Sunday, 30 September 2018

Who’s to Blame…

‘I blame you for the moonlit sky and the dream that died with the Eagle's flight’ – Archer

In truth, we like to ‘Blame’ everyone but ourselves. It’s down to something I’m told called ‘Psychological Projection’, which is a theory in psychology in which the human ego defends itself against unconscious impulses or qualities (both positive and negative) by denying their existence in themselves while attributing them to others.

Yikes, that’s deep and no wonder Tasmin Archer was so upset back in 1992.

Anyway, if you’ve ever watched ‘The Apprentice’ – I love the part of the show where the Candidates are trying to save themselves by ‘Blaming’ everyone else in the Boardroom for their team’s failure. The scene is a perfect example of Psychological Projection’. The way they latch onto the minutest detail to try and convince Lord Sugar that even though they’ve messed up themselves, someone else has messed up more and they need to be fired. Luckily Sugar’s BS meter usually catches them out, which not only makes great viewing but underlines that we all love to point the finger at the weakest link or in some of the programmes I’ve watched, the greatest competition.

You see, I believe we’ve been hard-wired into ‘Blame Culture’ over recent decades – as they say ‘Where there’s ‘Blame’, there’s a claim’. Nowadays, banks are reeling from PPI Claims and Personal Injury Lawyers are advertising on TV during Jeremy Kyle commercial breaks, trawling for new business from folk looking for easy cash.

Yes, there’s money in ‘Blame’.

For some folk I meet and for some I’ve worked with in the past – they deserve ‘Blame’ but somehow are Teflon-Coated. The ‘Blame’ just runs off them, like water off a duck’s back - nothing sticks. They always have the perfect excuse and it’s never their fault. Try and pin some ‘Blame’ on them and it’s like trying to nail jelly to a wall – it just ain’t gonna happen!

So, why do they come across that way? 

It could be that they have narrow bandwidth of opinion. Maybe, they are 50:50 folks not looking to rock the boat. They exude a of ‘Middle of the Road’ attitude that’s agreeable to everyone enough so not to be abrasive enough to ruffle other folks feathers. And as they’ve never had any confrontation, confrontation doesn’t find them.

‘Sticking your neck out’ or having a ‘Strong Opinion’ – well you may as well say ‘Blame Me’ as folk no doubt will. It’s human nature to hand it out to those that stand out.

Are you ever wrong?

You never make mistakes? - well I don’t believe you. No one’s perfect. Sure, if you are right or if your sound and experienced opinion is being contested – fight. If you’re not, why not be honest and just own up and move on. If you are wrong and cover it up and then get found out – well that’s a proper sin. The ‘Reply-All’ email was designed for such occasions I believe.

You know the ones where a colleague emails you to tell you that you’ve messed up, made a mistake or have been duplicitous – and sends it to ALL your colleagues and bosses as well, highlighting just how awful you’ve performed. As if it wasn’t bad enough to make a mistake, they tell the world about it too – don’t you just hate them?

And even though it’s ‘Tomorrow’s Chip Papers’ – it’s bloody annoying and one of ‘Blames Cultures’ more sinister aspects I think. Broadcasting ‘Blame’ on others in order to deflect attention from one’s own mistakes, especially at work – well that really sucks.

No, I believe it’s much better to be more introspective about ‘Blame’. ‘Blame’ starts within by taking responsibility for our actions and standards. It’s just that ‘Blame’ can’t be measured. We simply know it exists and use it to describe how things have gone wrong for us in the past.

Here are some translations:-

Folk ‘Blame’ their education – maybe, they weren’t open to being taught. School is all about finding out what sparks your imagination and rarely folk end up doing what they went to Uni for. 

Folk ‘Blame’ their parents – we’re not children very long and we make our own life-choices. I understand that not every childhood is a bed of roses, but adulthood brings choice and a world of opportunity. Where that road takes us is up to ourselves and no-one else.

Folk ‘Blame’ their partner – with a ‘Divorce Rate’ of 50% in the UK, it’s not surprising that there’s ‘Blame’ attributed to one or both of the parties in any partnership in crisis. Stating the ‘Blame’ of the collapse of a marriage is part of the court proceedings to see if it’s worthy of a divorce. A simple ‘It’s my fault, let’s move on’ would be a far cheaper option rather than the usual court ‘Blame Battle’. The only ones who win, are the Lawyers.

