a better life, awareness, balance, beauty, better choices, bodyweight, dating, decisions, desire, dreams, Energy, faith, game of life, grace, habit, Imagination, intimacy, leadership, life, long-term perspective, love, man, no, opportunity, perseverance, responsibility, risk, self, self discipline, self improvement, self love, self-respect, strengths, synergy, trust, truth, wife, you, your life

Variety is the spice of life?

With another woman.
A fan.

Well, I have a few questions: Are you a man with a “masculine sexual essence?“. Just another way to say – ‘are you a REAL MAN?”

Any man that is a REAL MAN, with a masculine sexual essence (we all have this) will almost inevitably DESIRE SEXUAL VARIETY. You have had thoughts, many thoughts of having sex with other women.

Am I right?

Even if you love your intimate partner (your wife or girlfriend). Even if you are completely committed to her, you will have thoughts…. and naturally want sexual occasions with other women. Now, we’ve heard that when a man is promiscuous, apparently it reveals that he is lacking intimacy at home. This, is absolutely, not true.

Your desire for other women is simply a reflection of your nature as a red-blooded Real Man.

 

Self-discipline is the one key characteristic of a winner that really makes habit changes happen.

Discrimination is good

This is where I believe discrimination is good. Helps us make choices.

You need to discriminate against these desires that has deep sources from childhood. You need to discriminate so that you know when to discipline yourself and say ‘no’.

There is only one of two choices that you need to make when faced with the decision to have sex or not have sex with another woman. Your choice will fundamentally, depend on your philosophy of life.

If you see having sex with as many women as you can as part of your purpose in your life, then, you’ll most likely pursue this route.

A ‘coaching conversation’ with Brad, while taking a rest break between exercise sets.
Helping Brad, help himself, achieve something he cares about and become more of who he wants to be.
Through belief, hope and effort + hear, within a tailored program, one can find ‘balance & symmetry’ that is vital to overall Peak Performance and being the Man You Can BE.
Self-discipline is key to any sustainable change.

Positive Self-discipline

Deciding not to have sex with other women but the woman you’re with requires discipline. Positive self-discipline does not mean self-suppression. No. Far from it.

Self-discipline is simply – practice!

Self-discipline ‘puts your money where your mouth is.”

Self-discipline begins where ‘lip service’ ends.

All other qualities such as positive self-awareness; positive self-esteem; positive self-control; positive self-motivation; positive self-image and so forth are absolutely worthless without self-discipline.

Self-discipline should not be seen as ‘doing without’ but instead should be viewed as “doing within’, because it is a mental practise. A mental practise based on repetition.

Explaining some of the finer points of training to Vicky during my ‘coaching conversations’ with my students.
Better athletes train smarter.

Seeing without seeing through simulation

I use a lot of ‘seeing with images’ and quite easily simulate. I’ve been doing this for many years and it is truly amazing how these images manifest itself in to my perception and ultimately, my reality.

The art of ‘seeing’ without seeing is an underrated skill and one you should apply to your life. Everything begins with your thought, so disciplining your thoughts of having sex with other women should be practised.

Why practise?

Because to develop your mental strength, you need to think like a winner, and strive to learn the art of simulation. A skill that champions and winners in all fields have mastered.

 

Practise does not make perfect. Perfect practise makes perfect.

Let’s keep it simple – remember, the simple format for learning a skill or habit (in this case, choosing to not have sex with another woman):

  • Desire
  • Information
  • Assimilation
  • Repetition

So, there you have it. Work on your self-discipline, beginning with your philosophy on life.

Nothing else but self-discipline can make or break a habit. Self-discipline, alone can make a permanent change in you.

Self-discipline is your key to controlling your desire to sleep with other women.

Enjoy the beauty and radiance of the other women that cross your path and discipline yourself to not act on your thoughts of sleeping with the woman. But, if that is part of your purpose in life, then go right ahead.

The former decision will surely not adversely affect you, your relationship with your wife, kids and family

Choose well, my friend.

 

Cheer & Ahoy!

The old Captain Viking Pirate … & saying no to thoughts of sleeping with other women with the tool of self-discipline.

Photo op with a local resident and her dog. Lovely.

A variation of the ‘back single biceps” pose … on the beach.
The combination of chaos + order = Life.
Find your balance. Find your beauty. Find your truth.

Standard
a better life, adaptation, awareness, balance, basics of training, beauty, Body shape, Energy, Fitness, fundamentals, habit, habits, injury, long-term perspective, muscle building, safe training, strengths, symmetry, training, workout, you

My Top 5.5 Tips to avoiding injury.

Education through a perception of the truth. Increasing your awareness, taking sufficient and appropriate actions and adapting accordingly is key towards self-improvement. Vv

Education through a perception of the truth.
Increasing your awareness, taking sufficient and appropriate actions and adapting accordingly is key towards self-improvement. All done in my programs.
Vv

I have been very fortunate that in over twenty three years of training in the gym I have not been seriously hurt in any way. I am very proud to say that in that time I have not seen a physiotherapist or chiropractor for any training-related injury.

I have always been a stickler for form and ideal exercise execution. Always. Accelerated increased awareness from the guidance from some of the best coaches in various fields such as martial arts, power-lifting, boxing, athletics, squash, soccer, hockey, rugby and resistance-training has also contributed heavily to me staying injury-free.

Mastering the basics in any physical endeavour is paramount to you excelling in and enjoying the experience while doing it. Everyone that I have ever helped over the years get educated in applying the basics of training all the time – not some of the time! This loosely applies to most worthwhile goals in life.

Getting injured is a pain. Apart from the physical pain, one has to endure days, weeks or even months of re-habilitation. It can drain one of mental and emotional energy too and be quite costly if the injury is very serious.

Over the years, I have adopted certain routines with deliberate practise (habits) that I believe decreases my chances of getting injured while training in the gym.

Below are 5.5 key tips to help you lower your risk of injury:

Tip # 1: Aim for balance & symmetry.

My whole goal from the very first time I lifted weights was to build a more balanced and symmetrical physique. I believe this is one of the main key factors in me staying injury-free all these years. This is despite me lifting relatively heavy weights for most of this time (especially the two years when I trained for the World Championships in New York).

For example, a lot of people train the ‘mirror muscles’ more than they do the muscle in their posterior chain (muscles you don’t see in the mirror). This leads to asymmetry and muscle group imbalances.

Not a wise thing to do.

Focusing say, on your chest and shoulders and biceps (the ‘show-me-your muscles muscles) and neglecting your upper back muscles like the traps and rear delts and middle back can spell disaster. The most common gym-related injury for young men world-wide are shoulder injuries primarily because of this.

Muscle imbalances lead to increased risk of injury in the respective joints and muscles.

