Jonny Wilkinson's early morning rowing routine inspires a call to action - as published in the Northern Advocate, Saturday 2nd September 2017.

Well, spring has sprung, the days are getting longer and our clothes are getting lighter, providing unwanted definition to contours which are the results of winter comfort food and papa kaianga eating frenzies.

Since my horrifying visit to a spinal surgeon to explore surgical options for my dodgy neck, I have been seeking out alternative measures.

I heard a physio called Rosanna specialised in degenerative neck conditions, so off I went to see her with a fresh enthusiasm for physiotherapy.
Rosanna thought I could look at managing my neck as opposed to clapping it in irons and fusing it together.

She prescribed massage, acupuncture, wearing a brace while sitting at my desk, and encouraged me to get back on my rowing machine, which I thought was having a bad effect on my neck.

Apparently not, I just had the end perched ridiculously high, thinking it added more resistance while it just added more pressure to my poor old neck.

Rowing Machine
Rowing Machine

Anyway, I've started rowing with gusto every morning at 5am. I used to take my mind off the monotony and pain of rowing by listening to outdated crass rap bands like LMFAO, but they don't do it for me these days.
Instead, I've taken to listening to TED, a platform that facilitates international speakers to be recycled onto a website or app.

TED stands for Technology Entertainment and Design. These acclaimed speakers have a common structure, they start with a question.

The Italian island of Sardinia has more than six times as many centenarians as the mainland and 10 times as many as North America.

Why? Diet? No. Happy temperament? No. Answer: Living extremely close to each other and having constant interaction.

Does co-living make people happier? Answer: Yes. Well, wow, we are doing both of these in our papa kaianga, I thought.

How do I help free innocent people from prison?
Now, this talk really grabbed me (thinking of Teina Pora's elongated struggle for justice). It was by an American professor of law who recited several cases where one small bit of evidence that had not been picked up had resulted in innocent people being incarcerated for years.

All it would have taken would have been for an investigating officer to pass that piece of evidence to the defence team.

One case was a father returning from a 16-hour trip to take his children to Disneyland. When they got home, he was arrested for a murder that happened that day.

He obviously did not commit this murder because he was several hundred miles away in Disneyland. No one looked at his receipt which proved he could not have committed the murder.

After 17 years of the man's incarceration, the professor (seconded to this as a Cold Case) found in the file the receipt which facilitated a judge's words: "You're innocent and free to go."

Often these talks end in a message, a call to action.

So I encourage everyone to take one minute a day to make justice happen. It's certainly something I have started to do and I am sure we can all do this in our professional lives and our personal lives.

If someone is racist don't ignore it, call them on it. If someone uses the "retard" word, condemn them. To quote from a poem by Benjamin Mays: "Just a minute, nothing in it!"

To read in the Northern Advocate online click here.

Downloadable pdf below:

Available Downloads Type Size
Out of Line - The Northern Advocate 2nd September pdf 282 KB

Published 04/09/2017

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