Folk really will ‘Blame’ anyone but themselves.

Trying not to be a ‘Blame Victim’ when things are going wrong can be super-tough. I know. During my GBS illness it would have been far too easy to say that it had ruined my life and to have lived out the rest of my years feeling very bitter and twisted about how it’s physically and mentally changed me.

And naturally, when you find yourself in such a situation, you look at who to ‘Blame’. Was it a disease? Who gave it to me? Was it something I ate? 

Well no, it could have been self-generated. A payback of years, pushing my body beyond its limits and the stretch of my immune system. Who knows. I’m always proud to say that during 25 years of running, I’ve never been injured – I haven’t, but in the case of GBS, maybe - I have.

It’s ok though and I don’t ‘Blame’ myself – I’m happy with what I’ve achieved and where I am. You see, I’m someone that doesn’t have the ‘Blame Gene’.

Being honest about yourself, what you do, what you project and how you live life will stop you ‘Blaming’ the world around you for your predicament and today could be the day to take the ‘B’ word out of your vocabulary – You never know - Amen.

1025 Marathons - 248 Ultras - 9 Guinness World Records and 24 Years' Dry
Checkout my New Website -

Wednesday, 26 September 2018

Under Pressure - Queen and David Bowie

Many of people I meet say they are ‘Stressed Out’ or ‘Feeling Under Pressure’ for most of their waking hours. So I thought I’d do some research into ‘Stress’, the effects it can have and some of the ways to combat one of the silent conditions that’s slowly killing the nation.

It sounds serious but it is - especially for those that are having their lives ruined by their natural reaction being permanently on ‘Red-Alert’.

You see ‘Stress’ is your way of responding to demanding situations or threats. Us humans are ‘Hard-wired’ to sense danger - whether real or imagined - and under attack, our defences kick into high gear in a rapid, automatic process known as the ‘Fight-or-Flight’ reflex known as the ‘Stress Response.’

The ‘Stress Response’ is there to protect you and when working properly, it maintains focus, spikes energy levels and in general keeps you alert. In emergency situations, ‘Stress’ is actually a life-saver - giving you extra strength to defend yourself.

‘Stress’ can also help you rise to meet challenges. It’s what keeps you on your toes at work, sharpens concentration when playing sport, or drives you on in a marathon when you might want to DNF. However, beyond a certain level, stress causes major health issues - affecting your mood, productivity, relationships and quality of life.

Now you can see, why ‘Stress’ is a ‘Silent Killer’.

It can also be a ‘Silent’ emotion. I’m quite convinced or rather, I’ve convinced myself that I don’t suffer from ‘Stress’ too much. It might just be that subconsciously, I’ve found a way of handling ‘Stress’ that nullified my ‘Stress Reaction’. I do fell calm most of the time and very patient.

A kind-of-natural ‘State of Prozac’. The drug Prozac is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). The drug works by blocking the absorption of the neurotransmitter serotonin in the brain. BY regulating the amount of serotonin that helps our brain cells transmit messages to each other it results in a better and more stable mood - a state in my case of feeling ‘Less Stressed’ - Who knows? It sounds like a good theory though doesn’t it. 

My personality type says I should be stressed or fatigued due to an overload of sensory or emotional input - and I understand that I should be a more stressed person considering my lifestyle and job - however I’m just not. Don’t get me wrong, I can be just as adrenalised as the next person only not all the time and certainly not ‘Stressed’ by inheritance from anyone else’s predicament either.

I do believe my ‘Stress Response’ was supressed in my teenage years and that possibly surviving an all boys’ school taught me to compartmentalise different situations and tasks which I’ve simply carried on and used in adult-life. Life is processed like a production line one task at a time.

Anyway, it could be a system that you could use, especially if you are feeling ‘Stressed Out’ right now.

That’s if you are ‘Stressed Out’ or in fact just ‘Under Pressure’ from a number of personal issues or situations that are lining up like the planets creating a major cataclysmic life-problem coming over the horizon.

Everyone is under the cosh and driving the five miles across Cardiff this morning, made even my blood start to boil and for those doing this every day of their working life - well I can understand why it might take a couple of hours and a few coffees to clear the grey storm clouds that can gather in that nose-to-tail-traffic-jams.

