My Way to Work – Mein Weg zur Arbeit

It is October and there are still a lot of tourists visiting Dublin city and Trinity College. So as the weather last week was dry and mild I took a few pictures on my way to work. At 7 am Dublin  was reasonably quite. I feel lucky to work where many people go on holidays.

Es ist Oktober und es gibt noch immer  viele Touristen, die Dublin und  Trinity College besuchen. Da das Wetter letzte Woche trocken und mild war, machte ich ein paar Bilder auf dem Weg zur Arbeit. Um 7 Uhr morgens war Dublin noch  ziemlich ruhig. Ich bin froh dort zu arbeiten, wo viele Leute Urlaub machen!

Ireland, why Ireland ?- Irland, warum Irland?

Looking back into my personal diary I have been writing since I was 16, I wrote on 10 June 1981, on my first day in Ireland:

“Irland wird mein Land werden, eher als Amerika oder Frankreich….“ (Ireland will be my country, more so then Amerika or France….)

At that time, I had only visited the USA and France. I was then 20 years old. On the day I arrived in Ireland I had met a few Irish people and had some conversations applying  my broken English. Already then, I noticed the kindness and approachability of the Irish people, their friendly smiles and willingness to help a stranger. On my drive from the airport, I had seen some of the Irish landscape, the soft hills of the countryside with its thousand shades of green, the beautiful and rugged east coast.  I must have already felt that Ireland was right for me.

I left Ireland again in July 1992, to start my undergraduate studies. Thereafter I  lived, studied and worked in New York, USA, in London, UK, in Brussels, Belgium and in Munich Germany, but eventually came back to Ireland in 1987 – for good!


Rückblickend auf mein persönliches Tagebuch, das ich seit meinem 16. Lebensjahr führe, schrieb ich am 10. Juni 1981, an meinem ersten Tag in Irland:

“Irland wird mein Land werden, eher als Amerika oder Frankreich ….”

Zu dieser Zeit hatte ich nur die USA und Frankreich besucht. Ich war damals 20 Jahre alt. Am Tag meiner Ankunft in Irland hatte ich ein paar Iren getroffen und einige Gespräche in meinem gebrochenen Englisch geführt. Schon damals bemerkte ich die Freundlichkeit und Hilfsbereitschaft der Iren, ihr freundliches Lächeln und ihre Zugänglichkeit. Auf meiner Fahrt vom Flughafen hatte ich etwas von der irischen Landschaft, den sanften Hügeln der Landschaft mit ihren tausend Schattierungen von Grün, der schönen und zerklüfteten Ostküste gesehen. Ich muss schon dann gefühlt haben, dass Irland für mich richtig ist.

Ich verließ Irland im Juli 1992 wieder, um mein Studium zu beginnen. Ich lebte, studierte und arbeitete dann in New York, USA, in London, Großbritannien, in Brüssel, Belgien und in München Deutschland, kehrte aber 1987 nach Irland zurück – für immer!

Diary page from 10 June 1981
Diary page from 10 June 1981
Sign post at Portmarnock Beach
Sunrise at Malahide Beach
Lambey Ireland 2017
Lambay Island

This Morning in Dublin – the Calm before the Storm +++ Heute Morgen in Dublin – die Ruhe for dem Sturm

As predicted the weather is changing! Storm Callum is on the way and if the weather forecast is correct we are in for some extreme weather! As my pictures show, this morning all looks still very peaceful – the calm before the storm.

Met Éireann , the national meteorological service, has issued a status orange weather warning for the storm, which will hit Ireland  tonight, bringing gales of up to 130km/h along coasts and the possibility of local flooding.


Wie vorhergesagt ändert sich das Wetter! Storm Callum ist auf dem Weg und wenn die Wettervorhersage richtig ist, werden wir sehr extremes Wetter bekommen! Heute Morgen sieht alles noch sehr friedlich aus – die Ruhe vor dem Sturm.

Met Éireann, der irische meteorologische Dienst, hat eine orangefarbene Wetterwarnung für den Sturm ausgegeben, der heute Abend Irland treffen, mit einer windgeschwindigkeit von bis zu 130 km/h  entlang der Küste. Lokale Überschwemmungen sind auch möglich.


October Lunchtime Walk in St. Stephen’s Green

Today is the 10th October, it is 19 degrees Celsius and the sun is shining. What a treat! So during my lunch hour I went for a quick walk in St. Stephen’s Green, a public park in the centre of Dublin city, not far from my place of work, Trinity College. I took a few pictures, to capture the autumnal feeling of today.


Heute ist der 10. Oktober, es ist 19 Grad Celsius und die Sonne scheint. Ein wunderschõner Tag! Während meiner Mittagspause machte ich einen kurzen Spaziergang in St. Stephens Green, einem öffentlichen Park im Zentrum von Dublin, nicht weit von meinem Arbeitsplatz, Trinity College. Ich habe ein paar Bilder gemacht, um die herbstliche Atmosphäre einzufangen.