Besides, why do you want to be the strongest or biggest guy when you can build the most balanced and symmetrical physique for your frame. This is more aesthetic and more pleasing to the eye.

So, leave your ego at the door and work towards a better shape – a more balanced and symmetrical physique. If you don’t, you may regret it later.

Results with care. Here, Brad is 'feeling the essence' of the exercise and inching closer to his best self. He is in total control and 'feels' the muscle being worked. Vv

Results with care.
Here, Brad is ‘feeling the essence’ of the exercise and inching closer to his best self.
He is in total control and ‘feels’ the muscle being worked.
Vv

Tip #2: Be aware of your breathing technique.

I believe incorrect breathing technique is one of the main contributors to getting injured when training in the gym. Keep this in mind – for:

Pushing motions (bench press; shoulder press) – exhale at the point of contraction (when your arms are furthest away from you)

Pulling motions (lat pulldowns; biceps curls) – inhale when your arms are furthest from your torso.

Breathing also helps you with the next tip.

Ex-Australian Wallaby Captain - Phil Waugh performing a set of squats. Using good exercise technique(which includes proper breathing) is paramount to success.

Ex-Australian Wallaby Captain – Phil Waugh performing a set of squats.
Using good exercise technique(which includes proper breathing) is paramount to success.

Tip # 3: Focus!

Concentrating on your breathing and what you are going to do with the weight for those 15 to 45 seconds (a set) is critical to lowering your risk of injury.

Every fibre and cell in your body needs to 100% fully-focused! Don’t get side-tracked by other conversations and mentally block out all distractions. Focusing certainly aids you putting on good lean muscle. Period!

A slight loss of concentration could lead to less than ideal execution of exercise leading to increased levels of risk of injury.

I have developed quite a few formulas relating to peak performance over the years and one of the most important ones is:

“Focus = Results” (a shortened version of my formula).

Tip # 4: Always assess exercise execution with ‘risk:benefit’ ratio mind-set.

What I mean by this is that you need to increase your awareness of the exercises and work on improving your risk assessment of the exercise relating to:

  • Exercise choice and safety – a particular exercise that may be safe for someone may not be for another.
  • High-risk lifting – improper execution of certain exercises can increase levels of risk for very small increments in benefit. The range of motion of exercises need to be tied in to the ‘risk:benefit” ratio of the exercise and the trainee’s goals

Always avoid “high-risk’ lifting. This relates to variables such as excessive weights; excessive number of repetitions; excessive range-of-motion and so forth.

Tip # 5.5: Apply correct training principles.

I’ve always believed that building muscle is like LIFE. It relies on two principles:

  1. Simplicity
  2. Continuity

There are many principles to building and keeping muscle and after 23 plus years in the gym I have concluded that the two above and this next two principles – 3) control and 4) feel are key towards lowering your risk of injury.

All beginners and intermediate trainees or less experienced gym enthusiasts should master these before ‘going heavy’.

When you keep it simple and focus on the full range of motion of the exercise with continuous tension, you increase your ability to build good, quality muscle.

Because you are 100% focused and are using the right weight for you to correctly execute the exercise, you have better control and feel. This allows you to ‘work the muscle, not the joint’.

If you can’t control and feel the muscle being worked, you’re not building muscle, only ego.

A lot of people still aspire to the ‘No pain, no gain’ maxim but I think you should not follow this. Listen to your body: never do anything that hurts and don’t train if you hurt yourself or suffer from an existing injury.

Chris enjoying a well-deserved rest between sets. A 'set' as I define it is: a continuous progression of 15 to 45 sec 'focused moments'. Focus + heart + visualization ===> results. Vv.

Chris enjoying a well-deserved rest between sets.
A ‘set’ as I define it is: a continuous progression of 15 to 45 sec ‘focused moments’.
Focus + heart + visualization ===> results.
Vv.

Most injuries happen over time, through cumulative effect of muscular discomfort and micro-scopic tares and inflammation of tendons and ligaments around the joints. Most injuries are the result of an imposed force exceeding the structural strength of the involved body-part.

Don’t copy the super-stars and genetic elite who look and train the way they train because most of the time you don’t know their full story and so this may give you a false sense of direction and could lead to injuries.

Those who don’t do away with the maxim ‘no pain, no gain’ and try to train like the super-stars usually regret it, sooner or later. A better maxim to adopt is ‘No brain, no gain”.

Strive to Train SMART. What I mean by this is that I have always promoted a more conservative approach to training. My own experience and what I have learned from observing countless other trainees – has taught me that a more conservative way to training is not only the most effective but also the safest way to train not only in the short-term but more importantly for your long-term health.

Strive to stay injury-free. You’re in the gym to work on making that person you see in the mirror (you!) – better. Not for ego.

You want to still be doing this activity and off-setting the on-set of ageing (by building muscle) well in to your 80s and 90s if you live that long. It will certainly add quality to your life. Like I have said before, Muscle is the potion of youth!

All the best in your training this year.

Embrace my Triple A to self-improvement: be more aware; take appropriate actions and adapt accordingly to reach your goals in life.

Cheers and Happy January to you!

 

Until next time,

Just like friendship, genuine muscle requires a lot of time and hard work to be built and sustained. You do this by adopting an 'adaptive strategy' of self-tuning. Vv.

Just like friendship, genuine muscle requires a lot of time and hard work to be built and sustained.
You do this by adopting an ‘adaptive strategy’ of self-tuning.
Vv.

Standard
ego, grip, habit, muscle building, training

What grip should you use when you train?

Learning how to properly execute an exercise with good form throughout the full range of motion is vital to muscle building and longevity.  Vv

Learning how to properly execute an exercise with good form throughout the full range of motion is vital to muscle building and longevity.
Vv

I was asked by a host of a function I attended recently about what grip was best to get the most out of your barbell bench presses?

Over the last two decades I have seen many variations of grips. I believe it is a matter of individual preference and your level of experience of training in the gym. If you’re a beginning gym enthusiast, it would be best if you used the ‘thumb grip’, meaning your thumb goes around the bar in the opposite direction to your other fingers, forming a secure grip.

If, however, you are more experienced and advanced, then using the ‘thumbless grip’ may be something for you. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term ‘thumbless grip’, it simply means that you move your thumb to the same side of the bar as your fingers.

If you had to assess the risk of the two types of grips, the ‘thumbless grip’ is a much higher risk to you and possibly others close to your training station. I know of a man who injured his sternum doing a bench press using this grip. The bar slipped off his hands during a set of bench pressing and fell on his chest. Very painful, not recommended.

However, this risk is lowered if the bench press is performed using a “Smith Machine” or similar. The thumb grip is safer.

It can also be argued that it is more productive to NOT use a thumbless grip when performing an exercise like the bench press. However, how productive you are depends on many other variables and in the list of key variables influencing your productivity during your workouts, the grip you use would have to be quite far down that list.

