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Showing posts from March, 2011

Rocky and Bull...

It should not come as a surprise to me to find people forget the journey once they are safely ensconced at their destination. But it does come as a surprise. As a species we owe our survival to learning from experience and many of the psychotherapies for mental illness are about addressing the mental replay. So what about the disconnect here?
We know that success is an awful teacher and this amnesia is one of the reasons why that should be the case. There will be things to learn from and improve on but these fall away early in the euphoria of victory. Indeed, thinking about the psychotherapy, a good deal of that is about dealing with maldaptive beliefs and reactions, so much of which is coloured by experience. I was watching Rocky recently and something that illustrated the point stood out that I had not noticed/appreciated before.
It was the training montage ["everybody needs a montage"] that stood out. You know the bit, the sequence that has been copied and parodied a thousa…

Love hurts

You love a challenge.


Beware, for it comes with baggage.


You had better be prepared for discomfort. Not just prepared for the concept, you have got to be ready to embrace it, to welcome it into your home; into your life. It will be your companion. It will walk with you, always near at hand. It will hug you close and cradle you to sleep. It will shine a light into your soul. It will ask questions of you and hold a mirror up before you. Sometimes it will scream the questions in your face. Other times it will whisper them softly in your ear. You will turn, looking for somebody else to respond. But it is always you that is being asked. It is only ever you that can answer.


For all this, what lies therein for you? Growth. The questions you fear to be asked will help you know your own heart. You will become more than you are now - a more complete version of you. You will become aware of the potential that lies within and you will come to cherish the chances to fulfil it. You will fall flat o…

How's your attention?

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The internet is a wonderful thing and it turns out that it is not just for porn! Every one of us can access research papers in medical sciences or strength and conditioning at the click of the mouse. We open our eyes and minds to more information than at any other time in histroy, Alexander's library contained less than a day's search history of the average primary school child. And yet, the cornucopia does not come with a user manual. We do not necessarily immediately have the requisite skill and training to separate the elixir from the snake oil. every trip to the ether puts us at risk from the next most vociferous programme.
It could just be a feature of our societal ADHD. Whether time management or prioritisation in the office; or the student who spends all of her time researching and none actually writing; or the person in training who flits from one programme to the next at two-weekly intervals, we see the hallmarks everywhere.
I think it may be a combination of lost prior…

Hang on...

There’s something I’ve noticed as I’ve grown older. It’s something that cuts across work, sports and social situations. There’s an almost universal demand for respect. Not really for anything, just because. There’s no indication or inclination toward reciprocity, just a demand that because I am here or, so that the older generation don’t feel left out, because I have done my time there should be some recognition. And when the world shrugs its collective shoulders there is wailing and gnashing of teeth.
I was brought up to have more compassion than to just shrug, so instead I ask the question “what of it?”
Too callous?
How about this – “so what have you done with your time?” Yes, there are marks for attendance in my book. That act puts you ahead of a good selection of the rest of society. But, as I have said before, just turning up is not enough. Whether you are early in your journey, or further along, it’s a start but not the end. What will you do? These are important things to ask of yo…

Choice and cost

I had started to write an open letter to my rugby lads, urging them on over the final furlong of the season. I had thought that it would included the line about their season titrating down to a series of moments like these, junctions along your timeline where you chose your heading.
And then it occurred that it might seem a bit over the top. Particularly when you consider that actually life is a succession of choices. Some are monumental, towering over your life like a skyscraper in a campsite. Others are colossal but take a little digging to find, most of their bulk lurks under the surface. Then there are the small, everyday, apparently run-of-the-mill choices which we make all of the time. Many of these barely cause a flicker of concern, so habitual are the decisions. Yet the sum total of all of these leads us to where we stand today. Granted, at some points the options may seem so heavily weighted to one side or the other as to give the appearance of no choice but, just because one …

The Melchett Method

I'm not sure if it's an unreasonable man or an enduring optimist who maintains his original heading in the teeth of a gale. Actually, while I'm on the topic of admitting to ignorance, I'm not entirely sure that there is any difference between the two.
We need to be responsive to feedback, we need to be open to it, to adjust it or disregard it as appropriate. It's the "as appropriate" qualifier which should be making you think. Please think!
Rugby players, fighters, police and military, in response to performance or potential situations think (rightly IMO) "I need to be stronger". Thanks to the work of the Gubernator, Joe Weider and the nutroceutical industry, big muscles are perceived as being the hallmark of strength. Bodybuilders have big muscles, therefore I need to train like them... Cut to game time and some hulk running out of gas early doors. What does this tell us?
"As private parts to the gods are we! They play with us for their sport…

Stupid reality

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Life is so much easier when it is going well and to plan, running smoothly. It's only when you face defeat or you start to feel that burning itch of dis-satisfaction (as opposed to the other burning itch which requires cream and antibiotics... although I suppose that presents its own challenges to your world view!) that you need to start thinking about things. And for many of us, that's precisely when the trouble starts!
When we have been motoring along, satisfied or at least reasonably so, we will have been heading in what felt like the right direction. We will feel comfortable with the signs of progress or finding signs of progress in the absence of signs of retrogression!
And then it happens, that interruption, the intervention that drops the anchor on what we have been trying to achieve. There may have been one or two things which have slowed us down before but we have explained those away. And now here it is, the unavoidable thorn in the paw. We have a choice in our respons…

Training, life & music

For the first time in I don't know how long, I turned off the shuffle on my ipod this morning and enjoyed the simple pleasures of listening to a whole album. It's not all that noteworthy in so much as I will put an album on at home in the background when I'm creating some paleo monstrosity in the kitchen but it did spark a thought.
There are some parallels with life and training. We have more means of accessing variety than ever before. So much of our experience is like a butterfly. It probably does lead to a tornado in Azerbaijan but I was thinking more of the constant flitting. The briefest of touch-downs on and then off to something else. As a species I think we like choice and variety and there's plenty of it out there. But, like many other things, toxicity is dose specific.
We start a task and then something shiny "demands" our attention and we're off. In training we are appealed to by the latest gimmick or the new packaging on an old idea and we are …