Archive for the ‘enthusiasm’ Category

Who you hang around – that you will become.

“You cannot fly like an eagle when you are stuck with turkeys”.
If I told you that you are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with – would you believe me?

Do this now:
1. Get a pen and paper and write down the people that you spend the most time with. It may be 20 names.
2. Scratch out family members.
3. Chose out of those names – the names that you spend the most time with.

THOSE are the people that will determine who you are, what you become and where you will go in life.

You have to exclude family members because we cannot choose your family. We can choose how we deal with them though.

I have seen effect on people in the work place environment. A person arrived on her first day – bubbly, talkative and energetic. She was hired for this reason. After her desk was moved into an office downstairs, her whole demeanour changed. The office was very negative with a lot of rumours and back biting going on. Not long after the move she was one of the office. She had changed completely purely because of who she was with most of the day.


Get out your mobile phone.
Go through the personal contacts.
DELETE anyone who brings you down when you talk to them.
How do you judge this? When you see their call come you either: do not want to answer and or go “ah no” not now.
For obvious reason you cannot delete business contacts and family.

This simple exercise will make a significant difference to you and your attitude.

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the most successful in the room?

When you walk into the room of friends, have a look around and determine whether you are the most successful or knowledgeable. If you are, LEAVE. The only reason not leave is if you are teaching the people.
The reason for leaving the room is you cannot improve your knowledge in any way.
If you are not the most successful person – GREAT! You can learn from people and improve yourself.

Do the small things first

Small improvements can make a massive difference in life. Do not try and make a huge change or many changes at once. Change one thing at a time, master that and then change another and so on. Small changes are not difficult and soon make a huge difference.

“If there is someone you can live without, then do so” Bare Naked Ladies

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In exercise training there is a saying along the lines of “if in doubt leave it out”. Essentially what is said is that if you have any doubt about exercising or training for whatever reason, do not go training. For example, if you have a painful neck or back, gym or running is probably not going to help. Another example is when you are getting sick or recovering from being sick – training is probably not going to help you at all. In fact, it may set your training back!
I am NOT saying to skip workouts if you are “not feeling like it” or being plain lazy – I am talking genuine reasons not excuses!

The same can be said about life and decisions you make. If you are having doubts – maybe you need to rethink the decision or back out completely. The doubts are there for a reason and should be entertained some what. Entertain these doubt, for no more than to eliminate them, than to dwell on them. Have a look at them because they can solidify your decision whether yes or no. It is another reason TO do it or a reason NOT to do it.
Whichever way you go with your decision – you can look back and be certain of your decision and know it is the right one.

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We never really grow up do we? The difficulties of a child and adults are very similar. They do not get any more difficult and in fact they probably get easier!
What am I talking about?
Currently my daughter is learning to crawl. At first she had no clue how to do it or where to start. As the days went past, she experimented and started to get the basics right. She did face plant a few times but that’s par for the course! I then got a message from my mom to say she is crawling to get things. She now is able to crawl around very basically but the progression is there. The more she praised by the people around her the faster she learns and the more she tries. Those people are also there to catch her as she falls or to pick her up and wipe the tears away (or take her to the hospital).

We are exactly the same just different! Take anything you have started for example. You start out clueless but with a few “face plants” and some time, progress is made and soon we are crawling then walking and finally running.

Make sure you have a good support structure to cheer you on and also to catch you before you face plant!

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There is really only on road cycling race in Durban during the winter – the Toti 69er. the race is from Amanzimtoti to Park Rynie and back along some of the most scenic coast line KZN has to offer.

