Friday, April 2, 2010


It is and has been an easy week but with lots of reflection . There are lots that has happened worth commenting on. I have a family and a job and commitments and my training as for everyone else does not take place in isolation to my life.They all revolve around me with consequences.

I have had more time to spend with my kids and have slept alot more this week.both good factors. There was just an easy 50 km ride round the river with the squad .Although it was easy I still averaged just under 30kph . I swam again on Wednesday evening but did nothing else.We did a 2.3km set with 2.5 times a 600m set with a warm up and a cool down . I felt reasonably comfortably in the water and focused on my arms and keeping my legs together and kicking , not necessarily hard.

On Thursday I wanted to run in the morning but chose to just sleep in and had a long day at work that I was not able to make it to the Club's last aquathon for the season. I did not train today and will ride tomorrow and run off the bike . Next week will be a slightly harder week.

With all the "free time " I have had an opportunity to declutter my life a bit .The difficulty about training is that I have little or no time for the bits in life that can and do get swept under the carpet. I have a long list but will not bore anyone.

What has occupied me this week has been the instances of feeling gratitude. There are just a few minor but very important examples to me. For the past few years I would regularly stop at a corner deli to get a drink or something to eat or buy groceries on the way to the gym or home or swimming . This week the owner gave me an extra curry puff when I ordered one. A simple but appreciated gesture .He was acknowledging my patronage of the deli. I am sure I was not the most important customer but it was a small gesture that made my day a little better.It is the human contact , that feeling of helping or helping others that makes us all the more human.

The second incident which was terrible was reading on the triathlon WA website about a triathlete training for the Busso Half and getting hurt when a callous person put wire across the cycle path next to the freeway.the same cyclepath I use and did use on Saturdays ride. this occurred on Sunday morning and she has hurt her arm and is now unable to compete the race, is hurt and cannot work as a swim instructor for a number of weeks. There was the usual response from other cyclist but generally an overwhelming concern for this individual. She responded with gratitude for the concern expressed in the forum and all the well wishers. Clearly not the way to find out about gratitude but generally a simple gesture can and does help.

Finally , yesterday I visited a client who is 78 and had her share of ill health and concerns for her husband .I enjoy my work for the variety of people I meet . She has taught me alot and I learnt of life in country WA in the 30s and 40s when life was incredibly hard . I take away life lessons . What I have distilled is simple, enjoy the moment but never live only for the moment. At the conclusion of our meeting on a very lovely Perth day ( she lives not far from my Thursday ride route with great views of the river at freemantle and of the ocean) she gave me an Australia Post first day stamp and coin cover of Sir Donald Bradman .A small but wonderful gesture but an even more important gesture was her comment that with my work for her concluded she said " I won't see you again" I assured her I will stop by for coffee from time to time.

The value is not the present but the gratitude .It goes a small way to lift my spirits and made the day even more pleasant.

Today is Good Friday and aside from attending Church and remembering the significance of the day with gratitude , I read a piece in the Sydney Morning herald:

Why it doesn't hurt to say thank you
April 2, 2010

Gratitude is an important ingredient in life, so be sure to count your blessings, writes Barney Zwartz.

For something so vital - in the root sense of that word too, that it enhances life - it is surprisingly hard to pin down. Is it an emotion, an attitude, a duty, a moral attribute, a virtue? It may not be commanded or summoned at will, yet in its absence people recognise that something fundamental and necessary is missing.

The Princeton philosopher Tony Coady, a Catholic, :
"The capacity for gratitude and for expressing it is an important element in a good life, and those who lack it impoverish themselves and others. In a secondary, though very important, sense, one can be grateful for life itself, or for the way one's life has gone, or for certain aspects of it, or for the environment one lives in, even where there is no person who has done you the service."

I am grateful on many levels each day . I learn not to live in regret . Look forward rather than back and once in a while a small gesture will make my day. I gather it is good for the heart.