Thursday, December 11, 2008

The road less travelled

Since this will be my last post of the year, I figured I would make it one of gratitude.


I am so grateful to all of you who read my blog, those who have supported me through the toughest year of my life, and those who have encouraged me so much through your comments.

It is because of you that I write. Because of you, who have given me positive feedback, and who have articulated their appreciation for something that I have learned to love doing. Writing is very cathartic and is my friend

Those who have stood by me when I needed support through down times over the last eight months, those who have laughed with me, those who have cried with me,
those who have passed the word on.

It has been an honour for me to serve you, some small way help you to take charge of your own make small changes which lead to big results, to give you the occasional " Aha " moment.

To have been able to bring you joy, and I hope I have, to have uplifted your spirits, to have made your heart soar high above where the eagles fly, to have strengthened your resolve, to have helped you kick start your journey.

In all of these things, if I have been in some small measure, a catalyst, I am grateful for in so doing, I have healed myself.

Below is a dedication to all you incredible shredders out there who with courage and true grit have chosen to follow the path of a man who is a magnificent example of what we are all striving to achieve Adam Waters.

As we shredders tramp this earth together
arms entwined, we carry those who stumble
and they us,
we band of brothers and sisters forever linked by one...
His leadership, resolute, unwavering,
Our eyes upward, our hearts beating
with mighty resolve, we hoist the steel
and run the road, fleet of foot
onward toward victory
with no thought of failure..
and, with a glance behind, we see
multitudes of those, our numbers growing
day by day,
as we, with him in front, encouraging us,
surging into our future
as we all choose ..
to take the road less travelled.

Have a wonderful holiday and look forward to spending 09 with all of you

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The road less travelled

The Phone Call that made my day

Hi Dr Smit How are you? Dougal Macdonald here. Oh yes hang on a minute let me get your file.
Hmmm, this is very good news. You DO NOT have a " superbug " or M.R.S.A otherwise known as a Medicillan resistant Staphylococcus aureus infection. What you have is a basic Staphylococcus aureus infection. Since it is not very resistant we can neutralise it with blah blah antibiotic. You do not have any presence of it in your nasal cavity.

So...there it is seems that we can take this one out fairly simply and it is really good news that I don't have the very resistant strain.

Another 14 days of antibiotics and I will be right as rain.

Boy am I looking forward to my vacation.

I am going to post for another couple of days and then vacation time. I will be back on the 12th January 09 or maybe a bit sooner.

I am not going to have connectivity and so will not blog over this period.

I hope you won't abandon me. I will be back with lot's of ineteresting things to say on health and fitness in 09 and of course you can follow my own road back to complete health strength and fitness.

I am sure that you are all looking forward to a break as well and a well earned rest from the stresses and strains of daily living.

Keep looking forward, don't look backward unless you want to go in that direction.

Friday, December 5, 2008

The road less travelled

Speaking to the experts

So, at 9.30am this morning I was sitting with Dr Smit a microbiologist who was giving me a lecture on Infections 101. Even the 101 version is really hard to comprehend.

Swabs were taken and results will be forthcoming by tuesday.

At least then, according to her information I will know exactly who my adversaries are and what it will take to remove them from the planet.

There is no guarantee though, that the infection will not return and maybe in a different guise.

It seems that we all, or most of us have a staphylococckyyee infection living in our noses, but we have not broken the barrier which allows it into our systems, which is why it stays in our nose. I have broken that barrier unfortunately, by having a 'full metal jacket' in my head. ( yes I know that's not how you spell staphylawhatever)

No that I have broken the barrier it seems I have unwittingly invited a whole host of nasties into my house to play, should they so choose.

The best I can do is eat clean, train carefully, take vitamins and keep my immune system as strong as possible.

I believe however, that since I happened to be sitting with Dr Smit this morning by way of an extraordinary set of circumstances, this will be somewhat of a breakthrough. How could it not.

If anybody ever had above average motivation to keep and stay fit and healthy, this has to be it for me.

Now please excuse me.....son, pass me that 4oolb barbell and ' get outta my way '

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The road less travelled

If you are one of those who believes that everything happens for a reason and nothing happens by accident then you are going to love this story.

This morning I was chatting to one of our clients in the gym about my continuous infections. Now this fellow knows a bit about infections since his sister, who was a quadraplegic suffered for a long time with them.

What you need, he said, is to speak to a pathologist. Pathologists are experts in identifying bacterial infectious strains and analysing what antibiotic works and which ones are ineffective because of resistance.

I don't suppose you know one, I said. As it happens I do and she just happens to be the head of the biggest laboratory in South Africa.

I don't suppose I could chat with her, after all I'm certain that she is very busy.

Two minutes later I was explaining my situation to her on the phone. She promised to help me get to the bottom of my quest for a killer antibiotic to destroy my infection.

Now it would help if she knew me don't you think..after all why should she help someone she had never met, after a two minute telephone conversation.

By the way, she said, on the way out of the conversation, what happened to you.

Broke my neck in a surfing accident at St Francis Bay (St Francis Bay is a 12 hour drive from where we both live in Johannesburg), in April of this year I said....silence on the other've got to be kidding she said, I know who you are, I was actually on the beach at the time waiting for my son who was also surfing, I saw your accident happen. I was the one who went to find the emergency ambulance for you. I actually spoke to you while you were lying on the sand. How are you?

Well, now I think I have a good chance of getting the expert help I need.....don't you. Pure luck, I don't think so.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The road less travelled

As we head towards the holidays we are probably worrying about how to stay clean with all the fantastic food around. Making it, eating it, buying it, looking at on earth do we stay on track.

Well, if you are working at a lifestyle and not a diet here's a revolutionary idea for you. The question is - How do I stay away from eating food I'm not supposed to eat. My answer is.......shhh!..... DON'T.

Excuse me.... before you have a coughing fit and swallow your dentures, my rationale is this.

If you have commited to sensible eating for the rest of your life, call that 100%. All the holidays for the rest of your life, which hopefully are a plenty, but if you stack them up against the days that you'll still be sucking air on this planet probably amount to 1%...OK call it 5%, let's be generous.

Eat well for 95% of the year and have a little fall down for the other 5% how much damage do you think you are doing. Right...not a lot.

Personally, I think that most of us have such a long ingrained history of improper eating habits that trying to stay clean is all the time is counter productive...I think you would binge much more if you think you can do the 100% rather than just backing off a little during holidays when family and friends are eating food that you love.

Now slow down there cowboy, I don't mean demolishing the cake trolley before anybody else gets there....I'm talking about eating moderate plates of the same food that everyone else is eating.

Much easier to stay with the program I think...especially for mothers preparing Christmas dinner. Gotta be tough if you are preparing a slap up dinner with all them fixins, and you are planning to eat tuna and green salad.

I mean there are some that CAN do this but your name is NOT Carlos DeJesus, so don't even try.

Take a load of guilt off, relax and enjoy the festive season like everyone else.

However, a word of caution....THE FESTIVE SEASON DOES NOT RUN TO EASTER.

A final word over this time. Let's remember the real reason for Christmas and be thankful.

Monday, December 1, 2008

The road less travelled

No Night of the the Long Knives....not today anyway.

It seems....according to the culture results that there is no infection. What does that mean?
Well, my neurosurgeon will not be sharpening the steak knives today.

I don't understand how there can be no infection, knowing the way I'm feeling, but the concensus is that Carl will not operate for now. There is a new antibioitic irrigation system that works on an outpatient basis and for now we will wait to see how the next few days pan out.

Bottom line...we will wait for a few days and then re assess. So, another chapter closes.. Hopefully not a short chapter.

A big thank you to everyone for your concern and prayers, you're all very special people to me and I appreciate all of you popping in to see how I'm doing. THANK YOU.

Friday, November 28, 2008

The road less travelled

I was saying to Carlos yesterday, I feel like I'm in round 20 of a 15 round fight.
I feel battered and bruised physically and emotionally and I have to admit that apart from my recognisable flu like systems which make me feel awful I've had a little self pity party today.

Hey, I'm allowed.

The thing with me is that when something like this happens I get introspective. I go inside myself and get very quiet. I analyse the situation decide on a course of action and then I come out of my shell and I'm fine again. Very seldom does my 'down' time last more than half a day or so.


This is different. I have no frame of reference for what has happened to me over the last 7 months. I have been knocked over so many times I don't know which way is up any more.