The race was on the list of races to complete in 2012 for “Team Laister” on the tandem. We had trained quite diligently for the Tour Durban and had planned to carry that momentum into the 69er and have a good ride. Well, that did not happen according to plan! Very little training was done which is not the ideal training for a race that starts very cold and is very hilly and quite technical.
Race morning started quite late relative to most race mornings at 7am so I was up at 5am. I started by getting the bike ready – tires pumped up etc. This ended up being a nightmare. After taking the front tire to get a spoke fixed – the tire was not set back in the rim correctly so at 7,5 bars of pressure – BOOM! It certainly woke me up completely and my wife too. Our 8 month old girl, slept through the noise!
Having got everything needed for baby and bike and the support club – toti was the next stop. The is well known to us and not much more than 30 minutes drive. Again, the nightmare returned when I saw the bike come off the rack on one side! I slammed on anchors and pulled over. Surely this is race over due to broken bike? Thankfully, nothing was broken and after strapping the bike securely on the rack again, we were back on the road to toti.
We arrived as the race was starting. While we were trying to rush to get to the start, we discovered the front tyre was flat! That freaked me out! We managed to sort it out but now only had one spare left.
By this time we had the reality of how hard the wind was howling. The route is a exact out and back along the same stretch of the old coastal road. The wind would be a head wind there and tail wind on the return trip. The better combo if you ask me!
We started late but soon started over taking people. I have ridden the route many times so knew how to ride it a little harder. We had to take it easy because 1. We had a softer front tire and 2. Of the severe lack of training. The wind was howling and at time it was difficult to keep the big tandem upright. As per usual, we picked up a couple of riders that tucked into the draft of our tandem. I have come top accept this on rides and find it quite encouraging.
I often say, there is always one! This race proved it! One rider decided to tucked behind us and stayed there for about 40km. Normally, they come up and chat and help out a bit and then fall back. This idiot did nothing. Even to the point of slowing down when we were going 7,5km/h to make sure he stayed behind us. Cycling does not need idiots like this (in my opinion).
At the start we started in 105th place and by the turn around at half way we were 69th. The way back was harder than expected but did have the wind at our backs. All was going well when the dreaded sound came and broke the morning air. Ssssssssssssss! A puncture! In the middle of nowhere with no space to change it but road. Off we got and started to go about changing the back tyre. After getting my hands completely covered in black stuff while changing the tyre – we were in the saddle again. We started to struggle towards the end especially the last 2 big climbs. We made it to the top of the last climb with a long downhill to the finish and really enjoyed it knowing it was over. We had to be careful rounding the last corner on 2 fairly soft tyres though but no more pedalling was done apart from to the line about 500 metres from the bottom of the hill.
It was a long day in the saddle but a good one. Well done to toti cycling club (again) for a very well organised race. I really enjoy races organised by cyclists because they just know what is really needed. This race is still fairly new on the calendar but is very well organized and in my opinion – the best organised race I have ever cycled. Cyclists should organize cycling races (or at least people in the cycling community) not management or event companies.

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Everything you have done, everything you have experienced has brought you to the point where you are right now. It is a pretty simple statement but it needs to be looked at. Everything you have done and experienced has prepared you for what you are about to do.

Let’s look at few examples: a professional golfer stands on the first tee in a tournament. Before this moment, he has hit 10 000’s of practice shots and done exercises to prepare him to be able become better. Practiced for hours on end without anybody watching to prepare for this moment.

A singer stands up front of an audience to give a performance that will make her career and set her up with contracts for a long time. Before this moment, she has sung countless bars of music in countless places. Practiced for hours on end without anybody watching to prepare for this moment.

The examples are every one’s life. Yours and mine. They do not only have to apply to a Hollywood style come back or meteoric rise to fame and fortune. The difference is how we use ‘everything’. We can use it in 2 ways:

1. We can focus on the negative aspects or ‘bad things’ OR

2. Use the whole experience to focus on the positive aspect in order to become ‘better people’

I will use my year of 2011 and show how to apply the above points.

I held 3 jobs that did not work out,

I only cycled about 1 800 km the whole year – pretty dismal distance from a ‘cyclist’,

I failed more subjects than I passed in terms of studying

And I weighed more at the end of the year than the beginning.

Pretty bad points that I could easily focus on. Easy to point fun at IF you do not have the facts behind these facts and the positive aspects to my year.

The facts behind my year:

The first job was a contract position that was not renewed, the second I left in search of better opportunities and the better opportunity retrenched me.

I only cycled that distance for a few reasons. I had hand surgery that kept me out for 2 months at least.

The Positives:

I am now a father to a perfect baby girl.

I am married to an amazing wife, AND

We have an amazing support structure of friends and family.

The positive experience account for the cycling studying not going to well.

