25 April 2021

Trite bites and a 5 point plan that works


I can do it.
Achieve and believe and it will be.
Attitude determines Altitude.
Its a mountain... I can get over it. 
Be who you want to be.
With the new day comes new strength.

BUT... no. Sometimes life throws you something different.

And often its a deliberate action of someone else... it may or may not be designed to deflect/deflate you.
And often its just circumstances... for example, our bodies react differently at altitude! 

SO... don't take on the blame for things outside of your control.

In life we then have two choices: either go with "fate", or control what we can and enjoy whatever comes.

Perspective

    A word... a philosophy. 

These are the things that work for ME. Bear in mind, what works for you will (most likely) be different...
1 - Spend time with family. Eat at the dinner table, go for that walk, play Uno (and don't keep score).
2 - Spend time with yourself. I run, far. It allows me to spend a little time with friends and some time with just me.
3 - Sleep 8 hours. Its great for your immunity and general mood. (I'm happy with 7+ hours, but aim higher).
4 - Encourage positive thoughts|feelings, but recognize all thoughts and feelings and deal with them duly.
5 -  Do what I can... work in my area of ability and with others who are strong where I am weak.

And then this week coming... wait for it ;) 

18 April 2021

Nelson Mandela Bay

 This is my home.

Named for an icon. 

A Long Walk to Freedom... his memoire. 

I often think of the representation of that metaphor in my own hobby: ultra distance "running". Yes, there is much walking.

His walk included his whole life: my walk just a few days here and there. Privilege. I am blessed... and I will use it to be an ally to the "underdog". Mandela's walk included 27 years of hard forced labor.

History has a way of repeating itself under the leadership of amoral humans and those led by the thought that their fate is unchangeable. 

The most dangerous leaders are neither those elected nor those of means. Rather it is those that every day meet in the same threads, in the same fa├žade, in the same clothes, to make the same outcome; and perhaps one of them will get lucky with a few more "promotions" than the others and "have no more worries". Think of American politics over these last 5 years. Think of South African politics both under Apartheid and under Zuma.

We make the world in which we live. Let us live together for the togetherness; ubuntu (I am because I am with you).

I believe this ubuntu extends to the planet; our history shows many cultures taking advantage of rather than working with: parasitic behavior over symbiotic behavior. 

You may have seen movies like "Seaspiracy" and "Stroop: Journey into the Rhino Horn War". These show amoral structures in society, corporate and nationalist ideologies at their worst: it IS us. We are part of it. Until we all change it.

How?

Its a long walk... made up by a lot of small actions; it will include both hard labor and rest.

Those with a measure of privilege should (and many do, make no mistake) all support the voices and the actions of those less fortunate. We should support Women and Black Business Forums. Diversity IS strength. Community IS unity.

So we need to look at linking our fate into that of the planet... because survival is broader than an individual, a family unit, a micro-culture.

We need to recognize it all. We need to acknowledge all the differences and celebrate the strengths and weaknesses they bring to the "whole" of us. 

So... let's give it tusks, shall we. Let's walk this road together.

11 April 2021

Being beaten and getting up better

I've had a dream for 18 months. Its a big dream, tall. It will require many steps; and contributions. 

When lockdown hit, the dream was deferred... and then again. Why? We wanted to do it well! We, ubuntu.

Last year there were a few others who "beat" me to that dream... folk that really deserve great kudos for their efforts. 

So what are we doing? That's right... Putting our heads down and going even better.

So we are building a team... No, I'm not telling you to "get in" now, or that you "must" join me! It certainly is not going to be easy if you do decide to commit. And I will hold you accountable to your commitment.

I'm asking you to spend to support a dream. Technically it isn't even my dream!! I'm asking if you'll invest money in our future together. And if you're really wanting to splash out, to spend some time with me, too.

I'm going to have to run far; its going to be hard, and there'll be some mountains to ascend to achieve this. 

There are two things I need you to support in order for us to do this: on "our" behalf. After all, we're citizens of Earth together and you may not want to run far and hard (or even at all... #LancasterLovely thinks my kind of running is a silly idea). 

If you have some spare change right now... 