I have been on roller coaster rides with my kids before but nothing as scary as this.

I am trying to assess the risks of what I'm about to go through but even the mighty Google is pretty sparse as far as ' risks associated with early removal of cervical hardware.' searches is concerned

I see my neurosurgeon monday morning to run through all the options, the risks, the positives, the percentages....doesn't stop me 'running the numbers' myself ahead of time though.

Phew....I'm tired....tired of getting up off the canvas, tired of heading into the middle of the ring for another round. Am I about to throw in the chance, I'm a long way from that.

All I need....all we all need in situations like this is a little breather to regroup. refocus and hit the ground running again.

Right, that's off my chest, I feel better now.....LET'S GO FOR A SWIM, c'mon.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

The road less travelled

Here we go again

I woke up this morning around 2am feeling that something was amiss. I felt the back of my head as I habitually do and found that my hair was plastered to my scalp. Not a good sign. Further investigation showed me that the repaired hole in the back of my head was oozing again.

I got up, took a shower washed my hair and went back to bed hoping that all this was just a bad dream.

When I woke up again my pillow confirmed that it wasn't. Hmmm, fast forward to around 8.30am and a discussion with my plastic surgeon, neurosurgeon and the wound specialist.

Now, I stopped my antiobiotics around 10 days ago and obviously the infection which was lying dormant has re appeared. So clearly antiobiotics are not a first prize long term solution.

It looks like what's going to happen is that I go back in for more surgery. This time it's a little different though.

My nuerosurgeon feels that my body is rejecting the hardware that has been implanted into my head and neck. To remove the hardware is the only way to get around this, but....the cervical bone has already started fusing to the titanium rods and therefore surgery is extremely risky.

Carl tells me that it is a 5 to 6 hour operation with three options. Complete success, death on the bed or becoming a quadraplegic. Without being dramatic, you see anytime you are operating around the spinal chord there are risks if you don't get it right.

So into hospital next week for another major surgery seems to be how its going to turnout.

I'm believing that I'm going to be up and about and back in the gym in no time. How bout you.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The road less travelled

Do you know...for sure...that you will achieve your fitness hopes and dreams?
Why not?

Barring serious illness or...a broken neck...ha ha... what is stopping you.

Slacking on your eating plan, not training with intensity.

Wanting to party rather than focus on your health.

Maybe all of the above.

So what do you plan to do about it.

Why not form a mastermind group in your area and all make a solid commitment to success.
Find someone you know in your gym and commit to each other. Meet once a week, sort of like book club but without the wine. Yes I know how these things work.

Christmas is nearly here...are you concerned about getting through the festive season scot free.
Or are you worried that you will blow your plans right out the water.

Take some time to think about these things and devise a strategy to take care of them.

Everybody is having a slap up Christmas dinner I should think....don't feel guilty about enjoying it...just don't get bogged down until 2nd january 09.

Make your plans to see you through the holiday season, don't bale with the idea of starting again in January.

That's just another nail in the coffin.

Make this the first Christmas that YOU are in control and not food controlling you. Use this time to rest your body if you've been training hard. Your body needs a rest about every 12 weeks or so.

Plan ahead and enjoy the holiday rather than spending every day feeling guilty about getting deeper and deeper into that hole you have dug.

Start planning now, Christmas is almost upon us.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The road less travelled


Dax Moy, probably the best known fitness professional in the UK threw out a challenge on his blog. To write about who we really are and not just the persona that we present here....sometimes, to garner sympathy, sometimes to make ourselves look good, sometimes, because we have nothing much to say.

I have taken up the challenge because:

I believe that if I am not representing myself truthfully in this forum, where in some way I have an opportunity to influence people then I am being dishonest and I do not believe that I am that.

I believe that my life revolves around my core values....those of truth, love, sincerity, generosity, gratitude, service and a correct attitude.

I believe that what you put into this life is not proportionate to what you get out. Good or bad. I think you get much more.

I believe that " As a man thinketh in his heart so is he. "

I believe that there is good in everybody and everyone deserves an opportunity.

I believe that everybody can be successful and happy.

And most importantly I BELIEVE in GOD who is my spritual father and who has given me a complete set of tools with which to make my life a complete success.

And...if I believe that, which I do fervently then how can I fail at anything I set my hand to within my core belief's and values.

Why don't you write your own I believe, it is highly likely to help you better understand yourself

Monday, November 24, 2008

The road less travelled

Had to go way out of my area of operations to day to collect a new part for my Blender. Got into my vehicle, set my GPS and off I went. " In 500 mtrs turn left onto the freeway, at the traffic light turn right" etc etc droned the pleasant female voice. I trusted the machine and off I went. 30 minutes later I ended up exactly where I needed to be.

Pretty much like a training program and eating plan, you have to have faith. You choose a GPS based on the product reliability and you know the map software will take you there otherwise they wouldn't sell many products now would they.

So you choose a plan....or a trainer and off you go....several weeks later you pretty much know that you are headed in the right direction.

The one essential element of this scenario that you have to do, is motivate yourself to get there. I could have the best GPS in the world but if I don't feel like getting into my car my blender is going to stay broken for a long time.

The absolute rolls royce of eating plans and training programmes is of no value whatsoever if you cannot motivate yourself to follow the plan.

So....what is the answer. I personally believe that it is when you genuinly hit rock bottom. I have written about this before but it is critically important so bear with me while I go back to the well, so to speak.

Ad men talk about 'spaced repetition' helping to ingrain a product in a persons sub conscious so I don't feel bad repeating myself on this subject.

What is rock bottom. Well it is different for everyone. Adam Waters knows what it is, Pam Brown knows what it is, a recovering alcoholic or drug addict knows and when you get there you will know.

Let me illustrate it this way. Deciding to quickly get a six pack 6 weeks before christmas is fleeting motivation. Chances are you will bale and decided to start again in january.

Waking up one day and looking in the mirror, KNOWING that you cannot go one more day looking like this, is real motivation. Somehow you just KNOW that this is it. Strangely enough when you reach this point you just know that this is your day and before you know it a few months have gone by and you look fantastic.

Sometimes it's triggered by seeing pictures of a bunch of people at a party in which you are the central figure. " Who is the fat boy " you nonchantly ask, knowing that although you are "big", you have this believe that you are actually quite muscular. You wear big clothes thinking they hide all the fat and make you look "big".

When your friends look at each other and then, back at the picture, and back at you and start snickering " hey, that's you dude", you realise IT'S TIME.

When your God given spirit and soul lets you know that it doesn't want to operate like this any more then you know " ITS TIME"

It's not about doing it for's about what YOU are doing to yourself. Stop and think about the pain and anguish Adam Waters went through, the repeated failures, but one day something happened deep inside his soul and that was it. IT WAS TIME.

Search your own heart, for if you are unhappy about the way you look and feel, I hope, that very'll be YOUR TIME and when you get there, you'll know.

In the mean time keep searching for what it is that keeps destroying your faith in yourself, your self image, don't ever give up, for one day soon you WILL find that IT IS TIME and you will finally be a winner.

Once you finally 'get' the concept of lifestyle you will then be able to sustain your fantastic efforts to that point and three years down the road you will be helping others to do the same.

Friday, November 21, 2008

The road less travelled

Up at 4.15am, eat, train a few clients, do my own leg training and cardio, head off to the pool for swim training. Eat, do some admin and the weekend begins. Great life, and I purposefully created it for myself.

If you are unhappy with your life change it. Yes you can.

If you dread sunday afternoons because you are already thinking about going to that lousy job monday morning there are two things you can do. Move or make it better, but don't keep on complaining about it.

It's a lot like health and fitness. If you are not happy about the way you look, fess up to yourself, be honest and do something. The more you whine to yourself about what a loser you are the more you hammer your self image. Big mistake.

You are are absolutely perfect, there is only one of you on this planet, don't waste your life THINKING about what you are going to do, make a plan and do it.

The more you knock your self image the harder it is to get going. Next monday....hmmm, heard that before.

Every day is perfect, actually....and for it to be so all you have to do is MAKE A DECISION when you wake up to make it so.

Try this...on monday morning, stand in front of the mirror, smile, look at yourself and say, 'this is going to be a wonderful day. I expect great things to happen.' and if you don't believe it say it again until you do. C'mon, it may sound silly but no one is going to see you and isn't anything infinitely better than getting up grumpy and spilling it onto your family so then you can all be grumpy.

