Thursday, 24 January 2013


Where there is a will there is a way. Where paths are undefined, the onus lies upon the dreamer to create one. 
Perhaps the most heart breaking thing to behold is a defenseless child being a victim of circumstances or worse still to individuals who ought to be giving love and care. It is very easy to read news reports and sigh at the reality of children turning into criminals, children being abused, children being exploited or being deprived of a childhood they rightly deserve but it is also equally easy to say enough is enough and do something about it.
Children are indeed the future and well done to those investing in the future of their own children but remember, if we don't invest in the future of ALL children, we are defeating the purpose.
My call to all men and women of this city, this country, this continent and this world, is to put our hands together, if the dream of a better future is to become a reality.
Hats off to those who are already doing something to make a difference and for those who have not yet  joined the band wagon, now is the time to act.
In my own small way, I will be doing ALL that is morally permissible to ensure that the plight of underprivileged children does not remain bleak.
No man is an island, so please do join me, as I embark on this journey to take on extreme activities that challenge, body mind and soul to contribute towards OUR FUTURE.
 If you are not so much of an adrenaline junkie like me and don't like the idea of getting your hands dirty, you can still make a contribution by visiting my activist page 

Monday, 14 January 2013

A Stitch In Time

Perhaps one of  the greatest malady that plagues many a man or a woman is the inability to bring to an end what he/she started.
Whether they be raging fires or simple conversations over a good old cup of tea. I do not boast of being immune to the “start things you can’t finish” syndrome for perhaps I need rehabilitation than most. New Year’s resolutions and lists, while they are a sufficient antidote for some, seem to further aggravate the symptoms of a soul that lacks the discipline to follow through on most things.
Being an individual who saw the end without envisioning the process, my efforts were often frustrated by unforeseen obstacles which I permitted to get the better of me. An evident pattern had formed in my somewhat short life and to change the pattern I endeavored for life is too short to live with regret. It took a mere piece of fabric to bring the moment of epiphany. A piece of fabric I had bought many moons ago with the intention of sewing a skirt. The reason for this was simply because I could never find the perfect fit, or if it was the perfect fit, it would be in the wrong fabric or the wrong print. The search for the fabric in itself was something of an “around the world in 80 stores” trip.
Once the fabric was safely at home, the willpower to begin the skirt making project was summoned through weeks of probing and pleading with the dressmaker hibernating within. One Sunday afternoon she surfaced and so began the measuring and cutting of fabric. It was to be a simple skirt yet one that I would love and feel comfortable in. I envisioned it and almost felt the soft fabric flowing as I “gracefully” walked on the sunny paths of one wine estate or some meadow I would discover.

Half way through “Project Skirt” despondency crept in. Once again unforeseen challenges resounded the need to abandon the mission. I had made a few stitches where I wasn't supposed to one too many times. The vision I had had, compared to the sight before me were worlds apart. A dismal failure was the entire project and like many of my attempted projects, I hung it in the cupboard with the “intention” to carry on when “I had time”. After weeks of seeing the unfinished product whenever I happened to wander into that corner of the cupboard, it occurred to me that not only was I staring at an unfinished skirt with mistakes I wasn't brave enough to correct but this was mere evidence of how I had dealt with many other areas of my life. While I could give every excuse as to why I didn't complete certain things I began, I challenged myself to give reasons why I should complete everything I started.
With this realization, I took out the skirt and began undoing the stitches that were made in the wrong places. The stitches left marks, evidence of mistakes I had made and at the end of it all, I realized the dream skirt could no longer be made using the same piece of fabric but it could be altered into a top. The vision was therefore altered and so to make a top I endeavored. Keeping in mind how the previous mistakes had occurred, I avoided losing focus while working at all costs. Not that I didn't make any mistakes but I was determined to correct each one before they piled up into a mound that could be unresolved. Back curved and eyelids heavy, I finally finished the top which adorns me as I write.
This simple yet important lesson helped me realize, that a stitch in time cannot be undone but it can certainly teach a valuable lesson if embraced. I can certainly make a new start and readjust my vision opposed to throwing in the towel completely. It took a simple piece of fabric to realize that sometimes visions may look great and wonderful but they are meaningless if one does not have a strategy and the discipline to follow through.

