Just ten more minutes...

Friday, October 15, 2004

If Google is anything to go by (and of course, in this instance, it patently isn’t), I am already the ultimate Olympian. Google those two words and this site comes up at the top of the list – comfortably ahead of a couple of stories about some guy called Redgrave. I looked into Redgrave’s record – he competed five times at three different disciplines over the course of 16 years. No wonder he’s only second. I’ve done 5 different disciplines in the last six weeks!

Before Sir Steve won his fifth gold medal in Sydney in 2000, there was an interesting documentary about him on the TV based on a video diary he had kept in the run up to the games. From that, I have an image in my head of him gasping for breath and then vomiting having pushed his body to its absolute limit at the end of one of his training sessions. It would be safe to say that thus far my own training hasn’t been quite so vigorous.

Each morning, when the alarm goes off at 06:40, I lie awake for at least ten minutes before I actually get out of bed. In this time, I argue with myself about whether or not it’s worth the effort to go to work, and wouldn’t it be nicer to just stay in bed? My well-laid plan was to supplant this ten-minute internal monologue with a brisk one mile run round the local park. I’m doing it in stages though – now I lie awake and argue with myself about whether or not I’m going to go running. So far, bed has beaten the park every time.

I had also resolved to go swimming at least once this week. That hasn’t quite gone according to plan either – I still haven’t even seen the inside of any of Oxford’s public swimming pools.

In my defence, the nights are drawing in and the weather is rotten. At twenty to seven in the morning it’s still as dark as it was at midnight. Such factors tend to make me keener to lie around on the sofa than to go out running or venture to the swimming pool – although, to be fair, I tend to do a lot of lying around in the summer too.

I suppose I’m trying to confess to having had a bad week, but I’m making a bad job even of the confession. Katie and I did play badminton on Wednesday night, and I have done my usual 30 minutes or so of walking everyday from the car to the office, but I’m a long way from throwing up because I pushed myself too hard.

During the week, I met with Holly Goodall from the Sobell House Hospice Charity to talk about my plans and how best to go about certain aspects of sponsorship, event organisation and the like. It was nice to meet her and to know that she’s excited about what I’m doing.

Timo has very kindly invited me to join him in London on Monday for the Great Britain Olympic and Paralympic teams’ parade through the capital. I’m excited about getting the chance to see all the famous faces, but I’m probably looking forward more to meeting Timo’s brother and talking to him about how to get past the “I’d rather stay in bed” stage of my training.


SwissToni said...

As all great athletes say: the rest is as important as the training. It's the resting that allows the magic to happen.

Your training programme to date simply takes this theory to its logical conclusion.

By the way, what's your policy on drugs testing? My reason for asking is not any slight on your recreational habits, but rather the result of a thought that occurred to me when I was at the gym the other day and watched a couple of noggins either:
a) swigging down strawberry flavoured creatine
b) chewing on some kind of engineered protein bar

(I watched them for 5 minutes, and neither of them visibly grew any muscle mass, so I'm not sure it worked in that respect, although both of them definitely seemed to look and behave more like tw*ts, so perhaps that's a side-effect?)

Are you going to operate to an Olympic standard here, or as the rigours of the task become reality, are you going to "accidentally" buy the wrong kind of herbal tea or Vicks inhaler?

John said...

I hadn't really given it much thought - which is somewhat remiss of me. I shall get a copy of the banned substances list at once! I fully intend to avoid as much cheating as possible (although I really dont want to open up the discussion about my table tennis service action again).