Archive for 15/08/2012

Second Wind

With the mercury rising along with the humidity, one would think that I’d be suffering during my training runs and not enjoying a moment of them. The reality though is very different. I’m enjoying my running more than ever. Last week I thought that this newfound zest for kilometres was all due to the splendid company I have been keeping recently while training – Siscu, Oz, Quim and Fede – but although they are marvellous running companions, I have realised that I’m also thoroughly enjoying my solo training runs. What fun! What joy!

Lately I’ve been thriving running in the heat, the hills, in the early morning, along the National road (this is the one I really can’t understand!), and this morning running a 12 km run with the first 7 km a non-stop long, brutal uphill – I had a brilliant time! 80s music playing on my iPod, suffocating humidity, sweating like a beast, and full of joy for running…

Recently I’ve made a few changes to my plans, have taken some new decisions, and I believe that this has given me a second wind. This simply confirms what I already know, and what I always talk about in my motivational speaking – sometimes you need a change of direction in your life.

Tomorrow I’ll continue discussing all this, but now I need to stop and have my secnd shower of the day, get dressed, and then catch the train in to Barcelona for an interview on Onda Cero Radio – it will be broadcast on SatSunday.

Be excellent!

Forest, mountain, and much joy!

What better way to start the day than kilometrating through the heights of the Maresme coastline with a great friend? Yes yes, I know – Quim and Fede will be muttering to themselves “Well, starting the day doing the same, but through the mountains close to Lloret!”

Of course they’re right, but neither one nor the other is best. My run this Tuesday with both these proud Lloret inhabitants was marvellous – with the company of the local Lloret fauna running beside me and keeping me entertained, it cannot be less than marvellous.

But…running for two and a bit hours with Oz, conversing non-stop (apart from when nature called my dear friend), is all about celebrating excecise, mountains, common interests, and above all friendship. It doesn’t matter who your friend is, with whom you share your run, or any activity for that matter – the important thing is that it is with a friend in the true meaning of the word.

That said, we now have a house full of Danes, and tomorrow we will fill it with more human jewels for a barbeque – so now the time has come to take them along with Vito and Sheela for their afternoon walk, before beginning our lovely weekend.

For those of you who feel like a bit more philosophical reading than this blog entry, and who haven’t already read my latest article, follow this link (for those of you who have read it, you’ll have to wait till next week for more!):

Be Excellent!

A Society of Sheep…

Use it or lose it – here I’m referring to the mind – reason, argument and the faculty of being able to distinguish between right and wrong.

We may think that our bodies are our most powerful tools, but this isn’t the case. Being an athlete, I am absolutely certain that my body isn’t what has led me to achieve all of my challenges to date. No, my mind has.  Without the mental strength that I have, without the passion I have developed, without the dedication and the determination, I wouldn’t have achieved even half of what I have. My body is simply one more tool; it’s my brain that guides it.

Our mental capacity is a luxury, a gem, and it’s what distinguishes us from the animals. That said, I do believe that we could certainly gain valuable lessons from the animals, but that’s for another article. Today I want to dedicate a few minutes focusing on the importance of our minds.

Mental power is like physical power, we can’t reach our maximum capacity without work and without exercise – we need to use it to be able to take full advantage of everything that it offers us. We weren’t born with reason, with argument, or with our minds fully prepared to analyse – we were born with the potential to do so. It’s something we have to work on. We have to learn to use this tool, to recognise the different paths of thought and logic, and later, to sharpen these, just as we do a knife. With our brains and our intellect, we must learn to question everything – society, our place in life, the laws which govern us.  We have to be able to analyse our very existence. The study of all this is called philosophy.

Another mental path is the ability to distinguish between right and wrong, to analyse the principles that govern our mental conduct. This capacity is important, and once again, we weren’t born with it. We weren’t born with the knowledge of moral principles; we have to be taught it. At least we have to be shown the path, just as in the case of philosophy – the rest is up to us.

Once we know that the possibility exists, then we can continue working our minds ourselves – it’s not too difficult once we know which direction to take. And in the times we are living in, we certainly have an infinite choice of material to study, to analyse, to contemplate, and for those who are brave enough, to try to improve.

If we can’t use this capacity, one which is inherently human, if we aren’t shown how, then we are little more than sheep. And what better for the governments of today than a society of sheep? Such a society is obedient, blindly obeys laws, doesn’t know how to question if said laws are just – and while we’re on the subject, such a society won’t dream of questioning if those who are creating those laws are at a moral and philosophical level to do so.  Sheep will vote obediently and unquestioningly, and will be content to munch on whichever grass their shepherd leads them to – they aren’t capable of questioning the shepherd as to whether there are other shepherds, or if there happen to be different pastures in this life…

Last Friday Frank informed me of a little piece of distressing news which very conveniently slipped out right when the whole world is focussed not on politics, but instead on the Olympics. The government, with encouragement from the church, has decided to remove philosophy and the study of ethics almost completely from the school curriculum.

According to El Pais “Thus, eliminating, amongst others, references to social conflicts, to gender inequality and the fight against homophobia, the main requirement of the bishops, considering them “controversial issues, and likely to fall into ideological indoctrination” says the Government’s note. The new syllabus will have much more emphasis on respect for constitutional and legal limits, and in many cases, will be replaced by much more generic content.” In other words, lets get rid of thinkers, of people capable of questioning, reasoning, of fighting for human rights and for change – lets make sure we breed a society of sheep instead.

Well that’s how our society is headed – backwards. And I’m not just referring just to Spain here, as there are few counties that actually encourage us to develop our minds. No. The best society is one made up of sheep.

We are the ones who chose our paths. Despite what is taught in schools, we are the ones that chose what we teach our children, and whether we encourage them to think and to reason.  And certainly we are the ones who chose who leads us.

Our minds are tools powerful enough to create wonders and to change lives. Use yours to better yourself and the world.

Be Excellent!

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