Friday, December 30, 2011

The End is Near

As 2011 draws to a close, I look back on some personal highlights and in general I would have to say it's been a very satisfying year. Yes I was injured for most of the year. I only did one competition.
But I am stronger than ever. My children are growing and are a constant source of joy, and sometimes frustration, but it's beautiful.
My vision quest was probably the most important thing I have ever done for myself. I have to carry with me the lessons I learned as I head into 2012.  I have read a lot about the end of the world in 2012, but I don't believe the world ever ends. We are spiritual.....we may transform...but end? No I don't think so. I managed to improve my working situation and get assigned to a company I admire so on the professional front I have to pretty happy with the progress made.  My personal goal for next year in sport is to complete an Ironman, but I am not sure given the injuries, and the current state of my knee how that will pan out. The amount of training is becoming daunting. But these fears need to met head on. Professionally I hope to be able to improve as well. For my it will be a year of things crystalising, of dreams being realised, of hopes clarified. There is so much I haven't written about and yet, 2012 is my year.
I wish anyone who ever reads me, the best year they can possibly have. I hope you are all well and content, and at least moving forward. Thank you for your time patience and interest. Ironman France, you are mine.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Slip sliding away

People here call me crazy. The call me fou to be more precise. They are people who are not used to my free spirit. They don't mean to insult me, it's an observation, maybe even touched with some envy. It's not new, my nieces and nephews all called my crazy too. I see human beings, I interact. I am not ashamed of myself. I am a living breathing member of the same planetary community that you are. So if you meet me, I will probably say hello.
The weather forecast today was bad. It was supposed to be a dry morning a wet afternoon and a dry evening. We are having car problems so I agreed to ride to work. I left the house at 640 am and about half way to my destination it started to rain. Oh well I thought. When I got to work, one of my colleagues asked me had I come in on the bike. When I answered yes, the reply was, " Mais t'est fou toi, il pleut", your are crazy, it's raining. I told her that when we have to wrestle with a wild bear, we don't stop when we get tired, we stop when the bear gets tired.
As I was coming home it rained a lot harder. The waves were pounding the coast road, it was dark and windy. I had been taking it a little easy to make sure I was safe. I got to the point of realising I was the only one on a normally busy bike path. That it was dark, I was well lit but my vision was bad with rain on my eye shields and lack of street lighting and as I saw the huge waves come half way up the beach I let out a huge woop of joy. I continued on my way, singing, laughing, imagining my Iron man. I was touched that lover had messaged me to see did she want me pick me up. But I refused, it's days like this that make Ironmen. The rain continued, and eventually I got closer to Nice seeing more and more people with no lights trying to make their way home on two wheels. I passed one guy on a bike with an umbrella, cycling with one hand. I thought to myself what an idiot , he is going to have an accident. My next thought was to break into song. I sang out loud at the top of my voice. "Cecilia, you're breaking my heart...." I didn't get any further, I let out a really loud wooah woop fuck...I had taken a slight chicane in the bike path around the bus stop, right, forward, left, forward. Not a turn just a lean on the bike one way then the other. However as I lent the other way left, the back wheel went right, my body went rigid, my brain worked quicker than I could cope with. My body went to the right to catch the bike and pull it back left, I caught it, it slipped again and then righted... I didn't fall. A double slip kept me quiet for a minute.. I giggled nervously... a pain started in my knee and another in my hip..I had remained locked in. I am sure it's due to the yoga and my fitness in general that I didn't end up hitting the deck.
I had spent yesterday cleaning up the bike...the Fragile Rocket is the name I have for it at the moment. It's alive beneath me, it bends and twists and bucks like a living being. It was an utter waste as it was completely coated in fresh dirt. As I made my way homeward and stopped at a red light, some guy on a electric bicycle started to talk to me. In a few minutes making our way up the hill, him going easy, me busting up my last reserves peddling like a mad man, I gleaned an interesting story. He was born in Nice, American father, Argentinian Wife. He gleaned my Irish French Italian connnections. We talked bikes and cost... I finally let him ride away...another crazy dude, just like me.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Week 2 of the challenge

Things have settled in for the new job. I am getting the hang of it. Money is very tight, and lover had a small accident with the car yesterday. It's a stress on our relationship. I try to keep positive. In fact since my vision quest, my life approach has changed a lot. I am much more forward looking, more free and happier in myself. I am wondering if lover is really okay. I am anxious for us. I want us to be happy and we manage but we could have more fun together and I try to work on it.

My ironman training schedule is .....I haven't got a word for it. I am not running, I am swimming only half the time recommended and I am cycling twice the time recommended. However swim ways, my stroke has improved immensely.
I have to drop in the forms this week to the new club or I won't have a club this year. If I have no club, I have no swim training, and my motivation goes out the window. However we are not there yet.
Yesterday I rode 95km which was fun but I got up a bit high and it was cold. I noticed coming down guys going up in winter gear. I was smiling to myself in my Irish kit that they must think I was on holidays and not feel the cold. I was actually shivering at one point. It was a ride that wasn't planned. I just went out and decided to try and find the Iroman course, I found it but ended up doing it backwards as I missed a turn somewhere.

