The last bastion, or the last stand, I often like to call the 90's, before it all started to fall APART.
Before the world started to go to hell and a time when men were men, women were women, men were real men that did a hard day's work and werent shy about downing a beer - or two - or ten at the end of it (well, they had the Tom Tom's then as well, but near not as many!) - women would be happy enough to take care of the child and let the man do what the man does i.e PROVIDE...
Normal times, natural times.
Times of great, heady optism.
I should know. I grew up during those times!
Anyway, the name Bevan probably isnt' familiar to most of you.
Except a few of you "Poms" reading this, hehe.
He was - is - one of the Aussie cricketing greats, and in many ways a pioneering force and influence in what was then still a novelty and not cricket for the purists ie. "one day cricket".
Which the purists scoffed at as being "wham bang thank you Ma'am", and now weaned on an even more whammy diet of T20's and T10's, they all love the ODI with 50 overs!
Persoanlly, I thought one day international cricket provided the perfect match between wham bang thank you man IPL and other such 20-20 leagues which are over in three hours - and test cricket which spans out over 5 days - or is supposed to.
Tests were supposed to the boring, puranitical version of cricket.
Odi's were supposed to be for the hipsters, slick shysters, dashers!
Bevan was a pioneer fitness wise in an ear where beer bellies and drinks galore after a game were still rampant in cricket.
But more than that, it was his attitude towards chasing tall, tall targets - and WINNING - which was nowhere near as common as is on the batter friendly highways they prepare these days for cricket that really in my books sets him apart - and the way he went about it.
The Aussie cricket team of that time was probbaly the greatest ever.
Led by Ice man Steve Waugh, they had dashers and stylists at the top in Mark Waugh, Ricky Ponting, and hitters galore like Andy Symonds and so forth - any ONE of whom could change and turn a match on its head on his day.
Someone always seemed to!
And down at the last of the specialist batters - they had -well - another ice man - Michael Bevan!
He was not a six - or boundary hitter. In an era where clearing the boundary is the norm (today) - that might sound pedestrian.
In HIS era, hitting the boundaries was considered "required" to keep up with chasing tall totals.
Indeed, it is in a way.
Bevan though hardly ever hit any - - and his record stands out as - STILL - being a batter that has helped his team win MOST times when chasing - or damn close. An average to be damn proud of, even when compared to today's batters that are molly coddled and provided with every form of assistance they can get, right from rules favoring them - to pitches - to balls - to heavy bats that can be swung very easily - and so forth.
Thats not criticizing today's great guys, it's just me "saying" what is . . .
But anyway, Bevan won many a match for his team when chasing tall totals, when the rest of the dashers had failed!
He did this in a way most people could barely understand.
He did it by running - and focusing on the 1's and 2's - which down the line, turned into BIG ones!
When chasing 300 plus run totals, which was HUGE back then, you didnt see Bevan focus solely on the big goal.
He had it in mind, yes.
but he focused on the 1's and 2's!
He understood, better than most, the truism of two things.
One, a big goal can be taken care of if you focus on the small victories and tasks that add up to a lot.
He focused on converting each ball into a run.
ONe run into two.
The 2's into 3, boundary if possible.
He literally, my friend, ran the opposition ragged!
Two, that a bear can be eaten - one bite at a time!
A target of 300 in 50 overs was HUGE Back then, and you'd need to get 6 an over for it to happen.
Which was tough back then too.
Bevan focused on each ball ,and the runs he could milk from each ball!
It was sheer genius, the way the Aussies started with a blaze, then consolidated in the middle overs, then went for one final push in the end.
And usually won.
From impossible situations.
I remember a match against the Proteas in the late 90's where ... the target was 284.
The Aussies were 90/4, ALL their star batters gone.
Bevan And Steve Waugh, hardly a one day batter - were there.
I still remember turning off the TV saying "oh well" - though I didnt think they had lost, I didnt think they would win either!
I remember my Dad saying "all over" as well!
Next day, we woke up - and lo!
Bevan 100, Steve Waugh 90 something - they won!
Another mammoth chase in that series, 333 was done in a similar manner by grafting 90's from Ponting and Darren Lehmann - another classic!
This is not to educate you on cricket, friend.
It's to tell you the value of GRAFTING, something often ignored, but something leading to HUGE results if done with persistence.
The Aussie cricket team of that era had IMMENSE Self belief.
It would NOT be overstating to say they "knew no defeat".
They truly never thought about it - and the results showed.
POnder all this as you start your day - go about it - or head on to bed.
You might achieve some spectacular things, my friend, if YOU take these lessons to heart!
PS - Do also read the 10 Commandments of Physical Success in the 0 Excuses Fitness - to me, thats the most important part of the entire book!!!
PPS - It's the small actions that lead up to big things being "normal" friend, and even bigger goals being set, which is how it should be.
7 - 10 emaisl for me a day is normal while most people struggle with sending one daily without fail!
Think about that - and how I GOT THERE!
I didnt get there by starting out this way.
I started out with one a day.
I wanted more.
I upped the ante some. Stuck with it
Then before I knew it, I naturally expanded my "area of comfort" or comfort zone or whatever it's called.
Stuck with that.
And so forth!
There is a very valuable lesson to be learned in this - fitness wise too!