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Confessions of a Broke Athlete


I literally ate my hand weights last week. Some of my rehab exercises require small dumbbells but in the absence of proper gym equipment extra large tins of chickpeas have been doing the job. However, it was the end of the month and with an almost empty pantry my rehab weights got cooked.

I didn’t think twice either when I scavenged through the cupboards to find a suitable replacement. “A little ironic don’t you think?” my boyfriend said when he walked in and saw me training with the bulk Nutella jar. “It was the heaviest thing I could find!”

My dumbbells.

My dumbbells.


Doing rehab in my gym.

Top performing athletes make fortunes but unless you are in that top percentage of world class, you’ve no doubt cut a few corners to make ends meet and get your training done. In our house the approach of marginal gains isn’t just a lifestyle, it’s a necessity. I’m not talking the air humidifiers and personalized bedding made famous by Team Sky, I’m talking about getting an extra few months out of a dead saddle, patching your tubes more than twice, and getting at least another 1000km’s out something when the bike shop says it needs to be replaced.

Over the years the heavy Nutella jar is really just the tip of the iceberg. Sometimes they are good ideas, most times they aren’t but, with bills to pay like everyone else, marginal gains make a difference.

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