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Showing posts with label Sports. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sports. Show all posts

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Gone fishing

I didn't know if it was the beer, the blazing sun, or a combination of the two, but I suddenly felt sleepy out on the river bank. It was nice to be away from the city for a few days, and for the first time in ages, I felt my mind soften around the edges.
As I finished the last of my drink, my friend turned to ask if I fancied doing a spot of fishing...A smile crept across my face as I found myself out on the deck of their narrow boat. After a quick lesson in the basics, my friend hopped back onto solid ground...and there I stood, alone in my thoughts, looking out across the river. The peacefulness of that moment was beautiful!
It didn't last long!
I watched the lure fly gracefully out across the water to land with a gentle splash once again...Then I felt my line pull...hard. The rod began to bend, and for a moment, I wondered if I had managed to get it caught again on some weed at the bottom. Within a few seconds, to my absolute horror, I pulled the line out of the water and found myself staring at a thrashing 25lb pike!
With that, I screamed, my friends came running, and passers-by stopped to see what was causing such a commotion. And so the battle to release the giant began...
The mere sight of its razor-sharp teeth coming towards me was enough to have me climbing up the railing away from it.
After what seemed like an age of twisting and struggling, I watched my friend bend down to place him back into the water from whence he came. He was finally home. Safe. Free.
Then as I looked down through the ripples, laughing with relief, I realised something: In life, there will always be challenges. Things happen unexpectedly to take us on a different journey. Sometimes we find ourselves in an unimagined future where we don't always get what we want...but occasionally, get just what we need.
And that night, as I looked out of the car window into the starry sky, I couldn't help but smile. This would forever be the day that I wrestled with a river monster, and won!

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Step by step

Trainers laced, muscles stretched, I step out into the morning and hit the play button. The beat kicks in and I am off. Snaking my way down towards the canal, a light morning drizzle covers my face. Every stride forward lifts me further out of my sleepiness. I eventually settle into a comfortable pace as the path in front rolls towards my moving feet. I have really been enjoying these early morning runs of late, and despite this only being the third time in my new resolution, I am finding every step just that little bit easier, that little bit faster. A wave of contentment splashes over me as I breathe deeply. Endorphins rush in with a pumping new tune and I decide to speed up my run for a quick burst.
I want to go faster and further.
And just as the song hits the chorus, I accelerate. For a split second it feels as if I am lifting off the ground...and that's when it happens: the sudden searing pain in my left calf.
In less than three seconds, I find myself leaning against a tree with frustration and disappointment crashing heavily into me. How could this have happened? It was game over!
Taking a deep breath, I begin the long journey home, drizzle continuing to fall over my limping body.
And then I realise something...
Sometimes in life, change can take a while. It doesn't always play out like a cleverly cut montage in a movie, and as frustrating as it is, we can't rush the process. The journey is beautiful, and with just one perfectly small step, we take that giant leap right into our future.

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Three and a half pike

Switching on the TV, I crash onto the sofa just as the screen comes to life and illuminates the room. It has already begun. I watch as he walks up to the edge of the platform and stands looking out over the cool, rippling water below. An eerie silence washes over the spectators as we wait. And wait... 
Prepare..take a breath..launch..pike..somersault..once, twice, three and a half times into a straight extension..arms through the water..vanish.
And so the spectacle continues as I look on amazed; awe-struck and inspired. One by one their bodies tease gravity with every twist and turn and I can't help but wonder how it is possible to fly through the air at 35mph with such grace and artistry.
As with anything in life, achieving greatness takes time and energy. An athlete's journey towards the perfect 10 will always include many hours of practice, belief, blood, sweat and tears. Still they continue on regardless. There will be moments on our journey where we naturally face obstacles and self-doubt. Sometimes, we breeze through this and come out the other end unscathed. Other times, we find ourselves belly-flopping in a spectacular fashion; temporarily winded. But that's ok. It's all good practice. Pulling ourselves up out of the pool, we dry ourselves off and start climbing the steps once again in the hope that the lesson learnt will take us just that little bit closer to reaching our great potential.

