I was so incredibly excited to try clay pigeon shooting this weekend, as when the invitation was extended for me to join a gun club for a morning I just couldn’t resist. I have never so much as seen a real life gun, let alone held one nor shot one, and especially not a double barrel shotgun, that is until today. I’d been told to dress warm and be prepared for a bit of a breeze as it was held at an airfield which is very open to the elements. Arriving in my knee high boots, leather jacket and scarf I thought I was adequately prepared, but I had no idea just how cold it could be. My lips literally turned purple and the wind and rain at times almost blew me over. Fortunately the gentlemen of the gun club provided me with multiple additional jackets, a hat, a waterproof, gloves, ear defenders and a scarf and I was as snug as a bug with just my eyes peeping out from my mound of layers. It was incredible to be out in the countryside, facing the elements and feasting my senses on the atmosphere of the guns going off, the cloud-like explosion of clays being shot directly overhead, the smells of gunpowder and the deafening sound of the shots clacking.
When the shoot started I felt like a kid at Christmas as each shots man took their turn to stand in position between the firing machines, calling out “pull” for which a remote was pressed and a clay pigeon shot up into the sky at around 60mph. The noise was amazing with the crack of each shotgun echoing out across the open fields, the smell of the gunpowder ignited memories of fireworks night as a child, and the buzz of seeing the clay explode into thousands of tiny pieces in the clouded rain soaked sky was electrifying. I even had a go on the remote control to set off the clays as the sets were fired off in singles, doubles and on report from various machines at all angles and I couldn’t wipe the grin off of my face.
When it came to my turn to have a go I thought I had no hope in hell of ever hitting the tiny several-inch clays that catapult across the sky like fleeting UFO’s, but I gave it my best shot with an unshakeable smile plastered right the way across my face. Lining the shotgun up, I pressed the wooden handle tightly into my right shoulder, steadied my grip on the barrel, took my aim and firmed my finger on the trigger. Yelling “pull” the hairs literally stood up on the back of my neck as I raised my gun to the clouds to follow the ascent of the clay, then crack, the noise of the gun firing was incredible and it shot back in a thud into my shoulder. I jumped and squealed for joy as my first shot was a direct hit and the clay exploded into a million pieces in the sky like celebratory confetti. It was the most insane adrenaline rush ever, I love trying new challenges and learning to shoot is definitely one of my favourite; a bucket list must have!
Millie returned back to school this week after the half term holidays and it was lovely to get back into routine again. The morning alarm went off at 06:45 and I rubbed my sleepy eyes before trundling downstairs to make the breakfast and lunches. It’s amazing how accustomed your body can become to certain daily routines, and I think I’m fine tuned enough now to tackle each morning with my eyes closed. I am by far a creature of habit and run my day on clockwork, to measure, time, space and necessity. I know exactly what I need to do, how much, when, where and for who, and I divide my days into endless little tasks, bite size pieces, and a systematic regime. It certainly works for me and my OCD.
And just as Millie returned to school, within days she came home with a croaky sore throat and feeling under the weather, which she then passed onto Gabriele with the addition of a snotty nose, and by the end of the week I was pleasantly awoken with a dry throat and deep manly voice myself. As a family we seem to forever be chasing away the germs, coughs and sneezes of hundreds of school children that infect, cure and reinfect one another on a seemingly daily basis. I dream of the day that a cure might be found for the common cold, but in the meantime I shall keep the stocks of Lemsip and Vitamin C well funded.
For the last few weeks I’ve been discovering new hidden gems of the internet, and this week I succumbed to the wonders of ‘kik’. For quite a while I have had people I don’t know contacting me through my social media profiles asking me to kik them, which at first I thought was some sort of kookie fantasy that certain individuals like to partake in. I then realised after receiving the same misspelling of the work kick enough times, that kik was in fact an instant messenger application much like Whatsapp. I rarely use Whatsapp as people must first have your mobile phone number in order to send you free instant text messages through wifi and I don’t like to give out my personal details. The handy thing about kik is that people can add you by your screen name so no confidential information is ever shared, and mobile numbers and email addresses stay private.
