Sunday, 14 January 2018

Close to the Edge - Yes

The Solid Time of Change….
A seasoned witch could call you from the depths of your disgrace
And rearrange your liver to the solid mental grace…

I’ve had a busy week working on our Average2Awesome Programmes and helping ULTRAdiet clients’ work hard on their weight-loss challenges. For most it’s a chance to improve and start over, yet for some, it’s very much a ‘last-chance-hotel’ and emotions have been running high to say the least.

I listened to the ‘Yes’ Prog-rock classic on one of my long car journeys home. Returning from an A2A seminar the lyrics grabbed me as most of the people I meet, find ‘life’ high pressure. Everyday hard-working decent, intelligent people are living ‘Close to the Edge’ just to keep their heads above water - and that got me thinking…

I wonder just how many people in the whole of the UK are living ‘Close to the Edge’ right now? I bet it’s more than you and I think. For instance, the stats say 2.5 million children are living with 500,000 alcoholic parents and 300,000 people living on our rough on our streets tonight. I hardly need to mention the 1:12 people using illicit drugs or the 1:4 with mental health issues that swell the numbers.

The frightening thing is that the people I meet and train are part of those stats in one way or another. For that matter, I am and have been part of them too.

So why is ‘Life’ and for that matter ‘Living’ so bloody tough?

It really hit home driving back over the Old Severn Bridge into Cymru. There were police cars galore as well as an ambulance lying in wait as a man held on for dear life from the bridge threatening to jump… Let’s hope his cry for help was heard and he’s now found a way out of his perilous life-threatening situation. Cynically, I wonder how many people felt inconvenienced? I felt sad for him…

And take away the plain in which we move
And choose the course you're running…

It’s hitting home everywhere I look and go right now. As far as I can see, the world is in a kind of ‘out-of-control-free-fall’ with some people holding on for dear life, whilst others are burning the path of no return as they walk headlong down the plank before jumping into personal disaster.

Down at the edge, round by the corner
Close to the edge, down by a river…

To be honest, I’m not sure where I’m heading with this blog as I don’t have the answers. Only observations and experience of ‘being’ Close to the Edge’ myself and saving a lot of other people from - well – themselves over the years. Being in a life-threatening tight spot doesn’t have to be as dramatic and luckily as rare as hanging precariously from a bridge. Just look around, turn up the sensitivity on your radar and you’ll find you’re surrounded by a nation of people at breaking point.

Getting over all the Time I had to Worry
Leaving all the changes far from far behind…

Ah the ‘T’ and ‘W’ words. They’re the bane of modern day life IMO as Time is far too scarce and ‘Worrying’ isn’t far off being an Olympic Sport.

Being ‘Close to the Edge’ back in 1972, when this song was written, lacked the intensity that we are ALL feeling in the 21st Century. Let’s face it, the ‘Pace of Life’ has moved on so fast that most of us aren’t keeping up with it and our inability to constantly upgrade our personal operating systems is only breeding doubt and hatred into our minds.

The eyes of honesty can achieve
How many millions do we deceive each day?

And so, we bumble on through ‘life’. Conning ourselves and each other that everything’s alright and that we are super-strong and super-tough living in a perfect online world, sharing our lives with anyone that will tune in and listen.

The truth is written all along the page
How old will I be before I come of age for you?

Hey, it’s not written on this page, it’s written all over your face and in how you look as that’s the pictorial evidence of how you’ve lived your life so far.

Over the years, I’ve become tuned into folk that are ‘Close to the Edge’.
It’s amazing how people burst into tears as soon as they start to tell me their story.

Close to the Edge
Now that you find, now that you're whole...

Finding the ‘Edge’, however brings relief and a path out of the depths of despair. I know - I’ve been right on the very finest ‘Edge’ there is but I’ve chosen my course and I’m running. It ain’t perfect and I’m not perfect but it’s working.

I get up, I get down…

Probably 90% Up/10% Down if I’m being honest – how ‘Close to the Edge’ are you?

Rory Coleman - - 24 Years' Alcohol Free
1,007 Marathons - 245 Ultras - 14 Marathon des Sables - 9 Guinness World Records
8,775 Days from the Edge

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Release, Release - Yes

When this rather ancient ‘Yes’ track popped up whilst I was out running, the lyrics immediately grabbed me. You see they underline exactly how I feel right now as we are already heading well into the second week of the New Year.

For the record or LP in this case, I actually bought the rather disappointing ‘Tormato’ album on which ‘Release Release’ features in 1978, and for the ‘Yes’ aficionados amongst you, you’ll already know it’s their last studio album featuring singer Jon Anderson and keyboards genius Rick Wakeman.

