Monday, June 30, 2008

THE CRUSADES - by dougal macdonald Chief Evangalist - Day 18

For those of you, my good friend Lynda, and others who recall last monday's post, it seems that back into hospital for a general anaesthetic and plastic surgery is going to be a reality. Will have more next monday but my neurosurgeon is concerned about a wound at the back of my head which is healing but won't be strong enough and will probably keep breaking through graft city here we come. Another trip to the land of nod courtesy of happy gas.

Back to something more interesting tomorrow


Sunday, June 29, 2008

THE CRUSADES - by dougal macdonald Chief Evangalist - Day 18

A beautiful crisp sunny sunday and my girl and I are off to look at some of the beautiful gardens she has built. Double dose of beauty with the gardens AND the girl.

How can I go wrong.

Have a splendiferous day

Saturday, June 28, 2008

THE CRUSADES - by dougal macdonald Chief Evangalist - Day 17

A drawing I did a year ago of Nelson Mandela as a gift.
You'll understand when you read my post

I have found a new love.

Not the kind that would cause my girl to head off to the nearest gun shop to acquire something, that would remove my manhood in the most brutal way possible.

No no, it is .....writing.

I have always felt an affinity with paper, when a pen is in my hand, filled with royal blue ink, or as it was when I was a little fella, and now pecking on the keys of my lap top like some crazed chicken in the coop searching for the last of the corn scattered on the earth earlier that day.

I also draw, a little, and used to do all the creative thinking for the advertising agency that I once owned. I think I can safely say that I possess a modicum of creativity coursingthrough my veins

The question is "Am I the only one who thinks so?"

Seriously now, this post is really for the purpose of research and I need honesty.

I am aware that there are a lot of people who read this blog, who do not comment. I have no problem with that but what I'm really looking for is feedback as to whether I should write a book.

Maybe on my story and others with similar stories on coming back from near death or major disability and fighting back to rise and go on to do great things. Stories of hope and inspiration and courage all poured into one book.

A simple yes or no would be good, I'm not looking to get my ego stroked, I pay others to do that already. LOL

Would you buy something like that?.......what would you pay? e-book or hardover/softcover, or both.

If it's a resounding NO, I'll just continue to get pleasure from my blog and I do, but I would really appreciate as much feedback as possible.

So...can't wait to hear from you.

Have a great weekend.

Friday, June 27, 2008

THE CRUSADES - by dougal macdonald Chief Evangalist - Day 16

I got nothing.

Normally what I want to share with you, usually pops into my head at some stage the day before, and kinda takes shape as the day goes on, in my mind, so by the time I am ready to put quill to parchmant, so to speak, I know exactly what it is that I want to say.

Today I got nothing.

Well actually that's not strictly true....I wanted to give credit to my special girl for voluntarily turning her own life upside down over the last 4 weeks, actually 8 weeks, but we both have the same mobile phone and she took mine....and so...I hear you say.

Well mine has all the pics on it that I wanted to use to illustrate and support my story.

Let me say this though, my girl, has had bronchitis, her young son has Pneumonia and here I am whining about the special attention I need ALL the time..."Well I do have a broken neck you know." "I am in terrible agony you know". Girls stop that...I can see you doing that thing where you roll your eyes to the ceiling. Been there, done that have you.

One of her friends actually asked her the other day "How's that hospital you're running at home working out for you then"

A bit tough when you are the nurse and the patient.

Actually we have butted heads a few times but nothing like the running of the bulls at pamplona or the bison on the plains of Texas. Just gentle hints at me pulling my weight around the house.

Actually I think I've probably played the sympathy card long enough. Apart from the continual excrutiating pain across my shoulders. The guy with the vice around the back of my head. The little guy sticking a red hot poker into my neck and up through the top of my head every two minutes... oh and my Darth Vader collar 24 hour a day, which by the way, has little children sprinting for the exit in shopping centres, there's actually nothing wrong with me.

Waiting for a table at crowded but very popular "in" coffee shops is a breeze. I simply pull my beany way down on my head and do my best Darth Vader voila. The best seat in the place is instantly available.
I don't think, however, that management is too impressed that the rest of the place has emptied as well....all for the bill for a strawberry/mango juice and a blueberry muffin, and a latte for my girl. I mean, c'mon dude, I had to break my neck to get in here after all.

Yup, not much wrong with me.

So on this crisp, beautiful, sunny day in South Africa with frost lying white on the I said....

I got nothing.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

THE CRUSADES - by dougal macdonald Chief Evangalist - Day 15

I'm really excited today. I have a physio friend of mine coming over to help me understand physiologically what heavy metal I have inside me and how it affects movement and mobility now and heading into the future.

We will also talk about my return to upper body conditioning. I'll be working with Theraband to start with...(flexible rehab bands with differing strengths) in order to build up to using actual steel.

I'm able to start doing actual gym workouts for lower body so I'll be heading into the gym next week.