Just for me, please, give it a shot and then let me know what wonderful things happened. I PERSONALLY GUARANTEE that they will.

Make it a habit and your life will never be the same again.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The road less travelled

I threw out a challenge yesterday to anyone that was having trouble dealing with a negative situation.

Lynda said that she was having trouble with her knees and it was bugging her. "Find me a positive in that" she challenged.

Well Lynda, there are a good many upsides in that.
  1. Gives you an opportunity to get your husband to give you a soothing knee rub every other night
  2. Explore swimming as I have. It is a non load bearing exercise and is a good cardio workout as well as being refreshing on hot summer days.
  3. Google a video for the correct form in a squat and you may be pleasantly surprised to find that your form is way off. A squat done correctly places all the weight on your quadriceps and pretty much takes the knees out of it. So give that a try.
  4. Isn't it wonderful that you can walk...I presume without pain.
  5. Next time you see someone in a wheelchair, ask them if they would swop with you. You may make a new friend
  6. Sore knees gives you the opportunity to sit back and rest while your husband does all the grocery shopping...and packing....and cleaning.
  7. Experiment with Glucosomine...exellent for joint relief. Learning about health products is always good.
  8. It's given you an opportunity to learn more about anatomy (google sore knees and see what you come up with.) and there is always an upside in learning, isn't there.
  9. An opportunity to experiment with attitude change which when practiced continuously will definately take your mind off any pain.

So Lynda, that'll give you something to think about.

We should all look for the 'up' and not the 'down' in ANY situation, hard enough and we will find it, sometimes in the most unexpected places.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The road less travelled

On an all time high.

Trained my clients this morning, followed by my own cardio (stationary bike) and leg weights session. Then headed to a commercial gym, Virgin Active, to test the waters, literally.

Since I can't run any longer I've decided to include swimming as a cardio workout. It worked perfectly. I have no mobility between my head and shoulders (spinal fusion and titanium rods screws etc) so one would have thought that it wouldn't work.

Well the principles of a good stroke are that when you breath you turn your whole body and not just your head like in the old days. This makes you more streamlined in the water. So my limitation has now become an ADVANTAGE....I will probably swim better than I ever did before. How cool is that.

The point of that little story is that there is an upside for every downside. You just have to look for it.

Instead of focussing on the bad, get away from that and look for the good...and there is always a GOOD side. If you don't believe me I challenge you to give me a real life scenario that has caused you grief and I'll show you a positive out of it.

That's my challenge to you today. WHO IS UP FOR IT.

I'm on an all time high. I feel energetic, healthy, fit and strong and life is WONDERFUL.

How bout you?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The road less travelled

W a n n a b e - F e v e r

That sounds derogatory but I don't mean it to really.

One of the biggest d r e a m s t e a le r s today is not what someone says but what they are.

Glamour magazines crammed full of impossibly thin fourteen year old models. Gorgeous 20's,30's and 40 year old magazine models who have been airbrushed so radically as to be unrecognisable by their own family.

How often I hear..."I want to look like her" Apart from the fact that the bone structure and basic framework may be completely different the model has probably diet'd down for 6 weeks before the shoot. I train a couple of beauty queens believe me I know what I'm talking about.

  1. You can only ever compete with yourself.
  2. You can never win the game of wanting to look like someone else
  3. If you are moving forward you are making progress. The rate doesn't matter
  4. Do not set impossible goals. Around 2lbs per week is optimum for maximum fat loss.
  5. Don't get despondant when a friend loses 10lbs in the first week on some crazy diet, it's mostly water.
  6. Don't try and starve and train like a mad person for a six pack, 4 weeks out from Christmas, ain't gonna happen.
  7. Don't even think it's a given say...12 weeks out from the holidays. Even though it's possible, what happenes if you get flu 4 weeks over..." well I'm done for now, might as well enjoy the christmas holidays (translated to mean let's pig out) until January and start again". Sound familiar.
  8. Learn how to make eating healthy a lifestyle and those little mishaps, or a less than perfect meal on christmas day is OK. Coz you've planned for it. (Little tip I use...ask the question, is what I'm about to put in my mouth going to take me towards my goal or away from it. Kinda pulls you up in a hurry.
  9. Learn to make better BAD choices. If you are somewhere where your food choices are somewhat dodgy, make the best choice you can.
  10. Rather eat something you shouldn't than miss a meal. You KNOW that if you play the hero and miss a meal because there wasn't any healthy food you are going to be ravenous when it's time to eat again and we all know where that leads.

We all slip up and at times eat what we shouldn't, and when it happens remember this...YOU ARE ONLY ONE MEAL AWAY from eating perfectly again. PLEASE get over playing the " I'll start again monday" game if you slip up. You cannot win that one...ONE MEAL AWAY that's all, no biggy if you slip up.

With Christmas looming large why not rather look at setting goals for the year ahead now.

IMAGINE THIS....set a goal to lose just 1lb per week next year and this time next year you will absolutely be in bikini or speedo (kidding guys) shape for sure. 52lbs of fat lost WOW.

1lb per week....ANYONE can do that.

Monday, November 17, 2008

The road less travelled

E X U S E - i t i s

Don't head off to your study to check the dictionary definition, there isn't one. At least I don't think there is one, nevertheless we all know what it means.

When ever there is a tiny bump in the road some of us get down on ourselves and quit or we sabotage our efforts.
I want to share an amazing story with you that will encourage you to become a winner permanantly.

At 244lbs and 49% body fat Pam Brown had battled obesity for years. Her husband was diagnosed with a brain tumour and food was of enormous comfort to her. As you can see it worked.
She was depressed, suffered migraines, high blood pressure and generally was not in good health.

She came across the BFL program in 2002 and it seemed to resonate with her. She decided to commit to the program. Almost a last chance I guess.
In her own words " I didn't take it one day at a time, I took it one minute at a time. " At the end of 12 weeks she had lost 35lbs. She started a second 12 weeks and got her bodyfat down to 25%.

By the end of her third 12 week program she had lost 96lbs of body fat and gained 16lbs of muscle.

Now I don't know about you but to me this is a remarkable story of a woman succeeding against all odds.

If you are overweight, or obese and their is nothing physically wrong with you, then take heart because ' YOU CAN DO IT'.

Don't let E X U S E i t i s get in your way. Ask yourself....If this amazing woman can do it....WHY CAN'T YOU.

Friday, November 14, 2008

The road less travelled


Keep it simple stupid

No I'm not being insulting I'm repeating a 'mnemonic' that I learned when I was trained for my first selling job " life assurance " way back.

It is as valid today as it was all those years ago and it applies to almost everything in life.

Specifically today let's apply it to the business of health and fitness since that's my area of expertise.

When we decide to get healthy and fit and we don't have a clue, we hear something about some program someone is doing and we jump on because we know no better.

In my case it was Body-for-LIFE way back in 99. I got lucky because it's a great foundation program. I followed the program and the eating plan and at the end of 12 weeks was astounded to find that I had come 2nd in South Africa. People started to ask me how I had changed so radically in 12 weeks and what was I eating and so on.

This led me to believe that I was now an expert. Looking back ...what the heck was I thinking. 12 weeks, give me a break.

Now nearly ten years on I do now consider myself somewhat of an expert. The lifestyle really grabbed me and I became a certified BFL success coach and for 8 years now I have succesfully trained hundreds of people. In fact clients of mine came 3rd in the International competition.

What have I learned. There are a LOT of snake oil salesmen out there just waiting to get their grubby paws on your hard earned ammo (or money if you wish).

A cleverly worded website and you are in. 40lbs of fat loss and 60lbs of muscle in 4 weeks.

Rule no 1. If it sounds too good to be generally is.

Rule no 2. Do some research on the guy selling the product. You can google check if he is reputable in 2 minutes

Rule no 3. Not all programmes are right for you.

Rule no 4. Try and figure out what it is that you want to achieve (muscle gain, fat loss etc) first

Rule no 5. The program you buy isn't necessarily going to work for you.

Rule no 6. Don't waste money on bodybuilding magazines. They are generally sales brochures for product companies selling products with unpronouncable names that probably won't work. Ever seen the blurb " You MAY experience fat loss with blah blah snake oil slimming pills.

Fast forward a few months when you have made some gains and are now 'AN EXPERT' you have downloaded a dozen training programmes and twenty eating plans and are completely confused and havn't a clue what to do.

