Upping my Game!

In today’s video-blog I share some of things I’m doing to improve my performance and optimise my adventure experiences! In the video I

  • Talk about my recent musical theatre exam and the notion of ‘faking it’.
  • Review 3 books: The Rise of Superman (Kotler), Over the Edge (Bane) andΒ How Bad Do You Want It? (Fitzgerald).
  • Talk about my current experiment with the sports supplement, creatine monohydrate.

Below the video you’ll find details of the books I mention (click on the cover image and it’ll take you straight to Amazon) and The Rise of Superman YouTube video. You can find out more about creatine monohydrate here and here.Β 






I’m just going outside and may be some time πŸ™‚ (Oh, and if you missed the beginning of my #OldDogNewTricks adventure series, you can read more about what I’m up to here. )


Feeding the Beast

Today I’m talking a little bit about how I’m eating to support my adventure goals. My training schedule is intense and that means that I’ve had to work hard to make my nutrition work for me πŸ™‚ . It might also surprise you to know that I also have to fuel up for my musical theatre lessons: they are very physical indeed! I treat those singing lessons just like any other workout – and if I’m not well fuelled, I just don’t have the energy to support my voice.

In the video-blog I describe a typical day’s eating and mention some of my favourite ‘finds’. The recipes I talk about are listed below the video (with either full recipe details or a link to a recipe). If you think my eyes look a bit weird, don’t worry! I’m just out of the pool and my goggle-marks take ages to fade πŸ™‚ .

Just so you know, I also don’t drink alcohol, I aim for 6-8 portions of fruit and vegetables every day, and I avoid processed foods. I make my own scones, wheaten loaf and bread as often as I can. I’ve been following a phytoestrogen-rich way of eating to support my menopausal and post-menopausal experience for a while now (I can recommend The Natural Menopause Cookbook)Β and I am pleased to say that I’ve weathered the whole transition without a single hot flush, headache or any weight gain whatsoever. My diet is usually largely vegetarian, but (at the moment) I do eat red meat once or twice a week, oily fish twice a week and white fish once a week. I only eat whole grains too (so wholewheat pasta, wholemeal spelt bread, brown rice etc.). Oh, and I take filter coffee by the bucketful πŸ˜‰ .

Soak a cup of oats and a tsp of oat bran in water overnight. In the morning add three handfuls of frozen berries (I like a mix of blueberries, blackberries and raspberries) to the saucepan, along with extra water if required. When the porridge starts to bubble, serve with a handful of chopped nuts (I like Brazil nuts best of all with porridge) and a heaped tsp of ground flax seeds or chia seeds. Add a shake of cinnamon and a drizzle of honey and you are good to go! (Honestly, this is my favourite meal of the day πŸ™‚ .)

Sweet Potato and Rosemary Soup
This recipe from the BBC GoodFood website is completely reliable and freezes really well. I eat it with a sandwich/wholewheat baguette. It works really well with a melted blue cheese and rocket sandwich! Also good with an egg or ham sandwich.

Protein Shake
I blend the following and drink immediately. By the way, I like a very thick shake. If you prefer ‘thin’, add milk! 1 banana, 1 slice of pineapple, 1 tbsp of natural yoghurt, 1 heaped tsp of nut butter, 1 scoop of protein powder (I sue egg white protein or whey isolate). When blended, sprinkle on some cinnamon and enjoy!

Banana Ice Cream
Peel a banana and freeze for 3-4 hours. Remove from freezer and blend with a tsp of nut butter. Eat! (It tastes much better than it looks πŸ™‚ )


Wholemeal Wheaten Bread
This recipe is really reliable. I replace all the white flour with wholemeal spelt (makes it denser but I prefer it this way) and I replace the sugar with a tsp of honey. Don’t skimp on the salt! This loaf is beautiful topped with peanut butter and banana. Also works well with cheese and honey, and homemade lemon curd and butter.

In case you were curious about the fifth and final heat for the CrossFit Open (which I’m completing tonight), here are the details:


And here’s what a thruster looks like!

Right. I think I need a little lie-down before 19.5, tonight’s CrossFit heat. And maybe a wee piece of wheaten bread πŸ˜‰ .

I am just going outside and may be some time.

