Archive for the ‘Life’ Category

Three Rock

Sunday, February 25th, 2024 | Life

We did a family hike up Three Rock. Little Bear had lots of fun. Of course, he didn’t have to walk any of it.

2023 in review

Monday, January 1st, 2024 | Life

2023 has been one of my busiest years ever and yet a lot of it has been routine stuff that doesn’t make a good blog post, In January I was recoverging from a sprained ankle and dropped by my local Toastmasters club. On the business side, I launched courses on Gestalt Therapy and Scrum.

One of the big projects came to fruition in February when I finished a six-week audit of my existing courses including 172 new lessons. There was plenty of exercise, too, with the Naas duathlon and Virtual Race Series 13. Venla also achieved her marathon wristband at junior parkrun.

It was Sichuan month in March as I finally cracked open my cookbook. We celebrated Elina’s birthday and St Patrick’s Day. Fitness wise, another long-term project came to a close as I finished the Learn to Lift course. Holbeck College launched its counselling diploma path. Unfortunately, I missed both the Bohermeen half marathon and the Florida Manor run due to illness.

Our extended family got bigger in April when my sister welcomed Dougie and Angus into the world. I had a busy month of racing the Phoenix Park duathlon, 300th parkrun and completing my first 100k at the DUHAC 24-hour run. I also tried daily cold showers but decided it wasn’t for me 🥶.

We visited County Clare in May so I could take part in the Lough Cutra triathlon. Unfortunately, I registered my first-ever DNF. I also took part in the Dublin Mountain Backyard Utra and managed 11 laps. In the business world, I launched my course on Positive Psychology Coaching.

We followed our west coast trip with a south coast trip in June, visiting Waterford for the Metalman triathlon and Viking marathon. There was also racing back home at Around the Park, Around the Clock. After 15 years together, we parted ways with the Astra and I launched my Mindfulness for Resilience course.

The World Cup kicked off in July and there was more racing at Kilkenny triathlon. I released my first set of shorts on YouTube.

We hosted Michelle in August and watched a lot of sport with England in the World Cup final and the Tour de France. Jonas Vingegaard was not the only cyclist to watch as Venla got her first bike and I took on Helmsley triathlon. I took my first trip to Belfast with other Hyde Park Harriers to complete the Antrim Coast half marathon. I launched my Motivational Interviewing course.

I was ill for the whole of September. Being unable to run much, it gave me chance to do some parkrun tourism with walks or jogs at Griffen, Waterstown and Dodder Valley.

The touristing continued throughout October with visits to Poterstown, Blanchardstown, St Anne’s and Marlay. I found a new yoga studio and my mum ran her first 10k at the Abbey Dash. We hosted my parents and England outperformed expectations at the Rugby World Cup.

I taught a daily class throughout November as part of my Yoga for Resilience series while Elina and Venla jetted off to visit the family. I also wrote my second novel as part of NaNoWriMo and got my first pair of glasses. There was more parkrun tourism at Hartstown and Father Collins, and I finished my virtual run around Transylvania. Patrick Kielty did his first Toy Show and we ate well thanks to Donegal month and Thanksgiving. Holbeck College launched its life coaching diploma path.

We finished the year with December as is tradition in the Gregorian calendar. I also finished the EduProgram with Trinity Entrepreneuers and Venla sung her heart out at her winter concert. I did some parkrun tourism at Tymon and Darndale, achiving a new best placing of 4th overall and 1st in my age group at the latter. I also completed the Reindeer Run and Chevin Chase. I released an updated version of my productivity course and the first paperback copies of my novel arrived. We finished the year with plenty of family and friends time.

NaNoWriMo 2023 update

Friday, December 1st, 2023 | Life

I spent November writing my second novel as part of NaNoWriMo 2023. The good news is: I made it!

I aimed for 2,000 words most days so I finished with a couple of days to spare.

I managed to get every badge but one. Alas, to hit the final badge you have to stay ahead of par every day (1,667 words) and due to a slow start and faster finish I didn’t quite make that. But it is also a complete set.

Lots of fun and lovely to meet other people at the weekly local writing meetups. I am also looking forward to waking up tomorrow and not having to write anything, though! It’s nice to have the pressure off.

NaNoWriMo 2023

Thursday, November 23rd, 2023 | Life

I’ve been really down recently and I needed something to pick me out of it so I decided, on 31 October, that I would do NaNoWriMo: the national novel writing month challenge where you have to try and write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days.

I did it in 2015 which produced my first novel Summer on the Horizon. I’m on track to finish this one, too, which is a fantasy adventure set on the Luas.

What has really made this year special is that we have been having a Sunday meetup where other people doing the challenge come together. We do 30 minutes of socialising then 30 minutes of writing and repeat all of that to make a two-hour session. It has been a lovely opportunity to meet new people, encourage each other and have some nice cake.

Yoga Lab

Wednesday, October 11th, 2023 | Life

It’s been a while since I’ve done much in-person yoga but I’ve finally found a new yoga studio I like: Yoga Lab. They do gentle flow classes which are great because they are relaxing but also have a sufficient level of challenge that we’re not doing nothing.

