Skateboarding is good for your health…


I’d planned on going skating early this morning, whilst the park was quiet, hoping to have it to myself. Skating solo is good for me whilst I’m learning the basics again, and I didn’t fancy swimming against a tide of scooters. There’s a really nice feeling being on your own at the park, especially early.

Well, I overslept, and wondered if l would actually go skating at all, with the call of artwork and life in general tugging at my sleeve. After a tasty breakfast (my wife and I take turns making breakfast on Sundays), chilling seem  in order, but after a chat, I decided to get up and get to the park after all.

Pleasantly surprised by finding the park empty, I set to learning how to flow more, and relax on the board again. (My biggest issue last week was being too stiff.) Rolling in, I started to carve more naturally almost immediately, and began to loosen up, standing lower, and feeling at home on the board once more. I’ve still not quite managed t flow all the way around the park, but I’m close.

Sitting atop the funbox, I was aware of nothing but my breath and the wind around me. Calm, centred and happy, I picked up my board again, and began to put in more circuits of the park. Still not reaching a full circle, the flow was definitely coming back, and I felt more relaxed than I have for quite some time. Rather than worrying about tricks and speed, the feeling of flowing seems more important to me now. Everything else will come with time.

Keep rolling…

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Mini Pocket Dump! 6/11/2015

Pocket-Dump-12-11-2015
Mini Pocket Dump 12/11/2015

1.A6 notebook (always useful); 2.KEYS!; 3. Papermate propelling pencil (why hadnt I been using these before? No sharpeners, writes anywhere; 4. Ancient wallet; 5. Reusable carrier bag (helps save the planet, and you have to pay for carrier bags in the UK now…); 6. Business card holder, containing cards for our art and design business.

My plan kind of worked…

I had a really good idea last night, after deciding to ride to my business networking breakfast 10 miles away. I planned to ride back from networking via the back roads, surrounded by lovely countryside, stop and take photos when I saw something cool and enjoy the ride…

All was well, until I got two miles towards home when my back tyre went completely flat and I had to stop to fix it. No problem I thought, I’ve got all the kit with me, it should only take a minute or two… I found the puncture easily, pumped it up to check were the air was coming out, and whacked a Flypaper patch over it, waited a minute and pumped it up again… You know that moment when you realise you should have marked where the puncture was? Yup, I had stuck the patch in the wrong place, and it was my last one. Oh, and the battery on my phone went “BYE SUCKER!”

So did I walk the 8 miles home or the 2 miles back to Market Harborough where I could get my tyre fixed? I put the back wheel back on my bike and started walking…

Man, that was a LONG two miles. My feet still really hurt now, right in the heels? That is weird…

The folks in the bike shop, George Halls were so cool and really helpful. Not only did they replace the inner tube and check everything was okay, but they let me use their PC so I could email my wife (no phone, remember?) and let her know what had happened and that I was okay. (She does want to keep me safe…) Now that’s customer service.  It was also cool as both of the lads working in the shop are BMXers, so we chatted about bikes and riding whilst my bike was sorted.

I stopped off for a coffee and a muffin before riding home, really enjoying the ride and being back on bike after far too long. It was also great fun skipping back through some muddy fields close to home too… getting my cyclocross vibes in!

The day was still about exploring (physically and mentally), as the riding was great fun, and I made an extra special effort to be nice to folks, paying attention to kindness and consideration shown by others. Its not hard, and making others happy makes you feel happy too. Try it, its a lovely feeling.

Oh, and I made sure I bought 2 lots of Flypaper patches…

Back to home Back to Lubenham

Pocket Dump! November 2015

Completely nicking this idea from Thomas and Elise More Than Just Surviving, as I think it is a really good one. Onwards to exploring, learning and growing! This is what was the pockets of my cycling jacket today…

Pocket-Dump-2-11-2015

1.Eco batteries for front bicycle light; 2.Ancient wallet (gift from my wife); 3. Alcohol wipes liberated from KFC; 4. KEYS!; 5. Student ID for my L4 Counselling Diploma; 6.Random Scout woggle found in canal fields; 7.Business card holder, containing cards for our art and design business.

When I put something up that I really like, I will share links to manufacturers where possible. Get out there and explore!

Things don’t always go to plan…

Afternoon! It’s a lovely warm day here, though I think the weather is about to change…

It was lovely and sunny first thing this morning, so Fizz (our German Shepherd) and I gathered some stuff together and headed for The Pond, with the aim of catching some of the bigger fish I’ve seen this week. The fact that I caught my best (size/weight) Roach earlier this week had me keen to catch a bigger fish… It’s what anglers do.

