Life happens…

Dear Diary it has been 4 weeks since any physical activity in the form of exercise that includes cycling and or cardio in the gym and I can only blame life. Having packed my bag for gym the previous night I tossed and turned this morning, I’m lying, I only turned and the decision was made that I did not feel like going to gym this morning – and yes my clothes are fitting a lot tighter than before. I will have to investigate the washing powder I am using as surely it has nothing to do with living the dream from entertaining clients at the Absa Cape Epic, flying to Taiwan for the Taipei Bike Show and or being sick with flu for the last week and a bit. Nothing I tell you.  Before I continue I would like to apologise to the readers I might have on this blog, as per the exercise I have been neglecting the writing as I need to find that inspiration again for both instances.

 

Riding with the JAGFoundation and the Ride4Change campaign with Stefan Sahm and Timo Cooper

Riding with the JAGFoundation – JAGRiders programme in Bonteheuwel – and the Ride4Change campaign with Stefan Sahm and Timo Cooper

Spending the day at Absa Cape Epic registration representing Mitas. Pictured here with David & Johan Labuschagne, Janka Stevkova, Pavel Nosek (Mitas Czech Republic), Yolande de Villiers and myself. Janka and Yolande from SasolRacing went on to finish 3rd in the Absa Cape Epic

Spending the day at Absa Cape Epic registration representing Mitas. Pictured here with David & Johan Labuschagne, Janka Stevkova, Pavel Nosek (Mitas Czech Republic), Yolande de Villiers and myself. Janka and Yolande from SasolRacing went on to finish 3rd in the Absa Cape Epic

Anyway no excuse as around the corner is the 4th annual Arabella Challenge followed by the Houwhoek Tour a week later, so needless to say gravity and fitness might play a factor as to how I perform at these events. These events are a must on my calendar and I won’t miss it for the world, so join us if you can. With winter encroaching us slowly here in Cape Town riding in the early mornings are becoming more and more challenging due to the cold and especially the darkness which plays a major factor in safety on the bike obviously. So finding that inspiration and digging deep to go out there has been a real challenge, I do blame the flu I picked up coming back from Taiwan though. No I did not wear the ‘mask’ as you commonly see out there. I did try the beer and some of the local cuisine. No factor in shrinking clothes. (Now if only I didn’t donate all my ‘bigger’ clothes after the 2014 Absa Cape Epic weight loss saga. Fortunately Lycra stretches)

 

The sights and sounds of Taipei at night

The sights and sounds of Taipei at night

Spending some time at the Taipei Bike Show meeting up with KTM HQ Austria and KTM Asia

Spending some time at the Taipei Bike Show meeting up with KTM HQ Austria and KTM Asia

To some up my life the last four weeks: Last bike ride 12 March with the JAG Foundation and Ride4Change, and then the Absa Cape Epic activation and sponsor hosting of Pavel from Mitas until the 16th at the event that did involve some cold beers and eating out. Fly out to Taiwan for the Taipei Bike Show on the 17th and return on the 22nd, and of course eating out and having a cold beer or wine with the KTM guys and traveling colleague. After nearly 24hours traveling time; land on the 22nd at 16:00 and be at the Absa Cape Epic after party at 16:30 till late followed by wrap up day with Mitas and the family to ensure everyone is on their planes. Tuesday 24th break down KTM Bicyle display at The Westin Cape Town, Wednesday and Thursday catch up with some old friends, which meant Tequila was involved and still fighting off jet lag. Friday and the flu hits to have me man down the whole weekend and week to follow and withdraw from the crazy idea that was running the Old Mutual Two Oceans Half Marathon and then finally get back on the bike Easter Friday with Eulogy van Dyk from the Ride2Nowhere (Event not to miss as well), still flu-ish and then mechanical after 7km which meant organising another bike for the Saturday ride, with the 22km ride ending in the wind and rain encouraging the flu to stay longer. Easter Sunday potjiekos with mates and Monday lunch at The Toad in the Village and here we are…life just flew by in a few weeks.

