Monday, 20 August 2018

Victim of Illusion - Michael Schenker Group

If you were a young man like me back in 1980, you would have been impressed by the unorthodox, 'Gibson Flying V' playing, Michael Schenker. His music was described, at the time, as melodic hard rock but looking back wasn't all that heavy - the self-titled album 'The Michael Schenker Group' though was a must have, especially if you were part of the 'New Wave' of Heavy Rock that was bursting on the scene. Judge for yourself and try and ignore the long hair and spandex tights!

Put it this way, it must have had a profound effect as nearly 40 years on, it was the first song that jumped into my head. when I considered the subject of being a 'Victim'.

'I can't put out the fire, been blinded by the flame,
I have to run for cover, can't stand the pain
Can't stand the pain'.

You see, I’ve experienced being a victim. Or rather I got to understand what being a victim was like a couple of years ago - living the daily ‘Hell’ of ‘Guillian-Barre Syndrome’.

A condition I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy, if I had one. But rather than let it ruin my life and become a long-term GBS Victim (there are many you see), I decided that I didn’t want or need to be a victim – I just wanted to be me again (or as close as I could as possible) to try and live out a relatively normal life...

I decided I didn’t want to become another ‘Energy Vampire’ broadcasting tales of personal woe that eventually fall on deafened ears. I wanted to escape my predicament and feel like I’d won the battle with GBS. Yet, there was no-one there to guide me through the process. The whole thing was a rather messy affair without any clear facts or path to follow. Without my inner strength, I wouldn’t have made it. Ironically, if I’d felt suicidal or desperate, there was a lot more help and direction available. I did see a psychologist as part of my hospital de-mob but I’m not sure what she thought of me. I made her head spin with my thought process I think but she said I was ‘very focussed’ and capable of managing my own way out of the GBS ‘Maze’. So, there you go.

‘The screams are loud but then he can't hear
Nightmare shows his face, then disappears
Ooh victim of illusion, ooh victim of illusion’.

Now I’m not totally empathy-free and I’m fully aware that we live in a tough world, especially if you’ve been dealt a bad hand. But the way to a better and much calmer life is only a step away – I did. Taking the step of ‘Acceptance’ and leaving the thought of being a ‘Victim’ behind will change your outlook on the world, and a much brighter vision awaits, I believe.

But no-one else can ever make it happen for you. You have to do that bit yourself…

‘Gone is the free expression, but look into my eyes,
The silent world is laughing, the mirror never lies,
The mirror never lies!’

Take a long hard look at the ‘Victim’ looking back at you in the mirror. Maybe, it’s time to leave that person behind.  Your family, friends and social network will love you for it and you might start loving yourself.

There's nothing more to say!

1,023 Marathons - 248 Ultras - 15 Marathon des Sables - 9 Guinness World Records

Thursday, 16 August 2018

Wrong - Everything but the Girl

Tom Hanks succeeding as Jim Lovell
I wanted everything for a little while, why shouldn't I - Thorn & Watt
Well, I don’t know about you but it’s been a super-busy week here at Coleman Coaching. I don’t mind as I love helping folk plan their future and achieve their dreams. However, these plans are built upon a huge foundation of ‘Trust’ and ‘Blue-Sky thinking’ on my part, based on my interpretation of the individuals ability. Now I’m not really a big fan of the ‘Blue-Sky’ saying but hopefully you get where I’m coming from when I say these plans are based only for ‘Success’ and not for ‘Failure’ - which includes (‘Partial Success’ and ‘Partial Failure’) - if those are real terms and not ones I’ve just created! 

The plans are a vital part of a ‘Success Mindset’ that folk are missing in their DNA I believe, ‘The-Win-at-all-Cost-Gene’. Yet it seems that it’s our ‘Failures’ where real ‘Success’ is measured and I for one know that my biggest life-achievements are quitting Alcohol, 25 years ago and beating a life-threatening condition. The GBS blogs had far more hits than passing the 1,000 marathon mark. 

In my world, it’s all about succeeding. I can’t see the point in setting out to ‘Fail’ or setting out levels of  ‘Success’ to mark my achievement. If I were in Education, I wouldn’t have ‘A Level’ grades to confuse future employees - there would be a simple ‘P- Pass’ or ‘F - Fail’ to reflect what really happens in the ‘Real World’ denoting you’ve either achieved something or you haven’t. I mean, there’s no ‘Partial Success’ in climbing Everest or completing the Marathon des Sables - my ‘P’ or ‘F’ system would work a treat here. And in business you either brought the project in on time and in budget or you didn’t - you see it’s simple.

