....it is indeed Christmas...well...almost!  You can see the signs everywhere!  The shop windows have that twinkly look, the shopping centres have put Santa in charge...and nationwide, parents have that glassy eyed look of the terrified....it was Halloween only a week ago!
Anyway....good news:  although Christmas can be a demanding and expensive time for all....there is one night that never disappoints and THAT is the OF Christmas Night Out!  It is always a total classic and without a doubt the best night of the festive period every single year!  

Why, I hear you ask?  Well, for a kick off it is in a Cricket Club which means reasonably priced drinks....also we buy in a top class Indian takeaway which is of the highest quality!  Why would you pay £60+ for some dried up turkey when you can get a great carry out for a fraction of the price!  AND this very night, I have been working away at the internationally renowned (probably) Grahammy Awards 2014.  Honestly, once I have figured out how to use my new computer it is going to be A-MAZING (probably)!!  
So the details.....

Clydesdale Cricket Club
22 Beaton Road
G41 4LB

Saturday 14th December 2013
From 7.00pm-ish

£20......yes £20...Whiiiiiit?  

Please pay Graham prior to the event....we cannot accept money on the night.  We make all our outlays beforehand and really need the money before the actual night!

I cannot stress what a great night this is...come along and support OF and have a brilliant pre-festive celebration ...AND you might win an award! :-)

Well, only the hardest of hearts could not fail to be inspired by the runners on Sunday!  Hats off to every single one of you!  I know that there are some amazing stories and more than a couple of PBs in there....please tell us about them!
In the meantime I salute those braver than myself: those who have braved the hangover on a Sunday morning for the 'long run'; or even worse, those who drove to a big night out and drank water while everyone else melted in front of them.  Having been a failed runner forever (why oh why oh why do they do it?? :-))  I have full appreciation for the physical and more importantly the mental commitment required to run an event where there is no pressure apart from the worst kind....the pressure you apply to yourself!  From all the tweeting and the facebooking going on I think we can see who is getting all the credit...the fabulous Outside Fitness training team of Mark and Graham!  Where would we be without them?  Whether it is a GSR PB or a Saturday morning stretch session, Sunday has proved that OF makes winners of us all!

.....and not your 2 weeks is Marbella holidays either!  As many of you my have seen, Graham has posted details of the OF Xmas extravaganza which will be at Clydesdale Cricket Club, Shawlands on Saturday 14th December 2013.   Payment details will follow but it is cheaper than your average Christmas rip off and excellent bar prices too....we OF'ers know what is important!  Now I know many of you are only just getting over your sunburn and squeezing out the last use of your short sleeved training gear.  However, anyone who usually goes to this night will know that the main event is the presentation of the Grahammy Awards to the deserving.  I have spent the night downloading some new software and trying to make it work properly....all so we can embarrass and humiliate those who deserve it....and many who have done nothing wrong other than to turn up at class!  This night is always my favourite Christmas night of the year.  The presentation takes a lot of work but it is always appreciated and hopefully we all get a good chance to laugh at each other and ourselves.
So this is a plea.....I am looking for photos, stories, gossip (real or otherwise) and anything you think we could use....it is also a shout out to get this date in your diary.  What night would you rather have?  £60 for cold food and a night the same as every Christmas night you have had since you started working.....OR some takeaway food, cheap beerios and the chance to wind up that OF'er who always edges you in the running because you know he always cheats on the exercises.....you know the answer already!!  See you there! :-)

I went to the Saturday Class for the first time a while last week and what struck me was this:  it is not so much a 'class' as it is about 10 different Personal Training sessions!  I think many of us would love the luxury of our own personal trainer but OF is without a doubt the closest thing you can get without paying the extra money.  On Saturday we had runners, weight trainers, stretchers, babies, pregnant trainers, new parents and our Shona providing an unofficial baby-conforting service!  Now, you would never get such an option at a 'proper' gym.  Not only was everyone working hard but getting whatever workout they actually needed...and having a great laugh while they were sweating!  It takes away another reason not to go to class as Graham and Mark will make sure that every class fits the needs of each person....and if that is not personal training then I do not know what is!  Each group was kept busy and challenged for the class and it is a testament to our trainers who take the time to talk to us as individuals and find out our weaknesses, injuries and sometimes just our moods....there are a million things that can affect your workout so speak up and they will ensure that whatever your situation you will get the training that is right for you!  Not so much service with a smile but service with a slagging off.....some sweat.....and a right good laugh....:-)

We all have them don't we?  I know I do....horrible day at work, the start of a cold, it's raining and it is that REALLY wet rain...

Well, shame on us all I guess, as illustrated by this great photo from a class last week (and before anyone pulls me up...it is true, I never made this class....y'see, I had this REALLY horrible day at work...you wouldn't understand...).  