So, to sum up, if you’re a beginner, DO NOT use a thumbless grip, especially if you do bench presses with free weights. Period! The seasoned campaigner can give it a try if you are using a smith machine to mitigate the risk of the bar falling on you or have a good training partner.

But, if you are in it for the long haul, the use of a ‘thumbless grip’ isn’t going to give you much more weight doing your presses. I think your focus should be on more important things like ‘feel’ and ‘control’.

Two principles of building muscle: 1) Simplicity and 2} Continuity. Here, Ex-Australian Rugby legend Phil Waugh using a 'thumbless grip' in a Smith Machine to do Bench Presses. Become aware; Apply action: Adapt accordingly.

Two principles of building muscle: 1) Simplicity and 2} Continuity.
Here, Ex-Australian Rugby legend Phil Waugh using a ‘thumbless grip’ in a Smith Machine to do Bench Presses.
Become aware; Apply action: Adapt accordingly.

I tell everyone that if you’re not feeling the muscle and not in control of weight, then you’re not building muscle, you’re just building ego. Learn to leave your ego at the door if you’re serious about building good quality muscle and re-shaping the body you see in the mirror towards the one you imagine yourself to be.

Focus on doing each repetition of each exercise properly. Do this repeatedly as best as you can. This includes doing the last rep as good as your first. Not some of the time, – all of the time!

Feel the ‘essence’ of the exercise ( … and it ain’t vanilla!).

When you feel you’ve mastered this and the BASICS, then, and only then, should you worry about what grip to use when you train.

Understanding the basics and the principles of simplicity and continuity are more important keys to your success in training.

All the best!

Until next time,

_MG_9779-1

~~Life & wellness COACH~~

~~Life & wellness COACH~~

Standard
a better life, abdominals, action, adaptation, attitude, awareness, balance, better choices, body, Body shape, caring, change management, choices, decisions, diet, eating, Energy, examined life, Fitness, game of life, Goals, habit, habits, happiness, Imagination, life, long-term perspective, long-term strategy, mind, muscles, needs, perseverance, perspective, planning, respect, self, self improvement, self-respect, synergy, you, your life

Eating right actually takes less time than you think. Tip #1 in my Top 8.5 Tips to Eating RIGHT.

_MG_9765

Save you, life

Yes, you read that correctly.

In my experience, eating right can actually save you time. Save you, life.

It is winter in this part of the world (I’m live in the beautiful city of Sydney, Australia). Stop, project less than 12 weeks from now, when the next season arrives – ahhh, Spring. Picture this: people are getting out their spring/summer clothes from the cupboards and are feeling a little down because they can’t squeeze in to them like they remembered they did last year. It can be quite de-motivating for some.

Maybe , you’re in that spot of bother right now?

In this first blog of an 8.5 Reasons why Eating RIGHT should not take too much of your time.

 

My Tip # 1: Never Skip Breakfast!

In one of my earlier blogs, I state that imagination is key to the achievement of any worthwhile goal or goal you place value on . So, if achieving a more sculptured (tonned body) is what you desire you need to learn to use your imagination.

Yes, use your imagination to visualize (now) how you would like to look by summer. This is a very important step – ‘seeing’ yourself as you imagine yourself to be. Having a clear understanding of your destination (refer to earlier blog:Don’t be a rudderless ship).

The more vivid the picture of your destination is in your mind and the more it connects with your heart, the more drive and focus you will muster.

Champions practise a lot of visualisation and simulation.
To create magic, you need to fuse the worlds of sanity (where you are) with insanity (where you dream/imagine you are, before you are).
That is difficult.
That is one of the key keys.
Don’t stop. Trying. Believing.
Keep on … keeping on. You’ll get there. Everyone always does.
Especially, if you do it with your heart. and ….
with LOVE.

And, with the help of “Coach Mo” (incidentally, that little voice on your shoulder, we can call Coach “Mo”)  to start your steam train again …. Hoot … hoot … slowly towards your goal). Just like a steam-train, getting started in your body transformation goals, getting those wheels cranking  at the beginning of the journey is the difficult part.

But when you pick up [Mo]mentum (Coach Mo), you, just like that steam train can smash through whatever obstacles that lay in your path. To smithereens! Because you have Big Mo (momentum) on your side.

Here we go again.

Its easy to put off things, to procrastinate. Don’t. Don’t leave it for September, it will be too late. That’s when the majority of people start panicking and joining gyms. Start now. Find your plan (or get help from the relevant professional) and work your plan. You don’t want Spring and then Summer time and Christmas to roll around and you not feel happy about the way you look in you clothes, now, do you? Or you can just buy bigger clothes to hide it all.

Up to you.

You’re the Captain of your ship through the seas of Life.
Set you goal towards being your BEST and put a quality plan in place (includes your health & overall well-being) and set sail …
Towards your destination.

Making better use of the 86,400 seconds given to us every day

I have said this before: no matter what your exercise goals are, eating healthy (well-compositioned meals), can help you achieve them faster.

And right now, time is ticking and time is your friend as we have just started Winter and have a little under 10 weeks to Spring. But, the question you’re probably thinking is how are you supposed to spend time preparing healthier meals. You barely have enough time to hit the weights, how are you realistically supposed to find time to watch what hits your plate? Right, I hear you …. that is why I wrote this blog to convince you to help you, help yourself more effectively.

Eating right is actually easier than you think.

How so?

Well, in my more than two decades in the health and fitness industry and helping hundreds of people around the world. It is one truth I have discovered. They have learned that, too. You can save more of your life. Here’s how …

I believe that spending a few minutes a day making the right decisions about your nutrition could save you from spending twice the time in the gym or four times as much time on the treadmill or aerobics. How so, Paul, you may be asking? I don’t have the time, you may say!

We have 86,400 seconds in a day. Agreed.

I argue that it typically takes less time to prepare a healthier meal than it does to work off the extra calories you would eat if you didn’t spend time watching your diet.Makes sense? Yes, it does!

Think about it.

You have 86,400 seconds of your life everyday to live, the way you choose to. But, my question is why would you spend more of those seconds sweating and exercising (and for many enthusiasts doing group classes – smelling intense body odour in small bacteria-infested rooms).

I pity these folks and their poor, poor nostrils. If you do like it, God bless you. Applying my tips could mean you spend less time doing those classes. Smelling those arm-pits. That would be good for you and your nostrils, wouldn’t it? Also, I see so many people lining up outside cafes and stressing about what they are going to have for lunch. How about I say, we take that wastage of time and thought pattern with my tip here?

Achieving a well-balanced physique should be understood for what it is: a masterful fusion of art and science.
One should improve once’s “BODY Smart”knowledge. this takes time and deliberate practise.

