Sunday, May 27, 2012

Childhood Memories

Another sad passing .RIP Robin Gibb.

Watching this video brought me back to 1979/1980 and I remember being at home with my friends watching the UNICEF Concert .They are now spread across the world leading lives we never would have imagined. More so how much the world has changed. It was a childhood innocence in which we watched in wonder at the latest fads and culture.

But it was a great time and the music is still great to me. Many treasured childhood memories. Thanks to another great singer that filled my life with some great songs.

Friday, May 25, 2012


Whilst driving to an appointment I stumbled on an interview on ABC Radio National  of the CEO for CPA Australia , Alex Malley.

He had managed to get a rare interview with Neil Armstrong ...The first man on the Moon.I remember where I was and the defining moment in Man's History.

As a young boy I did not understand or appreciate the significance of that moment.More importantly learning from individuals who lead from the front .What made Armstrong , the US Administration and NASA such galvanised entities trying to reach the goal of landing on the Moon.The qualities needed to achieve this aim.

The interview explores the qualities needed in leadership.It is not about intelligence and capacity alone.Sadly the one quality not prized is the sense of humanity.What is it to be human .It separates us from all other living beings. A sense of community and value system , not self  preservation.All leaders do not necessarily have that .But great leaders and great sports teams and great companies have .

A brief summary of the desired qualities :
  1. It is a determination and desire .A conviction.A commitment
  2. Preparation , discipline and time-management
  3. A dream a Desire , a Hope and a will
  4. and some add unselfishness for the greater good of the group .

Neil Armstrong embodies some of these fine qualities and a glimpse of what made America what it is.

Inculcating and teaching these qualities isn't in computers or technology and can't easily be taught .Hence the emphasis on Science at the sacrifice of liberal arts and knowledge and learning everywhere is a backward step. It is causing ructions in society as we lose our way in a modern fast furious pace life. We learn from the river of life and as Neil Armstrong states some experiences in life build backbone.These are the treasured lessons of leadership.

Many successful people have developed these qualities in the sports arena.We can't see the forest from the trees . We fail the future .

Alex malley CEO of CPA Australia interviews Neil Armstrong

Lessons learnt from triathlon

Many successful women say sports teaches valuable lessons

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Ironman Texas

Ironman texas held over the weekend .A good video clip capturing the emotion of racing an ironman and the wonderful volunteers. Big Congrats to Rod Marton , Exceed Tri Club Ironman hero for qualifying a second time for Kona and with a
PB to boot of 9.44 hr

Another good video clip of Ironman Lanzarote and a short clip of the last climb on the bike course. A beautiful tough race . Congrats to the many who toughed it out on the weekend in Lanzarote. Memories are forever , the pain never last.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Seven ways to Live Happier...

A relatively relaxing Sunday. I went to Yoga yesterday.My only activity for the week with physio and rest .  I slowly ease back into a build for the next race Ironman Busselton 2012 .

Today and overnight I began following IM Texas and Lanzarote. They both looked tough in their own right. Some good results from Exceed triathlete Rod who did a PB with 9.44 and was 5th in his age group . Chrissie Wellington was at the race and Expo. and gave a  short interview and was a co presenter at the Race . It was a great insight yet again into the toughest triathlete on the Planet at present. For the record Jordan Rapp who has bounced back from a near fatal motor vehicle accident a few years ago won as did Mary Beth Ellis , the Women's pro race.

Picture and story from The Houston Chronicle

Lanzarote was won by relative unknowns at least in this part of the world .But the reputation of lanzarote is reflected in the times and the field it attracts.
Triathlete Europe : Lanzarote Report
Of all the races on the Ironman calendar, Lanzarote has the most fearsome reputation. Brutal hills, relentless winds and a heat that bounces off the lava fields all combine to make for a truly testing event. And one that brings the best in the business back again and again. Because while some athletes thrive on the quicker courses, a few return to Lanzarote year after year to test their mettle at the notorious race. This year was no different. 1,544 athletes started Lanzarote this year, and as a testament to the quality of the field, all but 344 were out of the water within 1:20 of the gun going off.

The rest of the week was exploring websites and reading and relaxing. The arm and neck are still sore and the rm weak with the muscles probably out of kilter .The physio helps but only last a few hours before it begins to get stiff and sore again. I start some strength work and hopefull that will help.

Finally came across some great reads on Yoga , care of helen ( yoga teacher) and some sites i read from time to time:

Practical tips for productive Living

Marc and Angel Hack Life : Seven Ways to Live Happier Through Love

Yoga-for-Triathletes: 3 poses you should practice

Why every Athlete should practice Yoga

I like the last reason in particular.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Knowing and Worth

Donna Sumner Queen of Disco and  my youth. RIP

A quiet week of physiotherapy .

