This week I am thrilled and honoured to reveal that I have been nominated for Personal Trainer of the Year in the Kent Health & Beauty Awards. The awards are organized by the awesome Hilary Steel, who not only is the Director of her own company – Kent Ideas Ltd but also editor of Kent Women in Business Magazine and founder of Kent Independent Traders. Hilary has set up the Kent Health & Beauty Awards to celebrate the achievements of female health & beauty business owners in Kent.
I’m really looking forward to the Black Tie awards ceremony which promises to be a very glamourous night out for Mr M and myself. It’s taking place at the Great Danes hotel near Maidstone on the 10th June and tickets are available from [https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/kent-health-beauty-awards-tickets It will be an ideal opportunity for me to get to know other local health professionals who are currently at the top of their game!
All this has had me flying high but I was brought back down to earth (literally) the other day in Karate class! The trouble with being the only adult pupil in a class full of pre teens is that the teacher tends to use me to demonstrate on as he’s afraid of hurting the kids! Sounds sensible doesn’t it? – not when it’s me he’s hurting! Every week I get beaten up in the cause of child protection and this week was no exception except that I literally went flying after a kick that wasn’t meant to ‘make contact’ did so and I ended up almost passed out on the floor! Perhaps this isn’t the best advert but I really would like to encourage other adults to join! – classes are held in Headcorn – email me for more details ☺
Welcome to all my new exercise participants in Goudhurst. If you want to join us, we are on the Glebe field(by the church) in Goudhurst every Friday at 9am- all welcome.
I’m doing my karate grading along with the youngsters this week, no doubt all of the parents will be watching #humiliation.
Betty and Ethel our chickens got bothered by a fox so we have welcomed two new additions, Mabel and Shirley and have had major fox proofing activities.
Summer is on it’s way, hurrah
I’m so excited! I’ve recently come back from Seville where I’ve been checking out venues for this years Retreat (20th – 27th September) and I am delighted to announce that I’ve found the perfect place!
It’s been very difficult to find somewhere that fulfilled all my very exacting requirements but the ‘Vinca Buenvino’
in the Sierra de Aracena Nature Park has done so (and some!). As soon as I walked into this beautiful country house, I felt as though I was arriving at the home of a favourite relative! Here are some teaser snapshots from memory: swimming in the saltwater infinity pool; walking along ancient drovers paths through the 150 acres of Sweet chestnut and Cork Oak woods. Relaxing in the Spa and dining on the terrace on incredible home cooked food made from fresh local ingredients by the amazing Jeannie Chesterton.
This is the balcony from my bedroom
Photograph : Tim Clinch
For more info and fabulous photos by Tim Cinch http://www.sarahmaxwell.co.uk/blog/?p=215
Happy 2015 lovely people,
At this time of year most people are not feeling at their physical best. We’ve all experienced this – over Christmas there is a tendency to eat more and move around less and by January we’re all feeling a bit unfit and bloated but determined to do something about it. It’s at this time of year that I get the most questions related to Celebrity Bodies – how do they manage to look fabulous all year round?
The answer is simple – they don’t!
Over my career I have been called on many times to get a notable person in shape in time for a major event. For celebrities it is their job to look fantastic – they spend huge amounts of time and money on it. The important thing to realize is that (apart from a few mad individuals), they don’t work at it for 52 weeks of the year! Most celebrities keep a diary of the major events during the year for which they need to look fabulous for example a Red Carpet event or a beach holiday when they know they’ll be papped.
Four weeks or more before the event the celebrity will call on the services of a team of experts for help. They will go on a really strict diet, they will start a punishing exercise routine, they will spend a fortune on beauty treatments and clothes. They will even FAKE IT – it’s a little known fact that a skilled spray tan technician can with the use of ‘dark contouring’ create abs on those without the perfect washboard stomach!
After the event the celebrity will drop all this extra work and their bodies will return to a near approximation of a mere mortals. Woe betide them if they get caught on camera in this point of their cycle – poor Leonardo di Caprio was caught out in this way – displaying a slight tummy on a family holiday for which he hadn’t prepped!
My point is that for the rest of us we shouldn’t beat ourselves up trying to achieve this level, remember how they look could make or break a career! Our goal should just be to be the best that we can be within the restraints of our daily life and budget!
I’m really excited this week as Debenhams are featuring my ‘Reebok Little Black Dress Workout’ for the next two weeks on their website. Specifically designed to get you in shape for the party dress season, they will also be featuring my hints and tips for surviving the lure of the buffet table!
