All posts filed under “London Life

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Get fit in London

So exercise is clearly linked to thinking better. Depending on who you ask, that and reading are the two keys to life.

But let’s face it, exercise isn’t easy. If you’re pushing yourself, it’s pretty painful. Rowing, for example, at any sort of serious level involves legs and lungs feeling like they’re on fire. It’s great to win, but it can be a tremendous sacrifice to get there. Because it’s not easy to do, it becomes easy to skip. And once you start skipping exercise, you can pretty rapidly lose fitness.

One solution is either getting involved in exercise classes (anonymous and generally not tailored to your needs) or seeing a personal trainer (expensive). A personal trainer can sometimes be trying to mold you into what they want you to be, and not what you want.

If you’re in London, there’s a new solution. Two friends of mine and LondonAnnie have established a new Personal Training company that’s specifically geared to what YOU want to do in life: Point2Fitness. For older people, that might mean being more active with their grandchildren. With others, it may mean training to become an Olympic athlete or climb Everest.

The two founders, Baz and Carla, are World-class athletes themselves. (They won bronze in the 2007 Rowing World Championships in addition to World Cups, Olympics, and more.) LondonAnnie in particular has seen and experienced them in action, as they are long-time members of Thames Rowing Club, and have been experimenting with new fitness routines at the club recently.

Please check out the Point2Fitness website and look into it! Baz and Carla are both talented athletes themselves but also incredibly down-to-earth and focused on making their customers happy and their business a success. It’s great to see what international-level athletes are able to do with their careers when they choose to stop competing, and I wish them the best of luck!

(I particularly like that all of the photos were taken in/around Thames Rowing Club; it’s a very professionally produced website.)

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Get yourself on Twitter!

One of the biggest stories in the tech world in 2008 has been Twitter. I was at first quite down on Twitter, but have since changed my mind. It’s a mix of a social network (like Facebook/MySpace) and a communications tool (like email/texting).

The best way to describe it is through this short YouTube video:

Now go sign up for Twitter and then follow me.

I was against Twitter at the beginning because of Kathy Sierra’s influence. Her post (circa 2006) pointed out that if you’re trying to achieve “flow” in your work Twitter can be quite detrimental as friends’ updates will always be interrupting you.

But I’ve found that when I need to I can just turn off the Twitter application. When I don’t need to achieve that flow it’s interesting to listen in to what friends and others are discussing. If you’ve got a lot of followers, then they can serve as quite a good group to “crowdsource” questions to! (I’ve seen people asking for advice on office space, restaurants, and more.)

In the end, I highly encourage you at least try it out. If you’re on Facebook you can link any Twitter updates you send to your Facebook status, so you only have to type your “status” once and have it link everywhere. Nice…

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A short personal note

My apologies for the lack of posting recently… LondonAnnie and I moved!

We’re just down the road a bit from our old place. For the same rent we’ve got a much bigger flat that even has a view of the river. It’s a 2 bedroom, which means it will be much easier for family and friends to stay with us, too. (Hint!) It’s not for the superstitious… we’re #13 on our road in SW13.

Unfortunately, moving around the holidays means that our internet won’t get hooked up until sometime in January, and none of our neighbors has an unlocked wireless signal. Unless I can get Netshare up and running on my iPhone soon, don’t expect much posting from me until after my exams in January.

But Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year to everyone. I hope 2009 is even better than 2008 for you all.

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Rowing, couples, and an elegant Jesus College dinner

The big thing that I was trying to focus on this weekend was the Four’s Head of the River Race, on the River Thames in London.

Last year I rowed for Thames Rowing Club; this year I rowed for my Cambridge college crew (Jesus College Boat Club). The race went okay, but wasn’t spectacular. Our crew had little time to practice together, so the actual race was about our third outing as a boat. A couple of the guys had never experienced the “Tideway” conditions on the Thames, and they were fairly brutal yesterday. (Pouring rain in the last five minutes or so of a 20+ minute race doesn’t make for happy rowers.) But at least we finished without any disasters. It’s a good step toward the real goal of college crews: Lent and May bumps races on the River Cam.

In other rowing news, Cambridge did quite well against Oxford in the Fours Head, winning pennants in both the Elite 4+ and the Senior2 4+ categories. And I’m happy to say that the Thames women won the Women’s Senior2 4+ pennant!


There’s something else I’ve been meaning to mention for a while… it’s a bit of an oddity of our MBA class. In a class of 150 people, there are four couples! (Where both partners are enrolled in the MBA.) The Times did a bit of an article on them titled “Lessons in love for high-flyers.” Note that the Kate and Peter they discuss are not the same as this Katie and Peter.


I forgot to mention that about a week and a half ago Jesus College had a Matriculation Dinner for all of the new graduate students this year. It was quite an affair; black tie with gowns was the dress code. I grabbed a quick picture of the table and table settings. When I saw that each of us had five knives, four forks and a spoon and was a candlelight dinner, it was obvious this was certainly a special Cambridge type of event.

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