What my Dad taught me. 

  
The other day I was looking at old photographs of my Dad. As an ex service man, entrepreneur, tri-athlete & Father he has had a lot of valuable life experience and all too often I hear my Dads words of wisdom ringing in my ears. I thought I would share them as it would be selfish if I didn’t.

Here goes…

It’s okay to enjoy you’re own company

My Dad often quotes “I am a rock, I am an island, i am chuffin’ Ibiza”. He made me realise that wanting to be alone is a good thing & there is nothing better than locking yourself away from the world and spending time with yourself. 

It’s not big & it’s not clever.

Usually following a heavy night drinking. 

Always sprint the last 100 meters of a race. 

I used to run competively & no matter how I felt towards the end of a long distance run I was sure to sprint the last stint . Dad said so. I don’t think I ever won a race on this advice but it’s something I am still sure to do even at the grand old age of 24, not just in running but in every task – always give it your all & ensure you finish in the best possible position. 

Pressure is a catalyst for self improvement.

Ever have those days where you feel the pressure in between your shoulders? I do. All the time. All too often I fall victim of putting to much pressure on myself. Dad reassures me that’s this is okay, without pressure there would be no room for self growth. Pressure should be appreciated & used to push on forwards. 

Don’t sweat the small stuff. 

Life’s too short. Always try to stop & value the bigger picture.  

Set yourself a challenge.

Without challenges life would be dull. Having something to work towards & targets to hit means you don’t get bored. It’s okay to admit defeat at times but never give up on the challanges you face. 

What life lessons have you learnt? I would to hear some more 🙂 I will be sharing my mothers pearls of wisdom in the near future…

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What’s it like being a twin? 

 
It’s been a while since I have blogged & I have been thinking of what to post for a minute or so. What better subject matter than being a twin? After all, it is my favourite talking point. 

I have been a twin for 24 years & 10 months (even longer if you count the stay in the womb) and I can’t tell you how many times I have been asked the questions “what’s it like being a twin?” Of course, this is just one question of many! 

I’m going to take this opportunity to recall some very familiar Q&A’s: 

1) Are you two twins?

Depending on our mood we usually just smile politely with a gentle nod. Although, there has been times we have sarcastically, exlamined “absolutely not – what made you think that?” 

  

2) Are you identical? 

Yes, in the sense that we are very similar in looks. I’m talking double takes in the streets, her photos in my baby album, pretending to be one another and making her try on clothes when I can’t be bothered. 

No, in the sense that we are fraternal twins (dizygotic) and technically no more alike than individual brothers or sisters born on different dates.

3) Have you ever pretended to be each other? 

Yes, to avoid awkward confrontations with people in the street. In maths & science class and once without our say when at 6-8 months I developed my signiture moles above my right eye & friends of the family duplicated them on Emma.

4) Do you feel each other’s pain? 

Physically, no. We do share a memory of being in pain. Emma fell of a slide & bust her nose when we were little. I could have sworn it was me being carried around crying my eyes out with a bleeding nose & black eyes but mother confirms, 100%, that was Emma. 

Emotionally, yes, this isn’t a “twin thing” though. You try feeling nothing when you see somebody you love showing sadness or beeming from ear to ear with happiness.

5) Do your boyfriends mix you up? 

Lol. No. 

6) How do people tell you apart? 

Quite easily, once the initial “oh my word your so alike” “even your mannerisms” has passed, people get to know us and realise we are actually completely different. 

If that fails, I have 2 very distinctive moles, quite artistically placed above my right brow, I don’t mind titling my head to help with the confusion.

  

7) What’s it like being a twin? 

We usually respond – ” what’s it like not being a twin?”

8) Do you have the same friends? 

We have always shared the constant friends we have now and have had for a very long time. That being said, I have friends she doesn’t know and vice versa, this is has happened more so now we live apart. 

9) Who is the oldest? 

I am.

10) … By how long? 

10 minutes. 