I therefore decided to give kik a go and registered my profile as ‘tracykissdotcom’ for which I posted this new information to my social media sites. And wow. I had no idea the app was so popular, within minutes I had over 30 people sending me instant messages and the number continues to grow by the hour. As soon as I reply to one, another two messages ping back at me and they’re coming in faster than I can respond. I’ve replied to over a hundred messages today and still can’t empty my inbox. I can actually see myself losing a lot of valuable sleep or relaxation time in trying to get back to each person that contacts me, and I’m not sure if this was a wise move to register for kik or very silly. So I’ve told myself that I will limit my time spent online to three five minute sessions across the day. This was I can work my way through everyones messages and not jeopardise my daily schedule and/or social life! Famous last words. I love hearing the comments, thoughts and feedback from everybody who contacts me as it fascinates me to be able to reach out to and inspire so many people. Thank you for your support and following and I hope that you will continue to enjoy what I do.
I also celebrated my next landmark on Twitter this week when I reached 700 followers. It may not sound like many compared to my other profiles that has thousands, but it seems the average person has around a hundred or so followers on Twitter, so I’m surprised to have gathered so many in the short space of time that I have been using it. I know that not everybody uses every source of social media so I try my best to keep all channels open and up to date in order to reach as many people as conveniently as possible through my blogging and beyond.
I was totally shocked when I weighed myself this week for the first time in months. Before I started my 7-days-a-week extreme fitness regime, the P90X3, eight weeks ago I weighed 8st7lbs for my 5ft8″ frame making me a UK 8 dress size. I actually threw my weighing scales in the bin a while back because I hardly ever weighed myself and didn’t need them. I tend to judge my health on how well my clothes fit and how I feel in my daily health and energy levels. So whilst visiting my family, out of curiosity, I decided to check in on their scales to see where I’m at and was shocked to see the screen display a reading of 9st8! That’s a whole fifteen pound increase in two months, and my clothes still fit me exactly the same and I am still a UK 8 dress size, I’m just rock solid instead of skinny. Most people workout in order to lose weight, but I always workout to gain weight and build muscle and core strength which I’m sure some might find bizarre. When I’m training, short of being on a diet, I actually double my already well-portioned food intake and eat several full meals a day. I guess it’s fuelling the fire to give me the energy to continue with my workouts, as on my vegetarian diet I do not take supplements or drink energy shakes, but instead I naturally eat well and drink plenty of water. And the odd bottle of wine. And box of chocolates. Or two. 🙂 Actually three!
And for me it is working well, I am achieving what I set out to achieve, I have turned my body fat into muscle, my legs, arms and stomach are rock hard and I have such amazing strength and stamina to remain more active for longer. As a single parent I need all of the energy, time and patience that I can get to take care of my family and sail the ship of life single-handed, and thanks to my daily fitness regime I’m achieving it all nicely. Working out gives me focus, drive, dedication and it keeps me centred and calm. When I feel good about my health I feel good about my day. I wake up in the morning with get up and go, I receive every challenge that comes my way with a positive attitude and bags of enthusiasm, and I go to bed every night knowing that I have fulfilled everything I needed to, instead of letting my workload build up and overflow onto the following day. Being fit is not just a fad, it’s a lifestyle, a way of maintaining a healthy flow to each day and ensuring you have the best outlook and optimism for life, even on the greyest and coldest of mornings. We all have the ability to make every day amazing, to make a difference to this world and give valuable input to our family and loved ones. In feeling good about myself I am pleased to hear how I motivate and encourage others, who then go on to inspire somebody themselves. It is a beautiful cycle of positive energy and get up and go, and in my eyes that sure beats sitting on a sofa all day getting fat and watching television.