So how am I going to use the year that was 2011? By following the second point above in the following way:

1. Analysis what happened during 2011. Most things were pretty much cause and effect for me so this is pretty simple.

2. Plan the year ahead carefully. Take all events into consideration (obviously as much as is available)

3. Use the support structure I / we have to maintain an even keel throughout the year.

4. Be flexible. Things happen and cause things to change so being able to chop and change (only when necessary) is a very good tool to have.

5. Enjoy life. It takes work but it’s worth it! I love my wife and little girl and intend on enjoying them all the time I have them around.

It is never too late to use your ‘everything’! How are you going to use your ‘everything’?

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”Never leave that till tomorrow which you can do today.”  Benjamin Franklin


Beginning today I will look in the mirror and I will see a person worthy
of my respect and admiration.
This capable person looking back at me is someone I enjoy spending time
with and someone I would like to get to know better.

Beginning today I will cherish each moment of my life.
I value this gift bestowed upon me in this world and I will unselfishly
share this gift with others.
I will use this gift to enhance the lives of others.

Beginning today I will take a moment to step off the beaten path and to
revel in the mysteries I encounter.
I will face challenges with courage and determination.
I will overcome what barriers there may be which hinder my quest for
growth and self-improvement.

Beginning today I will take life one day at a time, one step at a time.
Discouragement will not be allowed to taint my positive self-image,
my desire to succeed or my capacity to love.

Beginning today I walk with renewed faith in human kindness.
Regardless of what has gone before, I believe there is hope
for a brighter and better future.

Beginning today I will open my mind and my heart.
I will welcome new experiences. I will meet new people.
I will not expect perfection from myself nor anyone else: perfection does not exist in an imperfect world.
But I will applaud the attempt to overcome human foibles.

Beginning today I am responsible for my own happiness and I will do
things that make me happy . . .
admire the beautiful wonders of nature, listen to my favorite music,
pet a kitten or a puppy, soak in a bubble bath . . .
pleasure can be found in the most simple of gestures.

Beginning today I will learn something new; I will try something
different; I will savor all the various flavors life has to offer.
I will change what I can and the rest I will let go.
I will strive to become the best me I can possibly be.

By: Author Unknown

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This is the second part of the blog post published yesterday called Never Drop A Brother. In that post, the first 2 principles were discussed. In this post, the third will be discussed. The principal is: Never squash enthusiasm.


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Ups and downs. Rough patches and awesome experiences. They are all part of life and living. If you do not experience the lows – you could never enjoy the highs. They are called emotions and that is what makes life great.
A recent blog post by a popular sharks rugby supporter, after the Sharks had lost a Super 15

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“Leave everything on the road – Leave nothing to doubt” is a phrase that I have come to use in my life. It originated on the tar roads of Durban on my road bike but has crept into all aspects of my life! Here is how it came about … these are the words I wrote down after a cycling event last year. It was 50 km done on the tandem with my dad.

I know that in the past, in terms of sporting events, I always hold thereby keeping something in reserve just in case. This was probably me being scared of hitting the wall and having to suffer home. Well not this time. This time I left it all out on the road. I look back now  and can say that I could not have done any more – I left nothing to doubt today.

The result was that afterwards I could not stand up straight but could stand tall. not because we had won the race on the day but because I know I did everything and gave everything I had that day. I do say that God provided me with not only the physical strength but most importantly the mental focus required to carry on when all I wanted to do was slow down and cruise on home.

A big day indeed. Laid everything down. Left everything on the road. But even with nothing left to doubt – the greatest part of it all was being able to enter.

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I first read about this guy in Runners World a few editions ago. An absolute amazing story of a man who came from a normal job to become possibly one of the greatest runners of his time.
That said – the article below highlights his next attempt at breaking records which to me is admirable and I support him all the way!
The problem with the article is actually the people who comment on it below the article! they go into the argument of whether or not he is the best runner whether his sponsors made him who he is! This is an absolute outrage in my books and they even compare him to club runners they know!! Despicable and an insult to Ryan!
Read it for yourself and make your own decision!

Ryan Sandes Aims For Another Ultra Trail Running Title

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