Sunday, 29 July 2012

On your marks

Charged particles surround me and fly off across the planet. Something great has begun. As I look out over the water towards the packed stadium, helicopters swarm overhead like bumblebees in the dark. Sounds of cheering, laughing and whooping engulf the air making my heart beat just that little bit faster. I watch, and wait...
Shooting up into the cool, clear air, fireworks begin to illuminate the July night sky, accompanied by a deafening roar. Face lights up, hairs stand on end, and I'm awestruck at the sheer magnificence of it all. I am witnessing history in the making.
I can't help but think about what is to come over the next few weeks in this beautiful city. Men and women will push themselves harder than they have ever done before. Records will be broken and personal challenges will be set. I wonder what must go through an athlete's mind just seconds before the whistle blows. In that moment, nothing else exists...wings spread, they soar higher and higher.
It is absolutely incredible what we are capable of. Through our daily struggles and challenges, it’s easy for us to forget; we are so much more amazing than most of us realise. Whether our successes are personal or professional, pride comes from knowing that we tried our hardest in the face of adversity.
Simply getting up after a fall is worthy of rapturous applause.
So go out there and shine brightly. Strive to be the best you can and never lower your bar. Go for the gold...
You never know who you're going to inspire.

Sunday, 27 May 2012


Left in front of right in front of left... One at a time, I slowly climb the steps towards the top. Pausing at the first platform, I look out to the narrow white board. The higher I climb, the faster my heart beats...until I reach the peak. Shuffling my way to the edge, my stomach jumps powerfully into my throat as I look down. Everything moves closer and further away simultaneously in true Hitchcock style. Attacking birds would seem like butterflies right now.
And so I stand there, frozen. Electricity coursing through my veins, I nervously smooth the hair out of my eyes, and glancing behind me, I am at least relieved to see that I'm alone up here. Turning back was not an option. I had made it my personal mission, my challenge of spirit to do this dive, and I wouldn't go back.
And so I close my eyes to the world. The smell of chlorine wafts up from the water below and enters my lungs. I could fight this or I could surrender.
Taking a deep breath, I lurch forward as gravity grabs my body and pulls me down with his strong hands. I travel through the air with such velocity that everything blurs away. Powerless.
I slice the water and journey deep into the blue. And I keep on going, further than I have ever been before.
As much as we would like, there are some things we just can't control. Whether it be love, life or everything in between, once we let go and surrender, we open ourselves up to exciting new possibilities.
Sometimes, we don't get what we want. But we always get what we need.

Monday, 21 May 2012


The ball rolls up the ramp and gently clunks into the one in front. My favourite is still the sparkling blue one which reminds me of a moonlit swimming pool... But that was too heavy. Shame. It totally went with my outfit. Then there was the mauve ball...too light. Eventually I had settled on the matt green one which was just right. I wondered if Goldilocks would have had this much trouble choosing.
I slide my fingers into the holes and take a step forward for the penultimate time. Swinging the ball, it lurches forward as I release my grip and watch as it hits the floor with a dull thud. Suddenly picking up momentum it rolls quickly down the alley in an emerald blur and smashes slightly off-centre. All but two pins remain. And there they stand, taunting me in the distance...
I wait impatiently for my trusty ball to come rolling back as I visualise the pins falling to the ground, followed by rapturous applause and fireworks. 2nd place was within my grasp.
A flutter of excitement grows in my tummy as I send the ball flying towards its final destination. It is veering dangerously to the left but that's ok. It will correct itself in a minute...any minute now...and so I believe right up until the moment it plops into the gutter.
Shrugging my shoulders I turn, laugh and make my way back to my cold beer.
Sometimes in life things don't turn out the way we would like them to. As much as we want it, we don't always get that job, that person doesn't always love us back and our lottery numbers never seem to come up. But that's life. Everything happens for a reason and maybe, something even more amazing is waiting just around the corner.

