Grit and Determination…. What Do You Mean “They Don’t Come For Free?!”


I’ve been training at my MMA gym for about 5 months now. If truth be told, at the beginning of December, I was looking to throw it off as I just couldn’t get my head around the grappling aspect of the game. Unlike my coach, I struggle immensely with personal drive and determination.

I’m going to start with my coach. He is one of the most genuinely nice people I have ever had the pleasure to have met. Many times in life, you meet someone and say: “What a nice guy” but they’re just a regular person who isn’t horrid. Then you meet someone who goes the extra mile, who genuinely cares about people and isn’t out for number 1. This is my coach. I don’t think I’ve ever heard him be negative about anything, even after one of our fighters was cheated out of victory in his first fight and the rules changed on the day of the event. Every time I speak to him or read his Facebook, I hear/see nothing but positive vibes oozing from him. Not to mention determined. He’s done things this year most people talk about but never bother. Setting up seminars with internationally renowned fighter and  without the backing of big named gyms/promotions to swing the deal.

So my point of this blog is not to say what an amazing guy he is. The point of this blog is to try and take from him that determination. I’m probably the opposite from him. The most committed thing I’ve done is get married and have a baby. Every day, I get into work thinking “I’ve got this to do/that to do and I will do it by the end of the day”…… Then I sit there and write a blog. At the end of the week, when my boss is screaming at me for late submission of accounts or something else, I get upset and wonder why!!

My problem is I have:

  1. A short attention span
  2. No self drive

Number 1 is difficult to deal with, or at least I think it is WITHOUT number 2. I deal with number 2, that will smash number 1 out of the park. But how do you go about motivating yourself? How can you change your perspective to gain a drive in your life? The perfect example is this: I sign up for a gym, do the induction, go a few times but never really break a sweat. Then I leave it and watch the money drain from my bank every month. However, I go to rugby or mma training, I bust a gut with someone yelling at me and I get so much more from it. Is it boredom? Could be partially it. Is it laziness in that I need someone to stand over me while I do things?

Not sure either way, but I have to change it soon. I’ve so many options available to me to make a better life but without this drive, I’ll let everyone single one of them slip me by. Guess I should stop blogging and get on with my mountain of work now

La Famiglia


I met my wife 7 years ago. I had moved to Southampton with my mum when I was 21 from my home in London. The reasons for my move are for another blog. So I met my wife down here, my mum moved back to London and I essentially stayed down here.

This is fine and I don’t regret this one bit. I have a great life, job, friends etc. But I drastically miss my family.

This became even more apparent to me last night.

All week, my little girl and wife have been suffering with a horrid cold/flu thing. I’ve had a head cold, but nothing drastic. We had planned for months to go up to London for my step-dads 60th birthday. All my mums side of the family were going to be there. This doesn’t often happen and I was really looking forward to spending the time with them. But due to my girls being ill, we couldn’t go.

At the time, I consoled myself with the fact that we were too poorly to go, and that was the case. But I’ve just seen some pictures on Facebook of the party last night, and it really hits home how I miss my mum, my family and being with them (even though they drive me insane!)

Unfortunately, money is so tight at the moment that going to visit them regularly is just not an option. £30 round trip in petrol a week is just crazy. But I need to figure something out. I want my daughter growing up knowing her family and I want them to be a bigger part of my life.

Maybe one day we can all live closer, or win the lottery so traveling isn’t such an issue!

Night From Hell


So I think I had an evening that qualifies as one of the really bad ones last night.

I get home from rugby covered from head to toe in mud. I only live across the road, so rather than shower, I was looking forward to a nice hot bath loving run by my wife. I put my kit in the washing machine, went upstairs, put my toe in to test the temperature and nearly jumped out of my skin………. Freezing bloody cold! For some reason, our boiler had broken down. Now exactly the same thing happened last year. Christmas eve it breaks and we spend the next few days huddled under blankets and around oil heaters for warmth. So we were smart and took out the manufacturers insurance package. They’re coming out tomorrow. Still a pain, but luckily not the depths of winter just yet.