I believe that getting into the gym for lower body will help me rehab my upper body because of the neurological stimulation to the upper body.

Obviously this will be an advantage in prepping my upper body for actual weight training.

In the meantime I continue my walking program and will do my 4+km fartlek (speedplay) today.

WOW, I'm real excited about the future and each day is a big adventure for me.

I'm grabbing my 2nd chance, (although my friends tell me I must be on about life 16 by now, yes, yes.. I've been the adventurous type throughout my life and I don't understand sitting still...this has resulted in a few closecalls but nothing like what I've just been through.) with both hands and running with it as fast as I can. there another way?

Life is a fantastic exciting, wonderful adventure.....IF YOU HAVE SOMETHING TO LOOK FORWARD TO.

Go find something.....well, go on.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

THE CRUSADES - by dougal macdonald Chief Evangalist - Day 14

Two VERY Powerful ReasonsWhy
Saturday, 21st June 2008 WORLD PRW (powerful reason why) DAY
Conceived by Debbie the CEO from
This is a brilliant idea and one in which I'm proud to participate.

Why do we need a PRW? and why on earth do we need a World PRW day?

It's simple. If we want to achieve anything we need to tell people about it because we need help and support and we need to be accountable.

Practically all procrastination happens because no one knows what YOU PLAN to do.

We all believe that we are trustworthy but how trustworthy are we actually, if we continually fail ourselves. How can we ask people to trust us if we habitually "put off" the things we promise ourselves we will do.

If we arrange a meeting with someone and, we just don't pitch. Say we do that again and again.How does our credibility look to that person? Well, candidly, it stinks, and we'll be seen as untrustworthy and unreliable

How different is that from promising ourselves over and over that we'll do our tax return today and bailing on it over and over.

THERE'S NO DIFFERENCE. If we can't do the things we say we are going to do, how the heck can we tell others we have integrity and ask them to trust us.

So....PRW's originally conceptualised by Adam Waters and the World PRW day conceptualised by the CEO Debbie, is a brilliant way of building integrity within yourself.

Put yourself out there with your goals and dreams, take action daily, do what you say, report your progress to your accountable partners and little by little you will become a giant, and one with whom others will associate with the word INTEGRITY.


I need help and support to achieve my health and fitness goals. I therefore need a platform on which I can set down my dreams, bare my soul, be encouraged by others in whom I can place my trust, are of similar mindset, and reciprocate with encouragement and advice, when asked for.


Why # 1 It is critical for me, and I desire, to attain peak physical condition and remain so for the balance of my days on this planet. I have seen first hand the life sustaining value of being strong and healthy.

Why # 2 My body is a temple and it is an insult to my Creator to lay waste and neglect what I have been so lovingly given.

Why # 3 My personal mission is to "empower 5 million people to find and fulfill their purpose through health and fitness. I CANNOT evangalise looking like a schlump.

Why # 4 Being out of condition does my head in and I'm exhausted from fighting myself about what I stick in my mouth.

Why # 5 I want to LIKE the way I look

Why # 6 I've been in peak condition before...I KNOW what it looks like and I want it back.

Why # 7 Because I am a shredder, I have by inference, made a promise to all of you, that my commitment is to attaining peak condition and performance and I will not let you down.

Why # 8 Because personal integrity is paramount to me and this is one of the ways that I will build and keep building it.

dougal macdonald
"work in progress"

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

THE CRUSADES - by dougal macdonald Chief Evangalist - Day 13

Happiness is 'BEING ABLE TO WALK'

Heading out the door for my speed walk today and just felt overwhelmingly grateful that I could walk. Sounds kinda silly to an able bodied person.

Then I thought about some of the incredible "challenged" athletes we have in this beautiful country South Africa.

Oscar Pistorius had his legs amputated at a very young age and has grown up with prosthetics He has also grown up to be a very fast runner. He has had special blades made to enable him to run. Biomechanically he would have a hard time running with traditional proshetics.

This incredible young man...early 20's.....has been fighting a major battle with the international athletic authorities to.....get this.....ALLOW HIM TO RUN IN THE OLYMPIC GAMES....yes he's that fast. Up till a short while ago he has met with a brick wall. "He has an advantage with the springy blades", they say.

Advantage over what, able bodied guys with REAL legs. Give me a break, are you kidding me.

Anyway, he has finally been allowed to compete in Beijing....all he has to do now is beat the Olympic qualifying time.

Can you image a kid with NO legs's biggest challenge being to QUALIFY FOR THE OLYMPIC GAMES.

The least YOU can do is get off the darn couch and walk around the block,that's a start.

By the way, my speed walk today, 3+kms, a new PB 27.49. Down from my original 1 hour. Looking forward to Fartlek (speedplay) 4+kms on thursday.