 

Your daily eating habits

Ok, it isn’t always easy predicting how much time you’re going to have each day to pay attention to your nutritional habits. It isn’t easy. I realise that. Still, there is a smarter way you can make sure you’re getting the most from what ever number of seconds you can use each day.

What if I told you that there are ways to change your daily eating habits without making major sacrifices in your diet. What are you thinking now? For many people, they have tried everything, and ‘nothing works’ is a common frustration. What if I told you that these changes are very real and can be implemented in to your “all-day” eating routine. And the great thing is that you could implement these changes anytime you wanted to?

In the next series of blogs, I will be sharing with you my top 8.5 tips to successfully making changes to your daily eating habits with sustainability in mind. Changes that you can sustain forever. These Valentine Top 8.5 Tips only takes a few hundred seconds (a few minutes) to master, but I believe, when implemented, they can take months of unnecessary hard work off your schedule, provided you follow them each day.

This is the real challenge for you: Unlearning old habits that are not aligned with your new, ‘imagined self’ and learning these new habits, my Top 10 tips. Successful change is and can only be brought about through improvement in your self-regulatory behaviour . This is heavily dependent on the power of your imagination.

Changing habits – releasing bad eating habits and adopting some good ones is like facing an internal Predator. You need to ‘face the Lion’ within you.
Having a conversation with a lion.

Spring/Summer/Christmas?New Year, here you come – You, only better!

How much time do you have a day to apply these tips?

How much time can you spare? Can you spare 30 minutes in your day or 1800 seconds of your 86,400 seconds? We will do a little maths exercise and count the amount of time each of these tips will take out of your day, starting with Tip # 1 in this blog. Doing all 8.5 of my tips would take less than 30 minutes tops each day. Yet they can give you everything you need to maintain a balanced diet. That’s not much time, is it?

Can you allocate that time to YOU? Simply because your life is important and you would like to do everything you can to not only add years to your life but more importantly, add Life in to your years.

It’s going to save you spending your valuable life, your valuable seconds, thinking and exercising unnecessarily to undo what you unknowingly – did in the first place!

How good is that?!

These tips are not meant to create more stress in your life, it is meant to help make your life a bit more manageable, a little less stressful, when it comes to eating a balanced diet with sustainability in mind. It is about making the best of whatever time you have. Allow me to show you how.

My Top 8.5 Tips will cover all main meals – breakfast, lunch and dinner and snacks in-between. We will begin with the first meal of the day – breakfast. So, I will go through your day, from sunrise to sun-set and piece together a sustainable, efficient and effective schedule for melting off fat, building muscle and having increased daily energy towards reshaping your body, not tomorrow or next week.

Right now.

Spring/Summer/Christmas/New Year’s here you come. You – only better!

Sunrise – you rise.

Education through a perception of the truth.
Increasing your awareness, taking sufficient and appropriate actions and adapting accordingly is key towards self-improvement.
Funny thing is that the process also applies to relationships and response. In the photo, Former Australian Wallaby Captain listening intently to learn key principles of my philosophy in to being your BEST, ALL the time, not some of the time. Great student. Great Champion. Great friend.
Vv

Tip #1: DO NOT Skip Breakfast.

It should consist of a mix of the 3 basic macro-nutrients: carbohydrates (oats), protein (eggs – 3 eggs/1 yolk) and a little fat (avocado, peanut butter, almonds).

Estimated time spent: < 5 minutes.

Why not skip Breakfast, you may be thinking?

It is one of the best advice our parents and grandparents have given us when we were children. Missing this very important meal creates more hunger later on and increases your risk of ‘bingeing’ and taking in more calories than you truly need in later meals. With no food in your stomach, your body’s response is to take in whatever calories you ate the night before – and whatever you eat later on and … bingeing at lunch and like many reading this – at dinner. Just before bed.

Result? Guess what? All these ‘extras’ TURNS INTO UNWANTED BODY FAT!

Yes, around the gut ( as some call a ‘spare tyre’) for most men out there after they turn 30 and deposits around the butt and legs for the ladies. Very de-motivating indeed. Not exactly what you want, is it?

So, I insist, make this first tip if you’re skipping breakfast a part of you life. Make it your first habit to master: take 4 minutes when you wake up and eat a meal for breakfast but make sure that it combines all macro-nutrients. You will get sustainable energy all day long and lower your desire for extra calories from other food to provide energy later.

This is a very good rule of thumb you should apply for every meal during your day. Ask yourself – do I have a good mix of carbs, protein and a little fat.

Use what I’ve told all my past customers – my “eyeball method” or ‘I see with my two eyes’ method. Look at your plate, ensure the macro-nutrients take up space on the plate in this ratio:

P:C:F = 0.4:0.5: 0.10. ( where P = Protein; C = Carbohydrates; F = Fats)

Steve Reeves was a Master Poser. He imagined and built the Best Built & Aesthetically beautiful body in the world through synergistic awareness.
He understood that optimum health of body & mind required the fusion of art and science.
Become a scientific artist of YOU … of your life.

Homework: Lets keep adding the time needed to apply each tip I share in successive blogs and see if it requires you to spend less than half an hour of your day.

Let me prove to you using numbers (minutes spent) that Eating right actually takes less time than you think over the next month or so. Let you in on a secret: I love Physics and Mathematics. They were my first majors in my first University Degree almost 30 years ago now.

Let me show you how these little but significant 8.5 Tips can and will encourage an optimum environment that is a fusion of art and science, allowing for Synergy. This synergism is KEY: it is in the combining of the elements that creates a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts.

This is where you create your miracle, your magic within.

You’re now Aware. Apply Action. Adapt accordingly.

Repeat. Make it habit. Make this one change. Repeatedly, with enhanced self-regulatory behavioural change. Repeat.

Believe.

My triple A approach to the development of Self.

 

Ahoy & all the very BEST… allow me to guide you through my Top 8.5 Tips over the next few weeks.

Cheers & ahoy!

The old Captain Viking Pirate …. & Life Tips

 

Relaxed with dumbells.

SYNERGISM: The Critical Mind-set to success. Understanding that it is in the combination of key elements to create a whole greater than the sum of its parts. Create the BEST you firstly, through 1) Education and then 2) motivation.

 

Standard
a better life, ageing, awareness, beauty, better choices, body, choices, courage, Energy, game of life, habit, habits, life, long-term strategy, muscles, perspective, risk, Strength training, truths, Vitality, you

Some truths on exercise, ageing and losing fat!

Education through a perception of the truth. To be the best in a particular field, you need to seek help from the best. Champions help create champions. Vv

Education through a perception of the truth.
To be the best in a particular field, you need to seek help from the best.
Champions help create & develop the champion in you.
Vv

Regardless of your age, or how out of condition you think you are at the present time, it is never too late to start an exercise program. You just have to change your philosophy on your life, with a more caring attitude to YOU.

