Tag Archive: Memories

Back in the day I liked to mess about on my BMX and/or mountain bike. I wasn’t brilliant nor even good but I could pass myself and I enjoyed the challenge of it. At the time I was a tad cocky (hard to believe I know) and I would have given most things a rattle.  Now 25 years later and 10 or so stone heavier I’m a different person.  My co-ordination is awful and my timing has gone to pot.  Is mountain biking a good idea?  Now let’s get this clear I’m not talking about downhill racing or anything hyper nuts just something a little crazy.

I have a mate who I’ve known for 20 years or so and for the last few years throughout the winter he’s been cycling the forests at night.  Again back in the day it would have been me you’d have expected to give that a rattle, not him. Strange how things change. He’s been asking me to give it a go for ages now and so far to date I’ve always found an excuse but of late I’ve been having a rethink.  I still haven’t made my mind up to be honest all I know is that if I’m going to do this I am going to have to work hard at my all round fitness and more importantly my confidence.  I’ll also need to purchase a decent set of lights and be prepared to come off the odd time or three… is it worth it?

I don’t know, all I know is I would like to have my mind made up soon!

The past is gone, it’s dead. Learn from it or forget about it, but whatever you do, don’t dwell on it. Such thoughts will only hijack the present and cast the future into doubt.  Athletes don’t save energy for races they have already run.  Chris Evans

I’ve been reading Chris Evans book “Memoirs of a Fruitcake” and have found it an exciting read.  Whilst I’ve often aspired to read autobiographies I very rarely do.  However, during the summer I wanted a light read and picked this one up. I like Chris and thought it would be a fun book – it hasn’t disappointed.  I love his quick wit and energetic persona and in recent years I’ve had a growing awareness of a new honesty within him and an appreciation for people and life.

I’ve recently had reason to consider a few things in my past.  We’ve all made mistakes and done things we regret but for some reason I have a mind that sometimes won’t let go of them.  My mind can sometimes be quite a vicious place for its owner.  Don’t worry there is nothing major nor horrendous in my past!  I haven’t murdered someone or done something equally as horrible. In fact I’m often baffled as to why my mind remembers the embarrassing minutia of my life and insists on casting it up. I’m sure a therapist would have a field day. You can see why therefore the above quote of Chris’s hit a chord, it’s time to stop the past hijacking the present and to march freely into the future.

If you’re looking a light fun read with the odd poignant moment thrown in let me recommend this book to you!

Why put off your good resolution?  Rise and begin this very moment and say, “Now is the time to be up and doing; now is the time to fight; now is the time to amend”.  When things go badly and you are in trouble, then is the time to win merit.  You must pass through fire and water, before you can come into the place of rest.  You will never overcome your vices, unless you discipline yourself severely.  Thomas Á Kempis

Thomas Á Kempis was a fourteenth century monk who’s writings are still widely read across the world today.  By this very fact alone it’s self evident that he has lots of valuable wisdom and insight to pass on to society.  Wisdom that is as fresh today as it was all those centuries ago when it was first written.  As I read further into his book today this quote jumped off the page as I’ve been recently thinking a lot about discipline.

I grew up with a mother who wasn’t disciplined and a father who was.  This is not a criticism in fact it often blended well and made the house both functional and relational.  However it’s perhaps time to deal with the outdated thoughts and concepts I have embraced concerning discipline. Somewhere in the depths of my mind I have a file labelled “discipline” and it reads as follows;

Discipline = Boredom, Stale, Restricting, Lonely, Cold, Lifeless, Joyless, Soulless, Rigid…

Just describing the above file and definition exposes some of the issues and archaic thinking that I have embraced and adopted as a child and nurtured as an adult.  My inaccurate and incomplete thinking of discipline has largely remained unchallenged and has heavily influenced my day to day living and approach to life.  If I’m honest the area it has had the largest impact on has been my relationship with food however it’s not been without influence in many other areas of my life.

Generally speaking it’s easier not to be disciplined and not to have to challenge oneself.  To date unless it’s something of great magnitude and importance I’ve chosen the easier path.  However as I approach my forties it’s time to review my thinking and update the file.  It’s time to wipe the slate clean and to renew my thinking.  It is time to mature and adopt a more purposeful and balanced approach. Perhaps the new file should read as follows;

Discipline = Productful, Essential, Costly, Challenging, Protecting, Preserving, Helpful, Tough, Loving…

Has our culture of instant gratification and greed been at the expense non commercial holistic self care?

Last night our eldest said “I think I’m starting to like U2 what songs would you recommend”.  Where does one start? U2 whilst not my most favourite band are certainly one of my favourites.  Throughout the past 25 years I’ve listened to most of their albums more times than I care to mention.  So in response to the request I quickly put a wee playlist of 20 together where I tried to stay away from the usual radio hits.

I was glad to get the feedback today that he loved such classics as “The Unforgettable Fire” and their version of “Satellite of Love”. On the way home from school he selected “Zooropa” and boy did the memories come flooding back like a massive tsunami!  I could hear myself share the memories of seeing them playing live in Dublin– ZOO TV anyone?  The opening moments of the concert were we seen the silhouette of Bono doing some kind of one legged dance whilst smoking a cigar.   The many BIG TV screens with the words swiftly changing across them alongside bits of historic film.  These are just two memories of what was a magical night in 1992.

 One memory I won’t forget was when we sneaked home across the border under blankets in the back of a mate’s estate car.  We had somewhere between 7 and 9 people on board that night if memory serves me correctly and we were scared of getting caught.  With the troubles very much still in operation what the army would have thought and done should they have found us? It would have probably landed us with a few hours of interrogation.

I remember as teenager going to see various bands and thinking tonight’s a night I’ll share with my kids and grandkids… little did I know how soon the story telling would come along.  If there is a lesson to be learnt here I think it’s in noting how fast life passes us by.  Time to get out and do a bit more living me thinks!!