Building an Olympic Mindset In this month’s special edition, we wanted to bring some positivity to the news of another lockdown. We want to say a huge, heartfelt thank you to all our customers and we appreciate these are tough times for organisations all over the globe.
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Customer in Focus – Dean Macey
An Interview with DEAN MACEY!
Dean Macey is known by thousands as one of England’s finest Olympic decathletes. His first major triumph was a silver medal in the 1999 World Championships, which helped him win the BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year Award.
It was at successive Olympics that Dean established himself in the hearts of the nation. At the Sydney Olympics in 2000, Dean overcame injuries to secure a 4th place and after time out again in 2005 for injury, 2006 saw Dean return to action in quite spectacular style with a Gold medal win at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne.
As well as being a keen fisherman, Dean is now a regular figure on TV screens as part of the BBC Athletics team at major championships. He enjoys spending time indulging in his love for fishing and travels around the UK and the rest of the world in search of angling adventures. In fact, some of you may recognise Dean from his show Fishing All Stars on ITV.
Dean, what was your PE/sporting career like as a kid and how did that lead on to you becoming an Olympic athlete?
I was not academic at School, no one wanted to pair with me unless it was for PE and then everyone would fight over me to be on their team. I was slam dunking at the age of thirteen! PE made me feel good. When I was thrown out of class I was sent to the PE department where Alan Taylor was the only one that could deal with me, he’d say to me ‘out to the AstroTurf and practice your triple jump’ which is probably why I got a national triple jump title!
I was a slow learner and never engaged, once I did a project where I copied and pasted my fishing magazines, complete plagiarism but got top marks! PE was the only part of youth that gave me any form of self-worth.
Feeling good in PE led me to play all the sports outside of school, athletics being the last sport I had tried. Within 3 years of me picking up track and field I won a World Junior Silver medal! 1996 I won a silver medal in Australia, I talked to my parents, saying id been in education for 15 years and got nowhere, I’ve been doing this for 3 and I am second best on the World for my age. They gave me until the year 2000, to either “make the Olympics and turn pro or you don’t make the Olympics and you get a job”. Simple as that, couple of ups and downs and some surgery but in 1999 I qualified for the World Championships with a score of 8300 point, went to the world champs and ranked 11th and came out with a Silver medal and turned pro there and then.
What was a standout, memorable event for you during your time competing in both the Olympic and Commonwealth Games and why?
Seville in 1999 was epic. It was probably the most perfect decathlon I have ever done. It was a personal best by 250 point, scoring 6 PB’s out of 10 events. I genuinely had no expectations going into World Champs ranked 11 and going on to win a silver medal. I remember standing there in the 400 when it started and I was in lane 4, everyone was introduced with so many accolades to their name, world record holders etc, then it was ‘and in lane 4, from Great Britain, Dean Macey!’
I was the slowest 400 runner in the race and was thinking I haven’t got a chance but as I came down the home straight, I ran a PB of just under a second and won the race, I think it was the 5th fastest 400 of all time! After that happened I remember thinking I am going to win a medal with a day to go, it was unreal.
When I went to Melbourne four years later, I knew what I had to do to win that medal. I didn’t jump a centimetre more than I had to to and I never ran a second slower than I needed to, I did an absolute perfect decathlon. Good enough to beat everyone in that field and got to stand up on the podium and call myself a champion. Seville gave me everything and Melbourne is the one that capped it off for me.
What does a typical training day look like when you are an Olympic athlete and how do you stay fit now in your forties?
The one thing you can’t do when you’re in your forties like I am now and look back at your training diaries and compare times! My warm ups then are my sessions now! I spent 20 years of my life trying to be the best athlete on the planet, I’m 12 years retired now and still pretty fit, training 4/5 times a week all, some short, some intense and some recovery sessions but the key to staying fit is consistency. You need to train through all four season to get results, you can’t just train for ‘that summer body’.
I think 45 minutes a time, 4/5 times a week is what I would recommend. I was ready to go on the track at 9am and always finished by 2pm. Every day was different, this is why I loved it so much; training a maximum of six days a week.
Tell us more about your passion for fishing and some of TV work you have been doing?
