Summer Bike Style

10 Jan 2018

Liana of @findingfemme wears a Laura Ashley straw boater, Nishe dress on her Lekker bike.

I’ve been spending the last year focusing on my fitness. It’s been partially for my health as having a desk job was turning me into a grumpy old hunchback, and partially for pleasure. I missed being strong and being able to do the activities that my body could perform so well when it was strong. From simple things like being able to hold a steering wheel without hurting my shoulder, through to being able to lift up my nephew without getting tired.

Liana of @findingfemme wears a Laura Ashley straw boater, Nishe dress on her Lekker bike.

I went in to meet with my awesome exercise physiologist with some basic goals. Firstly, I wanted to be able to touch my toes. To do this, he started teaching me to do deadlifts. At the time, I couldn’t even perform a single deadlift, with no weights. I spent weeks working on getting my body used to the technique and waking up muscles that had become dormant. Yesterday, I hit a new personal best at the gym, deadlifting 60kg, which is close to my goal of being able to deadlift my own body weight. To get from the start point to here has been so brilliant. Obviously, I can now touch my toes with ease.

Liana of @findingfemme wears a Laura Ashley straw boater, Nishe dress on her Lekker bike.

I didn’t grow up as someone that was into fitness or sport. My mother has had a career as a fitness instructor and personal trainer. Even though she had that professional background she always let me get away with forging notes from her to get out of Physical Education at school. I hated PE. I hated the group change rooms. I hated being uncoordinated at all the sports. I hated getting out in front of people and playing games. I hated the pressure of a ‘team’ relying on my less than ideal playing. I hated the way teams were chosen like it was a friendship or popularity contest. I hated the change of uniform and the way my always heavy thighs look in fitness gear. I hated the stupid beep test and having to try to be my best like it was some sort of competition with people, particularly when we weren’t trained to be cardio fit at any other damn point in the year. I hated not owning an appropriate bra. I hated never knowing the rules to sports that I probably should have and was often treated like a fool by classmates for not having that assumed knowledge. I hated being competitive. More than anything. I don’t want to fight against someone else to achieve a goal. The only person I want to compete with is the one in the mirror.

Liana of @findingfemme wears a Laura Ashley straw boater, Nishe dress on her Lekker bike.

In fact, I’m so anti-competitive that I can’t play board games with people. At school, all I wanted was to feel like I belonged somewhere with people that weren’t judging me and where I didn’t have to be visible. PE was the opposite of that. People had the opportunity to ‘shine’, to really ‘lead’ their ‘team’, to be able to ‘strive’ for something. As a girl, if I ever tried to lead I was seen as bossy. How was I meant to learn to lead if leadership at school was mostly about being liked and to be liked you had to talk to people (which I didn’t enjoy)? Or you had to be good at something (if your classmates didn’t tall poppy tear you down for it). Also, I’m an introvert.

Liana of @findingfemme wears a Laura Ashley straw boater, Nishe dress on her Lekker bike.

The few times I enjoyed PE, was on the rare occasions where we did something active, but non-competitive, like gymnastics or dance. Where I got to focus on my own skills, to work hard and to see personal results that made me proud of myself. My mum got me into doing weights at the gym and I would go occasionally, getting a lot of enjoyment out of it. The biggest change for me with physical activity came when I was at the end of high school.

Liana of @findingfemme wears a Laura Ashley straw boater, Nishe dress on her Lekker bike.

A big group of my friends had started doing karate and I took it up. I was excited that there was no fighting, to begin with. The focus on self-development was strong and I really enjoyed it. My body began to respond to it immediately and I really enjoyed being strong. Throughout the years that I actively trained, I eventually started fighting and sometimes even competing, right through to national level tournaments. After around 5 or so years of training, I finally achieved a black belt. That was the fittest I had ever been. About a year after I reached that grade, I injured my shoulder and stopped attending. And then I slowly went backwards until I was the shrivelled husk of my former self and that is how I found myself 12 months ago.

Liana of @findingfemme wears a Laura Ashley straw boater, Nishe dress on her Lekker bike.

I’m not yet back to the fitness level I was then, but I’m on the right track. Instead of me wanting to be able to do 60 push-ups, I’m thinking about being strong. 60 pushups would be nice, but I don’t want to be able to do that, I want to have the strength and conditioning that would make that achievable. This year my fitness goals including being able to do the splits, which I have never fully achieved. I also want to be able to do a chin up. I’m sure I’ll get there eventually.

Liana of @findingfemme wears a Laura Ashley straw boater, Nishe dress on her Lekker bike.

Hat: vintage Laura Ashley via Etsy
Bag: Laura Ashley from several years ago, though not old enough to be vintage.
Dress: Nishe via eBay
Shoes: Modcloth

Pics: Liv from Scarves and Art
Photo post-production by me.
Location: Wendouree Lake




Liana of @findingfemme wears a Laura Ashley straw boater, Nishe dress on her Lekker bike.

Liana of @findingfemme wears a Laura Ashley straw boater, Nishe dress on her Lekker bike.

Liana of @findingfemme wears a Laura Ashley straw boater, Nishe dress on her Lekker bike.

Liana of @findingfemme wears a Laura Ashley straw boater, Nishe dress on her Lekker bike.

Liana of @findingfemme wears a Laura Ashley straw boater, Nishe dress on her Lekker bike.

- L
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