Tough challenge ahead this week.

Tuesday 17 May 2016. Almost very nearly precisely a year ago. Blog posts that I’ve not read back since I wrote them. Unable to look at what I tried to express on that Tuesday…..and then…then the Wednesday. I just tried again. I just failed again. 
My dad died on Wednesday 18 May. A form of lung cancer that spread to his kidneys and other parts of his prematurely-aged body. He fought and fought. By God, he fought. Just two weeks prior, we’d been watching the rugby live in Cardiff, drinking Brains in packed pubs, laughing with cousins and close friends… and then…then 10 days later he was rushed in to hospital again….and then he didn’t leave. We were all there, we all got to spend quality time with him, we laughed with him, and he never once mentally gave up. Sure, physically, you could see the collapse. His body fucked him about for days. Mentally,  he fought and fought, battled, scrapped with the terror taking him. I’ll never forget spending the night in his hospital room, darkness drawing life out of the room at 3am, despite the artificial, lifeless glare of the overhead lights. He couldn’t breathe,  his O2 was up at Max, and he stayed calm. He breathed shallow, controlled, hour after hour after hour…until daylight and the life of a new day returned. He slept then, recharged as best he could for what lay ahead.

I’ll never forget that. In the year since it has inspired me on more than one occasion. Of course, I’ve never been through a battle like that, what I do doesn’t compare even slightly. But his strength pushes me all the time.

So, this week is going to be tough. We put so much stock and attention in to anniversaries that it is impossible to treat this week…or that day…like any other. My mother, sisters and I will have dinner together on Thursday, 18 May 2017. I dont know how it’s going to be but I’m happy to be with them. Mrs Nomad and I have tried to anticipate this week, we’ve aimed off for the emotion with the children. I didn’t think it would actually be that bad. 

Feelings are already beginning to roll in, to hit, like the first, clean, building waves of a storm against a shore, before the chaotic riot of water, surf, weed, and hidden rocks tumbling me over and round, uncontrolled. 

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22 Oct, Thurs. WOD and a funeral.

After 2 days off, I really had to get in to the gym. I was feeling a little twitchy and am so keen to keep building on recent successes. However, with a funeral to go to I didn’t have too much time so had to pick the important bits. More on that in a moment.  I’m working on strength for now and so cherry-picked that over metcons.

The Wed Strength WOD was:

20min EOM

1 x Clean
1 x Front Squat
1 x Jerk

Max weight: 102.5kg

This is similar to one last week and so I was keen to progress. Beginning at 82.5 (bodyweight, more or less), I pushed up through 90 and really didn’t think I was going to make it to 100. However, the body is stronger than the mind and I kept going. Sure enough, I hit 95 with relative ease and knew I could get my 102.5 again. To be fair, I should have attempted 105 but maybe next week. To have equalled my 1RM, including a separate front squat for good measure, is pleasing.

With that in the bag, I moved on to today’s strength portion.

10mins to a 2RM Front Squat w/ 2 sec pause at bottom.

Max weight: 112.5kg

Another great success, very pleased. This new squat programme is showing immediate results in a short space of time. Increasing on last week’s results already, this is a pretty good number worldwide.

But yes, then I had a funeral to attend.

It’s hard to find the right words when talking about death. The deceased was a good friend of mine. Not the kind that I spoke to every day but the kind that, when we did talk, had genuine effect and meaning. We met in Afghanistan in 2011 and spent many a cup of coffee spinning dits and having a laugh. I flew out to his Patrol base a number of times just to have a catch up. On returning to the UK, we went back to our own areas. In fact, he recently left the military to work in the city. Full of energy, adventure, optimism and genuine character, he was one of those people who affected everyone in a positive way. This was borne out in the thousand or so people who turned up to his funeral, ranging across the entire rank spectrum. His wife and two children have lost a tremendous guy. It was a true privilege to have attended his send off.

Miss you buddy.