Courageous Living


What I am hoping to share in today’s blog post is that with the right planning and preparations you will stack the odds in your favour to follow your goals through to completion.  You can be certain that you will be met with challenges that are out of your control (‘uncontrollables’), but with the right perspective you can keep a calm state and keep moving forward one step at a time.

And with the right planning and preparations you can activate the forces of commitment, consistency, confidence and courage in your life.

Planning and preparations for the 2014 HCC (Hawkesbury Canoe Classic) began over twelve months ago and continually refined the more I tested and measured the following:
1.  Asking the right people the right questions:  listen and learn
2.  Self awareness –  physical, mental, emotional, spiritual (including training planner)
3.  Equipment
4.  Nutrition
5.  Environment
6.  Pre-event Rehearsals x 3 – each time getting more refined
7.  Support team
8.  Making lots of mistakes

As a result of all of the testing and measuring of 1 through to 8, I was able to develop a race plan (pre-event, race day, post-event)  which encompassed all of the above for myself as a paddler and for my land crew.  In the end it was all a matter of execution and being flexible in the event of any ‘uncontrollables’ popping up.

As it worked out, this adventure was loaded with ‘uncontrollables’ in the the final week and during the race.  I had a choice to make every time I was greeted with an ‘uncontrollable’.  Do you let it get you down or do you just do what you can and keep moving forward.  We ended up doing a lot of laughing on this adventure as it seemed to be more appealing then crying and complaining.

Here is a happy snap of one of our first uncontrollable on the road not too long after setting off.

‘Luckily I remembered how to change a tyre’

And a more serious ‘uncontrollable’ moment which could have really rocked me was burning my hand on Thursday night.  I ended up with my hand in a container of water for almost 3 hours and then sent Martin off to a chemist just before midnight for some burn cream and dressing.  I’m not one for pain killers, but I welcomed the relief and a good night sleep.

20141023_222701‘My tired doctors staying up and taking care of me.
Figured I’d study Rod’s maps to distract me from the pain.’

Without highlighting further uncontrollables, what does this all mean?  Life happens to all of us and the closer you get to achieving your goal the more amplified these uncontrollables can appear unless you can keep a cool head.  Every uncontrollable seems to be equipped with the right ingredients to distract you and/or dishearten you so deeply that you give up. Especially if you haven’t taken the time to plan and prepare yourself for your adventure.

However, the act of planning and preparing yourself starts to align you with a powerful force, that you may know as ‘commitment’.  When commitment is partnered with ‘consistency’ an energy starts to brew within you which can be identified as ‘confidence’.  With every action throughout your planning and preparation, commitment and consistency work together in harmony to create a whole lot more of this confidence.

Your confidence soon grows to such levels that you find yourself being introduced to another great friend which we’ll call ‘courage’.  Courage is within all of us, and eager to do a real work in us but he’ll rarely show his strength and power in our lives unless we first partner up with commitment, consistency and confidence.

Courage was the key ingredient that I needed to get me through the 111km overnight paddle.   It was a truly amazing experience with great people and a magnificent setting.  All of the planning and preparations served me very well for this event and I have a few minor details to fine tweek for my next adventure.  The uncontrollables were present and intense at times but thankfully I remained calm and kept moving forward focusing on executing the plan.

‘Having a moment with our awesome land crew.’

I believe that without the years of karate training and competition experience, I doubt that I would have had such a smooth and successful paddling adventure.  Going back to basics as a beginner paddler is certainly giving me a greater appreciation of the amazing lessons learned in the dojo as both a student and teacher.  I am especially loving the learning process and pulling key ideas together in these blog posts to share with others.

I hope that you have found this blog post useful and it encourages you to consider implementing a planning and preparation phase when it comes to setting your next goals.  Most importantly I hope that you are able to feel the power of ‘courage’ take over in your toughest times so that you can keep moving forward towards achieving your goals one step at a time.

‘ Just before it was time to start’

 ‘ Finishing the 111km along side my father in-law Roy Phillips.  He is one inspirational man.’


‘My number # 1 teacher when it comes to courage and never giving up, my mum’

Quote for today:
 ‘Courage is not the absence of fear, but the acquired ability to move beyond fear.’ ~ Unknown

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