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COMMONWEALTH GAMES … HERE I COME


Here is my black outfit my wife has made for the upcoming Commonwealth Games.

The training is complete, the preparation is over and it is finally time to begin the 2010 Commonwealth Games. As you probably realise this is the pinnacle of my sporting career and I just can’t wait to get started. This will be my second real Commonwealth Games and I am hoping for an improved performance from my last effort when the games were held in Australia.

While technically these will be my 8th Commonwealth Games, it has only been in the last two years I have taken my involvement seriously. Many people just view the Commonwealth Games as a time to marvel at the athlete’s ability to perform super human feats under immense pressure. To them the Commonwealth Games is a time to sit on the couch, eat food and just watch. Not me.
The Com Games for me, is the chance to pit myself against the world’s best just to see if our New Zealand selectors were wrong in leaving me at home.

As I have already stated, I was extremely disappointed at my performance during the 2006 games. My preparation was poor and small issues such as living with the in-laws definitely had an adverse affect. Essentially it was an away game which meant I was unsure about basic issues which I had taken for granted. Issues such as the distance from the couch to the fridge and back via the toilet, the range of the remote and I had issues with the new volume control. All these factors played a part in my poor performance. Even having a TV in my bedroom didn’t seem to ease the problems as the time difference didn’t go down that well with my wife Rachel, elbowing her during the Rugby teams victory in the7’s competition.


For me there is a twofold aspect to this year’s Commonwealth Games. Firstly, there is the watching and viewing side of things. This involves sports that are a little difficult to replicate in my living room. Gymnastics is one. While I certainly don’t doubt my flexibility and my high bar routine is second to none, the fact that this sport requires judges precludes me from taking part. This has only been a last minute decision as during the 2006 games my floor exercise was up there with some of the best from the Indian orphans. Even Ray (my father in-law) was speechless as I rolled around effortlessly in his lounge in my lycra one piece to Lenard Cohen. I can still visualize the tears I saw welling up in his eyes.
Other sports such as horse riding and boxing fall into this category as they are just too difficult to run successfully in our 5m by 4m lounge. These are the sports I just sit back, watch and enjoy, knowing that the cards life has dealt me, mean that I am unable to prove myself in these disciplines.

However, there are a number of sports that you can actually join in during the Commonwealth Games and with the latest results online you can actually rank yourself.
For me the first week is going to be slightly easier than the second. Traditionally, I haven’t been strong in the Aquatic section but this year I have a slightly smaller bath, which I am hoping will help me make the top ten in most events. While I have had some doubters over the years I make sure that I keep to all international swimming rules except one. Firstly, I start in the water as diving into out 55cm deep bath could prove disastrous and secondly, I swim in the nick, none of the latest Addidas full length babies for me.
Just to give you an idea, about how things work, our bath is 1.8m long. Therefore, for a 100m swimming race I have to touch the each end a total of 56 times. The current world record for the 100m freestyle 47.50 and I am sure that by sitting in the middle of my bath I can touch each end 28 times in under 45 seconds. One of the drawbacks with the small bath is that we can’t get the entire Banbury Family in there at once so we have had to reluctantly, excuse the pun, ‘pull the plug’ on our involvement in the relays.
Also during the first week I have cycling which will involve the use of Asa’s small bike and my wind trainer. I have even bought a small water pistol with a range of 20m for the shooting events. Apart from those events the first week is about watching and becoming absorbed in the Commonwealth Games Spirit.

The second week will be physically draining and that will be when my training comes to fruition. Without boasting I am hoping to come away with about 7 medals. Our treadmill has already been positioned in the lounge and I have preset in the memory all of the distances from 100m all the way to the 50km walk. I have managed to rig up a very impressive high jump contraption and one of the rocks I dislodge while working on our garden will be used when I go head to head with Valerie Adams. While most athletes at the Commonwealth Games focus on one or two events I prefer to go with the blanket approach and enter them all.
While disappointed that my request for a black singlet and shorts was dismissed by the NZ Com Games Committee I have taken my own black ‘wifebeater’ and added a small silver fern with some double sided sticky tape. I have gone with the number 59-235-678 which is my IRD number.

Just quietly I am really focussing on the 800m and 1500m events. Traditionally these have been New Zealand’s events and hopefully I will be able to restore some pride. My main secret weapon for both these races is my finishing kick. During my training I found the 12km/ph speed limit on my treadmill concerning and a quick look at the fastest times highlight that about 15 runners have already run faster than me this season. Therefore, I have taken the drastic step of hooking up the lawnmower to the treadmill and I believe the extra 4.5hp will ensure victory for the black singlet. As a by product the petrol fumes and black smoke that bellows from the engine creates an authentic Delhi climate in our own lounge.