Yet, we have to put in ‘Levels of Success’ into lots of aspects of our lives to allow for things not going to plan, which I believe leads to mediocrity. I often hear - ‘I’ve mainly followed the Programme or Diet’ or ‘It was only a minute, day, week, month’ late. Imagine the greatest achievement of the 20thCentury, Man landing on the Moon, using those core values. Neil Armstrong simply wouldn’t have made it. Yet after Apollo 11, Apollo 13 is the only other one anyone can remember - for failing. Apollo 13 has an Oscar-winning film, Apollo 11 doesn’t.

Maybe as a nation we naturally side with the ‘Underdog’ the ‘David’ in any ‘Goliath’ situation? People ‘Succeeding’ against the odds. I like to be a lot more organised than that and have some clearly set agenda to get me where I want to be - in sickness and in health, when things go right or wrong.

Having a plan, sticking to it and getting the right results is so satisfying - you just have to have a plan. The right one for you and your ability and your stamina as it all takes time, probably a lot more than you’d budgeted for.

You can’t buy ‘Success’ you have to earn it and that’s why it’s easy to fail in this instant world of ours. If your DNA is in need of a system upgrade then please contact me so we can make some ‘Success’ plans for your future. It’s there for the taking…

1,023 Marathons - 248 Ultras - 15 Marathon des Sables - 9 Guinness World Records

Monday, 13 August 2018

No Regrets - The Walker Brothers

Lyric:- ‘Now just beyond the darkest hour and just behind the dawn’ - Rush

Song Choice:- Call me sentimental, but The Walker Brother’s version of the Tom Rush classic is the one I can remember from 1976 - where it peaked at #7 in the UK chart, rather than the rather stark and dark electronic, Midge Ure version of 1982. 

Have a listen for yourself and you’ll see where I’m coming from today as I explain my thoughts on measuring ‘Success’.

Now before I give my thoughts, I thought I’d ask ‘Google’ about 'Success' and it came back with a quote from the famous American author, R Collier.

‘Success is the sum of small efforts. Repeated day in, day out’.

Sounds about right - but he also said, ‘The first principle of Success is Desire’. Which I also get even more and is probably nearer to my own philosophy. But in search of further research I thought I’d ask my peer group how they measure ‘Success’.

The answers fitted the following themes:-
  • Measured by Personal Bests
  • A general feeling of well-being
  • A self-acceptance of personal reality. 
All of them are quite valid and are perfect reflections of how people have gauged their own 'Success' over the years. The interesting thing of me though is how ‘Success’ is measured historically and how ‘Success’ in the future is muted in case of failure. It's part of being 'British' perhaps not to shout too loudly about your hopes and aspirations and therefore underachieve and regret things later on.

Hopefully, I have many years ahead of me and I’ll be able to say that I’ve had ‘No Regrets’. In reality, it will be more like a 'Few Regrets’, but there won’t be too many as I’ve ticked most of my ‘Success’ boxes and will continue to achieve more in the time I have left.

I believe the brain can be trained to be liberating, rather than limiting over time... 

I’ve been very fortunate over the years’ not to be depressed about my ‘lot’ and feel that even when things have been tough, I’ve come out fighting. I mean let’s face it, no one is going to fight your battles for you and if you don’t believe in yourself - then no-one else will. I’ve encountered a lot of this over the past week and I've worked hard in helping folk change their thought patterns. It's amazing how much the sun can shine in, on even the darkest of times.

The lyrics say that it’s darkest just before dawn - and how true that is. The darkest time people experience, I call it ‘Point Zero’, if recognised can be totally empowering if it’s embraced and given a fresh direction. It's there for the taking - it's up to you if you want it.

Maybe today’s a good time to analyse your achievements, health and well-being? Do they match your 'Ability' or ‘Life-Blueprint’? Or do you need to up your game?

Then you can live life to the full with ‘No Regrets’…

1,023 Marathons - 248 Ultras - 15 Marathon des Sables - 9 Guinness World Records

Tuesday, 7 August 2018

All in my Head - Kosheen

Wow, it's busy in there...
Fifteen years on from the hot of summer of 2003 and ‘All in my Head’ sounds just as good as it did all the way back then. It became a real ‘Life Anthem’ for me and the lyrics still speak volumes and really resonated, when it popped up in my headphones yesterday. It’s well worth a listen to see where I’m coming from  and for the pop-historians amongst you it was co-written by Sian Evans (originally from Caerphilly) and reached #7 in the UK Charts.

For me the lyrics are full of energy and promise – or perhaps of personal realisation? See what you think…

‘Are we flying high, spinning in our time, living life and loving free, this is where I want to be, come on’…

See what I mean? The song is full of the values I write of so often. About living life to the full - right here and right now. So why do WE make it SO hard for ourselves? What is it within our DNA that makes us do things the hard way?

Yikes it's hard...