Yet it could be avoided by people going to work earlier of later to avoid the situation -working from home or simply cycling/walking instead. For those that tell me that work really stresses them out, I always say, ‘Well, find another job’… Or speak to the powers that be as they want you to happy and productive in your work just as much as you do - try speaking to them when they’re not ‘Stressed Out’ too perhaps.

Now, rather than just go on and on about ‘Stress’ and ‘Stress you out’ further, I’ll offer you a solution. A form of ‘Stress Management’ - or rather ‘Stress Awareness’ so then you can fell ‘Stress Liberated’.

My task to you then, is to look at your levels of ‘Stress’ during the day. 0 being so laid back you are horizontal and 10 meaning you are on the edge ready to jump. Taking a reading three times a day gives a simple out of 30 score where we can see the peaks and troughs through the day and where the ‘Days of Stress’ occur in the week.

For a lot of folk, it’s just after work and just as they get home that the ‘Stress Factor’ will be hitting 10 - fatigued, hungry and emotionally drained - that’s the danger point where booze and food are used to lift the mood. We do know by regulating the amount of serotonin that brain cells use to transmit messages to each other - it results in a better and more stable mood and perhaps if better understood, we wouldn’t go on a journey of self-destruction in front of the fridge or head off to the off-licence.

Running, cycling, walking, making goals, being creative, listening to music, yoga - just being active can make your ‘Stress Response’ trip out and let reality return. 

Yes, putting it simply all you need to do to ‘De-Stress’ is to get active. If you haven’t tried, give it a go. Also ask yourself what’s really causing your ‘Stress’ - Wife/Husband, Kids, Money, Job, Lifestyle, Alcohol, Drugs, Addiction, whatever and just start being honest about what could be a ‘Life-Changer’ if left unchallenged.

I’m going to think on about what I can do to keep my ‘Stress-Reaction’ confined to when I’m under attack and can let my ‘Fight-or-Flight’ reflex kick in and save me.

I hope it will ‘Save’ you too - Amen

1,025 Marathons - 248 Ultras - 15 Marathon des Sables - 9 Guinness World Records

Monday, 24 September 2018

The Eight Stages of Addiction Escape…

Breaking the ADDICTION Spell...
Addiction is always a hot topic and escape from its claws can be a lifelong trial for some if not most. Being somewhat of a former 'Addict' myself, I didn’t know that these stages existed at the time. I just did what most folk do when they are in ‘Addiction Peril’ - namely pack it up, mess it up and try again - only to fail.

Now, I’ve seen some very promising and talented individuals end up becoming all consumed by their dependence on a complete spectrum of booze, drugs and behavioural traits. Even the acknowledgement of their situation is too much for them to take on board, which takes me nicely onto Stage One.

1. Denia...l

We all know folk that are in ‘Denial’. Yes, acquaintances that have no idea that they are out of control or endangering themselves and or the lives of others. Their once a month occasional blow-out, has spiralled into daily need. It’s a process that happens all to quickly and It’s amazing that ‘a-once-in-every-28-days-kinda-thing’ can become an all-consuming ‘28-in-28’ necessity. I’ve been there myself, fingers in my ears, blocking out the observations of my nearest and dearest continuing my self-destructive behaviour. Putting it simply, some folk are quite happy killing themselves - it's such a waste.

2. Acknowledgment...

Becoming aware of an 'Addiction' takes time. It feels like the 'Addiction' has slowly crept up on you - sort of when you weren’t looking. The glass of wine after work to unwind has become two, three, a bottle, two bottles - every day. Every morning becomes a bit of a battle to get out of bed and the first few fuzzy hours are hastily coffee-filled as the day finally clears around lunchtime to start the whole process again after work. When I speak to daily one-bottlers about three and four bottlers, I always find it amusing how they say, ‘I’m not that bad’, but they are - they just haven’t ‘acknowledged their precarious position as it's far too easy to down another bottle whilst being drunk on the first.