11) Do twins run in your family? 

Nope. We are the very first. I hope not the last, I think everybody should be a twin & I would love a set of my own (one day). Twins have an all time best friend for life no if, buts or maybes. 

12) Do you fight? 

When we lived together – We fought like cat & dog 50% of the time. Constantly bickering, moaning and whinging at each other. The other 50% she would make me combust with laughter. 

We now live apart, so not so much. That being said if we spend longer than 12 hours together the catty comments return. Sharing a womb doesn’t mean we don’t get sick of each other when in close proximity. 

13) Who is the evil twin? 

In school, it was me. Emma was a goody goody, shiney shoes & her shirt tucked in. Me? I wore eyeliner & skirts up my bum. I also have darker green eyes which was once pointed out to me by the popular boy in school – that that’s what makes me look evil. (Thanks.)

Now, I think we’re both lovely & angelic. 

14) Do you dress a like? 

Not intentionally, should we say Emma is “inspired” by my wardrobe and I often notice her in a similar outfit following previous meet ups. 

We have also donned matching outfits for the fun runs we have taken part in this year. 

  15) Do you like being a twin? 

I absolutely love it. I think it’s unfair that it isn’t normal for everybody to have one. #bestthingever. 

Do you know any twins? Do they have similar FAQ’s? 

Weekend Weaknesses.

Happy Sunday. 

Weekends always prove difficult when it comes to healthy eating. During the week I’m sure to eat my trusty 5 a day, if not more, I stay away from takeaways & avoid fizzy drinks but at the weekend it is a totally different story. 

I only get to see Oliver on a Saturday night  &  Sunday. One of the ways to spend quality time together is by going out to eat. This weekend we went to The Punch Bowl. We both opted for the beef dinner & it was amazing. Beef on a bed of potatoes & veg topped off with a Yorkshire pudding and a drizzle of red wine gravy – delicious! 

 [Oh Hey Oliver!] 

It wasn’t the most unhealthy choice but we didn’t stop there. I finished off my meal with a white chocolate & banoffe sundae, equally as a nice but no where near as justifiable!

My mum gets married in September. One of my goals is to feel amazing on her wedding day. I am far from fat but I would love to feel toned & super trim before then. I’d settle looking like Rosie Huntington Whitely – dreams! 

So game on, I’m going to fill my evenings with lots of exercise & steer away the bad foods that are so conviently placed every where I look, even at the weekends! 

Great Manchester Run. 

Sunday 10th May saw europes biggest 10k return to the streets of Manchester.  Thousands of runners (if not more) flocked to take part & I was one of them. 

  

[Me & my twin at the starting line.]

After spectating whilst my big sister ran the race last year, my sister Emma & I were very keen to follow in her foot steps. We signed up as soon as the opportunity was given & the big day came around very quickly. 

To be completely honest, I was absolutely dreading it. I have been suffering with a calf injury so I was unable to give it my all when it came to training. I was even struggling running a 5K. 

 
[My race number. Note: how long is my hair???.]

 My aim was to complete the course in 1 hour. I was super conscious to warm up & stretch to be sure I gave myself the best possible chance. I managed it in 1 hour & 5 minutes. Il take the 5 minutes, I’m extremely proud of myself. Emma completed it in 1 hour 33 seconds, in real time I’m sure she would have done it in less than an hour. Although, she lost her number & electronic tracker. Silly.

  
[Embracing the shared genes.]

Here are my top tips for running the Manchester 10k: 

1. Partner up: taking part alone would be very boring & not as much fun. 

2. Stretch, stretch & stretch. My calf caused me very little pain as a result of this.

3. Keep hydrated – obvious to many but not to everybody. 

4. You can litter, but only during the race. It is the norm to dispose of your water bottle by throwing it to the side of the road. Naughty. 

5. Smile. You’re on camera. A lot. 

 
[Photo finish.]  

Would you consider running the race? 

Have you ever ran during a similar event? If so, what was you time? 

