fitness

Flash Back Friday : Venice with Diadora

I went on a trip to Venice with Italian sportswear brand Diadora. Diadora have
a rich history of providing footwear for true sporting icons, Marradonna, Bjorn Borg,
Messi, so it was really just a matter of time before they found their way to me.
After landing and arriving at the city I was very excited to get to the Diadora museum
and factory.

Diadora Factory Venice

I don’t normally get in a tiz about museums, but I’m in jeans, it’s 35
degrees and I was told that baby had AC. Once inside I got to learn about the true
craftsmanship that goes into making their footwear- only ten machines are used at a
time. Disappointingly none of the machines can actually tie shoelaces let alone a
double knot. You’re not allowed to enter wearing a competitor’s footwear or even
take pictures! So naturally I….

Diadora factory

Once we'd learnt all things Diadora, we went for a little sippy-sippy at Sandi Villa.
We had a walking tour of the vineyard before tasting the goods ourselves. Which
couldn’t have come soon enough. When it comes to wine, window shopping is just a
few steps from torture. Nice house...

Sandi Villa, Venice

...nice wine

aeperol spritz

and nice peach!

Italian peach

 
A wine tour will and a bottle of the good stuff ranges from 8-
40Euros. Stock up! 


We finished the evening by heading to dinner on the terrace of Sagredo hotel.
Beautiful views overlooking Venice, a lovely glass or three of prosecco and some
gorgeous Italian cuisine- mamma mia! The 15th century hotel oozed with opulence
and grandeur and was decorated with Modern art outside. The northener in me felt
well out of place, the only old buildings in Blackburn are the old Woolworths and
C&A. The hands are there to show a supporting hand to Venice. Sad but true, it’s
‘sinking’.

Sagredo Hotel, Venice

Next day I woke up late. I put the blame at the door of the hotel black-out curtains
and my dead phone, though not sure my fellow travellers did. Still, we had
enough time to go on a walking tour around Venice. We were given little walkie-
talkies so we could hear our tour guide and just in case we got lost, which was a
touch since my phone was back down to 5%.

Diadora OOTD


I learnt that Venice is actually made up of loads of different islands. Each time you
cross a bridge, you're on a new island, though no passport control thankfully. We also
found the most beautiful bookshop in the world. Filled to the brim with paper and
words. There was even a staircase made out of books that took you to a fab view at
the top. That’s if you survive the climb, I don’t seem to recall paper being a popular
building material. I also saw the building that Amal and George Clooney were married in! Well, it mattered to me.

venice by boat

 St Mark's Square is not for the faint hearted. If you hate crowds this is hell on earth
but I'm into it. St Marks Bacilka is stunning and although there's a ban on feeding
pigeons I came across another fellow sign-defier.

pigeon feeding

Museums in Venice are ALL closed on a Tuesday and guess what day I went to see
the Damien Hirst exhibition at the Palazzo Grassi? Plan B ensued, a lovely art fair that’s on
every two years.
I'm not usually into galleries as they often require etiquette such as speaking quietly, a
talent I was not blessed with at birth. Fortunately loud blabbing and guffawing was
permitted at this art fair. There's even art that you can touch- check it out! 

Venice Art Show 2017

Finally we got a boat taxi. If you really want to be fancy get one of these hunks to
paddle you around for an hour on their gondola. I now know exactly why they call it
the city of love. 

venice marriage proposal

Learning all about the beauty and craftsmanship of Diadora products - tick
Views of Venice from the top of shopping centre -tick
Eating my entire body weight in pasta and cheese -tick
Sipping on Prosecco & Aperol spritz like its water -tick
Having a long ride on this man’s big gondola?! - Dammit, maybe next time.

venice gondala

 

XOXO

This blog post was brought to you in collaboration with Diadora

BOOKSHOP VENICE

Get To Know: The Launch

People say it’s not what you know but who you know, but I think it’s a healthy measure of both! I am launching a women’s events and networking series called Get To Know with two female powerhouses Adrienne and Hayley and I’d love you to be part of the launch event at The Hoxton Hotel.

