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Loving your Wife (or Husband’s) Quirks.

One of my many quirks – my Old Captain Viking Pirate persona

After almost twenty years of being together and over seventeen years of marriage, I’ve discovered many things about what I cherish about our relationship. One of the many things that I love is my wife’s quirks. Habits that are unique to her. Its funny, but in the same manner, her most endearing traits can be (at times) my greatest frustration.

You see, Cathy is a spreadsheet and ‘to-do list’ individual who is World-Class at being a senior Financial Advisor – precise, exacting,  not some of the time … all the time. Me, on the other hand am a risk-taking, follow-your-heart kind of a person, an entrepreneur – impulsive, expressive. Kind of like a Pirate Captain.

Another quirk of mine …. my love of the sea –  the old Captain Viking Pirate Muscle Monk

Some things in life come to you quickly and some comes slow, with time and patience. It has taken me a little while to realize that many of the fussy, overly meticulous things that Cathy does are actually acts of love for me. Her attention to detail is amazing. I couldn’t have represented Australia at two successive World Natural Bodybuilding Championships, two years in a row, placing in the Top 5 in the World without her. Without her attention to detail and skill for accuracy and completeness.

In our day-to-day life, her quirks just makes life more efficient and effective and therefore more enjoyable.

For example, when I go out for grocery shopping I don’t usually make a list (I have tried making them) and I actually like trying ‘new’ things and enjoy the experience of shopping. Cathy on the other hand, prepares a list, which I don’t strictly follow. Usually. But, the point I am trying to make is that she takes the time to do the list and she does this with love.

My quirk of love for great design in – vintage cars, watches … etc

That is a quirk of hers that is fantastic but is also frustrating.

I’m sure she would say that I have quite a few quirks of my own. Things like making sure that the locks on the door is checked when I leave the home, to ensure that my wife and children are safe. She could probably write many other quirks that would most probably be embarrassing because it would make me appear very vulnerable and naked.

But not to her.

These are quirks that she has allowed me to do for all these years that I have know her. Simply because she loves me. I’m sure you could look at your quirks that your wife or husband has allowed you to get away with too.

What a wife. What a best female friend. What a woman. What a human being.

You see, my wife loves making lists of almost every thing. I don’t. That is ok. That is the “yin and yang’’ of our relationship. That is what the balance is of our ‘69’ and has contributed to the success of our almost twenty year relationship so far.

One of my quirks … walking around places with very little clothes on .. ha ha ha !!
Here I am Working out in my gym during a photo shoot

The very quirk of mine of not living by written lists is very obvious. It doesn’t mean that I don’t have them. You see, I just keep the most important lists in my head …. My heart. And I live by them.

From my perspective, the most important thing in my eyes and view of life is that … even though I am guilty of going through life without making lists, I know and she knows that … SHE is on my list of Life.

She is and always has been on my List since the first day I met her.

Everything I have ever done and everything she has ever done and wants to do, has made my (unwritten) but what I call my ‘heart list’. It may not be visible and tangible as the myriad of lists that she makes and lives by (her quirk) but the list (my heart list) is there. It is present, always. Unseen to others, but seen by me … and demonstrated in my actions and words.

That is part of what makes each of us, who we are. We are ONE but we are Separate. We are a union but we are individuals. With and without lists, we have found a way. It is neither the Right way or the Wrong Way.

It is just WAY.

OUR WAY.

World Natural Bodybuilding Championships – New York, USA.
Standing with middle-weight (my category) and overall World Champion.
Me – 4th placed in the world
Competitor beside me – 1st place and World champion
Right: My Team Partner and wife – Cathy. (She has had to live with my penchant to pose at every and any opportunity I have for almost 20 years)

I love her quirks. Always have, always will.

I hope she loves mine too. I know she does. We wouldn’t be together still, after all these years otherwise.

We wouldn’t have done it any other way.

I thank her for tolerating my quirks all these years. Bring on the next twenty years, I say.

That is my wife, my Cathy for you.

Loving my quirks and weirdness all these years.

Even the recently appearing … character … The old Captain Viking Pirate … ha ha ha !!!

 

Cheers & ahoy!!!

 

The old Captain Viking Pirate … & spouse’s loving their partner’s quirks.

My quirk to pose everywhere and anywhere

one of my many quirks – my penchant for never sacrificing form over weight in the gym & practising safe exercise technique all the time. Not some of the time.

Doing and being is essential to muscle building success for your health and muscle goals.
Connect the two. Make them one.
Vv.
Another quirk of mine : my need to teach and mentor and help, help people, help themselves find their best selves.

