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February 23, 2017

1. Too cold 2. Too early. 3. My legs hurt. 4. I’m tired. NO EXCUSES” – @Sports_Greats

I’m Tired, it’s too cold, it’s too hot, it’s raining, it’s too late, LET’S GO” – @mindbodygreen

Torah Parsha (Portion) Mishpatim in a nutshell from

One of the most mitzvah-filled Torah portions, containing 23 positive commandments and 30 negative commandments. Included are laws regarding: the Hebrew manservant and maidservant, manslaughter, murder, injuring a parent, kidnapping, cursing a parent, personal injury, penalty for killing a slave, personal damages, injury to slaves, categories of damages and compensatory restitution, culpability for personal property damage, seduction, occult practices, idolatry, oppression of widows, children and orphans.

The portion continues with the laws of: lending money, not cursing judges or leaders, tithes, first-born sons, justice, returning strayed animals, assisting the unloading of an animal fallen under its load, Sabbatical year, Shabbat, the Three Festivals (Pesach, Shavuot & Succot). 

Mishpatim concludes with the promise from the Almighty to lead us into the land of Israel, safeguard our journey, ensure the demise of our enemies and guarantee our safety in the land — if we uphold the Torah and do the mitzvot. Moses makes preparations for himself and for the people and then ascends Mt. Sinai to receive the Ten Commandments.

* * *

Instead of a normal blog on a topic, I will share a few thoughts from blogs, podcasts, life and the news.

img_3321-lorenI hate to beat my chest especially after Rabbi Sendor shared a beautiful thought on humility[i] in last week in the Yavneh School Kesher (Newsletter), but it is amazing what some people can do in the morning. By 7:45am on Tuesday, Loren had gone for a swim, baked 2 banana loaves inspired by @OhSheGlows[ii] and prepared a #CafeatHome #stopboringbreakfsat – #NOEXCUSES

A lot of people mock and make jokes about the uses of App’s like STRAVA[iii]. Personally, I am happy to share my training on STRAVA and think it is a great APP. I noticed a nice quote from a guy Kevin Weil[iv] who has just joined the Board of STRAVA that sums it all up “Excited to join the board of @Strava. Everyone is an athlete, and exercise is inherently social.” – @kevinweil NOW, as an ex @instagram VP, he needs to get the STRAVA/ Instagram link working!!

In an article on Michael Carr-Gregg,[v] (Dr Michael Carr-Gregg is a leading child and adolescent psychologist and a high profile media spokesperson in the mental health space.) titled “Michael Carr-Gregg on how to survive raising a nightmare teenager” he emphasises what parents need to worry about. He says that these are the issues that relate to their safety. “So, sex, drugs and alcohol. Sleep, diet, exercise, curfews. That’s the important stuff.” There is lots to worry about….

“Western society has long admired ‘the strong, silent type.’” – Mark Reason[vi]

In the last week or so we have seen the ‘meltdown’ of swimming great Grant Hackett and suicide of rugby great Dan Vickerman. Unless you have achieved what, these guys have, it is very hard for us to comprehend what life ‘post’ competitive sport is like. Much has been written on this, but I would like to share a few posts and articles, the overriding theme is COMMUNICATION:

  1. An article shared by a school mate of mine who was a professional golfer “5 THINGS ATHLETES WON’T ADMIT ABOUT LIFE AFTER SPORT[vii]
  • It is tough
  • It takes time
  • It is expensive
  • It requires planning
  • It’s made easier by talking about it
  1. A twitter post by Rugby Player Quade Cooper – “Goes to show that things may not be as they seem on the surface or social media.. check in & ask #RUOK u never know u might just save a life” @quadecooper
  2. In an article[viii], Former NZ rugby great Sir John Kirwin describes that in the same way you go to a physio for a tight hamstring you need to seek medical help for mental related issues “If it was still tight, I’d ice it and go see a physio. She said the brain was no different and that put it in a simple way for me – I thought ‘I’ve got a hamstring in my head‘.”
  3. Steph Rice who I mentioned last week has made a few comments on her Instagram[ix] account (See Below[x]). Steph says that she prides herself on her authenticity and ability to share openlyMy life has dramatically changed since being an athlete and in no way was the transition easy, but as soon as I changed my perception, my life changed..” – @itsstephrice

