Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Alaska - UK

Lyrics:- 'Close my eyes imagine somewhere' - Jobson

Song Choice:- I nearly chose Violiniski's shocking Clog Dance for today's blog but simply couldn't as it was so dreadful at the time. It drove me potty back in 1979. Instead I've chosen UK's Alaska from the same year featuring one of my own Violin heroes, (no not you Dan Mullin) but 'Eddie Jobson'.

I wanted a Violin based track to illustrate my thoughts on Malcolm Gladwell's theory that the key to success in any field, is simply a matter of practicing a specific task that can be accomplished with 20 hours of work a week for 10 years. 

The theory's been written about far too many times to mention, but if you are learning to play the violin, as my 12-year-old daughter Pearl is, it will be 2027 before we'll be able to take our ear defenders off and hear a 'Jobson-Like' performance. Even at Grade 8, I'm told, it will still sound like the painful screech of nails down a blackboard. Yikes!

Don't get me wrong, I'm sure she'll enjoying the learning experience and becoming a more proficient player but like anything it will take time. Her success will rely her determination to succeed and endurance. Sounds kinda familiar eh?

You see, in my world, it takes a similar level of dedication and time. I wonder how folk believe they can become a world beater at any kind of endurance sport with less than 10,000 hours of practise and Gladwell's theory I believe stacks up. Yes, you can get very good in a short space of time but to become a world beater and bodily bombproof, well that's down to the simple equation of, You + Dedication over Setbacks + Injury.

I saw Danny Kay at the weekend, now there's a guy - a proper running machine at 75 years of age, completing his 683rd marathon - he's never experienced a DNF and is still running strong. We share the same running philosophy and he gave me some sound advice during the run. He took some beating too! 

Starting out I found speaking to the guys who've been there, got the T-Shirt and have done what ii is you want to do, is always the best approach. John Martin taught me all those lessons back in 1995, when I wasn't sure whether I wanted to take his advice. His prophesy and teaching came true though, give him his due, and his ideals and those of Coach Arthur Lydiard live on in my work.

If only I could apply it to playing the Violin...


Rory Coleman - 996 Marathons - 244 Ultras - 14 Marathon des Sables
9 Guinness World Records - 8,602 Days' Alcohol Free - 450 Days' post GBS
Inspirational Running Memoir
Location: Caersydd, Cymru

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