Posts tagged ‘Cycletta’

August 13, 2011

Titanic Spa and Hamman massage.

This, although something I’ve not done before, still feels like rather an easy win for my 35:35 Challenge. I’ve decided that this is a good thing, for two reasons. Firstly, I have a heck of a lot of challenges to get through by June so it’s a good job that some of them are easy and secondly, the next few up are going to be significantly harder. Plus, the main reason I needed a massage in the first place was because of my very sore shoulders from all the Cycletta training I’ve been doing!

Titanic Spa is an Eco Spa in Linthwaite, near Huddersfield, built inside an old textile mill. As such, it’s a pretty imposing building to drive up to. Luckily the welcome, although a little chaotic due to the number of folk checking in, was warm and friendly. I’ve been before, but only for a day visit. This time, after a full day in the spa, we spent the night in one of the apartments. To make the best use of the amazingly high ceilings they have created a mezzanine floor for our bathroom and bedroom with a sitting room and kitchen underneath. If we’d known about the kitchen we would probably have brought extra food with us for breakfast the following morning. Although croissants and cereal is provided, I think my husband would have enjoyed a fry-up, Yorkshire bloke that he is!

The Spa itself is on the ground floor and comprises Club Titanic which is a gym (you can also become a member to use more regularly too) and a pool and sauna. The other main element to the spa is the Heat and Ice Experience together with lots of treatment rooms. The product lines used are of the highest quality; Elemis, Carita, Jessica and Decleor, plus the newly added organic line, Pinks Boutique. Three Degrees Hair Salon is located next to the reception, together with a store for you to purchase any of the products that you experienced during your treatments.

Lunch and dinner are served in the Bistro in the middle of the building, and my experience of the food was completely positive. Lunch is a buffet, with several salads, plus a meat or veggie main. If you stay overnight, you can eat a great two course evening meal, usually included as part of your package. Although, I have to confess, I ordered wine and pudding too…

After our arrival and an hour in the gym (more training!) and short while in the Heat and Ice Experience, it was time for my Hamman massage. The Hamman (or Hammam in Turkish) treatments are carried out in a private room off the Heat and Ice Experience, so they are at absolute humidity and are designed to compliment the time you are spending in the various steam and sauna rooms during your stay. As a qualified massage therapist, not only do I believe absolutely in the power of massage, I have high standards and expect to receive a great treatment. The one thing I cannot bear is too light a massage, I need to feel as though my muscles are really being manipulated properly. As my young, slender therapist introduced herself, I have to confess, I  was worried that she was going to be too light of touch for my liking. Thankfully, my fears were unfounded. As I explained that my shoulders were really in need of a bit of work, she tailored the treatment to suit my needs.

Rather than the usual padded bench usually used in massage, Hamman treatments are given on a warm wooden plinth. The warmth of the wood helps ease your muscles, but it is somewhat harder to lie on, which is why these treatments are generally lighter than something like Swedish massage. However, thankfully, my shoulders were given a lovely deeper tissue massage too, which really helped to unknot them after too much uphill cycling. The treatment time was not long, only half an hour, but the effects were felt long after the massage had finished.

Overall, my experience of Titanic Spa was a very positive one. There were a couple of little niggles; the Ice Room not working and the Aromatherapy Room smelled like no essential oil I have ever come across, but these are not enough for me to think any less of it and everyone there seemed to be having just as good a time as we were! There are quite often offers to be had through various websites, which make it a great value stay and every treatment I have had there has been of the highest quality (particularly the Decleor Aromassage) so well worth the extra payments.

So, I recommend a visit. I am planning my next one very soon…

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August 4, 2011

One, two, three, four…

The 35:35 Challenge is about to step up a gear, as a couple of bigger challenges are looming ever closer, Yorkshire 3 Peaks in September and then Cycletta in October.

For now, I am undertaking what can only loosely be called “training” for both of those, and trying to fit in a few smaller challenges along the way. It has recently dawned on me that in order to meet my self-imposed deadline I need to be doing about one a fortnight, which is not easy with a full time job and two small children!  Luckily, I have lots of support from my family which enables me to find a bit of free time, and some talented friends who are happy to help me try some new things. Or, they just enjoy watching me make a fool of myself… I’ll leave you to be the judge of that.

One of the things I have come to realise is that we all carry around beliefs with us that we consider to be the truths about who we are and what we can do. Sometimes this comes from the labels we were given during childhood – we were the sporty child or the academic one. Sometimes they are labels that we tell ourselves; that we can’t dance, or draw, run, play an instrument, cook. Whatever. What we seem to believe is that we should have some innate ability to do these things. I know that there are a few geniuses out there who are truly gifted. I remember my Granddad used to be able to pick up any instrument and get a decent tune out of it, whether he’d played it before or not. On a somewhat grander scale, there are sports people, musicians, scientists and writers who seem to be effortlessly brilliant. But for the rest of us mere mortals, one fact remains true. The reason we cannot do something is not because we are useless, it is because we have never been taught how. Even the best of us get better with tuition. The more you practice, the luckier you get. So what if, instead of saying ‘I can’t do that’ and believing it to be the full stop to the discussion, we ask to be taught how?

This is the premise behind much of what my challenge is about, and it has led to the first rumblings of a plan. I do love a plan. How many of us have wanted to try something but not known where to start? Or have been too frightened of making a fool of ourselves? Or thought that it was too late, that time had passed us by? What if you could try something out, just dip your toe in, to see how you get on, in a positive, supportive environment, surrounded by people just like you? Would you try then? Let me know.

In this spirit, my latest challenge has been to play the drums. Well, count to four, whilst attempting to keep some kind of rhythm, anyway. It is at this point I must thank my lovely friend Hillary who not only attempted to teach me this, but didn’t laugh at my attempts and provided sustenance in the form of cake. See, this is what I mean about a supportive environment…

Anyway, we started with a quick tour of the drum kit – an electric one in this case, much easier if you have neighbours, plus they are somewhat smaller. Then Hillary went on to try and teach me to basically do three things at once, which you’d think I’d be used to, what with being a mother, but it’s pretty tricky.

We spent the best part of half a day just playing around, me being utterly terrible and Hillary putting up with me with lots of good humour and it was GREAT. I left with the buzzy feeling like the one I’d had at the Northern Ballet which set me off on this challenge in the first place. We finished with an attempt at a bit of White Stripes (Meg, you have nothing to fear…) and I now have such a desire to try again that I was actually in a music store yesterday pricing up drumkits. Which would probably have to live on the allotment, so for now, I am searching for music teachers.

Here's the proof!

I do have a short film, showing how dreadful I was, and how much it didn’t matter, but I’ll save it for a rainy day…