DIARY: Danish adventures

I’m back from my yearly sojourn in the capital of the “marshlands”, my home town of Tønder, where yet another festival took place as it has for all of my life. A great line-up, one of the best ever, of musicians representing the “hand-made” music I’ve always preferred but five days of volunteer bartending shifts, long nights and a reasonable amount of the local beverages don’t exactly leave you full of energy afterwards.

So it’s time for work to recommence, I am still working on perfecting my technique under Tony Riddle’s tutelage and I managed to do a bit of work on my dad, who recently had a knee operation while I was home. There’s some work to be done but the first step will be getting him off the physio routine he’s currently doing which might keep him active but is doing nothing to correct the errors in his running style that caused the knee to deteriorate enough to need (?) an operation now in his fifties.


Me and my brother in law trying to look tough at the Tønder Festival 2012

I used the trip in Tønder to really take Ben Medder’s messages about how important “tribal bonding” is for the human “spirit” (no religious connotations intended) seriously. Away from computers, away from all types of work and just focusing on having a good time with long unseen family and friends (and the family dog not to forget!).


Our beloved dog Chiki had a close call with a broken sacrum recently. I took some advice from Tony and after long conversations my dad decided to try and let the dog heal. It was full of beans despite the doctor’s predictions that it needed the bullet (not literally!)

My next target in running terms is uncertain at the moment but I have a few plans. Whatever the race my focus will be on being able to run it with perfect technique in the VivoBarefoot shoes. As I do less cardiovascular training at the moment, this may mean a temporary pause from the PB-chasing but it will be worth it in the long-term. As Tony put it to a question during the last workshop: “Why is this next marathon so important, exactly how long do you intend to run?” A message he claims does not always win him friends but one adopted by all the greatest stars in sport from Michael Jordan to Mia Hamm. The performers who went to the top, never stopped perfecting their technique and stayed there.


News recently broke (thanks Brendan Lawlor!) about Aoife and my engagement. I prefer to keep personal matters off the blog but sure, here’s on picture on the eve of the celebrations after the “question was asked.”

The incredible busyness I have faced on multiple fronts these last months have taken their toll on my posture with too much seated or inactive work. Tony had to prescribe some “bigger guns” by giving me a specific rehab exercise regime for my thoracic spine area. “You’ve improved more in these last two months going purist than in the preceding 6 months doing the hybrid-training”, he encouraged me all the while and I knew he was right. I can now fly across many types of even tarmac and asphalt at high speeds feeling like I am fully “padded” and running at paces in the VivoBarefoot shoes feels more and more instinctual.


Look closely at my back for the “hump back phenomeon” brought on by our insanely unnatural lifestyle and my recent necessity to be slumped over a desk too much…

But the education never ends, which is the beauty of it, how perfect you want to become is down to how much you are willing to learn, and how much time you are willing to spend. I had one day with a real tricky challenge last week, which I helped to overcome and I’ll talk about that in the next instalment…