Resistance, training

I thought I was yoga and pilates girl through and through, until I found high intensity interval training and F45, that is. For the past month I have vented my frustrations and sweated it all out at Australia’s new It-thing, intensive training using bodyweight and weights (and dreadful ropes and chin up bars), alternating exercise sessions of cardio and resistance. I have truly enjoyed the team sparring mentality and post workout high fives, and the exhaustion too.

After the first week of feeling sore and wobbly, I got used to sore muscles, and not going to train just because I’m tired feels way worse than pushing myself through it. Group training comes with a price tree times higher than going to the gym on your own, though. One can either consider it as being an overpriced fad alike to crossfit, or then as an investment to one’s health. I am contemplating if I can afford it or not, though their 9 week challenge commencing next week would give me that extra little push to join. I haven’t noticed any changes in the past month (besides having trouble lifting heavy things the day after), but apparently there is something happening, as my co-worker who I hadn’t seen in a while asked me if I’d been going to crossfit because of “my guns” (her words, not mine). With this amount of push-ups, walking to the gym and shoveling food down my throat, I’d hope to see some results. Oh, and I stopped drinking too. Sorry Tinder, but there are other options than drinks for dates. At least if you meet the right people.

Apparently F45 costs as much as Ashtanga yoga, so I think I’ll skip the sun salutations and opt for solid 45 minutes of sweat and breathlessness. I would definitely be curious to see how long I can do this for, how many Saturday mornings I’d wake up after 6am to have a solid circuit session with a live dj before work. You either dance the night away on Friday at the club, or….

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6 things I’ve learned in Melbourne in 6 months

As it is inevitably already August, I realized I am halfway through my (hopefully not last) year in Australia. I’ve lived mostly in Melbourne for the past months, trying to live somewhat ‘normal’ life, but with a refreshing one month holiday up north. I don’t think my Working Holiday experience has been like most backpackers’, but then again I don’t consider myself as one. Hopefully I’ll get to see more of my surroundings these upcoming months, but who knows. Here follows 6 things I have learned these past 6 months.

 

Got double suprised at work just because.
 People are extremely friendly. Of course this can vary from city to another and the outback is a whole other story, but in general Aussies and travelers alike are a friendly bunch with their “howyagoin” greetings and other funny stuff they say. One rather effective way of meeting people is the ever so popular Tinder-game. Just keep your expectations low and don’t expect to meet the love of your life, and you might end up with a few new friends (Or the awkward situation where you think you’re friends, and the other person has other ideas…)!

 

Keep your eyes open, you mever know what comes along
 Timing is everything. This applies to finding a job, a house, even friends! I met my best friends in H&m and on a tram, and I got my current job by walking past it before they had opened. When it comes to work, be persistent. If you are looking for hospitality jobs, even Instagram can help you (@cafejobs_melb)! I am still trying to figure out the sponsorship possibilities, oh dear, they do not make it easy. Some days I wish I was a radiologist or a brain surgeon, just to feel wanted here.

 

Sippin herbal tea in my yogapants before yin class
 Take advantage of cheap fitness trials. Or in my case, intro yoga/pilates passes. most yoga and pilates schools offer intro deals for about 50$ for (unlimited) 2 weeks. I have so far been to 6 different studios offering either only yoga or a combination of yoga and pilates. Besides the CBD, South Yarra is the mecca for stretching activities. At the moment I am doing a free 2 week trial at F45 Port melbourne, doing intensity interval group training, which is pretty much the complete opposite of yoga. I love it after the first class, but the location is rather inconvenient without a car.

 

All the things you learn by just walking around!
 Stay on top of your city game. There’s too many things to do and events to attend, new restaurants popping up, and don’t get me started on my endless “must go” cafe list. In terms of activities, I keep myself aware of my surroundings with newsletters from The Urban List, Broadsheet and TimeOut. If these three are not enough, Concrete Playground is a good addition.

 

My kind of supermarket
 Shop smart. Take advantage of the markets (Queen Victoria especially), and go there in the afternoon. Cheapest produce you can find, no doubt, and the experience is way nicer than going to Safeways or Aldi. I challenge myself not to drown myself in drink coffee every day, both to stay clear of the addiction as well as to save me some dough (to eat out more than ever before).

 

Brunch outside in the dead of winter, not freezing.
 The winter isn’t that bad (if you come from Northern Europe). I was dreading for Melbourne winter that everyone seemed to regard as being from hell, but seriously it’s not unbearably cold, and even during the chillest days you can always just layer up sipping your coffee.

More things I love about Melbourne

Previously I summed up my top 3. things about Melbourne, but the list gets longer and longer. Bare with me, folks. 

1. The ‘winter’. Sure, June and July are the coldest months of the year, instagram is full of cozy “baby it’s cold outside” posts and Urban List lists bars with a fireplace. Sure, its not t-shirt weather (all the time and every day), but baby this is not cold. Just put a jumper on and buy a proper jacket, man. I haven’t even used my beanie since May, and even then it was mostly indoors (because some houses are freezers). 

Wintery morning walk to work.

2. New things. For now it is the new job that keeps me occupied 60hrs a week, but also the new stuff that’s everywhere to be found, if you just keep walking.

The National Gallery, right next door. Wall of flowing water, cool eh?

3. Aussie ways. They have different sizes for clothes, so when H&M gets mislabeled underwear (EU size aka something I understand), they are sold for 3 dollars. Score! Winter night market in July, selling hot mulled wine. Aussie language. Random discussions with random people in random places. Random stuff in general.

 

Every day learn something new!
 