3. Not Today...

You knowing it's time to change, well that’s when the ‘Dithering’ starts. Do you know an ‘Addiction Ditherer’? Yes, they’ve ‘fessed up. Come clean. Acknowledged their situation but are really nowhere nearer sorting it out in reality. This stage can last the longest and I’m sure we all know serial cigarette smokers for instance that say ‘I’d love to give up’ yet you know they never will as they love smoking too much or feel like they’ve smoked for so long that there wouldn’t be any health benefits to be gained. How wrong they are and at over £10 a pack - how much worse off they are too. I remember being at Stage Three for some time before plucking up the courage for Stage 4 as that - well it takes 'Balls'.

4. Next Week...

Yes 'Balls', picking YOUR day, the day that can change YOUR life forever. I remember mine most clearly - the 5th January 1994. It took a huge amount of strength and personal realisation that I needed to change. Realising my ‘Self-Failure’ and ‘Weakness of Character’ was a bitter pill to swallow. Admitting to myself was one thing, admitting it to someone else - well that would be another matter, so I spent a fair bit of time in the ‘Next Week’ stage and if you've been there, you'll know there’s nothing more frightening than standing on the edge of a new future minus your best friend - 'Addiction'.

5. Action...

But then you take a deep breath and jump, it’s exhilarating. It’s fun to be free. Adrenalin pumping with positive thoughts. Well for a few days anyway, until the cracks start to appear and the hunger pangs of 'Addiction' start eating away like worms into your brain - consuming your inner resolve and goodwill. Now don’t get me wrong, some folk grab Addiction' freedom at the first opportunity. One short, sharp shock is all that’s needed to reverse the 'Addiction' tailspin in a single dose. 

If only it happened like that for everyone - as without help, it rarely does.

6. Failure...

On average, it takes four times through the ‘Action-Failure-Cycle’ - an average. The ‘F’ word of 'Addiction' is so condemning. For those looking for eternal abstention we’ll say from booze - the day count is there as an incentive as well as a final condemnation of defeat as the clock resets to zero and the whole process starts over with just one drink. Food Addiction? Well, that’s more of a ‘Grey Area’ as even the mighty weightloss success stories I’ve helped to create, will admit to a few sins along the way. 

Some folk take 'Failure' as a given when setting out on achieving their goal - I’ve always been mindful that any hint of 'Failure' must be put out of mind for success to happen and the ‘F’ word to happily ‘F’ off. 

7. Action...

And back it’s back to Stage 5, well Stage 3 really if you really need a run up to tackle your 'Obsession' once again. I get the ‘Learning from Failure’ analogy and as a nation we love someone winning against the odds - succeeding after a making a complete balls-up the first time round. It sucks if you ask me. Only too often, this becomes the norm and folk become Yo-Yo Slimmers, Drinkers and worst of all Negative-Thinkers. My advice is always to look ahead with a blue-sky attitude - where the possibilities of life far outweigh the Kryptonite that’s attacking your innermost thoughts. Thinking about successfully completing the next 24hrs in your quest to become the ‘Real’ you is all that matters. 

8. Termination...

And when you are FREE, you’ll look back and wonder why you ever got so addicted. Why Booze, Drugs or Food became such an emotional crutch and such a problem. You might not even know you are a ‘Terminator’ - I didn’t. I set off on my journey just seeing if I could complete a day, a month and then a year. In truth my obsession to do something has become an obsession not to do it ever again - I never thought I'd say that. A positive outcome from a dark time that’s now hidden in the vaults right at the back of my mind that’s now covered in a layer of positivity and achievements that mask any notion of a Stage 6 Failure. These thoughts now encourage me to help those who find themselves in a similar predicament - you know who you are.

But of you are 'Addicted', let the battle begin. 'Addiction' or 'Compulsive Behaviour' of any kind eats away at the soul. Each morning, getting up with the best of intentions until things go wrong or having a shitty day at work. Well, staying strong in these moments, that’s the key to success as it’s easier to live life 'Addiction' free when things are going well. That's what makes you Strong, Resilient and a 'WINNER'.

And if any of the above rings true, well it’s time for 'Change'. Time to be free of the ‘Burden of Addiction’. Time to be AWESOME - Amen.

1,025 Marathons - 248 Ultras - 15 Marathon des Sables - 9 Guinness World Records

Thursday, 20 September 2018

Stairs - INXS

10 Shades of Grey
'Take one step, out the door'...

Martin Luther King, Jr. said 'Faith is taking the first step, even when you don't see the whole staircase' - it’s a wonderful quote. One I often hear is ‘taking the first step is the hardest’ - no wonder Neil Armstrong called his, 'A giant leap for mankind'. 

