Why I think life gets better at 30 and can only get better, in my opinion…

It has been 7 months since I turned the grand old age of 30.  For some reason, I’m sure the majority of us start to dread the BIG 30 and think we are getting old.  I thought, ‘my 20’s have been really FUN and how could my 30’s get any better?’ When in fact, it’s totally the opposite of my fearful thoughts, it’s awesome!!
I’ve lived a good part of my life actually caring what other people think.  Something changes when you turn 30.  I cant say exactly what it is, but something changes and thoughts start to dawn on you how quickly life passes by and how important time becomes.
Here is a quick list of 7 benefits:

 Living in a world obsessed with technology and social media, there are lots of pro’s and con’s to this ‘new’ world but one thing I did last year was have a Facebook clear out of 400+ people.  They were all nice enough people but I wanted to be kept up to date with people who I actually care about and have things in common with.  Life is just way too short to be scrolling down a Facebook homepage for 4hours at other peoples lives.  It takes me about 15mins to get my social media fix now and see what nice things my friends have been up to.  You’re not afraid to remove or delete people anymore incase you offend them! Who bloody cares!! 🙂
2.  You become even more Mindful.  Having trained in running for 20years, I would say I am very in tune with my body, but turning 30 does something to you in the most positive way.  I think combined with the Counselling skills I am currently learning, you become so much more aware of yourself.  I thought I was a good listener, but since learning so many new skills, my listening has improved so much!  Be quiet and truly listen to people, you will be so intrigued.  They will share so much more with you.

3.  I’ve never been big on styling my hair and wearing make up or felt the pressure to ‘doll’ myself up every day before people can see me.  I do like to look good when attending functions and parties like all girls do but I realise even more how stupid it actually is.  I don’t need to ‘paint’ on my eyebrows or put silicone in my breasts to be happy.  They want you to hate yourself and they also want your money!  Life is better spent on experiences and seeing things.

4.  For me, reaching 30 has meant accepting myself for who I am, where I have come from and what I am doing with my life.  One thing in particular is my speech impediment.  Yes, I would try and hide it when I was 19 and try and be someone else but now I realise, this is me, I accept it and people love me for ME!  99.9% of the time, people say its endearing and how  they think I am brave and confident. Yes, I have goals and will keep striving to achieve them in all areas of my life.

5.  You do not bother with people who do not bother about you.  Friendships are a two way thing and if I feel like I am the only one making an effort in the relationship, that’s fine.  I will have more time to spend on the people who do care and more ‘me’ time 🙂

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Believe in yourself!!! ***

claire

I won my first Figure competition a week ago, and I wanted to write about how it all started.  I feel not only is there a lesson to learn from what i have experienced, there is also a deeper message ‘believe in yourself’.  I saw a picture of a girl called Jamie Eason many years ago.  She is a world renowned fitness model/writer who inspires people in there millions!  I love her!

I have competed in Athletics since the age of eleven, and have held a lean, muscular physique.  Since seeing the picture of the fitness model so many years ago, I always thought I would do well in a figure category at a Bodybuilding contest.  This year, six years after thinking about competing, I joined a fantastic gym where I live.  The moment you walk into the gym, they smile and make you feel welcome!  Its called BodyRox gym by the way! 

I signed up with Personal Trainer and Channel Islands Champion from 2012 Aneta Lemanowicz.  She started my training and told me I need to change my diet.  I wouldn’t have said I had a terrible diet before but it’s wasn’t great either. It consisted of lots of stodgy breads, pizzas and sweets!  The training was hard, but I loved it!  I love to push myself and I couldn’t have learnt from anyone better than Aneta!  She certainly put me through my paces, and I had never experienced the feeling of ‘leg day’ until I trained with her.  It was tough, mentally too.  My aim was to compete in the Fitness competition and also gain a little bulk as I felt skinny.
A few weeks later I decided I would tell people what I was aiming for.  Martyn, my Brother in Law was very supportive, i told him first.  Martyn, you are one awsome fellow and i wouldn’t want my Sister to be married to anyone else!  My two Sisters, Gemma and Layna who I love dearly found out shortly afterwords.
About half way through my preparations, I had a night out in town with Rachel, my best bud from Birmingham.  I was having fun on the dance floor, and a drunken man kept on standing on my feet.  I was annoyed, and I told him to watch where he was standing.  He turned around, looked me up and down and said, ‘what are you, some sort of man or something?’.  Charming!  I have a weedy man in front of me, totally envious of my physique.  Of course I know that’s how he felt, but his comments were hurtful before I did this competition.  I have met so many genuinely nice people since joining the gym.  Obviously, the things gym members have in common are, we like to keep fit and healthy but they were also supportive.  The reason for holding back my intentions of competing is exactly because of the stigma attached to this sport.  Everyone I know has been behind me and wished me luck, however, having seen the recent local newspaper write-up, that was non-existent, even though we have two athletes heading to the World Championships in November.  It is a very hard competition to prepare for (like most sports) there are mental hurdles you need to overcome and i would like to thank Victor for being by my side.  Helping me stay positive, and keeping me on the right road for the diet.  I did not take it as seriously as I should have, but I believe there  is a whole load of room for improvement, and I do not need anymore inspiration than Aneta and Chris who are heading to the World Championships.   Bodybuilding has been said to be one of the oldest extreme sports you can participate in.  You do not achieve physiques like them without extreme dedication.
The members at the gym, as well as loving the whole experience of my first figure competition made me realise ‘people that don’t mean anything to you should not dictate your decisions in life’.  Keep clear of negative, jealous people and make time for the people that make you happy.  It’s sounds simple, but until I realised this through my experiences this year, I have felt a bit lost since the years when I was racing competitively and successful at it.  I have found a new passion in life that makes me incredibly excited, and I will carry on because I want to!  It took me six years to have the confidence to compete, I’m so happy I did it!!