Generally this is where the the towel gets thrown in and ' speed walking ' .....which by the way is murder on the hip flexors, becomes the new flavour of the month.

This is where K I S S comes in. Time to heap all the junk into the bin and head back to the section guessed it......BASICS.

Bottom line...if you are ingesting less 'clean' calories than you are expending you are losing body fat.....and if you are doing body part training (if you are an aspiring bodybuilder) or 'movement training' (for the average joe who wants to get fit and build some lean muscle) then you are moving forward.

I don't know if everybody knows this but it is extremely hard for men to build muscle and even harder for women.

To build a quality physique flat out takes time and simply cannot be rushed ....uhh unless you plan to stick a needle somewhere on your body containing ' horse steroids' or some such garbage.

So....again, let's get back to basics. The right quantity of Quality food every 3 to 4 hours, lean protein and carbs every time you eat, lot's of water, a program designed to build muscle or lose fat ( you can't do both at the same time) and a gym to do it all in.

That's it. From then on rotate your exercises every four weeks or so (your body adapts very quickly) and in the words of the famous triathlete Mark Allen, "train hard, eat right, drink lot's of water and go like hell."

INTENSITY will get you a lot further than an over complicated training programme and an eating plan that you cannot sustain.

If you REALLY want to get places, focus on the mental aspect of health and fitness...the motivation of to be better in the gym every time, how to think your way around a session, how to focus, how to leave the world and your problems behind the minute you walk through the door.

That's the way to achieve your goals, not some garbage program that was never designed for you in the first place. Even the Pro's would have trouble with some of the plans you see in the magazines.

Step one. Head on over to Carlos DeJesus web site and spend some time on "The Experiment of One". If you don't understand it, stay with it until you do. It's probably the most important thing you can do if you are really serious about your health and fitness.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The road less travelled

To paraphrase Mr Covey, 'exellence is not a skill, it's a habit'

To follow on from what I was talking about yesterday it is so simple to overide bad habits with good. Simple but not easy, ....if you take small actions each day towards your goal or target how much more of a giant would you be in a year.

My goodness 6 days a week of weights and cardio for about 45 weeks a year including time off for rest periods and vacations and how much further would you be than you are now.

The mistake we make is in going for a goal where we start strong and then get to the point where we say ' I cannot do this for the rest of my life ' or ' I cannot eat this for the rest of my life ' perhaps because we are not seeing the results we expected.

Then don't look at the rest of your life....' just for today ' I will train, ' just for today ' I will eat healthy nutritious food.....surely you can do that.

We all get tired, irritable, sick of take things one day at a time until these feelings pass, and they always do.

You don't have to get into world class shape in 12 weeks. What about 24 or 36. Spread out your daily action steps so that they are even smaller and easier to complete.

Once you have done that for say, six months, for anything that's not sitting well in your life, you will have ingrained a new habit.

Combine this with positive affirmations and you will have formatted and re programmed your mind in no time.

If your life is not going the way it should try this....what ELSE are you going to do?


I'm amazed at the body's ability to bounce back to previous levels in a very short space of time.

When I stopped training because of my infections I was back to about 60% of my original strength before my accident. I laid off for about 4 weeks.Well I've been back in the gym for 2 weeks and I'm back to and in most cases using slightly more weight than I was before.

I trained very hard today and really focussed on form and time under load and I've said it before, if anyone thinks 1 set to failure for the entire body is a piece of cake, give it a shot. You'll soon change your mind.

I'm loving being back and I feel absolutely fantastic. LIFE IS BRILLIANT...YES?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The road less travelled

D.O.M.S. otherwise known as Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, and bears no relation to lactic acid.

I'm telling you this because Carlos DeJesus, Arthur Jones and I went to pump some iron yesterday.

Full body workout, 1 set to failure, superslow.

D.O.M.S. is what I have now and it feels great. I havn't felt this good in a long time and I can't wait to get into the gym tomorrow.

I did cardio today on the bike. 20 minutes of 1 min sets. 20sec sprint with high resistance and 40 sec cruise, followed by abs. Try it sometime....don't forget to take a brown paper bag.

For the first time since the ops for my infection I have no dressing on the back of my head....sounds dippy I know but I feel completely different, or maybe that should read complete.

I'm eating superclean and I'm interested to see what kind of progress I can make by Christmas day, 6 weeks away. Remember this is my warm up and prep for my Superchallenge.

The sun is shining, the weather is warm and I think I'll spend a couple of days a week at the pool in the complex to get some sun onto this ravaged body of mine.

By the time I get back from vacation Carlos and I will hit the ground year will see me in the best shape of my life...why don't you join me.

By the way, if you are wondering who Arthur Jones is 'google' him.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The road less travelled

We take life far too seriously. The newspaper and radio are designed to hook you in with bad news because that's what sells. Well meaning friends are always saying ' have you heard what happened to so and so ' People, especially with this gentle downturn in the global economy, are full of ' Oh whoa is me,' and heads full of thoughts like ' I'll never get out of this quicksand that I'm in.

If any of the above applies to you, I have good news. Welcome to ' lifting your spirits and getting on with life 101.
  1. Stop reading the newspapers and listening to news or talk radio. You'll hear what you need to hear from your network.
  2. Start listening to music that lifts your spirits
  3. Wake up in the morning and start thinking about reasons to be happy
  4. Start writing a journal
  5. Set big goals followed by small goals or daily steps.
  6. Don't think about achieving your goals all at once, start with something small, everyday and you'll find that your momentum increases exponentially... in a year you are a giant.
  7. Determine to do something good for someone else each and every day. Hold the door open, stop a lift, tell someone they look nice, carry packages for someone, invite someone for coffee, call someone and tell them you love/like/are thinking about them. Small things create big results.
  8. Get fit...Joseph Pilates said ' The prerequisite of happiness is physical fitness ' ain't that the truth. Start a program today.
  9. Buy yourself a gift...doesn't have to be a porsche, could be a book you've been meaning to read.
  10. Get organised...Resolve to take 15 minutes at the start of each day and plan your day. Do the things you say you are going to do and you'll be amazed at how your life starts falling into place.

That's a start.....If you can't get yourself out of a slump by taking some of the actions suggested above then you might as well keep digging that hole that you've got yourself into until you hit Australia.

Life rule number one, if you've got yourself into a hole....STOP DIGGING.

Seriously, life is a wonderful gift, and it's success or failure is completely up to you. Don't waste it by stressing about thing that are probably unlikely to happen. The past is gone and you really DONT know what's in the future so live NOW.

Monday, November 10, 2008

The road less travelled

I don't think that Barack Obama's campaign manager will mind too much if I make liberal use of his brilliant campaign slogan YES YOU CAN!
I mean it is just brilliant in it's simplicity and each one of us can apply it to every day life.
Oh I can't do this it's too hard....YES YOU CAN.
Oh I can't do anything right ....YES YOU CAN
I can't be good enough.....YES YOU CAN
I just can't achieve my fitness goals...YES YOU CAN
Block by block, brick by brick.
I think we sometimes think things are a bridge too far because we look at the whole picture. If we break things down into daily action steps or..bite size chunks we can visualise a positive result so much easier.
I havn't asked him about this but I'm pretty sure that when Carlos DeJesus was training for any one of the 39 competitions he entered on the road to the World championship....which he case you have been in a coma for the last little while...., he did not look at the cases of tuna he consumed but he consumed them one at a time with no thought for the next one at the next meal.
He may have been sick of the site of tuna but he knew it was a building block to winning and he did it whether he liked it or not.
ANYTHING can be achieved if you just break it down into small enough steps.
There is no such thing as perfection and there is only one perfect person and he doesn't live on this planet.
Progress my friends, that's what I'm talking about, progress. If I look at my own progress over the last seven months or lack thereof ,in a negative way it could really destroy me since....there hasn't been any.
I've been literally stopping and starting for the whole of that time and as I write this I am pretty much at the beginning again....
But...I am ecstatic that I CAN start again. I got onto an exercise bike this morning for my cardio session and realised just how unfit I am. My thought was...what a great place to be, I can only IMPROVE from here.
I'm doing weights tomorrow and it's the same thing. I can only get better on a day to day basis....that's exciting.
Can I get back to my previous best and beyond......YES I CAN
The good news is - SO CAN YOU.
Can anyone tell me why this post won't format the way I want it too? Appreciate any help.

