Every day I cycle to work.

 improve-your-performance

I love it and I hate it.

I hate it because it’s not easy and I love it for the same reason.

I believe love hate relationships happens quite often in life but sometimes we fail to recognise the love part of the equation.

improve-your-performance


I’ll give you another example.

Every morning on my way in to work (at 5am – I like to point this out as it makes me seem more hardcore) I’m filled with a little trepidation as I’m not sure whether I’ll be involved in a race that morning.

If you’ve not read my previous blog about riding into work you can read it HERE but basically I often get overtaken by another rider.

improve-your-performance

It doesn’t happen every morning, on average, it occurs around twice a week but when it does happen, it’s slightly annoying.

You see this “other” cyclist has a nicer bike than I do.

I’m not using this as an excuse, ask any anyone in the know and they’ll tell you the equipment counts (ohh errr).

Anyway, it always happens at the same point, on my ride in, on the first hill.

improve-your-performance

 


I’m pumping away, going at what I consider a fairly good pace (and struggling a little) when this bald headed older guy, wearing all the correct kit on his flash bike, glides past me with what seems like very little effort.

We’ve never spoken to each other, there’s no start or finishing line, in fact there’s no course but make no bones about it, when we meet on that road, this is a race, he knows it and I know it and HE ALWAYS WINS!

Whenever this race occurs, he wins and loves it, I’m the runner up and I hate it… but I also love it. 

improve-your-performance

Why?

Because whenever this race occurs I cycle faster.

I become a better cyclist. I gives me a better work out and it knocks around two minutes off my journey.

I even learned to improve my bikes performance, by changing the tyres, which helped me go faster.

This technical enlightenment was born from this rivalry. 

improve-your-performance

When this competition isn’t there, it’s an easier ride but I’m not pushing myself, in short, I’m not improving.

The competition is good, it keeps me on my toes (even if my toes aren’t encased in a flash pair of click-in state of the art snazzy expensive cycle shoes).

It’s possible to love and to hate.

improve-your-performance


I hate the way this bald man beats me so effortlessly but I love the way it improves my performance.

One guaranteed way to improve your performance is to compete (even if the competition is  all in your head).

 

 

giving-up


After my Achilles injury a few weeks ago (you can read what happened HERE) today was my first attempt at running.

Meagan was on the way into town and so she dropped me at my place of work, where I’d left my Nike’s. I knew my Achilles wouldn’t be able to handle my Vibram’s again.

giving-up


As I got out of the car I said to Meagan, “I haven’t got my phone”, just in case she tried to call me.

“Do you want a couple of quid for the bus just in case?”

giving-up

“No I’ll be fine”.

I put my trainers on and set off.

I wasn’t the easiest of runs but my leg seemed to be holding up until I was, about, half way into the 6 mile run.

A twinge of irritation, was rapidly followed by, what felt like, a rusty saw being quickly ripped across the tendon above my heal.

An explosion of hurt shot through from my Achilles to the pain register in my brain.

I yelped out loud and immediately stopped running.

I moved my foot in a few circles, then started again or tried to start again but the pain hit me again, almost threatening me to not to even try.

It felt as if something had snapped down there.

I can’t remember the last time I’d not completed a run.

giving-up


I started to hobble along.

Great, I was three miles from home, with no phone and I was struggling to walk.

The physical pain only dissipated a little when I started to think about the consequences of my injury.

I’m entered into 2 half marathons this year, I’ve also applied for next year’s London marathon.

giving-up


In the last 3 years I’ve become a leaner fitter, more positive person and this has been owed, in large part, to running.

Whenever I’ve had a challenge, I’ve found running has helped me through it.

I’ve been on plenty of runs that have hurt and whenever I’d considered stopping I’d said to myself, “If you can complete this run, you will conquer your next challenge”.

Now it looked as if any future runs were in jeopardy.

This didn’t just mean I wouldn’t be able to run, it would undoubtedly have a knock on effect into other areas of my life.

As I limped along, feeling a little sorry for myself, it hit me.

I have two options:

 – To give up running, which will save me a lot of physical pain. 