Hoxton Holborn London

Our inboxes are full of questions and queries from passionate motivated women all in need of the necessary info for success that you can't find on Google.  Get To Know aims to be the go-to platform where aspirational women can come together and learn from the experts as well as one another.

LEARN

We are going to provide direct access to women who have made it to the top within the industries of their choice so each event will have guest speakers discussing essential topics such as branding, self confidence, money management, fitness and health, everything you need  to know will be covered.

At our launch event a panel of guests will be giving talks and answering questions from the Get To Know community. Once the talking is done and all your questions are answered it will be P.A.R.T.Y time with some baddass female DJs and every attendee will go home with a Get To Know partybag. 

Hayley Adrienne London AJ Odudu

Get To Know: The Launch is on Thursday 21st September at The Hoxton Shoreditch at 18:30.  If you have even the smallest flame of burning desire to fulfill all you can be then come and join us. We would love to Get To Know you. Click here for tickets.

XOXO

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WHEN: Thursday 21st September, 18:30

WHERE: The Hoxton Shorditch Hotel, 81 Great Eastern St, London EC2A 3HU

HOW: Click here

I'm Running The London Marathon

I’m running this year’s London Marathon on Sunday 23rd April and I’m both excited and terrified in unequal measure (currently the excited to terrified ratio is 1 to loads). Yes, I enjoy running. Yes, I have good fitness levels already.  But I’ve never ran 26.2 miles in one go before and I’ve never had to face the potential humiliation of being over taken by a novice dressed as a chicken.

Run London

Over the past 5 years I’ve attended many marathons and have become very good at them.  Spectating really is an underrated discipline. I’ve watched from mile 8 where the runners look strong, happy and totally at one with their costume (or at two if they’re a donkey).  But I’ve also watched from mile 25 where the scenes are somewhat different. Bleeding nipples, tears of pain, sweaty banana suits peeling off, and, if your spectating skills aren’t as tuned as mine, you might accidentally look down and clock some soiled undies. So I know what I’m getting myself into.  My three main priorities are; 1) don’t hurt myself 2) don’t ruin a pair of undies and 3) to trip anyone dressed as poultry.  

Tower Bridge London

So why am I taking on such a challenge?

Five reasons:

1) There’s really something special about thousands of people coming together to run for fantastic causes in one direction: forward.

2) My spectating coach says I’ve pushed spectating as far as I can.

3) I watched my friends over the years try and fail to win a ballot space so now that I have one I can’t wimp out!

4) My friends that have ran it have all said “you see the city how you’ve never seen it before”. Perhaps they missed out "through squinted eyes and a layer of sweat" ...but I'm still keen to see it for myself.

5) The feeling crossing over the finish line.  It will be my biggest physical achievement to date and I can’t wait to cock my head back and scream at the top of my lungs “Thank f*** that’s over!”

The London Eye

As a complete Marathon novice I’d really value your support; training tips, podcast and music suggestions to listen to whilst I’m running, recovery tips and motivation so Tweet me @ajodudu or follow my progress on Instagram @ajodudu . Currently I keep telling myself this:

The London Marathon

But I need positive mantras coming out of my ears!

Big thanks (?!) to adidas for getting me a spot. Closer to the time I will announce a charity that I will be running for but until then...send help!

Virgin London Marathon 2017

If you liked this blog post please SHARE. 

XOXO

 

 

5 Things You Must Do In Malta

I recently took a trip to Malta to check it out. I’d never been before and didn’t expect much, yet absolutely loved it. If you're fortunate enough to take a trip there, here are 5 things you must do in Malta.

AJ Odudu Malta

1. Visit Valletta

As the smallest capital city in Europe it’s easy to walk around within a few hours and is filled with quaint cafes and wine bars.