 

Local cuisine at KTM dinner, can't quite remember what this was

Local cuisine at KTM dinner, can’t quite remember what this was

Also local cuisine as it was bought in Taipei. Has nothing to do with my experience currently of a heavier gravitational pull from Mother Earth

Also local cuisine as it was bought in Taipei. Has nothing to do with my experience currently of a heavier gravitational pull from Mother Earth

I think all of us have different challenges in life for different reasons and that does play a factor in ones state of mind and behaviour. The only thing we know is that life goes on and it does not wait for you and you need to go out there and make things happen to what you desire and belief that you want out of life, i.e. a washing powder that does not shrink your clothes.

Now that is enough preaching from me as I have some big decisions to make and the first being will I go to gym after work. The bag is packed so I might as well go see if I can still survive the super circuit and then go charge those cycling lights.

 

Hopefully I will be back on track and be able to give some feedback on the next challenge and life adventure and Chantel Rall I’m still not totally convinced Iron Man is for me…#Swimming

 

View from the top of the Taipei Garden hotel

View from the top of the Taipei Garden hotel

As South Africans do we found a pub, even if it was English it was the closest to home and even had Super Rugby on the TV, and of course cold beer

As South Africans do we found a pub, even if it was English it was the closest to home and even had Super Rugby on the TV, and of course cold beer

 

 

 

Taipei1

The MRT is a bit busy on a Saturday in Taipei and maybe I should have worn the mask to fight off the impeding flu

The MRT is a bit busy on a Saturday in Taipei and maybe I should have worn the mask to fight off the impeding flu

A bit more of Taipei City, also known as a enormous flea market

A bit more of Taipei City, also known as a enormous flea market

Recovering at Stage 9 of the Absa Cape Epic, the after party. Best way to combat jet lag i thought.

Recovering at Stage 9 of the Absa Cape Epic, the after party. Best way to combat jet lag i thought.

Taipei10

Unfortunately Marius Hurter was nowhere in sight when I had to break down the KTM display at The Westin Cape Town

Unfortunately Marius Hurter was nowhere in sight when I had to break down the KTM display at The Westin Cape Town

Barrowing through the comfort zone (s)

It’s been quite a journey from July 2012 where I weighed in at a colossal 135kg to where I am today at 108kg of nearly pure muscle  (lol) and all the different adventures I ventured on in the process and none so than this week to properly shove me out of my comfort zone.

Now those that no me closely no that I am a quiet reserved guy that does not quite like to have too much attention and is a firmly set creature of habit, I know what works for me and that is that. Creature of habit does not function well without their habits – fact!

The weekend stared off with a social mountain bike ride on the Xterra Grabouw route, where for a change I had to wait for Shané riding with myself and Willie du Plooy. I should have known then that the week coming would be a weird one where the universe would be turned upside down and kick me out of my comfort zone. Me waiting for someone riding with me, not something that I know, normally it is the other way round.

Me waiting for riders to catch up, should have known a weird week would lie ahead (Photo Credit: Willie du Plooy) Sneaky Sneaky

Me waiting for riders to catch up, should have known a weird week would lie ahead (Photo Credit: Willie du Plooy) Sneaky Sneaky

Anyway Sunday I did the Medallion Tour de Stellenbosch (shucks, must still add this to my adventure list) on the road bike and lets not say too much about that. It was freaking hot, they ran out of water on the route and I had to dig deep to hang on to get my oddly shaped body on a carbon road bike (KTM Strada 4000) to the finish line. All I can say it that is was supposedly good Absa Cape Epic training. Once again, I don’t like road races and having to drive that far to race – not something I normally would do.

Now it gets interesting, Tuesday had a 45min scheduled swim. Those that still have their brain cells functioning to remember my swimming escapades at Virgin Active last year will know that this is not my forte. Don’t get me wrong, I like splashing in a pool with a cold beverage in my hand, but swimming. I think the last time I had to properly swim (besides the Virgin Active attempt with floating aids (No Nikki not with Mili’s inflatable kid arm-bands)) was in the Crocodile River on my Grand-Dads farm. Then I was young and swam sort of frequently, stride after stride going forward through the water. This was not the case on Tuesday.

