Monday, August 31, 2015

Meeting women in windsurfing

When you’ve done one sport for years, it can be hard to throw all of that comfort away and take on a new one. 

But just to keep things interesting, I started windsurfing in May. It’s so different to MuayThai but does share the coordination-of-every-limb-thing. Plus I’m grateful for all the core workouts I’ve ever done.  

Also sadly windsurfing seems to share the man-woman imbalance. So I was quite excited on my last day out to meet Ding, an English woman working in The Maharees with Jamie Knox Watersports. I paid for my lesson so don’t worry these are my unvarnished thoughts. 

When I’m out on the water I think about women like Dr Katie McAnena (Ire). The reality is a bit different …. think waddling rather than running. 

But the great thing about having come to terms with one sport is the confidence it gives you for other sports. And the patience – it’s going to take a lot of time and effort but at least I know it can be done. 

Ding had four beginners to deal with including a young boy on his very first outing. The bay was crowded with more experienced windsurfers, kayakers and …. a giant floating bouncy-castle with heaps of kids jumping on and off it.  They got great entertainment watching me try to swing the board around, and as they were there swearing was out as a stress-reliever! 

With Hannah, another windsurfing novice on the Maharees Penninsula
Somehow she got us all going, coped with me mixing up techniques I’ve picked up from going to different windsurfing schools over the summer and she kept smiling all the way through. She did head out on her own board as soon as we were done so I’m thinking that’s how she keeps her sanity … 

How do you find learning new sports?

Saturday, August 29, 2015

September Clean Up

It's funny how September is really the start of the year in the northern hemisphere. We started school on that date for so many years that new beginings seem more natural than any other time of year even January.

And so it's time for some changes around here. I've posted before about self-hosting and redecorating but it's really time now. This lovely blog is five years old this summer and needs a bit of an over-haul. It's all happening this week and next.

Nothing too fancy and hopefully nothing that will cause you to lose your bookmarks or links. 

I'm working on a new template (with lots of help from online forums and other bloggers) and even considering a new name - what do you think about that? 

I'd love to hear about you like about this Inspiring Sports Women blog, what you'd like to see more or - or if anything annoys you shout out now and let me know!

Let the shiny adventures begin ...

Friday, August 28, 2015

Review: Ronda Rousey's 'My Fight, Your Fight'

Ronda Rousey MMA
PIC: Harry How/Getty Images via KSFM
There is so much hype now around Ronda Rousey that I sometimes forget what she is – she’s a fighter.  The first sentence of her book is simply that: “I am a fighter” and the following chapters are a gripping reveal which will resonate with anyone who’s competed seriously at any sport.

I’m still reading so this post is on the childhood and judo sections. It’s so rare to read a book like this by and about a woman, rare and refreshing.

So why should you read  "My Fight, Your Fight"?

  • If you’re coping with injuries you will love how Rousey finds strength in every ACL tear or broken bone. And this started even as a child with what could have been a debilitating speech impediment – I’m sure Floyd Mayweather would agree she’s lost that now! 
  • If you have strong thoughts on doping, you’ll enjoy her thoughts. At one point, she says: “A person who is taking a substance which makes him or her stronger than normal (in MMA) could really kill someone.” 
  • If you’re beating yourself up at training, pushing, pushing refusing to laugh in case it makes you less successful – read how Rousey went from being that person in 2004 before the Athens Olympics to someone who loves the highs and lows of training.
     “Back then I still believed that the more miserable I was, the more productive I was being
  • If you’ve gone days without talking to anyone except your training partners or even alone on the roads, you’ll smile ruefully at Rousey and her soppy movies.
  • If the Olympics are your dream, Rousey’s brutally honest assessment of her 2004 rounds in Athens will make you wince, and then feel inspired to keep on going. One kick, one punch, one run at a time …
Rousey on my Kindle

And on a more superficial note, I’ve always wondered why Ronda isn’t spelled Rhonda; turns out it was a bit of mistake. Her dad’s name was Ron and he spelled it that way just because.

To be continued ... 
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