Friday, 18 October 2019

Gilmour v Hackett

It’s actually a serious question and for those of you who haven’t got a clue whom David Gilmour or Steve Hackett are, they are guitar heroes of mine and many a prog rock fan from 70's Supergroups, Pink Floyd and Genesis.

You see, the question illustrates perfectly that we are not always 100% convinced of our choices and of our feelings -  and that we can change our minds on a whim to what we think we believe in most.

In this particular case in 99/100 times, historically I would instantly say Gilmour. The solo in Comfortably Numb is often highlighted as #1 solo of all time, yet maybe it has that ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ quality about it as most folk when asked what their favourite Queen song is, never choose it. My Pink Floyd choice is actually Sheep, and Queen is Hammer to Fall, so that backs my theory up quite nicely.

It was all going Gilmour's way then this week I started listening very closely to the early Genesis ‘Hackett’ albums and his later Solo and Live work and I think my hard and fast opinion of some 40 years’ changed. Yikes, I’m swinging Hackett’s Way.

I feel a bit of a ‘Pink Floyd Traitor‘ if I’m being honest and it’s confusing as in my monochromatic world I’ve always made things into a ‘yes/no choice‘ rather than saying I like ‘two things at the same time’. Back as a teenager in the 70’s, we were identified by the music we liked and the bands logos we had drawn on our schoolbags and books. For me it's always been Pink Floyd.

It’s also interesting that only Gilmour and Hackett were in the frame as there are plenty more incredible guitarists that I could have chosen. Jimmy Page, Steve Howe, Alex Lifeson etc. and no matter how much I love Zeppelin, Yes or Rush, none of them match either of the above.

Anyway, I'll cut to the chase and my thought today is that choice isn’t as black and white as maybe I’ve often made it - and that it will and CAN ebb and flow with life and it’s challenges. Let’s see if I’m thinking and feeling the same way this time next year.

Oh my choice... Well today it’s Steve Hackett sorry David.

1,046 Marathons - 254 Ultras - 15 Marathon des Sables - 9 Guinness World Records

Tuesday, 15 October 2019

Fascination - Alphabeat

We love this exaltation, we want the new temptations…

Alphabeat are from Silkeborg in Denmark, and ‘Fascination’ was a major hit in the UK in the Summer of 2008. It’s such an upbeat song and the title fits my thoughts perfectly today after yesterday’s ‘Fascinating’ A + B + C = Quotebox. And when I wrote ‘Fascinating’ as a comment on FB to the above equation, I was questioned ‘Why Fascinating?’- so here goes…

I love to see how folk think and how they try and answer a question that in this case has no answer. There were some good attempts though and ‘F’ is a really well thought one, as F=6. (A)1 + (B)2 + (C)3 = (F)6. Nice. I know it’s definitely not ‘D’ as I always use ‘A + B + C doesn’t  = D’ to illustrate that things tend never to go to plan or make a logical sequence.
Anyway, across all my social media platforms and in PMs there were many such proposed solutions. It also got to the stage where folk started ‘Overthinking’ a logical solution when of course there isn’t one.

Well it's like a revelation, we live on fascination…

So why do we need answers?

Earlier, I wrote a plain ‘37’ as my answer. There’s no reason for ‘37’ but ‘A + B + C = 37’ just sounded kinda cool – and that’s good enough for me. I was asked if it was how old I was when I cleaned my act up but this again was someone's brain trying to attribute a relevance to the ‘A + B + C =’ Question. For the record the answer to that one was 31 of course.

To my mind, it simply doesn’t matter what A or B or C is or what it stands for or adds up to. What matters is that it’s a simple way of showing how irrelevant a lot of our thought processes are and how much time we waste trying to fathom out the unfathomable. I wonder how much time I’ve wasted looking for patterns that simply are totally random and without reason.

You see, life doesn’t have all the answers and the equation ‘A + B + C =’ is as complex as DNA itself and far more complicated than I’ll ever be able to understand so, my ‘37’ is a good enough answer. See what ‘A + B + C =’ really means to you and if you go with the flow and can think about the equation without it having any kind of reasoning attached. You might find the answer fascinating if you can unleash your imagination or mind-blowing and downright annoying if you can’t.


