Olympics 101

Monday, June 11, 2007

This challenge has its roots in being a bit rubbish. In a way, I was inspired to take it up in order to teach myself a lesson – that I’m not as good at all things sporting as I tend to think I am – but as it turns out, it has highlighted many other areas in which I am a bit rubbish.

I’m a bit rubbish at organising myself. I’m a bit rubbish at motivating myself. I’m a bit rubbish at getting on with it.

Strangely though, it’s something a bit rubbish that has inspired me to get back on this Olympic horse; compared to the new Olympic logo – sorry, brand – I feel quite professional, organised, and, let’s face it, not quite so rubbish.

New inspiration aside, I have been quite tempted for quite a while to admit defeat and just knock this all on the head.

The regular reader – or at least, the regular reader who hasn’t completely abandoned hope that I might write something new here (hi, mum) – will no doubt have worked out that my mood tends to swing more often than Tiger Woods on the practice ground. It’s a blessing and a curse. Without such mental highs, it would never have occurred to me to embark on anything quite so ambitious and foolish in the first place; without such mental lows, I would have completed many more events by now.

Today marks the beginning of the 147th week of the challenge. I have completed a mere 27 events so far, which means I am 63.5 events behind schedule and still have 101 events to complete before the next games in China. The opening ceremony in Beijing is scheduled for August 8th 2008, which is less than 60 weeks away.

I may have left myself too much to do – worse still, I might have let myself get boxed-in like some latter day Tom McKean – but all I can do is try, which, if memory serves, is all I ever set out to do in the first place.


There are a few events in the pipeline for the summer months already. On 15th July, I will be riding the 30km time trial with Kev on the roads in and around Oxford (if you want to join us, drop me a mail). On 11th August, Kev and I will be playing in a beach volleyball tournament in Gloucester (Kev can be my wingman anytime), and on 9th September, I will be running in the Anthony Nolan Trust Only Fools Run over the cross country course at Blenheim (instead of doing it on a horse, which, I have been reliably informed, would almost certainly result not only in my death, but quite possibly the death of the horse as well).

I’m also getting ahead of myself and trying to figure out how to finish the challenge in August of next year. The final event of the games is always the marathon, and I think it would make sense for me to do that last as well, not least because it’s the event I will need the most time to recover from. Doing a marathon in the UK in August perhaps isn’t overly wise though, so I’ve been looking at some alternative venues.

The most interesting ones so far are: Stockholm (you get to finish in the 1912 Olympic stadium), Reykjavik (should be nice and cool), Omsk (see Reykjavik), Helsinki (which also features an Olympic stadium finish) and the Isle of Man. A lot will probably depend on the timing of the events, but at the moment, I’m leaning towards Helsinki, not least because of the Paavo Nurmi connection. Any thoughts?


Anonymous said...

WONDERFUL to have you back!
Please do the Marathon in Helsinki. Always fancied going there myself and we just HAVE to get a "Stand by your Statue" photo of you beside Paavo! Surely you have to have 3 legs to run in the Isle of Man? WELCOME BACK AND DELIGHTED TO HEAR OF FUTURE EVENTS. WOWO aka your Mum! xoxo

John said...

And to think that all this time I've been thinking my proclivity to drink too much demonstrated a weakness of character, when all along it was clearly genetic.

Anonymous said...

There is nothing wrong with glorious defeat - It's the British way! Well certainly an English way, I think the Scottish way possibly involves defeat in the group stages after treating Wales badly in the qualifiers.
ANYWAY the point i'm trying to make is that glorious defeat is fine just so long as it is glorious and you go down fighting!

Anonymous said...

Gloucester has a beach?!!

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