birthday boy Derry

Birthday Boy

Yesterday was Derry’s birthday and although an Olympic holding camp isn’t the most usual setting to celebrate the big ‘5 – 0’ the team managed to make it memorable. Before I write about Derry’s birthday celebrations, there is the small matter of the ongoing preparations for Rio.

When I speak to Toni he is undeniably sleepy,

“Now’s fine to talk. No, I’m in the lift. We’re off to the track. Can you call me later?”

I’m guessing that Derry’s birthday was celebrated appropriately.

When we pick up again Toni is marching around the track on his daily quest for maximum steps.

“How was training yesterday?”

“Good. A good day”.

the funny side

Jess Sees The Funny Side

“That’s an interesting photo you sent. You look very serious and Jess is, err, laughing?”.

“It’s a regularly repeated conversation we’re having. After all these years Jess still believes it’s a democracy. This is not a democracy. Like Dave Alred says, ‘this is not a buffet’. You can’t have what you choose. I choose”.

(In my experience it’s more of a benevolent dictatorship).

“What did you choose? Why skipping?”


WARNING: Here comes a ‘science bit’. Sort of.

“It’s about Proprioception. Alison has introduced it”

“Come again?”

Toni shouts out to the group to see if anyone is willing to offer me an explanation. Only Mick is willing to chip in commenting that, “It’s where you are in space”.

Toni makes a small exasperated noise and picks up, “As far as skipping is concerned it’s your ability to react off the floor. It’s about control off your limbs.

“It’s a regularly repeated conversation we’re having. After all these years Jess still believes it’s a democracy. This is not a democracy”.

Basically there’s no point putting your foot down like a dead fish. You need to control the e-centric and concentric movement. When you stand up you move from e-centric to concentric. Likewise the foot goes through a yielding then pushing phase when it hits the floor”.

“I think I’m following”.

“You just want to be sharp, quick, bouncy”.

“Ah, like Tigger?”

“Yes. Because Tiggers are wonderful things”. We enter into a short duet together. Feel free to join in.

Now the explanation is at my level.

“What else have you been working on?”

“Block starts. We’re concentrating on the speed into first hurdle and the first half of race”

block starts 1

block starts 2

Block Starts

“We’re also back to short approaches on the long jump. We’re working off the board and runway speed. It went very well”.

“I can’t really tell”

fish eye long jump

Fish Eye Long Jump

“I’m still experimenting with the fish eye lens we bought. I think it’s a good shot. She’s very small but it shows the sun high in the sky”.

In our attempts to improve your blog experience Toni and I purchased a multi-use lens for the iphone in the local town a few days ago. You’ll be able to judge the results for yourself over the next few days.

“And Derry had a good Birthday?”

“Yeah, I think so. Balloons at lunch, then a cake later and few beers in the local square”

“Sore head?”

“Not mine, I like to be back in bed the same day I get up. Derry managed a bottle of champagne though”.

That’s a Lot of Candles

“You’re only fifty once”.

Happy Birthday Derry. Here’s to many more years of helping people perform at their best.

If you’re reading this and ever in need of the man with magic hands you can get in touch with Derry here.