27th July 2016

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Ed Smith
Chair of Not-Monitor, or whatever it's called.  In conversation with Roy L
Good conversation, networking and a glass of wine.  What's not to like!
News and Comment from Roy Lilley
I was the first person in my family to fly.  I'm pretty sure it was a Douglas DC-6.  We flew from Croydon Airport to Edinburgh, where I took part in the UK Schools Athletics Championships.
Croydon aerodrome is now an Ikea and my shorts don't fit.  When I was clearing out The Duchess's memory box I found the medals.
Like it was yesterday, I remember the thrill of it all.  I took my running kit in a brown-paper, carrier bag, tucked under my arm.  I felt the vibration of the plane straining to get off the ground, closed my ears to the noise of the propellers, craned to look out of the tiny round windows and watched the ground slip away from under us.  Purley Way, looked like a line on a map.  I felt intrepid.
I've always loved athletics.  On a tiny, flickering black and white telly I watched Emil Zatopek compete at London's White City Stadium.
He was untouchable in the 10,000m; won 38 of them in succession.  In 1952 he took on the Marathon and won, having never run it before.
Two years later, one of the most iconic sporting moments; Roger Bannister broke the four-minute mile.  They said it was impossible; the human body couldn't stand the strain. 
Bannister had a strong sense of self-belief and was certain that it was possible.  He opened the way for four minutes to be routinely broken.
Apparently, it's all about the 'reticular activating system'.  The brain filters out stuff you don't want to know.  When you have a clearly-defined purpose, a mission and when you live every moment convinced you'll achieve it, you influence what your RAS filters out.  As a result, you focus on things that help you achieve.  Dump the rest.
In English; if you believe you can, you will.
These days, I'm not so sure I believe in athletics.  In 1988, in Seoul, six of the eight finalists of the 100-meter race tested positive for banned drugs or were implicated in a drug scandal at some point in their careers. 
wavered then but enthused on.  The events of this week; the industrial doping practised by the Russians has drained my interest.
The up-coming Olympic Games have somehow lost their edge.  I don't know if I'm more likely to see the winners on the telly or in Boots.
I want to watch the Olympics but a little voice inside me asks why.  Anyway the opening ceremony won't have the NHS featured!
If you have ever spoken to a professional athlete you'll know what I mean when I say the drugs testing regime, in and out of season, is draconian.  It's like being followed by your mother-in-law and telling your Dad where you are, 24hrs a day.
You have to be determined, smart, devious and a high-class crook to do doping.
That said; the BBC is trailing a really interesting programme later in the week, about Mo Farah and his training, trials and tribulations.  In it he says; 'I will get one chance, one moment'.
One chance, one moment. 
Made me think... it's not just star athletes who get one chance and one moment.
The NHS gets one chance and one moment; a million times every 36hrs.  One chance, one moment.  One chance to get it right, for that one moment in a person's life.
Hesitate and the moment is lost.  Miss the chance, every one pays the price.
Farah and athletes like him put their lives on hold.  They focus totally, exclusively and utterly, on improving their chances for their one moment. Their reticular activating system goes into overdrive! Their all day, every day is a step towards their moment.  The race.
Athletes use the latest techniques, the top sports science, the finest equipment and nutrition fit for and Olympian.  Everything they need, lavished upon them by anxious sponsors cultivating their Brand.
Top stars have to pull out the iconic, life defining, memorable performance once.
  • The average A&E will do it 300 times a day 
  • A GP about 30, or more
  • Home care will do it half a million times a day
  • Ambulance services 23,200 times a day...
One chance, one moment... Olympic.
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Chair of Not-Monitor 
(I must find out what they are called!)
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Plus the usual wine and networking. 
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