One of contemplation and reflection.

I seem to come across a recurring theme .In all the training and life experiences .Two key issues come up.Keeping it simple and that takes many shapes. Living a life with simple rules. Living a simple life .living within ones means all lead to a more stress free life.Following a simple plan has more chance of a successful result obviously.

The second knowing value and worth . Not terribly easy to appreciate or know .For me it is very much the conundrum in life like training .Knowing how to pace is critical to success.yet so very hard to know or understand intuitively for myself and many .Easy for others.

And from life lessons , we seem to get better with practice .

Without sounding too complex.These thoughts came about from reading and watching the week unfold .One was an article by Scott Pape , the barefoot investor. The trust of the piece is about fear .fear of losing and that applies to investing as to racing.But what i took out of the piece was a simple truth .Warren Buffett still lives in the same house he purchased in 1931 .he is very happy wit the place despite being a billionaire.As Scoot puts it "he wasn';t sweating on buying  a beamer"

Scott goes on to say :

Like Buffett, I realised I was going to be wealthy at a young age, and it was because I had the good fortune to grow up in a little country town in a house that cost my old man less than I spent on my first car (a 1966 XP Falcon).

We were never wealthy, but we had lots of family and friends around us. You're wealthy too. If you're in doubt, go to Vietnam and compare superannuation balances with a local.

Losers are those who feel poor among their "richer" friends, and I've met many, including multi-millionaires, who feel this way.
Why is warren buffett still laughing

The second about value came about from the Q& A programme which is on ABC .A panel discussion with questions from the audience and by email to  the panel of politicians , social commentators , business leaders and academics and even the odd celebrity.

this week Penny Wong Minister of Finance and Joe Hockey Shadow Treasurer was asked about gay marriage .
This was the dialogue:

But Wong was not expecting such a personal question on Monday night – as is clear from her look of surprise and intake of breath when the question was asked. And then from her off-the-cuff response to Hockey's answer.
The shadow treasurer certainly squirmed under the spotlight of live national TV.
"I must confess my views have changed since I've had children", he said. "I think in this life we've got to aspire to give our children what I believe is the very best circumstances, and that's to have a mother and a father.''
In response, Wong began with: ''Well, there's almost nothing I can say.''
''When you say those things, Joe, what you're saying to not just me but people like me is that the most important thing in our lives, which is the people we love, is somehow less good, less valued,'' she said.
Wong went on to acknowledge that comments like Hockey's were hurtful, but concluded by saying: ''I know what my family is worth.''
Sydney Morning herald article by Judith Ireland

The issue for me was not the gay marriage issue but the telling comment I know what my family is worth.More importantly do we stop to think about value and worth which is to appreciate and treasure what we have and value. That is a start and that is a recurring theme in life. Value and the simplicity of life .

Monday, May 14, 2012

Exceed Triathlon Club MeltDown 2012

Alistair Press with Stuart Phyliss
El Presidente Ross Pedlow and James Brodie ,does something on the Board
Stuart Phylis accepting the Exceed Award The Triathletes Triathletes , the person that best reflects the ethos of Exceed and has helped and supported the club and its members
Katy Gibb , Fastest Female Triathlete in the Club
Juliana Olsen , Female Triathletes Triathlete at Exceed Tri Club
At the function , Oxford hotel 12 May 2012

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mothers Day Ramblings


The triathlon season has ended in WA and I have had a week of absolutely no training. The shoulder and neck remain a concern as I have little strength in the left arm and will have to begin the slow road to recovery and strength building.

With the rest week , there has been time to enjoy the space of nothingness .A period of no physical activity . The week ended with a picnic with Brad and the training squad on a wonderful Perth day. That evening I attended the Exceed Tri Club Meltdown party and Awards evening and the night before I attended a Leukaemia Foundation fundraiser organised by Bec Lenzo .I had the opportunity to be introduced to Ron Sammitt who is an awesome triathlete and been to Kona several times and I believe is headed back again.

I also caught up with Jason who got his Kona spot at Port Macquarie with a 9.18 finish. That is with having finished and getting his medal knew he had only done 39 km on his Garmin and went out and did a further 3km and still finished in that time.Another awesome effort.

I live for and enjoy these moments of talking and discovering what really makes these triathletes so superb. No easy answer . lots of training , some ability and talent and lots of determination and attention to detail.

