Posts

Review and Apology

Image
It's the day after Trojan's Strongest Man 2017 and I've had a night's sleep and a chance to regain my customary composure. So, having picked up my dummy and put my toys back in my cot, here's my traditional reflection on my antics.
It's the 6th year that the event had been run. Matty and the Trojan family put together a good occasion. It's easy to forget or overlook how much work goes into getting something started; keeping it ticking over and clearing up after. Thank to everybody involved for giving us the opportunity to show off the product of our work. But it wasn't all about showing off. The proceeds from the day went to CLASP (Counselling Life Advice Suicide Prevention www.claspcharity.com), a charity close to the hearts of the Trojan family. An immaculately observed minute's silence before the young son of a fallen friend released two balloons in memoriam was a touching moment.
Not at all unusually for a Bank Holiday weekend in the UK, the forec…

Have I got the stones for it?

Image
I'm about a week out from competition and that means that my mind is starting to dwell a little. This gives me chances to rationalize and start to shape and control those mental processes. 

2017 has been an interesting experience for me so far but we'll keep to my age and the training perspective for now. 2016 closed off with a focus on burpees (the annual 100 day ladder carrying through from September to December) and the indoor rowing Crazy Bear Challenge (30 Half-marathons in 44 days). I came through both ok, setting a personal best with my final 21km. But it meant that I hadn't done any kind of strength work since October. That's ok. Activities have a "season" as you shift focus. 

So in January I joined the resolutioners crowd in the gym and started back at it. It was not long before my bicep tendon and brachioradialis were giving me grief and only a month of self-treatment/avoiding certain aspects of training before I sought treatment. Through this I was a…

Soft and strong...the toilet roll post

Image
A couple of conversations I’ve had recently have started me thinking about strength and its importance to me. I list it as one of my core values and my social media feed would suggest obsession at almost dangerous levels. And yet, I don’t really think I look like it. Sure, I’m large but that’s easily dismissed as desk jockey/all-you-can-eat-buffet-fan.
I have this bad habit of writing these blog posts without a plan, so I have no idea where this might end up, but I’d like to try to explain.
The weights room is my happy place. Not in a nip-slip, Gym Shark vest, mirror-posing, cheat-curling-in-the-squat-rack, Brozilla kind of way. It’s also not about ego. I’m only moderately strong and body composition is not my target. I say moderately strong on an objective basis rather than any self-deprecation. I’m stronger than a lot of people but in a strong gym or even a college weights room there are plenty stronger.
I enjoy the lifting. So much that normally occupies my mind falls away and the wo…

Fear, Strength and Burpees (aka Fear and loathing in Wiltshire)

Image
Amongst the many, many things that I can be grateful for in my life to date, my parents exposing me to Monty Python is right up there! I remember hearing a song called "I'm so worried". I have had my issues with fear and worry but have, fortunately, never hit the debilitating near-universal concern of the song! Indeed, many people who interact with me on a day to day basis have commented on my  lack of worrying about almost everything (and people have remarked that it would be nice to see me look a little concerned once in a while!). So, what's occurring?

As regular readers may remember, a couple of weeks ago I entered Ironworx Gymnasium's (in Westbury, Wiltshire @IronworxGym) strongman contest. I'd just got back from holiday and a good friend from Nailsworth Strength and Fitness (@NailsworthSF) mentioned it. I was feeling chunky, and aside from burpees, untrained but healthy. But we have established on here that I am a sucker for a challenge, so, what's a…

A question of questions

Image
If it's your first time here, welcome. The regular readers among you will know that I need little reason for introspection but recently, two different questions, in two different settings, have given me licence to roll my sleeves up and have a delve in my mind. 

The first one was specifically about the indoor rowing and wasn't just directed at me: "What inspires you to row faster/longer/stronger/better?"Then, more recently "How do you do it? How do you do what you do, the way you do it and stay so in control?" The second struck me as amusing. I was being asked by a prominent extrovert, how I stay so reserved and buttoned down, all the time. I've never thought of being reserved and hard work as something to aspire to. But then, that sums me up. And, not just me, we all take too lightly the things that come easily. The familiar. 
But I owe the person who asked the opportunity for something more than the glib response I gave. I'll explore some of the parts…

Taking a drag... or the sting in the tail

Previously in the blog... (Part 1

In our last episode, our intrepid hero had gone off to find some tucker having survived the static (ish) events of the day. And while I was having a munch on my lunch, I found myself thinking about the events so far at Nailsworth Strength and Fitness and was wondering if I could have done more. I won't lie, that's a crappy place to be. Of all the things you could be thinking about after a competition, the one that shouldn't come up is "could I have done more?". You might think "could I have done better?" or "Could I have done that differently?". But the question of whether you could have done more, that should be beyond doubt, an emphatic, resounding no. 

But unusually, I wasn't unhappy. Curious about how it might have gone, and a slight thought about perhaps I might have been able to get more but ultimately relatively happy as I'd hit target (and therein lies one of my issues with goals...but that'…