Determination #motivationmonday

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A simple spring roll; filled with the perfect ratio of spiced tender meat and square cut potatoes. Delicately wrapped in a fine layer of pastry and covered in an egg paste before it’s coated in scrumptious breadcrumbs. Carefully dipped in hot oil and fried until golden brown. A crispy outer layer contained in a soft spicy filling. Love at first bite.

Are you drooling yet?

This is a mutton roll. It’s simply not food, it’s poetry.

As many great things in life, this heavenly piece of creation has it’s consequences. Calories. It is not only filled with a delicious pâte, it is packed with calories and all kinds of mean things that do no good to the body. 

It takes a sheer amount of determination to say no to such a thing and the heart breaks a little every time.

‘Bad’ calories can be detrimental, especially if consumed during training. Fitness doesn’t only happen in the gym, the majority happens in the kitchen. Just like they say, you are what you eat.

The mutton roll is the metaphor for the daily battle we go through to resist temptation that may hinder the end result if we give into it; and the battle of determination we face when getting out of bed on a cold morning. And maybe getting ourselves to the gym or fitting that workout in. Stopping ourselves from taking a bite out of that creamy cheesecake or that bar of chocolate.

Luckily for me, I am mostly in control of my schedules and more importantly what I put in my body, it is one of the ‘perks’ of living on my own. However, when my mum visits, the menu changes quite a bit. Lately it’s been quite calory intensive, delicious food of course, but it does come at a cost. Something I have to massively pay for if I don’t keep myself in control.

Coming home to a steaming briyani after a militant gym session is not really ideal for the avid fitness freak. Especially when training for a marathon. One needs a massive amount of determination off track as well as on track when partaking in such an intensive physical activity.

Conversely, there is always a time to take a step back a little and enjoy life a bit and the essence of glourious food. I do have my days when all I do it eat and watch a marathon of movies. A marathon which I quite enjoy actually. Downtime is always nice. 

I had to limit my mutton roll intake in the last few years; ever since I’ve started to get into competitive sport, and this year, it’s more intensive than ever. My mental strength will grow even stronger by the end of this part of the journey.

The struggle is real. Just remember, one mutton roll doesn’t make you fat; and one workout doesn’t make you fit. Find your balance. 

Pain & Happiness

happiness and pain.jpgWe are no stranger to dreams and difficulties in life. We all have ambitions and many of us have been through times of hardship. These are two of the many vital factors that shape us as a person.

Happiness is derived from dream and pain is a derivation of the hardship one has experienced. These develop into a person’s threshold. It’s the highest and the lowest point of each individual person.

It is a spectrum that is different for every person and changes as life progresses. One person’s life cannot be compared to another’s. It is relative. Relative being the key word here.

Someone’s pain may be nothing to yourself, and your pain may be meaningless to someone else. It’s like the saying “Your small life is someone else’s big dream.” Always appreciate what you have and embrace pain, you are never given more than you can handle; and know that it doesn’t last forever!

The best ones turn their pain into their happiness, they build a dream of something that’s affected them largely in life. It is the best kind of motivation in my opinion.

Here’s a couple of examples:

Elon Musk (PayPal, Tesla, SpaceX)

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  • Pain
    • Suffered from Malaria
    • Lost first born child
  • Happiness

    • Multi-planetary species
    • Interstellar Space Travel

Steve Job (Apple, Pixar)

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  • Pain
    • Suffered from Pancreatic Cancer
  • Happiness
    • Change the world of Computing (putting it simply)

Casey Neistat (Youtuber, Filmmaker)

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  • Pain
    • Left school at 15, left home, made girlfriend pregnant, had son at 16
    • witnessed the 9/11 attack at close proximity
  • Happiness
    • Doing what he loves (filmmaking) until death

Your happiness and your pain creates your story. What is your story?

2017un

2016 has been no short of immense in terms of racing, having done 3 Marathons, 2 of which were major ones and a bunch of halves. As running continues to change my life, I will be going further and doing more next year. I’m going to calm down on Marathons and just keep it down to two, one in spring and one in fall. Doing better quality races instead of quantity.

I’ve also decided to introduce myself to two new categories of races, the Spartan Race, which is an intense obstacle course; and the London Duathlon, a combination of cycling and running. Let’s hope that I can make it through this challenge for next year. #wishmeluck

  • Worthing Half Marathon FEBRUARY 12. 
  • Thorpe Park Half Marathon FEBRUARY 26.
  • Silverstone Half Marathon MARCH. 12 
  • Greater Manchester Marathon APRIL.2 
  • Hackney Half Marathon APRIL. 30 
  • Spartan Sprint Race MAY. 21 
  • London 10000 MAY. 29
  • London Half Duathlon SEPTEMBER. 17 
  • Surrey Hills Half SEPTEMBER. 24
  • Chicago Marathon OCTOBER. 8 
  • Swiss City Half Marathon OCTOBER. 29 

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Berlin by Bike

I primarily went to Berlin for the marathon, my second major marathon and third international race.

This time last year, running an international race was way out of my comfort zone; after Amsterdam and Paris, this has now evolved into my comfort zone, my new normal. So I just jumped on the plane, didn’t have a place to stay, had no itinerary, just figuring things out and making stuff up as I went along. The pure essence of spontaneity.

I’ve kind of warmed up to solo travel now. I’ve made a good number of friends, speak to a lot of interesting looking strangers (especially backpackers, they always have good stories to tell) and just get involved in random activities, doing whatever the heart desires. Keeping an open mind.

I ended up staying in a hostel (for the first time ever), I was always skeptical living in a shared dorm room but it actually turned out to be fun. I’ve met an array of characters from all around the world, old, young, solos, groups, nomads and many people who came to Berlin for the marathon too.

