A swansong race on the Gold Coast

Is there a better place than this to run a marathon?

Is there a better place than this to run a marathon?

Whenever school holiday times come around, one of two things happen every week night in our household. Either my wife and I do paper, rock, scissors to decide who is going to skip work the next day to entertain our two boys aged 8 and 6. Or we do paper, rock, scissors to decide which of our parents we are going to burden the next day to do the same.

This time, however, we decided to both skip work and entertain the kids up on the Gold Coast of Australia. For those who don’t know, Gold Coast is essentially a stretch of beachside towns in Queensland, about an hour’s flight from Sydney. It is where high school kids go to binge-drink in gaudy bars, small kids go to run amok in theme parks and 41 year-old fathers go to ogle at bikini-clad ladies. Continue reading

The Thrill is Gone

Mr King with Lucille

Mr King with Lucille

When I was a teenager back in the late 1980s, I came across a documentary featuring Eric Clapton. Clueless about these things as I was at that time, I still very much appreciated Mr Clapton’s music and especially his guitar skills. In that documentary, however, Eric Clapton said something about one of his influences being BB King. At that time, there was no such thing as the internet, let alone Google and Youtube. So I remember looking up this BB King character in the library one day, and was astounded how famous he was in the field of blues and how pervading his influence has been on the modern-day R&B. Continue reading

Growing old is mandatory, growing up is optional

Thanks to her, I had no blank space on my back for a few days!

Thanks to her, I had no blank space on my back for a few days!

Despite being 41 going onto 60 in biological terms, I still behave like an 18 year-old going onto 8 in maturity terms.

I was abundantly reminded of this during our recent family holiday. At all the fun parks, I was often the only adult shoving kids (including my own) aside to get on the best rides. I am the only parent at the resort acting like silly buggers with my boys in the pool. Even during meal times, I couldn’t help but fight over French Fries with the kids, and drawing an exasperated expression of “Oh, grow up!” from my wife. Continue reading

Dr Strangelove or: How I Learned to Start Worrying about my Weight

Yes, Jogging Dad, I'm talking to you!!!

Yes, Jogging Dad, I’m talking to you!!!

Last week, I went for my annual health check up.

My doctor pointed out that it is not really an annual check up when the last time I saw him was four years ago.

I tried to explain that I am an extremely important man, with an always-packed calendar, and certainly too busy saving the world to attend to trivial matters such as my health.

Unfortunately, the doctor started fiddling with the computer keyboard … tap, tap, tap … and brought up my medical record. Continue reading

A Tough Mudder Recap from one Mean Mudder Tougher

This one is called Leap of Faith, or more commonly known as Plunge into Abyss!!!

This one is called Leap of Faith or, as this fella will soon find out, Plunge into Abyss!!!

I arrived at the first obstacle.

What greeted me was one big pool of dense, black mud with a giant fishing net hanging low above it, leaving just enough room for people to crawl underneath. So I did, on all fours at first, then completely on my front, worming across with my face just half an inch above the slimy bog. Unfortunately, the attempt to keep my face clean was thwarted by the person in front of me whose wiggling motion was spraying the black stuff all over my head. When I finally emerged from the crawl, I felt like the Tim Robbins character from Shawshank Redemption when he escaped from the prison. But instead of covered in human shit with little bit of mud mixed in, I was covered in mud with a little bit of cow shit mixed in.

And that was how my inaugural Tough Mudder race began two weeks ago, on a windy, cloudy Sunday, somewhere between Timbuktu and Wherethefuck, 2 hours outside of Sydney, surrounded by trees, bush, mud and more mud. Continue reading