I thought I’d write this post just to weigh in on a doubt that may be starting to niggle in people’s minds. I know we’ve all done it. All of us with social media accounts at least! How tempting are those “like and share” competitions and as time goes on, we enter more and more of them without ever hearing about anybody ever winning them. The only reminder we have that we entered all these competitions in the first place is that posts from that group pop up on our newsfeed every now and then and remind us of our failed attempt at success.

I do it all the time. I mean for years now I’ve been reading posts by Leeds Rhinos on my Facebook feed, and as much as I enjoy reading their updates, I will admit that I only ever liked their page as part of a “like and share” competition to win tickets to some random festival I can’t even remember! I suppose it’s a testament to the publicity success of these competitions that years down the line I am still reading updates by the Leeds Rhinos.

But like I say I had started to somewhat doubt that these competitions ever had winners. I mean I’d never heard of any of my friends winning, have you? I’d even started reading comments on the competition posts where people had started saying things like “Do people ever even win these things?” I think the companies had even started to get wind of our doubts as some of them have started tagging the Facebook user in the announcement of the winner!

Now imagine my surprise a couple of weekends ago when I was sat quietly nursing a glass of bubbles as my Mum and I watched an episode of Grey’s Anatomy. I may also have been swiping away on an online dating account my friend set me up on (Did I mention my “one date a month” challenge is not off to a good start….). Any way my leisurely Sunday evening was interrupted by a torrent of excitement when a notification popped up on my Facebook telling me I’d won a competition! I’m not going to lie, I enter these things all the time (gotta be in it to win it right?) so I couldn’t actually remember what I’d won! I had to go back through all the comments on the post to discover the contents of my winnings…

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It turns out I’d not only won a free beauty treatment, but also a free month’s gym pass at one of the most luxurious gyms in Doncaster! For anybody interested, the treatment was with the Beauty Suite at Nuffield gym in Doncaster. I was a member a while ago and absolutely loved it! Is it wrong if I’m wondering that winning this prize is the universe’s way of telling me I need to get my act together and get in shape? I mean, I know I’m hoping to see some whales in the wild when I go on my travels this summer, but that probably doesn’t make it acceptable for me to take the shape of one?

I couldn’t believe my luck! What an amazing prize!

So I dutifully (and rather eagerly) got in touch to organise my prize. It turns out one of my options for the treatments was a fully body massage (there were other options but I looked no further when I saw the possibility of a massage). With my treatment booked and the free gym membership organised there was nothing to do but wait…

Eventually the day arrived for my treatment and for my membership to begin (it arrived about as quickly as a watched kettle boils). I rocked up at the gym after work and decided to have a dip in the pool before heading to the beauty area.

Did I mention it has a pool? Not just an amazing gym but a pool as well! Not just a pool but a sauna, steam room and Jacuzzi as well! It was like I’d been given access to a spa for a month for free! Even if I don’t actually use the gym equipment (I have to admit this is entirely possible, unless I happen to lean on one of the benches while I tie my laces) I would enjoy having use of such lovely pool facilities.

So I managed to do a few lengths, probably not many at all (the kids doing swimming lessons in the next lane probably did a better job than me) but I thought I did quite well to say I’d gone straight from work. Nevertheless I decided I had swam enough lengths to earn a trip in the sauna, so to the sauna I headed. I’m never entirely sure which way you are supposed to do it. Is it sauna first then steam room? Or steam room first then sauna? I had a couple of trips in both just to make sure I’d covered both options!

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I decided against a trip in the Jacuzzi as it seemed quite busy and I’m not sure on the correct etiquette for a busy Jacuzzi. Do you make small talk? Or do people want to relax? Is eye contact expected or to be avoided? Plus there’s always the awkward moment where you accidentally play footsie with one of your Jacuzzi mates and then you start to wonder if it’s been too long since you had your legs waxed and has anybody noticed the extra growth? With the Jacuzzi skipped I headed to the changing room for a shower and then got my comfies on as I headed up to the beauty suite.

Now what I probably should have thought about as I got my comfies on with my post-sauna beetroot face was that I’d have to go through the gym to get to the beauty suites.

Did I also mention that this gym is quite well known for having some rather nice looking men among its clientele?!?

Even if it wasn’t well known before my visit, I quickly discovered the truth of this statement. I also considered the possibility of my “one date a month” challenge meeting more success if I happened to start having a leisurely drink in the coffee shop in the entrance after my gym visits…

Knowing full well I looked a mess, I kept my eyes down and headed straight for my treatment (I like that in this case I have a good excuse for looking a mess). Although I suppose even if I had thought about this fully, I’m still not the kind of girl who rocks up at a gym with a full face of make-up and false lashes on. What’s the point?

I entered the beauty suite and was immediately whisked off to my treatment room. Now I’ve had back massages before. In fact recently, I’ve been having back massages quite regularly as a result of some back ache I’ve been having (the joys us larger chested ladies face eh?). But I’ve never had a full body massage before and was slightly nervous about what to expect.

It must be said within minutes of the massage commencing I was too relaxed to be nervous about anything! I contemplated mentioning that I had back problems and that if she felt the need to, I’d be quite happy with all of the treatment time being spent on my back. But again, in my state of relaxation the thought of moving my mouth to form words seemed like far too much of an effort!

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From what I can gather, when having a massage you are able to select your own level of pressure. I’m assuming this ranges from total relaxation to full on bodily torture. I opted for somewhere in the middle, I wanted relaxation but if she came across any areas of tension to deal with it appropriately. When she began to tackle the knots in my back and shoulders I wondered if I’d made the right decision… But judging by how much better my back felt the next day, it was definitely the right call!

Following the back, neck and shoulder portion of my treatment, the lady doing my treatment (I feel awful that I forgot to ask her name! For the purposes of this blog I think I’ll call her Sandra) began to massage my legs (again I wondered if I it was close enough to my leg wax for this not to be incredibly awkward) before asking me to roll over so she could massage the tops of my legs, feet, hand and arms. Those of you who are familiar with episodes of “Miranda” and the infamous “boob clap” she jokes about can imagine how interesting it was attempting to roll over while Sandra held the blanket to cover my dignity!

It was pure relaxation and I’m not entirely sure I managed to stay awake for the entire treatment! There was even little lavender plants scattered throughout the beauty suites (I find lavender so relaxing!) and it was all decorated so nicely, I felt calm just being there. Sandra even indicated the massage was over by tinkling some sort of bell that seemed like it could fit in quite well with some sort of meditation ritual! I left the gym with a price list of treatments in hand, wondering why I don’t do this more often!

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So my month of free gym membership began quite well! But shortly after I came down with a bad cold style thing which has prevented me from a repeat visit so far this week. That’s the excuse I’m using this week at least…

Perhaps I should use the extra time to do some work on that little dating challenge my friends set me!

But anyway, the moral of the story is that Facebook winners do exist, so maybe lottery winners do exist! Maybe even the right man exists? But I suppose you have to be in it to win it! SO get liking and sharing. Maybe I should offer a prize of wine for people who share this post? I’ll think about it, but for now I’m off to buy a lottery ticket!

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