We’ll if you’ve been reading you’ll be aware that I have started running, if you actually know me than this will come as a shock. Mainly due to the fact that I am a lazy bastard, who tried to never break a sweat. So what possessed me to take it up? Well the answer to that is competitiveness, I couldn’t let my mate out do me, so if he was running then so was I, one a similar vein he gave up smoking as well.
Anyway the idea was easy, however the implementation was a little sketchier, I know I have a bad knee so before starting got a knee brace. Mainly so I stop any injury re-occurring, however despite only running for a few weeks my right knee seems to have been in absolute agony, to the extent that it was painful walking across the front room. It then dawned on me that I was my right leg that had the injury not the left that I have been putting the knee brace on!
Now for those that know me this will not come as a surprise, for those who don’t know me, let me just tell you this is typical Mark behaviour! Anyway now I am strapping up the right leg rather than the wrong one I am hoping that the running becomes less painful!
Well I went and caught up with Franco Ferrero at Pesda Press today, to see where we are up to with my coaching book. After giving them a few images that looked good for the cover I was blown away when I saw the image that they have chosen. Not only is it a strong image, but a classic and inspiration line as well. I’ll let you guess which one of my images they choose.
Anyway I have to admit to losing my way a bit with my coaching book/How to improve/Self help manual. However, as ever I feel re-vitalised having chatted through where we are and what I need to do next! You never know it might be out by next Christmas! Until then I hope you find a few of my mini-articles/post of use.
The Dark Art of Pancake tossing
Well I guess it was just too predictable to not blog on this cultural happening. Now for most people pancake day is just Pancake Day. A day to pig out on a heady combination of milk, flour and eggs. Not a very rich offering but, considering most of us top it off with sugar, syrup, ice cream, lemon juice and chocolate then the calories soon add up. Then there the secret mix, we all have one, or variations on a theme, even if it is simply whether to cool the mix or not!
It is of course a cultural happen that is inclusive for everyone, even the fat kids feel at home. Everybody has to have a go at the dark art of flipping a pancake which is probably one of the only things that will be handed down through the generations along with wife beating, alcoholism and knife crime. Things like how to repair a 4 stroke engine, knitting, darning socks and what axe you need to split a log will sadly be lost in the tracks of time. However pancake flipping will never ever die out, why? Because everyone loves Pancakes!
Most of us probably don’t even associated pancake day with anything anymore. It took me a few attempts to remember that it wasn’t anything to do with Easter or the resurrection, but lent. I can’t really remember what the point of lent was other than you have to give something up for it, probably in recompense for something the Lord Jesus Christ did for us, like die on a cross?
So trying to think of something to give up for lent that I would miss I thought that giving up sex might be an option. As its something that I miss but giving it up for lent probably won’t alter the fact that I wasn’t going to get any anyway. Although as my friend pointed out I was more than welcome to practice tossing …………………………………………………………..the pancake!
I have spent this morning at school again, this time going through a dry run of my research proposal, never having given one before meant I was rather like a duck out of water. My workload also meant that I only had yesterday to prepare. Fortunately it appeared from the feedback like I wasn’t so much a pass or fail case but how well I could pass. So despite the seeming endless criticism it wasn’t all bad. I also got to watch a few other presentations so have a better idea of what they expect. Apparently my disarming and relaxing manner isn’t what they want when it comes to research proposals!
Anyway the main point of the blog is Psuedoneglect, now I had no idea what psuedoneglect was until 11am this morning, when one of my fellow MSc students gave his research proposal, and now I wish I didn’t know. Why? Because I keep walking into things with my right shoulder.
So Psuedoneglect is a phenomenon that revolves around a the visual cortex being in the right side of the brain and us compensating to avoid missing details of the lefthandside. In compensating we spend less time or mental processing looking at things in our visor-spacial sketchpad on the right. As such right handed (left handed people have less right side/left side brain conflict) men (most men are right brained) are more likely to walk into things on your right side. Now my limited testing of this psuedoneglect in the real world, comes down to three known (remembered) incidents. One five minutes ago when I bumped into the door frame of the lounge, another about a week ago when I ran into a gatepost, the third was six months ago when I walked into a road sign, taking most of the impact on the side of my head really hurt, both physically and my emotionally as a few people saw me bounce off the sign.