I also challenge you to take part in the 2010 Commonwealth Games. Like me you are probably frustrated at New Zealand’s tough selection criteria and this could be your chance to put forward your case for the next Olympics.
If not and you prefer to sit and cheer on our New Zealand athletes, just remember that while there may be no New Zealand athletes in the 100m final, there is one die hard New Zealand runner recreating our famous history in his lounge while choking on his lawnmower fumes.

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New Years Resolutions – Ozy needs ideas


For some reason, perhaps it was my upbringing, but setting goals is an intricate part of my life. With this in mind it is no surprise that New Years resolutions are my speciality. I thrive on every aspect of this yearly process. Over the years my New Years resolutions have shaped Ozy into the man you see today.

Three years ago who thought it would be possible to eat 7 wheetbix for breakfast for every day of the entire year. Two years ago people couldn’t believe it was possible to wear the same item of clothing for an entire year, something which I proved with relative ease. As this year comes to an end I have used the same Gillette Razor everyday for an entire year.

Sadly, though I am a rare breed in this sphere of life. A large percentage of society shrug their shoulders at New Years and spend the time eating and drinking too much.  Another large group go to the opposite extreme and make huge plans, usually around the theme of diets and fitness, and have failed by the second Sunday in January. In my opinion these people fail to realise the potential of this time of year and ultimately they don’t take the opportunity that the beginning of a new year offers.

New Years should be seen as a chance to turn over a new page in your book of life. For those unfamiliar with reading New Years could then be seen as a chance to change the channel of your life. For those without a TV New Years could be a chance to turn over a new leaf. I think you get my drift!!!

Sadly though my yearly time of reflection has hit a dry patch and I am struggling on what could be a good New Years resolution for Ozy Mandias in 2010. Remember this is the start of a new decade so I want something special and memorable. Here is where you, a valued Ozymandias Warning reader, can help me. I would like to put forward this proposition. You can put forward your ideas for Ozy’s 2010 New Years challenge. To do this leave a comment below detailing the exact nature of Ozy’s challenge. I will look through the ideas and come up with a list of the challenges I think are the best and attempt them in 2010.

No idea is to bazaar in this competition so put on your thinking hat and put forward your idea. There is however one catch to every idea that you put forward. To keep things in perspective each person who nominates an idea must choose one of following two conditions on your challenge.

Firstly, you have to try to complete the challenge as well during 2010.

If you don’t like that option you can choose to provide a wager or incentive to assist me in my 2010 quest.

One Razor One Year


Today I am officially 3 months into an intensive men’s study. This is a study which I have kept secret for sometime but I feel now is the time to let the proverbial cat out of the bag.
Three months ago to this day I purchased a pair of shorts from The Warehouse. As a good will gesture for my pirchase I received a complimentary Gillette Fusion Razor.

I was extremely excited about this puppy as it is the Granddaddy of razors. It oozes class, sophistication and style. Gone is the one bald wonder. No, this razor has five, count ’em, FIVE blades. Lubricating comfort strips, a textured aluminium handle. To this end it is endorsed by none other than Tiger Woods and Roger Federer, the two most consistent sportsmen in the World. This is a razor that reeks of charm.

The actual make up is similar to other shavers, but that is where similarities end. Consisting of a total of five razors not one edge is void of a blade. In fact I have a blade for everything – normal shaving, sideburns, nose hair and probably even a convenient ‘suicide’ blade hidden in the handle I have yet to find. Opposite the five ruthlessly efficient, meticulously crafted blades lies a lone blade for precision sculpting of my sideburns and moustache (if I’m in the mood). While the average kiwi bloke uses a single blade to shave their whole face, the only time I use just one is for making small touch ups to my power mo.

If you haven’t tried the Gillette Fusion yet I suggest you give it a go. Gone are the simple bic one blade razors that ‘bunny hop’ across your face. Bic makes pens, and what’s more they make pens for students. Have you ever seen John Key signing his new laws with one of those things? I rest my case.

This standard of shaving doesn’t come cheap though. In the past it used to be ten disposables for $3. In today’s climate you need a small loan from your local loan shark just for a 4 pack refill.

That is why this year I have decided to work for the good of the male species. We know the Fusion blade is style and class. But does it have the staying power needed in today’s busy world. So I am testing my current Fusion to see just how long one blade will last. So far, after 8 weeks, I have been presently surprised with my preliminary findings. After about 4 weeks the conveniently placed moisture strip had worn clear. On the refill cartridge it says this is the indicator for you to switch to a new blade. I ignored this advice and the reality is that it has made no difference at all.

Despite this I realise it is still early days. I am sure as the year slowly continues my blade will get less effective and that is when things could get interesting. Rest assured I will keep you posted on any further progress.