Archive for January, 2020

Planet Ice Leeds opens

Friday, January 31st, 2020 | News

Today is the big day: after years of delays, Planet Ice Leeds is finally opening. Nobody will welcome that more than Leeds Chiefs who started playing ice hockey in September but have had to play all of their games away due to not having a rink.

Swim analysis

Tuesday, January 28th, 2020 | Sport

Last weekend, I did a swim video analysis with Jack.

It’s a useful exercise to get some perspective on your stroke. Take my pull, for example. I genuinely thought I was bending my elbow and getting a nice pull through, rather than going super deep. But it doesn’t look anything like that on the video.

I do like how high those legs are, though. I see a lot of people with really low legs and hips in the pool, and I assume I am just as bad but can’t see it. But the video suggests that isn’t one of my major weaknesses (at least compared to the others, lol).

New Year’s Eve 2019

Saturday, January 4th, 2020 | Friends

A lovely bunch of people to ring in the new year with. Not to mention recovery steak at Blackhouse and that new dessert place in The Light. Love you all.

My thoughts on 2019

Friday, January 3rd, 2020 | Life

I wrote my traditional year in review, which lists all the things that have happened over the year. But it doesn’t really talk about my feelings. So, here it is. It’s what my therapist would want and I’m a people-pleaser.

2019 has been a smash year. I became an Ironman, which has been my dream since I first heard about Ironman tow years before that. Which was one of 15 triathlons I did, alongside my second ultramarathon and 100-mile sportive. Still, I need to stay on top of my game now my dad is a triathlete, too.

I got my British triathlon coaching qualification, my Level 2 in counselling, and my masters graduation (although that was really a 2018 achievement). Leeds Anxiety Clinic has gone from strength to strength and I launched seven new courses via Worfolk Media, including doing a best-ever month that did twice the volume of sales any other month has done. Elina is making measurable progress with her accountancy career and my little girl is growing up into an actual person.

I’ve also mastered swimming front crawl. That’s massive. I never doubted my ability to run a marathon. It was just a matter when I could be bothered to do it. But front crawl was different. Because of my breathing issues, I genuinely believed that it was something that was impossible for me to do. But I kept trying and got the right routine, and the right support in place. And after getting in the pool day after day, I managed it. Which leaves me wondering: if this was possible, what other impossible things can I do?

Being an entrepreneur is definitely one. I’ve always thought I would make it eventually. But the negative voice in my head keeps telling me that it’s not for an introverted computer geek like me. I don’t have the sales skills or the stomach for risk or the natural talent required.

But that voice is being systematically eroded by two pieces of evidence. One is that I am an entrepreneur. I’ve now started three successful businesses. I’m not a millionaire with a private island. But I am building businesses. And the second piece of evidence: I can fucking swim front crawl, my friends.

Not everything in 2019 has been unicorns defecating rainbows. Being a dad is still really hard. Despite launching seven courses, most of them have performed poorly and growth hasn’t been what I hoped. It looks like the fate of Brexit was sealed, and the Tories look set to destroy one of my businesses, along with tens of thousands of others, as they continue their ten-year rampage of increasing taxes on small business. And I would like some extra time in the day to see friends.

Nor has it been a year of things coming easy. It’s shit getting on a turbo trainer three times a week. And getting in the pool three times a week to do something really hard. It’s shit getting up at 6am every morning to smash out work on my companies. To do uncomfortable things like sales, counselling and interpersonal development until you get good at it. But I’m learning to tolerate more and more discomfort in order to achieve the things I think are valuable.

2019 in pictures

Thursday, January 2nd, 2020 | Photos

Elina’s birthday at kitty cafe.

The triathlon season kicks off in Skipton.

Map of my first 100-mile bike ride.

Mark Knopfler at Leeds Arena.

Finishing my first full distance triathlon.

Another Yorkshireman photo because a) it was an ironman-distance race, and b) Venla looks cute.

Masters graduation ceremony.

Group holiday in Weymouth.

Venla playing on the beach.

IRONMAN 70.3 Weymouth finish line.

My dad completes his first sprint triathlon.

Venla’s 3rd birthday.

New 10k PB at the Abbey Dash.

2019 in review

Wednesday, January 1st, 2020 | Life

Much like in 2018, I started January 2019 with a running injury. Luckily, Dr Venla was on hand to help. I did some bike maintenance courses at Evans and Leeds Bike Mill and started commuting by bike. Worfolk Anxiety launched several new languages.

In February, Super Bowl LIII became the lowest-scoring Super Bowl in history as Brady-Belichick set new heights with a record sixth win. The fourth version of the Rauma framework was released and Hyde Park Harriers triathlon launched their spin class.

We paid a long-awaited visit to the Kitty Cafe in March for Elina’s birthday. Then raced the LBT duathlon.

Finally, in April, race season arrived. There was another LBT duathlon and Skipton triathlon. I launched three new courses: one on public speaking, one on social psychology, and one on Facebook ads. I also spoke for Leeds Anxiety Clinic at the town hall, entitled “How to be incredibly productive, even when you have anxiety”.

I did a lot of cycling in May, including my first 100-mile ride and completing the Tour de Yorkshire long route with Bogdan. I raced Tadcaster triathlon, Driffield triathlon, and the open water swim season started. At home, we had Mexican month. Netherlands triumped in Eurovision and Finland took their third ice hockey world championship. We saw Mark Knopfler in Leeds Arena and relaunched Sunday Assembly Leeds.

I had one mission in June: to complete my first long-distance triathlon. And I did! 14:35:12. I also went sub-three hours at World Triathlon Leeds and completed my second 100-mile ride at The Flat 100. Meanwhile, everyone was arguing when Eid was. Did I mention I became an Ironman?!?

England was on top of the world in July, winning the cricket world cup. I completed Allerthorpe sprint triathlon, Castle Howard triathlon, and Redcar triathlon. My dad completed his first Go Tri and I finally got my masters graduation ceremony. For most of the month, I will still pretty sore from doing my ironman, to be honest.

In August I ran my second ultramarathon (and made a film about it!). I also completed the Alltherope Classic triathlon, Coalville triathlon, and Sundowner sprint triathlon. I launched a new course, Mindfulness for Productivity and the Resilient website.

We took a long-awaited group holiday to Weymouth in September (the first since Anglesey three years ago) and I also used the opportunity to complete IRONMAN 70.3 Weymouth. I also completed Nidderdale triathlon and Evolve sprint triathlon. Jimbob paid us a visit from America. I launched two new courses: Feel-good Productivity and Mindfulness & Visualisation for Athletes. The triathlon season finally ended with the Evolve mixed team relay and the cycling world championships came to Harrogate.

It was marathon month in October with Eliud Kipchoge running the first sub-two-hour marathon and Brigid Kosgei setting a new women’s world record in Boston. Her time of 2:14:04 beat Paula Radcliffe’s record that had stood for 16 years. Venla celebrated her third birthday and my dad completed his first sprint triathlon in Goole.

In November I completed my Britis Triathlon coaching certification and completed my level two counselling qualification. I set a new 10k personal best at the Abbey Dash and finally made a breakthrough with my front crawl. I launched my biggest course ever: Sport Psychology for Triathletes.

Finally, in December, I reached my first yogaversary while the 49ers continued their long-overdue winning streak. There was an election, it was Christmas and we finished off the year by completing our third Festive Fifty cycling event in a row.