At the age of nine, my Dad had given me some fishing gear and soon after I got grounded! I took the umbrella and went outside, being all moody not being able to see my friends, I put the umbrella up to make almost a barrier between me and my parents and it started to rain. It was the pitter patter of the rain on the umbrella that almost transported me to another world, it was like Narnia! From there on in, I thought it was so cool. I was so young but I knew it zoned me out and took me to a happier place.
I took myself to the local lakes and taught myself how to fish, not catching anything the first 4 or 5 times but then I caught myself a really horrible skimmer bream which is the worst fish in the world but because it was the first ever wild creature I had caught I was made up. After the World champs in 1999 my wife, Lisa, suggested we went fishing and that sparked the passion after not really fishing for about 3 years. After 2004 Olympics, one of the press guys said to me ’another 4th place, sorry to hear that you must be really gutted’ asking how I was going to deal with it, I replied ‘I’m going fishing for a week.’
After that my agent called me and said the Discovery Channel have called and want to do a TV programme. In 2005 I filmed my first ever TV programme which was On Course with Dean Macey, which I adored. Also, in 2005 I got married, missed the World Champs but I didn’t care, it wasn’t a great year professionally but amazing personally. I got sponsorship from On Course and it led to shows on Sky, ITV. The idea was always to get onto a mainstream TV rather than subscription TV and that’s exactly what’s happened. Reaching ¼ million viewers on ITV.
You recently switched over to become an Active Digital customer. How did you hear about us and what has your experience been like so far?
I love the phone I have got from Active Digital. it’s brilliant. I initially met Richard at one of the Active Digital Golf Days with Steve Backley and we were speaking about fishing, I said to Richard call me when you have caught a 40lb, and that’s exactly what he did. So I use to fish a lot with Richard, catching more than him and then became a customer of Active Digital.
Dean will soon be reviewing the Google Pixel 5 and we cant wait to share with you what he thinks of it.
Donna Fraser’s Tips for Keeping Active During Lockdown
Donna Fraser is a four time Olympian and a good friend of our Company Ambassador; Steve Backley. She had her best years in 2005, where she achieved a fine 200/m400m double at the AAA Championships and was the first athlete to do so since 1945. In 2002, 2005 and 2007 she helped Britain to 4x400m relay bronze in the World Championships and became the BBC Athlete of the Year in 2005.
Donna is also an inspirational speaker on teamwork, and overcoming adversity having overcome breast cancer herself. Jo had the pleasure to speak with Donna a few days ahead of the impending lockdown and they discussed the best ways to ‘keeping active’ during lockdown.
We are delighted to share Donna’s top tips and hope you find them useful too:
1. Just Get Moving!
Whether it’s a gentle walk, a yoga session or of you can, manage a run, just get moving at whatever level you can. If you are running, start by running in your local park or green spaces instead of on pavements to avoid any injuries!
2. Bring Nature into your Day
Fresh air is so important and just twenty minutes outdoors can make a difference to how you feel that day.
3. Find your Focus
Once you find something you enjoy, focus on that enjoyment and use that positivity to improve reaching your own personal best. Whether you managed to walk for five extra minutes than you did yesterday or you added a few minutes of meditation into your yoga session, focus on your own achievements and your own PB!
4. Role Models
Role modelling is so important. If you have children or are around young people, encourage them to keep active too. They are watching you to see how you are keeping active! Even a walk together as a family is a brilliant way to stay active during lockdown.
Cry for the Moon
(20% Discount for Active Digital customers)
We are delighted to give some recognition to one of our customer who create the most beautiful jewellery – Cry for the Moon. Set in the heart of Guildford high street, Cry for the Moon was established in 1970 they have worked hard to build their reputation for outstanding jewellery and exceptional service. Likened to an Aladdin’s cave, their traditional jewellers windows are bursting with the unusual, from period Antique, Georgian, Victorian, Edwardian and Art Deco, not forgetting bespoke design pieces.
Customer Exclusive Offer
Cry for the Moon has given us a special code for all of our customers to use on their website to receive a 20% DISCOUNT! Use code Active20 at checkout to receive a 20% discount on their beautiful jewellery. Promotion ends 05/12/2020. Next month in our Customer in Focus, we are excited to bring you an interview with Manager, Stephen Sutton on behalf of Cry for The Moon!
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