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Getting back on the bike or the rugby pitch for 26 hours plus….

So for the last few years i’ve probably dined out on the fact that I cycled from Land’s End to John O Groats and then played rugby for 25 hours. But something has always bugged me about it, the fact that we didn’t officially get the record recgonised. Since then i’ve talked about the idea of doing it again but that’s all I’ve done talked about it. Since then i’ve got comfortable and fat and lazy. Something has taken the drive away to do it and i’ve finally figured out what. Its fear.

See its easy to sit back and say we gave it are best, and then see others come and actually take the record do what was needed to get that record. I’ve seen 3 teams break it and now it stands at 26 hours. I keep waiting and waiting. I got to the point of setting a facebook group up but not doing much about it. I’ve been half assing a lot of things lately, and its been knawing away at me, i’ve been pissed off with myself and not sure why. It took getting married for it to make the penny drop.

Getting married felt right it felt easy and its made me happy. I love my wife so much and i feel more complete since. Its made me grow up and want things in life, i want to grow fat and old with my wife and live a long and happy life, for myself, for Em and for the dad who sacrificed so much i can have that. Its that that makes me look back on my life. I’ve made mistakes, i’ve cocked up but we all have but i’ve always looked to learn from them. There is little in life i regret or would change. The rugby record is one of the things i’d change and i think its that which makes me freeze in fear.

See what happens if we can’t change it. Scottys Heros raised 60 grand and had Welford road as the venue. I can’t live up to that. i’m a fat bloke who plays local rugby in front of 5 people, i don’t have what it takes to do that to put on a record that will do the charity justice. What if i can’t organise the event properly, what if i let the lads down again, what if we don’t get the record, what if, what if…

Its that which has held me back the what ifs. Its taken a while but i’ve got to the point where i just think, fuck the what ifs. well not that far but instead what if we pull this off, what if we go out give it are all and raise money for a fantastic charity, what if we smash the record, what if we can look back in 30 years time and know even if it was just for a year we were world record holders. for a fat bloke from gloucester with little rugby talent id live with that. But most of all, what if i made dad proud?

So thanks to having a wife who has more faith in me that i deserve its time to put the south doubt to one side, ignore the what ifs and get planning. I don’t know how soon it will be, how big it will be or if we can do it. But i’m going to not regret this, i’m going to look back and think 2015 was the year i put a regret to bed and believed in myself.

We’re coming for you….

http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/records-3000/longest-marathon-playing-rugby-union/#

For now that is all, but i’m buzzing.

Explorer activity 1.5: Are you ready for online learning?

There are a range of questionnaires and instruments produced by universities and online learning providers which claim to predict whether you are ‘ready’ for online learning – see the sample list to be provided. e.g.

Complete two or three of these questionnaires depending on the time you have available and make a list of the characteristics they have in common. Publish this list and add a short comment/reflection, considering how the questionnaires:

  • If they can help us plan to introduce learners to online learning and TEL,
  • accurately identify your readiness, and
  • how you might use them with your own students.
  • if you have come across other such questionnaires that you would recommend – please share these too via the communication and publication channels

The first test I completed was the Penn State University test, achiving score of 53 :

https://esurvey.tlt.psu.edu/Survey.aspx?s=246aa3a5c4b64bb386543eab834f8e75

I also took the San Diego test, getting a score over 45:

http://www.sdccdonline.net/feedback3.htm

Finally, I took the University of Huston test, achieving a score of 178:

http://distance.uh.edu/results.html?c1=5&c2=5&c3=5&c4=5&c5=5&c6=5&c7=5&c8=5&c9=5&c11=5&c12=4&c13=3&c14=4&c15=2&c16=4&c17=4&c18=4&c19=4&c20=5&c21=4&c22=3&c23=4&c24=2&c25=5&c26=5&c27=2&c28=4&c29=4&c30=1&c31=5&c32=4&c33=4&c34=4&c35=4&c36=4&c37=1&c38=5&c39=5&c40=5&c41=5&c42=4&c43=2&c44=4&c45=4&submit=Get+my+scores

I think the Huston test is the most comprehensive seeking further detail than the other tests and had me thinking the msot about what i wanted from the course and what i would devote to it. It made me consider my ability to get sidetracked and not necessarily focus on the task at hand, and a need to avoid multitasking.

I think it would work with students in much the same, highlighting to them, issues they may not have considered in order to succedd online. It would be important to ensure academics are aware of the results so they can detect any trends among the student cohort. 

I feel the surveys can help plan for online learning, but you are reliant on students completing them honestly and understanding what the levels are. Often students will overstate their skills and this can impact the results.

Righting a wrong

I’ve been very lame with my blogging as of late. But the truth is I’ve not really had anything to say. For a while I’ve not been doing much that I’ve thought worthy of blogging about and I don’t want to be one of those people who has nothing to say but still says stuff.

But lately I’ve been getting some energy to do things back, The desire to push my self has returned and the hunger to succeed at it is there also.

