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December 1, 2014

2014-11-28 09.54.47“Ironman is a full on proposition. What other sport asks so much of it’s amateurs? The commitment to get to the start line in good shape takes a huge amount of resources and effort….[1] – Phil Wrochna (Founder and Director of

Below is Parsha (Torah Portion) Vayishlach in a Nutshell from

Jacob returns to the Holy Land after a 20-year stay in Charan, and sends angel-emissaries to Esau in hope of a reconciliation, but his messengers report that his brother is on the warpath with 400 armed men. Jacob prepares for war, prays, and sends Esau a large gift (consisting of hundreds of heads of livestock) to appease him.

That night, Jacob ferries his family and possessions across the Jabbok River; he, however, remains behind and encounters the angel that embodies the spirit of Esau, with whom he wrestles until daybreak. Jacob suffers a dislocated hip but vanquishes the supernal creature, who bestows on him the name Israel, which means “he who prevails over the divine.”

Jacob and Esau meet, embrace and kiss, but part ways. Jacob purchases a plot of land near Shechem, whose crown prince—also called Shechem—abducts and rapes Jacob’s daughter Dinah. Dinah’s Brothers Simeon and Levi avenge the deed by killing all male inhabitants of the city, after rendering them vulnerable by convincing them to circumcise themselves.

Jacob journeys on. Rachel dies while giving birth to her second son, Benjamin, and is buried in a roadside grave near Bethlehem. Reuben loses the birthright because he interferes with his father’s marital life. Jacob arrives in Hebron, to his father Isaac, who later dies at age 180. (Rebecca has passed away before Jacob’s arrival.)

Our Parshah concludes with a detailed account of Esau’s wives, children and grandchildren; the family histories of the people of Seir, among whom Esau settled; and a list of the eight kings who ruled Edom, the land of Esau’s and Seir’s descendants.

“Setting a goal is not the main thing. It is deciding how you will go about achieving it & staying with that plan.” -Tom Landry[2]

On Thursday last week my cycling buddy Brad Karp and I drove to Warburton to climb a “few” mountains in the area. Some of the highlights included – Climbing Lake Mountain, Climbing Reefton Spur, a coffee in Marysville and then climbing Mt Donna Buang as the finale with tired legs (and ended with 16km downhill back to Warburton). This was such a great day on the bike in the mountains. The views, scenery, vegetation, birds, animals (yes have seen Wallabies) are beautiful and the experience of riding a road bike off road was an interesting challenge. We did not see many cars and people during the day, but all the cyclists we did see were training with a purpose or a goal of completing an event. Some of these were the – Audax Alpine Classic (not just another bike ride), 3 Peaks Challenge[3], Chain Reaction Challenge Victoria 2015 Tour in New Zealand, Climbing in Europe or just trying to do Mt Donna Buang 3 times in a day. My goal is the start of my IronMan 2015 Training. In an article I recently read cycle training should be split between – Strength, Endurance and Speed training. I would say this was the start of my Strength Training.

Jacob one of the forefathers started out as Jacob an individual. The name Yaakov is derived from the Hebrew word for “heel”, derived from the fact that Yaakov was pulled out of his mother’s womb while actively holding onto his twin brother’s heel. This symbolizes the fact that as human beings most of us have to make valid attempts and utilize opportunities to achieve goals in the physical world. Rashi says that this name is derived from the word subservience.

In last week’s Parsha Vayetzei, Rabbi Berrel Wein, says that Jacob never lost sight of his true goal of influencing all of humanity through his family and his teachings. How did Jacob achieve this goal of going from follower to leader?

I think that he achieved this by spending 14 years learning or toiling in the Yeshivat Shem V’Ever (Study House of Shem & Ever) to learn and improve himself and to enable him to so succeed. In this week’s Parsha, as a reward, G-d gave him a new name Yisrael (the Torah uses both names), meaning strength and victory or has overcome.

I noticed the following in an article[4] about Tiger Woods over the weekend – “When Tiger Woods missed the cut at the PGA Championship, he vowed not to return to competitive golf until he was physically and mentally ready for a fresh start.”

Yaacov (Jacob) had a goal to “overcome” his weaknesses and become a leader, cyclist I met climbing had goals to compete in various events, Tiger Wood’s has a goal to get back to the top, Brad has a goal to compete in the Alpine Classic in January and I have a goal to complete IronMan Asia-Pacific in Melbourne in March 2015. What are your healthy lifestyle goals and how are you preparing?

Brad and I just loved our day climbing in the Warburton. It was an absolute treat to get out there and ride in the country and have a few coffees. Treat yourself!

“There’s something great about that feeling you get after a good workout. Treating your body right helps get your mind right!” – @roblouw




[2] Thomas Wade “Tom” Landry was an American football player and coach

[3] The SCODY 3 Peaks Challenge is a challenging cycling event held in the Australian Alps region of Victoria in March each year



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  1. Brad permalink

    Good blog Ian, hopefully this will inspire a few more of our cycling mates to join us in Warbuton for a ride some day.

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