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.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Defining success

So just what is it to be successful? The obvious examples I think that most would give are probably concerned with comparing a person with someone else. "Wow Johnny you beat everyone in your race. You're so successful!". I am sure success is often considered on achievement of an award or standard. Maybe these examples are OK however I would like offer an alternative to the definition of success. This isn't a "I can't win so let's lower the bar success" rather perhaps more rigorous and difficult to attain. If one considers the starting point of any task then measures success based on the difference between this and the finish then you may find a starkly different group of people that you consider to be successful. I'll give an example...

I went to the University of Western Sydney and studied to become a teacher. I received my degree a few years later and did in fact become a teacher. Many of my friends at Uni were part of the first generation in their families to do this, unlike myself and others who had parents with a degree. I would argue that being first generation degreed is more successful than second as the gap is wider. My father may define success - he grew up in a 2 bedroom housing commission home with 2 siblings. He did his leaving certificate 3 times to get a high enough score to go to teachers college. He then went on to have a long and happy career as a teacher in some of Sydney's less affluent suburbs. The gap between his start and finish is far, far wider than my own. Society may argue that a lawyer is more successful than a teacher. I reckon my dad is more successful than most high court judges!

The reason I thought about this was the result of a few remarks I've had recently about my size. I have had a few mates suggest that I need to lose more weight. I spent the 11 years prior to the events in Mumbai working-out to become a big forward for Rugby Union. I managed to get up to 106kg and I am sure that most would have come off second best in a contact on the pitch (if I say so myself!) Following Mumbai I made a transition back to an earlier love of mine, triathlon. I started training to complete an ultra distance triathlon (Ironman). I am now less than 6 weeks away from this and I have (so far) got down to 79kg. That's a loss of 27kg. In the process I have ridden over 9000km, run over 2500km and swam about 500km. Now I am not saying that I wouldn't love to win my age group in the Port Ironman or get a spot for Hawaii because I would. I love to compete. I am just feeling pretty successful having achieved what I have. There is no medal, no pay cheque or no article in the newspaper about it yet I still feel remarkably successful. To do well at the competition would be icing on the cake. The journey so far has been my defining story.

My training was going great until last Saturday. I did something I have done before and gone too hard for too long without adequate recovery. It has cost me another few days of training as I can't even get up to a canter at the moment. My fault. I accept it and as soon as I am done feeling like this I will be back... and unfortunately, I will probably do it again!

I am nervous, I am excited, I am healthy, I am sick, I am certain, I am unsure, I am living.

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