 – To try and rehabilitate myself and become as good or a better runner than before. This is going to be a long, challenging, hurtful process.

When it’s boiled down like this, there’s only one real option.

giving-up


If I carry on and not let this let set back get me down then I’m making the best of bad situation.

I’ll be doing the best I can do, with what I’ve got.

I will never know how good I can be, unless I try my best, so to try alone, is good enough.

I will feel both mentally and physically better knowing I’ve tried because in the end, its not a case of whether your story is the best story because each one is subjective. What really counts is that you had a story at all.

giving-up

If I decide to give up, I will become unfit, put on weight, my mood will take a turn for the worse and the very fact I’ve given up will set a precedent for the rest of my life.

giving-up


In the long run, giving up is definitely the worst option, it will make life much harder, on both the mind and body.

So I’m taking the easy option, never to give up.

giving-up




I’ve made a commitment to write a blog, everyday for a year.

I don’t mind saying that sometimes it can be a challenge finding things to write about, like right now.

 

committed

 

It’s late, way past my bedtime, I’m tired, my eyes are sore and I’m just sitting here staring at the laptop screen thinking, “What can I write about? “

 

committed

 

Then I thought, “Maybe I’ll give it a miss tonight” and as soon as that thought came into my head, I dismissed it because I’ve made commitment to myself.


In work the other day a colleague of mine was pre-recording a travel bulletin (I work at a radio station).

committed


They had to restart the recording three times because they kept fluffing their lines.

The thing is, when they do this, near enough exact same bulletin, live on air, they never fluff their lines.

The reason for this is because they have to get it right. If they mess up they can’t start again, so they don’t mess up.

They know this and they’re committed to getting it done no matter what happens.

If you’ve got no safety net, you can’t use it. 

committed


This reminds me of the ultimate story of commitment.

It involves Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés.

In 1519 as he and his army stepped onto the shores of the Aztec empire, ready for battle, he gave his men a simple order: Burn the boats.

This wasn’t an order to burn the boats of their enemies but their own.

He wanted his men to realize that they had no opportunity to retreat, so they had to give this fight everything they had. 

Failure was no longer an option and winning the battle just became that much more important.

They won the battle.

The more committed you are, the more you are likely to succeed.

committed


I’ll leave the last word on commitment to General Norman Schwarzkopf (Commander-in-Chief, United States Central Command, he lead all coalition forces in the Persian Gulf War):

committed


“When you go to war. You have to be fully committed, you can’t just get involved.  The difference between commitment and involvement is like ham and eggs. The chicken is involved. The pig is committed”.

(I knew I’d find something to write about).

committed

 

For six months, up until February of this year (2013) I’d let me blog posting slips a little.

big-results 

Then I received a couple of messages from people basically saying they’d missed my blog and asking if I was I going to start posting again?

This was so flattering it motivated me.


So in February of this year I made a commitment.

big-results

To post a new blog, EVERYDAY for a year.

There are two reasons I post everyday:

1. No excuses.


It’s the same reason I ride my bike to work everyday.


If I said to myself, “I’ll do it three times a week”, then three times, may become twice a week and twice may become once, then never.


If I know I have to do it, without fail everyday, I cant make an excuse not to do it.

2. It provides excellent results.

Thanks to my biking, everyday, I’m relatively fit, I can eat what I want and am still at my target weight, which I achieved last summer after 15 years of being over weight.


Since I started cycling everyday, back in August (2012), I’ve cycled over 2,100 miles.


That’s the equivalent of cycling from London to Cairo in Egypt.


What about my blog?


In February, when I started making a post everyday, I was lucky to be getting 100 views per day.


These are my stats at 20:00 today (7th May 2013).

big-results

So far this month, I’ve had over 50,000 views.

I’m averaging over 2,000 views a day, which is 3/4 million a year and its growing quickly.

By the end of this year I’d like to be achieving 10,000 views a day, which is the equivalent of 3.6 million hits a year.

big-results

I believe I can do it and I’d like to thank you for helping me get here by reading this (and sharing it, if you like what you read).

So if you have a goal, start doing something now and do it EVERYDAY.