Living with a Speech Impediment

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ImageMy first memory of having a speech impediment was when I was five years old. My Mum took me to the hospital. I remember telling her that I did not want to go and it was stupid. The lady told me her name was Clare. My name is Claire too! I remember disliking the whole situation. The speech therapist had a stutter herself and I just did not want to be there. She pulled out cards with pictures on them and she asked me to tell her what the pictures were. There was a ball on one of the cards, I remember that. I felt like I was being treated like a baby. Not long after entering the room, I stormed out crying and telling my Mum I didn’t want to go back. We went back to the car, and I remember breathing a sigh of relief at not having to go back into that room and repeat words after a lady who stuttered herself. At five years old I thought it was stupid, and if I remember correctly, thinking, how can a lady who stutters too help me?

I do not remember having speech therapy lessons again until I was at least twelve years old. By this stage it was my own decision to go back and see if they could help me. The time in between I remember battling through my impediment. I would go into shops and I remember one occasion in particular when I went into a card shop in town. I had a block, so instead of stuttering, and prolonging the sound of the letter, I just couldn’t say anything at all and the lady behind the counter said, ‘What? What do you want? I have no idea what you want’. It came across in a tone of voice that meant hurry up, I do not have time for you. I remember going back to the car where my Mum was waiting and bursting out crying. My Mum was very nice, she pulled me to her warm chest and told me everything is OK and she said she was so sorry. My Mum has always been so good with me and knew how to treat me when it got me down. Meaning no offence to my Dad, sometimes he would say, ‘What Claire? What are you trying to say, tell me’ and laugh. This wasn’t helpful and was very frustrating for a young girl who just wanted to be able to talk fluently. I know now that perhaps he wasn’t as comfortable dealing with a daughter with a speech impediment, and this was his way of trying to make it easier for me, through humour. 

I continued getting speech therapy through high school and I would say it helped. My therapist was called Anne and she taught me different techniques to deal with it. Every speech therapist I have ever had, told me I talk fast. I think I had to if I was to get a word in edge ways with my two Sister’s, both of whom talk at the speed of light! So, I worked on my breathing and slowing my whole speed of speech down. It seemed to help. 

From this age came a discovery; that the whole impediment is very psychological. If I think I am going to break and not be as fluent as I want to be, I will not be. If I am relaxed and not thinking about it, I am fluent. I have always known of letters and words that I think I can’t pronounce fluently. They are A’s and C’s. Anne’s way of dealing with this was to soften the sound. For example, in my name Claire. Most of the time it comes out sounding, Calire and people I meet at work think I am called Calire :-)). I don’t mind, they can think whatever, I will never meet them again! The basis of her technique was to slow down and soften the C at the start of the word, which, when I remember to use them, really work! 

From high school I went to study in Bath and I continued to learn new ways of dealing with my impediment. My first teacher was a man who was on the verge of retiring so I saw him for about 6 months. He was the coolest dude ever, I missed him dearly after he left. We laughed so much. He would ask me what I had been doing since I last saw him, how my techniques were working and I had a few stories to tell him! It was only through University that I felt comfortable talking to someone new and didn’t feel I had to hide the fact I had a stutter. 

At school, all my fellow students were very kind and patient. When I had to do a group discussion in English, they would sit patiently and wait till I had finished. The English teachers were also very good with me, not making me feel pressured into reading passages from the book we were reading or answering questions fired at the class. 

I feel like my biggest gains were with Richard, the older man at the hospital in Bath. Once he retired I saw a lady called Susan. She was also very nice and I loved going to meet with her. I could not keep the grin of my face after visiting them both, it was like a release and I came away with a boost of confidence after seeing them. 