Just to let you know that issue 3 of the wonderful PoV magazine will be out next month and once again, I am honoured to have a piece featured in it so will let you know when it's out.

Monday, 12 December 2011

Wheels and wings

Everything slowed down as his body catapulted through the air. Memories of childhood dreams, first loves and lazy holidays flashed in front of his eyes faster than the speed of light. A life lived condensed down to a movie of seconds.
Was this it?
Back broken, he fought with every single breath that could be mustered through punctured lungs, completely unaware of the most incredible feat he would bring to life in a few years.
The tiny engine spluttered into action as some pre-flight checks were made. A couple of minutes later his microlight lifted gracefully into the sky and the 12,000-mile airborne adventure began.
Through buffeting winds and torrential rain, he continued on his quest over shark-infested water and never-ending deserts.
Looking down from 5,000ft, with nothing but space all around, he soared high above the limitations of his wheelchair and was as free as a bird.
Cruising gently over 19 countries, he took every single binding belief, tore them into a hundred pieces and used them as fuel for his epic journey.
When we take our bodies for granted, we forget what truly spectacular things we can achieve if we only put our minds to it.
Dave Sykes is living proof that the only restrictions we have are those we choose to believe in.

Don't forget to comment, share and follow. Much love.

Saturday, 5 March 2011


There is a time of day that sits just before the sun comes up and the city is still rubbing its eyes that I dedicate to me, just to me and no one else.
I love feeling the cool water rush over my body as I submerge my entire being and for the briefest of moments, vanish from sight like a Vegas illusionist. Everything becomes a muffled echo as I sink deeper into this chlorine scented world. Here under the surface everything feels safe as I am quickly emancipated from the demands and deadlines that hover just above the surface. Despite not having any air down here, I can, once again, breathe deeply.
Limbs moving in harmony to travel a length at a time, the rhythm induces an almost out of body experience allowing my mind to venture outside of its natural habitat and explore the boundaries of thoughts to come up with new, inventive ways of being. I am free and happy.
Life seems to be so full nowadays and it feels as if we never have enough time to do everything. Stress has become the new centre and tiredness is the new status symbol.
So many things demand our attention and the fear of not having ample time to reach our full potential is palpable.
It is so important to have our moment in the day where we can push the panic button on life and just sit in the stillness. Here we can truly listen to the inner voice. The voice that guides us and knows what is important.  The voice that knows we are always going to be ok.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

90 minutes

I have something to tell you. It’s time to embrace who I am and be proud of it. I am what I am. No more hiding. Yes folks, here it comes, the proclamation, my coming out.....I am.....a football fan! (Cue tumbleweed and cawing crows). There, I said it. It’s like a weight has been lifted off my repressed shoulders.
Some of my closest friends have found themselves disconcerted with my new revelation and I have noticed them on more than one occasion looking at me as if I am a Cylon.
Secretly though, I have always enjoyed watching the world cup every few years but once the golden accolade has been thrust into the air amidst the flashing lights of the photogs , I put that part of me back in the closet and patiently wait for the next time. So this year I actually started watching it on a more regular basis.
There are many things I like about the game and am starting to see the occasion in a much more spiritual way. On a superficial level I never cease to be amazed at how wonderful the human body is. The combination of speed, balance, flexibility and timing is awe-inspiring to all those sedentary beings that bear witness to the spectacle.
Watching each game now, for me, is a weekly reminder of how connected we all are on this rock whether we like it or not; A celebration of life here on Planet Earth. The Stadium is filled with song and cheer, all synchronised to perfection to make.....well a bit of a din really but let’s skip over that.
The waves of energy flying around like an electrical impulse, touching each and every beating heart and elevating emotion till the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.  
It reminds me how important it is to have a goal in life; something to aim for. Without that, we are just a bunch of streakers running across the pitch.
It reminds me to always get up quickly if I fall and not be afraid to take that leap of faith to the left hand corner.
It reminds me to look around and see who is on my side, the team-mates who are there for me no matter what.
And it reminds me that if something isn’t working, it’s time to be flexible, fearless and fabulous!