Done and dusted! 175 km RAM – Race around Malta non-stop with 3400 meters of elevation. Comparing with the La Marmotte in the French Alps 184 km with 5000 meters of elevation. Both in an odd 9 hours. Strangely I find our hills quad-mashers with elevations of 20% not being uncommon in the west coast. Probably my last Century (100 miles) for 2011.
Currently working on core strength and rehabilitation. I still have some nagging injuries for the beating I gave myself… and from the 30 years of karate training… medics say its all paying me back. Bring it on…
After testing this piece of equipment for around a month I decided it made sense for me to get my own. It is basically what Manchester United players use to treat injuries. This is cutting edge technology to deep treat injuries towards recovery. So far so good. Will report further…
Earlier today I received an email with the following message. It came from a nun taking care of children in a home. I think it delivers a sad message. I feel even more sad I neglected thinking about these children in the past. How could I?
This morning I thought of you. One of our children came to me before going to Appogg to meet her parents and told me ‘please pray that they’ll come’… Usually after waiting for a full week to see them they don’t turn up and use all sorts of excuses.
This reminded me of a phone call I had earlier today and wish to share with you. A sister working with children told me that she had a very bad week. The reason was that she was worried abuot a teenage boy who ended up in a Mental Ward. When he was still a child he ran away from home and went to the sisters to be protected from his mother who threw knives and other dangerous tools at him. The sisters kept him and he ended up staying several years. During that time nothing had changed at home….they had no time or skills to look at the family situation. The boy was transferred to another home but then went to his father’s house. He too didn’t have any parenting skills so the child continued to feel unloved and alone. Two weeks ago he landed again at the sisters’ home….he went to see a psychaitrist who told him ‘forget the past’! but he couldn’t ; he needed help to do this…now he is receiving psychiatric care and the only number he can call is the sister’s….its the only place he feels safe.
Sorry I know these things sadden us immensely but also hope it gives us the impetus needed to keep working to change these kids’ lives even if the government wants to think that they’re doing a ‘wonderful’ job.”
Please support the cause. Donate now. Hit the Donate tab. Thank you so much.
Just week to go! All these months of endless hours of grinding, carried by my De Rosa, scarifying the roads of Malta, hills and flats, north to south and east to west with all the perimeters as well, and I still ask myself… am I prepared? have I done all I could do? have I missed anything? did I do enough hills? did I fight enough headwinds? will my De Rosa support me? will I succeed? will this week off the bike regenerate my legs?
So many questions I will only find an answer to next week and the week after… but… first things first. In the meantime, I will dedicate my time now resting, studying the route, doing up my packing list, and visualising the race. I ask very little of you… please support the children at the Home Dar Sagra Familja… www.rtk4charity.org They have been my driving force because I believe in the project. Thank you.
I received this message after launching the project at the press conference. It is from a nun who lives with the abandoned children at Dar Sagra Familja. I decided to replicate the prayer as it was written. It comes from direct experiences with these wonderful children. I met some of them last week. I could see their faces shine when they came back from school and they were greeted by the nuns. But at the same time, I could see they are fragile children. Please read this message… Please understand the change we are trying to start. Please go to www.RTK4Charity.org and help out.
First of all thank you for your interest in us. To tell you the truth this morning as I was driving our children to school I asked them to say a prayer for today’s conference. Of course they wanted to know what it was all about…I told them we were trying to get someone to help them so when their mums and dad’s confuse them there will be someone to understand them and speak to their parents or family. They thought it was wonderful….the older ones told me that so far we never did much for their family so they have to face the family problems alone.
The other thing was that they admitted to having to live two types of lives….one to please the family and one that they live here. The one at home confuses them because they now recognise physical abuse, bad language, rudeness and the many partners of their mums of dads that they have to meet when they go home…they say its ok if these partners allow them to speak of their real mum or their real dad but as one of them said she gets into trouble when she mentions her dad in front of her mum’s partner….so they experience anger and act it out among themselves or are naughty in the group. The same girl now brings up all sorts of excuses not to go home at the weekend saying ‘ I don’t feel safe’ or ‘this is home’.
Also this morning I mentioned to you the case of the birds who fall from their nest and die….we had four such birds so we put them in a box and cover them with cotton wool and bury them. The six year old asked why these birds fall and decided that their mother doesn’t love them so they fall….then told me ‘ tell the birds to come here…there are alot of big people here and will look after them’….
One of the children goes to see her parents at Appogg for SAV that is supervised access visit…her parents tell her they love her and want her to go with them but often having waited all week to see them they just send a message that they can’t make it because of work etc. The child now knows that her parents are making excuses are choosing to do something else instead of coming to see her….last Saturday she was crying before leaving for Appogg she went to the Sisters and said ‘please pray that my parents will come today’….
Also one evening one of them was sick and could not go out with the others. So I took her with me. I thought she was asleep so I went on typing an assignment I was doing on the fatherhood of God. All of a sudden she woke up and asked about my work….I told her…then she asked why her dad wasn’t nice and kind and why she has to look after her parents instead of them looking after her….why do I have to stop them fighting all the time…they scare me …. one day it was so bad I had to call the police (she was only 6 then).
You see Franco this is why these children need someone to help them address these issues… not on an individual basis but within the context of the family. Not that I believe that all families will change but at least the kids will learn to separate themselves from the behaviour of the family in the sense that they don’t feel guilty and recognise the good from the bad behaviour so they don’t repeat it when they grow up. Yet still love their parents but understand that they don’t have to behave like them to please them and be accepted by them.
At long last, the Ultra-Rider challenge for charity was officially launched this week at a Press Conference. The launch was a success. I explained to the reporters the details of the rides that will happen in 3 weeks, and also the connection with RTK4Charity, and its brand new application in Facebook that enables project owners like me to dedicate the effort towards a charity, with its simple-to-use donation gateway within Facebook. Since Facebook is probably the best social networking site, spreading the word becomes fun, hard work, but fun.
Last week, RTK 103FM radio, together with its partners Seasus and 3a, launched an innovative platform on Facebook which will link people having a project with charitable organisations with donors and sponsors. The platform should make it much easier for projects to raise funds for charities. This is the platform that as part of the Ultra-Rider project I have been working on in my capacity as Chairman of the board of RTK and of 3a. Seasus have been so kind to embrace the idea and provide us with the technology. We finally have a mechanism to offer individuals and companies wishing to dedicate an activity towards a charitable cause, a mechanism which takes away all the headaches of collection of funds from donors.
An extraordinary sportsman and ultra-marathon rider. He won the Race Across America 5 times. An amazing focus and determination against nature, when the body tells you to stop and he says it must go on…
Passed away tragically in a car accident whilst training in Slovenia, his beloved country. A sad loss.