I often ask folk where life on this planet of ours takes place… and the answer is always ‘In my head’. And there’s the answer, I believe, to a much brighter future for us all. We can do anything - achieve far more than our wildest dreams and be the person we’ve always wanted to be with the right ‘Mindset’. More and more I find folk just haven’t got the ‘Drive’ or  ‘Killer Quality’ needed to realise their aspirations. As a society we are distilling this out of our future generations. Non-competitive sports-days and everyone being Super-Politically-Correct and GDPR friendly is wrecking the honesty we need for success. From being Awesome - we are becoming really Average.

How rubbish is that? Or are you too scared to comment?

Personally, I don’t care much for such personal limitations and in my 'Black and White World’ there’s no time to waste as I’m where I want to be and I’m saying to you today ‘Come on’ buck your ideas up - The only person holding you back is you. 

The limits are ‘All in your head’.

1,022 Marathons - 248 Ultras - 15 Marathon des Sables - 9 Guinness World Records

Tuesday, 31 July 2018

MdS - Where do I start?

Trevor Binch getting ready for the MdS...
With less than 250 days to go to the Marathon des Sables, you may well be in a state of denial right now. From my own experience, the last 100 days to go in a flash and that's where the panic sets in. 

Right now, the Facebook sites and Forums are fairly quiet and although there are a few mumblings of training and meeting ups, there’s not much as yet about - ‘The Kit’.
This is where most of the blood, sweat and tears will be shed, in optimising what is and what isn’t the right kit to take and the best rucksack to use etc.
Funnily enough, I can’t remember many, if any DNFs from having the wrong rucksack choice - how much it weighs? Well that’s been a constant theme of my talks at The MdS Expo these past few years and one that folk have taken on board resulting in fewer and fewer folk packing the kitchen sink for a few days in the desert. For the record, you can get everything you need with enough calories for the week into a rucksack weighing 6.5kgs or less (after race registration). Believe me that every Kg you carry on 'Marathon Day' will add around 25 minutes to your normal Marathon time, (we did the research), if your feet are still in one piece by then.
‘So what', you say - I can do all of that next year if I have to, plus the uplift in training and how right you are...
What you can’t do is if you are a man well over 100kgs or a Lady well over 80kgs is lose the necessary weight to make your MDS a whole lot more manageable and enjoyable.
Over the last 15 years, the folk that have struggled the most are those that haven’t packed lightly, done the necessary training or are too heavy on race day hoping they can get by walking the whole race.
From my own experience, being 1.83m and weighing 85kgs the race is a whole lot harder than being a very lean 75kgs. The difference in race-time is hours and position is 500 v 150 as at 85kgs it’s difficult to run very much of the race,  whereas at 75kgs with the right training, you can run virtually the whole 250kms.
This is where you can start making a huge difference to the race you right now. 
Trevor Binch, from Coventry, is running the race next year. It’s been on his ‘bucket list’ for many years - only not at 130.5kgs as at that weight he stood no chance of finishing. I have seen heavier with Kobus from South Africa attempting the race twice - Once at 137kgs and the following year at a staggering 142kgs. Needless to say each time he managed a couple of days before melting out in the sun. To give him his due, he’s since dieted to an unrecognisable 80kgs and finished the Kalahari Augrabies Extreme Marathon (a similar race to MdS in South Africa).
In only 200 days, Trevor shed an amazing 45kgs and is hoping to be weighing in the high 70kgs for the race itself. He’s already run a sub-4 Marathon and a respectable 22 minute parkrun so I’m sure he’ll do well in the sand, especially as he's now a lot leaner.
I know these are both pretty extreme cases but even if you have just a few Kgs to lose - my advice is to do it now and get it out of the way. It won’t naturally come off as you up your mileage as you’ll then think you need to feed the furnace more and in some cases I’ve seen, put weight on. This is a background kinda process that with 500kcals less a day going in, it mounts up to a 1lb loss every week, without really noticing the difference.
Of course the best attitude is to believe that you should be living the MDS Dream and in doing ‘The World’s Toughest Footrace’ you should live the life of an Elite Athlete. You don’t have to of course, but being realistic about your weight can make the MdS a whole lot quicker, more enjoyable and blister-freer from running and not walking.
BTW - If you are sweating in the heat of the UK, we classed 35c as a cold day in the race this year, so being leaner might be more of a hot topic than you'd thought. It's well worth a thought.
Happy Training...

1,022 Marathons - 248 Ultras - 15 Marathon des Sables - 9 Guinness World Records

Monday, 30 July 2018


Broken - or feeling Shattered?
Taken from ‘Songs from the Big Chair’, Tears for Fears 1985, three times platinum selling album. BROKEN is the perfect accompaniment for today’s blog about acknowledging our shortcomings and making a positive route out of a negative situation.

