Did you know that it takes 200 muscles to take one step?.....Did you know that your middle fingernail grows quicker than any other fingernail? Did you know that every seven years there is not one single cell that is the same in your entire body?

I have always been totally fascinated by the body; the way it works, the way it can improve, how you can fuel it, how genetics plays a part and how what you’re thinking can affect your performance. If you looked at my google history you would see searches from ‘why do we yawn?’ to ‘how long does it take to lose cardiovascular adaptations’ and ‘what is the circumference of Dan Bailey’s biceps?’.

This interest in the human body started when I was 11 years old and I was doing ballet (I only joined because my best friend Jane was doing it). When I looked at all the girls in the class they were all so skinny, they had small frames with long thin legs and arms, and I remember thinking to myself, not only, ‘am I in the wrong place with my wide shoulders and thick legs, and this leotard is giving me a wedgie’, but also things like ‘will ballet make me look like this?’ and ‘will I only be able to do ballet if I am also this thin?’. My curiosity and interest lead me to want to learn more about the body and so I took every subject in school that had anything to do with the body and I went to University and studied Sport and Exercise Science. My resume has been filled with all the courses I have collected over the years from personal training, swimming, running, fitness to music and most recently CrossFit. (For those who are interested in knowing, I only lasted 6 months in Ballet).

So then, what did I want to do with all of this information? I wanted to share it all, I wanted to give all this information which I had learnt to other people; and I guess this is what I have done ever since. The first time I shared information was when I was a Personal Trainer; I would teach people how to use different equipment, how to move their body correctly, how to eat correctly and how to recover after exercise. I remember two very distinct moments as a personal trainer; one where a woman asked me how many sit ups she needed to do to get a six pack, and another where a woman asked me to make a program so she would have Madonna’s arms. It was these moments that made me realise that a lot of people were poorly informed about their bodies and how they worked.

My next experience of sharing information was when I became a teacher. As a health teacher I talk to students about good choices they should be making for their body; from avoiding smoking to eating healthy foods, and as a Sports Science teacher I cover topics from exercise physiology, movement analysis and nutrition. I never claim to know everything to my students, and I always tell them that I am constantly learning, just like they are. They keep me on my toes with random questions like; can your lungs explode? Why does your stomach hurt when you get kicked in the testicles? and why do men have nipples? From my research of these random questions I have realised that there is a lot of information ‘out there’, and not all it is well sourced.

The idea of this blog is to share information to our community at Valens. I want to give you some of the knowledge I have learnt over the years, to talk to people in our CrossFit community and to discuss different topics. At Valens, just the coaches themselves with their varying backgrounds have so much knowledge and experience; we have coaches with different training and coaching backgrounds, degrees in sport science, elite athletes, geeks who like watching documentaries about anything and everything and some who have just been doing it for a long time. I want the blogs to be easy to read, catered towards our community and interesting. I hope you enjoy them!

Random Body Fact Extraordinaire

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