Running: Lionshead

This run had me so good, felt like going right back up when I stopped back at the bottom where I started. 🔃🏃🏽💨

image

Sunrise View of the Harbour and Cape Town City Bowl from Lionshead

On the way up it felt like my quads were on fire 🔥. I forgot the intensity of the gradient – literally. Normally on the night prior to a run or gym I’d plot a mental plan for myself, I’d try manage my approach and expectations; clearly I didn’t plan for how steep the climb was gonna be today – but I Ioved every little bit of the pleasant pain that came with it. 🤔💭

I love people, I love physical activity, scenic views and therefor of course the outdoors (nature) 🌳. You have to experience the community of walkers/ climbers/ trail runners when you’re up there. I’m incredibly humbled by the ones who you can see are struggling, the elderly that bravely venture up there; I mean wow. 👊🏽 And it brings me back to my personal “kick-in-the-*ss” question; “WHAT’S MY EXCUSE!”

The last time I came up here was with my crew. Going up made me think of 2 people in particular; my home girl Euiodia and my ride-or-die, Chantal. The last time I came up here Euiodia pushed herself to and through all kinds of physical limits and mental barriers to get to the top. Thinking of it today still brings back the same emotion of determination I felt walking with her a couple months back. Chantal never came up here yet; I’d love her to though. We won’t go up and back down in around an hour though, it’ll be about the journey, the realization of the very real connection between hiking and life – the symbolism they share – and the appreciation of that view from the top when you know you busted your *ss to get there. It does something for me and I know it’ll be even better with her here.

I observed people standing, resting, gasping for breath; because that’s what the hike does, it doesn’t just exhaust you physically, it drains you mentally as well. It’s such a metaphor for life again because that’s what life does to us; it batters us to the point of failure and in that moment we’re left to decide whether we’re going to give in or give just one more step. Oh man, so when I got so tired at the beginning of my run (when my quads felt like caving) I pictured of a difficult struggle that I’m dealing with in my life… and then… I took a deep breath, I lifted my head, looked that incline in the eye, I dug my heels in and ran harder. 💥💣💥

image

View of Campsbay from the top of Lionshead

There is certainly, to some degree, something spiritual about running; in pushing your body beyond its preferred comforts, inhaling enormous amounts of fresh air and feeling the beat of your heart in your chest as it works tirelessly to transport oxygen rich blood to the organs and fibers that needs it most for the given activity. I think besides being spiritual, that it creates an appropriate environment to organize my thoughts and it encourages me to improve my mental agility as much as I’m attempting to shape my physical nimbleness.

Yeah, I like it a lot and to Lionshead; I’ll be back.

Advertisements

Smile Because it Happened.

What a fitting quote [by Dr. Seuss] to start a brand new year with. I saw it on Twitter earlier and it inspired me to quickly sit down an write this post.

dont-cry-because-its-over-smile-because-it-happened-148Today will be my first day back at work after my festive break and I’m finding myself sitting here – writing this – with a smile on my face.

This has literally had to be the best holiday that I’ve had in my entire working life. It was jam packed; with friends, family lots of laughter, lots of food, lots of wine, a long walk on the beach, reflections and realizations of how easy it is to miss out on things that are actually important in life.

Now, I feel focussed and ready for the 2015. 2014 was tough, but it was necessary and good. There were many milestones that I’ve [you’ve] managed to check off my [your] list and that should inspire us to keep moving forward and setting our bar even just a bit higher in all areas of our lives.

So to you (my; friends, family and acquaintances) who returned to work today, let me take this moment and welcome you to it.

Here’s to more success stories, to reaching more milestones, to learning more new things and smelling all the flowers as we go about achieving our ambitions.

Image Source: http://www.quotesvalley.com

Contagious Passion | Meet: Craig Willemse

It was Albert Einstein that was quoted saying;

Einstein

“If you cannot explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”

I agree.

I was booked to attend a two-day First Aid course here in my home town, Cape Town for the past two days. And at the course – I want to say that – I was fortunate enough to meet a guy who gave meaning to the quote I used to open this post. This man inspired me so much over just two days that I dedicated an entire blog post to him.

Enter, Craig Willemse. Craig is a passionate, [young] confident lecturer at Clinical Dynamics and volunteer for the City of Cape Town’s Metro Ambulance Services. Craig lives in a small West Coast Town, Atlantis and has a simple dream; He just wants to work on the ambulance and when he says it, you can see [no wait] you can actually feel that he means every single one of those words leaving the confines of his well articulated mouth.

I have a tendency to get bogged down heavily on details and if the details aren’t clear at the outset of any task or project, I’d get stuck into research, trying to puzzle the facts together before I will actually get started on the task at hand. I have this inclination to want to be able to at least be able to explain something to myself in a way that I’d be able to make sense of after someone has explained something to me and for this reason, I will ask a lot of questions.

