Merry Christmas from our Ambassador Stacey Copeland
As always it seems as though the past 12 months have absolutely flown by! And here we are preparing for another Christmas and New Year! For some this will mean a lot of reflection, others will be looking forward and making plans for 2020. As athletes and for those whom staying active is central in their lives, we are always setting goals so New Year is no different in that sense. However, our approach to the festive period can vary greatly. Personally, it depends on where I’m up to with my sport, for example in 2015 I was competing for England at an International tournament in Serbia in just the second week of January, and since boxing is a weight making sport I couldn’t eat any of the usual Christmas dinners or sweet treats! I was deep in training and had to maintain a very strict diet in order to be ready for the tournament. It was tough but I planned ahead for every meal and stayed focussed on my goal, which I achieved – winning gold at the tournament, so it was worth it…plus I had the biggest meal ever after winning the final!
This Christmas I won’t need to be so strict as I have no fights coming soon, however, I won’t go too crazy as it only means I’ll have to get it all off in January!
My approach to the festive period for the last four years has been to go away between boxing day and New Year, I like to spend Christmas Day with my family but then go away. This is because the weather is freezing here, plus most people tend to sit around eating all day and I need to be busy! So I go away which means I can get some much-needed vitamin D in the warm weather, go on adventures discovering new places, and train in local gyms which I really love, you end up meeting new people and experiencing other gyms which is always fun. I’ve trained in Malta at a gym where I was punching the bag whilst looking right out onto the sea, joined in spin classes in Portugal despite not speaking any Portuguese (so that made it interesting!) and last year in Tenerife me and my old England teammate trained in a brilliant boxing gym, we met fighters from all over Europe (plus a coach we know well from London who trained us some days whilst we were there!) Best of all we cycled miles on new years day and got to watch the most beautiful sunset on the way back.
Mixing up training in the winter, going away to experience different environments, and trying something new can be great motivators at this time of year…but it’s also fine to just take the opportunity to rest, relax, ease off, and then go again in January. This year I’m going back to Madeira, this time with my boyfriend, Tim. (I don’t think he’s done any strenuous exercise since I dragged him up hills and along bike trails when we visited the French Alps in the summer!) but I have plenty of adventures planned for this trip and I’ve found a gym there so hopefully, he’s prepared, ha! It’s good to have some rest but I only last 3-4 days and then if I haven’t exercised I don’t feel happy, so whether it’s pushing myself hard in prep for a fight, or ticking over enjoying a lighter level of training in between camps, I will always find a way to train and I love staying active, whether for sport or just for me it’s essential for my wellbeing. If you also like to be active then perhaps doing something completely different with friends or family over Christmas could be good as kids are off school and a lot of people off work. There are tons of indoor activities which will test different skill sets and give you a challenge whilst also having fun with others. Whatever it is you choose to do I hope you enjoy the festivities and I’ll look forward to seeing you all at the Running Bee events next year!