Check it out here, http://thedailydebrief.debenhams.com/home-and-lifestyle/the-little-black-dress-workout/
After a very hectic July spent travelling round the country giving free fitness advice in the Reebok/Debenhams Fithubs, it was very tempting once the kids had broken up to just veg out for the whole of August! I know most mums feel like this once we’re not having to get up at the crack of dawn for the school run anymore – exercise can take a back seat for the summer sometimes -but not in the Maxwell household this year!
I decided that as the kids are older now, I was going to make this a bit more of a structured active summer. In true ‘Busman’s Holiday’ style I designed an individual programme for each member of the family including for the first time the youngest Maxwell. They loved it and we had great fun working out together in the shade of the garden. We also managed to involve exercise in other locations too – the best fun being had on the day we slid down sand dunes on bits of plastic!
We did manage to get away too and while we were there I managed a whole photoshoot of exercises for Reebok dressed in the great kit that they’d sent (now sadly stolen by the Maxwell teenager!)
Sadly, as they always do, the school summer holidays ended and I am now gearing myself up to return to the humiliation of Karate with the 7 year olds!!
I had a fantastic time most weekends throughout July this year when I took part in the Reebok / Debenhams Fithubs. Fithubs are basically a genius way of making fitness advice more accessible. Fitbars were set up in Debenhams where I would give a free fitness consultation to customers who were then able to go on and have a free massage plus 10% off Reebok clothing – what’s not to like!!
I had a wonderful time meeting lots of lovely people in Debenhams stores based in Essex, Bristol, Southampton, Newcastle and Manchester. It was also a non stop whirl of radio and magazine interviews handled by PR company lineupmedia.co.uk who were an absolute delight to work with!
The last few weeks have been very sad – Sophie, my grand old lady died on Easter Monday. She was nearly 15. We have all been slowly adjusting to life without her. Benson especially, has found it very hard and has taken to making a collection of dog shaped soft toys to cuddle up to. I’ve been trying to concentrate on the positive with him – after so many years of only going for short sedate walks he and I can now go off on long romps together around the surrounding woods and farmland.
I also had a lovely distraction in the shape of a trip to Jaipur in India. I’ve never been to India before and I fell totally in love with both the country and the people. Doing Meditation and Yoga there was altogether a far more authentic experience. I did consider going for a run but the traffic made that too scary a proposition plus I wasn’t really appropriately dressed. In the end I did lots of water fitness in the very warm water of the pool.
I’ve started Karate! Youngest Maxwell has talked me into signing up at his club and the first session was mortifying. I am the oldest by at least 25 years! 30 minutes of staring and giggling from the little ones until they finally accepted that I was ok.
I continue to enjoy my weekly coaching sessions at our local athletics club and am so excited by the start of the new Athletics season that I’m just about to invest in a pair of sprint blocks. I might even sneak them along for the ‘Mum’s Race’ on youngest Maxwell’s Sports Day – not that I’m competitive or anything!
Well, Spring seems to have sprung and along with it a sudden unexpected interest in gardening! This week has seen me out in the garden armed with secateurs hacking away at anything that didn’t move. My arms are certainly feeling as though they’ve had a good workout!
The only downside to all this lovely spring weather is the unwelcome return of my Hayfever and associated problems!
I’ve been bravely battling on though and have finally finished filming my new collection of Fitness DVDs. They’re now in Editing but I can’t wait to see the end results!
I’ve also been working on some personal fitness programmes for some lovely competition winners that I met recently in Prague
This weekend I had the honour of coaching young atheletes alongside Steve Green of stevegreenfitness.co.uk. I can honestly say that Steve is one of my all time heroes – a real coaching Guru who has become one of the top Conditioning coaches in the world.
Well, the kids broke up for Easter a few days ago and with the nice weather I can see that the local swimming pool and tennis courts are going to feature quite large. The youngest Maxwell is also booked onto a council run Cricket course which he’s really looking forward to.
I’ve also decided that we need to give out National Trust card a bit more of a bashing – we’re very lucky to have a few properties locally that are ideal for long family walks.
We’re also not too far from the wonderfully historic Penshurst Place and it’s lovely adventure playground. I took the youngest Maxwell there last week and me being me I couldn’t help ignoring the sign that says ‘under 16s’ only – I had a fantastic workout on the equipment! I was enthusing about it to my assistant Kate and she suggested that we build our own one at home using all the trees that blew down in the recent gales – food for thought!