Brave New World

Well, after the email I sent to Jessica, she kindly replied back within a day or so. She thanked me for my input and agreed with me on the question about the most overrated athlete before smashing me on the child labour issue. I was obviously mis-read on the subject and she proceeded to tell me how bad it is over there with 8-10 year old working for almost nothing. I think the issue that is more important that she is getting at is the fact that the Indian government promised good money and living standards for those working on the games and these had deteriorated or just plain been ignored. I certainly would love to see some more positive light on the games through the media, but at the same time these are very important human rights issues. It's hard to have a solid opinion on something I understand so little about.

I am going to do some more research on the matter, so watch this space ;-)

(Sam, I'm so glad the lights are finally in! It only took, what? 2 years??!)

On a more personal note all is going along very nicely here in Cologne. We have been back here for about a week and a half now and it has not been super story-worthy, hence the lack of posts. We have, however, been getting some great training done with the boys that are here. Joel Milburn, Kevin Moore, myself, Ben Offerins and Felipe De Castro Cruz have joined forces and been doing some great training together is the last 12 days or so. It has been so great to have the guys around to fire up and really get that 'fight or flight' response going. With these guys it's a matter of running close to flat out (for me, at least) or getting lost off the back of them. This has meant a great change in intensity and getting work done at a level not achievable on my own. Everyone wins!

I have had a pretty significant shift in my approach that I have settled quite well into since getting back from Croatia. It's counter-intuitive, but it's almost like I have to completely reverse my attitude from back home to when I am away! With how busy I am back home with work and training, I need to be super organised and switched on most of the time, and pretty anal about lots of aspects of my training and recovery. Thinking two days ahead all the time with food, training times, training clothes and crap like that! I need to be constantly conscious of my goals, short term and long, and remind myself of what I am doing and why I am doing it. This focus places a lot of importance on the sacrifices I make, and also athletics in general as it is the biggest thing in my life right now.

But that kind of head space really doesn't work here!

Thinking too much about what I am doing usually leads to disaster and getting way too caught up in my head and my own shit to actually be 'fluid' in my actions and productive. When I say 'fluid' I just mean fluent in a sense, and without restrictions or adhesions. If I maintain the intensity and the reminding of how 'important' what I do as an athlete is, I kind of loose track of the natural processes of being an athlete and a human. How do I explain this?

I guess I do this more than some, but as humans we are attracted to complicated and intricate things. This stimulates our intelligence and gives us something to 'solve' or 'fix' in our heads. This is why we love a good tragedy, and why we are inextricably drawn to scandalous headlines in the news. When I am at home, this part of me is stimulated by my work (as a 'body fixer'), my training, and things like working out how to combine chilli, chicken and basil into a good pasta sauce. All these things are pretty much done for me here or don't exist, which I appreciate to no end, but leaves my busy and annoying little brain to think way too much about things like why the f&%k I didn't run as fast as I wanted to on the weekend!

The ironic result is that I have to develop a head space somewhere between being on holiday and meditatively pondering the meaning of life. Whilst running fast.

I would never say I don't give a shit about how fast I run in two weeks, but I certainly have had to place less importance on the result. I'm ready to go, and can't wait to get into the village, but have taken a step back from my expectations (which is very hard for me) and realised that it's not the end of the world if I don't run a Commonwealth Games record in Delhi. I know what I 'should' run, but I'm just not allowing myself to get too caught up in the result of what happens. I'm going to run my arse off, and see what happens. If I run well, it will be a lot of hard work paid off. If I don't, then I'll be disappointed,  but I'm still a very lucky person who has been able to represent their country at the highest level. And I can constantly thank my stars I am not a swimmer. Hahaha...

So that's where I feel I am at. I am relaxed, I am training really really well. I've been having lots of fun with the team and with my roommate Joel, and I am doing pretty well with leaving my expectations alone. I hope you enjoyed a small tour round my silly little head, thanks again for all the support from everyone at home and abroad.

Best of luck to all competing tomorrow in the "Great" Northern City Games in Newcastle, UK.



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