Please ask all your non-exercising friends to read my blog...and maybe we'll get another 100 people to fall in love...with health and fitness. Our lives are so precious, don't waste them watching people ride a mountain bike...Go do it yourself.....NOW.

Monday, June 23, 2008

THE CRUSADES - by dougal macdonald Chief Evangalist - Day 12

Went to see the neurosurgeon today. sigh....looks like I may be going back into hospital for another op for some plastic surgery.

Is that another setback....nah, it's a step in the right direction. Hopefully after this I'm done. My scar is healing nicely and doesn't look so much like a butchers shop any more.

I'm feeling great but it's going to be about 3 months before I can hit the weight room. another sigh.

What can I look forward to...hmmm, oh yeah, tomorrow is a walking day...yoo hoo.

Saw "The Freedom diaries" last night, wow, what an inspirational movie. Now there's a case of someone changing things...with less than zero help from her collegues and superiors. Came at a cost though.

Maybe that's part of the message...Balance.

We all need balance in our lives otherwise the cost of whatever we are doing for good is negated by the fallout we experience.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

THE CRUSADES - by dougal macdonald Chief Evangalist - Day 11

Early sunday morning, and today is a rest day. Rest days, doesn't translate to GUILT days. I've seen a lot of people feel very guilty about doing nothing. It's part of your program and your body needs rest as much as it needs exercise.

Your body does not grow in the grows while you are resting.

So if resting today is part of your plan take the rest and enjoy it with a clear conscious.

Go do something fun with your loved ones.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

THE CRUSADES - by dougal macdonald Chief Evangalist - Day 11

In your terms it's micky mouse for me it's HUGE.

I came out of hospital 3 weeks ago and struggled to walk 50mtrs. Today I walked 5+ kms....

Looking back to 3 weeks ago, if someone had said "you'll be walking 5kms + in 3 weeks time I would have been reaching for a phone to book them into a nuthouse. Yet here I am, having done it...and feeling fantastic.

Isn't life a gift.

Go do something that'll make you feel really good today and ladies that doesn't mean heading for D&G or DKNY or PRADA or JIMMY CHOO's and so on...I mean do something really simple for someone else....I promise you'll feel better than if you had bought a really expensive pair of shoes. ummm, well maybe not, but do it anyway.

Friday, June 20, 2008

THE CRUSADES - by dougal macdonald Chief Evangalist - Day 10

I wonder where Hunter S Thomson is now. For those of you who are not familiar with the man he was an american author popular in the sixties for his book Hells Angels. He then wrote Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas which was semi autobiographical and about a drug crazed car trip over a weekend. This was turned into a movie.

The man had a huge following starting in the 60's. His first wife and friends say that from his early 20's and throughout his life he was a drug addict and a functional alcoholic.

He lived very large and died in 2005 after putting a bullet through his head with one of his collection of firearms for which he had a morbid fascination. He was 67.

CAN YOU IMAGINE THE POWER THIS MAN HAD TO INFLUENCE AN ENTIRE GENERATION OF PEOPLE, some of whom may have been your parents. I'm NOT saying they all bought into his lifestyle.

In the 21st Century I believe we are independant thinkers, by and large, with different role models, people like Tom Venuto, Adam Waters, Hugo Rivero, Alwyn Cosgrove....again I'm talking about a sampling of the population.

We have a thing called choice. Whether you believe that or not WE DO.

Which is yours, to make a difference the healthy way or to think that Hunter S Thomson was cool.

We need to wake up FAST....This planet is slowly being burned to death by us through greed and selfishness and we need to change that fast.

IF YOU SUBSCRIBE TO A FIT AND HEALTHY LIFESTYLE, go and tell as many people as possible....or, maybe...just light up another joint and disapear to a perfect fictional planet somewhere far far from THE REAL WORLD.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

THE CRUSADES - by dougal macdonald Chief Evangalist - Day 9

This is my last word on Woods, of the Tiger variety, I was astounded to read that TW played the US Open with an ACL injury - anterior cruciate ligament, AND multiple stress fractures. Now, I'm aware of the pain involved, I see these things in the gym and the physiotherapy practice, so I'm astounded that he played in the first place with those kind of injuries, much less won the darn thing.

I'm not saying it was a clever thing to do, because he's now had to take the rest of the year off, but man his drive, and level of commitment is unbelievable.

As for me....I did my 4+ km fartlek (speedplay) walk yesterday and had fun. I can feel myself getting stronger every time I go out. Lower body work today.

I had a post comment today asking me if "You are always so chipper" which made me think about it...
"am I"...honestly.