I end up boiling a few kettles of water and washing in the sink. As I’m doing this, I hear my 18 month old girl wake up by coughing like a sea-lion! Normally, we’re not the panicking type of parents, but my father-in-law was diagnosed with pneumonia on Monday and she had been around him on the weekend. 10.45 we find ourselves at the front door to the work in centre (thought it better than clogging up A&E) only to be told they’re closed…….. So off we go to A&E.

We were ushered through to the children’s ward very quickly, but there the good luck stopped. 3 hours later, after I’ve been surrounded by brats whose parents couldn’t control them and refused to cover their mouths when they coughed or sneezed, a moody doctor decided to look at my little ‘un. She has a nasty chest, throat and ear infection, got the drugs and was told to go home.

So we get home, get to bed about 3.30am. 5 am my daughter wakes up screaming. She wouldn’t calm down. In the end, my wife took her downstairs to play. I tried to follow, but my wife insisted I stay in bed as I had work and she didn’t.

So now I’m sat at work, with match sticks holding open my eyes, drowning myself in thick black coffee and praying my little girl feels better.

I guess it could have been worse, it could have happened tonight and ruined my birthday tomorrow (yes, I know it’s  a shameless plug, but who cares!)

Funny or Bullying?


I first saw this video a few weeks back and I found it hilarious:

Of course, I found this funny for the same reason I’m sure all of you are now laughing away. Since then, I’ve found a few more videos online staring this guy:

And then an interview (of sorts from a bedroom) with the main man himself made by his buddy:

Up until this point, I thought this was still really funny. True, the guy does seem a little slow and at some point you have to wonder is it really fair to be laughing at him rather than with him, but I was happy enough wetting myself laughing at the enthusiasm he throws into his singing and the fact he really doesn’t care what people think. That was until I saw this vid:

Now I appreciate that some people do not want to hear a guy singing his little heart out on the bus first thing in the morning, especially if he can’t hold a note. But there is no need to throw things at him and be generally horrid. We live in the 21st century where we’re supposed to be accepting, kind, understanding people who look on ourselves and our community with this attributes. I can’t see that from this video. I have to be honest that I stopped watching about 1.17 as I suddenly felt so sorry for the guy and ashamed at myself for laughing at his videos. Does laughing at the videos make me just as bad as the clowns who were throwing things at him?

I’m sure we’ve all been in this sort of situation. A misfortunate person, such as Carmine, does something that we find funny. This may be singing or falling over or dancing or anything but we laugh. At the time, I’m sure 95% of don’t think anything malicious about it. It’s simply another human being doing something funny. But does that make it right? How does that person feel? Are they trying to make us laugh or just doing something they like to do and would feel upset at being laughed at?

I don’t know if I’m being too touchy, but I hate to think of someone being bullied, let alone being bullied on the scale of having a video of them posted on YouTube for millions to see and laugh at.

Then again, am I making things worse by posting the vids in this blog? Damn, having a conscience is tough!!!

A Sporting Dilemma


As my regular readers will be aware, I have played rugby all of my life. I love the game and it has given me so much, including very good friends.

I was on Facebook the other day when I saw something quite disturbing. A friend of mine (one of the “old boys” from the rugby club) had put a very disturbing status up:

so any 1 wonder why (name removed) is in hospital , infection frm pinnin in his grion , thiven junkie low life c..t , stole frm his MUM’s , stole frm his sister who put him up when noone wanted him , then stole frm his auntie who also put hm up after stealin frm his sisters , role n die u low life c..t lol xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Now this is some pretty harsh words. I have played rugby with the gentleman in question and this brings me to my dilemma. If he is indeed a junkie (can’t believe everything you read online, but the guy who posted this is related in some way to the person in question), can I ever play rugby with him again?

Before you judge me, let me make my case. It is a known fact the drug users are not exactly fussed about using clean, sterile needles every hit and, as a consequence of this, can and do contract certain infections and diseases from the dirty needles (such as HIV, hepatitis etc.). These infections and diseases can be passed from one person to another in various methods, including blood.

Now for the uneducated, rugby is a very physical game and cuts and bleeding are par for the course of a normal game (this weekend is a prime example where a team-mate of mine needed stitches in the top of his head after being kicked, by accident). Because of these types of diseases, we are no longer allowed such things as a bucket of water and sponge to clean cuts as infections can be spread in this manner. I know every time I walk on to the pitch, I run the risk of receiving an infection (ridiculously small risk, but still present), but I never think of it and it never really concerns me. However, I’m not so sure I can say the same thing now.

