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31 Aug


Winning is sometimes

a stand on the podium

a victory clasp,

a medal or a cup.

But sometimes it means keeping on:

making steps, one foot and then the other;

a refusal to lay down and surrender;

to love and never give up.

Bradley Wiggins Tour of Britain Win 2013



The Shock of the New

4 Nov

New hair, new dress;

new girl, new bike:

Spells danger!

Cavendish and Wiggins

3 Nov

Loser today, winner tomorrow.
Photo by Ru

Here’s a picture of Mark I took at the Nottingham to Knowsley stage of the Tour of Britian this year. He didn’t look that happy and I learnt afterwards that he’d just lost out on the stage to Leigh Howard of Orica Green Edge. He was kind enough to sign my tour programme for me, despite me momentarily turning into a dumb, gawping lump.

I happily watched him on TV the next day put this defeat behind him, powering pheonmenally past all the other competitors as if jet propelled, to win the stage.

Years of focus and determination have got Bradley where he is today.

And here’s a picture of Bradley.Things were pretty hectic round the Sky tour bus but he seemed to take it all in his stride, signing as many autographs as he could and smiling and posing for photographs. After the race presentations huge crowds of people appeared; the bus was swamped!

Seeing these two cycle heroes in the flesh was a timely reminder about staying focused. In order to get where they are now, they’ve had to keep believing in themselves, no matter what their critics say or how utterly crap things seem.In short, tune out all the other distractions and persist.


Don’t Give Up On Your Dreams

16 Aug

It’s hard to believe the last time I wrote on here I was thrilling about sickly cup cakes, I feel like I would throw up if I ate one today. Come July, I’d been working furiously for ages, trying to wrestle the last six chapters of “State of my Heart” to the ground; I was stressed and anxious, though I was drinking so many cups of coffee I didn’t notice how I was feeling. The last week of last month was especially bad: To say it was crap is something of an understatement.

A few weeks down the line, after a week’s stay in hospital and enforced rest at my parents and still not ready yet to get back into my “normal life” and despite the queasy feeling on my stomach I am going to reflect on what I thought before I got ill – God willing – it will speed up my recovery. This is what I was thinking at the height of “Tour De France” mania on July 18th:

This morning I was about on the computer this morning in a rage and found what I wrote almost a year ago (What makes late summer so impossible?) “What to Do if You Think You’re Falling Apart”:

‘1. You carry on.  Say to “hell with it, I’m going to carry on doing what I’m doing, and ignore everything else.

2. Or you give up.  Go and jump off a bridge or a tall building or something.

I don’t see the point in the latter so what about the first?’ See link.

And I went on to quote Mark Cavendish. Well, I suppose there’s no ignoring one’s own advice! Though I think the Dutch cyclist Johnny Hoogerland from this year’s Tour De France sums up things well this year.  He bravely carried on with what is reckoned to be one of the hardest races in the world, despite being ripped to shreds after falling into a barbed wire.

“The Tour de France has been a dream of mine for ten years,” Hoogerland pointed out. “I have to keep on smiling. I’m still in the race, so why would I cry?” See link

Thirty three stiches – ouch excruciating – and he not only kept the polka dot jersey for a couple of days he completed the entire 3,430.5 kilometres of the twenty one stage race.

Rudyard Kipling also had something valuable to say on the matter:

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’