Friday, November 7, 2008

The road less travelled

The road wasn't travelled at all today, and I'm writing from a remote computer since my own had a complete melt down.

No worries it gave me the opportunity to learn a bit more about how a computer works since I decided to become a computer geek for the day and after formatting my hard drive I reinstalled all the necessary components...operating system, extra's like virus and malware software, Orbit downloader software, Adobe reader etc.

When I really came good was when I realised that I had lost the code for my Microsoft Office package and I had to make a decision. Pay a whole bundle for off the shelf or scout around for an alternative. I found one...called's free, downloadable and it does a really great job...easy to use and so it's all done, and I now know a lot more about these machines than I did before.

Good can come out of any bad situation, you just have to l o o k for it. Don't ever get stressed out about stuff you cannot control that's futile...and if you can control it, do something about it.
Those are really the only two options.

Either way what's the point of freaking out, the computer could care less if I blow my stack. the end of the day it's all good, have a fabulous weekend, see ya monday.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The road less travelled

The hoopla is over....history has been made..... and hopefully the new broom will sweep clean for at least the next four years.

I know one thing for sure, the two candidates and their respect staff compliment have massive energy. They had both been on the campaign trail for a heck of a long time and that has to be massively energy sapping. McCain at his, great admiration for him.

Energy....that got me thinking... how did both of them keep going that long without falling over.

Massive motivation that's how. They both deperately wanted the prize of becoming the most powerfal man on the planet. They both sat down with their respective teams at the beginning and decided that they REALLY wanted to do this.

Once the goal was firmly established the plan followed. How do we get there and how do we keep crystal clear focus.

Once that was done it was simply a matter of taking one step after the other to get there.

Notice I said simply, I didn't say easy. But it doesn't alter the fact that one step in front the other will get you to where you want to go.

Sounds pretty much the same for your health and fitness program doesn't it.

If you find you are struggling to get to the top of that mountain it may be that you have the wrong goal...if that is so, nothing will get you there.

Re eavaluate and be sure that what you think you want is what you want.

Barack Obama is a great example of wanting the job as president of the United States of America so badly that he was prepared to climb to the top of a huge mountain...nothing was going to stop him.

There must have been dozens of times that he just wanted to curl up under a desk and sleep but he just kept on going, and that's what we have to do to reach our health and fitness goals.

Are YOU prepared to pay the price for your success.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The road less travelled

I'm evaluating a multi-media course on blogging from the folks at Simpleology. For a while, they're letting you snag it for free if you post about it on your blog.

It covers:

  • The best blogging techniques.
  • How to get traffic to your blog.
  • How to turn your blog into money.

I'll let you know what I think once I've had a chance to check it out. Meanwhile, go grab yours while it's still free.

Sounds like a pretty good deal to me. I'm in the process of trying to make my blog more professional so this is right up my street.

Well the day has finally arrived. Mcain/Obama, who do you think will win this election.

Personally, I was touting Obama as the next American president months ago. I just felt that America was ready for a change. Since then the global economic collapse makes me even more confident that he will win.

I've heard some whacky reasons for voting preferences but I heard today that since Sarah Palin is a 'bird shooter' a lot of the hunting community will vote for her. WOW.

Anyway, I think that the American Election far overshadows anything I can write of respect for The American people....for today I will keep my mouth shut, and stand back and watch as Barack Obama gets ready to settle himself into the White House.

Don't be complacent...YOUR vote DOES make a difference.

Monday, November 3, 2008

The road less travelled

The world has never been in a darker place, the world has never been in a lighter place.

If that sounds confusing it's not. The world has never been in a darker place, well that's pretty easy to understand, look what's happening around us. On a global scale our success scorecard is not too clever. In fact it's never been worse than it is right now.

On the other hand the world has never been in a lighter place. Huh....yup, in the history of the planet we have never had an opportunity to create positive change, to be more fantastically creative than ever before, to do and invent things that have never been done before.

The theme of living today according to best sellers on the New York Times list, on etc are personal development books expounding practical theories on how to make your life great. On how to change the drab humdrum life we live and hate.

I happen to subscribe to the theories not because I read the books and believe the theories but because I happen to believe that we have a responsibility if not to our Creator then to ourselves, our families and the people within our circle of influence, to be the absolute best we can be.

How do we do this. Go somewhere quiet, somewhere where you can THINK undisturbed and examine your life. Are you fullfilling your potential, are you prepared to take the road less travelled to pay the price to be the best, or are you happy to drift along in a sea of mediocrity allowing the tides of change to drag you where ever they will.

Becoming a champion is done one step at a time. One small step in a day every day and you will be amazed at what you achive in a year. Everybody can do that.

Ask the incredible Adam Waters...look what he has achieved by building a plan and then executing it by putting one step in front of the other.

I heard a fantastic one liner today. " If each person swept his own front step no body would have to clean up anything."

If each person took responsibility for their own lives their would be no obesity. That simple.

There are no excuses...none at all. Only we can make our lives happen the way we want them to, no one else.

On tuesday American history will be made when Democrat Barack Obama becomes the 44th President of the United States. Why don't you choose that day to make your own history. Make the choice to get fit and strong once and for all time...create a plan and work step at a time.

Friday, October 31, 2008

The road less travelled

Most of the time I enjoy the solitary path, it keeps me focused and right now I certainly am that. I have completed a week of weight training and cardio on the other days. I am now back into my routine of 3 days + 3 days. My weight training is going well and I can feel the strength surging back into my body. Cardio consists of walking on an incline and flat with some steps thrown in to simulate as best I can HiiT. Followed by ab work. Rock On.

I'm going to spend the rest of the year getting myself back into a position where I can restart my "SUPER-CHALLENGE" in January when I'm back from vacation.

Guess where I'm going for my vacation. Right... St Francis Bay. If that sounds vaguely familiar to you it's because that is where I had an argument with a sand bank and came off 2nd best by trying to head butt the thing. I need to stand on that beach and confront the place that hurt me so badly. I need to make friends with it and swim in the place that so nearly took my life.

Until then I will train hard, eat right, drink lots of water and 'go like hell'

Hope you'll come along for the ride.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The road not so less travelled today

For seven months I have been trudging along a lonely road, a road on which I seemed to be the only traveller. That can be tough since everyone wants to be part of a community including me.
Travelling alone means a lot of things....Being alone at night when the lights go down. Having no one to share your feelings with when you need to, eating alone, keeping the pain to yourself, willing yourself on when you are exhausted, and so on...but in the last few days I have noticed other travellers on my road, people who look and behave just like me, the road has widened and the noise gets louder I realise that I'm feeling happy about the cacophony all around and I suddenly realise that the people are not like me...I am like them and those travellers that used to wish me well from other roads adjacent to mine and who used to pray for me are now walking along my road, which has now become their road as well. My solitary journey is almost complete.

Taking the road less travelled is a choice. I have always chosen the hard way the way that toughens me to my core, my whole life has been about choosing to tough things out, my journey on the road less travelled is no different and it's almost as if I have been training my whole life for the last seven fight a war against an unseen enemy.

Today, for now, I emerge victorious. My blood work shows no trace of infection, my x-rays show that the titanium hardware in my head is stable and I believe that I'm at the end of my journey on ' the road less travelled '.

I imagine there are not many of you who have not read or seen 'The Secret' and whilst I have put my own spin on it I believe in the concept of Quantum Physics and God as a partnership in conjunction with the Universe as God created it..

I absolutely believe in the Law of reciprocation and manifestation in my life because I have seen it happen in a very positive way too often over many years and long before The Secret ever came down the pike for it to be a myth.

Call it what you like, I call it faith. I am a trainer/success coach because I believe it is my calling and for many years I have not advertised for new clients in my training business because I rely on faith. When I need a new client or a few I simply ask God for help or in "Secret" terms, the Universe. Because I am a giver and give freely God has always honoured that and new clients just seem to walk in the door.

It happened again this morning. I had a client finish up in my 7.00am slot on wednesday and the first thing I did was ask God for a new client for that slot. I went to see my Neurosurgeon Carl, remember him, this morning to get results of the blood work etc and at the end of that meeting he said to me I'd like to come and train with you but my times are very limited. I said when can
you train. You guessed it, Carl starts with me 7.00am next monday, and he wants his daughter to come along as well.

It works BIG TIME in my life, why don't you try it in yours.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The road less travelled

Liz, was kind enough to send this to me as a comment but I've decided to publish the entire text as today's post since I think it so relevent not only for me but for a planet of human beings living in terribly troubled times.

