Primal Pancake

DSC02904Who doesn’t love a pancake? That thin edible canvas is just waiting for the next culinary Van Gogh to create a short-lived masterpiece.

The options are endless. Sweet or savoury (wars have been fought over this one), thick or thin, turned or flipped? The myriad fillings available are only limited by the imagination and the human gag reflex.

But one thing that most pancake recipes have in common is the use of wheat flour and milk.


So what about those of us that want pancakes yet don’t want to, or can’t have wheat and/or dairy?

Enter the Primal Pancake.

This is my go to recipe based on a load of other recipes and tweaked so that I could get a repeatedly good pancake. Alas, it’s not a foldable/fillable variant, but I love them. As a non cereal grain eater, I use these in place of breakfast cereals, and these puppies fill me up till dinner time.


For 5-6 servings

4 eggs

Aprox 200g Ground Almonds or enough added to make the right consistency

4 Bananas

1-2 tbl sp of Almond Butter (optional but thickens the mixture)

Liberal sprinkling of crushed seeds (again optional but gives it some bite)


Put eggs, bananas and almond butter into a container and blend them up. Slowly add the ground almonds whilst continuing to blend until you reach a thick liquid consistency, similar to a fast food ice-cream  milkshake, i.e. it will pour out of the container in slow motion. Add some crushed seeds for a bit of texture. We use a shop bought packaged variety (with goji berries).

We then stick this in the fridge and dip into it each day.

To cook them, heat up some coconut oil in the a pan on a medium heat and spoon in a couple of good dollops when the oil is shimmering.  Flip over when the underside is golden brown.

These are fairly sweet to start with from the bananas, so I have never tried them savoury. My favourite way of having them is with berries and thick double cream (I’m okay with dairy) and sprinkled with toasted flaked almonds. But feel free to do what ever you like.


Two of these bad boys keeps me fuelled for most of the day. I used to have 3 until I linked my inability to move with excessive pancake consumption. That said I had a third today, purely for photographic reasons, of course.

No sugar, no grains, gluten free and immensely satisfying. Enjoy.

Lá na bPancóg shona duit / Happy Pancake day



Humanoeuvre: Movement – Mobility – Mindfulness

Humanoeuvre.pngThe human body is a design marvel. We are built to move, and in a seemingly endless variety of ways.

Physically, when compared to other animals, we are fairly pathetic. We can’t run fast, when either pursuing prey or running away from a predator; we have no fangs, claws or horns for either hunting, self defence, gnawing or digging. We are just a soft, hairless, weakling with an oversized head.

But how we move!

This ability to change our movement patterns from moment to moment has allowed our true super power to come to the forefront and allow our species to spread across the globe, becoming one of the most generalist, adaptable creatures on the planet. Movement has created adaptability.

Walking, sprinting, climbing, swimming, jumping, swinging, crawling, balancing, rolling, throwing, catching, dancing, crafting, we do it all.

Or at least we did.

Fast forward to the modern, western era and things look a little different.

Tell me if this sounds familiar:

You wake up, do your ablutions and go down stairs.

You sit down to have coffee and some breakfast, maybe watch Lorraine for a bit.

You drive to work, sitting down.

You get to work and sit down at your desk, only getting up for the toilet (often sitting down) or a coffee break. Maybe a quick sit down lunch at a local cafe.

5pm comes and we sit back in the driving seat and head home for a sit down dinner with the family.

We’ve worked hard today and are knackered. All we want to do is sit on the sofa and watch Game of Thrones.

Rinse, repeat.

animal-animal-photography-cat-35662Compared to our ancestors, even those only a couple of generations past, we don’t move anywhere near the level we are designed to.  We are potentially sitting ourselves to death.

Even those who are meeting the guidelines for healthy activity are now seeing the same ill-health markers as those that don’t. This is referred to as Active Couch Potato. The huge amount of time sitting is having a deleterious effect over the good exercise and movement work put in, compromising our metabolic health. See this study and this post.

What’s the answer?

To view movement like food.

If we ate salad for 1 hour, three times a week, it would undoubtedly be of benefit to our nutritional profile. But is it going to counteract the fact that we eat cake for the rest of the time? No, of course not. It’s the same for movement.  

I’m drawing on the excellent work of Katy Bowman here (check her out, she’s ace).

What we need is movement snacks, little and often, and as varied as we can make them. Sprinkle these throughout your day and some pretty cool changes start to occur.

And if you’re not sure where to start with movement, or you would like to take part in a social event focused of moving, then why not try the new Humanoeuvre course starting next week.

