31 January 2021

Setting goals changes things

Last week I laid my goal out here: 7.45 to 8 hours of sleep a night. (Were you awake enough to catch the pun?)

Well, I failed. By minutes. I then had a nap yesterday and pushed the average to 7 hours 50... so, did I make it?

What do I need to change this week to hit that goal without the nap? Screen time before putting the phone down. Easy. 

I listened to a podcast with Dr. Ivan Misner this week on "givers gain". In it he quoted someone (forgive me... I'll go and find out and let you know) saying wisely: "give from your saucer, not your cup". So to my second point...

Something I won't leave to chance is the opportunity to challege racism, sexism, or privilege overpowering the weak. Occasionally it means I get less sleep. But right now, I have projects in the pipeline to pull solutions and change into focus, 3 people at a time. 

Drop me an inbox on FB or Insta... Happy to chat, challenge and be challenged!

Let's talk... #TrailsAndTales (It ain't just a runner thing).

And next weekend, I'll announce one of these little plans. You three can expect calls tomorrow!

"For in sleep we dream, and in dreams we create, perchance to live free and in commune with Earth and each "other". "

24 January 2021

Insomnia - a poem and a solution

Why can't you sleep?

What causes it in me? Stress... good or bad! And of course long distance running ;) 

Last week I had two great meetings on one day! That night I was too excited to sleep, and yet the next morning I woke up refreshed... because:


Into the night

Now I run

So many things

Off the list

Mainly to love

Now I go

Into the night

And all aglow.

Where is my bedroom?

So what then, is my trick to get a good night's sleep? Well, I need to get my mind off of the "present" stresses. And so I meditate on a physical action... something repeatable. It is kind of like an earworm for the brain, but more pleasant. For me, I go to the action of bowling in a cricket match; both interesting and boring. And I sleep! 

Sleep is the best medicine (laughter, the 2nd best... and apples are over rated!) Sleep helps keep you healthy, recover from stress (physical or emotional) and recover from illness!

So this week... my sleep goal is 7.45 - 8 hours of sleep a night! What is yours?

Sweet dreams.

17 January 2021

Teamwork - 7 tips to get your best team

There is only one starting point to your team... knowing who is on it.

My team includes my family, my boss and some work colleagues, my biokineticist, my life coach, my athletics coaches, my training partners, and some key brands who support my dreams. 

Make no mistake, these relationships are mutual... I am on their teams as well! It is give and take for each of us. Let's "run" together...

Here are a few tips on choosing YOUR team!

  1. Pick experts. Knowledge built on logical education is key. The more knowledge available to the team, the more solid the foundation.
  2. Pick experience. This, combined with knowledge, allows your team to "intuit" great answers quickly.
  3. Shore up your strengths before working on your weaknesses. If you lose your strengths, all you have are weaknesses. So have someone who adds to your personal strengths on your team.
  4. Prepare for the worst... you likely won't need it, but you need to know what you should do. This saved my life (possibly) or at least my kidneys! Unless you're a pessimist, it may be a good idea to include one on the team. They will help you prepare for the worst, but with the other members now fully engaged in avoiding the worst case scenario, your chances of success just quadrupled.
  5. Your team should be able to communicate with you and each other... effectively. Look for those who give you the Spanish Inquisition.
  6. Look for those who know how to make a plan when the going gets tough! The original plan is great, and necessary, but the real successes come when adapt it to meet the challenges.
  7. Look for passion... especially the passion for their role in your team. They should want to be great at what they do.


10 January 2021

Meaning - a trip to matter

I have thought about avoiding politics and judgement on this blog. Today I will lay some meaning out on that.

Running has helped me keep focus. Relationships have kept me alive.

There is a Biblical verse that translates: Judge, but be aware that the terms and conditions you use to judge others will be used against you, too. (This verse is often translated simply as, "don't judge others", but that is a ridiculously privileged misappropriation of scriptural meaning). So these comments come with an invitation for you to judge me and comment here.