Well now let's see ...
Firstly, I'm exeedingly grateful that by God's grace I am alive, Miracles do happen.
Secondly, I'm exeedingly grateful to able to go walkabout.
Thirdly, I'm exeedingly grateful that I had comprehensive medical insurance since this thing so far has cost around R400 000, thats about $60 000 US.
Fourth I'm exeedingly grateful that I had a fantastic young trainer to step into my business seamlessly, and clients that were prepared to train with him, so my financial fallout for that business is minimal.
Fifth, I'm exeedingly grateful that my property investment business is running on it's own with minimal input from me.
Sixth, I'm exeedingly grateful that my girlfriend was prepared to change her whole life to nurse me back to health (we do not live together so it was a major adjustment for her and her children)
Seventh, I'm exeedingly grateful to discover that I have a heck of a lot more friends who care about me than I thought I did,
Eighth, I'm exeedingly grateful to all my shredder friends for wondering where I was when I disapeared off the planet and asking.
Ninth, I'm exeedingly grateful that I AM able to take recovery time at home.
Tenth, I'm exeedingly grateful that my Faith allows me to know in my know in my know that I will come back better than ever before and be able to encourage thousands of people to health and fitness WITH YOUR HELP.

I could go on all day but I know you've got things to do so.......

Am I always so chipper....well, yes, I guess I am.


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

THE CRUSADES - by dougal macdonald Chief Evangalist - Day 8

Going to start a new walk routine today. Based on traditional running programmes I'm going to do 1 x fartlek (swedish term for speed play) session, 1 x speed session and 1 x distance session per week. I will continue my 3.5k route for speed, add a 4+k route for fartlek and a 5k route for distance and we'll see how that goes.

I know my friends and family and people I know will say "you are pushing too hard" but....that's the only way I know. Heck how do you think I got in this position in the first place.

Every time my girlfriend (who is 14 years younger than I am) tells her friends or people that she knows about my accident they ALWAYS say "What was he doing surfing at his age." Her retort is "hang on a minute, you don't know this guy."

Excuse me....what are people OF MY AGE doing to get healthy and fit WATCHING sports on TV...c'mon.

Age is a chronological number, what difference does it make how old you are...if you see something that interests you "get off the couch and get fit enough to participate." You'll change your life forever.

That comment really cracks me up. "what is he doing surfing at his age" as they take another drag on their smoke and another sip of their beer, with Nike's that are only worn by another trip to the fridge.

The world needs more shredders...join the Crusade. LET'S GET HEALTHY.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

THE CRUSADES - by dougal macdonald Chief Evangalist - Day 7

Just to prove - I DO STILL HAVE A NECK. It looks a bit dodgy and it is bionic...but it's still mine.

Like I said, Woods will win the US Open. If you havn't read yesterday's post. I said that Woods would not lose even if Mediate played great.
I'm not being arrogant when I say....and this is my opinion....mine only....Woods never believed he would lose and Mediate never believed he could win....and Mediate did play great. He is a really likeable guy, but Woods has had way more "mind" practice than anyone on the planet and "As a man thinketh in his heart so is he".....say no more.

Onto what's on my mind today.

I be happy we need to be serving that means "what can I do to help .....fill in the dots. What can I,I,I do.....not, how can I change the other person. You're on a hiding to nothing with that philosophy. You can only change yourself....that is the only thing that you have control over. If that all sound convoluted let me simplify.

If you work with someone who in your opinion is not doing their job, you can try all you like you will never change their attitude until you change yours.

Again let me use Tiger Woods as an example. Tiger Woods could care less about his opposition... he is tooooo busy being the absolute best he can be. Result, top class professional golfers are upping their game big time to try and catch him. Tiger has single handedly changed the aesthetic face of pro golf.

When Tiger is not playing, he is in the gym, when he's not in the gym he's practicing, when he's not practicing he's building a school for underpriveledged kids, or doing charity work or, or, or.

Those that care have started doing the same thing.....Those that don't are.....umm....John Daly.(don't get me wrong.I think he is a charitible guy, he just seems to be doing all he can to kill his career. He has as much talent as any of the guys on tour. In fact after a round Daly and the guys were having a beer when Woods came by wearing gym gear. Daly said something like "The gym again Tiger" Tiger replied " John, if I had your talent I wouldn't have to") Woods is the epitome of a pro golfer...He looks like an athlete, he moves like an athlete, he is articulate, he always says the right things....I'm pretty sure that Jack ....the greatest golfer that ever played the game, would have been in the gym if he had been playing in Tigers era and I'm sure that Arnie would have given up smoking.

Apply all of the above to your personal life and I guarantee you the people around you will start to up their game....or...they will leave.

BE A ROLE MODEL FOR YOUR STAFF and your staff will die for you.

Take full responsibility for YOU. Work on making YOU the best you can be and others around you will come to the party.


Hi my name is Dougal, and I'm a health and fitness addict...
I hope you are too.

Monday, June 16, 2008

THE CRUSADES - by dougal macdonald Chief Evangalist - Day 6

I love golf and I am lucky enough to have been to San Diego, La Jolla and to have walked around the Torrey Pines Golf Course...this years home of the American National golf championship "The US Open".

I dragged myself out of bed to watch the final hour or so of the US Open at 2.00am South African time. Yes, that's how much I love golf.