On arrival at The Pond, my usual spot appeared VERY different, as someone else had been fishing there. Now, it’s not my pond, and I have no right to claim it, but I have become a bit territorial about it. It’s my happy place, and I don’t like seeing it in a mess. Whoever had been there clearly camped out, as a large area of grass was flattened, and there was a bonfire – which was still hot – it clearly hadn’t been put out properly. There are trees all around The Pond, and I don’t want to see any damage to them, so I tried to ensure the fire was extinguished. Earlier this week, I found out what had been making lots of odd bird noises in the trees – there’s a family of smaller Birds of Prey (I’ve not seen them clearly enough to identify them) nesting there. It was a beautiful sight to see them swoop down through the trees and head out over the water. Selfish acts like leaving litter, rope, tent pegs and tools lying around really upsets me, but seeing the fire was still live really wound me up. Please think of others when you’re out and about, whatever you’re doing.

Whether this left me unsettled or not, I started getting angry and upset about not catching any fish, and this upset my normal calm time at The Pond. Just being there should be enough, catching a fish of any size is the icing on the cake. As Fizz got a little unsettled, we packed up and headed off home.

I’ve been reading and watching a lot of fishing material this week, learning and growing. There’s a fantastic article in this month’s Carpology about simplifying fishing, and taking it back to basics, amongst other things, and I really like this. Just being out there, watching the water and how the fish are moving, and, hopefully,catching one is what it’s all about. Nothing else.

Thanks for listening.

Do you know how amazing you are?

The last week or so has been incredible. My head has been buzzing with so many plans, plots and schemes that I haven’t known where to turn or what to do first…

I finished six months of personal development last week. It seems unbelievable to me that I’ve been working on this for six months, but the strength and confidence I have now is amazing. Which brings me to the last couple of weeks. The whole head buzzing, whirling, not knowing where to start thing had reached a point, and I was paralysed by starting the next step on the journey. It wasn’t until my counselling class two weeks back that I realised what was happening…

My tutor in the afternoon that takes us for the process part of our course (practical skills), made an observation on my counselling session where I had said that I felt as though I was in the centre of a tornado, like in the ‘Wizard of Oz’, with everything whirling around me out of control. It was fear that was sending me into a spin, fear of the unknown, and that’s what my tutor commented on.

For a long time I’ve held very set, black and white views on how some things should be, like work, and now with all this amazing confidence, assertiveness and positivity, that view has been blown apart. I don’t have to fit into a set pattern of behaviour, attitude or appearance any more, as I thought I had to before. My mind is finally free of constraint allowing me to do as I wish, not as others do. I am in charge of my own future and am moving forwards at a rate of knots with nothing to hold me back. It’s amazing and I’m really happy.

All of you are amazing too and capable of so many incredible things. Take the leap.

Facing the fear…

I don’t like conflict. So much so that I avoid it by usually not saying anything at difficult times, even if I disagree with what the other person is saying. I stick my head in the sand and will often go weeks avoiding making telephone calls, sending emails, letters, what ever. It’s the fear of rejection or causing upset or anger. I think as I was sheltered from upset and protected when I was little, it led to me fearing it in later life.

Since restarting our business last year, I’ve done lots of networking, been to lots of events, handed out leaflets and sold ourselves through social media. I love meeting new people and finding out about what they do and enjoy. I can talk about what I do, art and design, with passion and enthusiasm with others, and make great connections with people who want me to create art and design for them.

And then I can stall. When it comes to calling people back or following up by email, I put it off. I look for other things to do, work on projects that aren’t as important, do housework, anything rather than contact people about working with them. If it’s someone I know, it’s not an issue and I just get on with it. But new people and potential clients? It’s that fear of rejection or causing upset.

After an excellent Skype yesterday, the conclusion was reached that if I could not overcome this fear and make calls when needed, I might as well give up the business. If I don’t follow up on leads, meetings, what have you, we won’t make any money, and I may as well take up stacking shelves for a living.

I don’t want to do that.

This afternoon, I wrote scripts for the calls I had to make. I also scripted what I would say if it went to answer phone. I read them a few times to get used to the flow, making sure I got what I wanted from the call, then made them. The first call was answered, and I handled it really well. I like the person, as we are both creatives, so the conversation flowed nicely and naturally. We arranged to meet next week to plan the project we are working on, and there is potential for even more work as well. Really happy.

The second call went to answer phone, so I used my scripted response, and will await a reply. Again, what I had written works well for, reassuring the client and ensuring that I get what I need too.

After making the calls, I was buzzing with adrenaline and positivity. I had taken on a big issue that has been with me for years, and the outcome was even better than I had expected. I’m proud of myself, and ready for the next challenge. At the moment I feel like I can do anything…