This will be the last Friday Footnotes that I write before Christmas, so I hope you have a wonderful festive period and a healthy, wealthy and happy New Year. Here is my fortnightly instalment of what I’ve found interesting with a little sprinkling of festive cheer throughout!
Episode 60: According to her website, Carla Molinaro is a record-breaking ultra-runner, adventurer and running coach who seeks out events that are slightly harder than the average... and she isn't wrong. Among other insane runs, she set the ladies world record for running from Lands End to John O'Groats (otherwise known as LEJOG) in an astonishing 12 days and 30 minutes.
Having grown up in South Africa, Carla also has a fond spot for the famous 90km ultra Comrades, so decided she would run 90km a day from Cape Town to Comrades as a warm up, completing the 90km race on the 20th and final day... and finishing in the top 10! So, I wanted to chat to Carla about her new strength and conditioning coaching, how yoga can help ultra-runners and about the ultra-running bucket list.
A Video I’ve Been Enjoying
Facing it Together: Si and Tempy is a video that from Help for Heroes that a client shared with me (thank you Terry). Tempy is just five (and a half!) but a Help for Heroes supporter, and she has a clear idea about what makes a hero. War Veteran, Si Brown, who was shot in the face by an Iraqi sniper, has a different kind of heroism in mind.
See the unique bond between supporters and beneficiaries that's at the heart of everything H4H do. Just beautiful.
TED Talk I’ve Found Interesting
What better time of the year is there than Christmas to play board games with the family, but what about spicing it up a little?
Playing Monopoly with his children one night, Adam Carroll noticed they were bending the rules. He wondered, "What if they're playing this way because the money isn't real?". In his talk What playing Monopoly with real money taught me about my kids – and humanity, Carroll explains the concept of financial abstraction, and how our human perception of spending changes when the idea of money becomes more or less real. His case study: a game of Monopoly with his kids using real money.
Monopoly can become a stressful enough game in the Reading household at the best of times, so I am not sure we are quite ready for playing with £10,000 of cash, but the idea is growing on me!
What I’ve Been Watching
Never having been a massive Queen fan, when the film Bohemian Rhapsody was released I didn’t rush to see it, but when I finally got to it I was blown away by what is an amazing film and story. So, this week I watched Freddie Mercury: The Final Act, a documentary telling the story of the extraordinary final chapter of Freddie Mercury’s life and how, after his death from Aids, Queen staged one of the biggest concerts in history, the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert at Wembley Stadium, to celebrate his life and challenge the prejudices around HIV/Aids. The comparison of today and the HIV/Aids pandemic make it even more poignant, and definitely worth watching.
What I’ve Been Reading
Limitless: An Ultrarunner’s Story of Pain, Perseverance and the Pursuit of Success tells the story of the incredible rollercoaster ride that endurance sport can be. At the age of 55, record-breaking ultrarunner, Mimi Anderson, embarked on her most ambitious adventure yet. She wanted to become the fastest woman in history to run across America from Los Angeles to New York. Her journey would cover 2,850 miles, 12 states and four time zones, dealing with extreme changes in terrain, weather and altitude along the way. For 40 days, the determined mother of three pushed herself on and on for more than 2,000 miles across the vast continent, despite the onset of severe pain, until she was forced to make a crushing decision: carry on and risk never being able to run again or give up on her all-time goal. What happened next set Mimi on a new, unexpected journey. She learned to face her fears and bounce back from defeat by taking up the new challenge of becoming a triathlete. Don’t limit your challenges. Challenge your limits!
Quote of the Week
"It's not how much we give but how much love we put into giving."
- Mother Theresa
Finance Theme I’ve Been Considering
Christmas is a time of the year where we can get too caught up with ‘things’! The items that we think we bring us happiness but are all too quickly forgotten. I love the quote from Mother Theresa above because it isn’t money or objects at Christmas (or any other time of year for that matter) that make us happy, it is our relationships and our experiences.
With the Black Friday dash and the Boxing Day sales, Christmas is continually pushed harder and harder as a commercial opportunity but if the pandemic has shown us anything, it is the importance of enjoying the company of the people we care most about. So, I hope you take Mother Theresa’s advice, and give love as your primary gift this year. I am sure it will pay dividends!