achieved without the support of the friends I ran with and telling myself that I could actually do it.

We all need support, a text message here and there, a Facebook photo of an injury or bib arriving in the mail keeps us all on track at various stages ensuring that we meet our goals. We support each other on the runs too, willing each other along with words of support or rationale just to run to the next tree or street sign. This is what I love about our group.

You can do it too – it’s all about setting your mind to it and there are three key steps:

  1. You have to find what motivates you. For me, it’s being part of a group.

FullSizeRender (003)You must find what makes you run (firstly) and then to keep running, up the hill, to the next kilometre or simply get out of bed and get there on time. I would never have achieved the 8 runs that I have done if it had not been for the fabulous members of our group and for getting clear about what it was that was motivating me.

2. Look good, feel good.

Splurge on those runners, tights, sports bra and socks. You want to get out of bed and know you will be comfortable. I LOVE my Asics Kayano runners, my Brooks Rebound Racer Sports Bra, my 2XU tights, and socks. I love socks! My 2XU and Balega socks are like running on pillows. Splurge – do it! You’ll feel great when you look great.

3. Become an archer – you need to have a target.

I find when I sign up for a run, I am actually motivated to do something about it. So sign up – just do it and then work out how you’re going to hit the bullseye. I get butterflies in my tummy every time I sign up for a run, but overtaking that is the memory of the feeling of crossing the finish line!

Did I set out to be a runner? No, I joined a fitness group to get fit. But I discovered my brain and my body CAN work together to achieve a goal, whatever that might be.

IMG_4793 (002)The perception is that there is a ‘mould’ of runner – skinny, running shorts, singlet, visor and a smooth stride that makes it look easy. I can tell you that this is certainly not the case, you can become a runner – it’s all in your head. Believe you want to do it and you will.

 

By Tamara Mason

IMG_5792 (002)Launch pic hi resTamara is an avid cricket player who has a passion for encouraging females to play cricket. She’s also now a runner and She Science Ambassador. You can follow Tamara at @masonte007

Overtraining Syndrome – Signs, Symptoms and How To Manage or Avoid It

I suffered with Chronic Fatigue for three years after getting glandular fever in my early twenties. Previous to this I was your typical Type A overachiever- studying a science degree and then Physio Masters full time, working part time, training 15+ hours a week for triathlon and socialising. On top of this I severely restricted my caloric intake in an effort to be lean and fast and through a warped body image. Burning the candle at both ends and feeling invincible as I had lived like this for years and had seemingly unlimited energy- my friends called me “Duracell”!

Then I got glandular fever and fought and fought and refused to fully rest. This reluctance to surrender to what my body was telling me lead to me having Chronic Fatigue Syndrome for years. Each time I started to get a bit better I pushed myself over the edge again. Finally I learnt to respect and listen to my body- I took a big step back from sport and focussed on wellness. Ultimately my body healed through natural therapies, a nourishing diet, rest, mindfulness and following my body’s intuition, but it took a long time and it was a long gradual build up back to training.

I am now back in competitive sport and performing better than ever. I train differently to how I used to and to others around me. I focus on quality sessions and not quantity and I take a lot more rest/recovery than my Type A mind tells me I should. I still slip up and overdo it sometimes, but now I can read my body and quickly correct my mistakes and recover.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is very similar to Overtraining Syndrome. It is a horrible hole to go down and can take years to recover. I have written this blog in an effort to help other athletes and overachievers avoid overtraining.

You can still be a great athlete and perform at your peak without jeopardizing your health.

What is Overtraining syndrome?

 Overtraining Syndrome is the result of an imbalance in exertion and recovery, generally over a sustained period of time. It is a maladaptive response to excessive exercise when not matched with appropriate recovery and results in changes to multiple body systems.

A person would be diagnosed with Overtraining Syndrome if they saw a sudden decrease in athletic performance and increase in perceived effort and this does not improve with rest.

What are the symptoms?

