About Me

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Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia
My Blog is a self-indulgent, part journey, part training log, part hindsight account. After experiencing first hand, the terrrorist attacks in Mumbai I made a promise to myself to fulfil an ambition from many years ago to compete in an ironman triathlon. I was reminded that life isn't as predictible as a sine curve and a chance encounter with the most unlikely of people can change ones course forever. I hope you get something from my shared experience.

Mumbai to Port Macquarie

Hi and thanks for popping by. Maybe you stumbled across my blog by coincidence of a few key search words or possibly you were pointed in this direction. Either way you are here now...

This is an account of a my personal sojourn though life with it's many twists and turns. As you may later discover (if you're not already awake to the idea) , the universe has brought you here through a series of yes responses from yourself.

Chance is a concept I subscribe to... never is it luck.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

'til death do we part

The title ' 'til death do we part' is a common phrase used in marriage vows and it this concept of 'permanence' I seek to understand and maybe even challenge. I mean at what point were we told that anything is permanent? This is treading on Buddhist territory now but I do think there is some relevance in what it is I am about to discuss.

I completed the Port Half IM about a month ago and for a few weeks following I struggled both physically and emotionally to train. My knees would blow up, my ITB was tight and causing considerable pain, I had the pain of losing a toenail (another to follow soon). My motivation to keep going through this has been tested. I can say this has passed now and perhaps why I am now able to reflect on the last 4 weeks. Two things stand out for me at this point which have helped considerably in me getting my mojo back for training for IM Aus in 16 weeks and 3 days from now. The first comes from a conversation I had with an elderly couple in Coonabarrabran a few years ago. The second was from a vision I had while out training prior to the half IM.

I met the elderly couple the first time as I was leaving a one of my customer's surgery. We had a bit of a chat then but it wasn't until 12 weeks later when again I was leaving my customer's surgery and again I bumped into this couple did we have a long chat. I asked this obviously in love couple how they had a marriage which had survived many of life's tough events through out their 60 years of this institution. The wife quite candidly replied "we never fell out of love with each other at the same time". This was made so matter-of-fact and it didn't raise an eyebrow from her husband. I have had a few years to think about this comment, it's honesty and openness. Something that perhaps would only come from a couple of that vintage from the country. Either way I was able to learn so much from these people. I relate this to much of my life and through this that I have come to understand the concept of permanence. It has helped me to try to live more existentially. It has also helped me get through this 4 weeks where I have been tested. I may have been falling out of love with the thought of 20 more weeks of training. Fortunately the sport of triathlon, through my training buddies, panthers club members and the experience of nature endured and 'our marriage' survived. I am now physically recovered and motivated and ready for this part of the journey.

The second thing that helped me came from a vision I had. Before I explain the vision I need to give a little more background. Liv and I were only metres from the gunman in the terrorist attacks in Mumbai. The gunman stood up and after sitting in Cafe Leopold for about 10 minutes and proceeded to fire his automatic weapon at all that moved. Liv and I survived because we were on the outside of the cafe and we able to run and hide in a nearby stairwell. My mate and I had only been seconds from being the 2 guys looking for a seat. I have had to come to some understanding why we were not inside. Why someone else was the first person shot. Why we survived. I will never know the answer for certain however I do know why we were held up on the way to this place. A man in a wheel chair approached me while we were walking down a busy Mumbai street. I was pretty keen to get to the cafe and have a reprieve from the heat, the beggars, the crowds and more importantly, have a beer. I explained to this fella I couldn't help him but he persisted. 'I don't want money' he said. I looked at him he asked simply for some food. 'Of course I can' I replied before getting a chicken schwarma from a nearby street cook. This whole process took around 10 minutes. I remember his large, bright smile as he thanked me for his food. I felt a little embarrassed that it took him a few attempts; I am so glad he persisted with me. My buddy liv told me then and there that I had just earned a credit in heaven. How prophetic he was.

The vision I refer to happened one day during a really tough and long ride leading up to the half IM. I sometimes think about still. It was of this man sitting in his wheelchair, his smiling grateful face is exactly as I remembered it only this time he is with my Mum. They are both there together, healthy, happy and looking out for me. On the day I had this vision I needed some help as I was struggling. I now know that I have been getting this help for a long time. It was so needed on that awful night in Mumbai 12 months ago. I owe this man my life and he has no idea. Or just maybe, he does. This has truly helped me through the last 4 weeks.

I can't not train. I am alive, I am fit and I owe this to myself. The next 16 weeks are going to be quite a trip.

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