Sunday, 8 February 2009

Tough Times...

So, here we are on day eight of our 28 day challenge to create three positive habits based on areas of personal weakness. It's great to read people posting their own goals on here... how's it going? on target? I figured that although I'd created a reasonable amount of accountability by posting my aims on here I also need something to measure my success by and to give me something positive each day by way of saying 'well done' to myself. Hence the somewhat basic checklist posted on our office wall where each day I can tick a little box, you can see from the picture (below) that so far I'm 'seven from seven' for the two daily targets of 2 litres of water and 10 minutes of stretching and although I'm a few hours down on the bike schedule all I need is a break in the weather to release me from the turbo and the 4.5 hour deficit should be easy to make up. (Note: I did manage three hours on the turbo this morning to make the current total 10.5 hours in eight days)
The water has actually been the toughest and has on more than one occasion found me seeing off almost a litre just before bed which has then kept me up half the night going back and forth to the loo! Habits do have to be forced at first though and as much as it might seem sensible to sometimes accept the fact that for just one day you've not done what you set out to, it can then become all too easy to miss it again the next time. By sitting there and forcing it down I'm showing myself that whatever happens I will drink two litres of water each day and yes it is a pain to have to do half of that just before going to bed but the only option with regards making it a more pleasant experience is to spread it out through the day.


The title of today's blog is really what I wanted to write about today though... at the moment loads of us seem to be going through a rather difficult period in our lives. Sitting down earlier and chatting with H it was amazing how many of our friends (and us for that matter) have kicked off 2009 on the back foot, be it in terms of their athletic goals, career goals or some other area of their life. I'm not going to go into details or names but if you're reading this and things aren't quite right then have faith in your dreams and ambitions it's during difficult times like these that self-belief becomes all the more important. I remember Hels talking to me about her race at Ironman Germany in 2008 and how at her lowest point in the marathon when there really didn't seem to be light at the end of the tunnel she just focused on putting one foot in front of the other and dealing with the next step again and again and again knowing that as long as she kept moving forward then at some point she would be turning toward the finish line.

To maybe demonstrate my point a little better I thought I'd share a truly amazing video with you, which was sent to me by our great friend Tony Hiley. T is the head strength coach for the Irish Cricket team and is based at the Irish institute of sport, they often use this video to motivate and inspire injured players and athletes. The video is of a guy called Jamie Gillentine who I think broke his neck diving into the sea and follows his rehabilitation over what must be a fairly significant period of time. Now, before you click on the link I want to make sure you look at this in the right context... I'm not saying 'look how bad this guy has it so stop feeling sorry for yourself' because no matter how much worse someone else's problems are it won't stop yours from getting you down. What I am saying however is think about how impossible his situation must have seemed at times, think about how low his lowest point must have been, think about all the so called experts who no doubt tried to break his self belief by casting doubt on his future... use his experience as an amazing example of no matter how tough life may seem if you keep moving forward tiny step by tiny step you WILL get there. Also, before you click on the link, there was some great music on it but unfortunately the copyright cops seem to have blocked it so find your most inspirational tune, the one that really makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up and line it up ready to hit play as the video starts.

OK, if you're good to go please click... HERE.

That probably sums up what I'm thinking at the moment better than I could ever get across in words. No matter how rubbish things may seem at the moment don't stop dreaming and most importantly don't stop believing in those dreams.

See you next Sunday,


p.s. why today's photo? I Googled images for 'tough times' and this came up. It made me laugh so I thought it would do the same for you ;)


Mr H said...

3.5 hours on the turbo. Respect that sounds painful (brain and arse)but the roads were fine today. I'm feeling very proud of my 4:15 out in the baltic conditions......... although nobody likes a smart-arse ;-(

Anonymous said...

Sometimes it takes someone else to point out what you know all along!

A well timed blog, thanks Tom :)

Glad to see your 2009 is on course. The water goal is a tough one but it will eventually become second nature.


DaveMcG said...

Tom - The piece of video you highlight is an excellent reference to motivation and positive thinking.

On a personal update to the goals I set, I have made a poor start.

However, there was a great quote from Confucius on that same piece of video, which stated that as long as you continue - any efforts towards progress are better than none at all.

I can still achieve my modest goals by the end of this month but I will require more determination and discipline to tick them off.

Have a great week doing and learning!

Jevon said...

force down a litre of water the moment you get up. The rest of the day will be easy.
Me? I'm managing two litres of coffee per day :-)

Khara Mills said...

Blimey, what is my whingeing all about! (having seen the video, which I played to the Rocky theme tune) Thankfully most of the whin is inside my own head and it's helped having the goals to put the niggles into perspective.

Having been prescribed a Mon-Fri of rest last week, I didn't make my swim session at JCC but the stretching and strength sessions are bang on target. Nice to get out on the bike in the sun on Saturday :-) Had a great swim this morning which has put me in a VERY positive mood to start this week, despite the niggles popping up to say hello again following my short run yesterday.

Keep it up Tom :-)

runtilyoudrop said...

Alright Tom. Might think about taking the occasional salt pill given the volume of training (and sweating) but probably not be an issue if you usually run a bit dry.

Looking for great things from you at Lanza this year. Just remember to keep a few matches in the box for raceday.

Ben G said...

I have downloaded the video clip with music if you ever want a hard copy. Great Turbo work mate, reading the Epic Blogs its not easy being an endurance athlete in the UK. All systems go for 48 biking hours even in the artic conditions!!!!!

Rob Bane said...

Thanks for the video clip - top stuff. I too watch whilst listening to "Gonna Fly Now"/The Rocky Theme particularly apt when he made it up the steps, awesome stuff. Certainly puts my medical complaint in perspective also.

My doctor advised no exercise for 4-6 weeks, which kind of scuppered my goals to begin with. But then I heard someone say in an unrelated context that "doing nothing was very rarely the correct option" so I've altered my goals to 3 hour+ recumbent bike sessions per week instead of 2 bikes + 1 swim and to NOT follow the advice of anyone who can't remember my name or what drugs he didn't prescibe me ;)