1,045 Marathons, 254 Ultras. 9 Guinness World Records and 15 Marathon des Sables

Friday, 11 October 2019

Young Lust - The Pink Floyd

Still Life - Pablo Coleman
How often do you say ‘I used to’… It’s a phrase I hear all the time especially from new clients as they recount their earlier lives through rather saddened rose-tinted spectacles. I said it myself this week on recounting my artistic Van-Coleman period of 1979-80. I painted the above still-life when I was 17. 

And forty years on, being as pragmatic as I can about my former self - I would say it shows promise. For the record, it was my first (and only) real venture into oil-painting which I did in my own time at home and not at school where we were more forced to be creative perhaps. What I find interesting now, is why I didn’t paint any further masterpieces as maybe I could have become a really proficient artist - who knows.

All I can say is ‘I used to oil-paint… but that I might again’ - It will not only be good for me to see what I’m capable of now, but also for me to recapture my youth and the enthusiasm I possessed as a 17-year old young man. 

So, I wonder how many other former artists, musicians, sportspeople, etc. there are out there. There must be thousands, millions even. There must be as it seems like everyone I meet, is a former something-or-other or in a state of regret about how they once lived a much cleaner and simple life or played pro-sport etc.

But hey, all’s not lost - and don't get depressed.

We are all still young at heart no matter how old we might be. I think it’s great to revisit the things and activities you loved in a former life and enjoy them all over again. You’ll find that as soon as you put whatever is stopping you from reliving your youth to one side, you’ll enjoy being in my case, back in 1979, with a blank canvas ready to create and paint a future. How exciting...

What did you used to do?

1,046 Marathons, 254 Ultras, 9 Guinness World Records, 15 Marathon des Sables

Monday, 7 October 2019

Spectral Mornings - Steve Hackett

I simply love this track from Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett. Take a listen during it's 6mins 33secs and consider your lifestyle and then whether your diet matches your's very uplifting!

Anyway, I thought I'd write about 'diet' and 'lifestyle' as I think folk get them confused. And it's this confusion that leads to misappropriation od time and energy that yields average results and yo-yo weightloss.

So, let's start with the basics and look at what each word actually means and in what context. 

Lifestyle (n)
1. The way in which a person lives.

Diet (n)
1. The kinds of food that a person, animal, or community habitually eats.
2. A special course of food to which a person restricts themselves, either to lose weight or for medical reasons.

Diet (v)
1. Restrict oneself to small amounts or special kinds of food in order to lose weight.

You see, for me it's really obvious that 'lifestyle' is about how I live my life. Totally understood - yet 'diet' is a lot harder to define as it's a noun but 99/100 times used as a verb and something that many folk see as a pick up - put down attitude of mind that can stand a few cheat-eats and extra beers at the weekend.

Only it's not.

'Diet' is just as important as 'Lifestyle' in my opinion and it's not about being good or bad or sinning or complying - it's about making a conscious decision about the food we put into our mouths as it has a massive bearing not only on health today but also our future health. It's something that our ever-growing younger generation are going to have to endure and overcome and redress as Diet in its Noun form 1 is changing and in Noun form 2 will mostly be for medical reasons in the future.

For those of us in our middle age, adopting some new 'Lifestyle' rules and backing them up with a cleaner diet works wonders - but will need constant attention - forever. Eating what we actually need to live is the tricky part as spicing up one's diet normally spices up the waistline too. Oh and forever means that...

It's far from impossible and the best way to start is to think of what you'd like to achieve, when you are the new you and adopt the qualities of what you believe the best version of yourself would have. 

And have a go as you have nothing to lose apart from a few pounds.

