Sunday, 14 August 2016

The only Olympic sport I could compete with is the tequila shot(put) or the (drunken) tumbling

I bloody love the Olympics.

In 2012 I was glued from start to finish. The longest I left my sofa throughout the whole two weeks was to actually go to London and see them for myself.

I'm mesmerised by it and suddenly find myself an expert in sports I didn't even know the rules of some half an hour earlier.

Watching the diving, usually while horizontal on my sofa with some sort of sugary snack, I am like the ultimate expert commenting on synchronisation or over rotation, or too much splash when entering the pool.
The Olympic spirit is amazing, and getting behind Team GB is so inspiring.

Last week we found ourselves cheering on the British guy in the fencing. FENCING! Who knew that was a sport you could cheer for.

The same with trap shooting, and the canoe slalom.

I don't even understand the rules for most of the sports, but I watch and enjoy them anyway.

It just makes me wish I was good at a sport, though.

When I was younger I used to swim, and I was really good. I think it's because I am so long. But I didn't stick at it, which I really regret now.

Other than that, I've never been good at anything. I hated running and would find any excuse possible to get out of sports day at school. It was my idea of hell having to do athletics. Love watching it, don't get me wrong, but I hate taking part.

I was rubbish at throwing and jumping, too.

Hockey was out of the question because I did like wearing shin pads. I also wasn't good at the actual sport, but my dislike of shin pads outshone my appalling hand-eye coordination when trying to manoeuvre that bloody stick.

The only Olympic sports I was remotely good at at school was volleyball, tennis and badminton. But even those I never pursued outside of school.

At uni I wasn't in a single sports society. I played netball occasionally on a Wednesday afternoon in first year, but that was the extent of my participation.

The only Olympic sport I could have successfully bagged a gold in at uni was drinking. I could have confidently clinched a medal in the tequila shot(put) and definitely been in contention in the (drunken) tumbling.

At 24 I think it's a bit late to pursue a sporting career now. My dislike for doing anything too strenuous would also stand in my way. I think I'll just stick to watching, commenting on and enjoying the sport. The closest I'll ever get to any Olympics would be reporting on them. Now that would be a dream!

With Team GB really starting to rack up the medals now, I'm so excited for the last week of competition to see what else will happen. The team spirit and the pride that you can sense is so uplifting. It almost makes you forget about all the bad in the world.


The ridiculous hysteria surrounding Helen Skelton's legs

The Olympics have completely taken over, and I love it. But, unfortunately, I feel they were overshadowed somewhat in the media in the early days by so much focus on poor Helen Skelton. 

Despite all the action in the pool, everyone seemed to be focusing on her. Not because of her presenting skills, either, but because of her fashion choices. 

Social media users - the harshest of critics sometimes - went to town on the poor girl, slamming her for her short skirts and dresses. While, just feet away, sat Mark Foster in shorts. 

Of course he's going to wear shorts, they're in a warm climate and are presenting from poolside, which is always a sweaty and humid place to be. So why does everyone care so much if Helen Skelton has her legs out? 
 
One article on The Sun was entitled 'Helen Skelton reveals another part of her body in latest dress'. 

Who gives a toss?  Do these people not realise that women have legs? And that when we wear dresses you can see them? The hysteria surrounding it, you'd be forgiven for thinking this was the first time anyone had seen a pair of pins. 

Some slammed her saying it was inappropriate, continuing to judge her look on a daily basis. 

What did people expect her to wear? Jeans and a jumper? A trouser suit? They're in bloody Rio de Janeiro for crying out loud. 

If people weren't commenting on the length of her skirt, they took to slating the colour of her outfits. 

To me, she was just a pretty woman in a pretty dress. Why is it ok for people to analyse women in this way? Nobody looks at Steve Redgave's outfit choices at the rowing with the same critical eye. 

"Ooh, Steve Redgrave's top was a bit too tight and a bit too stripy. He must be off to the beach after in them shorts!"

It just wouldn't happen. 

