Lower A (03 05 2018)

First leg day in what feels like ages.. and I really felt it!

I had to wait a fair while for the leg press machine as a couple of chaps were doing lots of sets on it, and then when I finished with it, they were on the leg extension machine, so I did the leg raises and then headed back to the office.

Having said that I found it tough, I managed to hit a personal best on a few exercises, including a cheeky one rep of a deadlift.

Once I got to work I re-fueled with this.. tuna, cucumber, celery, tomatoes, cous cous, seeds, chia, nuts mix…

No cycling in today as I’ve got to head over after work to the wonderful Birmingham Children’s Hospital for an appointment with Isaac. Fingers crossed it is good news in his battle with sJIA!


Sunshine cycle and row

A beautiful blue sky and sunshine today. Although the youngest was up all night as he isn’t well, I decided to cycle to work, which was slow, but really nice in the sun.

As I’m going to do the DragonBoat race with a few guys from work in June, some talk started up about our 1k row time. I knew this was on my PB list, but without a time, so at lunch I had a gentle walk down to the gym, soaking up some sunshine, did my row, and then a relaxed stroll back again.

Then I cycled home in the sunshine after work, and had a dip in the paddling pool with Oliver..

Words to Live by – IF

Most people will be familiar with this poem, as it is very famous, and has been using in adverts for several brands over the years, As a father, it resonates hugely for me, as something I aspire to demonstrate to my children, and hope that they adopt as sound principles themselves.

“If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!”

Rudyard Kipling (1943)

I don’t claim to always live this way at all… but there is no harm in trying! 🙂

My book list

These are the books I’ve read (actually listened to..) recently..


1. Start With Why (Simon Sinek) – Great for anyone starting or running a business, or making life plans. Simon is popular on TED style videos online. Not a big fan of millenials..

2. Subtle Art of Not Giving a F@ck – (Mark Manson) – Awesome! Everyone should read this book

3. Living Forward (Michael Hyatt) – Solid book for helping structure efforts to make longer term plans that are practical. Good for business owners and anyone who wants to set goals and go for them!

4. How to Win Friends & Influence People (Dale Carnegie) – An absolute classic. The world would be a better place if everyone read and applied these principles!

5. The Chimp Paradox (Dr Stephen Peters) – Eye opening, brilliantly written (and narrated). Fascinating and insightful. A must read for anyone who has an interest in being better at controlling their own thoughts and actions and understanding why others behave ad they do. Great book!

6. Money (Rob Moore) – motivational without the B.S. of other books. Practical and real life examples and advice. Gives a different perspective to the thought of wanting to make money. Wish I had read it in my teens!

7. Thinking, Fast & Slow (Daniel Kahneman) – heavy going prose. Absolutely fascinating. Slow going at times. I have a few chapters to go… Great for anyone who liked Chimp Paradox and wants to get deeper into psychology!

8. The power of Habit (Charles Duhigg) – practical and useful. Really interesting book about how to form, change and adapt habits. Grounded in science with real practical applications.

9. Shoe Dog (Paul Knight) – who wouldn’t be interested to know how Nike was started and grown into what it is today. Amazing story, which has given me a new perspective of the brand!

10. How to be Fu#king Awesome (Dan Meredith) – similar in style to ‘the subtle art of not giving a f$ck’, but a very good book well worth a read. Tells/reminds you of what to focus on in your life.


Most of the time I don’t have the opportunity to sit down and read a book. So I enjoy listening to audio books. I use Amazon’s Audible service which is great. It just works! Plus although it’s a subscription model (cost per month), once you download a book, you get to keep it even if/when you cancel your subscription.

When size really matters…

Obviously I’m talking about the size of your bed!

Few rough nights of very little, broken sleep for the household. However, although we are all shattered and starting to snap at each other unintentionally, it’s important to try and cherish the moments like this…

Yes that is 4 of us, in our bed having some early morning cuddles. Actually mom is getting all of the cuddles, but it’s still lovely to see.

Since then I’ve taken the youngest for a sleep (on me) in his room,

whilst mom takes the toddler down stairs for his first (of usually many) breakfast and probably back to back peppa/fireman sam/postman pat/something special/etc

Then time to get in gear and to start another day of nursery drop off; work meetings, etc..

How to Win Friends and Influence People

A business classic… one which i avoided for many years, I think deep down that was because


I didn’t like the idea of learning how to ‘win’ friends, and the notion of ‘influencing’ people seemed something negative. Somehow it suggested getting someone to do something they didn’t want to do, potentially in an underhand way.

However, I’ve been ‘reading’ audio books on my phone whilst commuting on my bike / car, doing odd jobs around the house, and when winding down before going to sleep, and felt I would give it a go.

The book was written many years ago, and although some of the language is in some parts out-dated, the principles seem very sound. They all feel so very simple, and obvious, yet I question why I am not applying them!

The book lists ‘what this book will do to you’ – I’m not going to list them as each person will probably get different things from it. I got a feeling that I could be doing more with the potential, ability, skills and passion I have already, especially in terms of business/career and in terms of the happiness of my family.

Out of the 30 principles for handling people, making them like you, influencing them, and leadership, the ones that stood out for me most were:

  • Don’t criticize, condemn, or complain
  • Remember that a person’s name is, to that person, the sweetest and most important sound in any language.
  • Become genuinely interested in other people.
  • Start with questions to which the other person will answer yes.
  • Try honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view.
  • Talk about your own mistakes before criticizing the other person.
  • Ask questions instead of giving direct orders.
  • Praise every improvement.

They look so simple, and obvious, but when I reflected honestly, I didn’t do the above often enough. It is tempting to correct people if they say something you know is incorrect, even if that is in public and actually wouldn’t benefit anyone by doing so, especially them. Using other people’s name when speaking with them is something I don’t do enough.

I always try and see other people’s point of view, and asking questions can often uncover what the true route cause (positive or negative) may be for a decision or action that someone has taken – which may have been different to what I expected!

Two points which have helped me with my parenting of my boys, and coaching in my fitness classes has been to praise every improvement, regardless of the size, and to start by asking questions the other person will say yes to. This has been particularly helpful when my toddler has been answering everything with the word “NO”. Asking him three consecutive questions whereby he answers “yes” seems to have a powerful impact on the tone of the conversation, and it can help him to calm down and articulate more easily what is actually frustrating or upsetting him, or what he actually wants.


There are loads of pictures, memes, sayings or quotes online these days. Some of them really hit the mark in a specific moment, and others are good to just live by generally.

I’ve not put these in any particular order, and will credit if I can remember where I saw it, or who said it, if I can remember!

These may hit the mark for you too, let me know if they do, or if you have any you like that I’ve not mentioned!

Continue reading “Quotes”