Boxing spices up my cricket training
The Ashes seem to be looming up quickly now and I’ve been having some sessions with Durham fitness coach Colin Sanctuary and a few of my county team-mates.
It was part weights and part aerobic exercise, using rowing machines and bikes, and I always love that kind of stuff because you always feel energised once you have done it.
I’ve also been doing a bit of boxing to spice my training up a bit....
Myself and Durham team-mate Mark Davies have been sparring with our gloves on and I’ve been enjoying it.
I'm not trying to increase my aggression ahead of the Ashes, it is simply a great way to keep fit and I used to do a bit of kick-boxing when I was younger.
I’ve had to get all my gear sorted out and I went to see Slazenger to pick up a few bats for the trip – thankfully because it’s all sponsored I didn’t have to pay for it!
I normally take about three bats with me although those above me in the order tend to take a couple more.
You use different bats for different things, like net sessions and bowling machines and then one for the match, obviously.
I’m also conscious about what goes into my body now I’m an international cricketer and I like eating healthily.
Since last winter the England and Wales Cricket Board has employed a nutritionist and a lot of lads have taken on board the advice and feel a lot better about it.
I like cooking and I’m quite handy in the kitchen, knocking up Mexican and pasta dishes.
It’s much better to eat something that has been home-cooked then go out and fill your face with food that probably isn’t that good for you.
When I move into my new house it looks as though I’ll be doing most of the cooking as I have to admit my girlfriend Lisa isn’t the best in the kitchen!
My cousin Caroline got married abroad recently but had a reception in Middlesbrough at the weekend so I went to that.
I do get recognised quite a bit now and have to sign autographs and pose for pictures – which my family thinks is hilarious!
On Sunday, I watched some of the England match. They have got off to a bad start in the Champions Trophy in India but hopefully they can put it together in the next couple of games.
I wished I was there taking a few wickets and getting runs down the order but I’m not and if I’m truthful I prefer not to watch them on television because I get frustrated.
I’ve had a few blog requests asking how I got into cricket and I have to say I used to watch my dad Alan playing for Marske CC in the north-east when I was really young. He was a good bowler and a useful club cricketer.
That gave me a taste for cricket and I’ve been playing since I was a junior.
My mum and dad are huge cricket fans and are coming out for the Melbourne and Sydney Ashes Tests, over Christmas and New Year.
They are so proud that I play for England and it has fulfilled a dream for them.
The ultimate is for them to see me in Australia in the Ashes and we all can’t wait for that.
But one person who won’t be there though is my sister Natalie – as she is pregnant with twins.
They are due in a couple of weeks so it will be touch and go if I see them before I head off to Australia at the beginning of November.
I have loved reading your comments so far and will be replying to some more of them on Thursday so keep them coming!