A lot has gone on in the world this last year. Truth has again been under assault. Many times in politics (and often religion is used) truth is blurred; in a manner of speaking it is hidden in parables that can have a variety of meanings and those meanings are left up to the hearers without correction.

So to be clear on where I stand: those that incite hate and division should be met with equal passion for unity and love. Love is not always soft. In fact, we regularly celebrate love with one of the hardest substances on Earth, a diamond. It is expected to last through tough trials, times and tempests. It cuts. It reminds. It demands. It judges. 

Sometimes keeping quiet is inciteful. (For the silence of good men, evil triumphs) It is necessary to stand on the side of "good". It is necessary to be known to stand there. Be visual. Be vocal.

It is important to be feminist against misogynists. Gender-based violence (and sexual orientations other than binary or your own) starts with words; challenge those with truth. Jokes that demean or belittle are not funny; call them out.

It is important to support statements like Black Lives Matter. 2020 and the beginning to 2021 flung stark contrast to gatherings of majority black and majority white in our faces (particularly in the UK, USA and RSA). Law enforcement often met majority black gatherings with force. Those same police met majority white gatherings with peace, open arms, and even a path into the heart of power. Privilege exists institutionally. Call it out.

Fighting for the intrinsic value in everything might even be considered blasphemy by Christians (especially fundamentalists; but they often can't see that their causal condition and actions are similar to fundamental believers in other religions). However, until we act equally to all others, we must take the side of those who are hurt. We must side with the underdog.

So in 2021 I will be taking two "trips" filled with meaning: one {edit: to be announced} on 26 March, and the other the 2nd weekend of July. In the lead up to both, I will trail and tale with any who wish to join me... let's talk. Let's dream together. Let's build integrity and peace. 

Funny postscript: at college I was accused (wrongly overall, but maybe true for that college) of being the first male feminist. It is now an accusation I wear with humility.

03 January 2021

WII-FM

WII-FM. A radio station? An #earworm? No... a common sales acronym, actually. 

What's In It For Me. What does your prospect want out of this? What's in it for them? A buckle for a 100-mile finish?

I'm not your ordinary guy. I think we are in this planet together with each other: humans, animals, plants, water, rocks, dust. Everything. In scientific terms: its all matter. 

And healthy matter is important. So when something is unhealthy, or not well, or just "down" from where it should be, then we need to all focus on getting it back healthy, well, and "up". This is why #BLM, #Conservation, and other forms of restitution are important. They right the balances.

Nature is great at reclaiming, redistributing and restoring. So many lessons can be learned from it. 


Probably my favorite memory from 2020 was sweeping the last 60km of the Addo Elephant Trail Run with George Minepetros. It was brutally hot with temperatures exceeding 50 degrees Celsius. We picked up the last runner, Altie, after "Ellie's Tavern", about 30km out. She shuffled on. She slept. She walked and hiked. She made it. George's cutting insights kept her focused, while I joked and distracted. Each of the aide stations volunteers played their parts so that Altie received her brilliant Addo buckle... 

Then Covid hit. Lockdowns, challenges to physical, economic and mental health became everyday battles. And Jack Ma said, "the first order of business now is to survive. If you survive you are already in profit". And I think that perspective is exactly on the button...

That perspective:

  • is how Altie finished 100 miles
  • how you (and I) survived the challenges of a plague
  • what we need to maintain for 2021 especially
  • what we need to help others do for going forward... WII-FM is also how I help others... uBuntu, if you will: I am, because you are.
This could lead me into why I believe a universal basic income is good within a capitalist-styled system that offers greater reward for those wanting more; how a cap on wealth might be a good idea; and how most people actually do want to contribute to your success and the long-term health of the planet, but that is for another arena.

Today: perspective. Survive, find fun where you can. Love.

Volunteers - call to action

Have you ever been up Everest? No, neither have I! The highest mountain I've climbed was Thabana Ntlenyana (Lesotho) at 3482m above sea ...