In this course we will be looking at gentle stretching and mobility, ground based movement and crawling patterns, balancing, mind/body awareness, relaxation, and breathwork, amongst many other aspects of movement.

It is suitable for absolutely any ability level. You are likely to have sore abs from the constant laughter. This is supposed to be fun!

This course starts next Wednesday 1st May at 6.30pm.

To book, click here

Or contact me more info.

Move along now!

5K to Carn: 5 week introduction and preparation for the Ríth An Carn mountain race.



As many people know (because I keep banging on about it endlessly) I am currently in the middle of a training cycle to try and get me ready for the Seven Sisters Skyline Mountain Ultra Marathon.

This, for the most part, involves me running up as many steep climbs as possible, and while not the steepest by any stretch, Carntogher Mountain is the hill I spend most time struggling up.

It’s perfect for me. I look at it every morning when I open my curtains, it’s constantly changing conditions beckoning me up. I’ve been up in every conceivable weather pattern. No trip to the Carn is ever the same. It’s both a struggle and pure exhilaration every time I run it.

In short it has become one of my favourite training partners.


My 2 favourite running partners, the Hound and the Carn



The very first time I ‘ran’ it I thought I was going to die. The mountain very quickly taught me the lesson of the tortoise and the hare. The second time I ran it I allowed myself to walk much more.

The result? 4 minutes quicker.

Lots of people in the various running groups I work with tell me they’d love to to take part in the annual Ríth An Carn race in the 12th July, but feel that it’s a bit beyond them. Nothing could be further from the truth.

If you can run around the 5k mark, you can do this. Hell, even if you can’t do a full 5k running, you can still take part, running what you can, walking what you can’t.

You see the secret to running in the hills is to be okay with walking.

Yes, those speed freaks out front appear to be floating up the side of the hills on the vapours of their own ethereal emanations. But the rest of us?

For me, the only thing emanating from myself is sweat, snot and a chain of good Anglo-Saxon expletives.

So with this in mind I have decided to run a 5 week, lead up to the Carn race, course. We’ll meet up on a Thursday evening, then again on a Sunday morning.

During these sessions we will learn to conquer the Carn through utilising correct body mechanics, stride patterns, knowing when and how to walk, and tackling down hill sections. We will perform some hill repeats to strengthen our legs and cope with the extra work required for uphill jaunts. But above all we are going to have a lot of fun and lose any fear we have up running up hills.


the hills are alive with the sound of wheezing

This course starts on Thursday the 6th June at 6pm and Sunday the 9th at 10am.

Cost: £20

Feel free to contact me if you require any more info.



Massage: worthwhile investment or frivolous indulgence?

Massage is a funny thing. Most people who have partaken would generally agree that, overall, it is a positive experience. Yet we only really allow ourselves the privilege on rare occasions – a hen do spa retreat, a birthday pamper, or when we have actually injured ourselves. Any time outside these occasions is often deemed as an overindulgence.wellness-massage-relax-relaxing-56884.jpeg I mentioned previously about the need to stop feeling guilty about putting our health first, with regards to our fitness endeavours, and in doing so making ourselves more useful to those we love and our communities in general.

I would like to see the same attitude carried over to practices such as massage and bodywork.

Massage is often placed in the category of ‘alternative therapy’, which many people sadly view with some scepticism – that it is a bit ‘woo-woo’. While admittedly some massage practices can seem a little ‘out-there’ there is much evidence to show how beneficial massage can be.

One study observed changes in hormone and neurotransmitter levels following massage therapy.

Cortisol (stress hormone) levels were observed to decrease by an average of 31%. Now cortisol is necessary for healthy function, but our increasingly chronic elevation of the stress hormone can be problematic. Disruption to other hormone systems, immunity, sleep patterns and fat loss are all possible outcomes. Balancing our cortisol levels is therefore vital for health.

The same study showed an increase in the levels of serotonin and dopamine by an average of 28% and 31% respectively.

Dopamine is the neurotransmitter responsible for controlling the brain’s pleasure and reward centres, and in turn affects mood. Low levels of dopamine have been linked to greater incidents of addiction and a whole host of health issues, such as Parkinson’s Disease. One study suggests a link between blunted dopamine pathways, caused by access to modern hyper-palatable foods and obesity.

Seratonin, another neurotransmitter is vital for the regulation of things such as mood, body temperature, sleep, memory and appetite. Low levels are linked to increased anxiety levels, depression, insomnia, memory impairment and decreased empathy.

