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Saturday, 28 May 2016

The Big Spin 2016 | New Forest Health & Leisure

As you may know, on Sunday 22nd May 2016, I took part in the New Forest Health & Leisure's Big Spin event. An incredible day raising much needed funds to support four local charities. The Big Spin 2016 was a huge success from start to finish and so much work went into organising and holding the event from everyone involved.

I would like to say a huge thank you to all of the staff from the New Forest Health & Leisure centres for organising such a great event and for all their hard work and of course, to all the instructors who challenged us to keep going and pushing us to complete the ride of our lives. Also, a huge thank you to everyone who encouraged me, personally, to take part in this spinning challenge and made me feel stronger and confident than I ever thought I could. 

Leading up to the Big Spin, I was soooo nervous. Sounds silly, but I was, although I do think it was more excitement than anything else! I arrived at the centre just before 9am to sign in and hand in any sponsor money I had collected to date. The night before I had baked a batch of lemon meringue squares for the cake sale, so made sure these were put on the stall... this was the last time I saw them, they must have gone down well and sold out, because I never saw them again!

I began to queue outside the sports hall to select my bike. Once I was inside, the atmosphere was electric, everyone was eager to start riding and were taking photographs of each other and everyone preparing for the 4hours ahead! Soon enough, it was 10am and after a few words from the charities, we started our first ride! 

The minutes seemed to pass by so quickly and before we knew it we were starting our second, then our third ride. The first two, I found to be fairly easy going and was able to keep up with the routine, but I was definitely starting to feel it by the third round! I made sure I snacked on banana's, protein balls and drank plenty of water throughout. Before we knew it, 1pm had approached and we were about to start our last and final ride. Thankfully there was so much energy in the room and everyone gave 110%. 

At the end, everyone was buzzing and were congratulating each other on their efforts! It was an incredible day and one I won't forget for a long time! Unfortunately, I didn't win anything from the raffle, but I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who bought tickets from me and to those who very kindly sponsored me for taking part in this event. I cannot thank you enough, your support means the world to me!

Congratulations to the 230+ Spinners, who took part in the Big Spin 2016, you are all fantastic and achieved something amazing! Well done! Until next time...

Live, Laugh, Love,
Karen Eleanor xXx

Sunday, 1 May 2016

My Life in Songs | April 2016

A song from my childhood:
Achy Breaky Heart - Billy Ray Cyrus

The song(s) that remind me of my parents:
What Colour is the Wind - Charlie Landsborough
Boulevard Of Broken Dreams - Green Day

A song that is often stuck in my head:
Too many to even name, but recently it has been:

Do I Wanna Know - Hozier
White T-Shirt - Megan & Liz

The song that reminds me of a friend:
There are sooo many songs that remind me of friends and different people I know, so I shall list a few of the songs that spring to mind and leave you to guess who they remind me of:

One Last Breath - Creed
The Rockshow - Blink 182
How You Remind Me - Nickelback
If You Ever Want to be in Love - James Bay
Hear You Me - Jimmy Eat World

A song that reminds me of summer:
Long Road Home - Charlie Simpson
Even the Stars Fall 4 U - Keith Urban

A song that makes me feel hopeful:
Ride the Wave - Boyce Avenue
Tell Your Heart To Beat Again - Danny Gokey

A song by my favourite band:
This is a difficult one because I have more than one favourite band so will list a few of my favourites:

Every Breath - Boyce Avenue
Dancing Away with my Heart - Lady Antebellum
Losing You - Busted

A song on the soundtrack of my favourite movie:
Hopelessly Devoted To You - Olivia Newton-John
My Heart Will Go On - Celine Dion

The last song I heard:
Live: Starman (David Bowie Cover) - The Lost Boys
Radio: In Ibiza - Mike Posner
Earphones: About Today - The National

A song I love singing along to:
Love Yourself - Justin Bieber
7 Years - Lukas Graham
Stressed Out - Twenty One Pilots

A song that has made me cry:
Many songs have made me cry at one time or another, but do not necessarily make me cry everytime I hear them. So I shall just list a few that pluck at my heart strings right now:

Photograph - Ed Sheeran
Love Me Goodbye - One Direction
Need The Sun To Break - James Bay
Better Place - Rachel Platten
Do I Wanna Know - Hozier

A song that makes me want to dance:
Shake It Off - Taylor Swift

First song in my music library:
A Little Too Much - Shawn Mendes

Last song in my music library:
747 - Lady Antebellum

A song someone has sung to me:
All About You - McFly

Live, Laugh, Love,
Karen Eleanor xXx

Friday, 22 April 2016

Month of Music | April 2016


One of my favourite things to do is to put on a pair of headphones and listen to music I love. Whether it be for five minutes or an hour, I like to zone out, chill and forget everything just for a little while and enjoy listening to some of my all time favourite tunes. 

