It was early morning on Day 2. The New Year fitness plan was holding up. On Day 1, I’d completed a full hour of exercise. In line with the movement towards BIG DATA, I counted everything. 6 minutes threading water in the pool. 52 minutes in the Jacuzzi. 2 minutes split between the sauna and steam room. You can overdo these things if you’re not careful! Then Linda, perhaps sensing a tiny bit of backtracking, unilaterally hired bikes. The cheek of her! We eventually agreed on the shortest possible route, a 22 Kilometer round trip from Westport to Newport. How hard could that be? Not exactly the Tour de France. I don’t mean to be boastful, but I used to cycle a lot (bike from Santa when I was 9 and made it all the way up to the Phoenix Park from Cabra, at least 2 miles). You never really forget, do you? It’s like riding a bike.
Grinding It Out: The wind was behind us on the way to Newport. For some reason, I didn’t notice that it was also mostly downhill. A quick pitstop plus one Red Bull later and we were on our way back towards the hotel. I’m not quite sure exactly how it happened, but over the next 2 hours the sport of Bike-Pushing was invented. When we eventually got back, I felt like John Wayne after 15 days herding longhorns (“Get down off the fireplace Granny; you’re too old to be riding the range”). Earlier, I’d wondered why anyone would bother renting gel saddles for an extra €2? Walking bow-legged to the hotel, that particular mystery had been resolved. Those padded saddles probably save more lives than defibrillators!
Full Commitment: From previous holidays we know that minding 2 kids is twice as easy as minding one. So, we brought along a second one in an attempt to keep our own teenager somewhat human. Nicole’s’ friend is terrific fun. She plays for Shelbourne Football Club and is a candidate for the Irish Women’s Team, training several times every week (with an hour long commute each side of the training in addition to the matches, that’s a 15 hour weekly commitment). Needless to say, she was like Mr. Motivator when we were on those bikes and kept cycling back to see if we were OK. Geriatric Cycling – I’m thinking of formally suggesting it as a new Olympic sport.
Tough Gig: New Years resolutions are hard. Especially if you, like me, are a bit lazy. But the price to be paid for being great at anything is focus. The Chinese say: ‘If you chase two rabbits you catch neither’. No achievement that’s worthwhile comes easy – in sport, business or life. OK, ready, steady, choose-your-rabbit. GO!
See you in the Sauna!
PS Lighter Note: A Man Called Brian… I’ve spoken to Kevin Griffin several times about sending me these sexist jokes, but he just won’t listen….
A man walked out to the street and caught a taxi going by. He got into the taxi and the cabbie said, “Perfect timing. You’re just like Brian” Passenger: “Who?”
Cabbie: “Brian O’Sullivan. He’s a guy who did everything right all the time. Like my coming along when you needed a cab, things happen like that to Brian every time.”
Passenger: “There’s always a few clouds over everybody.”
Cabbie: “Not Brian O’Sullivan. He was a terrific athlete. Could have won the tennis Grand Slam. He could golf with the pros. He sang like an opera baritone and danced like a Broadway star. Jesus, you should have heard him play the piano. One amazing guy.”
Passenger: “Sounds like he was something really special.”
Cabbie: “There’s more. With a memory like a computer, he remembered everybody’s birthday. He knew all about wine and which foods to order. He could fix anything. Not like me. I change a fuse and the whole street blacks out. But Brian O’Sullivan, he did everything right.”
Passenger: “Wow. Some guy.”
Cabbie: “Yeh. He really knew how to treat a woman and make her feel good. He would never answer back even if she was wrong. The perfect man in every way.”
Passenger: “An amazing fellow. How did you meet him?”
Cabbie: “Well, I never actually met him. Brian died. I’m married to his widow.”
PPS Lighter Note Continued: Want to learn how to speak Dublin?
Have a look at this link (thanks to Paula Taylor for sending this on).
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