Archive for January, 2013

Can a TV show inspire a nation ? Well the Olympic did during the summer of 2012. So why not a TV show that revolves round the Olympic sport of diving.

ITV here in the UK is currently running a show with a mixed of comedians, TV presenters, actors and even sports personalities. When it was first aired a few weeks ago, “Splash” was I guess you could say destined to “drown” in its own tacky way. But its one of them shows that seems to be growing each week with more and more popularity. I for one am a fan! I am not ashamed to admit it ! Yes ! Yes ! Yes there are scantily cladded men and women with not a lot on competing and its hosted by cheeky grinning Tom Daley who mentors these celebrities each week. But its not the eye candy that keeps me watching. No honest its not.

So why am I watching what I can only describe as being a guilty pleasure of TV ?  These celebrities are from all manor of backgrounds and fitness levels and way out of their comfort zones. It’s this being out of their comfort zone that has me watching it. Now I have never dived. I have jumped off the 10m board a few times but never entered the water with any degree of grace. And up until a month or so ago nor had many of these celebrities. Yet here they are week after week for our entertainment pleasure, putting themselves out there.

Sure there are loads of reality TV shows our there with celebrities and normal folks putting themselves out of their comfort zones but  high board diving your putting yourself at extrem peril here. In this show we have seen blood, sweat and tears. Yet these celebrities keep on pushing and talking more and more risks and proving your never too old learn a new trick or two.

Quite often you hear the celebrities talk about how much young Tom Daley have inspired them and how seeing how majestic and almost poetic his diving is and how that is the driving force for them to go the extra mile and push their boundaries just that bit further. For me its watching not just what Tom does each week to show the celebrities how its done but how they themselves face their fears and personal demons to achieve their end goal. That of trying to impress both the judges and the public alike.

So what can we take from shows like this ? We all have demons to overcome, some large, some small that can stand in our way of achieving our goals. At the end of the day no one likes to fail and we are scared of failure. But if we don’t push ourselves sometimes and take the plunge so to speak we will never really know where our limits are or what we can and can’t achieve

So take the plunge – who knows ………….

You might surprise yourself!

 

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Picture of copyright of www.dakar.com

Picture of copyright of http://www.dakar.com

For as long as I can remember I have always been a fan of the Dakar Rally. Back in the day it use to be “The Paris – Dakar Rally” that set off from Paris, France, during the first week of January. The race route has changed a lot since its inception back in 1979 so its name has just become “The Dakar” but its sole still remains that of the original. The most demanding rally in the world! A true test of  man and machine! This year’s race that kicked off on the 5th of Jan (2013) and lasts for 15 days will take these truly amazing men and machines from Peru through Argentina and completing this epic race in Chile. The machine of choice for these men and women range from purpose built sand eating all wheel drive (4×4) cars / buggies/ pickup’s to almost normal 4 wheel drive cars / pickups with a roll cage fitted to them. Then you have the motor bike and quad bike classes all followed up with the monsters of the desserts the support trucks. Yes as mad as it sounds the support trucks also race! These are no normal MAN / DAF/ Tata trucks I might add. Highly modified 8 wheel drive monsters that have full support kit to keep the bikes and cars going smoothly over all manor of terrain. The machines are truly amazing but its the men and women that pilot these beasts over this grueling race for 15 days that are the inspiration here! I have had the privilege of meeting some of these inspirational people in past years when I use to live in South Africa. Moto-X ace Alfie Cox and South African Off road champ Neil Woolridge  when I use to deliver spare parts and even help out at Moto-X events. Having met some of these inspirational people in the past and been a great follower of the race for as long as I can remember I am really inspired by one truly amazing team this year. Having a great respect for both the race and the people that take part in it I know that this is not a race for the faint hearted. The race has eaten man and machines in the past and its no stranger to death. But this does not stop close on 475 vehicle’s ( Bikes/ Cars/ Quads/ Tucks ) from competing this years event. Nor does the fact that one amazing team is being manned by injured former military service men and women!

Image Copyright of - http://www.race2recovery.com/

Image Copyright of – http://www.race2recovery.com/

The Race2Recover team who are supporting 4 Bowler Wildcat 4×4’s , 3 service trucks and 3 Landrover support vehicles in this years event. A large team yes with loads of support but what makes them truly amazing is the fact that some of the team are missing more than one limb! Be it an arm or a leg or both and in some cases both legs and an arm. These guys are amazing. They have the right attitude, an IED didn’t stop them so what chance does the worlds most gruelling rally have against these lot! Not a lot I would guess ! So why are these lads and girls who put their life’s on the line over in Afghanistan doing this race? Well I think their moto in their logo above sums it all up rather nicely. They are also doing it to raise funds and awareness for other injured service men and women out there. These guys are just amazing. Last year on TopGear we got to see the guys preparing for this epic adventure with the help of former Stig, Ben Colins. It was great to see the guys in action and to hear bits about their own stories of bravery and personal battles.

The personal battles are far from over as the teams and support crew as they face every thing that the Dakar and South America can throw at them.