The older you are, the more important it is that you exercise. All the science research points to this. It is a no-brainer. What older people cannot afford to lose is the little muscle they still have that assists them in their daily lives and mobility. Its simple, like most things in life: “use it or lose it, but don’t abuse it!”, which applies to all ages.

Some studies show that there’s a typical loss of about 1% of muscle mass or lean body mass (LBM) per year from about age 50. There is a slight increase after 60 and by age 70, there may be up to a loss of 25% relative to what it was at age 25, depending on the individual and if there’s been no strength-training in their lives. What a scary thought, isn’t it!

Loss of muscle LBM has many negative impact on peoples’ lives: strength declines, reduced metabolic rates, postural problems, reduced fitness, increased tendency to lug around unwanted bodfat, weakened resistance to injury and illness and deterioration in physical appearance. Another big consequence in old age is a significant reduction in mobility, partly due to weakened skeletal muscles. And that’s only a few likely negative consequences.

I have been doing strength training for over 23 years now and have helped hundreds of people of all ages with their body re-engineering goals, with over 80% success rate. I believe strength training is one of the most important things you can do for your appearance and health. Strength training is critical for building muscle, maintaining muscle or more importantly, minimizing muscle deterioration and atrophy.

Results with care. Here, Brad is 'feeling the essence' of the exercise and inching closer to his best self. Vv

Results with care.
Here, Brad is ‘feeling the essence’ of the exercise and inching closer to his best self.
Vv

Muscle is like precious gems – you need to build it and then preserve it. It is the fountain of youth, your magic youth potion.

Stronger muscles produce health benefits that adds to your life. It builds your sense of vitality. Building muscle contributes to reducing the impact of ageing. Strength training helps you stay young for your years. However, strength training is not enough. One needs to combine it with regular structured stretching, consistent cardiovascular work, healthy nutrition, adequate rest and recuperation and a healthy lifestyle.

All this helps you off-set the on-set of ageing.

I have seen them, so perhaps have you. People with that glow. People that are filled with that life-force, that all-important sense of vitality. People who seemed to have gotten closer to the fountain of youth. Most, if not all of them, have consistently and persistently worked on their strength training.

They’ve simply decided to build muscle. No more thinking, no further analysing. They just DID IT. They took action. Think about it – you’re made up of more muscle than anything else. I mean you’re covered with skeleton muscles (that help you move and do what you do every single day), your heart’s a muscle and your stomach’s a muscle too. What do muscles do? Keep it simple … they need to work. It makes sense to ‘work’ your muscles then, doesn’t it?

Muscles are one of the very things that keeps us all alive. But hey, if slowing down the ageing process by building muscle is not convincing enough for you what about if I say that it could help you lose fat. Yep, that’s right, do you want to lose unwanted fat? Well, build muscle. Period!

There are so many organizations and people in the world today that give out fat-loss diet plans that don’t include strength training. This is not ideal. It robs the body of the little muscle it has, making fat loss even more difficult because of reduction of one’s metabolic rate.

This is so common today in many weight-loss programs all around the world, where individuals think that some new ‘fad diet’ will be the answer or some magic supplement. It does not work that way. “That way” is not sustainable and is a huge reason for many victims of the ‘yo-yo’ diet symptoms and millions of dis-illusioned and disappointed individuals with the best of intentions.

Executing an exercise for maximum benefit and minimal risk takes a lot of practise, Just like genuine friendship, genuine muscle requires a lot of work and time. Remember: practise does not make perfect. Perfect practise makes perfect.

Executing an exercise for maximum benefit and minimal risk takes a lot of practise,
Just like genuine friendship, genuine muscle requires a lot of work and time.
Remember: practise does not make perfect. Perfect practise makes perfect.

Its body shape, not body weight that really matters.

Building muscle is the only way you can improve your body-shape and this is achieved through progressively increasing your muscle-fat ratio.

Have a go today, if you haven’t done so already – start a structured strength training program for the most important person in the world to you – YOU. That way, the people that depend on you – your spouse, your kids, your employer, your clients – they get the BEST YOU too. It could be one of the most important decisions you will ever make in your life. More important than the dream house you intend to buy one day. Build that dream house in you, first.

We’re all reminded that people are living longer now. What’s more important I believe is adding LIFE (vitality) in to your years, not just adding years to your life. Most aged people spend the last 20 years with various levels of discomfort and immobility.

Remember though: when you exercise, try to do it as efficiently and effectively as possible, under the safety umbrella. And, don’t try to do everything yourself if it isn’t your area of expertise, you can sometime do more harm than good to yourself.

Let go of all self-imposed limitations and fears and ask for help. It takes a lot of courage to seek help from an appropriately skilled professional with the relevant experience and credentials.

There are a lot of excellent exercise professionals out there, those who give you the results you desire – with care.

Best of luck!

 

Until next time …

With my friend and coach at that time - 2 x World Number 1 (natural bodybuilder). To be the best in a field, seek help from the best coach you can. Champions help create champions. There is a champion in each and every one of us. Seek it. Share it with the world. Vv.

With my friend and coach at that time – 2 x World Number 1 (natural bodybuilder).
To be the best in a field, seek help from the best coach you can.
Champions help create champions.
There is a champion in each and every one of us.
Seek it. Share it with the world.
Vv.

In the heat of competition. Pose name: Abdominal/Thighs. Place in contest: 1st.

In the heat of competition.
Pose name: Abdominal/Thighs.
Place in contest: 1st.

Standard
a better life, action, adaptation, adequate sleep, ageing, attitude, awareness, better choices, caring, change management, choices, diet, dreams, eating, Energy, game of life, habit, habits, life, long-term perspective, long-term strategy, risk, self improvement, self-respect, sleep, Strength training, success, taking action, truths, Vitality, workout, you, your life

7.5 Key Habits that would reduce your risk of the flu this winter.

Change your philosophy, change your life.
Vv.

My wife and I are celebrating our 10 year wedding anniversary next week. Wow, a wonderful achievement. A milestone reached. I mentioned it to a long-term client and friend of mine and he said:

“well, that is a milestone indeed, Paul. Congratulations. One thing it does say, Paul, is that it reflects the tolerance you both have had for your short-falls in character – your character flaws. It shows you’re willingness to grow and adapt to one another, for your togetherness.”

I thought about this ‘togetherness’ and I agree.

I’ve certainly adapted and she has, too. We have grown individually and together as one. But upon reflection, I realised that before you have adaptation as a choice, one needs to precede it with Awareness followed by the application of Action. Yes, appropriate and relevant action. This then leads to the critical step of Adaptation, if one hopes to have sustainable change.

So, in effect, it is the application of my Triple A to Life Philosophy: Awareness; Action; Adaptation.