 Some or all of the following symptoms may be experienced. Generally the more advanced the Overtraining Syndrome is the more symptoms that will be experienced and the longer the recovery process.350064_419_Juno_LS_F17_001 BRK_F17_Sports_Bras_Spring_Juno_18462_i22778x04A_3u

  • Decreased athletic performance
  • Increased perceived effort and heart rate to previously “easy level” training
  • Ongoing fatigue that doesn’t dissipate with rest
  • Lack of motivation
  • Change in appetite
  • Depression or altered mood
  • Increased and /or unexplained Injuries
  • Increased resting heart rate
  • Decreased accuracy of fine motor skills and/or coordination
  • Hormonal changes
  • Weight changes
  • Increased illness and common colds

What causes it?

Too much stress (physical, emotional and mental) and not enough recovery is the main cause of Overtraining Syndrome.

Other causes are:

  • A rapid or sudden increase in training volume and/or intensity. Or a rapid or sudden increase in life load/stress without a reduction in training.
  • Insufficient sleep and/or recovery.
  • Diet also has a big effect. A poor diet- high in inflammatory foods and low in nutrients will increase stress to the body. Insufficient calories consumed to fuel training and life will leave the body depleted and unable to recover and adapt from training.

 How do I avoid it?

Be careful to look at whole life load rather than just your training load. All aspects of life can contribute to fatigue and stress so these must be considered when building a training program. If you have a high life load then you probably won’t be able to log as many hours of training as peers with less life stressors. This may change over time – for example if you are going through a stressful time then it would be wise to reduce your training load over this time.

  • Start any new training program gradually – ie: start with just one hard session per week and gradually increase as your body adapts.
  • Monitor your tolerance to your training and whole life load. Try to be objective and honest and don’t be influenced by what you think you should be able to do/need to do or what others are doing.
  • Monitor your response to training – if a session suddenly feels a lot harder than it should/usually does then take a few days of rest. If this feeling persists see a medical professional.
  • Take regular rest days and easy weeks. Taking every fourth week as a reduced mileage and easier effort week is common in many training programs.
  • Take at least one easy recovery day after every hard training session. Be honest with yourself about how much recovery your body needs – you may need two or three days to be ready to train hard again.
  • Take easy recovery days/weeks after racing as required. This will vary depending on the length of the race and whether it was performed at maximal effort or for training. The longer the race the more recovery will be needed. Generally three days as a minimum increasing up to several weeks for long endurance races. Again, listen to your body.
  • Consume a healthy, balanced diet that contains adequate carbohydrate, protein and fat to meet your body’s needs for training and life.
  • Reduce foods that increase inflammation and stress in your body such as processed food, refined grains and sugars, fried foods, excess caffeine/stimulants/alcohol, any foods that you have/suspect you have intolerances to.
  • Drink plenty of water and replace electrolytes as needed during hot or long/hard training sessions and races.
  • Reduce emotional stressors in your life where possible.
  • Do something for you regularly that reduces your stress (not a training session!) such as having a massage, doing a yoga class or going to see a movie with a friend._HR21267
  • Participate in regular meditation. More and more evidence is showing that meditation and mindfulness is an effective way to lower stress and increase physical and emotional health. It may also make you more in tune with your body so you are better able to recognise when you need rest or an imbalance in the body that could become an injury. There are great apps and YouTube clips for at home guided meditations.
  • Try to get at least eight hours of sleep per night.
  • Monitor your heart rate. Many athletes monitor their waking resting heart rate. If this increases above their normal they will take rest days or see a medical professional until it returns to their normal.
  • If you begin to see any signs of overtraining reduce your training, particularly the hard sessions and see a medical professional.

Images courtesy of Brooks www.brooksrunning.com.au

By Lauren Starr, Physiotherapist

blog pic vLauren Starr is a physiotherapist and also takes clinical pilates, hydrotherapy and yoga classes. Outside of work she spends her spare time running. She has competed in trail and road events but has currently shifted her focus to athletics. 

 

 

Top 10 Tips for Beginner Female Bike Riders

People often ask me “Courtney, how did you get into mountain bike riding? How did you start?” My response is always “My parents introduced me – I was forced to love it!”