As I switched on the TV I saw Mr. Woods hit a terrible shot but neither he nor I got stressed about it. Why, because in golf the game is never over until the fat know the rest, and we are talking about Mr Tiger Woods here.

Fast forward and Woods sinks an unlikely...for well most mortals... putt to tie Rocco Mediate to win the US Open. The most difficult test in golf wherever it's being played. the heck does a guy who has not played competitive golf for 60 days, following KNEE SURGERY, which is STILL bothering him, playing BADLY, tie for a WIN in a major championship. And there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that he will win the play off today. even if Rocco Mediate plays brilliantly.

Here is the HOW and the point of my post today.

Firstly the guy came out of the womb with a 3 iron in his hand, so clearly he has the skills. But then so did another 100 guys playing in "The US Open"

Tiger Woods has an extra club that oustrips the club that the others also carry and that is the one between his EARS.

As a young boy Earl Woods taught Tiger the etiquette, good manners AND belief in himself. Tiger Woods never doubted for one minute that he was ever going to lose, even with the DRAWBACKS, which I guarantee you, he, embraced and turned into positives.

So what can WE learn from that.

Well for me it reinforces my belief in "AS A MAN THINKETH IN HIS HEART SO IS HE". Other people may have shaped my past, but only I will create MY future. Everything starts in the heart and mind. Think about it. You say to yourself "Ooooh that looks great, I'd love to try that....then your heart goes naaaaa, far too, tough,dangerous,time consuming...pick a word. And we forget about it and move on.

Little victories lead to big victories lead to major victories lead to world records lead to Olympic gold....and so on.
That's how life works.

Start with a BIG dream and a LITTLE action step....and with each action step you are closer to your dream. The more successes you build into your heart and mind the more dreams you will be prepared to take on.

Create positive affirmations for yourself and keep them close. DON'T LET THEM GO. Of course they sound ridiculous the first time you say them. When Trevor Immelman was 5 years old he told his father and Gary Player he was going to be the best golfer in the world. YEAH RIGHT. This year at 28 he won the US Masters at Augusta...and the Green Jacket....the most coveted prize in golf. A massive step closer to his dream.

NEVER LET YOUR DREAMS GO - but never stop doing the small things that will make them real.

Health and fitness is an every day thing...even rest days are part of the plan. Your affirmation should be "I love to exercise and I'm healthy, fit and strong." When you start believing it, you are a winner.


I drove a car again yesterday...just around the block, didn't kill anyone. It felt pretty cool. My family wern't impressed.....BUT.... I HAVE TAKEN BACK CONTROL OF MY LIFE.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

THE CRUSADES - by dougal macdonald Chief Evangalist - Day 5

It's fathers day....and...since I'm a father, I'm taking the day off today. Can't wait to see what colour socks I'm getting.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

THE CRUSADES - by dougal macdonald Chief Evangalist - Day 4

29.52 - A very significant number but before I tell you why.....the answer to your question is NO, I'm not out of my mind....I wish I was going skiing but I don't think it is on my "to do" list for a little while.

It is a beautiful cold winter morning on the Hiveld and I'm dressed for my walk.
This picture has just been taken and the thing that really struck me, is, that I'm smiling.
I suddenly realised that I havn't really smiled for quite a while. Well today I'm really, really happy.
WHY? When I woke up I got out of bed and gingerly walked the 30 or so paces to the kettle. ......One needs to have a cuppa tea when one awakens, does one not...very civilised.
What struck me was that my legs were very sore. My quads, my hammy's, my shins...No, couldn't be, could it....DOMS, delayed onset muscle soreness. But I was only using body weight for yesterday's leg work. Wow what a realisation.
I then started smiling and got HAPPY. I have reached rock bottom. Isn't that great. I have no place to go but up....and I mean way up.
Rock bottom isn't always a bad place to be. yes it hurts, emotionally, yes our pride gets dented, yes we wonder what will people who know us think of us.
Well, when we cut through that pile of garbage we will find that it's a heck of a lot easier to start anything from rock bottom than it is from half way up.
Ever tried a diet and just sailed through to your goal...well that's because you started guessed it..rock bottom.
So if any of you are at rock are ready...hook up with a friend, or ask for help and support from a shredder, read Adam Water's blog, and get going.
Yes TODAY, would be good.
By the way, that number at the my walk time today - down from 40minutes
Whoooooo hoooooooooo!

Friday, June 13, 2008

THE CRUSADES - by dougal macdonald Chief Evangalist - Day 3

I can't tell you how grateful I am that I have played a small part in helping people to keep going on their own health and fitness crusade.

I'm grateful for the new people I meet every day online, people like Julie and Meredith.....and OF COURSE my dear friends "The usual suspects", the shredders.

I mean Julie has done amazing things with her life in just a few months, and that's APART from looking incredible.

Single mothers have their work cut out for them and I have the greatest admiration for all of them.