This weekend I enjoyed the time with the family , mothers day lunch. in the city , visiting my parents , my sons constant laughter and fights with his older sister .All simple pleasures brought home by the  life experiences shared during the fundraiser . When facing life's challenges , and especially a Cancer and coming away with a second chance , there is a sense of appreciation of the value of every minute . sometimes rushing each day is possibly not packing everything in  ,  quite the opposite , its letting everything rush by.

The thoughts of a young cancer survivor was echoed again as I watched a documentary on Maurice Sendak , the children's writer and illustrator who died on 8 May 2012. He cried for the friends and his mate of 50 years.he cried for the fact that he would not see them again and the wonderful things in this world but he was ready to die. ( he did not believe in an afterlife)

In the synopsis the commentary suggest an obsession with death partly due to the hard childhood, parents in constant mourning from losing their family in the holocaust and witnessing a childhood friend die when being struck by a car.

I did not get that impression but a sensitivity from mature years and a preparedness for the inevitable.

Synopsis of the HBO Documentary : Maurice Sendak

Whilst not being too obsessed on death , individuals at the end of their lives or having being in a life threatening illness or a near death situation have a unique viewpoint of having looked over the edge of death can appreciate the view of the horizon so much more than myself and many others.

It is the perspective of life that makes for our happiness or dissatisfaction as is in every race done. We crave for the epic and the perfect but lose sight of the joy of just standing and embracing the joy of being at the start line and even finishing a race. I look back at those tough days and those tough races I had , I am thankful for the opportunity of making it this far.

Sometimes we make it complicated when really just being in life and enjoying all the senses is reward enough.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Marion Clignet - TENACIOUS

Marion Clignet

This past month , I have been reading a book given to me by Suresh Rajan.he is the Executive officer of Epilepsy WA and treasurer / fellow Board member of Ethnic Disability Advocacy centre.

Mario Clignet was on a speaking tour of Australia to speak about Epilepsy and her experience.Her book ends with the line where there is a will there is a way.Like all great athletes , theirs is a story despite all obstacles determination will overcome.For Marion it was the condition of Epilepsy .She went on to become a :

Cyclist, Marion Clignet had been crowned World Champion six times, as well as double Olympic Silver Medalist, ten times French national champion and multiple USA champion, plus a world record breaker in a lengthy and illustrious career in the sport, all despite taking medication for epilepsy.

She was in Perth last year and gave a talk.I have attached a short link to a brief article about the talk by Tony Inman
Marion Clignet -Tenacious

I enjoyed the book and the insights for a woman suffering epilepsy yet captivated , motivated and wanting to be the best she could be in cycling.She did not make the US Women's Olympic cycling team but was invited to join the French team and went on to record many victories. She rode the equivalent of the men's Tour De France but unfortunately professional women's cycling was not as lucrative or recognised as the mens.

She is an inspiration to all. I am thankful for the gift from Suresh and the kind words Marion wrote in the cover of the book which i will treasure.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Australia's Helmet Law

From ABC News Experts Butt Head

Recently the issue of mandatory helmet laws have again been at the forefront.Including talk back on ABC Radio today with the Fremantle Council proposing a trial no helmet rule.

On the Australia's  Institute of Public Affairs website  , Luke Turner wrote an opinion piece on the disastrous impact of such laws.

Freedom of choice is the way to go in our obesity exercise staved population as helmets just drive down bicycle use in our cities. I can sympathise and agree with the sentiment but I for one will always use a helmet. It has saved my life more than once and in our car crazed society , cyclist are very vulnerable. This make comparisons of before and after mandatory laws difficult .
I don't agree with all the arguments and I for one prefer to sway towards safety and helmets . I don't take more risk with a helmet on either , one of the arguments bandied about.

There are many objections to MHLs: they don't improve injury rates, discourage regular recreational exercise in an era of high obesity, and are an unnecessary and unjust intrusion into individual freedom.

The first criticism of bike helmet laws is simple-they don't do what they're intended to do
              Australia's helmet law disaster  Luke Turner

              WA Should ditch helmet laws

Ultimately like all things in a democratic society , rules are there for a reason.It is the fine balance between protecting us from ourselves and others and minimising the impact on society and still allowing citizens to go about their business. On a wider but just as relevant consideration. Free market economies have rules because , some citizens  will aways gravitate to the lowest denominator of what is  possible yet wrong. The GFC is a case in point and if free market economics was so correct , what society would allow its bankers to package toxic mortgage products disguised as legitimate investment products . Well a few bad apples got away with it at a huge price for the rest of the world. The world governments were asleep .There is no free meal but Governments have to balance the safety and well being of society against this lowest common denominator of moral  or immoral rules because legal and illegal is sometime not so clear in this murky complex world we live in. ,where we play catch up with laws as new problems erupt.