Now, if someone makes the time to make content so simple that I (Elridge) don’t have to get bogged down on the details, I could probably get excited and ace any exam on any topic.

Here’s what’s remarkable about Craig’s style of lecturing. I got this very vivid impression that the content for him is useless unless his student convincingly grasps what he’s trying communicate. And when you get it, he gets passionately excited for you; my gosh, that’s refreshing.

Craig Willemse

When you have a question, he stops. He comes over to you and listens. He makes sure he understands what you’ve asked, explains and finally confirms that he’s given you an answer which puts your understanding of the point or topic in line with what he aims to have you to take out of it.

He used his personal real-world experiences to help me bring the content home for myself and most importantly, remember it. He stayed away from jargon and if he needed to use jargon, he wouldn’t delay on coming to the fore with a well-thought through explanation. I genuinely felt that he had my (his student’s) interpretation of this information at the top of his priority list.

Not once did I feel that he wanted to show off how much he knows with the examples he made of some interesting experiences he’s had in a variety of situations while in the line of active duty. He stuck to the basics with everything and during the practical and even the theory bits of the training insisted that we ALWAYS do the same. He insisted that it’s easy to become blasé about your responsibility as a ‘first aider’ but that the dignity of our patients and the primary objective of our presence should always overshadow this propensity.

I take my hat off to the person(s) responsible for this man’s training because with every one of his lectures given, he’s passing on the passion. If, this obvious love for what he does [however] stems from pure internal drive and an inherent source, I salute the level of commitment he attaches to his work, it’s deeply inspiring and absolutely amazing. I almost seem to doubt that he’s aware of how much he gives, which is naturally the case with humans who’s literally living their life’s ‘calling.’

I end with another one of my favorite quotes where someone once said;

“If you do the work you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.”

Thanks for being an inspiration Craig! You deserve every bit of success coming your way.

Image of Albert Einstein: http://bit.ly/1u3w7hY | Image of Craig Willemse: Used with Permission

Audio

Quotes from Songs: ‘I Go for Broke’

Untitled

I can literally apply this line to every aspect of my life.

… I go for broke, a lesson I can’t afford, but for what it’s worth I’m ready to pay… For the rest of my life!

When my determination’s burning a whole in my chest and I just gotta go for that thing that makes me come alive. When that feeling’s that strong, the cost to accomplish it is then but a fraction of my concern.

This track takes me to that brink, every-single-time, and I love it!

  Rest of My Life – Ludacris Feat. Usher, David Guetta

Image Source: http://goo.gl/9pn07I

Nothing Controls Me, Until I Decide To Give It My Permission To Do So.

I'm Doing This for MeToday was a pretty BIG day for me, I’ll tell you why. Thirty days ago I agreed to a sugar-free challenge with a very close friend of mine – someone I consider to be an older sister, a person I have a lifetime’s worth of respect for. I am so happy that I agreed because, today marks DAY 30 and therefore the end of the challenge, yet the beginning of a brand new lifestyle for my wife (who was in on the challenge – and was totally amazing), our kids and I.To understate what, and how I feel… I can only but say that I feel, absolutely, amazing.

Don’t get me wrong, I won’t and cannot say that we went completely sugar-free, but the cut-back on our sugar intake was in my view notably significant. It is important to note, the principle behind our decision; to take back control from what we believe was dictating our eating habits, that completely dwarfs the nitty-gritties of this challenge.

Trust me, there are some of my very close friends who will remember me taking a whopping 8 – yes you read that right, I took EIGHT – teaspoons of the white stuff in my coffee up until 2002. In that same year I cut back that intake to a meager two in… just one decision. Then in 2007, with the encouragement of another amazing friend, I cut it right down to zero in [good] filter coffee and remained on two in any other forms of caffeine.

In addition to my passion for the powder in all things edible; I love cake, fizzy drinks, tarts, chocolates, the list goes on but guess what, I made it through 30 days without any of it and that in itself is amazing for me, Elridge.

I think what stands out for me about these last few days and what I’ve learnt from my personal experience, coming through what seems like a process is this. Sugar didn’t control me. It was me telling myself that I needed it, because of cultivated bad habits which I developed and nurtured over time. I realized that I am not dependent on anything unless I choose to be. Yes, nothing controls me until I decide to give it permission to do so.

Now, looking back, I am proud to sit/stand here -30 days later – knowing I’ve accomplished something which I (after I gave my yes) thought I would never get through. I’ve taken control of another area in my life and look forward to do the same in the next.

Truth is, I’ll only get one shot at this life, why not live it healthy, free and full of energy. Oh and I feel good, because this time… I’m doing this for me!

Image Source: http://goo.gl/cHj0zx