‘Between the searching and the need to work it out
I stop believing everything will be alright’…

I’m sure everyone’s felt BROKEN at one time or another in their life. I know I have. And what it feels like to be at your lowest point ever – ‘Point Zero’, I call it. I know a few folk who are there right now but avoiding reality perhaps, and carrying on in a state of denial. Anyone that’s addicted is a good liar full of BS and the truth is, that they lie mostly to themselves. It’s always fascinating how folk, me included, just bury their heads and hope that things will magically get better… but they never do, do they?

‘Broken, we are broken’…

I’ve felt BROKEN at the end of the 145 mile Grand Union Canal Race - there’s simply nothing you can do, when your body is on fire after a couple of days of running down a canal towpath. I felt BROKEN with GuillainBarrĂ© Syndrome, probably more physically in the first stages but then more mentally when the realisation of the condition started to hit home and the magic remedy proved not to be forth-coming.

‘I'm walking uphill being turned around and round
Secret in motion when my feet are on the ground’…

That’s when the darkness can sets in. I’m not sure it did in my case as I thought early on about a route out of the situation that I’d found myself in and that’s where the self-honesty came in. Realising you are BROKEN and in need of help is a vital part of a much happier existence. Sure, losing 50kgs or becoming alcohol-free helps, it cures the symptoms but it doesn’t remove the problem that kicked off the depression that led to the addiction in the first place. Realising that you’re still BROKEN is imperative to a healthy future, both in mind and body. Hmm sound familiar?

‘Broken, we are broken’…

Nearly 9,000 days on from my BROKEN realisation, or in fact 9,597 from that initial ‘Road to Damascus Moment’ – I now realise I wasted 625 days or nearly two years, procrastinating my predicament. What an idiot! I could excuse myself and say I wasn’t in the right time or place to change my thought process – but I won’t, I simply became a victim. A victim of my own doing – just as you are perhaps?

‘In my mind's eye, One little boy anger one little man
Funny how time flies’…

‘Tempus’ does in fact ‘Fugit’ and I’m glad I found a route out. Next year marks my ‘Silver Jubilee of Personal Change’. Don’t worry, I’ll be writing a fair bit on the subject as feeling BROKEN can be a very positive thing – believe me.

How BROKEN do you feel this Monday morning?

1,022 Marathons - 248 Ultras - 15 Marathon des Sables - 9 Guinness World Records

Monday, 23 July 2018

Shine - Years and Years

This time last year, I sat in a Client’s boardroom, recounting my career to date, explaining my vision for the future. At the time, it was only twelve months on from being ill with Guillain-Barre Syndrome and I felt happy that I’d salvaged the majority of the goodwill and reputation that ‘Years and Years’ of hard work had brought.

I remember us alone, waiting for the light to go
Don't you feel that hunger, I've got, so many secrets to show…

That day I was challenged to think beyond my present work repertoire, and rather than depend on my stock income, develop some new business lines and think completely outside the ‘Box of Comfort’.

At 55, it would have been too easy to take my foot off the gas and stick to the known line of sales and work through another year of coaching for folks various events and life adventures.

You can pull me under, you can raise everything to the ground
Everything I can arrange, every part of me you change…

The thought of engaging with folk in the UK, Europe, even the USA on a daily extreme weight-loss programme wasn’t really part of my plan. It certainly wasn’t necessarily what I was looking for as a Performance Coach. It has however, become an amazing success , namely ULTRAdiet.

It’s a fascinating and exciting thing to be part of that really started in March 2017, with my first extreme weight-loss client, Dan Mullin. If you follow my Blog or Facebook you won’t have failed in hearing about Dan’s journey. You certainly won't if you know Dan.

Anyway, his 237 day - 100lb weight-loss, gave me all the encouragement I needed to invest my time and energy in developing a programme that anyone could follow. With the right mindset and guidance anything would be possible. With the accountability aspect a big part of the process it’s turned out to a weight-loss winning lottery ticket for most who have used it.

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

My and do they 'Dazzle' - Dan’s journey soon became three more folk's journeys and many more have followed on, each bringing their own personality and dynamic to the programme. It’s actually a 'Double Whammy' as they become the thinner person they’ve always wanted to be or once were, and I get the satisfaction of changing and in some cases saving lives. It’s incredible to see folk’s transformations in just a few short weeks.

As for me, well my transformation continues and ‘Never say Never’ is my new motto as you never know where you'll get the chance to ‘Shine’ next… Thinking outside of 'The Box of Comfort' worked wonders for me as it can for you too.

There's now plenty of 'Living Proof' from everyone that's been part of 'ULTRAdiet' these past 12 months.

Can you see me I'm shining…

And if you want to shine and lose weight, email me and I’ll help you be the person you’ve been hoping to find… and when you do, you can 'Shine' too.

1,022 Marathons - 248 Ultras - 15 Marathon des Sables - 9 Guinness World Records