So the questions are:

  1. Can I happily play a contact game where bleeding can/does occur with a “known” drug user is also playing, let alone share a shower with him after the game?
  2. Should I mention this to my captain, as I’m not sure he would have seen the Facebook soap-opera?

Lethargy, Thy Name is Dan!


God, the feeling of utter boredom and cannot be bothered-ness (I know, nice new word created there) has made a home in my mind the last few weeks. Ever since handing in my notice pretty much.

So let me explain. I’m not generally one of those people who, when faced with impending departure from a job, sits back and say’s “Sod it”. Generally, when I’m leaving a place, it’s for a career move and although that normally goes hand in hand with more money, career is normally the way. This time, I’m leaving purely for financial reasons. Times are tough, I’m drastically unpaid in my current job and the management knows it. Again, not normally an issue, you part on amicable terms and everyone is happy.

The only difference here is the fact I like it here and I thought I was a valued member of the team. I have a good relationship with the management team and the managing director. So when I handed my notice in, I did expect them to fight to keep me. I understand times are tough and as the accounts manager, I know only too well the company’s financial position. But nothing came. All I got was a letter saying thanks and good luck. The MD hasn’t even been bothered to talk to me personally (which for a small company, I find quite upsetting). My manager did offer me £x amount extra, but it was no more than a bog standard pay rise and to go with it, I would need to take on MORE responsibility and work! So not a pay rise, but a job restructure. I don’t want a new job, I want a fair wage for a damn good job I do (especially taking into account the fact I saved the company £12,000 in my first 3 months).

So if they can’t be bothered, then neither can I.

Add to this my holiday is in a few weeks, my “get up and go” has definitely “got up and gone”. I cannot wait to get out to sunny Spain and sip away on a few cerveza with my good friends we’re going with. My little girl is much older now than when we took her to Egypt. This is either going to make things a lot of fun as she’ll be able to play a lot more, but can also make for relaxing times to be few and far between. When we were in Egypt, she was only 6 months old and was happy chilling in her pram while we went out at night etc. Now she is 17 months, I can’t see her being quite so content to sit in her pram while mummy and daddy enjoy a nice meal.

So all this combined has brought me to the conclusion that I need to chill out now. Combine that to my new addiction to Google+ and you have a very lethargic and “cannot be bothered” Dan.

Neglect or Nature?


I see this post on the BBC news website this morning and it got me to thinking: Is this our place to help?

It seems scientists mapped the genome for the Tazmanian Devil in the hope that they can cure the horrible disease of Devil Facial Tumour Disease and save the species from extinction.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a strong advocate for animal rights and I believe the way we treat our planet and the creatures that inhabit it is disgusting (majority of times) and we do little or nothing to prevent or cure problems that we ourselves have made through the likes of poaching, land incursion, pollution etc. Look at this list from the WWF website and tell me how many of those animals are on this list because of our actions? But I bet you’re all still eating Tuna with your jacket potato….

Anyway, back to my point.

The Tasmanian devil is suffering from a horrible form of facial cancer (Devil facial tumour disease) that is spread from animals biting each other. They suffer a horrible death:

And I get why passionate people want to save the last meat-eating marsupial in the world. I really do. But do we have a right to? Isn’t this Darwin’s theory of evolution in action? Natural selection? We play god enough with our own species, let alone another. For all we know, evolution has it in mind that this creature is to become extinct thanks to this facial cancer and another creature take its place.

I feel I shouldn’t really have posted the second picture, as any human with the slightest compassion for living beings will feel appalled and want to help them. I do too. But there is a conflict raging in me whether we should or not. Should our work be aimed at the animals onthis list because we put them there more so than the devil whom nature has decreed should suffer this fate?

We, as the human race and self-appointed guardians of the planet, need to make this judgement call. There is no right or wrong answer. Either way, a species will die due to our actions (directly or indirectly) as many have done before and will do again.

I’d be interested to find other people’s views on this as it’s a subject that doesn’t get enough press when you compare it to human causes.