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Praising your Wife.

In Darling Harbour, Sydney for her sister’s wedding.

Is your wife perfect for you?

My wife, Cathy is perfect for me. She always has been and we have been together for almost twenty years now.

We met at our place of work in the city, she worked on the 30th floor and me on the 29th. We worked for the same Consultancy & Advisory Firm but in different divisions. We all remember the first time we saw/met our wives, don’t we? I’m sure you can tell me your story of how you met your wife.

Mine, well, it wasn’t something fancy, it happened while I was using the photocopying machine. Yep, I fell in love with her smile in one of the photocopying/fax rooms. She gave me the best smile I had received from anyone in a long while … she smiled from the heart.

Working there was a funny time and one of the reasons was that we tried to keep our relationship secret for about a year. However, no matter how hard we tried, we kept getting caught together in the lifts and outside of work – in the city streets or cafes or even on University grounds (as my wife was completing her undergrad degree while she worked). Other work mates used to wonder if we were an item but had no evidence and we later heard that it was even included in the board meeting discussions by the Partners of the Firm.

It was a funny and great phase of our lives together.

Enjoying another habit of ours – eating at a holiday resort in beautiful paradise Islands of Fiji, where I was born and spent my early youth in.

During that period of courtship before marriage, we had more ups then downs. We still have our ups and downs and fights but I think we both knew in the first phase of our relationship that we would wind up married, best friends and partners for life.

Well, I sort of knew earlier on that we were ‘on the same wavelength’ in many facets of our being. I just shared this little story with my two children over dinner recently. The story of how their mum (my wife) and I both went out independently and without any knowledge prior to the fact that we went on the same day and bought a cd of the singer ‘Enya’. We then showed each other what we bought that evening and were both surprised that we did the same thing on the same day without saying a word.

We did this in the first year of our relationship. There were many other instances.

Freaky?

Nope, Quantum Physics says that everything is essentially comprised of waves and frequencies and so … we were figuratively and literally on ‘the same wavelength’ and have been (on most things) ever since.

She has a lovely sense of humour and is very thoughtful, with a thousand other beautiful traits. We enjoy each other and we enjoy life (for the most part).

In a big part and phase of our lives, she was in the background. For example, when I changed careers and pursued my passion of attaining “Peak Performance” in every area of life – physically, emotionally, spiritually, and mentally … and helping people. I didn’t like the way I saw Personal Trainers/Gym Trainers training people when I was in the gym and thought that I could do much better and give people what they deserve: a more efficient, more effective and most importantly, the most safest way of training and transforming a physique …. using my knowledge and experience to that point.

She was there.

My beautiful and amazing wife, Cathy Valentine.

She had always been in the background in the phase of life that took me to two World Championships in the Sport I love, Natural Bodybuilding, my drive to be not just the BEST in my suburb, my state, my country … but my hunger to be the BEST in the World. I may very lousy trying to be the best in the world at say, Basketball (that would be wishful thinking/delusional thinking) because I was ‘slightly under 6 feet and I couldn’t dunk).

But in the sport of Bodybuilding, I could beat anyone (I thought) on that stage, just like a boxer could beat anyone in the ring in the same weight category. I was born with the right genetics and so had a competitive advantage, just like a tall person playing basketball has a competitive advantage in playing basketball.

My competitive advantages : I was always abnormally strong and fast and the same muscles that made me fast (the Type 2b ‘fast twitch’ muscle fibres) as I learned in my studies of the human body, was also responsible for building quality, lean muscle mass.

Within a year of leaving the Corporate World to pursue my passion of helping people, help themselves, achieve something they care about …  with no ‘Plan B’ … I found myself competing in competitions. I found myself beating the best in my city – Sydney, then I found myself beating the best in my State – NSW. I didn’t stop there … I thought I may as well compete against the best in my country and I did.

I placed 1st runner-up in the Middle Weight NSW Titles and qualified for the World Natural Bodybuilding Championships where the Top 2 of each weight category qualified. I represented Australia and placed in the Top 5 (beating the guy who beat me in Australia in the Australian Titles) in the World two years in a row in the sport. The Sport I fell in love with almost 30 years ago.

 

World Natural Bodybuilding Championships – New York, USA.
Standing with middle-weight (my category) and overall World Champion.
Me – 4th placed in the world
Competitor beside me – 1st place and World champion
Right: My Team Partner and wife – Cathy.

Leading up to that point I was an Accountant, managing a team of young clerks, Accountants and reporting to the CEO.