Aggression in Sport vs in Aggression the Workplace

This morning I went to my usual Sunday training session in my powerlifting gym. During my rest periods between lifts, I watched a group of lifters preparing for a competition. They all looked fearsome, strong, and aggressive. Many had tattoos and body piercing. Some had tribal haircuts. The athletes growled and shouted before lifts, some stamped their feet. Loud heavy metal music played from the sound system, so everybody was shouting to communicate. Somebody walking into this gym for the first time would probably find it quite scary.
Having been going to this gym for over a year I soaked up the atmosphere, wondering about all this terrifying display of aggressiveness. I have to admit that I too engage in this behaviour, in powerlifting competitions particularly, where I know I have to push out the boat. There are certain routines I go through to get the adrenaline flowing, perhaps to get into fight mode, to push myself to lift heavier than ever, to win and break records. I growl, through up my arms, I hit my weightlifting belt.
To find out why athletes display aggressive routines before lifting heavy weights, I turned to sport science and existing knowledge to find out what is known about aggressive behaviour in sport, in particular weightlifting. I found out that in sport there seems to be a difference made between hostile aggression and instrumental aggression. So maybe aggression is not always a bad thing? It appears instrumental aggression can help to focus and increase performance.
But what about aggression at work, aggression towards others? Surely that type can only be hostile. We likely think of someone who is loud, maybe angry, probably has a bullying manner, talks over people, throws their weight around etc. It is a very negative, emotional image. Aggression does not belong into the workplace, schools and other institutions. It has a negative effect on people’s health and wellbeing. So perhaps anybody feeling the need to be aggressive and cannot control it  should try channeling  it into sport – applying the instrumental kind!



European Powerlifting Championship – Me against myself!

The European Powerlifting Championship took place in Dublin, from 21 to 23 September. It was a fantastic event, with over one hundred athletes from all over Europe competing in squat, bench press and deadlift. The age categories ranged from 14 to 74 years of age.

I competed in four categories, squat and deadlift both raw and equipped and I came first in all in my categories. I achieved two new world records in the equipped categories of squat (100kg) and deadlift (125 kg). It wasn’t easy to compete in four categories, two each day, as I had to conserve energy over a long day, and do my maximum best twice a day for the same lift. I had to stay calm but focused, relaxed, but watch what’s going on around me, be mindful of my fluid and nutrition intake. I did not beat my personal best and was a tiny bit disappointed. No matter what I achieve, the real competition goes on in my own head – it’s me against myself, hoping to do better every time I go out on that platform. The present me trying to do better than the past me.
Needless to say that I enjoyed breaking records. But as at every competition the highlight was meeting my fellow powerlifters, sharing stories of struggles and successes, what it took to get here and compete on European level. It was a great weekend overall.At the competition, I learned what I could do to get stronger. But for now I’m looking forward to a week of rest, indulging and eating all the chocolate I want 🙂

Preparing for the European Powerlifting Championship – Hoping for “Good Lifts” and “3 white lights”

Preparing for the European Powerlifting Championship – Hoping for “Good Lift and 3 white lights”

A big thank you to all wishing me well for the European Single Lifts powerlifting competition in Dublin next week. I hope I won’t disappoint you.

Over the last three months, I’ve been training hard, and now I’m in maintenance   mode. My nutrition is “angelic” the last time I had an alcoholic drink was at a wedding in August, a glass of prosecco. There I also had the last time sugary food – a beautiful dessert selection. From then on I ate lots of protein from different dairy,  plant and animal sources, good fats, lots of vegetables, nuts, fruit, some good carbs, but  no sugary food and no alcohol.

Ethically I would prefer to be completely vegetarian but once a week I have fish and a steak, to get the full spectrum of proteins from natural sources. I am lucky that I like cottage cheese, yogurt, kefir and buttermilk, all good natural sources of protein.

I have to stay at around 67 kg to compete in my usual under 70 kg category. The competition takes place over 3 days, Friday squat, Saturday bench and Sunday deadlift. I have to allow for putting on about 1 kilogram each day, as I will eat a lot to keep my energy up and stress levels down.

The biggest challenge is to sleep well coming up to the competition, and that is harder for me than sticking to good food. However, I’m working on it, with some relaxation exercises,  stretching and no scary movies before going to bed!

Powerlifting competitions are as unpredictably as any other sports competition.  Anything can happen! All the training and preparation has to come together and then each lift is over in less than 10 seconds.  Failure is public, but so is success!

The best image for a powerlifter is seeing the three white lights on the screen, showing that all 3 judges see your lift as successful.

The best sound for a powerlifter is the sound of the head judge announcing “Good lift!”

I’m looking forward to compete with the best powerlifters in Europe, I know what they all have gone through to be where they are now.

So, this is it – I can do no more – you hear from me again after the competition – hopefully in a good mood!