I hope everything is ok where you are.
Last issue of the year, and whereas last week I talked about motivation, this week I want to touch on goal achievement.
As I type this a chap called Christer Fuglesang is in space, aboard the Discovery shuttle docked to the International Space Station.
He's in a crew of 7, and one of 5 who is on their first trip to space, so why single him out?
Because he's Swedish, that's why.
Zap back in time several decades and imagine the hoo-ha over the first man in space (Russian), the first man on the moon (American) and so on.
Fuglesang is the first Swede in space.
Sweden is a small European country, with a population of 9 million.
Compare that to the US, which has recently crept over *300* million.
Fuglesang has been waiting 14 years to get into space - now that needs motivation for sure!
In press conferences he has been saying how much he enjoys it.
Let's face it, after 14 years, he's not likely to say 'it's crap' is he, but what a superb reward for all that effort.
However many Swedes follow him into space, he will always be the first, so a big fat well done to him.
The European curling championships finished this weekend.
Whereas the game in Scotland is in good shape, in fact the men are current World Champions, in England it is still struggling to get a foothold.
As you know I am really into it, having discovered the one and only rink in England last season, about 45 mins drive.
I checked out how someone gets to the Europeans, Worlds and Olympics, and it goes something like this...
The top 8 finishers at the Europeans get into the Worlds, and the Olympic qualification depends on results at the Worlds.
The European Champs are split into A & B divisions, with the top 2 in the B division getting promoted.
Also, the winner of the B gets to challenge the 8th place in the A for a place at the Worlds.
The English men and women are in the B division, and the women came 3rd, just missing out on promotion.
In order to get to the Europeans in the first place, you have to win the English National Champs.
They are held in January at my local rink.
I'm not sure about the men, but in the women, it was uncontested last year - there was only one team!
This year, a team from my club wants to put together a challenge, but get this, the team of 4 consists of 3 Scots and a Canadian!
If you've lived here in England for 2 years you quaify to play for England.
Pish posh in my book!
Don't get me wrong, I've nothing against the Scottish or the Canadians, but come on!
If you asked any of the 4 if they were English, they would say 'no', so how can they call themselves an English team?
They can because the rules allow it of course, so good luck to them, but it shows the game in England struggles to get 4 women together as a team!
I wonder if I wore a wig and shoved a couple of potatoes down my jumper, maybe I could sneak in?
Hmm, maybe pears instead of potatoes.
Hmm, maybe pomegranates instead of pears.
Hmm, maybe melons instead of pomegranates.
I can often be heard remarking that you can't beat a good melon or two.
Next year I aim to be in a team at the English mens, that's all I can say.
Ok, that's it for this week, and for this year as well.
I've hope you've enjoyed reading my wafflings in 2006, I'm nudging Issue 400, so look forward to having you along for the ride in 2007.
If you celebrate Christmas, have a good one, if you don't, have a good couple of weeks, and I'll see you on the other side, (Christmas Schmistmas)
'Til Next Time,
Health and Happiness,
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