Long and short of it, we didn’t get the 24 hour record, I feel I let people down by not getting it. Its a wrong I intend to right, how long it will take I don’t know but we will do it this time.

So more news to come I hope but for now its time to get off my arse and have some actions speak louder than words.

Challenge confirmed: 10,000 miles in one calendar year.

http://www.justgiving.com/Russ-Brookes1981

So that’s it now, I’ve set up the just giving page and confirmed I’m challenging myself next year. Yes, I also have a wedding to plan, yes I am probably mental. Yes I know most people don’t expected me to do it. No I didn’t give a fuck what they think. I want to challenge myself, it will be tough, if I don’t do it I don’t do it. But I’d rather say I gave it a go and come short, than having sat back and never tried.

So the rules are simple:

1) I have from the 1st Jan – 31st Dec 2014 to cycle a minimum of 10,000 miles. To do it I will have to average 27 Miles a day
2) I will use Strava and a new cycle computer to measure the distance, so if its not recorded on the computer it doesn’t count.

And that’s pretty much it.

So from here on out I need to get serious. I need to get fit and focus. I have a wedding to plan and rugby to play. In between that and work I need to devote time to cycling wherever possible. My diet is going to have to be spot on and I’m going to have to keep my fitness up to a level I am happy will sustain me through the challenge.

At the moment, I am a mixture of nerves and excitement. Can I do it? Honestly I don’t know, its going to be a big ask. It will mean getting out on my bike on days when I really, really don’t want to but I know from past experience with both the LEJOG and the 24 hour rugby match I can push myself further than I thought in the past, and its that mental strength and hunger I am going to need to get back.

So wish me luck and I will check back with an update soon, I’ve got a bit to prepare and a Christmas to enjoy before I get started!

Down but not out: AKA rethinking the challenge.

It’s easy to have faith in yourself and have discipline when you’re a winner, What you got to have is faith and discipline when you’re not -Vince Lombardi

So I’ve been thinking through the 100, 100 mile bike rides challenge. I’ve had a number of people tell me they don’t think I can do it. This has had a few impacts:

1) Pissed me off

2) Made me doubt myself

3) Consider if I can actually do it.

After a bit of soul searching, consideration and being honest with myself the answer is “probably not.” I’ve been pretty cross with myself for a while with this. I’m actually quite angry at myself still, I hate having my life defined by others around me, people telling me i’m not good enough, that I can’t do something. It always puts a great big chip on my shoulder and makes me determined to go out and prove people wrong. But at the same time doing an average of 2 100 mile bike rides a week is a big commitment and given what’s going on this year probably to big an ask.

That being said, as i’m so fed up of people doubting me or my desire to get it done, i’m still setting a f*** off hard challenge. I’m still riding  10 000 miles the equivalent distance of the previous challenge.  However I can be out on the bike and only do 60 miles if that’s all I feel I can do, I can call it a day and head home. I’ll still need to get some serious miles in, but that’s the point. Its a challenge to test myself. And somehow, some way I will find a way to do it. So that said I’ve got 21 days till the 1st of January to prepare, so its time to get serious.

Being the best at what you do

Often we hate on people at the top we are jealous of them and say anyone can do that if I was as lucky as them, or blessed with the talent they have. But sometimes that is not always the truth. I love American Football, and in particular I enjoy watching Tom Brady play. Now Tom Brady gets a lot of flack and you hear that he’s a pretty boy who has had it easy. Well watch these videos and see how hard he has had to work to get to where he is:

Yes the guy is amazing at what he does, but look what he had to overcome to get there, how hard he worked, how much belief he had. No one gave him a chance, no one thought he’d be a contender to be considered the greatest of all time. Yet that’s exactly what he is. Why? Because he worked at being the best.

A coach once said to me: “I don’t expect you to be the best rugby player in the world, but I expect you to be the best rugby player YOU can be.” That always stuck with me. There are lots of things in sport, hell in life, I am not good at, but I will always give 100% and strive to be the best I can be. I may never make it to the top but I will always strive and work at it. That’s the way I approach everything and its the way I will have to approach the challenge facing me. I don’t know if I can do 100 bike rides over 100 miles in a year (note: need catchier easier to say name!) and I bet loads of people think I can’t do it. But i’m going to put my helmet on and just go for it. If its pissing with rain, i’ll just peddle that much harder. If I’m tired i’ll still have to keep going, cause I want to do this, I want to prove to myself that I can push myself to the limit and go beyond it and accomplish it. My days off just settling for existing are over and I want to live. The videos above prove what belief, coupled with attitude can do, talent only gets you so far. When playing rugby some of my favourite games have been in narrow defeats where we should have got no where near the other side, but we fought and fought. We came off knowing we had given everything we could. And the wins are even sweeter when they were games no one expected you to win.

So that’s my mindset for the challenge, just remind me of that when i’m on ride 20 something with loads to go, i’m tired and can’t be arsed to do it!

 

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