I love a good quote and faith plays a great part in anything we do, as does commitment which I believe we can measure – I do this with my ‘Ten Levels of Commitment’.

Look around, for a whole lot more…
Let’s face it, more and more of us are out there looking around for the magical life-ingredient that will make our life simply perfect for ourselves and those around us. Our modern, ‘Trip-Adviser-World’ rates everything from a Holiday to a Toaster as a rating out of 10 so I’ve made my levels match with a reasoning to why I believe folk fail or succeed in their approach towards their goal.

We make decisions all day, every day. A simple series of ‘zeroes and ones’. We get an idea. Become obsessed and set off to varying degrees of success – So why is this?

0 – ‘Over my Dead Body’…

Hmm, no wonder it’s a BIG fat ZERO. To me it means there is no way on God’s Earth you could ever make or even encourage me to do something. Triathlons, eating Tuna and listening Barry Manilow immediately come to my mind but then as you know, I’m an all or nothing kinda guy and the ‘Zero’ for ‘Over my Dead Body’ reflects the whitest, snow-white, white you could ever imagine. On my shades of GREY – 0 is my WHITE (Grey being a mix of Black and White. White being 100% White 0% Black and Black vice versa if you get my drift).

1 – ‘I just can’t see myself doing that’…

Well if you can’t – no one else will. Having a clear picture of yourself undertaking a feat or crossing the finish line of a race is sometimes all the belief you’ll ever need to achieve the success you desire. But let’s face it, if you don’t believe you have what it takes, it’s very hard for anyone to ‘Project’ that feeling onto you. It’s nearly always only a marginal success that’s achieved when it happens and using a ‘Neil Armstrong’ analogy, he’d never have set off for the moon, let alone walked on it.

2 – ‘There’s nothing you could do to make me do that’…

Now to me that means that you could do whatever is tasked of you, but you simply don’t want to do it. It’s more of a kind of protest statement. And whenever I’ve heard it said, I’ve shut up shop and lowered my expectations of the 2/10 situation as let’s face it, making that kind of mindset remotely positive is extremely unlikely and will never reach the ‘Level of Commitment’ needed to achieve the success I’d be looking for.

3 – ‘My Partner, Husband/Wife doesn’t want me doing that’…

Now, that always sounds like an excuse to me or a case of avoiding a difficult conversation with the other half. In levels 9 & 10 this wouldn’t be an option but ‘Giving in’, is a simple way of undermining your own self-confidence by not wanting to ‘Rock-the-Boat’ and leads to frustration and a feeling of ‘Minority Mediocrity’. I believe everyone has a desire, even a need to achieve. Making a mark on the world and a leaving a personal legacy has always been something that I’ve had foremost in my mind and I now see this in a lot of the folk I meet and coach.

4 – Really?

That’s the answer I get a lot when I’m looking at people’s fitness stats and ability. An ‘Ability Disbelief’ we’ll call it. A simple case of someone not knowing what they are capable of. I love the Malcom Gladwell principle that says 10,000 hours of ‘deliberate practice’ are needed to become world-class in any field. When psychologists talk about deliberate practice, they mean practicing in a way that pushes your skill set as much as possible. I mean, are people that are superb musicians or artists, the best naturally or have they simple done the time? It’s an interesting and well-argued concept but it does highlight that we tend to concentrate on things we like or enjoy to become our obsession or lifestyle. I’m sure there are plenty more capable musicians, artists and athletes in this world - it’s just that these attributes have never been discovered perhaps. Really? Yes, Really.

5 – Maybe? Maybe Not…

50:50 is never a safe bet is it? A simple coin-toss. Heads or Tails? I’m never convinced folk have got what it takes when I hear such an ambivalent comment, it’s almost a double-negative in my book. A ‘Mid-Tone Grey’, dreary shade suggesting a state of complete indecisiveness of true commitment. It marks the point I find most frustrating in folk but maybe most folk also find it just as annoying in themselves – you be the judge.