I had a lot of dreams (and still do) and of them was the dream of doing what I loved to do: to help people, help themselves be the best version of themselves. I knew I knew how and that I had developed my own unique philosophy and techniques “best bred” from all the great champions that have been in the Sport of Bodybuilding for over hundred years. Arnold Schwarzenegger being the most famous of legends.

It was difficult initially but I also believed I could achieve it, that it wasn’t wishful thinking … that I could beat the best in the world in my sport … that I could see myself standing with the best in the world because I believed in me. Luckily, she believed in that dream too. More importantly she believed in me. I developed a quality plan and I (with her help) executed the plan with quality. My years of developing plans for consulting jobs for large corporate clients was very useful here.

She was always there when I lived and breathed the running of my gym and helping everyone that I considered to be my Extended Family of members that just happened to be my gym members.

I couldn’t have done that without her support.

Her work was not as visible and maybe, to some people, not as important. But, my efforts and results would be nothing without a wife like her. What most people don’t realise is that something is as real and true in my family (I have two beautiful kids and a dog now) as it is in almost any man’s family:

What our wives do and have done is much more valuable in terms of eternity than anything we could ever do.

Ten years from now my name may appear in the Fiji Sports Hall of Fame or maybe Australia’s too. That may be part of my legacy. I am still a fan of the sport and almost all sports. I don’t get up on stage competitively like I used to but I still watch and cheer along with every other fan.

But my wife, Cathy’s accomplishments, unknown to most people, will be honoured for eternity. What she has done and is still doing for our family. She’s been there for my children in the early years of their lives … almost been the father and mother to them, when I spent years leaving the house very early (before 5am) and getting home late (after 9:30pm) when I used to run a gym for 7 years.

I just love this photo of my wife.

That is a phase of life I will always remember and appreciate. She was superhuman because she got help from no one as the gym and my extended family of members and my goals to be the best in the world took up my time and energy.

In the last number of years of this phase of life, she has learned to ‘fly’ again after having kids. She is now in the foreground and flourishing in her career as I take a backseat and invested my time in the children and develop other ideas that I see opportunities for.

I am excited for her and her growth in this phase of her life.

To all you men reading this, be and give the support your wife/woman needs and learn to adapt to the different phases of life.

God reminds me that yes, she is my wife and mother of our children and key part of my family but she is also Cathy Valentine – an individual, separate, looking for growth and progress in her being.

Husbands, be the wind beneath her wings. Sit back and see her fly … and go ‘wow!’

Thank God for all your blessings, which should always include your wife.

Ahoy and until next time!

 

Yours in iron and muscles,

The Old Captain Viking Pirate Fiji Islands – born Muscle Monk

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

Mr & Mrs Paul e Valentine.

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Find your A-Team.

Retired Ex-Australian Wallaby & Waratahs Champion Captain & Leader - Phil Waugh. Setting his own standards of excellence in all areas of his life, following my framework. A champion such as Phil is celebrated because we recognize that he has overcome personal ambition through sacrifice and dedication to higher principles - higher standards. Great leaders & sportsmen and women like Phil, can awaken awareness of the principle of higher standards that rests within the heart of every man and woman. Awaken yours today!

Retired Ex-Australian Wallaby & Waratahs Champion Captain & Leader – Phil Waugh.
Setting his own standards of excellence in all areas of his life, following my framework.
A champion such as Phil is celebrated because we recognize that he has overcome personal ambition through sacrifice and dedication to higher principles – higher standards.
Great leaders & sportsmen and women like Phil, can awaken awareness of the principle of higher standards that rests within the heart of every man and woman.
Awaken yours today!

With regards to one area of my life, I’ve set myself an almost impossible task as of yesterday: keep all my future blogs to less than 500 words. Now, most of you would know that I can elaborate on almost any point in a blog, just to get my ‘message’ across. One of my 2014 goals was to say more, with less.

To express a certain belief of mine in a “little muscle nugget” for you to digest with the myriad of other information you receive in this information age, as you go about your day. I must admit I haven’t been as successful at achieving this goal as I had originally hoped. It is, however, a great privilege to be allowed to share my personal beliefs with everyone who dares to read what I write.

I try to express my thoughts through the ‘ups and downs’ in my life and try to look for the meaning and the moral in those happenings. Sometimes I try to look too hard and notice more than just one message, more than one meaning in that one blog. The reflections are just that – just reflections. Reflections on the life that has just happened and as I see it happening around me. Through my eyes and sometimes through others’ eyes. Here, you see, is where it gets interesting.

