morning lovely blog reading bigmoosers,

as i woke this morning and enjoyed that moment where you realise you are in one super comfortable place, warm, duvet, pillow, mmmm, that is a delicious feeling, and then my mind did a quick search for what i had to do, get up and run, get up and start my work day, nope today is friday, friday is blog day.

my nerves jangled, as i thought about what i was going to write about, as my human microprocessor returned it's search, 'no files found'.

i did not have a scooby do what i was going to write about, and it scared me.

but in a 'jeff likes being scared' way.

regular readers of my blog will know that i'm a bit of an adrenaline junkie, and i like danger, well just a little :)

i have tried writing my blog wednesday or thursday, but it doesn't tend to work for me, so the pressure of between 5.30 and 9 getting something written is how i do it, i probably need a proper writer to offer me some advice, but for now that's how it works, kind of.

this week has been full of speed bumps, and i read a quote recently that said 'keep your fears to yourself, but share your courage with others' which is kind of how i try to live and definitely how i try to blog.

the main reason for this is that i want to inspire you, my kids, and everyone i meet, and if i walk around telling people how scared i am that this or that project will or won't work, and that i am scared that i will fall off this or that mountain, real or figuratively speaking, i will probably scare the bejesus out of everyone, as well as myself.

so i tend to cope, with pressure, with speed bumps, with life, so when years ago my first born falls and cuts her knee on gravel and we're in hospital with the doc having administered knee numbing anaesthetic and is peeling back the skin covering her kneecap to remove the grit she needs to scrub out, that tania feints, and i just keep on smiling and saying it's fine so that tiffany trusts me that it's fine, and stays calm, and the job gets done.

i don't like panic, and i don't like fuss.

overtime in a hockey match, penalty shots in a hockey match, my team mates would not really be inspired to go out and score the winner if the last line of defence was standing there creating a fuss shouting and hollering 'oh my god, do you know how serious this is, we stand the chance of losing this, the biggest game of our careers, in front of fifteen thousand people, and you lot expect me to stand here on my own and stop these guys shooting pucks at me, and have you seen how big they are by the way???'

probably not gonna instil confidence in the guys, so no panic was my thing, i would be the jocular goalie without a fear in the world, and when in ice hockey i used to get the odd penalty shot called, which for non hockey fans out there, is like a penalty in soccer, kind of, but the only two players on the ice are the goalie in his net, and the player taking the shot, who starts at the halfway line with the puck and skates in and attempts to score, only one go however, and no rebounds.

as a numbers guy, i know that the odds are in my favour, the player can shoot the puck at me, miss the net, fall over, etc, etc, and i don't have to do a thing, his job is to beat me.

and that ain't gonna happen.

in a one on one battle, he's gonna lose.


because i will take control of the situation, i will be calm and ready.

i started betting with the referee in this situation quite early in my career.


yep betting.

my plan was to stay as calm as possible, and to do this i would chat to the ref before the player was given the signal to take the penalty shot, taking control of the situation, calming my nerves, and causing the player to have more time to focus on the enormity of his task ahead, and his nerves to build.

i amplified this, and took even more time chatting to the ref, by asking him if he wanted to bet on me saving the shot?

ref's would be thrown by this, and i would insist that that they accept my one pound bet, and after much cajoling they would accept, just to shut me up, and get on with the job in hand, taking up more time, and the player to be puzzled by my constant talking to the stripey.

as i neared the end of my career i realised that during regulation time i had never ever conceded a penalty shot, check the records, and i now applied pressure to myself, and in my last season, i worried that should one be called i would let it in.

hey toeman wanna bet i don't let this in?

shut up smitty.

toeman i'm serious, i'll bet you a pound i save it?

smitty get back in your net and do your job.

nico, don't be scared, it's only a pound, take the bet?

smitty i'm tryna work here.

come on nico take the bet, he couldn't score in a brothel with tenners tied to him.

shuddup smitty and play.

nico, one pound, come on, take the bet then i play?

ok already, i take the bet, now get in the goddam goal.

yeah baby, let's play hockey!!!

by this time my adversary was skating in circles on the centre line, having had the longest ninety seconds of his life waiting for this padded giant to retreat to his goal crease, and as the whistle blew and he skated towards me i was in control, and he knew it.

i skated out to cut down his shooting angle, and skated back at a speed that kept my body in parallel with his and the twine covered target.

he skates in, spraying ice over my heavy leg pads and even in through my wire cage and onto my face, blinding and melting all in less than a second, and i know this is the action of a player who has over skated, and is out of control, he shoots, and the crowd hears the same as me, as the vulcanised rubber puck booms off the back boards, and my team mates skate towards me to congratulate me, and they pat me on the head, on the pads with their sticks, or just shout 'way to go smitty' from the bench.

and as they do i catch toeman's eye, 'hey nico you owe me a pound!'

he winks at me and says 'double or quits next time smitty'

as i type this i remember how i love being called smitty, and only my hockey friends call me it, and hockey was my life, and taught me so much, one thing was not to panic, ever.

so as i get out of bed, make my first coffee, and walk towards my office, i know not what to write, but as the power bursts through the veins of the macbook, so i follow, and start to type, and the words flow, and the fear subsides.

so, unlike the saying, i have shared both my fears and my courage, which actually for me is fine, as i progress through this life i have come to the conclusion that life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage, so sharing my fears is actually a sign of courage, so try and work that one out!

flipping deep one today, sorry about that :)

so in conclusion, have fear, and be scared of your challenges, because when your goals are so big they scare you, you know you are living at full power in whatever you do.

till next week,

blue skies,