Friday, 11 January 2019

Dont Give Up - Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush

‘No fight left or so it seems’…

Yikes today is officially ‘Quitters’ Day’ the day when people are most likely to give up their New Year’s Resolutions - or rather ‘Quitter’s Quitting Day’. Whatever next eh? It’s hard enough setting some new life rules and expectations without having a sound REASON to do so. There’s a definite NEGATIVITY surrounding any story in the Press (featured on BBC and ITV Breakfast Shows this morning) and only provides yet another way out and explanation for people to FAIL.

I mean, it’s no surprise to anyone that by the 11thJanuary that most NYRs are long forgotten but the story could have been broadcast in a much brighter light or not even at all. I find it strange that Strava, the origin of the research, is part of such a negative story. As a TECH-based-business in the health and fitness sector, concentrating on some success stories would have been far more encouraging - their number of users must be at an all time high? Fit-Technology is a massive market and a ‘Friday-Non-Story-Day-Story’ would have been a much better call.

But then, people are cynical about NYRs and love a bit of NEGATIVITY - but not ME. I love my NYR now 9137 days’ old thank-you BBC-ITV-Strava and I ain’t quitting yet.

Keep fighting folks and watch out for the ENERGY VAMPIRES.

More later post Pen-Y-Fan...

1,029 Lifetime Marathons, 250 ULTRA-marathons9 Guinness World Records, 
15 Marathon des Sables & 25 Years' Dry

Tuesday, 8 January 2019

Reach Out - Four Tops

Reach Out...
‘Now if you feel that you can't go on because all of your hope is gone 
And your life is filled with much confusion until happiness is just an illusion’…

Wow, the lyrics sound a desperate don’t they - I don’t want this blog to sound that way REACHING OUT is important as January is already shaping up to be a pilotable time in a lot of the lives of the I’m working with. People that have simply REACHED OUT. People that have been STRONG enough to acknowledge that some guidance and a different of thinking might be all they need to get things going in the right direction.

I say STRONG because REACHING OUT is all too often thought of as being WEAK or FAILURE. I know only too well myself as I felt totally defeated and ay my lowest ebb when I REACHED OUT for help all those years’ ago. The AMAZING thing was that as soon as I shared my predicament - my world took a turn for the better and it felt like the light had started to shine in on my darkened world once more.

Yesterday, I spoke about this period of my life in a podcast that will be broadcast in early February. During that conversation I was asked about my work with my clients. Being put on the spot a little, and not being able to encompass everything I do into one soundbite, I said that although everyone was different and had different needs it was interesting that I had a 50:50 split in Male and Female clients. Unusual definitely as in the world of ULTRAS it's more 85:15 and that's been my stock business this past decade. After the podcast, I thought on about that split. How my work has changed and how the Male:Female REACHING OUT differs.

In general Men want help becoming STRONGER and FASTER whereas Women want to be VALUED and HEARD - a very PHYSICAL v EMOTIONAL set of needs. Maybe it’s down to a confidence issue in both sexes. Men need the uplift in times and performance to give them the edge to take on their world - to become that ALPHA MALE and Women need their confidence reinstated after years of Male suppression to become their OWN PERSON. You see, every Woman I coach is STRONG, CLEVER and BLOODY AWESOME - it’s just a shame they find it hard to ACCEPT, ACKNOWLEDGE and ANNOUNCE. When they do, (YOU know who you are) I find it most refreshing.

I also find it refreshing when Men REACH OUT publicly and announce that they are in fact MORTAL and are finding life TOUGH (YOU know who you are too) and it’s cool – VERY COOL in fact in both cases as PEOPLE LOVE to help other PEOPLE. You might find that LOVE comes from the PEOPLE you might least expect and not from those nearest to you - It did for me when I was ill in 2016 (again YOU know who you are).

But then, LIFE is FULL of SURPRISES and YOU might SURPRISE yourself and those around you if you feel lost and about to give up because your best just ain't good enough and your feel the world has grown cold and your drifting out all on your own.

Just REACH OUT - a WHOLE NEW WORLD awaits.

1,029 Lifetime Marathons, 250 ULTRA-marathons9 Guinness World Records, 
15 Marathon des Sables & 25 Years' Dry

Friday, 4 January 2019

Silver - Echo and the Bunnymen

First Day Cover of the Rest of your Life...
Phew, I’ve finally made my ‘Silver Jubilee’ - the anniversary of my last alcoholic drink on the 4thJanuary 1994. It’s so long ago, I can’t even tell you what the drink was - all I know is that the 5thJanuary became the start of my alcohol abstinence.