Any disruption to a natural sleep pattern can in turn increase cortisol levels thus compounding health issued and disruption fat metabolism.

Which brings us to Oxytocin. The Love Hormone.

Touch is hugely important to human beings, promoting a sense of security, increasing cooperative behaviours and sustaining social bonds. Much of this is now thought to be down to oxytocin.

This study conclusively shows that the use of massage therapy increases the body’s oxytocin levels.

And it’s not just massage that promotes this increase, the humble hug is a power aid in upping your oxytocin. To get the optimal effect, the hug should be for at least 20 seconds.

Be warned! If you happen to be hugging someone for the first time, this may be a bit weird for them, and whilst you may benefit from the oxytocin rush, they may be flush with cortisol.


At this point I would like to apologise to the poor lady who, many years ago in a secondhand book shop in Hay-on-Wye, I mistook for my girlfriend (I was browsing the shelves and not concentrating). After embracing said lady, I dimly became aware of a frantic struggle to get away, only to look down and see sheer terror on a strangers face. I still wake in the night thinking about this. Evidence that there is an exception to every rule.

But I digress.

You don’t even need to be hugging a human to get the effects. Petting an animal also works, as does embracing a tree. Validation to us tree huggers at last. Even embracing yourself has been shown have positive beneficial affects. The self administered Butterfly Hug has become standard practice for clinicians working with victims and survivors of man-made and natural catastophies.

Oxytocin does a number things for us, including promoting wound healing, aiding digestion, reducing anxiety, and promoting sleep. It is the natural counter part to cortisol, helping to balance out the stress hormone levels.

So the take home from this is that the benefits of massage therapy can be significant, and not just those benefits that we usually associate with it. Physical prehab, maintenance, rehab, mental well-being, healthy hormone balance, improved digestion, and better sleep patterns are but a few.

And all for the price of your weekly take away coffee bill.

Go on, get one. We all deserve it.

The dark days are over (well, in theory)

sunriseWhilst out walking at the weekend we spotted our first snowdrops (plúirín sneachta in Irish). This for me is the true indicator that Imbolc has arrived. This ancient festival signifying the start of Spring is the light at the end of the tunnel, leading us out of Winter and into the light half of the year. You can really see the stretch in the evenings now, the bird song is louder, and even the plants seem poised to make the most of the coming sun.

Why was this time so important for our ancestors? For one, it was simply the acknowledgement that they had made it through another winter. Sure, there may still be bad weather to come but they were surviving through it. Winter has always been seen as a time of death. The trees lie dormant, the animals are scarce, hunting is more difficult, we were reliant on what foods we had stored, and people were/are more prone to illness in the dark,colder months.

Living here, in Ireland, the coming of the sun feels as important now as ever. Some years it seems to forget that we exist at all and visits this island so infrequently that confusion and shock ensue…quickly followed by raging sunburn.

We all know that a drop of sunlight makes us feel uplifted and revitalised, but its benefits go far deeper. Whilst we don’t consume sunlight directly, our skin contains a substance, 7- dehydrocholesterol which manufactures Vitamin D when exposed to the UV-B rays of the sun.

Vitamin D is vital for sustaining a healthy human being. It is crucial for supporting the body’s immune system, where it activates the killer T-cells responsible for fighting off serious infection. It aids our bodies in maintaining the balance of phosphate and calcium in the blood, and promotes mineralisation and growth of bones, whilst working in conjunction with cofactor mineral and vitamins. It also helps to trigger the release of hormones such serotonin and beta-endorphins, which account for that feel good sensation.

Vitamin D is also known to activate the P53 or ‘spell-checker’ gene, so-called because it regulates healthy cell division and prevents cancer. In fact there is increasingly more research linking Vitamin D deficiency to many cancer forms.

The best source of Vitamin D? Sunlight. And were are perfectly evolved to obtain it, big hairless apes that we are. For our ancestors living around the equator, getting adequate sunlight (and therefore Vit D) was easy. But as our ancestors moved further north, away from the sun, they needed to become more adept at obtaining UV-B. The answer? Lighter skin.

And who, in general, has the fairest skin? Red-heads.

joe glor

This is Joe. My ginger brother from another mother.

So it should come as no surprise that Ireland, with all it’s glorious variety of rain, has the highest proportion of red-heads than anywhere else.

Whilst this is great for all those red-heads, what about the rest of us, especially those with darker skin? Vitamin D production from sunlight only really kicks off when the UV level gets to 3 or higher on the UV scale. For this kind of latitude, that means that we may only be getting enough sunlight for a quarter of the year if we are lucky, and for those with darker skin pigmentation, Vitamin D production may struggle.