Liza is due to have a baby at the start of October yet has attended class faithfully throughout her pregnancy.  Graham has been able to adapt her workouts accordingly and while she is gutted at not being able to run for long distances at the moment (yeah right!), it means that she is keeping a level of activity going which benefits both her and the baby.

As for Calum, he has recently returned to class after a major surgery which has seen him out of action for some time.  Previously a Green bib, Calum did not adapt well to immobility and was back as soon as he could stop his intestines from falling out of the wound (too much??? Oh well...)  Again, Graham was able to ensure that the exercise was started at a level which was safe and suitable and will no doubt ensure that Calum will be back and shouting at the Greens about their form and speed....lucky Greens eh?? :-)

So...have a think...what is your excuse?

Who has been to class this week?  Who has swallowed half their body weight in midges?  Meeeeeee......and everyone else I have spoken to!  Summer is a joy as we all know and yet as soon as the 'warm' weather (humour me here!) finally hits us, the smell of 'Skin So Soft' is pungent and reassuring.  In Scotland midges are a part of what our summer is all about....along with warmer rain than winter rain, always having a brolly just in case, and talking about the nights fair drawing in.  Graham and I were talking about the nutritional benefits of the midge as I suspect that after tonight I will never have to choke down a protein bar again........if any medical OFers have anything to contribute, I would love to hear it.  In the meantime I will continue to bathe in the glorious rep-supplied smelly stuff and have faith that fellow Outsiders will run through the midge clouds with me....woooooooooh hoooooooo! 

Newsflash.....we are creatures of habit!  I do not care how impetuous, spontaneous and exciting you think you are...this fact is true.  You may holiday in the most exciting places (a different place every year...OBV!), you may thumb your nose at a chippy and order your Chinese food in fluent Mandarin...but I don't care what you tell me...we love our wee comforts.
I think this includes where we all OF.  Now, let me first declare myself to be a Southsider...and a proud Southsider at that.  As such I tend to go to the Bellahouston classes and Queens Park on a Saturday, hangover dependent bien sur (see...I travel too :-))  Tonight, for various reasons, I went to Kelvingrove and I LOVED it!  It was a different park, different faces, a different workout (OMG those HILLS!) but it gave me a new impetus to move between the parks more often as there are so many people who go to OF we have not yet met.  As we OFers are somewhat fabulous people...we are all missing out...on each other!  Whit?  I know travelling can be a problem but if you can, why not see what the other side of the city has to offer....you wont be disappointed, except in the realisation that West End pain hurts just as much as Southside pain....yaaaaaas!!

I am not what the wee man would call a hater but even worse, I 'nothing' Justin Bieber.  I know he is out there but to be honest with you, to me he is a wee boy making a few quid with his 'talent' and fair play to him.   I don't care about the brands he wears, I remain unruffled by his diva like behaviour....he had the sort of punch up with a pap photographer which would have passed for a romantic liason in Glasgow..and so you had to wait for 2 hours for him to take to the stage...that's what you get for being daft enough to buy a ticket. (OK...maybe I hate him a tiny wee bit).

What did make me hoot with laughter was the front page news his breathing problems received....whit??  He ran about too much and got out of breath and spent a night in hospital.  If the same medical tactics were applied to my good self, I would never get home after an OF class...I would be a 'medical mystery'.  I not saying he was not tired and has a heavy schedule the wee love.  I do however question how his breathing would be in one of Graham's recent classes (note to the Boss...you have been belting us recently...was it something we said? :-) ) 

Man up short stuff....and come back to us once you have got through a kettlebell session without crying... :-)


I was recently thinking about how the news of Pope Benedict’s resignation was received by the world.  It was a surprise to many and questions hung in the air either spoken or otherwise.  Even the most secular amongst us found ourselves discussing it and wondering about the ‘why and what’ of the situation.

It made me think about how news and messages are communicated, whether it be this high profile resignation or the message he has spent his life delivering.  Everyone has a message they think is important and how that is expressed can affect the way people decide to embrace it.

I think we can safely say that as OF’ers, we are evangelistically fervent when it comes to telling others about our classes.  We don’t really understand why you would not want to be a part of it.  I know many a person who has turned up because they have been made to feel that they are truly missing out on something....which of course they are!  It is a testament to the work Graham and Mark do to make sure that not only do we all get a varied and demanding workout, but that we all feel part of a team, a social gathering...we might whinge about the wind and the rain; we may compare strains and scrapes like war wounds (when really they are badges of honour).   However, we all know that the classes are a huge part of our lives and we get a wee bit jittery when we can’t make it.  I think we also know that the benefits transcend the improving fitness levels and the increased mileage.  Deep down it is about leaving the house with a stress headache and a frown...then getting home an hour later with sore legs, wheezy lungs, a muddy face and a whole new and positive attitude to what lies ahead. 

Amen to that!