Velletta Malta

It’s like one big open air museum with interesting facts about architecture, art and history. It was my favourite place to visit in Malta because of;

A) The Upper Barrakka Gardens, which used to be private gardens for the Italian Knights until after WWII, when they were made public to us mere mortals. 

Upper Barrakka Gardens
                     The views from the Upper Barrakka Gardens are drop dead gorgeous

                     The views from the Upper Barrakka Gardens are drop dead gorgeous

B) Luzzu aka a traditional Maltese boat. I took a ride on one which I clearly thought was an absolute hoot!

Maltese Boat Trip
Luzzu Boat, Malta

C) St John's Co-Cathedral which was stunning. It doesn’t look too pretty from the outside but once you enter, the level of opulence and art is off the scale. It even has the only signed paintings from the artist, Caravaggio. Not bad eh?

St John's Co-Cathedral in Vellatta, Malta

2. Take a Boat Trip

There’s no better way to feel like a captain than by spending an entire day on a boat.

AJ Odudu Malta

The sea is also a great way to sight see. We sailed out to enjoy the crystalline waters of Malta, the Grand Harbour of Valletta and the Three Cities before dinning on board. My dinner date was the cutest dog in the world.

Buddy the Dog, Malta
Buddy The Dog

3. Visit Azure Window

Azure Window, Malta

Hop on a ferry from Malta to Gozo and if you dare, take a segway tour from Ta’ Pinu church to Dwejra. 

Ta'Pinu Church, Gozo
Segway Tour Malta

You'll enjoy views of the Inland Sea before stopping off at the Azure Window to swim and take pictures.

AJ Odudu Azure Window

4. Visit Mdina

If you’re a TV or film nerd, then the former capital city of Malta, Mdina is the place for you, as scenes from Game of Thrones have been shot there. It has narrow streets, is candle-lit in the evenings and the nickname of this Medieval town is The Silent City which is ironic as it was the opposite. In fact I ran around the city making as much racket as possible, at a very happy volume.

Mdina, Malta
Run in Mdina

5. Trek Around Kimono

Catch a boat and take a walk around Kimono island before swimming in the blue lagoon. The water and views are spectacular! 

Kimono, Malta
Trek in Malta, Kimono

Alternatively chill out with a cocktail on Golden Bay Beach because sometimes, lounging about is a perfectly acceptable activity, especially when you're on holiday. Safe travels! 

XOXO

Visit Malta

Spartan Race Madrid

When I think of Madrid I think of sun, roof top pools and Christiano Ronaldo (obviously) but yesterday my Spanish fantasies were actually ruled by trail runs, cargo climbing, mud and even spear throwing (yes, you heard me) as I took part in the Spartan Sprint Race.

aj-odudu

I was invited by Reebok to partake in this 5K obstacle course, who organised a CrossFit workout session with legendary CrossFit champion, Dan Bailey the day before to get us match ready.

aj-odudu
aj-odudu

As a team we took to the start line. It seemed like fun to begin with (people dressed as Centurions acting as barriers to block us from passing, amused me) but then came a chilly run through a river, a series of tall walls to jump over, muddy hills to run up,  ropes to climb, tires to pull, heavy sandbags to carry and barbed wire to crawl under.

aj-odudu
aj-odudu
aj-odudu

For every failed obstacle attempt came the forfeit of energy sapping burpees and after each hurdle was a rocky trail run to the next. It was tough.  

aj-odudu

The final obstacle was a 20ft wall which you had to pull yourself up with rope. It took me four attempts to get over and at times I didn't think I'd make it. Failing knocked my confidence and I began to feel low but with the motivation from a bellowing man telling me how strong I really was and that "I just needed to believe", I dug deep and finally got to the top, jumped over a wall of flames and crossed the finished line, scratched, bruised but super proud. 

aj-odudu

As much as it was a test of physical endurance and strength it was also a mental challenge. It's really important to never downplay your achievements in anything so to all the participants, congratulations! You did yourself proud.

To sign up to a Spartan Race near you checkout: http://www.spartanrace.uk/en

aj-odudu