Monday, 18 February 2019

The Real Thing - Faith No More

Are you?
I know the feeling, it is the real thing - The essence of the soul…

If you ever find ‘The Real Thing’, you’ll appreciate what I’m writing about in today’s blog. The ‘Coca-Cola’ strapline is not only a very bold statement, but a very familiar one to all of us as it’s been used since 1969. Whether it’s ‘Coca-Cola’ protecting their recipe and their trademark - well I’ll leave that for you to decide - what resonates with me is whether you consider yourself to be ‘The Real Thing’ - ‘The Real You’ - ‘The Real Deal’ or whether you ‘Project’ a different identity? One that isn’t the ‘Real Thing’. One that’s counter-productive to your own happiness and satisfaction.

The perfect moment, that golden moment - I know you feel it too…

If you have yet to find the ‘Real Thing’ and the ‘Perfect Moment’ - don’t worry, they’re out there waiting for you to experience. Notice I say ‘Waiting’ as you’ll need to go searching, work your butt off and be very focussed. When it happens, well it’s sweet and more satisfying than you’ll ever imagine. You just have to be patient. I know - I’m a very patient person with a really strong belief principle - I’ve experienced all the above - more times than I can remember.

I know the feeling, it is the real thing - You can't refuse the embrace…

I mean how can you refuse such a sweet embrace? Yet so many do simply that and miss out on the experience by waiting for the ultimate 100% embrace to come along and be dished up on a plate. You get out what you put in I’ve found and the things I’ve strived and worked hard for have always materialised. They will for you too.

It's like the pattern beneath the skin - You gotta reach out and pull it all in…

And as soon as you manage it once - you’ll do it again and again and again as you get used to seeing the signs of greatness coming your way. I believe life definitely follows a rhythm and a pattern. Right now, Cardiff is awakening to Spring. The Daffodils are shining a pure bright yellow and the weekend temperatures look like hitting a national record for February of 20c. Definitely ‘The Real Thing’ and ‘The Right Time’ to get out there and grab Spring by the balls and wring out every last drop of life-experience you can get.

Cherish the certainly of now, it kills you a bit at a time - Cradle the inspiration…

Otherwise you never will. The lyrics are so right, the only thing we can be sure of is the ‘Now’. The past soon becomes twisted and forgotten - the future increasingly uncertain. Being able to cherish the moment and create a more positive future with brighter horizons is the key I believe. Cradling life like a small child is definitely the way ahead.

And what you are, there is nothing else - You're growing a life within a life…

Of course, don’t try to become what you’re not. Try and nurture and replicate what you’ve already achieved. Do more of what you are good at, only do it better, and with extra pride.

The lips of wonder kiss you inside, feel the blood - Pump through your veins…

And feel the warmth of success. Not from what folk might say but from what you KNOW about YOU - become The Real YOU - become ‘The Real Thing’.

Like the echoes of your childhood laughter, ever after - Like the first-time love urged you to take its guidance…

Why not give it a go and see what happens? You’ve got nothing to lose. View the future with the enthusiasm and innocence of a wide-eyed eighteen-year-old again but with a number of years’ experience. I’m going to give it a go as 1980 was a good year in so many ways.

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

Tuesday, 5 February 2019

Mistaken Identity - Kim Carnes

‘Must be a case of mistaken identity’… 

On hearing this track taken from the 1981 Kim Carnes, album of the same name, it got me thinking about how folk aren’t always ‘What it says on the tin’. What we project about ourselves and what we actually are, can be in fact be two polar opposites.

From an early age, I believe both sexes are mis-programmed. Men, championed to be, well a Champions – Heroes - Winners. Women - Overpowered – Crushed – Suppressed. Sure, there’s sexual equality in many areas of our society, but how many proud all singing, all dancing ‘Alpha-Males’ that you know actually do what they say they are going to do and live up to the dream they project? Not many I’ve found…

How many Women, for that matter, do you know that are stand-out Champions, Heroines or Winners? They all are when they’ve been empowered, given belief and encouragement in my experience. As for Men, well in general they are on a hiding to nothing as anything less than 100% is perceived as failure, especially by their peer group - namely other ‘Alpha-Projecting Males’.