Anyway, back to the 21st Century and now that your Christmas Tree is firmly packed away in the loft and those New Year’s Resolutions of yours are broken or long forgotten – isn’t it time to plan out the year ahead and make things happen rather than settle back into the rut of 2017.

Have you heard before, hit it out, don't look back
Rock is the medium of our generation…

If only it was that easy but sadly, there’s no magic formula to make things happen yet the ingredients for a successful 2018 are all there to reach out for believe it or not. The recipe is really simple. All you do is take one big bag of determination, add a good measure of sweat and tears and bake for at least 66 days – (the time it takes for an action to become a habit I’m told). It’s the perfect dish.

Well that’s the theory but it’s far too easy to get distracted, isn’t it?

We've heard before, but we just don't seem to move
The pressure's on is there lack of concentration…

And Yes, it iss down to a lack of concentration but also down to having far too much emotional baggage IMO. The kind of baggage we need the ‘Release’ from that the lyrics of the above song hit me with when I was out there running.

Nearly everyone I meet is carrying a burden,  a guilt or a neurosis that’s killing their world and opportunity of being the person they are wanting to be.

Power defy our needs, lift us up, show us now
Show us how amid the rack of confusion…

Maybe direction is the missing ingredient? A simple map or plan showing the way out of the self-imposed maze of confusion that corrupts our path to success. I’ve been in that position myself a hundred times over and if I’m honest I’m working hard not to blame Guillian-Barre Syndrome for some or all of my short-comings right now. But I’m trying – really trying hard not to.

Drive in thoughts of high, satisfy, in a plan
Set it out for all to understand it…

When you do finally understand, then make a plan you can stick to and you’ll finally start making some headway towards your goal. It all sounds so simple - yet it is if you ‘Release Release’… it’s my new Anthem.

Lost and wondering, maybe, how it is
Seems to me, it's as simple as this…

What’s stopping you realising your dreams? And what is it you need 'Releasing' from in 2018?

Rory Coleman - - 24 Years' Alcohol Free
1,007 Marathons - 245 Ultras - 14 Marathon des Sables - 9 Guinness World Records

Thursday, 4 January 2018

Grey's Anatomy - Shonda Rhimes

‘Make a plan. Set a goal. Work toward it, but every now and then, look around; Drink it in 'cause this is it. It might all be gone tomorrow.’ – Meredith Grey

Today is my 24th Birthday – Well, my 24th ‘Alcohol-Free’ Birthday if I’m being honest and I’m glad to say that it’s 8,766 days on from 5th January 1994 – the day that changed my life. ‘Big Deal’ you might say, but cutting out the booze really did save my life, plus cutting out the 40 cigarettes that accompanied my daily drinking.

Don’t worry, I’m not going to drone on about quitting smoking and drinking. Instead, I’m writing about the ‘Process of Change’ that took place and how I went about it to clean up my act. You see I made a ‘Resolution’ – more of a personal ‘Revolution’ perhaps but a simple one made to myself and no-one else. ‘New Year’s Resolutions’ are now seen as ‘dated’ and having negative connotations but in 1994 they still had a place in our culture – even if they were always broken or forgotten by the end of the first week of January. They were really seen as a bit of fun.

My ‘Resolution’ the hard-core, cold-turkey, un-cool, pre-social-media ‘Personal Revolution’ wasn’t. It was carved deep into granite and has survived everything life could possibly throw at it. Lots of opportunities to fail with the usual celebrations and hard times associated with… Marriage, Childbirth, Divorce, Life-Threatening Illness, not to mention 24 x Christmas, New Year’s Eves and Running Successes – yet it’s stood up to the test.

But it hasn’t felt like a test, and that’s where folk go wrong in my opinion and fail. The Meredith Grey quote above, from the Season 5 finale of the brilliant hospital drama ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ sums it up perfectly. You see, I made a plan, set goal (just one day of sobriety at first) and never looked back – only around, and still do every day thinking just how lucky I’ve been over the years not drinking or being distracted from my dreams.

The ever growing 8,766-piece jigsaw is still work in progress and I’m going to keep on adding a piece daily for as long as I live. If my calculations are correct, I’ll get to 10,000 days on May 23rd, 2021. It’s a Sunday so I’ll be running a marathon somewhere ‘drinking in’ that particular life-goal.

So, my question to you is how’s your New Year’s Resolution(s) holding up? Need pointing in the right direction? Let me know if you'd like me to help you.

You never know, it might just become a life-proof rule and one day and be like mine, enjoying a ‘Silver Jubilee’ Celebration this time next year…

Rory Coleman - - 24 Years' Alcohol Free
1,007 Marathons - 245 Ultras - 14 Marathon des Sables - 9 Guinness World Records

Saturday, 23 December 2017

Smells Like Teen Spirit - Nirvana

'Here we are now, entertain us' - Novoselic, Groh & Cobain

Well, if I had some 'Myrrh' maybe it would smell of 'Teen Spirit'. And 'Ok' it's as close as I could get for today's festive scribblings so I'm very sorry for the 'Weakest Blog-Song Link' of the year and I know it's a bit childish but Christmas is all about the children and brings out the child in me every December.