There was a really interesting article recently which explained what the articles would read like if the media commented on Theresa May's husband's outfit choices the same way they did with Sam Cameron. I'd be interested to see a comparison now, how they'd talk about presenters like Chris Hoy and John Inverdale the same way they have Helen Skelton. 

The hashtag #TooRacyForRio even surfaced to describe poor Helen. Jesus, give the girl a break. She's young, she's stunning and she's the next generation of presenter. These morons moaning about her outfit choices need to start moving forward with the times. 

Young, female presenters are of course going to dress different to the likes of Hazel Irvine and Clare Balding. When the athletics commentary comes round, Denise Lewis and Paula Radcliffe often rock a skater dress, a bodycon or a skirt and they don't become embroiled in a scandal. 

To top it all off for poor Helen I saw on the front of one of the Sunday papers today that a video had been leaked of her sunbathing topless. The media are gunning for her at the moment and I'm not sure why. 

It baffles me why shaming women for sunbathing topless is still a thing. They did it with Kate Middleton, when some sneaky pap caught her catching rays. 

Give the girls a break, it's 2016 for goodness sake. 

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Problems only girls with chunky calves will understand

Looking at my legs, I would never have particularly picked out that I have 'big calves'.  They're quite muscly, which sometimes I really don't like, but they're in proportion with my legs and body.

But I do have rather chunky calves, as I've discovered when encountering a number of problems that only others in the same situation will appreciate.

1. Buying wellies/knee-high boots is a struggle

When I was about 14 I was desperate for a pair of stripper boots.  Of course, at the time, I did not refer to them as stripper boots. Back then I said I wanted a pair of black, knee-high, heeled leather boots.  Looking back now, stripper boots is the best description.

When it came to trying pairs on, I was so limited with which I could get because they wouldn't fit over my bloody calves.  I ended up having to get some with a zip on, which when unfastened gave more space in the boot to fit my calves.

I had the same problem with wellies.  I had some uncomfortable walks with my dog when we first got her and my mum got me a cheap pair of wellies from Shoezone.  Each step I took I felt like someone was tying an elastic band around my leg.  When I got my Hunter wellies I bought them online and was really worried I'd have the same problem.  Thankfully, they do a wider leg version (which I still had to undo the strap on to be comfortable!)

2. Cigarette trousers are a no-go

I absolutely love the idea of being able to wear cigarette trousers.  Unfortunately, the reality is harsh.

I had a pair of beautiful cream cigarette trousers a few years ago.  When I was on work experience at the Leicester Mercury I decided to wear them one day.  They were a bit tight round my calves but not uncomfortable.  That was, until, I was walking home at the end of the day.  I felt like that girl on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Violet, who starts to blow up like a huge balloon.  My legs felt like they were getting bigger with every step, and my trousers tighter.  I literally just wanted to get some scissors and cut slits up my trousers to give me more space.

3. Skinny jeans are tough, too

Look closely at any of my skinny jeans and you'll see the seam is stretched significantly in my calf area.  Thankfully, though, they have never torn.  I would not be sharing this little tale if they had!

4. Especially trying to get them off

There is nothing sexy about trying to get a pair of skinny jeans off anyway, but over chunky calves is a right mood killer.

5. It's impossible to try and 'slim' them

Believe me, I've tried everything.  Walking, running, cycling, desk exercises, ankle rotations - nothing works.  Apparently it's genetics and I must just embrace them.

6. Midi skirts/culottes aren't always flattering

Drawing attention to the calf region when it's not something you're mad on isn't always a winner.  I love a midi skirt/dress and a comfy pair of culottes, but sometimes they do nothing to elongate my leg and, somehow, make me look/feel dumpy.  At 5ft 10", that's some achievement!

7. Camera angles have to be right

"The camera never lies", except when you want it to.  I can take two photos seconds apart from each other, from two different angles, and my legs look totally different depending on whether I am front-facing or sideways on.  I usually find sideways on works best for me, especially if I'm in heels.

8.  But at least they look good in a pair of heels

Wedges and heels elongate the leg and contract the muscle, showing the world your leggy charm.  You go girlfriend!