My own personal mission statement is "to empower 5 million people to find and fullfill their purpose through health and fitness." Now I can never do that on my own talking to one person at a time, so the more people I can get to help me online, the better I am fullfilling my own calling.

So thank you to all of you who are getting something out of my blog. Don't keep it to yourself, share it with as many people as possible.

OBESITY is NOT an option. Help change the world today, NOW.

I chat to God every day....I'm absolutely NOT being blasphemous, I just have a personal relationship with Him and we chat...that's how I, ...note I, again I...believe it is supposed to be...for years now I have thanked Him for adversity since if I embrace adversity how can there be any downside to my life....and I'm not poo pooing balance, of course balance is important but when I thanked Him the other day I said Father, I know I thank You for adversity but did it have to be such a big SMACK upside my head.

I mean, I've been through SERIOUS adversity, and pompously I say to myself "hey man you very nearly lost your life".... that same day I happened to be at a mall with my girl holding my arm, since I was feeling super weak...and sorry for myself, when I saw a father carrying his 6 year old, wearing pyjamas, lovingly in his arms. The boy's mother was walking slowly behind them.

Something made me stop Mom and ask her what was wrong with her boy. "We are taking him to Cape-Town for a heart transplant" she answered almost silently, head bowed.

BANG, another whack upside my head. I gave Mom a big hug, which she accepted with tears in her eyes, and I stupidly mumbled something like " Everything is going to work out fine." before moving on in a daze.

I said to my girl, I can walk on my own now, thanks, and I said to myself, "get over yourself and change your attitude right this second."

WOW, what a wake up call. No matter how badly off you are, get over it, there are people out there with problems much bigger than yours.

I suddenly had a light bulb moment " God tells us things in strange ways, IF WE listen."

Trained today - 3 x 10 sets, squats/calf raise supersets and some shoulder work. Body weight only....wouldn't want to get tooooo big toooo quickly would we. LOL.

Have a fabulous weekend and enjoy your health. It's up to YOU.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

THE CRUSADES - by dougal macdonald Chief Evangalist - Day 2

I AM HUMBLED, by the tribute that appeared on Bobs blog that has my name on it.

This is a fine young man who has decided to make a committment to health and fitness because of a visit to the "Master's" site Adam Waters.

He has a great blog with a very powerful Look and Feel and I urge all of you to support him through his own journey.

Merci Beaucoup, mon ami....magnifique.

If my story can help one person to get off the couch and use his mouth to evangalise health and fitness...I'm eternally grateful.

OBESITY is no longer a "fat thing" it is an EPIDEMIC, a DISEASE. Take a look around our shopping malls at fat kids being PUSHED in trolleys by fat parents.

We all have an OBLIGATION to be strong and healthy if we are to be effective in a world that is becoming Ineffective.

How much credibility do we give a doctor who smells of smoke or a nutritionist who is over weight. Or a trainer who clearly is not eating what he advocates. (and I used to be one of those)

Adam Waters gave me hope and has done the same for thousand's so if you've lost motivation GO BACK TO HIS SITE and read it again. Find what it is that will help you and GET OF THE COUCH.

I'm exercizing 10 days out of hospital with a broken neck...WHAT'S YOUR EXCUSE.

Saturday my 3.5km walk took me an hour today 40mins, I'm stoked. Legs tomorrow and some shoulder shruggs

It's a beautiful sunny winter's day here in South Africa and I'm thankful to be alive.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

THE CRUSADES - by dougal macdonald Chief Evangalist - A 28 day shred


Week 1

walk 3.5kms x 2

lower body squats + calf raises + stretching x 2 (body weight)

= 4 days of exercise
As you can see I'm going large right from the get go.(LOL)
As the heading says, I'm doing a 28 day shred. Really what that is, is for me to normalise my life as much as possible and to me that means starting to eat properly again and to start the routine of an exercise program.
So shred is a bit of a misnomer but I wanted to be in sync with the othe shredders so I choose to use the correct terminology out of respect to all of them.
Once this is complete I will be in a better position to evaluate and decide on my progress from there.
The past is done, this is a new day and with a new found respect for my body I ENCOURAGE WITH ALL THAT I AM, those who read Shredder blogs, and in particular the blog of the incredible guy who started all this, Adam Waters, if they havn't START EXERCISING, today, NOW...Tomorrow may be too late.
The Evangilist has spoken - let the Crusades begin

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


A week after Op 2, Carl was the bearer of brilliant news. " The infection is gone, you can go home friday."

The funny thing was....all of a sudden I felt anxiety. I had been in hospital for a month and I was afraid to leave. I had to walk away from my comfort zone.

Well friday came as did my girl, to collect me and a very wobbly Dougal walked out into brilliant sunshine and more people than I'd seen in a long while. Out into the car park cars were easing themselves into tight parking spots with decorum but through my eyes I was sanding in the middle of a dodgem car rink with them all aiming at me. It was weird.

