CHRISTMAS BLOG :: THE END IS REALLY THE BEGINNING
So finally the curtain is coming down on another 12 months. I remember as a young boy a guy was standing in our Kitchen called Alby Jones hanging a door. He told all of us young Devines who were eating our dinner at the time around the kitchen table, that school was the best days of your life. I was 12 at the time and thought he was off his head as doing homework and being told what to do by strangers wasn't exactly my idea of paradise. However as i have got older, these words have proven very true.
Now at the ripe old age of 37 years old, the months and years appear to be flying by. My little girl turned four in September and every other day she asks "Daddy when will i be five" - if only she knew how much fun it is being young, foot loose and fancy free.
The last 12 months for me have been extremely challenging in many ways but i have continued to grow and push all sorts of boundaries. I work with a close network of people, you could count them on one hand, but its these people who continue to inspire me to move forward and raise the bar.
This year is one where i have continued to get stronger and thankfully my Multiple Sclerosis has remained well under control. I am working extremely hard to keep a lid on this condition as i was reminded only a few weeks ago by another guy who has MS, it can come on you very quickly, and steal all of your dreams from you in an instant. This fear is what keeps my shoulder to the wheel. My exercise program is my secret weapon in containg the MS animal, and this year i have made a real effort to sort my diet out once and for all. I became aware earlier this year of the healing powers of food and nutrition and i have added this to my artillery. It appears to be working so long may it continue.
On an adventure front, i have had my best year yet with two marathons in the bag, two half marathons, and five triathlons including my first Olympic distance. I get so much strength and determination out of the Triathlons as it has always been something i wanted to conquer and with every event I complete, the feeling is tremendous. Swimming was always my handicap with the triathlon, however like everything else, with a plan, practice and determination, i have been able to get a handle of the open water swimming.
What i have become very aware of in the past 12 months is that more and more of us are getting sick and also getting sick younger. I have some strong views on this but my main belief is that all of us take our bodies for granted. We put all sorts of crap into our bodies, don't exercise enough and then when we get sick we say "how the hell did that happen". As a society we need to become a lot more aware of the benefits of diet and exercise and start looking after ourselves a lot better. It has to start with parenting, then schools with governments taking a leading role. There does appear to be more awareness in this area, but so much more needs to be done.
Last month I had the pleasure of attending the very inspirational Mark Pollocks new film "UNBREAKABLE". For anyone who doesn't know Marks story, i would highly recommend you google him. His determination, attitude and desire to take life on, warts and all is astonishing. The film itself is beautifully crafted and one cannot fail to be touched by the strength and support Mark has received from his partner Simone, a wonderful sight.
Its a powerful film and a must see by everyone alive. One thing that struck me in the film when i heard the words was something Mark said. He said that "The end is really the beginning". I think this is really profound and quite deep. Over the next few months all of us will be presented with many challenges whether it be financial, and illness, relationship breakdown, or a death amongst other potential challenges. I think with this type of thinking it will, help you understand the situation and then allow you to move forward through your difficult period.
So as i wrap up my final blog of the year, I would personally like to thank all who continue to help and inspire me to keep going and i am certainly looking forward to a very busy, challenging, active and healthy 2015.