This boy can’t… (Iain)

#thisgirlcan is a social media campaign encouraging women to participate in sporting activities. Women are encouraged to tweet/facebook/instagram tales of sporting success (no matter how big or small) so that other women will be inspired.

It’s a great campaign and I recommend you check out the website: http://www.thisgirlcan.co.uk/

Would men benefit from a similar campaign? In my opinion, probably not – men do not have to be encouraged to brag. We’ve all written a blog post about an amazing training session or event, we’ve all gone into work and said how we smashed a bike/run/swim course at the weekend.   Did it inspire people? No, it probably bored them. Nobody likes hearing about success unless it’s their own.

So instead I’ve an idea that I think can inspire men. Let me be the first to say #thisboycant

Because I’ve learnt more through failing at sport than succeeding.

So join me as I admit:

#thisboycant snowboard –  I fell over during the first hour of a five day ski holiday while on the training slope. I accidentally punched myself in the chest. I broke my rib. I haven’t felt that bad after a punch since the last time I went to a house party and drank from a fruit bowl.

#thisboycant play rugby –  I was told by my coach that with correct technique I could tackle anyone. That was a lie. I tackled a man twice my size. My technique was perfect. I ended up concussed. I was more wiped out than the Labour vote at the next general election (oooh. A little bit of politics!)

#thisboycant cycle on the track – I attended four track session. On the test day another cyclist crashed into a wall above me. His bike slid down the track into mine. I fell off, hitting the ground hard. I bashed my head and lost skin on my arm. I looked so bad I was mistaken for the Elephant man.

#thisboycant rock climb – I went to a climbing center. I had to attach the rope to my harness in two places. I attached it to just one. I fell off the wall. Luckily the one place holding the rope was strong enough to break my fall. Unfortunately that one place was my crotch. The instructor said it took balls to survive a fall like that. It certainly did!

I learnt something from each of these failures. I learnt I don’t have to be good at sport to enjoy taking part.

So when people ask me whether they should attempt an event be it running/biking/triathlon? I say, YES! I can’t do it but I’ve never let that stop me so it shouldn’t stop you either 🙂

The next time you write a blog/tweet etc think about writing about something you can’t do.

All I want for Xmas is sunscreen (Iain)

He’s making a list,

And checking it twice,

He looks again!

He can’t believe the price!

Santa Claus is buying prezzies for triathletes!

Ho, ho, ho! Merry Xmas!

It’s the time of year my mum asks what I’d like for Xmas and I say “How about this saddle for my bike?” I show her the saddle and she goes “HOW MUCH!!!”

In fairness, I said the same when she said she’d like Jo Malone perfume.

It’s easy to get a present for Andrew. I just get something I’d like myself. That way – if he doesn’t like it,  I keep it!

This year, I’ve found the perfect present for Celtman: Sunscreen.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Lifesystems-Active-Protection-Cream-200ml-x/dp/B0050DD74S/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1481712678&sr=8-1&keywords=jellyfish+repellent

You may wonder why he needs sunscreen for a race famed for its lack of sun. This sunscreen is special. Not only does it prevent sun burn it also repels jelly fish! Celtman is famed for its jelly fish so this would be the perfect gift except for one thing…

Celtman is an extreme triathlon! It’s not a cuddly triathlon. It’s not going to give Andrew a hug and tell him everything’s going to be okay! He’s supposed to suffer.

Giving him sunscreen would be against the spirit of the event.

So, I’ve ordered a different sunscreen. One which will make his swim extreme. I don’t want to spoil his Christmas surprise by saying which one it is but I will reveal one thing – it was really difficult to find one containing a jellyfish aphrodisiac!

Breaking my radial head bone is as easy as falling off a bike! (Iain)

“You dropped your spoon.” A girl hands me a spoon.

I’m lying on the ground. My mountain bike is on top of me. 10 seconds previously I’d been upright.

“Thanks,” I reach my hand out. AAAAAAAAAAAARGHHHHHHH! I get a shooting pain in my arm. I’m not a doctor but I’ve watched Casualty. I diagnose my arm isn’t supposed to be this sore.

She leaves. She doesn’t ask how I am or why I’m lying on the floor with a bike on top of me.

The day had started badly. It’s raining. It’s too miserable a day to bike to work but… I check the forecast, the weather is  due to clear up later in the day so I decide to bike. I go to get my bike but it has a puncture. Should I take the car? No! Nothing will stop me biking in.

The commute was wet but enjoyable. I listened to a podcast about the Aberdeen v Rangers game. I tell myself what a great decision it was to bike in. I wouldn’t be happy in the car, although I would have been drier. Oh no! As I get to the end of my trip there’s some wooden walls near the entrance to my work. Instead of a wide open path to the front door I’m funnelled through the walls. I think – shall I get off and walk the last bit? It means I won’t get in anyone’s way. NO! I’m going to bike all the way! Nothing will stop me!!!

I’ve been stopped.

The front wheel of my bike slips on a smooth paving stone and I fall off. I put my right hand out to break the fall. It breaks the fall and it breaks my radial bone! A spoon, which was in a pocket of my bag, falls onto the ground.

I should have taken the car!

My right arm is now in a sling. Which is annoying as I’m right handed. Have you ever tried using a spoon with your wrong hand? Its f**king impossible!!

Oh well, I have 3-6 weeks to learn how.

Getting to “My Top” (Iain)

I got to the top of Kilimanjaro.

Not the real top. That would be the bit the map claims to be the top.

I got to “My Top”!

I’d never planned or desired to Climb Kilimanjaro but the opportunity arose so, at short notice, I decided to do it. My thought  was it can’t be that hard – even Cheryl Cole had done it.

I was fit. I could run marathons, I could bike for miles but I hadn’t considered altitude sickness. From the moment I arrived in Tanzania I felt ill. I’d left Edinburgh (which is at sea-level) and within 24 hours I was at camp one at an altitude of nearly 2000m.

A porter saw I was ill so he offered me a Custard Cream.

I’m not sure a sweet biscuit is a cure for altitude sickness. If sweet biscuits are a medicine then I’ve eaten so many, I should never get ill.

Each day I felt worse and worse. I barely ate, and I slept appallingly. Most days I was walking only a few hundred meters before I had to disappear behind a bolder to throw up.

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Yet on summit day I woke up and felt great. Unfortunately, it was too late. I didn’t have the energy to get to the top. Once I got as far as I could I turned to the porter and said “I’m heading down”.

The two of us then headed down whilst everyone else headed up. For the first time since I’d started walking, the mountain was empty of people. There was no queue of walkers, no waiting for people to get out of the way. There was just  silence and an amazing view as the sun came up. I’d got to “My Top” and it was great.

Would I have had the same experience if I’d gone to the top. Would I have enjoyed sharing the top with everyone else? I’ll never know but I don’t feel I missed out.

The lesson here is – don’t worry if you fail. Sometimes failing is the best bit. Embrace “Your Top”

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