‘Swung from a chandelier, my planet sweet on a silver salver’…

Thinking back, I swung from many a chandelier in my twenties and I must have thought I was living life at full throttle (what a twit). If you’ve been there yourself or are currently behaving in that manner right now, you’ll know the feeling only too well. The feeling of being ‘Out of control’ and that you are simply ‘Wasting your life’.

‘Bailed out my worst fears, ‘cos man has to be his own saviour’…

Those feelings became my biggest fears. Finding myself at the very edge of personal disaster and at a point of no return back then, shocked me into action. Now I find I’m just shocked at the ridiculous way I treated myself and those around me.

‘The sky is blue, my hands untied. A world that's true, through our clean eyes’…

That January day, my Sky did in fact turn Blue - a wonderfully deep Azure. The clearest Blue you could ever imagine and as if by magic my whole body felt untied and released from the self-imposed bindings of my alcohol addiction.

Seeing myself through ‘Clean Eyes’ really helped my recovery and gave me the direction and therapy I needed to enable me to live by a fresh set of positive ideals.

‘Just look at you with burning lips, you're living proof at my fingertips’…

Here I am, twenty-five years on and 9,130 days dry. Totally dry - not a single drop has passed my lips and since then all manner of life-celebrations and crises have been celebrated and negotiated without needing to ‘Have-a-drink’.

‘All the way, well-behaved. Just in case it slips away’…

Of course, it’s not my only accomplishment this past quarter-century. It is however, the one I most proud of and it will continue on its unbroken run for as long as I do. 
You never know I might even make a ‘Golden Jubilee’ - I know it will happen if I’m still around.

‘The sky is blue, my hands untied. A world that's true, through our clean eyes’…

Amen.

1,029 Lifetime Marathons, 250 ULTRA-marathons9 Guinness World Records, 
15 Marathon des Sables & 25 Years' Dry

Thursday, 27 December 2018

Shine - Years and Years

Don't you feel that hunger, I've got so many secrets to show
Don't you hear that rhythm, can you show me how we can escape…

I find the Christmas period provides a great ‘Time-Out’ for thought and reflection, not only of the year that’s nearly all but passed by, but of the one that lies ahead. Being ‘Parked-Up’ from our busy everyday existences gives us that time and space to consider our very existence, especially spending so much time over the festive period with the people that are the closest to us – our families. I personally find that my greatest and most successful plans and decisions have been made around ‘Christmas-Time’ and the ‘New Year’ as that's where and when my values have been affected most.

I was biting my tongue, I was trying to hide
I'll forget what I've done, I'll be redefined…

I love the freshness that a ‘New Year’ can offer - I mean I’m the original ‘New Year’s Resolution Man’. It’s a clean slate with 365 opportunities to ‘Shine’ and ‘Redefine’ – there’s nothing more appealing IMO. In just a few short weeks most dreams, ambitions and goals can be achieved. By the time the clocks go forward in March most obsessions, addictions and poor behavioural traits could be dots in your rear-view mirror. By the Summer, it’s possible to have a body that you are happy to show off on holiday rather than hide – it’s all about redefining your future and the values to which you are going to live by in the future.

It's shaking the sky, and I'm following lightning
I'll recover if you keep me alive, don't leave me behind…

As for Feeling ‘Left Behind’, it’s all too common I’m afraid and far too easy to feel – hence becoming a ‘Victim’ is an easy trap to fall into. Reaching out – well that’s a lot harder and not everyone wants the ‘Sky to Shake’ or ‘Follow Lightning’ – they just want to feel more positive about themselves and live a longer and happier existence, they just don’t know or don’t have the energy to go about making it happen.

You know that you make it shine, it's you that I've been waiting to find
Now that we can hear that sound, now that you can hold me down…

I’d love to take the credit for the amazing ‘Changes’ I witness in the folk that I coach, but I believe ‘Change’ only comes from within. Even I can’t project ‘Desire’ – My main message to anyone is ‘Opportunity’. How folk can redirect their energy, be honest to themselves and match their desire to their ability – and simply go out and ‘Enjoy’ life a whole lot more without camouflaging their inner worlds with a heap of non-important life-bullshit. Getting lost in that lot can be very messy indeed and a guiding hand out of the heap works wonders in my experience. Having been there myself, I know how much it stinks.

