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!

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

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…