It doesn’t have to be this way though. If ability matched ambition, then the world would be a far happier and more successful place. Luckily, self-projection is like a fine wine and improves with age and life-experience. It’s a thought I’m going to take with me as I head into my 57th year tomorrow and will continue to deliver to those that reach out to me. Their transformation for me is one of the most inspiring aspects of my life right now.

Perhaps now is a good time to consider your own ‘identity’ – what do you project about yourself? Is what you project, the real you? Are you struggling to keep up the fa├žade? Do you want to change? Would you like the opportunity to show people what you are made of?

It’s worth a thought and please let me know your findings –

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

Wednesday, 23 January 2019

The Waiting Room - Genesis

Have you ever had a long wait or been delayed? Airport, Hospital, Bad Weather etc.?

Yes, it’s downright annoying but it actually brings with a complete set of opportunities I believe. Sure, for me it means I have time in my day to write at leisure instead of rushing my thoughts down during a limited time-slot in the day.

But then that’s how we deal with most things in our daily schedule isn’t it? We could all be ‘Honorary Firefighters’ with the amount of blazes we put out each day IMO - but that’s just how it is.

Unless we start making space in our busy schedules for some metacognition (aka thinking about thinking).

Each year, people at the Marathon des Sables enjoy eleven days away from normality (google and email) and for a short time back in the real world vow to uphold their new found freedom, only to be back ‘Firefighting’ as soon as there’s a 4G connection and the planes wheels have touched the ground back in blighty.

I’ve used the space I’ve found myself in today to improve my communication skills and accountability process. I’m very much an ideas guy and not so much of a process and note taker so it’s been useful to look introspectively too - I've caught up with a lot as I was out of the office all day yesterday.

One common denominator of the people I meet is a ‘lack of time’. Not for accomplishing things, just for thinking. Getting ideas - making plans - adopting new concepts and principles. The things we all find exciting yet don’t have the time to fit in which feels very counter-productive and far too stagnant an approach for my liking.

It’s a proper conundrum if you ask me and I’m going to think on as my wait comes to an end - are you in ‘The Waiting Room’ or 'Putting out Fires' today?

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

Tuesday, 22 January 2019

Life's what YOU make it - Talk Talk

Yikes, how was ‘Blue Monday’ for you? Yes, according to popular belief the 21stJanuary will be the most depressing day of the year. I’m not so sure folk buried in ‘Brexit’ would agree as the 29th March might just top that, but the third Monday of January is a stand out day of gloom for many as its three weeks post-Christmas and New Year and still two-weeks ‘til Pay-Day.

I’m not quite sure why any negative propaganda is really necessary about January as it’s a really positive month in my calendar as it’s where plans are made both for me and my clients - it's where the seeds of a New Year are planted. Life has it’s seasons – And okay it's sometime since I enjoyed ‘The Spring of Youth’ but at 56 (57 soon), I’m getting the most out of my ‘Late Summer’.

Baby, life's what you make it, can't escape it
Baby, yesterday's favourite, don't you hate it?

YES - the clocks ticking for all of us and expending a lot of our energy wishing ‘Time’ away I believe is a waste of ‘Time’ and why not take a look at what you’ve achieved so far this year. Okay, it might sound a little premature but take a look and you might be surprised. I've already made a film, spoken at Eton College and helped countless people find their feet. If you look closely enough, I bet you can find at least three stand-out things you’ve already accomplished and maybe a few more if you dig a little deeper.

Baby, life's what you make it
Celebrate it, anticipate it…

And when you’ve considered the things you’ve achieved – Celebrate them. There’s a tendency to skip onto the next goal and ignore SUCCESS. Either that or waste even more valuable time dissecting the negative aspects. Once the day's gone - it's history.

Yesterday's faded, nothing can change it
Life's what you make it…

So, with that in mind, my message is pure and simple today – ‘Make the most of every single day as ‘It’s what you achieve, not what you have, that defines you’…

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

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.


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’…


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