Reading the Book of Joy[xi] that I have previously mentioned, the Dalai Lama brings down a Tibetan saying: “Wherever you have friends that’s your country, and wherever you receive love, that’s your home”

Reading various Parsha sheets this week, there is a theme of caring for others – “Do not afflict or oppress the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.” (Exodus 22:20):

  • In Chief Rabbi Mirvis’s D’var Torah[xii] this week, the Chief Rabbi teaches us that we shouldn’t just be concerned with our immediate surroundings – it is our duty to be mindful of the interests of all members in our society.
  • In Rabbi Marc Angels D’var Torah[xiii] this week, Rabbi Angel brings down that the Torah needed to issue 36 commandments about caring for strangers. He goes on to say   – “And when we do fulfil the commandments of caring for strangers, we not only fulfil G-d’s commandments; we fulfil our own humanity.

Until you face your fears, you don’t move to the other side, where you find the power” – Mark Allen

Listening to Mark Allen[xiv], one of the greatest triathletes of all time on the Rich Roll Podcast, I was intrigued by some of his ideas and thoughts. Mark shared two points regarding implementing a positive lifestyle in his closing remarks:

  • Commitment to some form of exercise daily; and
  • Be aware of the natural world around you – watch a sunset and see colours, hike in the country or I suppose just look around your garden. I noticed a great post on Instagram from a fellow cyclist “I left the office late enough to miss the “Commuter World Cup” but early enough to enjoy the sunshine. Perfect Timing!” – @pbbraine . I was running home at the same time and loved my run on the Yarra trail. Walking from the station I noticed a poster at Federation Square offering free Wi-Fi, but loved what it said “Find a comfortable spot in the Square, settle in and soak up the buzz or zone out while you surf the web

To end a quote from the late great Arthur Ashe that I read in an excellent article[xv] from one of the rising stars of women’s footy Daisy Pearce – It is a reminder of the lesson Arthur Ashe[xvi] taught us some years ago. “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”


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[ii] Recipe inspired by –

[iii] Strava, – lets runners and cyclers post maps of their routes, track their physical activity and connect with potential workout buddies







[x] @itsstephrice – I was trying to find an appropriate picture to sum up my thoughts of today, but decided a quote was better.

Going through my transition after swimming was incredibly tough. It wasn’t until about a year after finishing my athletic career when all the dust settled, and the realisation of no longer being “current” and recognised for being the best at something set in.

Achieving such high levels of success in sport brings about wonderful opportunities which are usually all based on external gratifications. So when you take away the vehicle in which you receive this recognition it definitely takes a huge hit on your self worth.

I believe it’s incredibly important to take the time to develop and work on your self from the inside out.

Asking yourself the tough questions like:

What is my purpose?

What’s my worth?

What do I value?

Can be confronting and make you feel vulnerable, but once you can look at those demons of insecurity head on and dig deep within yourself, it opens up a whole new world.

Take the time to quieten your outside world and work on yourself. All the answers you seek can be found within. Learn to forgive yourself and trust that there are gems of wonderful opportunity that can only come from enduring and overcoming the hardest times.

Sending love and light to you all and I truly hope this post gives you a small insight to some of the struggles that top level athletes may go through. Please be gentle on yourselves and on others, as you never really know what’s going on inside someone’s else’s head.

@itsstephrice – It was an honour to share my post swimming journey on @morningshowon7

My life has dramatically changed since being an athlete and in no way was the transition easy, but as soon as I changed my perception, my life changed.

I always viewed my swimming career and Olympic achievements as the absolute pinnacle of my life and everything thereafter would be downhill. Going through those few years feeling like my life had no meaning and nothing to look forward to, compared to what I had experienced in the pool, made every day a battle to be positive.

Once I decided to view my Olympic Medals and athletic career as a platform to bigger and better things … as a vehicle to share my experiences to help others, it changed my mindset.

I pride myself on my authenticity and ability to share openly. I believe it allows others to truly see the real me in hope that it will help ease someone else’s inner struggles in some small way.

Thank you for all your loving comments, I’m truly grateful for my life and the ability to share my journey so openly with you.







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