6 – I’m on it…

Or are you? Okay we’ve reached that 60% ‘Level of Commitment’ but it’s still a long way from anything being signed, sealed and delivered. The ‘I’m on it’ comment speaks volumes to me. It usually means that the intention is there but the enthusiasm is lacking – along with any action on making it happen. I believe ‘I’m on it’ doesn’t mean happening in the present – it’s more of a future tense happening. A kind of ‘thanks for reminding me as I know I haven’t done anything about it yet’. I remember some School Summer Holiday homework having the ‘I’m on it’ appeal – don’t you?

7 – I’m giving it everything I’ve got…

Only you’re not. Even though you are attaining what I would call a high ‘Pass Mark’. And yes, your degree might say ‘First Class Honours’, it’s still a long way from being truly exceptional. I don’t think anyone would be happy buying a 7/10 rated TV or HiFi when there are 8, 9 or even 10/10 performers to choose from. I’d say 7/10 is ‘Good’ but not ‘Good Enough’ if you look at a 70% Grey – it’s still VERY Grey and not very Black. That says it all to me.

8 – There’s not a lot more I can do…

If there isn’t, well maybe you’ve misjudged your Level 10. I’m not sure anything is ever perfect and even when I thought I’d given things everything I’d ever got, there was always a niggling thought that I could have done more. Anyone that has ever done a VO2 Max test on a Treadmill, where it goes quicker and quicker and the gradient increases will have had the thought that they could have done a few more steps before hitting the emergency stop button. It tells me that there’s always something more you can do to get the most out of your inner-self.

9 – Nothing can stop me…

I love it! Nothing will stop you, if you’ve gone the extra mile – given it everything you’ve got and been ‘on it’ right from the start. 9/10 is pretty dark – a dark charcoal grey – a near black and for some it’s the ceiling of their ability and an extremely satisfying position to find yourself in. If you’re a gambler – it’s a ‘Dead Cert’ – a winning Lottery ticket. For those that follow one of my 12-Week Training Plans or ULTRAdiet, well you are going to succeed as it’s ‘Green Lights’ all the way. Nothing will stop you when you hit the ‘Nothing can stop me’ phase.

 10 – Whatever the Cost…

How Black is your Black? Just how dark can you make it? Is your Eclipse Full or only partial? As a young boy (Aged 7) I knew I’d see the Solar Eclipse at Land’s End in 1999 (Aged 37) – ‘Whatever the Cost’, and I did. It was Black too (but sadly cloudy boo-hoo) but I lived out a 30 year dream. A pledge made as a boy that if I was still alive when I was an old man, I kept. A most satisfying moment in my lifetime along with many, many more situations and achievements that have come my way.

They haven’t come from being anything less than an eight perhaps and I can think of many things that have had to suffer so that the ‘Nines and Tens’ have happened. Sure there are things I’ve given my all to and they’ve failed but I’m honest enough to own up to my own failings and ‘Levels of Commitment’. Maybe they weren’t all as high as I’d thought.

For you, take some time to see how you measure up and maybe reaffirm your ‘Level of Commitment’ to whatever is driving you on to succeed right now.

Are you a 5, 8, 9 or even 10 – I’d love to know?

1,024 Marathons - 248 Ultras - 15 Marathon des Sables - 9 Guinness World Records

Sunday, 16 September 2018

Begin Again - Knife Party

A Chocolate Box Viewpoint...
Knife Party are an Australian electronic music duo comprising Rob Swire and Gareth McGrillen, two members of the drum and bass band Pendulum (One of my favourite bands if you know me well). 'Begin Again' is the stand-out track from their debut album, 'Abandon Ship'. Take a look and see if you get my vibe for today's blog about my thoughts about the creating your future-self.

‘Is there somewhere else to be, is there another way to feel’…

You see, for a lot of people they can’t see a future. Any change from their current situation is completely unthinkable and there’s no possible way out of their current ‘Life-Treacle’. Sure, we can find ourselves unhappily driven down a one way street without a hope of finding reverse but there is always a solution and a different viewpoint that can produce some positive vibes and a ‘Get out of Jail Free’ solution. Sometimes, we tend to go with the flow and act in the way we expect people would expect – especially in these days of social media, but I believe a more candid self-assessment works wonders in building a brighter future.