Tour de France 2023

Thursday, August 24th, 2023 | Life

What a fall from grace in the Ed Ops fantasy league. After my victory at the Giro I was promptly spat out of the back at Le Tour when one of my GC riders, Carapaz, didn’t make it through stage one. My sprinter pick was with my heart, Cav, which wasn’t a terrible pick but alas, he didn’t make it to Paris. So, despite having Vingegaard, Kuss and three other Jumbo-Visma riders, I never got back into the pack. Better luck next year!

Shoe-long to my trainers

Monday, July 24th, 2023 | Life

It’s not just my car that recently left us after many years of faithful service. Two pairs of my trainers have ripped between the sole and the upper.

My Brooks Launch are my every day shoe. I don’t know how far I have walked in them but somewhere in the range of 2,000 kilometres seems plausible. My Hoka Bondi X are my easy miles running shoe. They managed a respectable 1,290 kilometres of running before retirement.

Goodbye to my beautiful Astra

Monday, June 26th, 2023 | Life

After 15 years together, I have parted ways with my Vauxhall Astra.

It has been a wonderful car. It was already a second-hand car when I bought it but never cost me a fortune to repair and consistently passed its MOT. The rust is finally getting to it, though, and so it was finally time to say goodbye.

I will announce the details of the wake shortly.

Course audit

Sunday, February 19th, 2023 | Life

Every year, I do an audit of the courses I teach to bring them all up-to-date. This year’s audit was bigger, though. I made significant updates to social psychology, person-centred counselling, cognitive psychology, CBT for social anxiety, and large updates to many other courses resulting in around 172 new lessons.

This has been my main focus since finishing the gestalt course around six weeks and it’s been exhausting. So, I’m looking forward to taking it a little easier until at least tomorrow!

2022 in review

Sunday, January 1st, 2023 | Life

After seeing out 2021 in style nothing much happened in January. I was rehabbing my broken ankle, and did some further training with AAT and British Triathlon.

I got back to running in February Not before the Grim Leodis, though, which I managed to walk in under three hours. I also made it ack in time for the final PECO. I also had the chance to run several triathlon workshops including a track day and a front crawl fundamentals workshop. I launched my meditation teacher course and Leeds Anxiety Clinic launched its YouTube channel. Matthew Stafford finally won a Super Bowl.

Nothing much happened again in March. I completed the Ven-Top route on Zwift, that’s how slow the month was. But there were lots of things going on behind the scenes as later months will reveal. I did launch my Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy course.

I got back to serious running in April, coming third at the Roche Abbey 32k. Bogdan and I got back to cycling too with the Tadcaster 100k. The previous few months paid off when I completed by British Triathlon Level 2 coaching course.

The ankle rehab was really paying off by May when I got back to ultra running at Around The Park, Around The Clock 60k. I also ran 73k at God’s Own Backyard Ultra before having to drop out due to a Eurovision party I was hosting. Speaking of which, we only bloody came second! Turns out wasn’t political voting after all, just the shit songs we’ve been sending for twenty years. Other sport included the Big Fat Bike Ride, Tadcaster Triathlon and the Keswick Mountain Festival were I learnt what proper Lake District trail running is like! I also unlocked the Zwift Concept bike and updated my first aid training. Plus a bit of social time to catch up with Norm, Katie and Calum.

Another “this is why the winter months were empty” moment happed in June whe I completed my AAT level 2 accounting qualification. We took a family trip to Wales for Llaberis SwimRun. It was so cold! Much warmer at the last ever World Triathlon Leeds (9 seconds faster than 2021!) and the Wuthering Heights Wander where I took second place. Meanwhile, Kristian Blummenfelt and Kat Matthews were breaking records at the Sub7 / Sub8. I launched my Professional Ethics course.

I took on one of my big races of the year in July: the 36k Man Vs Coast around the Cornish coastal path. I also managed to slip in Round Sheffield Run, The Gaunlet at Castle Howard and my second swimrun at Manvers Lake. Elina and I spent a few days in Penzance. After nine years, Anxiety Leeds closed. I would like to thank all of those attended, volunteered and supported us over the years. My new book, Triathlon For Beginners, was published.

I achieved a major milestone in August when I completed IRONMAN Copenhagen after three years of waiting. We spent a week In Denmark, taking in the sights, Faelledparken parkrun and the IRONKIDS race. I also managed to fit triathlons in at York and Sunderland. England women’s team made history by winning Euro 2022.

The news in September was dominated by the passing of Queen Elizabeth II while we upped sticks and set sail for Dublin. That was no excuse to miss the end of the triathlon season, though, and I managed to squeeze one in at Naas. I also completed Ullswater SUPBIKERUN in the Lake District and looked great in my new Trinity College hoodie.

We were homeless for most of October which was great for parkrun touristing but bad for having a life. I did manage to run the Howth Summit 10k and launch my Transactional Analysis course.

We took our first trip to Northern Ireland in November to run the Tollymore marathon among the stunning Mourne Mountains. I also completed the Clontarf half marathon. My parents came to visit, and we did parkrun, of course. I launched my Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction course.

England put in a solid performance at the World Cup in December as did Venla setting a new PB at junior parkrun. We sailed back to Leeds and I completed the Chevin Chase for the first time.