After endless deliberation with myself during the day if I would actually go swim or not, my mind somehow convinced me that I had to do it, I hate my mind. With the South Easter howling I even decided to stay clear of staring peeps in Virgin Active that would be judging my every doggy paddle as I would attempt the swim 25m without having to stop or drown and decided to give Silvermine Dam a splash (and you need like goggles and a cap, it would just mess up my hair wearing a cap). I really like it up there and I was sure that there would not be too many spectators in gale force wind conditions out swimming, beside me that clearly was not thinking clearly.

Take the plunge - don't take the plunge - ah what the h... let's do this!

Take the plunge – don’t take the plunge – ah what the h… let’s do this!

Arriving at the dam, I was right, there were not many people so I explored and found a secluded launching point. Doubts were still running through my head, should I swim and why coach, why!? Well I’ve done everything else asked of me in my training programme, I can’t skip this now, it would be failure. Inch by inch I venture into the dam, water and acceptable temperature (normally I would only swim if it was 28 degrees Celsius, minimum at least) and then the big splash! Gasping for air I attempted free style swimming, which to the people having a picnic must have look like no style swimming. Arm strokes, arm strokes, doggy paddle, doggy paddle, doggy paddle, crawl, float, swallow, spit, swim and repeat and rest and somehow I got to 45 minutes of what no one that was there would call swimming. I did fall asleep by 20:30 that night. Comfort zone broken!

 

I now, even more, appreciate the soft touch and feel of a woman’s leg – oops did I say that out load!

For some reason cyclist shave their legs, something to do with when you fall to keep the wounds clean or something, I do it to show of my sexy legs, I never fall (lol). But the whole process of shaving is a tedious task and to do it often in a confined shower area space is just not that much fun. “So why don’t you go for a wax I was asked” Mmm, ok if it will save me shaving and especially during the Absa Cape Epic then I am in, so I made an appointment, that was last Wednesday and sorry, your hair are too short, come back next week, which was yesterday.  No the girls at NGRY Spa was very accommodation and understood my reluctance and, ok let us be honest, fear or getting my legs waxed. They were actually great and made me feel at ease talked me through the process and so forth. Let me cut to the chase – I now, even more, appreciate the soft touch and feel of a woman’s leg – oops did I say that out load again!

%&#^*@&%@^*@^*@* ! ouch!

%&#^*@&%@^*@^*@* !
ouch!

Mother Father and all the small children in Africa – if I might borrow a saying from a friend – not knowing what to expect it was freaking painful as I fell into painful laughter every time Monique pulled on the strip to remove the wax, oh and hair, from my small and petite non muscular legs, a very small surface to wax. (Insert Swear words here). It feels like thousands of little pins hitting you with a burning painful sensation, and apparently (yes ladies) it is more painful for men. Fortunately nothing in the waxing room was broken during my sessions as I fought off the urge to scream like a little baby, laughing at myself the only way to handle the pain, with the calves and ankles the most painful. I survived and something else I did that got me out of my comfort zone of not living life.

In four weeks I will be back for a pre Absa Cape Epic wax, let us see if I stick to my scheduled appointment, I can’t promise anything. Like Willie said to me this week, a year ago I would never have even considered going for a swim in Silvermine, it shows that one can get yourself to barrow out from your comfort zone to do thing you thought you never would. Me getting my legs waxed should say it all.

Technical and mechanical session with coach Swen Lauer - more on this in the next blog

Technical and mechanical session with coach Swen Lauer – more on this in the next blog

Back to the serious stuff, on Thursday I had a session with coach Swen Lauer and some other riders on what one needs to take with on the Absa Cape Epic as well as some technical and mechanical tips and skills. It was very informative and helpful, perhaps my next blog will be about all this, in the meantime if you riding the Absa Cape Epic, why not contact Swen to look after your bike.

Until next time

Singing off as Comfortable Whale

 

 

Just a cool pic - silver lining...

Just a cool pic – silver lining…