You see, these reflections carry no authority, they may well be heretical and they are not meant to tell others ‘how to think’. However, if they encourage and tempt readers to do their own thinking about certain aspects of life, of their life, so far, I will be content. It reflects a little bit about me each time and the way my beliefs about life and the meaning of life came to be shaped, as Homer Simpson would say “ so far!”. Well, there you go, there’s 270 words so far …. I guess, I am going to fail at my word count goal in this blog. I might as well fail BIG!! (refer to my earlier blog on “learning to love the F word more”) Here we go …

Blog starts here:

Most of you would have watched a few episodes of ‘The A_Team” in the 80s, with “Mr T” as one of the characters. I loved that TV show. But it made me think about what they had that was so special: it was entertaining tv – yes, but they had something else, they were a team and each person was an integral part of the jig-saw puzzle. Each fit perfectly to create the final product. Fantastic stuff! That is the topic today and your search for your “A-Team”.

“No man is an island”, I heard someone say once. As each day passes, I believe it increasingly. I can add that no man can attribute his/her success to himself alone. No man can truly say that he did it on ‘his own’. There would have been someone, somewhere or people that would have helped him progress towards his/her goal of success.

I also love noticing how champion football/basketball/soccer teams are put together. How each player has an integral role to play. Each player is selected for a certain bundle of talents that the coach sees ‘fits’ perfectly in to the team to achieve the desired results on the field of play. Of the competition. Sometimes they win. Sometimes they lose. Sometimes they have to lose, to ultimately win. The best coaches understand this very well.

This is the ‘essence’ of what it means to be part of a team’.

You see it in organisations, particularly successful large organizations or political parties. No one man can say that he alone can run a sporting team, political party or organization. Yes, as the CEO or head coach, he or she can have a huge influence but it has to be a “Team THAT WORKS”.

I believe it simply is not enough for each person to “WORK AS A TEAM”.

The question I have always asked myself is HOW GOOD the person is at running the team or political party or organization. Take the United States of America and its Leader – Barack Obama, for example or the current Presidential candidates like Hillary Clinton or Jeb Bush. They would all have to have a great team to support their leader, their party and their goals.

Executing an exercise for maximum benefit and minimal risk takes a lot of practise, ideally under an experienced, watchful eye.  Remember: practise does not make perfect. Perfect practise makes perfect.

Executing an exercise for maximum benefit and minimal risk takes a lot of practise, ideally under an experienced, watchful eye.
Remember: practise does not make perfect. Perfect practise makes perfect.

 

Each person would be carefully selected for their unique skills. The most important thing, I believe would have to be the skill or art of PICKING the RIGHT PERSON for the job. The right jig-saw piece. This is not easy. This is where the true value is. This is the hallmark of any great Leader: Picking a “Team that works”. Not just slapping people in to a group and hoping they would work.

Teams need people of all sorts and types and talents. All shapes and sizes.

A problem for most leaders is then simple: trying to choose a team. For the rest of us, though, there is hope. It is fantastic news! I mean, it means that our individual differences, our different skill-set, no matter what they are or how weird it is, they may be an Asset – just what “a team” NEEDS. A team out there somewhere. A team that you need to find. A team that needs to find you and your skills.

So, if you’re not already part of a team, don’t lose hope. If you’re not already part of a team, don’t give up.

Persevere!

Yes, I know, some people are lucky and find a team early in their lives, but some don’t find their team, until very late in life. If you haven’t yet, don’t give up.

Persevere, I say.

There is a high chance there is a team out there, somewhere, sometime, where your unique personality, your unique talents, your unique skill-set … your unique YOU, could help.

My daughter has many beliefs so far in her young life. She appears to know one very clearly now and that is: to never, ever, ever, ever … GIVE UP! So, my friend, do the same.

Never give up. Never give up on the most important person in the world to you: YOU. Why? Because, that team that you’re the ‘right fit for (like a jigsaw puzzle piece) may just be the team that would bring you the success you’ve been searching for (whatever definition of the word ‘success’ you would like it to be).

Tip: increase your awareness in self and be patient.

Word count of the actual blog: approx. 1200. Failed by 600 words or so. An improvement on my last blog. Success for me today. I love it! I WILL succeed through failure. So should you.

Best of luck!

Until next time …..

Brad improving his muscle control through a traditional body-building pose: double-biceps pose.  I believe it adds to muscle growth. It assists him in realising his body re-engineering goals.

Brad improving his muscle control through a traditional body-building pose: double-biceps pose.
I believe it adds to muscle growth. It assists him in realising his body re-engineering goals.

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