4. Yoga (trials). I wonder how long I can practice yoga without committing to a studio: most places offer two week intros for a reasonable price. I want to be sure to choose the best one, so for now I am yogashopping. And to be honest I think Pilates is a better workout anyway, though practicing forearm stands is pretty intense. Anyway, doing yoga is sweet as.

 

Move yoga in the CBD, interesting variety of classes.

  5. Smashed avo and poached eggs.

Every single self respecting breakfast offering establishment has smashed avo and poached eggs on their menu. Period.

3. Things I love about Melbourne

This post could in theory be applied to whole of Australia, since my experiences so far are limited to good ol’ Melbs. Not for long, though! From Vappu onwards I shall be traveling up north, to escape the cold a bit and see what Byron Bay has to offer. I don’t know how long I will be away, which is good: I can come back when I feel like it; I do have to start from scratch but it is not the same as the first time around. Melbourne, I will be back.

1.1 The people, friends.
I have managed to make pretty good friends in the past 3 months. Australians sure are a friendly bunch of people, and I have managed to spend time with some amazing individuals.

Best trips are shared ones. Says the girl traveling solo. Oops.
Best trips are shared ones. Says the girl traveling solo. Oops.

1.2. The people, random.
From the vegetable delivery guy (the dry goods delivery guy is an exception to this rule) to the guy in the sneaker store, everyone is generally friendly and in a good mood. Train creeps aside, people will smile, say ‘hey how ya goin’ and even have a small conversation without a fuss. It feels damn good!

2.1 The coffee.
Yes. The daily brew is something to be taken seriously. And this is seen everywhere with coffee shops, restaurants and cafes all selling at least decent coffee. Even the worst brew here is better than the average elsewhere.

Long black and one of the aforementioned friends. Loving it.
Long black, Scandinavian minimalist design and one of the aforementioned friends. Loving it.

2.2 The food.
You can find almost any kind of cuisine, in several price ranges. Some neighborhoods have large ethnical minorities, and therefore they host a variety of special cuisines around the world. As an example: Richmond is also known as Little Vietnam, and few streets make Chinatown in the city. This food-loving includes the option of all-popular paleo restaurants, gluten free foods and the mighty Smashed Avo, that can be found in any self respecting food joint. High respects also to ethnic Prahran Convenience store that sells 12 pack of Questbars for $36!

I could have an overdosa of this.
I could have an overdosa of this.

2.2.1 The markets.
Victoria market being the best, largest and cheapest, there is also South Melbourne market where I buy my hummus, and Prahran which I frequent most often just for the atmosphere since it’s the closest to me. Also farmers’ markets make my favorite list, but they’re more scattered and I have only managed to visit one since I don’t own a car. Anyhow, good stuff! Fresh veggies and fruit and seafood, can’t say no to that!

St. Andrew's market, I guess technically in melbourne (almost 1hr drive from the city).
St. Andrew’s market, I guess technically in Melbourne (almost 1hr drive from the city).

3.1. The culture.
From comedy festival to Food and Wine festival, there’s always something going on. After studying Urbanlist and Broadsheet, the hardest part is to actually do and see everything you want to. My cultural highlight so far was probably seeing Adam Hill at the comedy festival, or CJ Hendricks’ 50 Foods in 50 Days.

modest Comedy Festival decorations.
Modest Comedy Festival decorations.

3.2. The exercise.
I think I am pretty good at optimizing the cost of expensive workouts: living in posh South Yarra has allowed me to test different yoga and pilates studios around the hoods for affordable prices: I’ve been to Core Candy (HIIT, Pilates and Barre 1 class per day for 2 weeks $50), Rise Yoga in Richmond (2 weeks of flow yoga, hot and yin yoga $25) and most recently One Hot Yoga&Pilates just around the corner from home (unlimited reformer pilates and slow hot flow and yin yoga $50). I have been more than happy with the trials, especially One Hot. Damn their playlist is like straight from my Spotify!

Damn hot yoga studio. I'll miss you.
Damn hot yoga studio. I’ll miss you.

Also as a bonus to this 3 part list is the architecture and neighborhood vibes. Places look cool.

True dat, Einstein.
True dat, Einstein.

South Yarra life

Goddamn time goes by fast. It is now officially autumn and the much dreaded winter is just around the corner! Hello march. When I go shopping, I am on the lookout for long pants, jumpers and even jackets! Yesterday I bought a huge wool scarf which already proved itself very useful. I keep telling myself I will survive this, I come from way harsher conditions, after all!

Even the bins are classy.
Even the bins are classy.

Life in South Yarra has settled into its everyday routines, or at least something like that. I have been working in (the kitchen! of) an organic cafe/restaurant, approx. 5-6 days a week. I wake up after 6 and walk my way to work, seeing the dawn light up the sky. After work I have been going to yoga in Richmond if I have the time, and I have truly enjoyed the different classes and teachers on offer at Rise Yoga. 2 weeks unlimited yoga for 25 dollars, not bad! I’ll just go through all different yoga school trial offers, and be all set for a good while.

I am lucky to live with 4 lovely people who are fun to hang around with, and I hope that I will live here for some time and get to know people and places better. Hopefully things in the work-field will work out smooth(ie)ly and I’ll get forward with my master plans. No crazy adventures to tell you about now, I’ve only been keeping busy with coming up with a smoothie and juice menu (try blending 2 espresso shots with banana, almond milk, cashews and dates) and having a Twilight marathon. Cause sometimes life is just about going to work, to the same shops and sitting on the couch playing with your roommate’s Tinder.

Balance.
Balance.