But for people who don’t have bike loving parents that can be slightly tricky.

The best thing about bike riding is that it can be for anyone – styles vary and can be fitted to anyone’s needs. This can range from smashing out a PB on a road bike up the ‘1 in 20’ Mt Dandenong climb to riding along a rail trail for a coffee to tearing up the dirt on a mountain bike or getting muddy on a cyclocross. There is something for everyone.

My 10 hot tips can encourage anyone to get out and give it a go!

Hot tips

1: Get some gear

Ingredients:

  • Helmet
  • Shoes (sneakers are a good start)
  • Leggings (or bike knicks if you are more comfortable)
  • T-shirt
  • Sports bra (because support is important!)
  • A bike (any sort, so long as it pedals, has brakes and changes gears, particularly if you plan on going up hills)
  • A decent bike pump

16111421_693220464189094_2000000855_nMethod:

  • Take bike to trail (e.g. Lilydale to Warburton rail trail or Lysterfield tracks)
  • Ride bike
  • Have fun

Simple as that! You don’t need to look the part or be the next Bec Henderson (Australian Olympic Mountain Biker) – you just need to have fun.

2: Take a friend

Find people who are willing to be adventurous and unafraid of mud and dirt! (This is a requirement, as half the fun is getting dirty and comparing the amount of mud covering your bike at the end of a great ride.)

Wendy Courtney May 20173: Ask around

Do some research on women’s riding social groups (Tribal Cycling or She Rides Australia are really good ones to check out, as are your local cycling club or bike shop) for recommendations of trails/rides to check out. Ask if anyone would like to join you. It never hurts to ask and you’d be surprised how many other females are interested in cycling.

4: Try it all

Hire, beg, borrow or steal (not recommended) all different types of bikes for the different styles of riding – road riding, MTBing (cross country), downhill (if you’re game), cyclocross, enduro etc. You’ll never know your forte till you’ve tried them all!

5: Get out for a skills session

From my experience I cannot recommend enough trying out skills sessions. They are so useful and instructors can help you feel more confident on the bike and workshop new techniques to incorporate into your riding. Skills sessions can be run through clubs like Warrandyte Mountain Bike Club (See hot tip no. 6) or businesses such as She Rides (a program run by Cycling Australia – it is specifically for women alike who want to ride and feel confident riding. To find out more —> check out the link http://www.cycling.org.au/Participation/She-Rides).  One of my first ever skills sessions was with elite mountain biker Jenni King and my now coach Adam Kelsall.

6: Join a club

This is such a helpful way to meet new riding buddies with common interests or just feel part of the greater community within cycling. There are plenty of clubs around Victoria who encourage all types of riders to join – Warrandyte, Lysterfield, Geelong, Alpine, Bendigo etc. all have friendly successful MTB clubs with a strong network. St Kilda, Hawthorn and Blackburn road riding clubs are also well known amongst the cycling community.

7: Try out a race or a target event

Yes, I know it sounds intimidating but, hey, you’ll never know unless you try, right? Longer races such as three or six hour endurance races (which is more fun than it sounds – I promise!) are great events to bring a group of friends to and enter as a team. It is a day of good chatter, laughs and awesome riding! It’s also another way to get out and socialise with the forever-expanding bike community.

If road riding is your thing, maybe have a go at a criterium in the Summer.  Any of the road clubs mentioned above will be able to provide you with details to get you started.  There are also lots of mass participation social rides organised which you could enter with a friend or a group.  Set you and your friends a goal to be part of the Around the Bay in a Day in October.  There are many different rides lengths to choose from: from the ultra-challenging 250km all the way down to a beginners 25km.

16118319_693248764186264_265452137_n8: Make it a regular activity

Don’t just ride once in a blue moon! If you truly enjoy it make riding something you do daily, weekly or fortnightly with family and friends or by yourself. You could even try commuting to work or school to keep it interesting and part of a routine.