As I type this post Race2Recovery had to retire 2 of the Wildcat’s, one due to missing a check point and the other due to mechanical problems. Two race vehicles out this is not the only issues the team have has had to face. On day 5 of the 15 day event one of the support vehicles carrying 3 support members was involved in a head on collision with a taxi Peru. The team members were taken to the local hospital but sadly two people in the taxi died as a result of the accident.  ( full story can be found here – The Gardian )

Race2Recover started the Dakar with the goal of being the first disabled team to complete the event. And this goal has not changed as a result of the past few days of the rally. The team will continue with the remaining two Wildcat’s and the rest of the support team in their 8 wheel drive monsters in order to achieve their goal.

You can keep in touch and send your support to the team via social media via the following links:

Facebook – Race2Recovery 

Twitter – @Race2Recovery

Be sure to visit there page – donate if you can and show your support to the most inspirational team in the most demanding of motorsport events, The Dakar Rally

So it just go to show if you put your mind to anything the body will follow.

Truly inspirational team.

UPDATE —>  Great story published in The Sun Newspaper today – Click here to read it and view some great photos of the team in action.

WOW its been way over 6 months since my last post!

Sorry about that but its been a bit of a mad 6 months!

All mannor of ups and downs over the past 6 months thats for sure. Not really going to share them as such, as the downs, well I wish to just put behind me and focus on 2013. The lows of 2012 were just that, lows, mega lows and well the highs were good, but somehow they were over shadowed by the lows so they are not as much of a highlight as I would have liked them to be.

I guess I can sum up 2012 as being a year of mixed emotions with new people coming into my life and people who were never really in my life being evicted from my life ones and for all. Strange how that happens but I guess its the balance of life.

So its onwards and upwards for 2013!

I have already made a start on the new me for 2013.

I have started to weed out the people in my life that do not add any substance to my life. We just do not need these sort of people in our life that drag us under and use and abuse our friendships. It takes too much effort to support those that cant take the time of day to reciprocate the love, attention and dedication to the friendship that you may put into it. My biggest problem is I am way too soft hearted and it has taken my heart being crushed in 2012 to relise this. Its taken too long for me to relise this and as a result I had a lot of weeding to do! More weeding to be done I am sure as time progresses and I realise who are the true people that matter in my life. The people that both need me and I need them. True friends.

Another big change in my life is my weight! 6 months ago I weighed 111 kg’s ( 245 lb’s / 17 ½ st ) and as I type this I am now down to 98 kg’s ( 216 lb’s / 15.4 st ) I don’t know about you but as I type them weights they don’t look a lot on their own. But it is a 13 kg’s (28.66 lb’s / 2 st) drop in weight and it sounds loads more impressive if you describe it as that !

Weight Loss

Weight Loss

So why the weight loss ? Well for a number of reasons.

  1. Its not healthy for you to be over weight (BMI of over 28! ) 
  2. Was not feeling good in myself ( lacking in confidence and not having much luck on finding a partner – a low point of 2012 was my boyfriend and I splitting up but the high point of that is we are still mega close, like brothers )
  3. People were worried about my health as weight related problems run the the family

The above are just a few of the main reasons. I guess the other one and this is a bit vain to say the least is I am enjoying the feedback from people about how good I am looking! But it only motivates me to keep at it. The irony is I dont really see the change in me. Ok I have dropped 4 inches off my waist and had to get a new belt and new trousers but I still see my self as a bloke with a belly. OK OK OK I still have like another 13 kg’s to go till I reach what is deemed to be my ideal weight. Give me 5 more months !

Motivation is a powerful thing. You just have to find the reason to be motivated and the rest will come easy. People keep telling me that what I am doing is amazing and must take a lot of effort. MMM does it ? I think the only real effort I have towards this weight loss game is getting up at 6am 3 times a week to go swimming at 7 am. Yeah thats hard work when its cold and dark outside. Diet is not that difficult when your not focusing too much on diet. I still have KFC / Nando’s / McDonalds etc when I feel like it. But I do try and keep off the bread and eat more veg and fruit. The other night I was shocked to see how many calories are in one of my favorit dishes. I do a fab pasta tuna dish with a cremfresh cheese sause. 1023 cal’s ! I thought it was healthy ! Its not because of the cheese and the gluten free pasta but I will still eat it and not feel guilty about it !! Just eat little and often. Portion control is paramount here. My mom has been telling me this for years and never listend. Breakfast is also mega important so is lots of water. And a routine ! Get the balance right and it all fall’s into place.

Tell the world about it all too seems to help me. Not only do the comments and feedback from my family and friends motivate me to keep on going but it also motivates others in trying to emulate me. They know the type of person I use to be and I guess they feel if I can do it with relative ease they too can.  To me that has to be the biggest buzz knowing that though my changes I am inspiring others to change too.

I am a massive fan of swimming and go 3 to 4 times a week and try to do between 60 – 70 lengths of the local 25m pool in the morning before work and sometimes after work. And I love my tech as much as I love swimming ( maybe love the tech more than swimming ) I have a great bit of kit by Garmin called the Garmin Swim it lets me track my length’s automatically and then posts them to the web so I can then share them on Facebook and or Twitter so people can see how well I am doing and comment on how mad I am. Haha! But its great motivator and I love it.

So if you need some motivation just have a look at me. I am no fitness guru or freak. Just someone who is being sensible in what I eat and do as much exercise as my body and time will permit and it seems to be working for me.

Me at over 100 kg's in 2011

Me at over 100 kg’s in 2011

Me as of the 10/10/12

Me as of the 10/10/12

You can follow my swimming progress here – one day just one day I might do the English Channel – Garmin Connect Profile