It doesn’t matter what it is and it doesn’t have to be a lot but do it EVERYDAY.

 big-results

I promise you, you will see excellent results.

big-results

Remember, a tiny acorn becomes a massive oak tree by growing, only a tiny bit, everyday.

big-results

Something struck me the other day, as I wrote about John Courtney and James Hughes (read it HERE).

negative-thinkers

John Courtney (74) and James Hughes (40).

On the weekend, John (74) completed his 52nd marathon along with his foster son, James, who despite being blind, non-verbal and with severe learning difficulties, completed his 45th marathon.

In the article I read, about James, he was asked this question:

So what made you and James start running?

I didn’t start marathon running until I was 49 years old.

One day, I fell asleep on the sofa and when I woke up my son said that I would never be able to do a marathon.

I set out to prove him wrong!

These words, “I set out to prove him wrong”, is the bit that stuck with me.

And boy did he prove him wrong, 52 marathons worth of wrong!

But the important part, is the motivation behind his actions.

It was John’s son saying, “You would never be able to do a marathon”.

negative-thinkers

 

This is why sometimes why should welcome negative thinkers, they can be a great motivators..

There is no better example of turning a negative (sentiment) into a positive (action) than above.

Think about this again, John has completed 52 marathons!

And he didn’t start until he was 49 years of age!

And he only started because someone says he couldn’t do it. 

Next time you’re confronted by negative sentiment, remember just how powerful a motivator it can be.

negative-thinkers 

 

It’s been a big week for our family, in which our little family, has become one member bigger.

Meagan gave birth to our second son, on Monday, at the Royal Hampshire County hospital in Winchester.

power-of-one


So many things have gone through my mind, in the last seven days, as we brought a new little person into the world.

But the point that’s really stuck in my mind, is how one person can make such a difference.

By one person I don’t mean just one person.

power-of-one

Its never fails to astound me how one person can grow another perfectly formed smaller person inside them.

How that small person can create so many positive feelings.

How a midwife managed to make us feel as if we were and will be the only couple ever to give birth (thank you Bryony).

power-of-one

Don’t ever believe that you don’t have the power to change this world.

It happens every second of everyday.

power-of-one

Never underestimate the power of one and by that I mean you.

One person can make a difference, in fact, if it doesn’t start with one person, it will never start at all.

 

 

compliment

The other day I was feeling a bit down.

I was experiencing despondency due to me putting a lot of effort into a project and getting the feeling of not making any headway.

Then I received a compliment, in relation to this project, from a complete stranger.

It lifted my spirits immediately and fuelled my motivation to carry on with a renewed vigour.

compliment

Then yesterday, I hosted a film screening for listeners, at a local cinema, for the radio station I work for.

compliment

Today I received an email and a Twitter message from two separate listeners saying they’d really enjoyed the event.

Both messages gave me an inner smile.

compliment

It’s so important to tell someone you appreciate them if you do.

It has such a positive effect.

In a 2008 survey of 350 professionals, they stated the biggest impact on their productivity was, not money but how much their good work was appreciated.

compliment

If your life is made a tiny bit better by someone else, tell them because it makes their life better.

That’s amazing isn’t it?

You have the power to make someone else’s life feel better and it will also make you feel better.

It’s a win win situation.

This is one of the reasons I created HappyMap to help appreciate the things in life that make us happy, including other people.

compliment


Ps – Thank you Richard for your kind words, they mean a lot.

 

 

 Today I was sent a YouTube link of a man who is super inspiring.


I clicked on the link and was mesmerised by the video.

this-man-is-so-inspiring

I do not apologise if you’ve seen it before (its received over 35 million views) because watching it again is time well invested.

When Nick was young he was the target for school bullies, and fell into a severe depression.

this-man-is-so-inspiring

At age eight, he contemplated suicide and even tried to drown himself in his bath tub and yet against all the odds, he’s gone on to accomplish so much in his lifetime.

this-man-is-so-inspiring

If you are inspired by this video then please share it, as I guarantee it will have the same effect on someone else.

 

this-man-is-so-inspiring

Find
the Happy ?

Enter a name, email address, song, movie, Twitter user, Facebook friend, brand, business or website.

Follow Me