I am now 27 years old and I have come to accept it as a part of me. I did go through phases of wanting to go on an intense course of speech therapy, similar to the course that Gareth Gates famously went on. He has learnt how to deal with his impediment and keep it under control. I have never not done anything because of my impediment. If I ever felt like it was holding me back, it would be a different story, but it’s not. My first boyfriend thought it was cute, which was good because he interviewed me for a job. (And yes, I got the job!) Now at this age I deal with it quite well. I sometimes forget to use the tools I learnt to cope with it, but most of the time I don’t let it bother me. It is a part of me and I accept it! If you too live with an impediment try not let it get you down, embrace it. Someone may just fall in love with you and like you for it! 🙂

Once Met, Never Forgotten ….

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‘Three years ago i was whisked off my feet by a tall, dark, handsome, foreign gentleman. He is a character you will instantly feel attached with and is so easy to get along with. For me, he is the most sincere, warm-hearted hunk I have ever met!’

I am writing this personal blog about him because we set our self a challenge of writing an objective piece about each other, so far it is very fun and I even needed help from my Romanian boyfriend about an English word! So to follow on from this, even though his native language is Romanian, the English literature and language flows fluently from his tongue, being able to learn and understand things easily in his second language and always surpassing himself in all aspects of life.

He has a real passion for life, if his mind is not occupied with something, he is not living! His moto in life is ‘follow your heart’. You could say that he is a perfectionist. Everything he puts his mind to, especially Photography, one of his life long passion’s, the work he produce’s is beautiful. He has taught himself everything he know’s about this art of his own back, reading book’s, watching video’s of the Internet, going out on the job. He is truly a star in the making! I am so excited to see him develop and I’m sure that friends and family who have seen his work are too!

Everyone who is blessed to meet Victor Sindean is swept off there feet in one way or another. Whether it is having a friendly conversation or true friendships, he changes people’s life’s for the better. His positive, fun loving attitude towards life and happiness bring’s out the best in you and you realise that life is too short and you need live more and celebrate each day as it comes. He was a heavy smoker back in his teenager years. When he reached 24 years old he quit smoking and has never looked back. I have never been a smoker myself and will never know how hard it is to break this habit, but i do know people who have met him and this in itself has inspired people in other outlook’s in life that ‘anything is possible’. You just need to persevere and believe in yourself because if you don’t, no one else will.

This is my first blog, I do want to keep it short and sweet so…

‘Victor – each and every day I spend with you I learn something new about you and i have always known how lucky i am to have you by my side.  This is to us and our first 2 years together and to a new chapter in our relationship – leaving Jersey! You make me very happy … MUCKLE Shmoorakins, patru pupici.’

Once Met, Never Forgotten ….

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‘Three years ago i was whisked off my feet by a tall, dark, handsome, foreign gentleman. He is a character you will instantly feel attached with and is so easy to get along with. For me, he is the most sincere, warm-hearted hunk I have ever met!’

I am writing this personal blog about him because we set our self a challenge of writing an objective piece about each other, so far it is very fun and I even needed help from my Romanian boyfriend about an English word! So to follow on from this, even though his native language is Romanian, the English literature and language flows fluently from his tongue, being able to learn and understand things easily in his second language and always surpassing himself in all aspects of life.

He has a real passion for life, if his mind is not occupied with something, he is not living! His moto in life is ‘follow your heart’. You could say that he is a perfectionist. Everything he puts his mind to, especially Photography, one of his life long passion’s, the work he produce’s is beautiful. He has taught himself everything he know’s about this art of his own back, reading book’s, watching video’s of the Internet, going out on the job. He is truly a star in the making! I am so excited to see him develop and I’m sure that friends and family who have seen his work are too!

Everyone who is blessed to meet Victor Sindean is swept off there feet in one way or another. Whether it is having a friendly conversation or true friendships, he changes people’s life’s for the better. His positive, fun loving attitude towards life and happiness bring’s out the best in you and you realise that life is too short and you need live more and celebrate each day as it comes. He was a heavy smoker back in his teenager years. When he reached 24 years old he quit smoking and has never looked back. I have never been a smoker myself and will never know how hard it is to break this habit, but i do know people who have met him and this in itself has inspired people in other outlook’s in life that ‘anything is possible’. You just need to persevere and believe in yourself because if you don’t, no one else will.

This is my first blog, I do want to keep it short and sweet so…

‘Victor – each and every day I spend with you I learn something new about you and i have always known how lucky i am to have you by my side.  This is to us and our first 2 years together and to a new chapter in our relationship – leaving Jersey! You make me very happy … MUCKLE Shmoorakins, patru pupici.’