This is a short “in-betweenisode” in which I share some thoughts about how to train and help ourselves be more fully present to better manage uncertainty. Normally, the show features long-form conversations but from time to time, I will post shorter, more bite-sized episodes with various thoughts and musings based on the show’s themes.
In this episode, I sit down with ultra-endurance cyclist and all-around great guy Martian Cioana. Martian is known on Strava – a social networking site for cyclists and runners – as being a bit of a legend for rides like this and this.
Last summer, Martian competed in the Transcontinental Race – a 4,000+ km one stage race from Belgium, through the French and Italian Alps, across the Balkans, and into Instanbul, crossing the Bosphorpus and into the Asian continent. It is a throwback to the early days of the Tour de France and a grueling event with the majority of competitors dropping out at some point. What is even more amazing was this was Martian’s first ever cycling race. Martian has pretty much been everywhere in the UK on his bike – often during epic weekend rides.
Is Martian a long-time cyclist with a super-human level of endurance? No (at least not when he started!). Martian slowly built up his ability to ride long distances just a few years ago – all driven by a pure passion for getting on his bike.
Martian is inspiring, friendly and funny. I love the zen-like, almost spiritual way he looks at cycling and life – and his journey can provide anyone with not just inspiration, but great lessons on how to find the same type of joy for yourself – by embracing the unknown.
On the show, we talk about:
- When and why Martian moved from his native Romania to London
- How he got into cycling
- How and why he started to do longer and longer rides
- What he feels when he is riding long distances
- Riding to some memorable places in the UK
- Some of his memorable moments cycling across the UK
- Preparing for, and competing in the Transcontinental Race
- Advice to anyone wanting to find passion in something much as he has done with cycling
Check out Martian on Strava.
At the end of the show, I remarked that the John Lennon song “Watching the Wheels” seems to fit Martian’s philosophy perfectly – except he makes the wheels turn rather than watching them!
I interview Master Tammy Parlour in this first episode of the show. Master Parlour is a 5th Dan (and therefore Master) of the Korean martial art of hapkido and has been training under Grandmaster Chang Gedo for nearly 35 years. She set up Chang’s Hapkido Academy UK in the early 1990s and has been running the London school since the late 1990s. Master Parlour teaches a complete and traditional hapkido syllabus with a focus on joint locks, pressure points, kicks and punches, free-fighting and weapons. She also teaches ki meditation and has written a book on the subject. Chang’s Hapkido Academy, like its parent school in the US, has consistently received rave reviews for not only the quality of instruction, but also the supportive learning environment in class.
I have been a student of Master Parlour’s for over 8 years and consider her classes to be among the best experiences you can have as a martial artist. However, beyond this, the focus on the philosophical side of training ensures that studying hapkido creates numerous benefits outside the dojang (training hall). In this session we explore these topics going back to not only when, how and why Master Parlour started studying hapkido, but why she has continued for nearly 35 years.
We had an interesting, stimulating and at times very funny and wide-ranging conversation that covered the following (among other things):
- What hapkido is (check out Master Parlour’s school on YouTube – link also below to get a sense of the skills and movements taught)
- The relevance of martial arts, particularly traditional martial arts, in the modern world
- Mushin – “no mind” as a concept and practice and parallels to this with resilience and uncertainty
- Meditation and mindfulness
- Making difficult choices
- Dealing with adversity
- Being present
- Women’s sport – Master Parlour is also the founder and CEO of the Women’s Sport Trust – a UK charity focused on raising the visibility and impact of women’s sport