You can raise everything to the ground, everything I can arrange,
Every part of me you change, just hold me together, tell me…

It’s all about being ‘STRONG’ you see. Feeling ‘STRONG’, staying ‘STRONG’ and remaining ‘STRONG’ and true to yourself. Living life to a set of values you know are true and that will deliver the happiness you are searching for, that feels so far out of reach right now. For some that happiness will come from finally being free from Alcohol – or like me accomplishing yet another year of Alcohol Freedom. For others it could be realising a life-long ambition or feat. The common thread I find, is that the folk I work with find themselves. 

The real person that’s been staring them in the face, the one they’ve hated, the one they’ve been ignoring – the one that they get to love again.

The one that ‘Shines’ and can light up a room.

Can you see me I'm shining
And it's you that I've been waiting to find…

Have a listen to ‘Shine’ from Years and Years. Listen to the lyrics and see if they speak to you as they speak to me as we head into 2019 – there’s 365 opportunities to ‘Shine’ and make things happen – don’t waste another minute not doing anything about it.

1,029 Lifetime Marathons, 250 ULTRA-marathons9 Guinness World Records & 15 Marathon des Sables

Tuesday, 18 December 2018

Breathe - The Prodigy

MdS 2018 - Photo Ian Corless
Breathe with me, breathe the pressure…

As Christmas fast approaches, I feel this year has simply flashed by - has it for you too? In a blink it was already April and I was running in the Sahara Desert, then the UK followed suit and we had a desert of a long hot summer (remember that?) and now it’s nearly 2019 and all wet, dark and dreary. They say ‘Time Flies’ and it sure does – maybe it’s an older person kinda thing and post ‘Brexit’ it will slow down again, like the nation’s economy and mood – somehow it feels like we’re all doomed.

Luckily, it’s been far brighter in my world in 2018 and looking back over the year in more detail, it’s amazing just how many people’s lives I’ve been privileged to be part of (you know who you are). The people I’ve worked with have been truly AWESOME and I believe it doesn’t matter where I’ve been or what I’ve done myself, it’s been the people I’ve met along the way that’s made it special – thank you.

If I was trying to distil the magical ingredient that’s made it happen, well maybe simply taking time out to ‘Breathe’ is all that folk needed to point their world in a fresh and more positive direction – they just needed was to ‘Breathe’ with someone else.

Come play my game, I'll test ya, psychosomatic, addict, insane…

I started ‘Playing my Game’ with a fresh set of rules back in 1994 and they’ve served me well over the years to various levels of success. Okay, it hasn’t been all rosy but ask me if I’d do it all again or if I’m unhappy with any aspect of it and I can confidently say that I’m cool with whom I am, where I am and what I do. Getting older ain’t great but I’m enjoying the ride. I believe it’s something I feel the folk I meet and work with are all searching for.

Inhale, inhale, you're the victim…

No-one should be a victim. Everyone has ‘Value’. Everyone is ‘Elite’ and Everyone can ‘Succeed’ in 2019 – you just have to take in a ‘Deep Breath’ and make it happen. ‘Breathe’ with ME.

Come play my game, exhale, exhale, exhale… I’m here to help.

Nadolig Llawen

1,029 Lifetime Marathons, 250 ULTRA-marathons9 Guinness World Records & 15 Marathon des Sables

Thursday, 6 December 2018

Design for Life - Manic Street Preachers

I have at three clients at the moment that I believe can represent their country at marathon and ultra-marathon distances, and together we are working hard on their levels of fitness and endurance to make 2019, their year. We are using technology to measure heart-rate, training efficiency and VO2 Max. We are also looking at marginal gains in making seconds saved into minutes off PBs primarily looking at their Power-to-Weight Ratio.

Part of that process is to look at how much they weigh and try and reduce the loading by using the right nutrition to strip excess body fat whilst maintaining muscle strength as every kilo of body-weight lost represents two minutes saved over 42.2km - totally FREE. As a marginal gain, it’s the most very effective way of cutting race times and a concept that any athlete can easily engage with, especially when they start to see their results improving.

I’ve been using this technique to get the most out of my athlete’s performances with great success for over 10 years’ now. Any shift towards a lower but healthy BMI above 18 is a good goal to have in place.