It certainly magnified for me the peace I have as a result of my relationship with my Creator.

Thank you Liz, a beautiful piece bringing beautiful peace.

From "Self abandoment to Divine Providence" Caussade, Jean Pierre de, SJ.

"Why do you take pleasure in tormenting yourself, as you might do over the future, when your faith teaches you that the future is in the hands of a Father who is infinitely good, who loves you more than you love yourself and who understands your interests far better than you?

Have you forgotten that everything that happens is directed by the orders of divine Providence?

But if we know this how can we hesitate to remain in a state of humble submission, in the most trifling and as in the greatest events, to all that God wishes or permits? How blind we are when we desire anything other than what God wishes.

He alone knows the dangers which threaten us in the future and the help which we shall need.. I am firmly convinced that we should all be lost if God gave us all our desires, and that is why, as Saint Augustine says, God, in his mercy and compassion for our blindness, does not always grant our prayers, and sometimes gives us the contrary of what we ask, as being in reality better for us.

In truth, I often think that nearly all of us are in this world in the position of poor sick people who in their frenzy of delirium ask for the very thing that would cause their death and who have to be refused out of pure charity and an enlightened pity.

"My God, if this truth were once for all well known, with what blind self-abandonment should we not submit ourselves to your divine Providence. What peace and tranquility of heart we should enjoy in every circumstance, not only regarding external events, but also with reference to our interior states of soul........Amen

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The road less travelled

Walked back into the commercial gym I sometimes train in here in the heart of Sandton which is a suburb of Johannesburg. Hey Bud where have you been, was the familiar refrain which actually made me feel at home. Time for a bit of chit chat, a quick hello to Claire Johnston who is an integral part of and the lead singer of 'Mango Groove' a well known international pop group and even as an international rock star she is just so cool and down to earth.

It's a beautiful summer's day here and life is just fantastic. Jumped on the treadmill and walked pretty hard alternating the speeds to try and get my heart rate up a bit. Followed this with some step ups to do the same thing and closed the session down with crunches on the swiss ball.

Didn't stress myself too much and always felt like I was working well within my limits.

Walking out of the gym into the fresh breeze I just felt like everything was going to be OK. I've been manifesting a healthy strong lean body and I just know that my Creator has come along for the ride. Isn't it just awesome to know that we can rely on Him to be there for us always.

I just couldn't imagine going through the trials and tribulations that I have, alone.

I've also got my dear friends to thank for incredible support, thank you, and a huge thank you to Carlos DeJesus for his mentorship, coaching and friendship, he is absolutely one of the good guys.

I'm extremely grateful for everything and everyone I have in my life and this alone makes the struggle worthwhile.

LIFE IS JUST FANTASTIC - live it to the full every single day.

Monday, October 27, 2008

The road less travelled

7.00am, client hasn't arrived. I have 45 minutes to kill....mmm, what should I do. I know I'll hit the weights. Just having that thought was a thrill for me since my infection hasn't allowed me to pick up the iron for some time.

Jumped onto the stationary bike for 5 minutes and felt the familiar rush of blood into my legs. It was all I could do to stop myself from making that 2 minutes and rushing over to the leg extention machine. Patience prevailed. I did a mental tune up of that intricate and highly complex machine body. How did my muscles feel whilst turning the pedals, any aches and pains. How was my head? how did my neck feel? Did some mobility exercises moving my head from side to side and up and down...which for me is about 2 mm each other words pretty much nothing. A major spinal fusion with titanium rods and screws from C1 to C4 doesn't really leave you much room to move.

I felt 'fabulous'. Everything seemed to be working OK with minor creaks here and there.

Onto the leg ext machine for a light set. Superslow, 1 set. Climbed off feeling my quads had been in some action and moved over to 'QUAD BLASTER'. One set again concentrating on form and my quads were blasted. I mean one set.

I worked through my program from Carlos slowly but surely and finished feeling like I'd just summited Mount Everest.

Man it's good to be back. This time it's for good.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

The road less travelled

There is NO doubt in my mind

thatBold I will be back beyond my previous best in the not too distant future.
I have absolute belief in myself, faith in my creator and trust in my coach and mentor C DeJ.

What am I learning in the meantime.
  1. Patience. " You just cannot push the river" This thing will go at its own pace and cannot be hurried.
  2. Gather information. It is incumbent upon me to gather as much information as I can in order to arm myself for battle and to make informed decisions. I mean I am fighting a war here. I have got good guys fighting the bad guys inside my body...weird concept.
  3. ABP - always be positive. I cannot allow myself to get negative...when that happens, the war is lost. I have much toBold be grateful for and I focus on that 'ALL THE TIME'
  4. Stay Happy - the best way to do that is to make other people happy. I set goals each day to do something small for others. That way two people have a great day.
  5. Know that the end is in sight - This war will not last - The enemy WILL be defeated and I will march on victorious.
  6. Always walk with an attitude of love - the best way to avoid stress, which by the way is a massive killer, is to greet everybody and talk to people with love. Not in a namby pamby way but in a way that demonstrates interest and concern in and for those with whom you interact daily. This is the absolute best way to heal yourself of anything.
  7. Stay honest. Finally, get real with yourself. I have been feeling really lousy but I'm not looking for sympathy so when people ask, I answer "Oh just fantastic thanks" "Phhh, yea right." What's the point, if they can see it in your eyes. The feeling isn't going to last longer because you admit to feeling terrible.

I'm actually feeling pretty good today and am thinking...I'm going to hit the weight room come monday and see what happens. Not a whim but a comeback strategy.

Just gotta watch my coin expenditure though, wouldn't want my banker Carlos calling me to tell me I'm in overdraft now would I.

Friday, October 24, 2008

The road less travelled

I've spent the week going back and forth to different specialists to try and figure out a way forward...nearly went back into hospital on an intravenous antibiotic I was feeling so bad.

Changed antibiotics as a result of finding a more resistant strain of infection in my system.
So I've had a fun week.

I got something from Carlos though that really put things in perspective for me and I'm going to share it since I KNOW it will be of great benefit and comfort to a whole lot more people than me.


I have a pretty good idea as to what is happening.
Actually this happens more often than most realize
but most don't have the medical background to
know what took place.

I think you are still healing.

I try to relate the body and its energy system to a simplistic approach.
I tell my patients that the body's energy system is like having a bag of 10 coins.
Each coin representing a unit of energy.
And each activity exacts a coin expenditure.

So, working an 8 hour physical job might "cost" 4 coins. That means you got 6 left for the day.
If your workout "costs" 4 coins, you only have 2 coins left on that day.
When you are healing from surgery or an illness or infection it may cost your body 7 or 8 coins per day.
You see where this is going.
We cannot survive intense workouts which may cost 5 coins if the body is trying to heal at the price of 7 coins a day.

And so that's where we are.

We are in a place where we need to spend most of our energy to facilitate healing.
So it is good news to know what's happening and what needs to be done. So once you heal, you can get back to the intense workouts.
Sound good?


Thank you Carlos, as usual a complex subject made simple by your gentle articulation.

I'll have a clearer idea as to how the surgeons want to proceed once we get blood work and further x rays back from the lab.

Monday, October 20, 2008

The road less travelled

Today it was the road a little more travelled.

My plan last week was to do a bunch of self motivation by way of 'affirmations', prayer, asking you guys to help me...and on that score I was overwhelmed at the response...thank you so much all of you for your support, it's helping. I also decided to do some exercise and go back to my 'roots' as it were.

Well with all the positive vibes and with God's help I awoke this morning with no headache, went to the gym and trained clients with no problem. Good start. I have just returned from a 30 minute tough walk around my hilly neighbourhood with no ill effects, in fact I feel great far so good.

I am awaiting cultures from the lab - maybe tomorrow, so we'll see.

A positive attitude has helped me feel better than I have been feeling and I believe I am on my way back.

Thank you again to all of you, you are fantastic.

Friday, October 17, 2008

The road less travelled

I have to laugh...I mean what else can go wrong?

I had a meet with my plastic surgeon today to uncover the cause of my constant severe headaches. The open wound from my last op is also not healing as it should.

Bottom line...he thinks that it is deep seated infection in my head and needs a further operation to get rid of the infection. This entails a large incision on my head under general anaesthetic and scrub and rinse until they think they have it all...then a 'Lautenbach drain' - a drain in my scalp which allows intravenous antibiotic in and then drains the wound and so on until 3 clear cultures are grown in the lab.

