Monday Morning Motivation – What makes a triathlete?

1 Sep

The combination of powerful images, stirring music and emotive words in this video make it really inspirational. I’ve told Stuart that when I’ve completed Challenge Weymouth 70.3, I’m expecting a montage that is just as powerful!

Strength

Endurance

Determination

Speed

Risks

Limits

Power

Preparation

Pride

Perseverance

Courage

Persistence

Dedication

Attitude

Glory

There is no can’t, because this isn’t a sport for the weak-hearted, but for the strong-minded. Once you start, there is no backing down. We are triathletes.

Fowey Harbour Swim 2014

31 Aug

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Today, Stuart and I travelled to Fowey for the annual Fowey Harbour Swim. This is a non-competitive charity event that was raising money for the RNLI. We took part last year and really enjoyed it, so decided to enter again this year. Last year’s course was cross the harbour and was fairly short (advertised as 1200m, it was probably not much over 800m last year). This year, the route had changed, with the swim being down the harbour from Fowey slipway to Readymoney and back, which was thought to be 1400m. There was also a shore route on offer of 800m. Unfortunately, the swim was held on the same day as the Inn-to-Inn swim near to Falmouth, which may have affected some people’s decision about whether or not to take part.

Before the event, there were quite a few people milling around and it was difficult to work out who was swimming and who was there to watch. There was also a cruise ship moored in the harbour so I imagine that quite a few of the smartly dressed older people were passengers. The event attracts a wide variety of people from young children through to seasoned wild swimmers, many of whom decided to forgo wetsuits in favour of frilly swimming costumes and novelty hats.

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Last year, I was terrified before the swim as I had never swum that far before, but after my recent sea-swimming exploits at Weymouth, I was feeling much more confident… although the lithe physiques of most of the women under the age of forty meant that I was under no illusion that I would compare particularly favourably with others.

There was a short briefing where the new course was explained and then we lined up to go down the steps. Stu and I were near the front of the queue. There was a little bit of sand at the bottom of the steps and several people were lingering there, uncertain as to whether they should just get in and start swimming, or whether there were would be a more official start. I knew the water would feel cool as the sun had been beating down on us, but I didn’t expect it to feel as chilly as it was.

I waded in a few steps and then set off. The water felt cold on my face, and I was grateful that I had used my inhaler before the start. I could feel the icy water gradually seeping down the zip of my wetsuit, but forced myself to ignore it and continue swimming. I felt quite relaxing, possibly for three reasons: I knew that I should be able to swim 1400m without any problems; the sea was beautifully calm (the swim is timed to coincide with slack water, so it starts half an hour before the tide turns); there had been no mention of jellyfish in the briefing, unlike last year.

I wasn’t exactly sure which point we were swimming to (other than the fact that it would be marked with a yacht called ‘Ratty’ – I’m assuming that it was named in homage to Kenneth Grahame who was married in the local church), so I thought that as long as I was following other people, I must be going in the right direction.

A few people passed me in the first two or three minutes and then after that, only the odd person went past. We had to navigate through a few small boats that were moored in the harbour and then we swam over some kelp beds. The dark coloured seaweed and the relatively low tide meant that in places the water was much warmer. I saw quite a large fish swimming in amongst the seaweed – I’m not sure what kind of fish it was – it looked like a pilchard to me, but I’m no ichthyologist!

Quite a large chap swam past with a fluorescent buoy attached to him. He was moving at an amazing pace for someone doing breaststroke – I was very impressed. For most of the swim out, I kept pace with a chap who had on a light blue swimming hat. Every now and again, he would veer off course and ten do some breaststroke, so it wasn’t too difficult to keep up with him.

I was trying to think about swimming with good technique (or at least to think about using my legs every now and again), but the surroundings kept distracting me. We were swimming along the coast and every time I breathed to my right, I could see steps in the cliffs, secret doorways and the remains of old buildings. It is easy to see how the coastline could have inspired writers such as Daphne Du Maurier.