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Ocean Basket Bay to Bay 2013

It's 4am and that detestable sound of the alarm signals  the dreaded approach of the simple yet difficult act of waking up. Waking up for me is like declaring a cease fire when one is seconds away from an ultimate and undisputed victory. After half an hour of snoozing my alarm, the thought of starting the year on the wrong foot eventually gives me enough reason to painfully pull down the covers and drag myself to the shower. Once the cold water preceding the warmth of our solar heated geyser hits my face, my body becomes more co-operative as I go through the small rites of a runner.
Only as I hit the N1 do I realize that ahead of me lies a 30km journey that could either be a painful experience or a pleasurable one depending on how the odds play out. The journey from the Northern Surbubs of Cape Town to the Atlantic Seaboard is without much activity at that time of any given Sunday morning. Drifting away in thought as I ponder upon the words of a Josh Groban song playing in the background, I am reminded again of the cliche that inside of me lies the power to do extraordinary things if I so choose. Not necessarily mount physical wings and soar the skies (though I wish I could) but the kind of power that makes one's spirit become so resilient that defeat ceases to exist in one's diction.
With the holiday weight and half-hearted  determination of a person who has been on a break for way to long, I make my way to the start. After moments of wandering around and running after anyone who looks like they know where they are going, I eventually get the courage to ask someone where the start for the 30km race is. 
I am quite chaffed when they ask me if I am a professional athlete from another country coming down specifically for the race. As they say, it is the little things that matter and this small maybe careless statement, mattered this morning. With this borrowed confidence booster I settle at the start, doing what I do best...think.
When the gun finally goes off, like every other athlete I set off with only one thing in mind, to finish the race regardless of how things unfold.
Along the way there are moments I feel like a cruise-liner, then there are also moments I feel like a deflating tube, doing everything possible to stay afloat or risk becoming debris at the bottom of what I call the "ocean of what ifs"

2 hours and 48 minutes later, I hobble my way across the finish line. Proud of myself for having finished what I started but longing to have done more. Every mile I ran, I realised that there was another who was lying in a hospital bed, hoping to have had enough strength to walk across the room to small the flowers that grow in the garden below. For every step I took, there was someone in the very moment, trying to salvage the remnants of a relationship that seemed to be in ruins. For every hill I climbed, another never got to see the view from the top because they were blinded by pain and anguish from one loss or another. For every wave that crushed against a rock in full view of my mind's eye, there were many who wandered aimlessly for life had ceased to have meaning. While crossing the line for me was something of a personal victory, it was a reminder that not only should I live more but let live and help live.

I suppose getting myself a Paul McCartney and Wings number from the 70s would be in good order.  
To all who did the Bay to Bay, hats off to you for a job well done! For those who would have wanted to but did not, may desire get the better of you so you may "Just do it!". For those who have no idea what I'm talking about, the Ocean Basket Bay to Bay may just very well be one of South Africa's best kept secrets waiting to be discovered by you!

Ocean Basket Bay to Bay

Friday, 4 January 2013

One For Burry Stander...Two for the love of the human spirit!

When I read the headline "Cycling champion Stander dies in road accident", my heart sank momentarily then rage took over. Not the kind of rage that makes one do irrational things but the kind that makes you realise that life is to short to wait until tomorrow next week or next year. I was infuriated to the point of putting myself through something of an inquisition. While Burry Stander would have wanted to live on, win more races and do what he loves best, yet in a careless moment on the part of the motorist, his family has lost a son, husband, brother... Some have lost a close friend, a source of inspiration and to sporting fanatics like myself, a hero.
Mourn we shall only for moment but a true champion like Burry deserves to be celebrated for a life well lived! He may be gone in the physical but the legend will live on. 
While we can ask why such things happen, my prayer is that each one who has love and respect for Burry, for cycling, for sport or for mankind, strangers and friends alike, may stand up and live every moment as if it were the last.
Death cannot erase the evidence of a life well lived. Neither can the grave conceal the living proof you left behind. To live you may have ceased, yet the legend will be forever engraved in time. In our hearts we'll hold you dear and in our thoughts where great names are mentioned yours will always be near!!! An arrow missing form a quiver of the living, yet your target you found and the mark will forever remain! RIP Burry!