Let's face it we need something to brighten the mood as it's been a tough year for EVERYONE, me included. Trump, Brexit and Terrorism have dominated the news and no doubt 2018 will dish up another serving of unwanted headlines and life-changing incidents for the innocents. But let's forget that lot for now and write our own headlines.

Until then, there's just over seven days to enjoy the peace and harmony of the 'Annual-Mid-Winter-Yuletide-Time-Out'. It's an ideal opportunity to get some 'daylight' miles in the tank and work off some of the excess calorie-count that Christmas Dinner and all the trimmings offers. A good fifty miler will get rid of your main meal btw...

Anyway, in the best of Christmas Spirits have a good one. Enjoy the break. Crack in some miles. And enjoy the fact that tough old 2017 has nearly passed us by and a completely  fresh 2018 is all set to go and ready for action, just around the corner.

Nadolig Llawen

Rory Coleman -
1,007 Marathons - 245 Ultras - 14 Marathon des Sables - 9 Guinness World Records

Friday, 22 December 2017

Welcome to the Pleasuredome - Frankie Goes to Hollywood

Lyrics:- 'Got to reach the Top'... Nash, O'Toole, Gill & Johnson

Now, I’m not aware of many songs with ‘Frankincense’ in the lyrics to use for my ‘Advent Blog’ today - so how about one with some  ‘Frankie-Sense’ instead? I’ve always loved ‘Welcome to the Pleasuredome’, especially the moment the long intro kicks into the main hook. It’s a classic piece of clever 'Trevor Horn Production' IMO.

Moving at one million miles an hour…
Anyway, in the lead up to Christmas, EVERYTHING is moving at one million miles an hour. Except the traffic in Cardiff and the shoppers in the City Centre that is. Folks Christmas Shopping would take half the time if they simply got a move on. A ‘Fast Lane’ like the one in Liverpool’s City Centre can’t come quick enough for me.

But then again, I’m just not your typical shopper. Amazon is SO good :-)

Shooting stars never stop...

Well they don’t do they? And to quote the American actress Lucille Ball, ‘If you want something done, ask a busy person to do it’ – and she’s not wrong? Looking back at 2017, I can’t think of a time when I wasn’t busy, in fact I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t. But that's me isn't it...

Hopefully the Christmas period will offer all of us the opportunity to recharging our batteries.

Keep moving on...

I’m looking forward to attacking 2018 with a full battery, ready to take on another fun-packed 365 days of ‘Ups and Downs’, with hopefully more ‘Ups’ than 'Downs'.

The World is my Oyster…
It’s something I’ve always believed and it’s such a great mantra. Every time I hear Holly Johnson say the line, it shouts a very clear message to me in 6ft high, bright neon-green letters that reminds me that the World is a huge place to explore and enjoy.

So, please enjoy some ‘Frankie-Sense’ this Christmas and 'Enjoy'.

Welcome to the Pleasuredome…


Rory Coleman -
1,007 Marathons - 245 Ultras - 14 Marathon des Sables - 9 Guinness World Records

Thursday, 21 December 2017

Gold - Spandau Ballet

In the lead-up to Christmas I thought I’d get all festive and use 'Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh' as suitable themes for my Advent Blogs. And luckily for me, ‘Gold’ written by Gary Kemp, is a great theme tune to accompany my thoughts for the day.

‘Gold’ ironically peaked in ‘Silver-Medal’ position in the UK Charts in 1983, being held off the top spot by KC and the Sunshine Band if you were at all interested. Anyway, it’s always been a favourite Spandau song of mine, especially the 12” Version, and it’s Tony Hadley’s 24-carat vocals that have always really made it for me.

You see, every time I hear the song, the lyrics always get me pumped up, especially as I love winning – don’t you?

These are my salad days, slowly being eaten away…
I was reminded of this only the other day as of course ‘these are my salad days’ as I’m no spring-chicken at 55. I mean, have you thought how long your body can survive your current level of loading and future expectations? I speak to lots of folk with ‘Fast-moving-consumer-mind-sets’ that have the Private Health Sector working overtime fixing knees, ankles etc. in a bid to keep the body moving, the mind sane and the impossible, plausible. 

I’m not preaching either, as I’m just as guilty following my fractured shoulder. Yielding to a steroid injection to improve my range of motion and reducing the miserable pain for a mere £240 was the best money I’ve spent in ages. 

My word, the aging process has a lot to answer for.