‘The lost pieces all over, getting closer’…

Oh, I do love a jigsaw reference in a blog and here goes – You see, I truly believe we try to live out life far too perfectly – trying to build the perfect ‘Chocolate Box’ jigsaw picture when in reality a lot of the pieces are missing or are jumbled up from other puzzles. To fix this in myself, I relate every day to being a piece of a life-long jigsaw of unlimited pieces that I’ve been slowly building these past 9,000 days - The ‘Ultimate 9,000 piece Jigsaw so far’

‘Hold up your hands and begin again, hold up your hands when you reach the end’…

Knowing when to start the rebuilding process, well there’s the rub. It’s far too easy to immediately say, ‘Right NOW’, ‘This is IT’ or ‘This is MY time’ – I believe it takes a proper in-depth thought process to grab the right time and approach to really make things happen – that’s when you hold your hands up and begin again. A positive, deep thought process on a ‘Not today decision’ always works wonders, making things up as you go along or going with the flow doesn’t produce good long-term results I’ve found.

‘We live and we work and we die for it, we know our path and we fight for it’…

And there’s the commitment, the die-hard approach. The knowledge that whatever happens, nothing and I mean NOTHING will ever challenge or change your thought process on whatever direction you are taking. I don’t know about you but I’m a fighter. I fight for what I believe. In my experience whatever happens, wherever we find ourselves, no matter how dire a situation is – you CAN ‘Begin Again’ – Amen.

1,024 Marathons - 248 Ultras - 15 Marathon des Sables - 9 Guinness World Records

Sunday, 2 September 2018

Dreamer - Supertramp

'Make it Happen' - C S Ragsdale
Dreamer, you know you are a dreamer…

Taken from their 1974 album ‘Crime of the Century, Dreamer reached #13 in the UK Charts in February 1975 – I remember hearing it on the radio very well, take a listen and clock the drummer and bass player that look more like Open University presenters than Rockstars. For those not so familiar with Supertramp, they were a ‘Prog Rock/Art House’ kinda band, lodged between Roxy Music and Wishbone Ash in my record collection and always more of a 'Girls Group' to my teenage mind...

I said ‘Far out, what a day, a year, a life it is!’

Anyway, the Big Question is…Do YOU Dream? I know I do. I’ll admit it’s sporadic especially with two small children as sleep is either heavily interrupted or deeply comatose. However, when I dream, the dreams feel familiar – there’s a fascinating concept that you can only dream about what already know or what you’ve already experienced, it happened that way for me last night. During sleep the Neurons in our brains must still be firing, reconstructing reality, connecting experiences, people and places in a crazy channel-hopping-ransom-note-way. It's an alternative world in which we also exist - yikes that's deep.

You know, well you know, you had it comin' to you…

There are some great ‘Dream’ quotes if you need inspiration:-

‘A positive attitude can really make dreams come true - it did for me.’ - David Bailey
‘A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality.’ - Yoko Ono

You inspired now? They seem pretty obvious to me and second nature. Hmmm.

I like the phrase ‘Beyond my wildest dreams’ that folk use when they win the 'Lottery'. To go beyond your widest dreams, takes some doing but the only thing is I’m not sure I have wild dreams. Maybe they are wild but seem normal. I mean like most people I’ve been flying above myself and naked in public many times which I’m told are common dreams and have a whole plethora of meanings that 'Google' will provide if you have the time.

Work it out someday…

Okay what I’m really on about are the dreams where you plan out the near and distant future. If you ever get the chance to run a mega-day Marathon or even the Marathon des Sables, you’ll have hours of unbroken thinking time to get a lot of your life in order and make proper life-plans, really detailed and well thought out plans about the months and years ahead. Its amazing how much time you can think about just one thing I've found.

I love that aspect of running and the deep thinking that accompanies the ‘Time-Out’ from everyday life. It’s amazing how pumped up and how much you get done and change when you’ve had such a life-experience and wake up back in reality..

Take a dream on a Sunday,
Take a life, take a holiday,
Take a lie, take a dreamer,
Dream, dream, dream, dream, dream, dream, dream, dream along…

So, as we head into September and the last third of 2018 - What are you dreaming of? What’s going to brighten your future? Make you happier? Calmer? Faster? Thinner? Richer? I'd love to know. 

Maybe become your own Dream-Team and make your Dreams come true - You Dreamer.

Can you put your hands in your head, oh no!

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