Wednesday, 28 January 2009

I never thought I'd find myself quoting Jimmy Osmond

Talented though I'm sure he is, this guy's music has never done anything for me at all. His most famous song, was one I remember had lots of 'turn that thing off' appeal when I was young and he was even younger.

However, today I went to the gym determined to spent 45 mins sweating steadily on the exercise bike. A few feet in front of me was a TV screen and on it, Alan Titchmarsh, former gardener now daytime TV chat show host.

He interviewed Osmond who is currently appearing in the West End in 'Grease' and it was towards the end of the interview that the pearl of wisdom emerged. In fact it was rather a powerful moment, perhaps because I was close to fainting with the exertion on the bike.

Osmond said that one of the best things he learned from his family was how to adapt to life after the spotlight of fame has moved off you and onto someone else. How many people can you think of who deprived of their accustomed status by retirement, redundancy or changing fashion struggle to re-invent themselves?

So, Osmond might not be someone I'd rush out to listen to on stage, but when talking about life, the guy talks real sense. There - I'm converted!

Saturday, 24 January 2009

Do cyclists shout at you to help them pedal faster?

Cooling down after a nice run I was walking back along the road near my home when a passing cyclist shouted, 'get out of the road'. He had all the gear on, including one of those rather silly streamlined helmets.

Alas he didn't stop to offer more specific advice about where he felt I should be walking. My choice was simple. An overgrown verge, complete with dangling brambles, long grass and hidden holes, or the road. I chose the road. There's no footpath.

So whose road is it I wonder? He cycles on it, I run on it and I suspect we both drive on it too. Next time I seee him I'll shout back and run after him. Then we'll see!

Do people try to tell you what to do? Do you listen to them or ignore their advice?

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Need a helping hand?

I met a really interesting guy the other day. He had quite literally paid an arm and a leg to be where he is today. He's a double amputee.

However, far from being a 'professional victim', he's positive and eager to make a difference in the world. He has started his own business and sees no barriers, just opportunities.

He described how he once wrote to disability champion Simon Weston and Simon picked up the phone and called for a chat. 99% of people would not have written the letter, but this guy just does it.

It really puts your own problems and anxieties in perspective when you meet someone who makes light of what in reality must be a horrific thing to live with. In his situation, I'd make a list of all the things I could not do and get depressed. He wrote a list of what was still possible and got on with life.

I learned a lot from meeting him. What do you think he could teach you?

Friday, 9 January 2009

I was good at the dentist today

I'm not sure why, but everyone at my office was surprised when I came back from the dentist wearing this sticker. I had been good so I reckon I deserved it!

Bella kindly explained that normally only children get stickers, but why I wonder? I'd spent a record 46 minutes having a tooth ground down to have a crown fitted. That's three quarters of an hour with a mouth full of latex fingers, sucking pipes and not forgetting that whining drill.

Actually Christine my dentist is very good and her assistant Stacey kept me amused by pulling faces all the way through the procedure. In fact, Stacey deserves a sticker as well.

My point though is this: why do we assume that only young people like to be told they've been good? Perhaps in these troubled times more people should take the trouble to thank their customers and reward their commitment to seeing through what might be every bit as scary as a trip to the dentist. Do you agree?

Saturday, 3 January 2009

Gym'll fix it!

Every newspaper I read has its own recession busting, money saving tips. Without exception, they all suggest that dumping the gym membership is a good way to save a few pounds a week.

Wrong! Without the encouragement and equipment of a good gym, most people let their fitness regime slip. Being unfit makes you feel lethargic, sees your belly creep over your belt and make even carrying the shopping home a physical trial.

How much better to feel good, have a body you can be proud of and enjoy that rush of endorphins you can only achieve with a good workout. Furthermore the complete break from work or home pressures that an hour in the gym provides is a good way to reflect on your day and put things in perspective in your mind.

Of course press ups in the kitchen and star jumps in the hall, followed by a brisk jog around the park and some sit ups at the bus stop can get you just as fit. But will you really keep that up?

At the gym you can also find people to urge you along, spar with you, congratulate you when you reach a milestone and even compete with you.

There's no doubt in my mind that given the chance, however bleak things look, gym'll fix it!