9: Explore

Riding takes you places – I would know! My family and I have been to so many different destinations that we would have never discovered or enjoyed nearly as much if we weren’t riding bikes. Go look at new places. Get out on the dirt at Lysterfield, go up to Bright and ride the single tracks before breakfast or the rail trail out to the berry farm for a late afternoon treat. Spice it up and you’ll be surprised at what you discover.

10: Don’t be afraid

My lucky last tip: don’t ever be intimidated or afraid!

Most cyclists are friendly people, and will gladly help when asked. When you’re riding in a group, don’t apologise if you think you’re not going fast enough or you can’t quite make it up the hill. It doesn’t matter. If you’re having fun and enjoying yourself you will have a good time and so will your peers.

So, there you have it. Riding is for everyone. If you’re tall, short, eight years old or 80, all you have to do is pedal, sweat (optional), get a bit dirty and most importantly HAVE FUN!

By Courtney Snowball

CIMG_9009ourtney is a She Science Ambassador and avid Mountain Biker. At just 16 she is competing in the national mountain biking circuit, placing 4th overall in 2016 and 3rd overall in 2017. This year she has qualified for the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships in September. Follow her on Instagram @courtney_snowball.

(Pictures: Ross Snowball)

Getting Back in the Game and The Struggles with Self-Doubt

I never imagined I’d be in this position: from the football field, to the triathlon circuit and back to footy!

In 2014, after 13 years and 182 games, I decided it was time to hang up the boots. I wanted to continue developing in triathlon to see where it would take me. The lure of a new challenge and the judgement that women’s football had hit its ceiling in my playing time led me to swapping the Sherrin for a TT (time trial) bike!

IMG_2330.JPGIn those two years I raced eight half ironman distance races, competed at the 70.3 World Championships and ticked two Ironman distance races off my bucket list. Then came the historical announcement that a national AFL Women’s competition would go ahead in 2017, which threw a huge spanner in the works!

Lou in training. Picture: Robert Keeley

A lot of people began pestering me about playing, especially my sister Jo. I didn’t really know if I could do it because at that stage I was training for my second ironman, so my focus was on that. I jokingly said to a few friends that maybe I should pull on the boots, but they just laughed it off with me!

I had also been watching quite a few of the team sports at the Rio Olympics on TV and was really missing that team environment. But the tipping point was watching the AFL Women’s All-Stars match between the Western Bulldogs and Melbourne in Queensland, where I was competing in the Half-Ironman World Championships. I had initially allowed myself to take in only the first half, having to get up at 4am to race the following day, but ended up watching until the final siren.

After that match I knew I had to nominate for the draft. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity! As soon as I nominated for the draft I was ringing my ex-teammates begging people to have a kick with me. I wanted to make sure I could still do it! I had probably kicked the footy once after retiring.

And that’s when the rollercoaster ride started …

At first I didn’t want anyone to know I had nominated for the draft. If people knew then they would also know if I didn’t get picked up. And … that’s exactly what happened! After 3 hours and 145 names – Lou Wotton did not get called out. I thought that draft day and my chances of playing AFLW had come and gone. While I was disappointed, I took solace in knowing that some of my good friends had just had their dreams of playing AFL come true.

But after missing out on selection within a day of the draft I had been contacted by TWO clubs about signing as a free agent. So my dream was still alive!

My journey started at Collingwood with a bang! Within the first 10 minutes of training I had won the club 2km time trial and pulled my hamstring! I felt like I had let Collingwood down, as I felt that they had taken a chance on me. It was hard not being out on the track with my new team mates, but I had to push aside the negative thoughts and focus on what I could do. I worked really hard on my rehab so I wasn’t too far behind the 8-ball when I returned to the track after six weeks.

pre-season training team shotI was given a boost before the Christmas break, while I was still in rehab, when I was voted into the leadership group by my team mates. It was a confidence booster that my team mates saw leadership qualities in me, despite me not being out on the track with them.

