Showing posts from January, 2013


The first flush of the new year is out of the way and many resolutions have already been cast aside, dismissed like a credit card bill pending a better set of circumstances in which to respond to the call. Now is probably a good time to visit the perennial January question - goals.

Now, we "know" that the setting of goals is a good thing. I mean, those of us who have the double-edged blessing of working for pretty-much any sized organisation will have had it drummed into us that that it is vitally important. It also stands to reason that achievement is more likely when the objective is set. But what doesn't often get mentioned is that this is not merely a matter of temporal inevitability like night follows day; rather, it is a likely but no guaranteed sequence like Summer following Spring in the UK (you know it should happen but quite often it seems to go from Spring to Autumn/Winter with barely a pause for breath in between).
Goals can be grand and public in scale and sco…

A digression

A strange story came to mind today for some reason. When I was seventeen, the coach of an American Football team tried to recruit me after seeing me play rugby. He told me that I'd get to hurt people. But he missed the mark then and that hasn't changed over the years.

Yes, I've hurt people and been hurt by people but that's a by-product of what I have done, not been the objective in its own right. Then I played rugby for the simple of joy of it, for the immersion and freedom from my own head space. There was a challenge element to it, to see if I could, not about beating others but not being defeated myself. You win, you lose, but those are just marks on a tally board. You're never beaten until you quit. Other people can take everything from you but your spirit. That you give away of your own accord. Other people live that thought more than I have; have expressed it far more eloquently than I ever will, and have tested it in far harsher conditions than hopefully I w…

100 day burpee ladder...the conclusion

The story so far:

Our intrepid couch coach has set out, with turgid prose and malice of forethought to burpee on each day for 100 days. The rules are simple: 1 rep on day one; 2 reps on day two, and so on, climbing to day 100 when we climax with 100 reps. Allowing for a little, ahem, life interfering with the art, if one day is missed, it is acceptable to catch up on the following day by completing all of the reps owed. Miss two days and the exercise is ended - rest up for a few days, consider your failings and start again.

Our story so far has paused at the end of day 50, half the total number of days notched up. Soberingly though, we've only chalked up 1,225 of the full scope of 5,050 burpees.

The next week and a half passed without incident. Occasionally needing to nudge myself out of my torpor to just start. Because once started, even as the air starts to thin with elevation on the ladder, inside of 10 minutes we are finished. Then the entry for Friday 30th November reads just on…

The 100 day burpee ladder...the beginning

I've been squaring away my training log from the burpee ladder, a good time to reflect on the 100 days and see what, if anything, I managed to learn from it.

It started out innocently enough, as all daft ideas seem to. The final destination, the 100 reps, was already in my grasp. Admittedly, not within the grasp of all of the foolhardy band who joined me, but still manageable with only the slightest imagination. The challenge for me, or so I thought, would only be the day-to-day discipline.

I have acquired a reputation for being focused over the years which, I would maintain is largely unfounded. I'll take it because it suits but from my perspective, it has never seemed to fit that well. Of course, there is no smoke without fire, so this seemed like the thing to do to check it out. I get bored and easily distracted. In many walks of life, once the initial rush is done and the possibilities are explored, I found myself drawn to nail the job shut and move on. I've always, alwa…

Dead straight

I received a question the other day which got me to thinking, and thanks to the wonders of the internet age, I am rapidly becoming one of those people who can't keep his thoughts entirely as an internal monologue so I thought that I would share.

Q: "Why did people back in the day deadlift and at the top were told to lean backward hyperextending? Was this ever thought to be right? Doing this without any weight seems uncomfortable, never mind as a heavy lift."

Warning - this may not contain itself to just lifting

Good question. The honest answer is, in part, "I don't know" but since that is seasoned with a healthy dose of "I've got a pretty good idea" I could not just leave it at the first response.

The "I don't know" comes mostly from not being sure who was doing the telling. Over my 20 odd years of knocking around weight rooms, I do remember seeing a lot of macho clowns throwing themselves backwards over their weight belt and gurning…