Driving home in the pasenger seat I realised how bumpy the roads are...funny how I never noticed that before.

I've been home just over a week now and I get stronger every day. I've shed some tears about my plight only once but I guess I can be forgiven some down times.

The day I came home I could only walk about 50mtrs around the garden (seriously).. on saturday I walked 3.5kms, so I'm really making progress.

My attitude is very positive and apart from having to relearn how to drive, eat, read, walk etc, I'm still the same as I always was.

I do not take lightly what happened and now treat myself with much greater respect. I think this will be a good thing for me and I believe I will end up physically much better than I was before.

I start my new shred with all of you, but from a different place. It'll be a while before weights are included in my training routine but I'm not training for the Olympia so that's OK.

Obviously I can't do any upper body work for now, but I can do lower body and I can walk.

I lost 10kgs (22lbs) in hospital and it was mostly muscle. My attitude ...I'm glad I had the muscle to lose.

So all in all - I'm back from my vacation - just a little bionic ( titanium rods, screws and wiring to hold me together) is all and with a new card in my wallet which will get me through airport search points.

Thank you all so much for your prayers and good wishes, they often brought tears to my eyes...


Monday, June 9, 2008


Very simply Septicemia is the presence of bacteria in the blood (bacteremia) and is often associated with severe disease. Septicemia is a serious, life-threatening infection that gets worse very quickly. This was going to be fun.

I was scheduled for surgery at 4.00pm and it was going to take an hour...or so, my neurosurgeon, Carl said. Oh yes we were on first name terms by now.

Having been cut open a few days before that, I was a touch more tense, knowing what to expect and was jabbering on like a monkey in an amazon rain forest, to the nurses wheeling me to theatre. Yes Mr Macdonald, nothing to worry about Mr Macdonald, we'll have you back in the ward before you open your eyes Mr Macdonald, you'll be fine Mr Macdonald

3 hours later I woke up in my ward with my girl holding my hand asking if I was OK.

NO I WASN'T, I WAS IN EXTREME PAIN, felt like I hadn't had water for six months and just wanted to PUNCH someone. I felt TERRIBLE. A syringe in the upper outer quadrant of my butt nudged me back into the land of nod.

The next few days were HELL, well maybe not, but it felt like it.

I couldn't understand why I'd sailed through the first op and was struggling so much through the second.

Carl, my NS....first name terms remember, articulated it perfectly. "We had to scrub a helluva lot of infection off, flush it out and keep scrubbling and flushing until it was gone. We then had to cut some of the bone away coz we couldn't get all of the infection off it." He brought his monologue neatly to a close with...." It was a lot worse than I thought."

Now that explanation scared me so I can imagine you reading this and going "BIG OUCH".

I then had to deal with an intrvenous drip and a drain. Drip and Drain, Drip and Drain Drip and Drain until the blood cultures came back clear of infection.....three times. This took over a week, flat on my back since I coudn't move..

The other reason I felt so bad was that I had gone into the original operation a strong healthy male.
I went into the second operation very very ill. Makes perfect sense I guess.
Pop in for Part 6 tomorrow
At last I was seeing that the light at the end of the tunnel was not a giant locomotive coming at me at speed.

Sunday, June 8, 2008


The surgeons said that my upper body strength was a major contributing factor to my still being on the planet. NOW we all know for SURE that regularly spending time in the gym is the right thing to do.

I was healing nicely and it was time to airlift me back to my home in Johannesburg. Arrangements were made and I found myself back in an ambulance and on my way to the Port Elizabeth airport.

Lying in a stretcher in the middle of a commercial airliner is akin to David Blaine and his goldfish bowl stunt. Everyone stares at you, trussed like a chicken, as they walk past, clucking in sympathy for their perception of my plight. They had removed six seats in order to fit me in.

A shot of morphine and the trip was a breeze... we landed in JHB two hours later and after another ambulance trip I was hapily esconced in a private ward at Sandton Clinic.

My JHB nuerosurgeon came to see me and ordered some blood work to be done. He returned the next day with shocking news.

You have Septacaemia...we are going to have to operate you up and scrub the infection out.

Yipee, something else to look forward to.

Part 5 tomorrow


Saturday, June 7, 2008


Emergency medical staff are AMAZING. As we rolled into Greenacres hospital in Port Elizabeth a team was waiting, Nuerosurgeon included. Bumping out of the ambulance and into a new bed, wearing a black surfing rash vest, black and blue board shorts and half of the sand on the beach, actually wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. The morphine was working big time and by that time I thought every body was a cool dude. Drugs do work people. ;-)

Staight to ex ray and cat scan. Lying still in the cat scan machine also wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. Drugs again. From there to Hi Care and my home for the next few days.

The nuerosurgeon appeared at the side of my bed and out of my very limited peripheral vision looked like a a nice young man...until he started talking.