1,045 Marathons, 254 Ultras, 9 Guinness World Records, 15 Marathon des Sables

Wednesday, 2 October 2019

Eat It - Weird Al Yankovic

Business Lunch - A Cardiac Platter
Is your company trying to kill you? No, not by overworking you or neglecting their health and safety mandate, but by giving you really unhealthy food at business meetings and work gatherings. From feedback of the business clients that I coach, my research shows that the Major Corporates are in fact some of the Major Culprits. Even at health and well-being events - the food on offer is very unhealthy and often the only sustenance on offer.

Most office environments are a warzone, full of trip-hazards, for those trying to restrict their diet. Colleagues are just as dangerous as the company as office treat culture is often cakes, biscuits and sweets being available at all times.

For those endeavouring to break away from the Office Diet, abstaining can become virtually impossible as it’s impolite to refuse and also difficult at times to stand out from one’s peers, especially if one is trying to impress. And as soon as the resolve goes with one mouthful, many more usually follow. We’ve all been there…

Funnily enough, when the food isn’t provided and people bring their own, it’s usually super-healthy. I mean who is going to take in Pizza Slices or an Indian Takeaway at Lunchtime and stuff the whole lot down - yes, no one.

So why Corporates do you do it? 

Every company will say that it’s staff are its most valuable asset yet why are you trying to kill them? Healthier staff have less days off and work more efficiently. That’s gain enough but it also helps staff appreciate they are being looked after and valued.

Luckily I’m never in such places where the only option is going to a Full Corporate Dinner or Day-Long Board Meeting where only the above diet is on offer. I do know that if I was, I’d take my own food and stay fresh and focussed without the heavy carbs. Does this sound familiar? Does this happen where you work? 

Ask your CEO or Business Leader today,  ‘Why are you trying to kill us?’...

I’d love to know what they say…

1,045 Marathons - 254 ULTRAs - 9 Guinness World Records - 15 Marathon des Sables

Monday, 30 September 2019

How Soon is Now - The Smiths

When you say it's gonna happen 'now', well, when exactly do you mean?
The first few days of the week are always special. You see, they are full of 'Success'. Well, 'Reflected Success' if I'm being honest, as it's a time when I hear tales of goals being beaten, pb's being smashed and excess-weight being simply melted away. And it's easy to shout long and hard about how brilliant it all is, but then there are always the times when there's an odd one out that stops you in your tracks and makes you think on.

Now, I'm the first one to admit I'm far from perfect and just as mortal as the next man. Yet I'm still feeling very numb about a person I spoke to only six weeks ago about the possibility of working together. Being less than 50 and overweight at 20st and having, suffered a first heart attack - I felt perfectly placed to help turn this person's life round and possibly help them enjoy a long future life of health and happiness. Whether I fitted their idea of a Lifestyle Coach or whether it was cost prohibitive - I will only ever have their word for it but I yesterday I heard this person had died in their sleep. 

Now, I'll never know if I could have made a difference but I hope it wouldn’t have played out the way it did - I'll never know. The only thing I will have is the text saying - 'I'll have to think about it', which is what I'm doing today, only thinking more - what if? 

I'm not sure if you'll understand where I'm coming from. Sad and Helpless doesn't even start to cut it. All I can say is that if you are thinking of reaching out, even if I'm not the right person, please do as 'Now' or even sooner...'Money shouldn't be an object'.


1 Life - Live it...

Thursday, 26 September 2019

Fight from the Inside - Queen

'70's Rock' today I'm afraid Darren Grittas, but a great track from Queen drummer Roger Taylor, whom according to Wiki not only wrote, sung and played drums on the track, but also played rhythm and bass guitars too. How cool is that?

Anyway, I like Roger believe that 'Fight' comes from the inside. If you've ever fought for your life or watched someone close to you fight for their's, then you'll know where I'm coming from. In my experience no one can 'Fight' for you, especially when it's a proper sink or swim moment and you're gasping for air and it feels like you're drowning.

Been there and got the T-Shirt.

Back then, I made a conscious decision to 'Fight' - 'Fight' for myself, the people around me and the things I believe in. Try it. You'll find it works wonders and is extremely empowering. All you need to do is to pluck up the courage and 'Fight'.


1,045 Marathons, 254 Ultras, 9 Guinness World Records & 15 Marathon des Sables