There are many ways of approaching a potential risk or problem but you can certainly apply my Triple A approach to reducing your risk of illness or susceptibility to the common flu or cold if you do get sick quite often during the colder months of the year.

My wife tells me that she has never met or knows anyone in her life so far that gets sick fewer times than me, I think she said that she can only remember me being ‘sick’ (and not a case of ‘man-flu’) a handful of times in the 13 and half years we have been together.

I asked her why she thinks that is the case and she identified some 7.5 key daily habits that she has seen me do consistently since she has been with me.

She said:

Key Habit One: I drink loads of water.

She is true.

I do drink, in my opinion – ‘adequate’ daily requirement of H2O, generally, approximately 1L of water per 20 kg of body-weight. Currently, I am drinking about 4.5L of water per day. Adequate daily levels or water is a huge part of my clients’ success with my body re-engineering programs.

I consistently find that most if not all my clients were not drinking sufficient water at the start of their program.

For the average person, your daily guide should be to drink 1L of water per 25kg-30kg of bodyweight (after taking in to other considerations such as age, exercise experience, activity levels, health condition etc).

Beauty is Truth, truth – beauty. That is all there is on earth ..and all ye need to know.
Be aware of the beauty with and around you.
Don’t just look, ‘see’

Key Habit Two: I eat loads of Dark Green vegetables

She is true, again.

I always tell my clients that if its green and not a frog – eat it!

Yep, load up on your dark green vegetables, something most of you would have been told by adults in your youth. Amongst other things, greens fill you up and addresses your satiety levels better, adds loads of fibre to your bowels and helps the transportation of oxygen through the blood and with it, vital nutrients for the optimal functioning of organs, especially the most vital: the brain.

Guideline: aim to consume 1cup of dark green vegetables (broccoli, spinach or long beans) for at least 1 meal per day for the first 2 weeks and work up to 2 meals per day for the next 2 weeks. See how your body changes and notice how your energies improve. Maintain a minimum of 2 meals per day with dark green vegetables in it for 90 days and see how your good body and mind feel and look. Try it!

Showing a top athlete client of mine what and how I eat. Can you see the dark green vegetables?
If it’s green and not a frog, eat it!

Key Habit Three: I wash my hands loads of times

My wife is absolutely true – again!

I learned way back in primary school that germs and a lot of bad bacteria is spread through the hands and is one of the main instigators of illness. I made a conscious effort all the way back then to keep my hands relatively clean as much as a I possible could, every single day. As a result, I wash my hands before and after almost everything I do. It may be a bit obsessive compulsive now but the risk of not doing so far outweighs the inconvenience of frequently washing hands.

Guideline: Try washing your hands more frequently if you’re not already doing so. Try and become aware of cleanliness of your hands and increase the frequency of hand washing. With soap. Act. Repeat consistently and persistently.

Adapt accordingly.

Key Habit Four: I eat loads of Protein in diet

She said ‘loads’ but I would have to disagree, not ‘loads’ but ‘adequate daily intake requirement’ of protein.

After water, the protein is the most abundant substance in the body. It is the life blood of your being. Yes, I do to ensure that my hard-working muscles get sufficient muscle-replenishing protein for repair work post work-out but also because it fills me up better than the weighed-equivalent amount of carbohydrates or fats, for example:

Give this a try. Eat 200g of chicken breast and 200g of white rice. Compare which one fills you up better and keeps you fuller – for longer. Yep, the chicken does, doesn’t it? Protein is more filling. Protein are the ‘building blocks’ of muscles and the human body and mind. Without adequate levels – you feel like crap and you wilter away like a plant uncared for.

Here’s my guideline: determine what your LBM or lean body mass is (the mass of your body that isn’t fat). If you honestly assess your daily intake of protein for a week, you will find that you would most probably not be eating even daily minimum requirement to maintain your LBM. Apply appropriate action and eat more protein: chicken, fish, lamb, pork, tofu and eggs are great sources. Your guide should be 1g of protein per kg of lean body weight, but of course, you need to consider other factors like age, activity levels, fitness levels etc. So, LOAD UP ON PROTEIN! So, if you’re a 200lbs male, with a normal bodyfat percentage of 25%, your LBM would be about 150lbs. If you exercise 3-5 times per week, then your body would need anywhere between 140g and 180g of protein just to sustain your LBM.

How do you consume that amount of protein every day, you may ask. Well, you need to ‘split’ your meals up and consume more better composed meals. So you may have, for example, 5 meals per day, with 30g per of protein per meal, which totals 150g per day. Sufficient and not excessive by any means. What gives you 30g of protein, you ask? Well, every 30g of lean meat gives you approximately 7g of protein, so you would need 120g of lean meat to give you 28g of protein. That is about a ¼ of what the average male would eat when he eats a piece of steak (anywhere between 350g and 500g) at lunch or worse, dinner in one sitting!

So, think about your portions of meals and adding more frequent, well-compositioned meals.

I hear people say, well, Paul, isn’t it quite pedantic to measure your meat weight and meals?

I say, no. It is necessary! We measure everything else, don’t we? I mean, we rely on measurements with everything else in our lives, think about it, would you not measure how much money you are paying for fuel? What about measuring your feet for proper fitting shoes? What about getting length of trousers wrong, wouldn’t that piss you off? We live with measurements with everything else in our lives except what is going in to our mouths. So, get yourself a scale that graduates all the way down to milligrams and start weighing my friend.

If you can’t measure something, you certainly cannot manage it!

In the gym.
Adequate levels of protein helps repair and build ‘worked’ muscles.
Give your body what it wants … after water, protein is the most abundant substance and everything in the body, every process, comes down to amino acids and the communication between them.
So eat protein I say!

Key Habit Five: I load up when in the gym

She is correct, again.

Since I picked up my first dumbbell at 17 years of age, I have consistently and persistently made gym training a part of my life, becoming entwined in to my chosen lifestyle and a vital and necessary part of me. My life.

I don’t believe in light weights. Period!

To get the best ‘bang out of your buck’ when you’re in the gym, nothing beats free weights and gravity. You need to use MODERATE TO HEAVY weights though and stay away from ridiculously light weights that you see many people use (unless you’re warming up your joints and/or in rehab). For the comparative amount of time you invest in any physical activity, nothing beats the results you get when you DO THE BASICS – in the gym. In terms of efficiency and effectiveness of health, strength and fitness benefits, in the short-term and the long-term, nothing beats the basics. What are the basics? Well, they are:

  • Deadlifts
  • Back Squats
  • Bench Presses

You can throw in some other full body movements like: clean and presses and lat-pulldowns and lunges with a few arm curls and dips. Workout done!

Neuroscience confirms that exercise, specifically weight-training, stimulates neurogenesis – the birth of new brain cells. You get smarter!! An estimated 3 million people (about 12.5% of the population) suffer live with anxiety or depression. A staggering number indeed.

