ode to the pirate ship of fools…

To the people who left comments asking why I don’t blog as much as before — I normally, write my blog in the early morning when I am having my coffee and reading the news… but for the past 2 months, my training has taken nearly all my morning and most of my time after work, so I have not made time for the blog (I didn’t have anything worth reading about anyways)

About a month ago, “John Galt” introduced me to the triathlon forum on runnersworld.co.uk

I am a complete novice when it comes to training for the ironman, so I have been reading as much as I can about training, nutrition, etc.

To be completely clear — although I have been training, running marathons, etc,….I am a total “wanna be” who just tries to survive and finish…It would be stretching the truth too much to call me a “competitor.”

The tri forum on the runnersworld site has proven to be very useful to me.
Most, if not all the readers are serious runners, ultra runners and triathletes primarily based in the UK.
I have posted questions and had all my questions answered. I was just about to spend a big chunk of money on a new “tri” bike, but after posting my questions about the bike on the site, all the feedback changed my mind.

Anyways…

I woke up 3am the other day (jet lagged from Dubai) and maybe subconsciously, needing some motivation because I was still very sore from my shit race in Copenhagen, I read various threads on the site.

I came across one of the members personal websites where he has posted various race reports and pictures over the years (this guy has successfully achieved 5 IMs) I read all the race reports posted on his site. I also saw his photo section and discovered pictures of the various people in the forum (all the forum participants use a nick name and for many, their nickname on the forum you can’t tell if its a man or a woman) but after I saw the photo’s I realized all these people know each other.

After I was done reading various threads, race reports, etc, it was 8:00 …. (I had spent nearly 5 hours reading about all of these people, their races, input, etc! that evening, I spent another few hours reading their website/blog)

Over the past month, I have a noticed some members refer to themselves as a “pirate” and I had no idea what they were talking about …until I read through the race report and saw their photos.

Various pictures of people running or biking wearing a bright yellow skin tight sleeveless shirt with a big black skull and cross bones on the front of the shirt — very cool logo and shirt.

The “pirates” are a sort of triathlon club called “the pirate ship of fools” which is not a formal tri club, and ” not a knitting club,” but rather a group of every day people who support and challenge each other to put their dreams/goals into action.

http://www.pirateshipoffools.co.uk/about.htm
(definitely, worth checking out, esp. if you are into running, or triathlons)

Apparently, the club started and was named by chance in 2004 by someone named “Candy Ollier” … when Candy and a few friends did their first ironman …. from their success of finishing, they came together and started challenging others to do the ironman with them.

Over the past few years, Candy and the gang have encouraged more than 100 people to successfully complete an ironman. 100 people!

These people are teachers, lawyers, marketing directors, sales men/women, baillifs, some work at night, everyday normal people. They are NOT professional athletes who have endless hours a day to train.

Each year, they pick an ironman, and challenge everyone on the runnersworld site to do it with them …. This year more than 50 “Pirates” will do Ironman Switzerland together. 50+ people, many of which this will be their first ironman.

Every day when I train, or feel like not training, and skipping my run or swim, I think of these people in the pirates club, esp. “Candy.”

Candy has completed several IM’s, 100 mile runs; numerous ultra races, and most incredibly… he completed a triple ironman in 55 hours. That’s 7 mile swim, 336 mile bike and 78 mile run … completed in 55 hours. He seems to travel the world doing adventure races.

His race report for his triple IM is posted on the pirate’s site (link posted above) In his report, he talks about a 68 year old man who was in the triple IM race with him … apparently, this 68 year old man had already completed a 4 ironman distance race, and several triple and double distance IMs. 68 years old??? 4 x an ironman triathlon without stopping ….

There is also a race report by a man who had never done anything like an IM before, and just a few years ago was in poor health, but because of encouragement from the “pirates” whom his wife is a member, and multi IM finisher, he trained for the year, and successfully finished his first ironman. (from the way he described himself in his report, I don’t think he had ever run a marathon before the IM)

The “pirates” as one of the original members told me a few weeks ago, are non “dick waving” people…they just go about putting their goals into action.

Imagine how many people’s lives have been positively impacted because of the original group of people.

To do an ironman, one must train up to 7-8 hours a day, diet, sleep and eat with constant thoughts of the ironman.
In a word, one must be “focused.” You don’t see many obese, sloppy, lazy people doing these races.
Therefore, Candy, Monique, Fat Buddah, Jj and the gang … have in many ways helped people lose weight, get in shape, live more healthy and focused, thus they have had a direct positive impact on the lives of many people.

All of this “positive impact” stuff sounds very American, I know ….

However, it is truly regretful that the world we live in today has become full of mediocre, spoiled bitches consumed by negativity, people who sit around hoping others fail, instead of focusing on making their own lives happen….
thus, for me, its inspiring to see positive people having such a big impact on others, me included.

I am not sure how many of the readers of this blog have ever dreamed of doing an ironman … even if you haven’t, check out: “http://www.pirateshipoffools.co.uk/” … read their stories, and watch their youtube video.

I have never met any of these people, and I am sure many of them do not like the “American” aggressive “dick waving” style of this blog, however, because of their positivity and focused achievment, they have inspired me – without question, I am training more focused because of them.

Now there is no turning back, I must finish the ironman in Dec.

The point of this blog … I know I have rambled a lot … is to get all of us to reflect on the power of positive encouragement.

Of course, some of the 100 pirates would probably still have done an ironman even if the pirate club did not exist, however, I guarantee a majority of them became an “ironman” because of the positive support of the “pirates” as a group.

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5 thoughts on “ode to the pirate ship of fools…

  1. Scott Norrish

    Greetings Scott,

    It has been many years since ME, and it makes me very pleased to read that you have built an amazing and very professional organisation.

    In reading your blog, I was very excited by the roundness and balance of character that you present and the humbleness you have learned from your time at ME – it is a lesson many of us have had to learn – quite often through deep and painful self-realisation.

    It is also very exciting to read of your goals regarding Ironman – I myself am competing in several Half and a Full IM this year.

    I am sure you will be interested to know that outside of my full time position, I am actually the cycling coach for a Triathlon Squad here in Australia these days – so feel free to ask me whatever questions you wish regarding your bike investment.

    Good to see that your world is very positive that you are still “Making it Happen” and I look forward to keeping in contact.

    Best regards

    Scott Norrish
    Former Sales Director ME HK 1999-2000

    • Scott – great to hear from you as well to hear about your success.
      I will drop you an email later today.
      I am doing the western australian IM in Dec outside perth.
      thanks for your comments

  2. Im sure the pirate group are truly inspirational and motivational as they were able to convince more than a hundred people to do the ironman challenge. I hope to find a similar group here in my country of residence too.

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