For the darker months Vitamin D supplementation may be incredibly useful for maintaining a healthy level throughout the year. Over the counter  D3 supplements could go a long way to helping with this. The dosages vary from pot to pot, as does the recommended daily intake. The current UK recommendations are to take no more than 25 micrograms (1000I.U) per day, whilst other countries may have higher recommended doses. It is still much under debate, with some researchers suggesting massively higher doses needed to sustain optimal health. The Vitamin D we get from supplements sadly last for about half the time of sun-obtained Vit D.

Food is our other source of Vitamin D. Many cold water fish, cod liver oil, and eggs all contain Vit D, and are a good source of nutritional health. The amounts of Vitamin D vary from around 200-1000I.U. in a typical serving. Great to top up the levels but on their own is far from enough.

If you decide to go down the supplement route, then do your own background reading on dosages, and consult your own doctor as to their recommendations and opinions. As with everything, not everybody will react the same way, medication may have an effect on supplements and vice versa.


This is Dave. Don’t lick Dave!

Maybe the rural solution is to head up into the hills and find yourself a friendly sheep to lick. Much of the shop bought Vitamin D3 is actually derived from sheep’s wool.

Below is a great info-graphic from Information is Beautiful


January Special Offer

January Special Offer

If you find yourself lacking a plan with which to implement your new health and fitness goals, struggling to apply accountability to your efforts, or just need a little guidance, then Personal Training can be of huge benefit to seeing your goals through to their fruition.

Finding the right PT for you is critical. This can be a little daunting at first. The basics to look for can be found here. Reputation and recommendations are a good starting point, and it is vital to meet them before you agree to hand over your hard earned spondoolies. Feeling comfortable with the PT is hugely important. If you don’t like them you may find yourself making excuses not to go.

That said, there will be times when you may hate them. This is a strange profession. In a single session a client can go from smiles and laughter, to a look of disgust and total hatred, and back to joy and elation. For some of my clients, the worse the names I’m being called, the greater the exhilaration they feel at the end.

But find someone you feel you trust, and someone who can deliver the type of training you need. Make sure they listen to you and don’t be afraid to raise concerns.

For those interested, I’m offering a special deal for January:

10 one-one sessions

Free consultation to discuss your needs and aspirations

Fitness/health screen – this is to see where you’re starting from. It’s not a ‘test’.

Access to the Wild-Fitness App to track progress, get extra workouts, mobility drills and food logs for home/gym use

Green, Amber, and Red food lists from out Primal Health Challenge

The Optimal Sleep Cheat Sheet (say it fast) to gain the most out of your recovery and optimise fat loss.

All this for just £130

Of course, don’t just take my work for it, do some digging, ask about.

But if you’re willing to take the first step, and put in the work, I’m there beside you.


A Challenging Year Ahead

It’s resolution time. That point at which we decide that an aspect of our life will change for betterment in the coming twelve months.

An honourable task, but why do we fail so often to see these things through, only to repeat the process again the following year?


Look at the word. RE-SOLUTION.



         1. back, backwards

         2. again; prefix added to various words to indicate an action being done again.

Essentially we are applying the same kind of solution again and again, year after year. If that works for you then full strength to you. For most of us it doesn’t.

 “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”


Yet we still do it.

For years I would wake up on new year’s day, feeling guilt at my own excess, self-loathing at my body composition, and general disgust at my lack of ability to see anything through. Then I’d proclaim to the world how this year would be different. This year I’d give up X, start doing Y.

And that would be the sum total of thought and planning that went into my resolution. So it’s not surprising that my resolve collapsed so early when it began on such flimsy foundations.

So, what’s the answer?

If I knew that, I’d be rich, and some hired hand would be typing this. I’m still working it out myself, but what I can do is offer some advice that has helped me to achieve many of the goals and aspirations I have set myself.

Let’s look at the etymology of the word resolution again.

 late Middle English: from Latin resolutio(n- ), from resolvere ‘loosen, release’

This is our starting point. We are going to loosen or release ourselves from the constraints of what we think we should be/think/feel, and discover what we really want and why we want it.

Wanting to make a change is great but unless we know our ‘why’ it often comes to nothing.


We all need motivation, and while watching some power speech with a rousing soundtrack on Youtube gets the blood pumping, it’s short lived.

The root of the word motivation is MOTIVE. What’s your motive? What is driving you to do this?

