#LinktoLeedsgetsEdgy: Ahmad’s story

Written by Ahmad Alawneh

Hey everyone, so a couple of weeks ago 4 ambassadors and myself covered a range of sports and activities at the Edge gym through the Link to Leeds social media. Don’t worry if you missed our fun live videos and posts, as we will all be covering our experience through these individual blogs!

The Edge is the University’s on campus gym and has many great facilities ranging from an Olympic swimming pool to a fantastic indoor climbing area. Other than having great facilities, the gym has also been used by Alistair Brownlee the British triathlete, and current Olympic, European and Commonwealth champion as well as the Chinese Olympic Team who trained at the Edge in 2012. Personally, I’ve been to the gym a couple of times mostly using the fitness suite and football halls. However, the sports week I spent at the Edge with the ambassadors gave me the opportunity to try several new sports and classes.

My first day at the Edge started by sharing the personal training (PT) facilities available. Not everyone has a workout routine or knows how to reach their gym goals, so it was great to show that there is state of the art personal training facilities that allow you to train comfortably with your trainer in the PT suite. I’ll be covering more about this below, when I share my PT experience with Andrew.

Later, I met up with the other ambassadors to try our first Squash experience with David Lines. None of us had experience with the sport so it was quite interesting. We were professionally taught the standard rules and racket movements in a very fun way, as David watched closely and provided feedback on how to keep improving our movements and striking the ball. As I recall he kept saying “high and soft” when hitting the ball, so I’ll always remember him whenever I play Squash again. I loved the squash lesson as it was intense yet fun at the same time, and I personally think I will continue learning the sport later in the future!

On my second day, the ambassadors and I met up and had a climbing lesson. I have always seen the indoor climbing facility at the gym but never thought I would ever use it as I had no climbing experience. We were trained by a fantastic instructor called Tudor, as he kept giving us tips on how to climb to the next point and focus on getting to the top. Honestly speaking, my first time going up ended me with only reaching 80% of the way as I looked down and got dizzy. However, when the ambassadors and I decided to race to the top, I started climbing feeling completely safe and ended up reaching the top without even thinking about it! I do love competition and overall I can say we all had a great experience full of fun and laughter.

Later in the day Daniella and I tried a P90X class together. It was basically a total body weight training class that focused on upper strength, lower strength, cardio and core. It was a very intense and energetic class that made me feel my leg muscles the next day. I think it’s a great class if you need motivation to have a full body workout with some people and music. Luckily, I had the third day off to rest, but my fourth day was very busy at the gym!

On my fourth day, I basically spent most of my day at the gym. First I started off with a PT session with Andrew. It was a refreshing start to the day with some new exercises and using new equipment such as the TRX and power sled. After finishing my session with Andrew, I was very sweaty but at the same time I felt energetic. The workout we did together was something he does to start his day, so it worked my muscles but didn’t drain my energy. It was a great PT session and I thank Andrew for his time and help.

Later I was supposed to try a Pilates class, but ended up taking a yoga class to help me relax my muscles and get ready for the basketball game with the ambassadors. I’ve never done yoga before so it was all new to me. There was a lot of bending and flexibility, and some people were obviously regulars but the instructor guided us all as if we were beginners and made us all comfortable in doing the yoga positions correctly. After finishing the yoga session, I felt very relaxed and pumped up for the basketball game.

I loved the competitive wild basketball game we had. We booked a court and had a game between Dani and Ahmad versus Haleemah and Melina. In the end, we lost … if you take out all the basketball rules hahaha. But overall it was a fun game and for those who watched our live chat video … I hope you enjoyed me and Haleemah running around the court for an hour!

For my final day, the ambassadors and I ended our Edge sports week with a nice game of badminton. None of us knew the rules so we were a bit rusty at start, however after googling the rules and getting used to the rackets we started having a nice competitive game of badminton. If you saw our live chat stories, you would even notice that later in the game we were joined by Olivia and Tudor who showed off their badminton skills. It was very fun trying badminton with beginners as we were all learning the rules, but with some practice we were playing like naturals.

At the end of the week, I can say I tried a nice range of new sports and classes offered at the Edge. I will definitely be trying more classes in the future and continuing the new activates I liked during my Link to Leeds gets edgy week. It was a great experience and opportunity to learn and try something new, and I really recommend it. I personally think there is something for everyone whether it is sports, climbing, dancing, swimming or classes.

I hope you enjoyed reading this blog, make sure you read the other ambassador’s blogs to see the other activities that were covered during the #LinktoLeedsGetsEdgy week.

Author

Ahmad Alawneh
Hello! I’m Ahmad and I am studying MSc in Engineering Project Management. I joined the University of Leeds in 2013, completing both my International Foundation Year and my BEng Civil Engineering here....
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