Posts Tagged dream

Sunday Column (515)

Hello. I got about seven regular Sunday Columns left. That means Christmas is not far away. I managed two early Christmas presents for my boys, one is a trip to Manchester in order to see Man City play; the other one is a basketball hoop. Latter is also an early present for myself, but that aside. I can’t stop myself supporting the boy’s ambition to play sports, be healthy and exercise. How could I?

Today it has been 100 years since the end of World War One. It is hard to believe. My grandparents would be over 100 years old now and the world has moved on. Thinking about it, I introduced my youngest to some ‘oldies’ music from the 60ies and 70ies, another (Vietnam) war generation only 50 years ago. He wasn’t too keen. It reminds you to appreciate the peaceful times we live in. Despite mid term elections in the US and Brexit. A year from now, the world is a different place.

On that note, I read an article on the BBC about the decline in fertility rate. It is scary that we might not have an overpopulation problem but a problem of not too many kids to sustain our ever growing older people base. We are all going to live longer and no one there to follow us, meaning we need to work longer potentially. Our generation will see a lot of change.

For myself, post marathon, I just felt hungry this week. A bit out of place, not having anything to strive for. I was surprised how little I felt in terms of ‘weakness’ after the marathon. My knee felt fine from Tuesday already and all worries about that are gone. Some niggles around an insect bite I got during the run, and still some stiff legs. Nothing a massage, a stretch and a short run on the treadmill couldn’t cure.

The feeling after a marathon is interesting. You are in a hype bubble for a while, then it sinks in. It’s a super high and then a huge come down. It’s a phenomenon called the ‘marathon blues’, I read up a lot on it, and it isn’t nice to be honest. You spent three months or longer working towards something and then it’s done. It’s over. I can see the addiction to do more and more. It reminded me a bit of smoking cigarettes, you get this super high, then the low down, so you have another, and another. It is addictive for sure.

I find, at least for myself, that once it sunk in, it is almost as if it wasn’t there. But then it lingers around, that feeling of achievement. Not that I run around smiling, but it is that feeling of ‘yes, I have done it’. It definitely gives me energy, and wants me to run another one. So we shall see.

I was warned. The challenge is really to have the time and commit or sacrifice precious family time to running. That’s the hardest bit. The fitness and the mental strength builds up as you go along. I haven’t really decided yet, the next few weeks are quiet in terms of running, so plenty of time to think about it. But I might have just caught the running bug 🙂 (not that I didn’t run before anyway). Who knows. Maybe time to channel my time and focus to other projects, like basketball or building car models again. Who knows, nothing has been decided.

But those moments are decision moments. When running the marathon I was thinking of situations in my life where I went out of my comfort zone. The navy came to mind, now over 20 years ago. Night marches. Going beyond your limits. And compared to others, my training wasn’t that hard. And university, when being in the fraternity and fencing with sharp blades. Those moments of discomfort and going beyond the usual are moments that define you. They never go away. The wall as I call it, the next wall is there to come.

As I started writing this I am on an earlier train. If you don’t exercise in the morning and your body is used to a 5 am start, there is only that much you can do. My new breakfast routine takes 5 minutes (a nutrition shake), so I will be at work early. There is always something to do and sort. It was occupational therapy this week, work and food, and from next week things will change again. Time to go back to the gym, do more runs and decide on the next wall.

Don’t worry, there are still things on my bucket list. And maybe some of them have less impact on my knees. Maybe I need to learn a new skill. Maybe something to involve the kids. I believe I am through the blues. The weekend was great, getting on top of loads of work this week and being able to have a nice meal out with the wife. For our anniversary, to celebrate life.

I dreamed I had the chance to go up in a rocket to see the ISS (International Space Station) and paid a lot of money for it. And when it was about to take off, I wasn’t sure if I should go. What’s the worst that can happen to you out there? You never come back, you die. But you won’t. You will be fine, and things will always work out. If someone offers you a ride in a rocket, take it. Fear is a good thing.

I felt that last weekend, I went into that rocket, despite fear, and I came back. Yes, it was a hard come down, but now it is time to find the next rocket ride. Some training at basecamp and up to the next stars.

I almost don’t want to quit this post, but it’s time to let go. Literally. 7 more weeks.

Have a great week ahead,
Volker

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Sunday Column (327)

This week was odd. You remember I spoke about this virus I had last week. Now on Sunday lunch time I got a major headache. We were in Brighton doing some shopping and bang, it hit me. Monday I worked from home anyway, yet didn’t feel right. Almost flu-ish without a temperature. Just a virus. Not better on Tuesday, so I called in sick (whilst working the urgent stuff from home).

I slowly went back to normal by Wednesday, 10 days into the virus infection. I had arguments about whether I should exercise or not when ill, and how much I should push my body. A virus takes as long as it takes, there are no short cuts. Temperature came back too and even today, I still feel not 100%, but no temperature, a bit of a headache, and the oncoming of a cold. I guess once you are run down, the body can’t fight back.