(Pictured Top Left: Lou in preseason training. Pictured Bottom Left: The AFLW Collingwood team. Pictures: Robert Keeley)

There was a lot of well-deserved hype surrounding the start of the season and inaugural match at Ikon Park between arch enemies Collingwood and Carlton. We were amongst it all at Collingwood and the excitement was building!

But Tuesday of the week of the match I received a phone call from the head coach “we have decided to leave you out of the side for this week’’. While I accepted the decision that they had chosen the team they thought best to take on Carlton, it didn’t dissipate my disappointment. I also felt really embarrassed! My aunty was flying from Brisbane to attend the match, my family and friends had all organised to come along, people at work had been extremely supportive and the students at school had been enthusiastically talking to me about it. I felt like I had let all of them down. It was a hard pill to swallow but I knew it was about the team and I needed to be the best possible support to my team mates.

The following week when the coach rang me in regards to selection, I was too nervous to pick up the phone, so I let it ring through. However, once I composed myself I got the news I wanted to hear. My debut match was happening!

Over the next five weeks I got three phone calls in a row that kept me out of the side and two phone calls with the good news I was playing. Throughout the whole process family, friends, work colleagues and students would constantly asked whether I was getting a game.

I am glad I went back to footy. I would have had regrets if I didn’t. It’s been a long time coming and many people have worked extremely hard to get this competition up and running. Whilst I would have liked to have played more matches I am grateful for the challenges this experience gave me and how it tested my mental strength.

Self-doubt can be a troubling and persuasive voice that holds us back. It holds us back from seizing our opportunities. It makes getting started or finishing things harder than they need to be. The key is to stop listening to that voice and start speaking your own!

“Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt.” William Shakespeare.

By Lou Wotton Lou and Eve

Lou is a 2017 Collingwood AFLW player, accomplished Ironman and triathlete. Lou is a She Science Ambassador and you can follow her on Instagram @wotto19.

 

 

 

 

Lou pictured with niece Eve. Picture: Robert Keeley

Tips For Switching From Road to Mountain Bike

It’s not unusual for Road riders to want to venture into Mountain biking, after all, it is just another form of riding to explore.  However, mountain bike riding is very different and does require quite a different approach to road riding.

wendy bike motion wendy and friends wendy bikeMountain biking is a very friendly, relaxed recreational sport.  It’s not about racing or being first across the finish line, it is about smelling the roses in a non competative environment, spending time with your friends and family, or just getting out in the bush for some fresh air, searching for that ideal single track.

There are some beautiful trails and single tracks in and around Melbourne to explore and practice your “switch”.  Not too far from the city is Lysterfield Park – the perfect place to get on your bike.  There are varying levels of tracks from fire trails and basic green tracks all the way up to black and double black tracks used when they held the Commonwealth games there in 2006.

So here are my 6 basic tips for crossing the line to the dark side and once you’ve tried it you may never go back!

Relax your approach

  • MTB riders are a friendly social group.
  • Take your time to enjoy the scenery and take some selfies
  • Everyone waits for each other, its not always race

Attack Position

  • Learn and perfect your attack position
  • Think level pedals, elbows out, eyes up
  • Use this position as your default for obstacles, corners and everything else

Start with the basics, everyone needs to get their foundations right

  • Go and do a basic skills course
  • Hang out with others that ride regularly and follow their lines
  • Practice, practice, practice 

Pick trails that are to your ability

  • To get better, you need to be confident 
  • You also need to be able to commit to certain obstacles and skills, if you don’t you will fail
  • Gradually build your skills, master one, then move onto another

Pedal all the way

  • Whatever you do, don’t stop pedaling
  • When you go over obstacles, up hills and inclines you need to have traction – no traction and you come to a stop
  • By pedaling, you get stronger 

Look where you want to go

  • MTB riding is all about vision
  • Sight the corner or obstacle and then look beyond it, if you continue to focus on it, that is where you will go.  
  • Keep your vision up and scanning all the time

wendy rearMountain biking can be so much fun.  The more you do, the more you will want to do, so get yourself kitted up in a good pair of baggies and a comfortable jersey to head out onto the trails for a ride to remember!  