So I will wear a helmet because I know it works for me. And if the rest of the world wants to be couch surfers so be it .

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Sunsmart Ironman 70.3 Video

The shortened video production was out a few days ago.

A good idea of the course and atmosphere hence I put it up on the blog. Music wasn't the best.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Ironman Busselton 70.3



Duffield sisters cooking Pasta the night before 70.3

Where to begin . Racing is always filled with drama , stories and sagas for everyone. There were thousands of stories told by athletes following the event.

Mine is a continuing story. Busselton 70.3 2012 is just part of it. It is not pretty and for that is the reality of chasing PBs and improvements and getting faster. I stumble sometimes .In this case literary on the bike. But I was happy I was at Busselton . I knew I was not quite going to be smashing it especially on the bike . I did feel a lot better on the run with the training the last 3-4 weeks. Having said that as the results above show , it was my slowest Busselton result in 5 attempts and just faster than my first Singapore 70.3 in 2007 .

But there are  many lessons to be learnt in the not so good races . I don't mean just in results , because despite , IM Lanzarote being my slowest result I rank it as a success as everything fell into place and I did my best within my capacity.

Back to the many stories.Mine like  many others didn't unfold as planned .Despite the injuries and stomach issues I had in the week before  and no cycling or swimming , I was hopeful. But the night before the race the storm front that passed did leave some uncertainty about weather conditions for the race . With little swim training with the sore shoulder , I was hopeful I could pull off a reasonable swim leg. Unfortunately not being the strongest of swimmers , the swell and choppy conditions that were at the start  just compounded the swim leg for a fair weather swimmer like me. It was 54 minutes of being tossed around. I could only breathe on my left , my right arm being able to be forward leaving me breathing into the chop ? A lot of seawater and gagging was the result. After the first turn I was seriously contemplating pulling out.I persevered because despite that I could not face having to just say I gave up .It was better to have got through the swim last then give up.

For many it was the same issue and very slow times. This was by far my slowest swim leg surpassing the 70.3 swim leg in Singapore last year by 1 minute.

I got to T1 and did my best to get out . Managed it in 4 plus mins.  I thought I was going well on the ride but by the turn around I was just really struggling .I had no strength and again as the results show was just a really average result in the end. I 'think the swim and the lead up all conspired but it wasn't one issue , just many including a lack of mental focus after the fall. That probably was a large factor in setting the tone for the race. I could not visualise or even focus on the task and my legs just lacked strength. I will never know absolutely why . I had some minor issues with my nutrition and reflux on the bike but nothing that stopped me performing. During the ride , I kept passing and being passed by the same riders . I was in an absolute rut .

I was by this stage going through the motions and having very little confidence in salvaging much from the race. I was still hopeful to try and put on a good run leg? . Another sad reality , mental toughness comes from confronting not giving up . I unfortunately didn't do either. I drifted into automatic pilot . Hence the very average result for the bike leg . My left arm and neck were sore and every niggle seemed to just be multiplied in my head .

Once off the bike , I felt I had a very quick transition .It was about 1 plus minute and I managed to get my shoes on and I was out the exit. It started fast and then slowed down. there was great crowd support as always accept at the far end , where it was a grind. I saw a few of my training squad and Exceed and North Coasters on the run. I had a comfortable first lap and then the 2nd lap became harder but I was still going well in my mind at least. My Garmin unfortunately was not giving me my pace as it was in multi sport mode. I should have been pushing harder again but the mind was really in survival mode unfortunately.

As I was running my second lap , I saw Lauren Jones run by mumbling to herself not far to go and edging herself . There was the mental fortitude running by . I tried to pick it up in the last lap but  my head was just not really in it. I thought I had a good run but in the end I was still slower than where I should have been on the basis of the training especially my brick session 3 weeks earlier.

But no excuses . The results are what they are . Do they paint the whole picture ? They don't . Yesterday's 70.3 , showed up weaknesses and the reality of my training (or the lack off) the mental focus , the direction , the weather and its impact but it heightens the good results I have had and like anything I am not going to be as consistent as I would love to be.

I am glad I got to the start line, I had a really good training squad to work with and  enjoyed the experience with Brad . I took away some good sessions to build on for the next challenge. I stuck at it despite the mental lapses. I had a good house of triathletes to share the experience with on the weekend. Despite the drawbacks , it was better to have gone out there and given it a go .

On reflection , I wished I wasn't injured and had a solid block of training behind me, but I have to focus on the positves , it could have always been alot worse. The water in the glass can be half full or half empty , we choose and sometimes it can even be choppy. C'est_la_vie