JT πŸ™‚

Tales of the Unexpected #2

Since my last post, I’ve been to my weekly musical theatre lesson, trained in the pool, completed another powerlifting session and been out sprint training. Since my last post, I’ve also added some new questions to my original list and the answers are eye-opening (and heart-and-mind-opening too πŸ™‚ )

My new list of questions is:

  1. How old do you feel right now?
  2. What makes you say that?
  3. Who or what are you being when you’re doing this?
  4. Where are you really when you’re doing this?

When I’m adventuring, I ask these questions and I wait for an answer to pop into my head, which usually comes in the form of an image (in NLP we call this an IR or an internal representation).

Question 3 is what you might call an ‘identity enquiry’. The more expansive your identity (compare ‘I’m just a mum’, a restricted identity, with ‘I can grow human beings in my own body’, an expansive identity), the more ‘freedom to move’ in life you might experience. So, let’s say your body is physically capable of lifting a certain weight, but at an identity level you see yourself as ‘just a wee scrawny thing’, your identity is likely to trump your capability. This means you may fail at the lift, even though youΒ  have the ability to do it. In short, an expansive identity stacks the deck in your favour! (You can find more info on the significance of identity and the NLP Logical Levels model here and here.)

Question 4 might give me more clues about the motivation behind each of my adventures. The answers to this question might also let me know if I’m ‘trapped’ somewhere in my personal history.

So, what do I know now that I didn’t know a few days ago? *Spoiler Alert* MY MIND IS BLOWN! Here’s what came up for me:

Musical Theatre / Performing
1. I’m 16 years old (the year ‘the Call to Adventure‘ was probably at its loudest).
2. I can see myself in my school uniform, wearing a mulberry-coloured jumper. I wore that in my final year of secondary school.
3. I’m the universe. (Now that’s what I call expansive!) In fact, I’m the multiverse. I’m everything at once. I’m old. I’m young. I’m at the beginning, the middle and the end of all possibilities – all at the same time. I’m swirling galaxies all about me … riding supernovae …. #SuperCool #OutOfThisWorld No wonder I feel so alive when I’m singing or storytelling or performing!
4. I’m really in a tiny church on the outskirts of Coventry. It’s a hot afternoon. I’m performing a recorder solo (that was ‘my instrument’) – treble. I’m playing Bononcini followed by Telemann. It’s all in a minor key. I love minor keys. My body is in the church, but I’ve played myself out of my body and into deep space! The memory is vivid now. I was reading The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy while rehearsals were going on. It was my last school concert. In fact, it was the very last time I played solo recorder in concert. It was the very last time I let ‘The Call’ tempt me. #ShouldHaveFollowedIt. I can’t find what I was playing, but it would have been something like this:

1. I’m not me, but who I am being is in their late teens / early 20s.
2. (See the next answer. #CuriouserAndCuriouser)
3. I’m being my father or the part of me that is my father.
4. I’mΒ really doing rather well in a muddyΒ  cross-country race. I’m running like the wind. (My dad narrowly missed securing a GB vest. He went on to become a very talented long-distance runner and was also very difficult to keep up with on the football pitch. Now in his 70s, he’s still really physically active and in rude health). I think it’s a perfect memory to be ‘trapped’ in for my sprinting adventure – even if it isn’t exactly my own!

1. I’m a teenager.
2. I can see my Adidas trainers! They’re white with green stripes. #SuperTrendy
3. I’m being a total failure, even though I’m trying really hard. I’m tiny and everyone else is big. I’m weak and everyone else is strong and powerful.
4. I’m really on the school sports field. It’s sports day. I’ve volunteered to do the events that no one else will because I want to help out Streather, my house. (We’re not a sporty house at all. Raison is the sporty house and Bennel is the clever house. We’re the ‘misfit’ house.) I fail on the first attempt at the high jump (I collapse UNDER the bar), come last in the long jump, and nearly drop the shot on my foot. I feel humiliated and I decide that the sports field is not for me. #TrueStory (This is really good information. I’m finding the powerlifting the hardest and I’ve no doubt the younger me could do with a bit of help breaking out of this memory!)

1. I’m 12 or 13.
2. I have the haircut I had then – a Purdey cut.
3. An Olympic hopeful. (Yep! You read that right).
4. I’m really poolside with David Wilkie (Olympic breaststroker). ‘ had my picture taken with him at the Pingles in Nuneaton. He toured schools in the late 70s and early 80s, inspiring children to take up swimming as a sport. (So I’m not trapped in that humiliating butterfly experience I’ve mentioned before; I’m actually at the beginning of a BIG dream. Just happens that the dream got ‘cut down’ before I really got going. The energy is still there though. And I’m going to use it! In fact, it’s probably what I feel when I’m doing my recovery sessions in the pool right now: it’s a feeling of alignment, of purpose and of drive – even though I’m just swimming for recovery!)