"You have very serious injuries....have smashed several cervical vertibrae and have what we call a hangmans fracture, we need to do major surgery."

Now your own research on Google, don't take it from me....people DO NOT survive a Hangmans fracture. Why do you think it's called a hangmans noose...coz it's Guaranteed to kill people.

The surgeon said he needed to stabilise me before surgery and proceeded to drill holes into my head. Lovely, like I havn't had enough trauma. The scafolding followed and I was left looking like and exhibit in some new age art gallery...Mohawk haircut included.
Following stabilisation and a catheter...ouch... I was scheduled for major surgery 2 days later.
I am a very active guy and lying very still on my back for 2 days was a lesson in discipline in itself but I got through it.
2 days later at 7.30 in the evening I sad goodbye to my new friends in Hi Care and was pushed to theatre. The answer to your question is..the nuerosurgeon said he works better in the evenings. Cool let's go.
After a preliminary chat with the anaethesthetist and a suck on some stuff in a mask he gave me , I was intubated and disapeared into the land of nod.
5 and a half hours later at half and hour past midnight, I heard a voice. "Mr Macdonald, Mr Macdonald...are you awake. I came around slowly and the very chilling next question was " can you feel your hands and feet."
"I can" I answered without thinking about the heaviness and extreme importance of that simple question and with that I was wheeled back to Hi Care.
Game over? - successful? - not by a long shot.
look out for Part 4 tomorrow,

Friday, June 6, 2008


My choice to let go at that point or fight for my life was easy. My family were sitting on the beach waiting for could I not fight.

At that time my girlfriend saw me and realised something was very wrong. She met me at the waters edge and I remember sinking to my knees and and grabbing her legs for support and saying to her out of a pain filled haze " Please, you've got to help me. I'm in big trouble." My surfboard was still strapped to my leg by the leash.

She and the surf instructor gentled me up the beach a little and lay me in the sand. My pain was unbearable. Within minutes there was a sea of faces above me and I can remember saying "if nobody here is trauma trained, get away from me." Through the pain I knew how serious this was.

A trained trauma crew and an ambulance were needed STAT. The nearest hospital with a theatre and ICU was an hour away.

I had to compress the next hour and a half into 15 second slots in order to handle the pain. To visualise an hour, plus, at one time was just unthinkable.

People on the beach swung into action and within 15 minutes a trauma ambulance with trained personel were on the beach barking orders. There is a small hospital in the village where a trauma ambulance just happened to be hanging around.

The paramedic was incredible. A real take charge kind of guy and within minutes of realising how life threatening my injuries were I was trussed up on a trauma board with my head in blocks like a thanksgiving turkey.

Minutes later, the ambulance, I, and a skinfull of morphine were on our way to Port Elizabeth at 180 kms per hour with my poor girlfriend trying to follow in a Landrover, having had to organise the welfare of 4 little ones at the same time.

I felt every bump in that road.

I was still in a huge amount of pain and was fidgeting on the stretcher. They pumped me full of pethadine which made me want to vomit. That would have been fatal because they wouldn't have been able to turn me over. Anti nausea medication took care of that.

My overiding memory of that trip was the paramadic saying to me repeatadly "Mr Macdonald, If you don't lie still you are never going to walk again."

Part 3 tomorrow

Thursday, June 5, 2008


29th April 2008

I was loving my vacation. Our beach house was exactly that...50 steps down from the house onto the beach. A double story overlooking the ocean...magnificent.

My family and I were having a fabulous time. I'd been surfing every day...twice a day actually, out on the point, deep water, in the very early morning and a beach break during the day so that I could be with my family during the day on main beach, St Francis Bay, One of the most beautiful places on the planet.

Tuesday the 29th was no different...a magnificent sunny day, the ocean as blue as it could be. Swimmers, boogie boarders, paddle skiers all just having fun. My kids were on the beach, my girlfriend chatting to a surf instructor....I, was surfing the shore break.

As far as shore breaks go this one was a biggish wave that formed very quickly and if you didn't get onto it smartly you were going to get dumped.

I have been surfing since I was 12 and have studied the ocean all this time and I have great respect for the sea, I figured I could get onto this wave quick enough to make it a fun ride.

I got smacked a few times...but that comes with the teritory, I knew that and I persisted.

My final wave started was forming nicely from right to left and although the take off was really steep..I went for it.

I was too late on the take off, ended up on top of the wave and "went over the falls" (got dumped)

Trouble was I got thrown head first onto a sand bank. Water immediatly started filling the channel and before I knew it I was chest deep in swirling water, the current trying to pull me back to sea.

As soon as I hit the sand bank my head exploded and I knew I had broken my neck. I mean I heard the bones break. I was instantly disoriented, felt badly nauseous and had the most excrutiating pain in my head.

What do I do now? I had a choice. Fight for my life and find a way out of the water ..... or just give up, let go and drown.