Guess what, regular exercise of moderate to heavy intensity can be an effective adjunct treatment for depression. Both aerobic and strength training are very helpful in treating depression.

Remember: “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” WHO.

Guideline: Get back to BASICS. Keep it FUNCTIONAL. Keep it SIMPLE. With CONTINUITY and PATIENCE. How much exercise then, Paul you ask? Well, the Australian National Physical Activity Guidelines recommend: 

  • doing exercise is better than doing none.
  • be active on most days of the week.
  • Each week try to do 2 1/2 to 5 hours moderate intensity exercise or 11/4 to 2 1/2 hours of vigorous intensity physical activity.
  • Do muscle strengthening activities on at least 2 days each week.

So, there you go. Just do it.

Try it!

Muscle is precious. Build muscle then, do everything you can to preserve it.
I load up in the gym!

Key Habit Six: I limit my intake of sugar

She is not wrong.

I do try and limit my intake of direct sugar but also am aware of the indirect sugars in other foods. To do this I try to eat more foods that come straight from the ground. The less processed the better for you.

Sugar – this insidious killer is not only the most addictive substance on this planet but almost every living human being cannot say no to it. It is the biggest killer of the human race – add up all the deaths caused by every other cause and I bet you will find it pales in comparison to the deaths caused by sugar, either directly or indirectly. That is how serious this matter is.

It is the over-consumption of it that results in many health, and dare I say it, mental problems.

There is direct correlation between food and mood. Meaning, there are clear dose-response relationships between diet and level of mental health and well-being. What I practise is very similar to what Scientists refer to as the “Mediterranean Diet” which emphases high consumption of plants (vegetables, fruits, nuts) and rich in good fats.

How do I do it? Well, whenever I get sugar cravings I substitute with either of the following:

  •  100g of blueberries
  • 150g grapefruit
  • Cup of green tea

My Guideline: become more aware of sugar in foods you put in your mouth and do your best to eliminate direct sugars from you diet, one at a time. Its difficult at first, I know but give it a try – persist. One less teaspoon sugar may just mean lesser health costs later in life. Maybe, a teaspoon less of sugar in your coffee or tea or drop the honey from your cereal.

Neuroscience studies show that eating too much sugar is linked to weight gain (we all know this), obesity, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease (CVD), stroke, high blood pressure (hypertension) and age-related illness of Dementia. Diabetes is the risk factor for cognitive decline and dementia. The widespread assumption that sugar consumption can lead to addiction is inaccurate based on neuroscientific defintions of addiction, tolerance and withdrawal.

Remember this: “What we eat really affects our brain, our behaviour, our neural circuits, and our health in many ways. “ Neuroscience SFN 2014.

A healthy, balance diet encourages a healthy balance of gut microbes and there is a strong and definite Gut-Brain-Microbe connection. Having too much sugar can disrupt the gut-brain balance which disrupt signalling which may lead to abnormal brain function, changes in behaviour, thoughts, emotions, our perception of pain and impact on our immune system.

Resulting in increased susceptability to getting sick and being ill. So, in a roundabout way … try out these key habits to help build your immunity from all facets of being human.

Maybe, eliminate your cereal entirely and just opt for something more nutritious and simple, like spinach and eggs for breakfast, for example and replace that orange or fruit juice with plain water.

Having fun with a star jump!
Live each day like you are dying to live.
Vv.

Key Habit 7.5: I get adequate Quality Rest

True, again.

Notice I said “Rest” and not ‘sleep’. I have seen people who get loads of ‘sleep’, getting ten hours or more per day and wake up feeling more restless than they did before going to bed.

You need to focus on getting quality Rest. That could happen at any time of the day. A little nap during the day for less than 30 minutes would do wonders for your energy and focus levels at work. Note: latest neuroscience confirm that there an ‘urge to nap’ and it is programmed into our circadian rythyms. Taking a < 25 min power nap improves memory and learning, sparks creativity and regulates emotions. More than this results in sleep inertia (you feel overwheming tiredness).

Try it, if you can. The essence of this is to ‘clear your mind’ or ‘quiet your mind’. Such rest is priceless because you release hormones throughout the body and brain that help elevate your energy levels as well as your ability to focus on tasks at hand, for longer periods.

Try taking short periods of ‘rest’ for the body and mind. Almost like a short period of meditation. Find your quiet place and un-think to Rest. Take a page out the Fijian’s Life Book and apply the “Fiji Time” mentality to your life when appropriate, when you need to get away from it all. Learn why this race is consistently rated the Happiest People on the planet. It is not by chance, it is by choice. Their individual and collective choice as a race. They try to keep things simple. I know, because I was born and raised there.

Its not the quantity of rest, but the quality. Getting better at the latter will enhance your sense of being – your “vitality”, that essence of life – your life!

Little by little … every step in the right direction gets you to the destination.
Be like a postage stamp, stick to whatever you’re doing until you get to your destination.
Luck has nothing to do with it.
Hard YAKA and persistence gets you there!

Remember: the compound effect of the application of habits with the power of imagination and self-regulating behaviour is the REAL MEDICINE here. It is what I refer to as your HEALTH AND VITALITY INSURANCE. It is preventative insurance, that adds to a better quality life not only now, but more importantly, in old age.

A little persistence and consistency in the application of the 7.5 habits I have elaborated on may just help improve your overall immunity to the common cold and flu, like it has for me. The reason I have said ‘7.5’ habits is because this is obviously not a definitive list of reasons but it certainly is the Key 7 habits that you are in full control of. Habits that I consistently adopt on a daily basis.

Try them, see how you feel after seven days, after 4 weeks. Try 3 months and all of winter. Then, get in touch with me and tell me all about it.

The application of these key habits should help your overall sense of vitality and lower your risk of feeling like ‘crap’ or low in energy and vitality as frequently as you may have felt. It just might add years to your life – keeping your batteries re-charged.

Remember also that elephants don’t bite, mosquitoes do!

These habits are little things that could become a problem if you don’t take of it. So, take care of the these mozzies and other mosquitoes in your life, if and when you identify them.

As you know, Little Things Matter – simple actions, repeated over time, will determine the life you lead.

Someone once said that practise does not make perfect – perfect practise makes perfect. I agree.

So, become Aware. Apply Action. Adapt accordingly and repeat practice, with good execution …. Within reason. Keep things simple, don’t complicate things and know that everything will be ok in the end.

Best of health and vitality to you!

 

Yours in iron & muscles.

Until next time …

 

Here we are … my beautiful wife and I.
at a dinner party.

The Old Captain Viking Pirate Fiji Island Muscle Monk

On a beach in one of my favourite parts of the world.
Enjoying the sun again.

