personal trainer california

A Disorganized Traveler…

Public speaking? Check. Getting up early? Check. Dancing with rhythm? Check. Going on holidays by myself? Check. Wow look at me!!! So clever, good at lots of things! Yes yes! But don't ask me to plan, to organize, or think too far in the future!! That's never been my forte, its never come easily to me and to be honest I don't think it ever will be.

Step up my latest experiences!! A wedding away from home where my girlfriend at the time was a bridesmaid. With my trusty side-kick organizing most of the weekend, the seemingly simple task of pre-booking some accommodation for myself while she was on bridesmaid duties was my only task. With approximately six months to book I left it to late in the afternoon of the same day to find some accommodation. Yep!! Idiot I hear you say and yes of course everything in Byron Bay is booked out, no options and with no tent - even the camp sites weren't an option.

Let the adventure begin! Now this isn't a tale of chance meetings or fortunate events. It's about learning to see the gems in our short comings. It's about recognizing what are flaws are and seeing the good in them. Sure, I was probably annoyed I had to travel to the next town to find my accommodation, but it was a place I'd never been. It was yet another place in this wide world I hadn't been to and now would love to go back.

But the real gift from my relaxed nature / not being organized was my morning run! Like a warm blanket on a cold winters morning we don't want to lift off, a blanket of dark black cloud had refused to lift from the day before. Certainly not the ideal weather for a wedding day and very unmotivating to go for a run in! My training schedule required me to go for a long run - so run I did. After resisting temptation to stay in bed, I stepped out into the element and realized I was going to be chaperoned by dark, heavy rain clouds. A jagged and angry, yet mystical coastline, enthusiastic surfers, dog owners and their best friends and the occasional violent yet exhilarating downpour of rain. It was heaven! I had one of the best runs ever and even yelled with glee at the sheer simplicity and chance encounter.

Sure it was a little extra stress the night before, not having a place to stay, sure I was by myself and didn't have kids to worry about and sure I'm the sort of person happy to sleep in a cave. But one must consider the expectations we set and how the alter our state of mind. I was gifted with a magical experience because I didn't plan my accommodation. But I didn't have an expectation of where I would stay or what type of place I'd stay in in the first place. I didn't get upset or angry because I hadn't invested any emotion or thought into where I would stay.

Granted, this experience isn't for everyone and of course not planning in advance has cost me big time in the past and I'm sure it will in the future. But if I / we continue to let our expectations control our habits and thoughts we often miss out on the little gems in life. Being adaptive and accepting of your immediate situation is a skill and its very hard for us to let go of expectations. But the more we can be open to letting things happen and just rolling with the punches, we can get some truly magical nuggets that can make life all that more rich.

I dare you to plan a holiday and not book accommodation before you leave, only take carry on luggage, leave something to the last minute, try a new recipe on the night of a dinner party, go for a walk in a new town and not take your phone, or go for a drive and not look at a map! Get lost in the adventure of life, because it isn't meant to be a pre-organized sequential format that we must follow.

The Beginnings

Everyone has an individual journey and a thing they call life, but how many of us really know what’s going on in our life and the world around us?

The personal journey I call ‘life’ has already been filled with heartache, tragedy, mistakes, travel, triumph, laughter, adventure and an endless number of objectives but I know I’m still only scratching the surface of what I’ve been through. But with the imagination and sense of mischief like a 12 year old I believe the older I get the more I’m wanting to see the world in a different light. It’s now my hope that I can share this adventure and help other people find the adventure in their own lives and create a framework that at the end of your life you can say, “job well done”.

As much as this is about sharing my story with the world this is also about the process of me overcoming a personal fear and confronting a task I dread more than having to work a 9 to 5 job - writing and being available to public criticism!

My journey sure has been fun so far and I’ve had some amazing experiences along the way. Those experiences have now become a great source of encouragement for me when times are tough. During those times of hardship a moment of self reflection has always helped put things in perspective and I can draw from the life I’ve lived so far.