Anyway, its like the matrix, if I hadn’t told you would you be bumping into things with your right shoulder?
Well tonight I delivered a evening coaching workshop for instructor from the Beacon Climbing Centre mainly aimed at showing these instructor that they already use ‘coaching behaviours’, and that with a little thought they can hopefully start focusing on its use in a more conscious and deliberate manner. Rather than trial and error method that most climbing instructors have used to get to there current good teaching practices.
We basically looked at the component parts that make up up Effective Coaching, so covered topics like coaching models, VAK learning pathways, How the brain learns, Observation and correcting faults, Effective practice and the use of Self-Efficacy as a coaching tool. Basically in the time frame of a couple of hours it was little more than a whistle stop tour of what coaching is, however they all found it useful. For me it was a great use of the skills I have learnt on my MSc in Sport Science, especially after delivering a How to Teach Navigation course at Plas Y Brenin the previous weekend.
If your climbing or outdoor centre would like a short CPD course in coaching in either climbing, or teaching navigation then contact me via my website.
As part of a mountain safe partnership (There website doesn’t seem to exists!) between the National Park, Mountain Rescue Council and North Wales Police, a one day free Navigational Training Course is being held at Plas Y brenin (LL24 0ET for the tomtom!) on the 15th March. The course starts at 9.30am with a registration and tea and coffee. After that Tim Bird, an Officer of North Wales Police and keen mountaineer will introduce you to the basics of Mountain Navigation.
This is an ideal course if you are unsure of your navigation, or you want to start venturing from lowland area into the heart of mountainous regions like Snowdonia. What’s more it is totally free. So if your in need of navigational Training then get yourself to Plas Y Brenin on the 15th March for you free Introduction to Mountain Navigation.
Sunday 15th March 2009
Plas y Brenin, National Mountain Centre, Capel Curig, Conwy. LL24 0ET
• 09:30 – 10:00 Registration (Tea & Coffee)
• 10:00 – 10:10 Welcome / Introductions / Days Outline / Housekeeping
• 10:10 – 11:30 Introduction to Mountain Navigation – Tim Bird
• 11:30 – 11:45 Tea / Coffee Break
• 11:45 – 12:00 Split into groups
• 12:00 – 17:00 Instructor Led Navigation practical
• 17:00 – 17:30 Tea and Cakes / Course debrief
• 17:00 Distribution of NNAS Certificates / End
Equipment carried should be usual hill walking gear. Any shortfalls can be drafted from Plas y Brenin stores on the day.
Please bring a compass and OS map OL17.
Information on where to stay is available from either Betws y Coed Tourist Information Centre – 01690 710 426 or Beddgelert – 01766 890 615.
I just read over on UKC a great piece from Jack about the Deaths on Snowdon it seems like we have had a very tragic and busy year already as far as rescue go in Llanberis. On Saturday night there were two more incidents followed by another another one on Sunday. Unfortunately due to a crippling work schedule of late didn’t get to the Saturday’s incidents. However when I attended Sundays, that thankfully turn into just overdue climbers, rather than a full on rescue, one of the team mentioned that Llanberis Mountain Rescue Team has had 23 rescue already this year. 23!
Given I have been working for Plas y brenin, and heard tales from several instructors of members of the public having ‘near misses’ on snow and ice on the upper reaches of the Pyg Track this week. It is amazing that we haven’t had anymore fatalities. One of the Brenin staff, came to the assistance of a young boy out with his dad who slipped 100 metre down snow between the PYg Track and the Trinity face, where little more than trainers! The kid fortunately bounced and the instructor, cut steps to and from the pair and got them back on the path!
Similarly, on an epic traverse of Snowdon on a mountain bike (I will have to blog on this route as it is amazing achievement and proper grand day out) my housemate saw a mum and her two children with little more than a bottle of water and trainers, skating about on snow and ice just below the zig-zags at 3.30pm, still heading up! There is still potential to slip a long way on Snow/Ice on the mountain, despite it looking like summer below. I might go out later in the week and do Parsley Fern and Central Trinity.
Anyway thanks for the article Jack.