Finally, the man in the blue hat started to turn. As I got closer to the small boat, I could read the name, ‘Ratty’ on its prow, so I started to swim around it. Unfortunately, the boat didn’t seem to want to let me pass – the more I swam across the harbour, the further out the boat drifted. I must have swum at least a dozen strokes before deciding to give up and swim back the way I came around the boat. I could hear the kayakers laughing, but I felt a little frustrated. By the time I finally got past the yacht, the man in the blue had had a definite lead.

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I was a bit tempted to look at my watch to see how far I’d swum and what pace I was swimming at, but I didn’t want to break my rhythm. As I hadn’t been passed by many swimmers, I expected to see quite a few people as I was on my return journey, but there were not many people in the water. I saw a couple of men breaststroking on their outward journey – they could have only done a few hundred metres when I passed them. The lack of swimmers makes me wonder whether most people opted to do the shorter swim.

I think I was swimming closer to the cliffs on my return journey. The water looked very shallow – as if I could stand up – but I’ve learned that it is often much deeper than it looks. I was also having a few problems with my goggles. They weren’t letting in water, but my right eye felt like it was full of salt-water and I was struggling to open it, which wasn’t comfortable, so I decided to tread water for a bit to try to adjust my goggles.

I had to negotiate my way amongst lots of small boats on the way back and I also saw another fish. A kayaker spoke to me, but I didn’t understand what he said. I thought it might be a warning about the ferry or one of the other boats, so I stopped and asked him to repeat what he’d said. It turned out to be: “Well done! You’re nearly there – not far now!”

I could see children on the sand at the water’s edge and think I was swimming in very shallow water, but I didn’t want to stop swimming. Eventually, I could see people standing on the beach, so I stood up and waded over. I was congratulated on my swim and given a medal, before I walked back up the steps.

I glanced at my watch – 1822m… so quite a bit longer than the suggested 1400m and not far off the 1900m that I have to swim in two weeks time. I wondered whether it was because of my dodgy sighting, but everyone I spoke to who had measured it made it over 1800m. I completed the swim in 45 minutes, which I was quite pleased with. I could have gone faster, but I was not treating it as a race. Stu was one of the first two people to finish – he did it in about 29 minutes.

There was some lovely tomato and butterbean soup on offer with a large freshly baked roll. I ate the roll and some of the soup before going to get changed. After putting on some warm clothes, I finished off the soup and had a lovely sticky toffee muffin whilst watching some of the last swimmers finishing.

Overall, I really enjoyed the event and hope that Stu and I can take part again next year. The organisation is excellent, and the number of boats and kayakers out on the water meant that swimmers of all ability feel safe at all times. The medal at the end and the fantastic catering mean that this event is great value for money… and it’s even better knowing that the money raised is going to support Fowey’s lifeboat.

Monday Morning Motivation – stick or carrot?

25 Aug

Some Motivation is Required2

What gets you up and running?

Are you motivated by fear or rewards? We’ve all seen those ‘I run for cake/wine/beer/icecream’ headbands, but what really makes you go out and exercise? Surely the best motivation is the feeling you have when your workout is done?

Monday Morning Motivation – The marvellous Mimi Hughes

18 Aug

Mimi Hughes is an American long-distance swimmer who has crossed the Bering Strait and swum the length of many rivers, including: the Tennessee, the Danube, the Drava and the Mura.

Mimi Hughes

Mimi was interviewed by GOTRIbal: http://www.gotribalnow.com/blog/mimi-hughes-long-distance-swimmer-interview

To get herself through her long distance swims, Mimi relies on many motivational sayings, such as:

  • When you decide to give yourself to a cause, you must arrive at the point where no sacrifice is too great.
  • It is not the mountains we conquer but ourselves.
  • To accomplish great things, we must not only act but also dream, not only plan but also believe.
  • The basic tenet of democracy is an individual’s ability to make a difference.
  • Freedom means accepting—not forfeiting responsibility.
  • When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and could say, “I used everything you gave me. – Erma Bombeck
  • Nothing splendid has ever been achieved except by those who dared believe that something inside of them was superior to circumstance. – Bruce Barton
  • Effort only fully releases its reward after a person refuses to quit.  – Napoleon Hill
  • Start by doing what is necessary, then what is possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible. – Saint Francis of Assisi
  • Faith is the heroic effort of your life. Face anything you have to face without wavering. Matt 10-27
  • The evils that we hate, you no less than I, cannot be overcome with shrugs and sighs and shakes of the head no matter how wise. They but mock us and grow more bold when we retreat before them and take refuge in the affirmation of man’s tragic average. To believe that new evils will arise as vicious as the old—to believe that the great Pandora’s box of human suffering, once opened, will never show a diminution of its ugly swarm, is to help by just that much, to make it so, forever. – Thomas Wolfe
  • Never in his life had he seen a river before—this sleek sinuous full-bodied animal. Chasing and chuckling gripping things with a gurgle and leaving them with a laugh, only to fling itself on fresh playmates that shook themselves free and were caught and help again. Tired at last, he sat on the bank while the river still chattered on to him, a babbling procession of the best stories in the world sent from the heart of the Earth to be told at last to the insatiable sea. – Ken Graham
  • The first and last day of the 1,000 swim (walk) are no different, the beginning is the end and the end is the beginning. Your only aim is to achieve your initial purpose, then you can really enjoy what you’ve done. There is no backing out. When you have finished what you set out to do, you have created something of value. – Sakai Yusai
  • Never look back—be forever mindful of others and always keep the eyes set on the way. Do this and there is nothing that can’t be accomplished. – Sakai Yusai
  • Nothing is life is to be feared. It is only to be understood. – Marie Curie
  • Facing it—facing it—always facing it—That’s the way to get through it. Face it! – Joseph ConradMake it a point to do something everyday that you don’t want to do. This is the golden rule for acquiring the habit of doing your duty without pain.  – Mark Twain
To make sure that you get to read interviews with other inspirational people lile Mimi, make sure that you sign up with GOTRIbal!

Monday Morning Motivation – how far can you go in two years?

18 Aug

Corrie Kristick has managed to go from being a novice triathlete to a professional in just two years:

A Two Year Journey From Beginner to Professional Triathlete

Corrie Kristick

If you want to find out more about Corrie, she blogs here: http://www.corriekristick.com/

In this article: http://citycoach.org/achieving-personal-best-corrie-kristick/ she discusses how one moment changed her attitude to competition. She also has a healthy attitude towards failure:

“I have failed many times in life inside and outside of sports. It has made me realize that whatever the outcome, success or failure, it’s ok. Essentially, we must not be defined by our sport or our shortcomings, for we are so much more than that. And yes, everything, even failure, happens for a purpose.”

Where will you be in two years time? What are you doing to get there?

Monday Morning Motivation – Scott Cutshall’s story

18 Aug

Scott Cutshall is one man who managed to turn his life around by cycling. Although cycling hasn’t helped me to lose weight, I do believe it has given me confidence.

Read Scott’s story: I lost 320lbs riding a bike.

You can read another version of his story here: Large Fella on a Bike.

Scott’s blog is here: http://istanbultea.typepad.com/largefellaonabike/

Scott no longer blogs, but he is on Twitter: https://twitter.com/ScottCutshall

Are you motivated to get on your bike today?

Monday Morning Motivation – Do you have a motivation page?

11 Aug

Do you use any tips or tricks to help keep your motivation going? Maybe you have a motivation wall, or perhaps a medal display to remind you of your achievements? Some people create montages that help them to visualise where they want to be in the future. This motivation page is a template to help you set out your goals.

This Page Will Motivate You To Take Action!

Explore more visuals like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually.
If you’ve shared your motivation online, please post a link as I’d love to see what helps to keep you on your journey.

Monday Morning Motivation – How many times should you try before success?

4 Aug

Winners never quit and quitters never win.

What is the last thing that you failed at? Are you going to try again?

Monday Morning Motivation – Ironman

4 Aug

Three minutes of inspiration, courtesy of Ironman:

Monday Morning Motivation – what are you doing to reach your goals?

28 Jul

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