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.