This is your ‘why’. Really think about why you are doing this and, if it comes from a place of negativity, try and rephrase it. ‘Because I’m fat and out of shape’ becomes ‘because I want to be fitter and healthier to enjoy the things I love’.

Without a ‘why’ we have no real drive.

Once we have a motive we need to embrace selfishness. what I see time and time again, is people not giving their own health the importance it deserves, unable to justify to themselves a few hours out of the 168 in a week.

When we fly on a commercial airline we are told that in a emergency we should put on our own oxygen masks before helping others with theirs. Makes sense doesn’t it? Taking a small precaution to ensure our own safety allows us to help many others.

Well the same thing applies to your health, people. The healthier you are the easier it is to help others. So allow yourself the time to be a healthier version of you, because we all benefit. Thank you.

Setting yourself a goal is a great way to get fired up for change, and following the S.M.A.R.T template can be useful.

Specific- Define your goal as much as possible

Measurable- Can you track your ongoing progress?

Achievable – Make sure it’s not too out of reach or too easy

Relevant – Is it worthwhile, does it improve you, does it float your boat

Timely – Give yourself a time-frame to work to, e.g. race date

Now remember a goal without a plan is just a wish, so geek out about the best way to achieve this, hire a trainer/guide, or join a group of like minded people – BUT AVOID ANALYSIS PARALYSIS. When in doubt just pick a programme/method and start, don’t get too bogged down in the minutiae.

My technique for each year is to pick 1-2 big challenges, things that scare me a little. Last year it was a Half Ironman. This year it’s a Spartan Race and the Mourne Mountain Marathon. By signing up for something a bit scary, you get the impetus to put in the effort to achieve it. Last year it was learn to swim or possibly drown.

What scares you is subjective to yourself. It could be a Couch to 5k programme, to hire a Personal Trainer, making a regular date to walk with a friend, whatever.

Once you have decided and signed up the next important step is to make yourself accountable. Broadcast it far and wide on social media, tell anyone who’ll listen, get sponsorship for a charity.

Once it is out there it’s happening.

The reason why I like a challenge rather than a goal is that it’s more about the process. A goal has a fixed end, a destination, a challenge is a journey, something to work ‘through’.


You might set yourself a goal for the future but it’s the journey to get there that makes the difference. The effort we put in, week on week, to enable us to reach that goal is where the change takes place. So enjoy the journey, and when it is hard remember the Russian proverb:

   The same hammer that smashes glass, forges steel.

And finally, accept that things go wrong. This is easier if we focus more on the process than the final destination. When the plan turns to shit, pick yourself up, dust yourself off and get back to it.

So you ate a bad meal. You are only one meal away from being back on track.

So you missed a workout. Well let’s crack on with the next session.

You got sick. Okay, lets see how we can shift our time-frame.

So, find your ‘Why’, be a little selfish, pick a goal/challenge, make a plan, make yourself accountable, and enjoy the journey. And remember to keep looking back to see your progress and give yourself the praise you deserve.

We’ve got this.


What challenges will you set yourself this year?

Resolutions and Cheese

Every person on the interweb is currently commenting on New Year resolutions. How they don’t work, why they are vital for success, how to make this year different.

The thing is, today isn’t really any different from yesterday. Increased levels of of acid reflux yes, but it’s just another day. As is tomorrow.

Okay, so we need a means of marking time through our chronological year and lifespan, but this magical day of January 1st might not the the perfect time for sending out your deepest hopes and dreams to the cosmos.

Most of us have spent a fair few days of over-indulgence, whether this be sex, drugs and rock’n’roll, or cakes, sofas and sausage rolls, we let go a little. And why the hell not? Don’t we deserve it?

Salad is cast aside in favour of munching on the sixth pork pie with gay abandon. We lose track of just how many wafer-thin after dinner mints we have eaten (before dinner). We actually lose the ability to make a meal that does not consist of cheese.

Fast forward to New Year’s Day.


We awaken with a tongue covered in velvet, hair dreadlocked with party streamers and Doritos, moderate to severe anxiety, and a desperate need for some sort of return to routine.

‘Right! This year is going to be different.’

Many of our resolutions come from a place of guilt, or even self loathing. Neither is a particularly fertile ground for success. Remember, the festive season is a funny little moment out of the norm. Don’t let your actions at this time define your whole previous year.

So before you start berating yourself and declaring how you are going to change, just stop for a minute. Rather than start this year with with a declaration of how you will alter the negatives in your life  (perfectly valid and empowering), let’s take a moment to cast our minds back over the previous year.