Over the past couple of years’, I’ve used the same weightloss technique (ULTRAdiet) to work with people that aren’t necessarily athletes but are wanting to improve their health and well-being - both physically and mentally. Stripping excess body weight, changing lifestyle habits and in some cases potentially extending lifespans and saving major heart and health related complications has been the aim. In an ever-expanding population, the upper limit is an initial client meeting has a whopping BMI of 65 but with weight losses of up to 47kgs (7.4 stones - 103.8lbs) the results speak for themselves. The average weightloss of any of my clients’, athlete or not is 10.6kgs - (1.6St - 23.5lbs). A significant amount that has a plainly visible effect.

In fact, the seven stone loss took just over 200 days - less than seven months to undergo the ultimate life-laundry, eradicate unwanted behavioural traits, set new targets and life-goals with a fresh self-image and confidence. Things that were previously thought impossible.

But then, the impossible is always possible. Well, that’s what I believe and it’s only the limit we impose on ourselves that confines and defines us.

I see potential in everyone - I see potential in people that can’t recognize their own potential. A gift of speed, endurance or strength of mind that’s been previously untapped. Having coached my wife Jenny to represent Team GB at 24hrs & 100km, to the Length of Ireland Guinness World Record and a sub three-hour marathon PB, I know what it will take for my international hopefuls to achieve greatness - and when they do, it will be super-rewarding.

The results that my dietary changes and thought processes make that drive people on to lose weight is super-rewarding for me too and being let into folks rivate worlds is a privilege and only drives me on personally develop my own ability to help more people become ‘Awesome’ rather than ‘Average’.

Our ULTRAdiet plays a major part in making those future plans happen. Developing strategies to avoid poor food choices, encourages folk on a daily, in some cases hourly basis to maintain a clear focus towards their goal - providing that support is my specialty.

So, ask yourself…

Looking ahead - How do you see yourself at the end of 2019? Exactly where are you in your life-plan? Do you even have a life-plan? - In December 2019, do you see a new, improved you? Happier, healthier and having matched up to your own inner abilities?

If you don’t know and you want to find thatperson, well you know where I am - And I’m here to help, just give me a call - it could be the most important call you’ll ever make.

It’s time to change the Inner You.

1,029 Lifetime Marathons, 250 ULTRA-marathons9 Guinness World Records & 15 Marathon des Sables

Sunday, 25 November 2018

Pink Floyd - Time

'And then one day you'll find, ten years' have got behind you'...

On these dark November days it’s far too easy to think of the impending Christmas Break and not to the end of 2018, that's just 36 days away. If you live life at a similar pace to me, the year has simply flashed by and it feels more like the 89th of August rather than the start of Advent - A 15th Marathon des Sables, a House-move and a mere Twenty-Two Marathons are now just dots in my rear view mirror. Whatever happened to the Long Hot Summer?

Anyway, apart from the obvious Christmas Day and Boxing Day Celebrations, the Winter Break provides an excellent time to build endurance with a series of Long Slow Distance runs - especially if you are running next year’s Marathon des Sables or have you eye on a Spring Marathon PB.

Yes, 2018 is nearly over folks - It’s time to start PLANNING 2019!

Really? Oh yes. You see, without a plan, there’s no hope. And there’s only 365 days until the next 25th of November, when I’ll be asking you just what you did in 2019 that made it a stand-out year - an ‘Annus Mirabilis’ rather than an ‘Annus Horribilis'.

Trouble is that it's dead easy to SAY you are going to turn over a 'New Leaf' in the 'New Year' but folk seldom do. Having the strength to keep 'On Point' with a 'New Direction' is super-tough. Doing it for 25 years' as I have livng 'Alcohol-Free', takes strength - takes concentration - takes balls. Doing it alone is even harder. But when you have a Coach to mentor your journey, interact with on a daily, sometimes hourly basis, it can make all the difference. It has for many people this year alone.

Whether you are trying out for Team GB, trying to lose weight or simply trying to be the person you've always wanted to be then I'm your man. Plucking up courage to make the call or drop the email is always tough. Doing it in January makes sense - doing it today is even better as you'll get an 36 days under your belt BEFORE 2019 even starts. What's there to lose - apart from 'Running Times', 'Excess Weight' or 'Addiction'.

Contact me now, I'm waiting to hear from you...

1,029 Lifetime Marathons, 250 ULTRA-marathons
9 Guinness World Records & 15 Marathon des Sables