(And just out of interest) Writing
1. I’m as old as time itself.
2. I’m watching the universe get made. (I get to see the best things!)
3. I’m the Song of all Things. (I feel very emotional writing those words – and I have used those words in one of my new stories). Good to have such an expansive writing identity! I LOVE it πŸ™‚
4. I’mΒ really at the very beginning of time, watching the moon get hung in the sky. (Really. I was actually there.) I’m seeing the beginning of every story that will ever get told.

So it looks like I’m mostly stacking the deck in my favour, although I have a little work to do for my powerlifting adventure!I’m also beginning to see some of the ‘why’ behind this year’s adventures. I’m going to let the insights settle – and see what comes up next. And you? What answers come up for you when you ask these questions about your daily work, your passions, your interests – and even the things you don’t really enjoy?Β 

I’m just going outside and may be some time.

JT πŸ™‚

Living the Dream

January was a busy month for me: it takes a while to get an adventure support crew together, and it takes a while to devise a workable plan. I need to be able to train for the three physical challenges and rehearse for the musical theatre challenge – and do regular work on top of all that! I’ve also done lots of research for each adventure (more on what each adventure entails in another post πŸ™‚ ) and taken some baseline measurements, so I can keep track of the kind of progress I’m making.

And it seems my preparations have not just been of a conscious nature. If you followed my 365 Days of Adventure project, you’ll know I’m a lucid dreamer and had some insightful dream adventures back in 2014. Well, let’s just say that my dreams seem to be aligning with my new adventure reality at world record speed! And let’s just say that the nature of a dream I had in early January is really significant. (In this case, I’m yet to discover if my conscious mind is catching up with my unconscious mind – and the dream is just letting me know the catch-up is complete. Or might it be that my unconscious mind is just giving the big thumbs up to my adventure plans? I’ll keep you posted as and when I discover more …).

So, to the dream in question! For the last 35 years, I’ve had a recurring dream. In the dream, I’m crouched in starting blocks on an athletics track (yes, I know!). I can see the track. I can see my feet and my hands. I’m unaware of other runners. The gun goes off and I push hard with my legs. I can feel an incredible force going through my body, but IΒ  have real difficulty in getting out of the blocks and moving forward. Even when I get out of the blocks (which I sometimes manage), the sense of inertia is overwhelming. I push and I push, my lungs are bursting, but I never get to the upright position. The feeling that goes with the dream is a kind of fear: it feels like my life depends on getting out of the blocks. I also feel a heavy weight pushing down on me and pulling me back. There’s a sense that I could be crushed if I don’t move, and I feel winded.

Before I had this dream (from being a small child into my late teens), I had another recurring dream with the same feeling tone (fear) and a similar theme (feeling like my life depended on running but having the experience of overwhelming inertia and not being able to ‘escape’). In my childhood dream I’m in Ancient Egypt. Everything is dark but the buildings are orange and there’s sand flying everywhere. There are chariots racing through the place I’m in. I’m tiny and I risk getting caught up in the wheels of the chariots. I know I need to run, but I have the same ‘starter block’ experience. I’m trying really hard, but I can’t get any traction – and I can’t get into the upright position. I feel winded.

In the first week of January the starting block dream arrived. It’s arrival was no surprise: it’s a regular visitor! However, something strange happened. This time, the gun went off and there was no inertia. For the first time in 35 years of this dream (and a lifetime of this dream theme), there was nothing holding me back. There was no fear. I pushed hard against the blocks and flew straight out of them. I felt strong. My body was alive to the moment. There was an enormous sense of forward propulsion.

The dream had such an impact on me that I woke straight up! I don’t know what happens next in this dream because it’s not revisited me … yet. Part of me doesn’t think it’ll make a return. That’s because part of me thinks I’ve ‘got the message’ and I’m living out something that’s really important to me. What that ‘something’ is, I’m yet to fully understand. I will keep you posted, of course – and I’ll let you know if and when the dream returns.

In the meantime, I’m just going outside and may be some time.

JT πŸ™‚