Get a BBB or Die Trying

What is a BBB?

 My name is Jessica and I’m currently studying for my Masters at The University of Stirling, and lucky for me it is a joint degree which means I get to spend the second half of it studying in Barcelona. However, unlike the often dreary, wet and miserable weather in Scotland, the weather in Barcelona will be sunny, dry and hot, very hot. I’m going to make the fair assumption that I will be spending a lot of time at the beach in between my studies, but there is one tiny hurdle. After three full years of being completely inactive, I’m definitely not the owner of a toned lean body ready to confidently hit the beach, so I decided I needed one thing and one thing only, a “BBB” – a Barcelona Beach Body.

These dogs have their BBB’s ready, do you?  source –

Of course it isn’t required under Spanish law that one must have a BBB before stepping foot on a Barcelona beach, but I thought it wouldn’t be any harm to start exercising again, especially with a goal in mind of looking my best on the beach next Spring. Along with this new found motivation, starting this exercise journey was made so easy and attainable with the world class exercise and sporting facilities available right at my doorstep at the University of Stirling.

How to go from looking like a Victoria Sponge Cake to a Victoria’s Secret Model

I didn’t have to look very far to begin my fitness journey. I was spoiled for choice with all the fitness classes offered at the Gannochy Sports Centre that run all day long seven days a week. So far the classes I’ve tried this semester are Boxercise, TRX, Metafit, H.I.I.T, Cycle and Kettlebells, with the latter being my favourite.

Some hump day fun with Kettlebells. source – author’s personal snapchat account

What I love most about Kettlebells is that it’s a total body workout that combines both cardio and strength training. It is something I would recommend to anyone who feels intimidated by the fancy machines in the gym and just wants to start a simple yet very effective workout. After my first Kettlebells class I spent the next two days walking at a snail’s pace recovering from the class, but  it felt good to feel muscles in action that I hadn’t used in years, and since that first class I’ve been flying it ever since.

Thankfully I’m lifting much heavier weights since. source – author’s own personal snapchat account

Boxercise was also one of my favourites, especially for the upper body.

Working out with friends makes it even more fun! source – author’s own personal snapchat account

Floyd Mayweather who? source – author’s own snapchat account

Sporty Spice

Growing up in Ireland sport had always had always been a big part of my life. From Gaelic Football, to Basketball, to Soccer, to Dancing and Gymnastics, I lead a very active lifestyle and am proud to have the silver wear to show for it.

Back when I was Sporty Spice before I turned into Lazy Spice. source- author’s own.

However my younger self would have been so ashamed to see the early twenties me who only counted walking up the stairs as her exercise for the week. So when I saw that the University had their own Gaelic Football team, I decided to go back playing the sport I had loved so much during my childhood and teen years. Explaining exactly what Gaelic Football is can be tricky for those who don’t know. Basically it’s the national sport of Ireland and looks like a mix between soccer, basketball and rugby, this video does its best to explain!

Stirling University Ladies Gaelic Football team. Source – author’s own.

Joining the University of Stirling Ladies Gaelic Football team has been one of the best decisions I’ve made since arriving here. Not only is it a superb way to exercise my way to a BBB but has been a terrific way to make friends and feel part of a team. We train three to four times a week and recently had our first mini tournament.

1, 2 , 3 STIRLING. Source – author’s own.

Nothing beats the feeling of lacing up your boots getting ready for a competitive match. We had four matches and won two and lost two, which isn’t bad for our first outing as a team. It was also a great bonding session which is why I would encourage anybody who is maybe finding it difficult to make friends at uni to join a sports team or society, all levels of ability are welcome and it’s an excellent way to meet people you wouldn’t necessarily meet at your lectures.

Action shot. Source – author’s own.

Another great plus to joining a sports team is the social side of things. We have nights out throughout the semester which are key to boosting team morale and for getting to know each other off the pitch. After dancing all night with your team mates it makes it that bit more easier to go to training the next day slightly hungover.

The team during a themed night out. Source – Author’s own.

By engaging in the sporting life of Stirling I know have enriched my overall experience by 100%. It has been a positive way to make new friends and meet new people, to manage my stress levels, to have fun and stay active, and hopefully is helping me gain that coveted Barcelona Beach Body for 2018!

BBB. Source – author’s own.

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