The Power of Habit.
The dedication to small, yet, important key habits on a daily basis helped me represent Australia at not one, but two consecutive World Natural Physique Championships, placing in the Top 5 in the World in both.
An island boy born and raised in the Fiji Islands went all the way to be one of the BEST in the world.
That is the power of the compound effect of little things done consistently over time.
Try the 7.5 key habits and see how well your immune system gets…. and then tell me all about it.

Standard
a better life, accountability, action, adaptation, attitude, authenticness, awards, awareness, basics of training, better choices, change management, choices, decisions, desire, Energy, examined life, game of life, genuineness, Goals, habit, habits, happiness, long-term perspective, long-term strategy, love, perseverance, perspective, relationships, respect, responsibility, self, self improvement, Vitality, workouts, you, your life

A special kind of blindness.

To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson.

I was once the proud owner and manager of a gym for about 7 years. It was the first gym I ever stepped foot in when I was in my late teens. I used to stand at the doorway as I left the gym, turn around to look at the owner (then) and say –

“One day I’m going to own this gym or something like this Tony!”

Imagine that, a young teenage boy still completing High School audaciously believing and saying out loud that he would own “this’ gym or something like it … one day? But I knew that I loved it and I didn’t know how then, but I knew that I desired it strongly. I had many dreams … this was one of the many. It lay dormant for a number of years.

He would say – ‘yep, but not this one … I’m not ready yet.”

Fifteen years later, I receive a call from him … saying “Remember me … remember what you said when you still in High School … well, I’m ready now, would you like to buy this gym?”

I said .. .”What took you so long?”

The rest is history.

I ran it like a family. A gym like no other. My little young family was intricately connected with hundreds of other families, making it one large huge extended family in this phase of our lives. I loved all the hundreds of relationships I had with the members along with the wider community. We won the Best Small Business Award for the Northern Beaches in one year and was a Finalist for many years.

I knew instantly that I wasn’t in the business of running gyms … no, I was in the business of managing relationships and I just happened to sell health, vitality and life-enhancing products and services. People would say “what?!” including my wife who would, after a few months, realise the truth in my statement.

Friends that workout together … stay together?
Some of the family of gym members that called my gym ….. our gym .. their gym.
Lovely people in a lovely phase of life.

Stories … ahh … this is one of the things I miss – listening to the hundreds of individuals’ stories over the years. Was fascinating and I feel very blessed that I was able to listen to and help the members write chapters of their life stories. I also feel very blessed to experience life through other peoples’ experiences.

Our gym was a place of social interaction where everyone knew one another’s names and we were always happy they came to the gym. Our gym was a ‘home away from home‘ for all the family of members. Just the way I envisioned it to be, the way gyms used to be.

I loved it. I lived and breathed it. I never took leave for 7 years because I loved what I did in serving the community the gym was in and all that came from afar (some driving past up to 15 gyms before they got to my gym). I helped serve people increased awareness, through increasing their knowledge of possibilities that would take them from where they were to where they would want to be. Using programs tailored specifically for each individual that was based on the framework that took me to 2 x World Championships and place in the Top 5 of both.

This blog is about one particular member. Her name was Margaret. She was an amazing woman.

The Family of Male Friends that bonded and developed great friendships in my gym … our gym.

She had been frequenting the gym 3 times per week for about 8 years. Rain, hail, dust storm, heat-wave. You name it. No extreme weather pattern stopped her from walking the 2km walk from her home to the gym. And Back. She does so with so much enthusiasm. I don’t think I have ever heard her whinge in the time I knew her.

Ever.

What’s special about her is that she is accompanied by her friend – Desarae. You see wherever Margaret goes, her friend is by her side. Her friend knew each corner of the gym now and each machine. Her friend never utters a word but observes her very intently. Her friend watches and observes Margaret’s every move and never lets her out of her sight. Her friend even knows the order in which Margaret has to move from one machine to the other when she is executing one of her daily ‘work-outs’ specially tailored to her goals and needs.

Her friend listens to everything Margaret says but also most of what she does not say. A possible definition of a very good friend. But Desarae has not lifted one piece of weights equipment. You know why? Well, you see, Margaret’s friend is a guide dog and Margaret is blind.

Now, I know we read and see a lot of things and people that can be classed as “Inspiring” almost every day of our lives. You see and hear many grand, over-the-top stories that people class as inspirational. Well and good.

With Margaret and her guide dog. She was such a lovely human being. Never said never.
I trained her daughter (who was also partially blind) to represent Australia at the Paralympics.
She was one tough school girl with a lot of GRIT. Just like her mum.

However, each individual’s idea of what is or who is “inspiring” could differ and vary quite greatly. It’s all a matter of perspective. What someone may find inspirational may not be to another. If anyone asks me what or who I would consider inspiring, apart from my beautiful wife, Margaret would be another that would readily come to mind.

I’ve mentioned it countless times since I have known Margaret that everyone – men, women and boys and girls – everyone, could ‘take a page out of her book’.

Why?

Well, in a world; where there is a dwindling of personal responsibility and accountability; where reasons are only too readily replaced with excuses; where mediocrity is celebrated; where instant gratification dwarfs delayed satisfaction and patience … We have a no nonsense and unassuming, visually-impaired lady “working” on herself. Without fan-fare. Just going about what is part of her ‘daily-routine’.

She is physically blind, not emotionally or spiritually.

It seems like she has turned this apparent weakness into a strength. I see the strength in this woman every time I see her. Not only when she lifts weights and goes through her workouts but the strength in the way she walks, talks and laughs. In the way she relates to the other members of the gym. It’s in her air of quiet confidence as she goes about her business.

Some of the members that came and enjoyed being part of my big ‘extended family’

Although she is blind in one sense, she seemingly has a special kind of blindness for a lot of the ‘other’ things in life that tends to affect us. Those of us who are fortunate enough to see.

So, I leave you with one thought: try to block out some of the clutter of life and don’t let anything or anyone prevent you from carrying out certain daily habits if they contribute to you being a better person – physically, spiritually, emotionally or intellectually.

When you find reasons to give in, think of Margaret. Work on developing your special kind of blindness. There is a champion in every single one of us, including YOU. Believe it so. Never stop dreaming, dreams do come true and dreamers change the world. Listen to your intuition. The combination of these two important ways of thinking ….  is the beginning of taking the “I-M” out of “IMpossible”

All the very best!

 

Until next time,

Yours in muscles & iron,

 

The Old Captain Viking Pirate Fiji-Island born Muscle Monk

Some of the older female family members showing ‘how it’s done!”
Branka and Karen were two ladies that had very positive outlooks on life and did everything they could to maintain the discipline and privilege of staying strong, healthy and wise.
It was a way of life for them … and all the family of gym members.

Gym Extended Family Members enjoying a day of Lawn Bowls.
We had some great lawn bowls events over the 7 years.

Standard