Sounds like fun huh! One thing, he has to wait until the 27th to confer with my nurosurgeon Carl...remember him, who is away until GUESS WHAT.

Enough is enough....I'm not waiting for anyone. God and I are going to fix this thing with prayer, visualisation and positive manifestation by the 27th.

In faith, I'm telling all of you, my wonderful shredding friends, that by the 27th October 2008 all my infection will be history and I will be back to feeling great.

I need your help though.... I want all of you believers to thank God for my healing, as it has already been done and I want you all to visualise a super healthy me training in the gym and living 'as if' my accident never happened.

As a collective group, a positive attitude and visualisation will help me enormously. Don't stop for the whole of next week.

I declare right now that in God's name I AM HEALED.

Let's watch a miracle unfold right before our eyes.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The road less travelled

There comes a time when the right thing to do, is....nothing. When your thinking is muddled and you have no answers, step back from the issue, and look at it 'as if' it didn't belong to you. Objectively it's a whole lot easier to seperate the ' wood from the trees '.

Where am I right now?

  1. Nursing an ongoing injury in back of my head, with great care
  2. Ingesting antibiotics for short of another two weeks. Taking pain pills for a massive headache that I've had for many days now. General feeling of malaise which is very unlike me.
  3. Unable to do any resistance training
  4. All of the above affects my emotional wellbeing

What do I do about it?

  1. Nothing I can do about 1 & 2 except continue the healing
  2. Step back to the beginning and start walking again together with flexibility and core training
  3. Change my attitude with prayer and focussing on helping others. Be grateful for all that I do have which is a lot.

In a month or two this will all be over and I will be heading onward and upward with a solid foundation on which to build a new me which will be far better than the old one.

How does this affect my "superchallenge" goal. Well clearly I am not going to reach my goal by Christmas so I've decided to ' suspend ' it until I'm ready to start training and then ' reinstate ' it.

I feel OK about that too because ' Life is a journey ' not a ' destination '.

It doesn't matter how many times I get knocked down, as long as I keep getting up ' I am a winner '. I will never give up.

Monday, October 13, 2008

My twenty week journey back to perfect health - 'THE SUPER CHALLENGE'

Week 11 Day 1

What's going on in my head?

I feel like a stray dog wandering the streets under the cover of darkness, sniffing around the garbage cans at the back of restaurants.

At times finding what I think is a tasty morsel only to find that the fine smelling bone has no meat left on it.

Almost having dirty dishwater thrown over me as I scavenge for...something, anything.

I run, always run, from well known spot to well known spot looking for...what is it I'm looking for, sometimes I forget and I just keep running, knowing in my animal subconscious that on some dark corner, after being shooed away by some terrified homeless person, I will find the peace I'm looking for under some warm overhang inside a broken down cardboard box where I can rest...lie down and sleep and dream about better times, just for a while.

Answers are what I'm looking for where patience is what I need. After suspecting another infection in my head and awating results from the lab I ponder the meaning of the analogy I have just written about.

None of the qualified experts seems to know much about what I can expect or when I can expect to heal or well anything really. My head hurts mightily, my bones and joints are sore and I move lethargically.

I am on another two weeks of antibiotics and have been advised not to train during that time....Back to the begining.

Now clearly, from what I've written it's obvious that I'm not feeling great about myself or my short term future. However I have been here before and I know what to do.

As in the analogy above I have a tendancy to want to climb under the duvet and disapear until I feel better.

What I am going to do the dog, I will withdraw, protect my self emotionally and allow the solution to come to me. I have been feeling very off colour physically over the past few days and today is no different. I am disapointed with my recovery from the infections and without any yardstick to measure progress by, have no idea of what to expect.

There comes a time, in my life, I'm talking about, where a little self preservation goes a long way and to me, this is part of the journey of recovery.

I know me well enough to know that in a few days I'll be writing about how great life is and I'll be craving the smell of steel and the thump of the music and I'll be feeling good again.

Until then I'm not off track. I'm just adjusting the sail for the wind, which is blowing a little sharply in the wrong direction. I'm still in the race, just a little slower.. for now.

If you don't resonate with what I've written, don't be concerned, I havn't gone loopy. One of the beauties of 'journaling' is that the author can often times write for himself only and find a sense of cartharsis at the end of it even though he knows the journal is being read by others. This is the case today. I've pretty much written for myself and in the process released what has been floating around in my head which in turn makes space for fresh, healthy thinking.

If you you do understand what I'm talking about ....we are kindred spirits.

Carpe Diem

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

My twenty week journey back to perfect health - 'THE SUPER CHALLENGE'

Week 10 - Day 3

What's going on in my head?

I am in a strange place right now. Having recently come out of hospital for the 4th time in as many months and right in the middle of my SuperChallenge I felt I had gone backwards. As I sit here today I feel that I take 2 steps forward and 5 steps back. This is because I feel fantastic one day and terrible for two days after that and so it goes.

Of course this plays havoc with a) mental outlook on everything and b) training. My training is done strictly according to the way I feel and although I havn't missed any sessions I am in no kind of routine which makes me uncomfortable...I like routine.

Mentally I'm feeling a little down and have taken a little time out to communicate with someone special...ME.

I have been evaluating what I spend my time on, what I'm doing that is productive and what I'm doing that is not. Then I'm re arranging things so that I'm doing what I need to do effectively and not waste time.

This is not by any means a cry of defeat....far from it, I'm simply cleaning out a few cobwebs and rearranging my mental hard drive.

I KNOW MYSELF and I am able to recognise that when I start feeling like this it's time for a clean out. Although I now have to factor in any down feelings I have as a result of my accident.

Confidence comes from repeated success and I guess what I am believing in, is repeated days of feeling good.

I still absolutely believe I'm well on track to successfully complete my 'SUPERCHALLENGE' and I'm looking forward to every day being a good day just like it was before my accident.

So...if you feel uneasy and can't pinpoint what's wrong...take some time out and spend time with the most important person in your life. YOU. Evaluate where you are supposed to be and go like heck.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

My twenty week journey back to perfect health - 'THE SUPER CHALLENGE'

Week 9 Day 4

What's going on in my head?

A comment from Eric really made me sit up and think and I think it needs repeating in today's post.

From Eric
Live your own reality.

"My fitness challenge has helped so much through this. Although no one is moving away, here in the states. No one is moving. As the owner of a building materials company, makes for a rough go of things. Every day I have started taking my employees (at least the ones at the main branch) for a walk. It is amazing the change in mood from just 20 minutes of movement."

Now, that's what I call a positive attitude in a negative environment. The US is going through maybe the worst time now since the great depression of '29 and when you own as Eric does, what sounds like a fairly large business you CANNOT afford to let your staff get down. Motivating, and keeping them motivated should be very high on your priority list and Eric has done this in brilliant fashion. Joseph Pilatus once said " The pre-requisite for happiness is health and fitness." to paraphrase him, and that is a fact.

If I were Eric I would be instituting a nationwide competition amongst employees in his building materials company to walk every day and I would be PUBLICLY rewarding people in each branch who walked the furthest each month, or the quickest or lost most weight or whatever, you get the picture. I would also reward employees who encouraged other employees to join the "Get Going and Get Fit Club" (You can use that eric :-))and I honestly believe he would have a much healthier (mentally, emotionally, physically, productively and financially) happier business were he to do this.

Why don't we all support Eric by committing to talk to SOMEONE in our circle, be it work social, church, wherever about getting off the couch and onto the road.

C'MON everybody, let's use those NIKE's for the purpose for which they were designed.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

My twenty week journey back to perfect health - 'THE SUPER CHALLENGE'

Week 9 day 3

What's going on in my head?

The fact that I've been out of action has felt very strange., almost like something is missing from my life. It seems that my computer is healthy again and on we go.

Writing for yourself is very cathartic, writing for others is downright scary. You put your self out there for people to jump all over if they want to. The upside is that you make a whole lot of great friends and...if you are writing in an attempt to help others, you don't take it personally if someone disagrees with you. So to be out of touch is very strange

Lynda, Margaret, Juli, Debbie, thank you for your concern and I appreciate your support, you are good friends.