Life’s a climb, but the views are great. 

This weekend was spent in Keswick an English market town in the Lake District. 

I had never appreciated the beauty of the Lake District until last year. Oliver & his family spend a lot of time there. It wasn’t until I visited with him as my tour guide, that I really discovered it’s delightful views and treks. 

This weekend we were lucky enough to stay in a very sweet guest house – West View. The owners greeted us by name & were the perfect hosts the whole of the short stay. 

 [The sights from our room.]

We woke up early on the Saturday & fuelled ourselves with a full English breakfast. We then took a walk around Watendlath – a hamlet & tarn not too far from the small town of Keswick. It was such a lovely walk, slightly up hill to begin with but gradually it evens out with views for miles. 

 [Which way to chose?]

  [The breathtaking views.] 

I even got to see a real life water fall. The weather was humid & typically British. It was so refreshing to listen & watch the water cascade down the side of a small mountain.

 [Don’t go chasing waterfalls.]

Sunday was spent visiting catbells, it’s 1,480 ft & one of the most popular fells in the Lake District. It’s easy to see why…

   

  

 [Only half way up… Stunning.]

We only walked part way to the summit, I think the 3 glasses of wine the night before & the early check out hindered my hiking abilities. Even a fraction of the way up the views are astonishing, no really. 

If I could spend every weekend like this, I would. 

Saturdays are for Sisters. 

  [Mine & my sisters go faster trainers.]

I have worked Saturday shifts from the age of 15. I am now working Monday – Friday & I often forget how thankful I am to have Saturdays off – in light of this, I thought I would write a post recognising my gratitude for work free Saturday’s. 

This weekend my sisters & I celebrated  a birthday. My big sisters. Her actually birthday is on Wednesday so there was the typical choice between the weekend before or after, lucky enough it was this weekend as I am already booked up for the following & I am so glad I could help her mark the occasion. 

We started the day with the Heaton Park, park run. The sun was shining through the window & the birds were tweeting – perfect 8am alarm clock if you ask me. The weather was beautiful     meaning the run was a lot busier than I have ever seen before. 

 

[The herd of people at the starting line.]

It’s only 5km. I’m training for the Manchester 10km so the park run is a great way to build my fitness & a delightful way to start my Saturday. 

  [My smiley sisters, once the run was over.]

I completed it in 32 minutes, one of my goals is to finish within 30 minutes – watch this space!!!

A night out was planned for the evening. We had a table booked at Dimitries on Deansgate in Manchester & we started the night with 241 cocktails. 

 [Myself & my twin, Emma.] 

My mum made the evening a double celebration, sharing the news that her partner is going to ask for her hand in marriage next month whilst on holiday in the Domincan Republic. Even more exciting is the engagement will be made official by a little blue box. I am so giddy for her! 

 [Cheers to happy times.] 

This Saturday was super special. I can’t wait to spend more with my best friends! 

Me, Myself & I.

I thought it made sense for my first blog post to be about me. What better subject to start with, than something I know more about than anyone else.

Full Name: Rebecca Oliver, I’m a twin & my Mum says  “It was hard enough thinking of two names, let alone four.” Therefore I don’t have a middle name.

Age: It changes every year, on the 14.09.

Gender: Female

10 facts about me…

1. I’m happy all the time, as long as things are going my way.

2. I was born in Germany, no I’m not German, but offspring of the military circa 1990.

3. My sisters are my best friends. Forever & Always. IDST.

4. I make “To do” lists, and add “Make a list” just so I can cross it off.

5. I chipped one of my front teeth when I was 7 & then again when I was 21.

6. I’m a firm believer in “What you believe, you can achieve”.

7. Rhonda Byrne is my life guru – Shh it’s a secret.

8.  I have a part time dog called Caesar Macaroni Cheese the 1st

9. I have goals. Daily goals, weekly goals, monthly goals, yearly goals.

10… One of my goals is to achieve them.

 Watch this space !!!

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