A Sporting background & the Mong DNA Gene

Throughout the whole of my life I have been a ‘Sports Mad’ individual and more importantly loved the physical side of training – no matter the level of intensity. School was fun, representing my Comprehensive School at Football (Not very good, as always the sub), but Cross-Country was a different thing altogether – really good at that. After leaving school it was HM Forces and again sports orientated – qualifying as an Army PTI.

In later years I attended Liverpool University & Teacher Training – again Studying Sports & Physical Education which has been my present job for the past 24 years. I use sport as a tool for motivation, achievement, progression and many other aspects of life. But on a less formal language & terminological approach – I use it for Fun, Laughter and getting Dirty (Muddy & Wet). I have demonstrated a good understanding of my use of sports to develop my own professional skills – as a Teacher and also in my capacity as a qualified FA Referee. Similarly Martial Arts was a gene I inherited from my Dad as he brought us up to have ‘Self-Discipline’, which I lacked very much as a kid growing up. (Life in Liverpool as a kid wasn’t an easy time and expectations of standing up for yourself were always high. In my case, I never learned how to backdown and conflict was always just around the corner or usually steaming straight at me as my mates would confirm.)  Man management, team work, initiative, stress, pressure, organisation, fitness and so on and so on.

Now reaching my senior years, I have re-ignited that competitiveness of sporting achievement from my youth in the form of training for ‘Extreme Physical Sports’ – TOUGH GUY, HELL UP NORTH Challenges, 5km, 10km running events, 50km+ cycling events to name just a few. The BUZZ can not be described fully in words, its the feelings of pride, achievement, success, defeat, failure that makes you want to carry on. Using a STEVEN GERRARD quote “WE GO AGAIN!!”

My local Gym is a place of safety, sanctuary and also in a weird way a place of pleasure. I De-stress there, set new targets and goals regularly and more importantly – find myself there. It is my own little World. I wonder how many of you have ever been told ‘Not to train as much’ by the gym staff. Don’t get me wrong, they do know me better than I give them credit for and they say it for my own welfare. Age is just a number to me and shouldn’t prevent you from achieving more things in your life – I love training next to the younger guys in the gym, as I use them as a challenge to improve my Personal Bests. Sitting on a Static Bike for 60mins may seem boring to some people, but to me it gives me several opportunities for newer training buddies to start their exercises. I close my eyes, look at the floor and pedal as fast as I can for as long as I can – 36km-38kms was a fair effort. Anything less was me being lazy that day and another session the next day was on the cards. What I lack in speed I make up for in Heart – the need to succeed. I trained and challenged myself and my 2 sons Tom & Zak to beat me, compete with me and more importantly for us as a family – to Bond together in a Father and Sons way. They will tell you that I am a pain in the backside and never shut up during the training and events. But deep down they also felt as proud of their achievements as I did. So much so that they want to compete in more events in the future.

I used the services of my sons and the gym fully during the past few years and have been taught new methods of improving my performances, other than just simply ‘Effort & No Brains’.  Nutrition has always been my downfall, as I eat rubbish and unhealthily. However, my thought process was simple – Eat More, Train Harder.  My weight only became an issue when I stopped training. So step up the GoodFellows Club – set up by the gym to re-train or re-educate fitness freaks like me. I cut out the rubbish and sweets, crisps, chocolate etc…  and even without training I started to lose amounts of weight. This gave me more incentive to obtain new Personal Bests, Goals and Targets.

So now that we are aware of my crazy approach to training – commonly identified as the ‘MONG DNA GENE’, you will hopefully understand how difficult the past few months have been. My last big event was at the beginning of November 2014 which was HELL UP NORTH 2 for me and my two training buddies – Tony & Edgie ( The 3 Old Codgers). Another improvement in our time was set and we had the usual cuts & bruises after completing the event. As usual we had a week off to recover from the traumas of the event, taking an opportunity to do some light training again. I had a very busy period in school at the same time so long days and late nights meant not much training for 2 weeks.

Step up the GoodFellows Club and Mark again, with his new training regime for me, assessment & re-educating my nutritional approach. A couple of 6.15am sessions and different exercise routines got me into the mood to try a different challenge in the New Year – Setting up a ‘BUCKET LIST’ of things to do. Training started again in December 2014 and I was in the frame of mind of not letting Christmas spoil my training regime, but also to enjoy the festive period. Now with hindsight, this will be seen as my critical error, as on 28th December 2014 I went for a gentle jog around my local 5km road route, on a cold and icy/snow covered night. It appears to be the catalyst for my injury problems at the moment, as I jarred my left knee and ended up hobbling home in pain, crying like a right wimp as I crawled up the stairs to the bath.

The obligatory Heat/ICE pads, Lobster Baths (piping hot baths), elevation and rest were the order of the day for the preceding 2 weeks, resulting in some improvement in my knee but still a lot of pain. I returned back to work at the beginning of January 2015 and found that this was as bad an idea as my last run. Being up on my feet all day, 5 days a week only aggravated my injury further.

My next blog entry will outline the conflicting advice and medical opinions and the delays I have endured over the past 5 weeks.


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