I'm feeling pretty good for the first time for quite a while since my last op. I felt that I wouldn't train this week until I had finished my antibiotics but I felt so good yesterday that I made a gentle start back to weight training and I feel fine.

There is so much going on in the world....the bail out plan being rejected in the US, the UK and parts of Europe in recession, South Africa swearing in a new President that it's easy to get a bit down and feel that you are sinking into the quicksand of negative thinking. DON'T let it sink you.

Always ask yourself how the situation is affecting you. For example, here in South Africa we are experiencing an exodus of families who are emigrating to places like Australia and New Zealand because of crime. Dinner party talk centres around when you are leaving the country. The interesting thing is that when you delve a little deeper people are leaving based on heresay. Oh I read about crime in the paper....or, Oh my friend got hijacked. Nothing has actually happened to them. Talk about living in the future. How can you make a major life changing decision based on something that hasn't happened.

Remember that your reality IS different to your neighbours....don't throw the baby out with the bathwater...take stock of what is true in YOUR life and make positive things happen FOR YOU.

Your reality is in YOUR HEAD and the truth is, you can create whatever you want for yourself, and that includes the body you want and the health you deserve.

Don't allow depression to stop you from any situation that is getting you down ask yourself one question about your thoughts. 'Is this the truth'. The answer is generally NO and you can then get on with your reality.

STAY FIT AND STRONG through whatever is happening it will help you stay sane.


Tuesday, September 30, 2008

My twenty week journey back to perfect health - 'THE SUPER CHALLENGE'

Week 9 day 2

My computer is doing some very strange things so please bear with me and I am hoping to be back on line tomorrow.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

My twenty week journey back to perfect health - ' THE SUPER CHALLENGE'

Week 8 Day 7

For those of you that think I've done a runner....I've had computer problems and cannot get my Blog to work. I'm hoping I'll have it sorted in a day or two so bare with me.

Am doing this from a different machine just to let you know. Everything is cool and I start training again tomorrow...Can't wait.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

My twenty week journey back to Perfect Health "THE SUPER CHALLENGE"

Week 8 Day 3

What's going on in my head?

What do you want? What do you really want. Is your health and fitness the way it would be if you were dreaming it.

If it isn't here is what you do. Proceed with haste to

All the answers you need are right don't have to go anywhere else


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

My twenty week journey back to perfect health - ' THE SUPER CHALLENGE'

Week 8 Day 2

What's going on in my head?

Ever heard of a democracy in Africa where the head of state resigned voluntarily. Well now you have. Our president Thabo Mbeki resigned on sunday and a new president will be sworn in on Thursday. Talk about swift action WOW. Normally in Africa it's either 'ignore the results of a general election if they don't go your way' or a military coup d'etat.

Can you imagine George Bush, stepping down 9 months before his term of office is complete. No neither can I.

Anyway the point of this is knowing when to quit or change the plan. You have to stick with something long enough to know it's not working before you shoot off in a different direction.

Health and fitness is pretty much like that too. Plans, routines, whatever you choose to call them need structure and a way of evaluating wether they are working.

Particularly...when working with a trainer be sure to agree goals and understand how the training plan will help you get there. Same goes for eating plans. Understand WHY you are doing what you're doing. Do Not blindly accept that something is going to work.

Do your own research and always be comfortable that you are on the right track. I'm definately not saying chop and change but DO be sure you agree with whoever you are working with that what you are doing will work, based on his or her experience and training and then stick with it.

Then watch your life change day by day in a positive direction.

Monday, September 22, 2008

My twenty week journey back to Perfect Health "THE SUPER CHALLENGE"

Week 8 Day 1

What's going on in my head?

Well quite a lot as it turns out. Last monday at 8am I was at the rooms of my plastic surgeon...sounds really pretentious doesn't it, but actually it turned out to be quite serious.

I had discovered a soft pouch below my head scar which seemed to contain some sort of fluid and wanted to get it checked out. I'll pop along to his rooms get it checked out, take some sort of 'back of the head fluid reduction' miracle fix pill and head on to the gym to train, I thought.

Not quite. "What are you doing right now" he asked...I mumbled something incoherent whilst my feeling my skin grow clammy..."Oh dear" I thought, and since he took whatever I mumbled to mean 'nothing much', he followed his delivery up with " walk across to the hospital, check yourself in, I'm opening your head up in an hour and a half."

BANG - it felt like a 12 guage right between the eyes.

I did what I was told after moving cars, re scheduling clients, cancelling apointments, making necessary arrangements all in the space of half an hour and found myself being gentled into one of those very pretty hospital gowns with no back.

Interminable forms had to be filled in and it was deja vu.

Right on time I found myself lying in a bed outside one of the nine operating rooms at the Sandton medi clinic - my second home.

"Ahhh, hello Mr Macdonald", voiced a couple of the theatre staff soothingly as they scurried past to cut into some other poor soul, "welcome back".

I was wheeled into the theatre where I had a chat with the anaesthetist about what to expect. I knew it so well I actually told him how this was going to go.

Couple of hours later I woke up in the ward feeling awful. Turns out, after cutting my head open they scrubbed out quite a lot of infection had a look around and closed me up.

My neurosurgeon and plastic surgeon then appeared and started to discuss taking the hardware out of my neck or not, whether the infection was in my spine, the possibility of opening up my spine again, sending me to "nuclear medicine" to have all sorts of tests and the fact that I would be extending my stay in hospital for a week or so.

WOW. My girl arrived after they had gone and I'm not ashamed to say I had a mini melt down.
"I can't do this again" I said to her with tears rolling down my cheeks. I was really struggling with the concept of a major cut and scrub AGAIN. My very recent memory of this was NOT pleasant and although if I had to I would obviously go through with it but the overflow of emotion 'thinking' about it was instantaneous and uncontrollable.

My girl brought some balance to the situation and we started talking about the reality of the situation.

Neither I nor the medical team knew what we were dealing with until we had seen comprehensive scans of my spine and cranium.

No point in getting wound up about something in the future so focus on the present.

  1. Look for something positive out of this. The immediate danger of infection has been largely eliminated
  2. Focus on enjoying the rest.
  3. Make some new friends in hospital. I met a bald lady with a bad fresh scar on the top of your head at the admissions desk. As I walked past I said flippantly "I've got one of those, what happened to you." She replied " Had a brain tumour removed, my second." Gulp...I asked her what she was doing at admissions. "Admitting my daughter, she just had a stroke."

And I think I've got it bad. There is ALWAYS someone worse off than you are.

So, after all the tests and prodding and probing, it seems there is no infection in my spine and minimal infection in my head which is being treated with fairly strong antibiotics. I have to return every 3rd day to head my head dressed and I am hoping to return to training next week.

I feel like I have gone backwards and for that brief 'melt down' moment I allowed myself to wallow in self pity.

Upon reflection however, I got to have a good rest in hospital, found out I have no spinal infection (BIG WHOOP) made some new friends and became fully aware that I have the greatest motivation ever to get into and stay in perfect shape.


I blinked and lost a week but I'm back with a vengeance and by the end of this week will be back on the horse and training as hard as ever.

It's great to be back ....I've missed you.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

My twenty week journey back to perfect health - ' THE SUPER CHALLENGE'

Week 6 Day 6

What's going on in Carlos' head?

Following on from my comment about reducing weights and being more deliberate with the movement I received this from my coach Carlos DeJesus.

During any specific exercise, you form a direct link between the muscle being worked and your brain. The greater your concentration, the greater the result its that simple. Get negative thoughts out of your head, in and out of the gym.

As you perform each exercise concentrate on the muscle being worked. Form a mental picture of the muscle being worked. Imagine seeing them getting bigger and better. Feel the muscle grow and shape.

Train with a relentless drive and determination as though your very life depended upon completing each exercise, and watch your muscles bulge with shape and size. Nothing is impossible for you to achieve. Flawless symmetry, contouring lines of shape, dense muscularity.

Think the ideal physique into being, think nourishment to the muscles when eating, see the muscles transform as a result of the nutrition and exercise. Set in motion the chemical reaction that will cause CHANGE to take place in your body, through the mind by the power of thought. Positive thought (faith) has the power to change even the body chemistry, to affect the total outcome of the evolution of your physique.

Concentration intensifies the workout. intensity makes the exercise harder if the exercise is harder, it doesn't always have to be heavier!

I for one 'think' I will take this advice to heart and prove Carlos right.

Take heed, if there any 'secrets' to attaining the body you desire..these are they.