Just another play for today…
Well in real terms, all we can do is worry about today. Lots of folk I meet are still evaluating their yesterday’s or too busy playing out other folk’s lives. ‘Live for Today’ is such a driver for me as you never know what’s around the corner - take it from me it’s never quite what you expect.

Oh, but I'm proud of you but I'm proud of you…
And yes, be proud of your accomplishments as they take more than blood, sweat and tears. They take Courage. Thinking BIG is one thing but having balls, (proper ‘Big Balls') will only help in the long run as it's far better to regret something you have done, rather than regret not doing it at all.

Nothing left to make me feel small, luck has left me standing so tall…
I’m happy I’m proud and feeling tall today. But there’s lots of folk that don’t feel that way and believe that ‘Luck’ plays a huge part in life’s richness. Well, I believe you make your own 'Luck' and can ‘Design for Life’ to a certain degree, so why not adopt a ‘New Year – New You’ policy for 2018?

You're indestructible...
It really works. It did for me in 1994 and it can work for you too. Yes, I’ve had some luck, made my own luck and I'm proven to be indestructible. Well that’s what I believe, which can’t be a bad thing can it?

Anyway, I’m off to find a song with Frankincense in it for tomorrow’s musings (If there is one) and why not start being ‘Gold’ for once.

Always believing…

Rory Coleman -
1,007 Marathons - 245 Ultras - 14 Marathon des Sables - 9 Guinness World Records

Monday, 11 December 2017

Message in a Bottle – The Police

This was the band’s first UK#1 and Sting’s first as a song-writer. And at the time, I’ll be honest enough to say I wasn’t much of a fan as their bleached-blond-hair and chiselled looks weren’t hard enough for the prog-rock image I liked to project. I mean, what kinda message would I have been sending about myself at an all boy’s school in 1979, if I’d broadcast that I’d just been out to WHSmiths and out bought a copy of Reggatta de Blanc?

In hindsight, of course it wouldn’t have mattered. But within my peer group, the albums you carried around with you projected what kind of person you were. Pink Floyd and Genesis said one thing about you and The Boomtown Rats and The Buzzcocks said another. Afterwards at Art School it was more The Talking Heads and Peter Gabriel as my skin changed colour to match my creative surroundings and my ‘Message’ changed.

Just a castaway, an island lost at sea…

Anyway, it’s the ‘Messages’ (not in a bottle I hasten to add), that you and I emit and transmit all the time, that I’m interested in exploring in today’s blog. By that, I mean the ones we send out without really knowing and not the Facebook Posts of doom, gloom and failure I see, which btw must negatively affect employment and sports sponsorship opportunities.

Another lonely day, with no one here but me…

Hmm, you see you’re never alone, someone is always watching. Personally, I’m a person that enjoys the solitude of the long-distance run and I find the time and space a very enjoyable experience that doesn’t need to be messaged out to the world afterwards. In fact, the more private the experience, the more enjoyable it is I’ve found as having to small-talk away the miles distracts from the enormity of one’s surroundings. Getting a feeling of the vastness of the planet has always made me appreciate just how lucky we are just to be alive. Being ‘Smart’ and ‘Smart about it’ are great reminders about sending out the right message about ourselves. I try to be both in writing what I believe and I’m always hopefully consistent in my blogs.

A year has passed since I wrote my note…

An interesting line, so I thought I’d look back to my blog of December 10, 2016 to see what I was thinking about last year. It says, ‘I feel that I'm nearing feeling back to my old self but haven't achieved anything in the past year. Well here I am 12 months on thinking along the same lines but I’m 25 marathons including an MdS better off which can’t be bad eh? Since then, I’ve certainly learned that presentation is a 365-day project especially in work situations and I how act is extremely important as in truth, you are never ‘off-the-record’. Looking and acting the part whether it’s when presenting to a Multi-National Company or speaking on a Skype-Call from the Office – anything less than 100% isn’t an option. My ‘Message’ is all about consistency, all the time.

Seems I'm not alone at being alone, a hundred billion castaways…

That’s a lot of ‘Castaways’ but I get the sentiment. ‘Castaways’ are everywhere. I talk to them, every day and most of them believe that they are the only ones experiencing the loneliness of their predicament or possibly the pain of changing their behavioural process. Connecting the dots and being their ‘Catalyst’ to a brighter future is something I now relish. My own ‘Castaway’ Days of the analogue world of 1994 are long gone thank heavens and yours could also be soon.

Sending out an SOS…

Soon we will have demolished Christmas and will be racing headlong in January - is it time to start thinking about the messages you will be sending out to the world in the New Year? Maybe sending out a special SOS to ask for some help in making 2018 a whole lot brighter and enjoyable than 2017 would be a good idea?

Rory Coleman -
1,005 Marathons - 245 Ultras - 14 Marathon des Sables - 9 Guinness World Records