Moving on: The highlight of the week was Colin turning 6. Wow. 6 years since I was holding my first child in my arms, and I had no clue what to do with it at the time. I was just made redundant, 2009 recession. We pulled through. We always pull through and make it work. And this week I was able to give him a superb birthday party as a present, some toys and a voucher (not sure he understands that concept yet) for a fish tank. A small one I got off the local swap and sell page on Facebook, yet he doesn’t know we already got it 😉

happy birthday

The kids are growing up. I more and more realise how tall they get. What happens when they get in trouble in school, how they deal with situations in life and what they really enjoy. It is great to have kids, and 6 years ago I was just “having them”, little did I know about the joys they bring. I learned a lot. It almost brings tears to my eyes thinking of how boring life would be without children. Without the challenges to put two little people through life. Teach them that it isn’t always sunshine….

And great respect to my wife. Not only for organising this fantastic party, working relentless and non stop to finish the sandwiches, cake, organising and still being there for the kids. Wow, you are awesome! I love you!

In a few weeks time my wife is away (well deserved break!) on a Friday, the day my youngest goes to “sing and stomp”. I have never been but know he loves it. So I asked him if he wanted daddy to go with him. He hesitated a bit, looked and me, and said ‘he would love me to go’. So do I. It is nice to be able to be part of their life that I normally don’t see. Being able to see the world from their point of view is amazing. And, to be honest, I cannot wait for that weekend. Because that weekend me and the boys can just be friends, have fun, and enjoy a great weekend together. I see us being up to a lot of mischief 🙂 Being a dad is great.

My dream is, when they finish university, that they will say to me, when we go for a graduation dinner: “Dad/Mum, I love you guys. You have taught us so much about life without being a teacher. You balanced the telling off well with the support, and we never ever had the feeling to hold back, to not being able to call you in the middle of the night or approach you for any topic.” – that’s my dream. But that is every parent’s dream I suppose?!

Enough nostalgia. Time to ramp up the fitness level again, put the virus behind me and get cracking.

Life is to short to rest.

Have a good one,
Volker

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Buddhist Thoughts: Strive

Strive

Buddha can only be a guide. He can only show you the way.

You need to put your words and thoughts into action and strive to succeed yourself.
You are the one living the dream.

Make the most out of it!

Volker

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Dream

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Sunday Column (214)

If I had unlimited money, won the lottery or inherited from a long lost aunt I have never heard of, if….when did you last dream about that? How often do you chase your dreams?

Daily. That would be my answer. I am chasing my realistic dreams daily, the above unrealistic dream too seldom.

dream

Living the dream. Having a place to live, a job I enjoy, a great wife and kids. Healthy kids. A network of support, friends and work colleagues. I am living the dream and often I don’t notice it.

Don’t get me wrong, I do have challenges. With work, with the wife, with the kids. I moan (a lot) and I can get angry. But I try, like in moments like now, to calm my mind and focus on the essentials. And those are in order, they make me happy. Of course everyone and then someone manages to unbalance my Zen. I guess the most annoying bit is if you do a reality check on something with someone, and what a person says is really unrealistic compared to most opinions.

Are you one of those people that think if something awful happens, then you will change your life? I used to think that until I realised that whatever happens, no matter how bad, will only be as bad as you experience it. To simplify: you decide how bad a death affects you as suppose to you almost getting run over by a car or missing the bus. All of those events, no doubt one worse than the other, will affect your life. But whether you going to make it a life changing one is entirely up to you. Some people get really motivated from bad news they receive to changing their life.

Living in the now and forming your future is entirely your call. Your decision and responsibility. No one will make decisions for you. You decide entirely yourself. Question: are you ready to make the decision?

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Decisions. I made a few decisions this week. One was that a club I looked at is not for me. Then on Wednesday I made the decision to stay at home. I had a temperature, stayed in bed most of the day. What I realised lately is that people don’t call in sick anymore. They work from home and be partly sick. Technology allows me to stay on top of my emails. I work, Skype with colleagues, and don’t relax. One isn’t ill and detached anymore. One is working from home. Odd isn’t it?

I believe that we are no machines and need lots of relaxation to cope with the stresses and strains of life. Life got really busy didn’t it? I do believe I have a good balance. However, four weeks of viruses and lack of sleep because of the boys keeping us up at night, took its toll. Hopefully this week’s temperature is the final step before I return to normal? We had to cancel long term weekend plans too. And, the reality is that we should just de-tach ourselves from work when ill. Technology is both a blessing and a curse. We still feel that we need to stay on top of things.

Anyway. The weather is supposed to get better next week, so fingers crossed this will get rid of all the viruses and bugs. The kids seem better. Hopefully the wife stays healthy, so far so good. We cancelled our weekend plans and the sunny Thames River walk on Sunday which I was looking forward to had to be cancelled due to train issues. The joys of living too far out of London.

I have three busy weeks ahead of me. To be honest, before I know it, I am on a week off for half term. Life is busy. Life is good.

Have a great week,
Volker

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