Berlin as a city was quite awesome, even though it is the capital of Germany it was relatively small and can be easily explored by bike. For the few days I was there I was able to explore most of the city, meet a couple of friends, ate some good food and of course run the marathon. Berlin, I will be returning.

Enjoy the gallery!

Bristol Balloon Fiesta

Having missed this immense event in the past two years, I was adamant to attend this year. Bristol is just under a 2 hour drive from my home, we so jumped into the car and made the trip down there. It’s a great place to visit, especially on a day like this even more so on a rare hot British Summer’s day like it was this year.

It is one of the biggest balloon fiestas in the world if not the biggest one. Usually a four day event, from Thursday to Sunday. Lots of people, activities, entertainment and most importantly food. It will definitely be a great day out with family and friends. They have two mass ascents each day, 6am and 6pm, depending on weather conditions of course. This year it went to plan and wow the views the surreal.

We were sitting in the mass ascent from the take-off point. The view from the Clifton Suspension Bridge is apparently epic; I would imagine the  views from the actual hot-air balloon would be super-epic. Definitely will try that out if I get the opportunity. I will be returning.

Enjoy the pretty pictures ;)

Fight Through Life !!

Just thought I’d do a little post about something that has been floating around my head for the past couple of months. I’ll try and keep this one short and simple. Don’t want to make it too long for you guys.

It is currently 12:19am on a Friday night and I’m sitting here at the emergency room as my sister is receiving immediate treatment for her agonising toothache. A prime example of how you randomly get hit in the head with life’s ‘little’ problems. 

Life is a continual battle, from the day we are born until death. You will be thrown problems after problems. Let me expand on that. The first few years is purely survival and provided that you are lucky enough to be born into a stable environment, you will make it to the next bit of life. It’s more of a physical battle than a mental one at that time. Then you’re a little kid you are limited to the amount of things you’re allowed to do, we all know the annoyance we experience when our parents say no to things. At teenage you are bombarded with piles and piles of work and you just have to hope you’re not an awkward teenager, that just would make things harder. As a young adult you just get more work during university/college, after that’s done, you have to work all the time and pay those dammed bills, then kids and all that blah blah. You can see where I’m going. It’s just a blizzard of problems. Very pessimistic. 

In every potion of life there is always a problems/obstacles/challenges. There will never be a point where you can say “I’m done!!” and put your feet up. You will be innocent enough to think that when you are younger, I know I was. Now after this 25 years of ‘experience’ I can say that the best you can do it take out those little moments and enjoy that time in your life, experience the essence of that age. Do what you are supposed to at that age, just live it, don’t miss out. 

Let’s look at the flip side, in the first few years, there is discovery, wonder and learning. When you are a kid, you have no major problems in life, no headaches, no bills to pay, it’s a time to be completely and unapologetically carefree. Teenage is time for many different types of discovery, it’s a time to explore and try different things. Being a young adult is when you get your first taste of freedom and so and so.  You can see that often the positives outweigh the negatives. Be optimistic. 

Sometimes life can stop throwing stones and rocks; instead  be harsh and throw a boulder at you, which may or may not bring life to a halt (depending on the mangnitude of that smash and your mindset as an individual). To that I can say that life can be a complete sh*tstorm and you have have to keep wiping the crap off your face and keep moving forward. Have no regrets and only look back to reminisce those good moments. 

At the end of the day, we don’t remember much of the negatives, only the good bits. 

Life goes on. Just keep livin’

Internal Demons #VLM

Completed the Virgin London Marathon yesterday. Home turf. One of the World Majors and on the same year the millionth finisher crossed the line. What a treat and a privilege to be a piece in the making of history.  Also “smashed” my PR (personal record) I’m still overwhelmed by the feeling and experience in the last 24 hours.

I’m going to be discussing more about the change in my mindset rather than the race day experience. That being said, London Marathon was one my of my best running experiences thus far, the support from the crowd was second to none, the course was amazing and I was more prepared for this race more than ever. If you’re thinking about applying next year, just do it. Don’t think twice, you will not regret it!

I think this is a good time for reflection of how far I’ve come since I ran my first race back in late-2014. 4 marathons and 5 half-marathons later; an accumulated distance of nearly 275kms. 275kms of being out of my comfort zone. Ironically this is becoming my comfort-zone now. The journey I’ve been through has been revolutionary for me. Finding and discovering many different traits about myself.

“The only person stopping you is you”.

Internal demons are those negative dark disgusting thoughts that create self-doubt, overthinking, over-analysing; everything that brings you down in life, sometimes very very low.

This journey has allowed my to ‘let go’ and to ‘kill off’ some of them and bury them within me. Sounds brutal but I did warn that this article wasn’t for the light-hearted.

Marathon running is more of an emotional sport than a physical one. If you’re a runner, I’m sure you’ll be nodding with agreement. I learned so much about perspective, relativity, dissociation etc (let’s save that for the next running article).

Marathon has become a metaphor for life, everything experience and conquered can be applied to life. The same emotions than allow us to run a successful marathon will enable us to lead a successful life. Running is not my life but it is definitely part of my life. I hope I can continue to say that for many years to come.

Different people have different approaches to removing theses internal demons. Some may dance, sing, travel etc. The common thing between these are that they are all an art-form, as is running. If you’ve been reading my running blogs for a while. I’ve always said that they are more an exercise for the mind than the body, and it is evident from the somewhat-awesome effects it’s having on my life.

I may look the same from the outside but the Internal structure has been reshaped and enhanced.

Stronger than yesterday and still continue to move upwards and onwards. Here’s to a stronger tomorrow.

I made a minute documentary or my Paris and London Marathon experience. Feel free to watch if you have a few minutes to spare.

Superawesome Marathon Film