 

By Wendy Snowball, Personal Trainer @spincyclewarrandyte

  

16111940_693254704185670_467797458_nWendy Snowball is a She Science Ambassador, Personal Trainer, Mountain Biker, Warrandyte MTB Club Secretary and also coaches MTB skills. She races with her daughter Courtney – who is also a She Science Ambassador. You can follow the ladies @spincyclewarrandyte, @courtney_snowball and at spincyclewarrandyte.

 

Everyday wear on the run: Shock Absorber Active Shaped

I have been doing a lot of afternoon runs recently and over the Summer that meant it was quite warm whilst I was running. So I asked She Science for a bra that is supportive but looks good enough to be worn on its own like a crop top.

I decided on the Shock Absorber Active Shaped. I really like the look of this bra – it’s a bit different from your standard sports bra. It is essentially two layers. The inner layer is a lightly moulded band that has minimal seams – so it is comfortable whilst also giving a nice shape. The outer layer is the main body of the bra and at the front this consists of two triangular shaped pieces of mesh. At the back it is your traditional hook and eye fastening and straight shoulder straps.

blog pic vDue to the traditional style back it was nice and airy so my back stayed cool whilst running, but unfortunately it does look like a bra from the back. This has the upside of being very easy to get and off, but the downside is that the straight shoulder straps show if you wear a racer back top.

The whole construction of the bra is of very high quality and there are minimal seams in contact with your skin. The fabric is smooth too so there is minimal chance of chafing- as yet I haven’t experienced any chafing despite wearing it for some very hot and sweaty runs!

The main chest strap is wide as are the shoulder straps so the forces are evenly distributed and there is less chance of straps digging in. The shoulder and chest straps also have a lot of adjustment room, which is great if your size fluctuates slightly as the bra will still fit and support you well.

To break it down:

Pros:

  • Comfortable
  • Lightweight and breathable
  • Great shape
  • Stylish
  • Can be worn as an everyday bra
  • Easy to get on and off
  • Lots of adjustment room
  • Supportive
  • Smooth fabric with minimal seams
  • Very open at the back for good airflow

Cons:

  • Looks like a bra from the back
  • Straight back straps- can’t be worn with a racerback top


For me this bra is great as I can wear it under my t-shirt at work and it still gives me good shape. Then I can quickly discard my tee at the beginning of lunch and be out of the door and running in a blink of an eye! When I get back from my run the bra is quick and easy to remove, even when sweaty. So overall this means more time running and less time changing – good when you want to have a decent run and still have time to eat your lunch!

By Lauren Starr, Physiotherapist

Lauren Starr is a physiotherapist and also takes clinical pilates, hydrotherapy and yoga classes. Outside of work she spends her spare time running. She has competed in trail and road events but has currently shifted her focus to athletics. 

 

From Office to Trail – Brooks Anyday

I don’t know about you, but I am always in a hurry after work to hit the road, trail or track. Even more so now when daylight savings has ended and we are limited with the amount of daylight left to guide the way. So I really hate wasting precious sunlight getting changed once the clock hits 5!

anydayblackfront_clipped_rev_1.jpegI don’t usually like wearing my sports bra to work. But the Anyday bra by Brooks is the perfect everyday bra to serve the purpose of work to workout.

A great soft fit with light padding, giving a nice shape- it looks like a normal bra but it will give you a higher level of support, combining encapsulation and compression.

The bra is quite low cut, and you have the option of wearing the straps in traditional or cross back. This enables a wide range of outfit choices.

This bra does not come in a size 8, but I found that it was a small fit and hence I was able to fit well into a 10.

Overall a great compromise between different functions.

 

Kellie Marceau Photography

2016 Australian Trail Champion, Kellie Emmerson is a She Science Ambassador and serial ultra-marathon podium finisher.  Kellie professionally works as an Occupational Therapist, Running Coach and Body Pump Instructor. You can follow Kellie on facebook and on Instagram @kelemmo. 

 

 

 

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