Forget the things that went wrong, they have already happened, we cant change them, but we can learn from them. Remember failure is not a bad thing.

Instead let’s think about what we have achieved, what victories we have had (big or small), who we have helped, who we have loved. Let’s celebrate how fucking awesome we all are.

Surely this is a better way to start the year, building on what is already great rather that what needs to change?

When we feel gratitude for what we have it gives us drive be the type of person we want to be.

Remember, health/life/love/fitness, is like a mountain, we need to stop climbing sometimes and turn around. When we admire the view and see how far we have come, we recharge our reserve and can continue onward with new vigour.

When we know where we have come from it is easier to decide which direction to follow.


So let the fog of New Year’s Eve clear a little.

I still have a party pack of primal pork pies left. When I have finished them and the remaining truckle of cheese I will give you some top tips for making some positive changes for 2018.

Ath bhliain faoi mhaise daoibh / Happy New Year.

Natural Born Failure

I am imperfection personified. My teeth are crooked. My thighs rub together when I run. I resort to inappropriate humour when out of my comfort zone, which is often. I don’t chew my food enough. Everyday is a struggle to get out and exercise. Everyday I fail.

For much of my earlier life I viewed my failures with despair. My inability to hit a target, my lack of success in an endeavour, my natural talent at cocking stuff up, all seemed like total negatives. How could they have any redeeming features?

In a world that idolises the false sense of perfection – the faultless cover model, the family with the perfect kids, the photos of the ‘ideal’ homes – setting yourself up for ‘failure’ doesn’t seem very appealing.

dad meme

This was a favourite of my dad’s. A man who knows a thing or two about mistakes. Blown up by a torpedo (he wasn’t even in a boat or in the navy), swan dived through a plate glass dining room table whilst shouting at me for arguing about who’d play Doc Savage, fell out of the loft hatch whilst shouting at me for imitating Jackie Chan in my bedroom.

Well Dad, it took a while, but I finally got it. It’s only at the edge of our limitations that we truly grow. Mastery only really comes to us when we understand how not to do something. If we have made no mistakes can we really claim true mastery of a subject, or have we just been lucky up to now? If we are practising a skill and it comes easy, are we really improving? For stuff to grow it needs a liberal application of shit.

This is where failure comes in. We don’t want to eulogise it or fixate upon, and it certainly doesn’t want to be our final destination. But failure is a good signpost that we are heading in the right direction of self improvement. It’s our own personal ‘Here Be Dragons’ sign, and what’s more heroic than taking on a dragon?

To use the training example, I’m always trying to impress upon clients that failure to be able to perform a movement or an exercise is in fact a positive thing. It tells us exactly where we are at and what we need to work on. I view it as our individual coal-face of fitness/health, the very place that we need to chipping away at.

Every time we fail at a task or activity, it is another opportunity to try again, only better. And again, and again. Sitting here beneath the glare of a florescent light, I am reminded of the quotes from Thomas Edison:

 “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”


“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realise how close they were to success when they gave up.”

Sure, there are times when quitting is the right thing to do, but often it means quitting the way that doesn’t work and retrying it a different way. Performing back squats for me creates some issues, replacing it with the front squat negated these issues.

Ironically, if failure marks the frontier of our development, fear of failure is often acting like our boundary walls, keeping us contained. So often I have not done something, something that I really want to do, because I’ve been scared to fail, or look stupid, or doubt my ability. It can really hold you back.

We tend to stick to the things that we know we can do, and avoid that which is difficult. These little obstacles, these uphill struggles are often the very things we need work on in order to grow. I love to Deadlift. I feel sexy when I lift a big weight off the floor. But give me two 24kg Kettlebells to front squat and you’ll find me quivering like a whippet on a winters night, swearing profusely  about how hard it is. Not so sexy. pexels-photo-703009

I will continue to work on my deadlift, but the focus for me needs to be on the latter. To use a permaculture phrase, the problem is the solution.

I’ve long been an avid student of the Stoic philosophers and this idea is a fairly key one, with various proponents regularly putting themselves into awkward and troublesome situations.

Once a problem has been overcome, it ceases to be a problem. but we need failure and difficulties to highlight where these problems are.  Marcus Aurelius, the Stoic Emperor says it best.


So don’t let failure stop you. Next time it hits take a breath, thank the universe for giving you a lesson and another opportunity to tackle it, and relish the challenge.

Remember if you’re not being challenged you’re not being changed.