I love music and how certain songs can make you feel. One of the reasons why I favour particular songs over others would have to be down to the lyrics. I am fascinated by words. How they can tell a story; how they can take you back to a time you thought you had forgotten; how they can make a difference to your life and help you find another perspective.

Music plays a huge part in my life. I love to sing even if it is out of tune and have always been interested in playing the guitar. I write a lot of poetry and in recent years have started to write my own songs. I wouldn't be without it and feel it helps me to relax. 

I am always singing along to the radio or humming a tune that has been stuck in my head ALL DAY LONG... ask anyone who knows me, I probably drive them insane! 

So, I thought I'd share a few of my favourite songs I've been listening to this month.....

Boyce Avenue - Road Less Traveled (Album)

Danny Gokey - Tell Your Heart To Beat Again

Mike Posner - I Took A Pill In Ibiza

Lukas Graham - 7 Years

Twenty One Pilots - Stressed Out

Carrie Underwood - Heartbeat

What songs have you been enjoying this month?

Live, Laugh, Love,
Karen Eleanor xXx

I do not claim to own any of the songs or videos shown in this blog post. All rights belong to the individual artists mentioned above each video and have been shared from the links provided from the named artists Youtube channels.

Saturday, 16 April 2016

BIG SPIN 2016 | About raising more than your heart rate:


On May 22nd 2016 I am taking part in the New Forest Health & Leisure Big Spin 2016. I am one of the 200+ people participating in this event at Totton Health & Leisure Centre. This indoor cycling event takes place for 4 hours between the hours of 10am and 2pm. We will be spinning for the duration with very short breaks in between. This in itself will be a huge challenge, but I am so excited to give it a go!

The Big Spin are raising money to be divided equally between four local charities:

If anyone would like to sponsor me or would be kind enough to donate to help raise funds for these amazing charities, you can do so either by contacting me directly or by visiting the fundraising page Virgin Money Giving. If you wish to donate online, please make sure you enter my full name 'Karen Eleanor Jenkins' on the Virgin Money comments section.

I attend spin classes 3x a week and have been doing so for at least four months now and I love it! I hate missing a session and have met some lovely, like-minded people who I am so grateful to know. They continue to support me and encourage me on a weekly basis and I am so thankful to them for that.

I was first introduced to Spinning about a year ago (about this time last year). I had been going to the gym for a few months and a couple of people suggested that I gave it a go. So, after plucking up enough courage, I agreed and booked my first class!
The instructor was really friendly and helped me adjust and set up my bike and I even started chatting to the person next to me about spinning and what to expect etc. The lights started to dim and music started to play and I was told to only do what I could and to enjoy it. 


I must have lasted 5 minutes, if that. I was short of breath, felt really hot, my legs ached like I had never experienced and due to not being used to exercising with the coloured lights in a darkened room, I felt quite dizzy and was afraid I'd pass out. I made it to the end of the session and thanked the instructor, but told her I found it quite challenging. I walked out of that studio and never went back for about 6-7months!

In September/ October 2015, a few people who go spinning regularly, encouraged me to give it another go. Reluctantly, I agreed to give it another shot, but if I still didn't like it I wouldn't do it again.
So, that week, I booked my session and went along just as before, and asked the instructor to refresh me on how to set up my bike. Once I was set up and the class started, I did find it difficult, but nowhere as much as I did the first time. I got through the session, but felt I was the weakest in the room. I felt I was back to square one, after coming so far in my journey (see my About Me section). This did upset me at first and thought I wouldn't go back, but I'm not a quitter, I'm a fighter. So instead of giving up, I challenged myself to become stronger, fitter and prove to myself I could do it. I knew I wasn't weak... far from it. So I kept going. I attended a few classes a week and felt stronger after each session. 

In January, I made the commitment to attend a spin class at least three times a week and I have been doing so for the last four months! I can now make it through every class and walk out of the studio feeling really happy, feeling so strong and feeling super confident. 

Towards the end of February, I was asked to sit in the front row during one particular class and throughout the session, I couldn't stop smiling. I was thinking back to my very first class, where I thought I would faint, to that day when I was in the front row, riding and keeping up with everyone else in the room. I couldn't believe how far I had come. This was a very special moment for me and probably sounds ridiculous to anybody else, but I hope the Big Spin in May gives me the same feeling of accomplishment and proves that I can do anything I put my mind to, if I only believe.

I am so excited to take part in the Big Spin challenge and will write a post about the event and let you know how I get on!

Wish me luck and remember if you would like to sponsor me or any of the Big Spin cyclists for this event please get in contact or visit the linked website Virgin Money Giving at the top of this post.

Thank you for taking the time to read about my story and for supporting me in any way you can!

Live, Laugh, Love,
Karen Eleanor xXx


All information about the Charities and Events mentioned in this post can be found at the linked websites.