Archive for the ‘Reflecting about’ Category


No this isn’t an article about the mythical marathon distance of 42 km, rather it’s an article on reflections on life.

A week ago I had my 42nd birthday.  It was a perfect time to evaluate the things that are most important to me.

Obviously Frank, friends and family come top of the list, and that includes our dogs of course! There is nothing that beats sharing life with others – it’s what makes everything worthwhile. In that respect I am truly blessed; to be rich in true friends and a wonderful family is precious beyond riches. With Frank beside me and surrounded by so much love and warmth from near and far is more than I can ask in this respect.  Health of course is vital for fully living life – I take great care of heath, firstly for my life and then of course for my running.

And then come all the values that I have learned along the path of my life, particularly the last years through my running. There is no price for these things.  Though it can be tough at times to adopt and apply to life, if you manage to do it, they give so much in return.

Dedication, Determination, Perseverance, Resilience, Discipline, Inner Strength, Joy, Truth, Integrity, Honesty – all these and more come to mind top values. I try to apply to everything I do.  They are qualities I value highly in others especially the latter three.

Though all values are integrally important to our lives, both in love, friendship and work, Truth, Integrity, and Honesty are what tip the balance for me in all relationships. They help me make my best decisions in my work.  Without these it’s impossible to lay the foundations for any relationship, and of course it’s impossible to build anything solid without these. Three tiny, simple, precious words… they make all the difference in the world.

In today’s society too many people build their lives and their fortunes without these. They may build castles, fortresses, build empires even, but if they are built on sand – empty of value, lacking foundation – their existences will be equally empty.

No matter what lifestyle you aspire to, what your goals and dreams are, don’t forget that whatever you want can be attained without selling your soul. Keep your values; keep your Truth, your Integrity and your Honesty.

One Step More!

42 kilometres of Personal Excellence

Many of you already know my philosophy of Personal Excellence – certainly those of you who’ve read my book already have an idea of what it’s about. In a nutshell, it’s not about always winning, always coming out top, and always triumphing, although these may well be the outcomes, but instead it refers to always doing the best you possibly can every day, in everything you do. It asks you to always give the best of yourself. To reach your personal excellence requires you to demand of yourself your greatest effort, not only in important moments, but in every single moment. Life is a sum of all the little moments, and if your not capable of giving your best, you will never reach your maximum potential.

Yesterday was a great test for me personally. The tiredness that I had been dragging with me from the stomach bug I had had since last Thursday, coupled with the extreme heat and humidity, made for 42 truly brutal kilometres – worse even than last Friday’s 70 kilometres. It was horrendous. From El Masnou onwards, I battled with exhaustion, my body pouring with sweat and my clothes utterly soaked, even down to my shoes, while a cruel sun beat down on me from directly overhead.

With each kilometre I ran, I had to battle anew with my demons that were trying to convince me to stop, to walk, and to abandon my run. Each kilometre I had to find new reasons for continuing and new goals along the way to lure me on: –to reach the end of the promenade, to reach the port of Masnou, or the 3 chimneys – anything just to keep me running.  It was a constant battle, and I was my own worst enemy.  But finally I managed to convince myself to continue on and complete each one of those 42 infernal kilometres.

It was a true test of my philosophy – I had to employ all my mental and physical strength to complete the training successfully. I’m delighted that I didn’t fall into the temptation to abandon and find instant comfort.  This type of comfort doesn’t bring you much relief, nor does it allow you to achieve anything in the long run.  I prefer to strive for personal excellence, and wait for the comfort that comes at the end of the struggle!

The meeting that followed the run, went beautifully. Needless to say, I had to spend almost an hour prior to said meeting, rehydrating, drying off, eating and changing my clothes.


When the going gets tough…

A solo 40 km training run is the perfect way to brainstorm, develop ideas and plans, order one’s thoughts, and at times even to meditate. Today was one of those days – I set off to run an out and back run along the Maresme coast. You may indeed think that this is a lovely treat – to run along the Spanish coast in August…well think again. Heat, humidity, and hordes of humans is not much in the way of a treat, at least in my books. But it is the way it is, and with my October challenge coming closer and closer, I have no choice but to grin and bear it.

When faced with difficult days, I try to set out with the most positive of attitudes, and try to make the most of the training, both physically and mentally; I try to use my time wisely.

I trotted along with 80’s music playing on my iPod, and slowly, as I slipped into a comfortable rhythm, let my mind wander. I worked on my mental preparation for my October challenge, I developed several ideas for a series of executive programs I will be offering in Dubai at the end of the year and during next year, and I did some base work for my new book, which I have just begun writing. That, as well as several work calls, all while I kilometrated along the coast, weaving in and out of holidaymakers laden with beach umbrellas and inflatable toys, as sweat soaked my clothes and poured down my legs.

Eventually it all got too much for me. About 4 km from home, with the sun right overhead, baking down on me, I realised that I was all out of ideas, creativity and brainstorming. I switched to autopilot, focussed on the music, and with the songs of Musical Youth, Boy George, and Dexy’s Midnight Runners – the latter being appropriately named – I ran on, putting one foot in front of the other, knowing that each new step brought me closer to home.

And this is what we must do – make the most of every situation, even if it’s not an ideal one. We must get the most out of every opportunity, and when the going gets tough, well, we just keep on going…


Alex Living Excellence
Alex Living Excellence
Alex Living Excellence
Alex Living Excellence
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