I’m not super-human and I’m certainly not the most gifted or most intelligent person but I do see the world as a playground and the older I’m getting the more I’m seeing people lose that love of their own lives and falling short of what they are truly capable of achieving. I hope that with this blog I’ll be able to share how I came to be on stage naked in a gay play, climbed one of the highest mountains on a continent with my Mum, ran a 3:15 marathon with only two training runs, was air-lifted out of a canyon, lived on a river in Peru for 32 days and how I almost lost my life in a white water kayaking trip in Norway. These and many more stories that have helped me see the world as an adventure playground and shaped my fitness lifestyle.

I hope that I can make you laugh, let you learn from my mistakes and possibly even allow you to make this life we live as rich and enjoyable as possible.

Because for someone who loves a good nudie run I sure like to get the most out of life and I now just want to share it with other people and enjoy other people’s stories along the way.

Here’s to do a ‘doodle dance!’

The Act of Giving

To give and not receive is a very noble act, to give and not to be acknowledged is even more noble. But yet the act of giving seems to be riddled with contention, perimeters and awkwardness. Now of course there's always exceptions to the rule, but in the past year (2015) I did two fundraising efforts with remarkable difference.

Last year, as part of the Polished Man campaign, (a campaign designed to raise awareness around sexual and physical abuse towards children) I held a fundraising event. Unfortunately, as a child this was something I was effected by so I had a real personal connection with the subject matter. But it was without much thought or consideration that I proceed to organize my first charity event with no real expectation of how it would end up. Now truth be told, my organization skills aren't a personal strong point and if I was ever to get married my fiancé would be doing all the work!

With the help of a few friends, the venue was booked, raffle prizes were given, a date was confirmed, photographers were arranged, publicity was happening and the event was shaping up to be a great evening. In just over three weeks we managed to pull it all together and hold a very successful night, raising great awareness surrounding the cause. A success!!

Fast forward to me next volunteer effort. I traveled to Peru as a volunteer safety white water kayaker. A documentary was being made to illustrate the effects 20 hydroelectric dams being built on the Rio Maranon would have on the community, environment and the ecosystem. This was a conservation project I initially know little about but it became very clear the people of Peru are in danger of losing a natural treasure and not even the government is willing to intervene.

Now, while my time was donated, all my associated travel was covered by me, and I was also required to raise money. A pledge of $9,000 was made and through the platform, Pozible, I raised the money. While it was no easy feat and at times I had to bare all!! Literally, I did a video naked with my kayaking gear on! Eventually I got there, and as a result a documentary is being made that I hope will go a long way to making a difference to the people of Peru and send a message to the rest of the world about how unnecessary mega hydroelectric dams are without the correct environmental study.

Taking these two very different experiences and two very different outcomes / objectives, one was remarkably easier to achieve. Now on paper, clicking a few buttons and donating some money seems the most logical answer to me. With roughly 1,200 friends on good ol’ Facebook, if I got everyone to make a donation of $7.5 I’d have my quota. Instead I was left to constantly update Facebook, continually feeding information, direct messaging (numerous time), reaching out to family and asking my parents friends but I was still chasing my tail and often feeling like it was falling on deft ears. However, with the help of a few larger donations I got there.

But with the event! Well that was a piece of cake! I had gifts sent from all sorts of people, donations of tickets, shoes, bags, the gifts just kept coming in! The venue hire was for free, the photographer donated his time, there really was no shortage of offers. My only real concern was would people turn up?? They did, and quite a few! The raffle raised lots of money, the bar even donated profits from their takings and before I knew it the night was done, we had raised around $5,000 and had a good time in the process.

So what worked best? One could argue the event was the winner but from my perspective the act of giving is complex, its hard to hit that trigger point that will get people’s attention. Timing is everything and being able to connect to an audience. Being able to show them something or give insight as to what their time or money will go to.

I know that no matter how big or small the donation is I will always give something. Because if I know my $2 will make the difference - its worth it. The act of giving is something I think we all need to be more conscious of and if we can all just give that $7.5 its amazing what a difference it can make.