The All blacks are the world rugby champions. It was an intriguing game. It touches me to see the haka. I wonder what the Irish people would be like if we hadn't lost touch with our warrior past. It's wonderful to see the New Zealanders still a modern nation and still an old nation. They not going around waging war, they just seem to get on with it. Their rugby stars seem down to earth decent sports people, who define for me, what it means to be a modern warrior. The French gave a great account of themselves, pity they didn't go right up to the haka though. I would love to be in a situation where I do a haka with a bunch of blokes....It's just so powerful.

So week 2 of the Ironman training program starts tomorrow. It's still the orientation period... Swim 2:30 - Bike 3:20 - Run 2:15 -- Total: 8:05   of training. I will probably end up swimming 1:10 biking about 8 hours...if there is not too much rain... and doing no run at all. I am curious how all this is going to work out. If there are any experienced people out there.... give me some feed back please... Catch you soon. We are really looking forward to going home for Christmas.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Ironman Training began today

I got out of bed late, my hip muscle has been locked up since yesterday. I tried going for a ride to get rid of it, I got about 10k, it was too painful I came back . I woke late this morning, heavy headed. I was late to the pool I got in a Kilometer of the supposed 1.5 k before I had to get out and go to work and I was still sore. I saw the Doctor Dalloz at midday. He is convinced I need surgery. I can go on the bike and swim but no running till the grade 3 tear on my meniscus is fixed. I hadn't planned to walk the Ironman, but generally meniscus surgery takes a month to heal. So I might be undertrained for the run or I might be the stronger for it. Who knows? I have an appointement Friday 28 October with the surgeon.
I am getting paid less than those around me in my new job, and working more. Looks like I will be changing jobs again soon. 

Friday, October 14, 2011

The battle of my wounded knee

First of all sorry to all the first nation Americans.  I hope my stealing of the name of the famous battle is not offensive.
My knee, which for years has been giving me problems, and lately had been fine, has finally show up a problem on an MRI. I have a minimum grade 3 lesion on my meniscus, and a thickening of the " croisé du ligament latéral interne en regard.". I  have no idea what this means for my Ironman.But hopefully it will pull through. I have received the papers to change clubs and now I just need to focus. I need to get well, I need to heal. 2012 is my year. I will have a bigger salary and my goals will realised. :-) Onwards.. and upwards.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

No time to write!

I have changed missions with the agency I work for. I asked for a raise as money is tight , the new company would be harder, and because I am a Loreal type of guy,  I am worth it. Long story short it didn't come through. I checked out in the new company the salaries of people doing the same job with less experience. Needless to say I felt pretty bad when I found out so action has to be taken.
I am changing triathlon clubs. I need to get to a doctor, to get forms signed, I need forms signed by the old club, forms signed by the new club and eventually I will sign a form and have my licence renewed.
Work is busy there is a lot to learn, but it's a good healthy team. I am cycling a lot more now, and I am swimming still twice a week.
It's nearly time to start officially training for the Ironman. I have done 116km in two days, on the bike , tomorrow I swim, and then another 58 km on Thursday, swim again on Friday and then it's Saturday.

Saturday I will be in front of the TV at 7am watching Ireland beat Wales, hopefully in the 2011 Rugby world cup. After that it will up on my bike in my new Ireland racing gear and off for 100k cycle :-)...
I am getting faster stronger and can go longer.. I have the technology and it's true, sometimes I feel barely alive, but I have rebuilt myself. Now to make myself a million dollar man.
Thanks for reading , leave a comment!

Monday, September 19, 2011

New things

My knee still being sore, I invested in a tens machine that is supposed to do a lot of things. Making me look like superman is right up there. I have no idea if it works. Information on how it must be applied is difficult to come by, but I finally found the right program out of 14 to help with my knee. This morning was the first time I have woken up without any pain, but driving to work soon put a fix to that.
My son continues to call in everyday after school and it's a gift from the gods. It's just beautiful to be able to see my own child everyday.
It gives me some insight into how my parents must feel with their offspring scattered around the globe. I feel bad about that in ways. Perhaps I could have been a better son and got home more and just never got involved in the sport. Our decisions in our lives we make and we live the effects till we decide to think differently.
I am trying to remain superpositive , but I am not forcing it either. My vision quest continues in my being. I have changed projects with my service company and I am now contracted to another big company in the travel industry. I knew coming down from the mountain that this was going to happen. I wanted it. I decided it would happen and it happened.
I wish I could be so sure about my Ironman. I have only swam in the last two weeks, trying to give my knee a chance to heal.
Now I am in a new company I need to find the showers so I know where to change and washup when I ride in next week.
I have already been given my birthday present, a camel back and the rest of the Ireland bike outfit. I might post a pic soon.
I am excited about the Rugby world cup. The lads at the weekend were massive, but I am annoyed at the ongoing politics in Irish rugby. Two flags at the start of the match and no national anthem as Rugby Ireland tries to figure out what it is politically. Apparently it knows it's not English, but doesn't know that if you have two flags, then you have two anthems. It's not peculiar, it's the way the island of Ireland is. I fear that the further they go in the tournament the bigger this issue will become.
For  the moment it was great to see them play so well and win so well.
My folks have bought us tickets to get home at Christmas. It's been so long. It's been too long. Money is tight. Apart from the injuries , I have no idea if I can actually pay to join a new club this year and finance the Ironman. I just have to decide it's going to happen I guess :-).
Thank you all for reading.

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