  1. I'll be running The Tusker in July... they're fundraising to secure the Eden to Addo corridor, an ancient elephant migratory pathway that humans blocked over the last 400 years. With numbers of these giant creatures growing at Addo, wouldn't it be magnificent to see them spread their migratory habits down to the Garden Route again? Support here: Steven Lancaster - Tusker Corridor Warrior :: Champion Page | BackaBuddy : Goal of R25000 (USD 1700)
  2. You'll have to wait a little to hear (yes, you'll need to tune in) about my next adventure! For YOU as an individual, why don't you "plant a tree" in the desert. I wrote a few months back about the benefit of living in a green community; these benefits extend especially to those communities that are currently dust, tarmac, and high density dwellings. So planting a tree brings food, happier surroundings, and pleasing economic benefit. Do it... Plant a Tree | Community Conservation Fund Africa | CCFA Goal: 600 trees!

    • For clubs and businesses: get a cluster together. 10 trees is R3000 (USD 205).
      • Yes, there are statutory benefits to donating.
    • I'm also looking for a presenting partner (or two) who can showcase themselves for the duration of the campaign as well as in legacy materials.
There are a number of people that have already partnered or volunteered time and services. These include marketing, safety, coaching, marshalling, security, socks, etc. Do you want to give but don't know how? Message me here or on my social media... Facebook or Instagram

Are you in? Yes, NOW | Next month




04 April 2021

Grace and discipline: a life of thirds

Balega Impis Celebrating Life and Friendship
Guinness World Record holder, Sharon Jessop, and energizer
bunny, Dawn Nunes, meet in Gqeberha with me for a Balega
Impi story sharing session... Dawn is aiming at 13-peaks in May. 

2 weeks since the last post... At the start of the year I said: every week, the discipline of a blog will keep me sane and you informed... And I thought about this a lot 2 weeks ago.

But March was stressful at work and sweeping Addo 100 is its own library of stories... which will not be recounted here, because my goal is to get you "involved" in my climb in September (subscribe here and follow me on Insta or FB and make sure you don't miss the news; and see the last picture)!

So last week, after averaging 4.5 hours sleep a night (sorry Ren) and topping it off with 42 hours awake at Addo, with 60km sweeping + 20km running (80km / 50 miles) at Addo Elephant Trail Run 100 miler, I gave myself some grace when the icy wind and rain started; I climbed in with the funnest extraction vehicle out there (thank you Marcus and Bushpig Adventures). And then I gave myself grace when I got home: I cleaned up, spent some family time, and went to bed early... 5-year old early!

Stressed?

It is funny that this is a lesson that 100 miles taught me: there will be good times and bad times... know when to celebrate and when to give grace. Perspective is an education, I tell you.

Addo, like Ultra Trail Drakensburg, like many other ultra trail races have 3 sections (apply own distances below; I've applied Addo/UTD distances here):

1 - the first third: this is "easy" (0-58/73km). You've trained for this. Your body is coping well and your mind is focused.

Keeping the main thing the
main thing with #LancasterLight
2 - the second third: the struggle for success (68/72km - 128/130km). Here the first real demons start to creep in. You go through the night and possibly a day into the next night. Your body feels like its pushing harder than it actually is... and sometimes it lets you down. That's life. 

3 - the final third: slog and celebration "sprint" (128/130km - 162/172km).  Here you either make it or you don't... most races have more than enough time (I'm not talking Barkley!). You will need to have managed the first two thirds well enough to "walk it in" if you've blown. But mostly you can at least finish that last kilometer and "breeze" through the finish line with a sweaty smile.

Know that IF the wheels fall off in the second third, you've probably pushed too hard in the first ;) Take it easy, tiger. Patience is key. So is training. 

For my memories at UTD I have had to give myself lots of grace. I knocked the wind out of myself at 75km with poor fueling, and a fall at 110km and still finished in 2019. I let a friend down at 130km... he did not finish (and it is one of two reasons I really want to go back to UTD). I let another friend down at 140km... fortunately he did finish (excellent sweeps there, too). 

Tobie in his 87th 100 miler and Eloff
tackling Addo 100 miler don't "need"
support, but always lean on their team.
It makes them great people!
At UTD, if you have an opportunity to use pacers for your final third, do it. If you're from out of the area, ask on the Facebook group... there may be a person keen to inspire you, and be inspired by you.

And if you can, apply these lessons to your life a day, a week, a month at a time...: live the first part "easy", but with intention. Live the second part harder, but checking in at the aid stations and making meaningful connections and progress. And finally, finish strong, with a great team around you, and celebrate every little thing.


A hint at my plans. Keep R300 aside for my charity... #PlantATree #ChangeTheWorld


How long is your shadow?

We'd spent the day climbing. The trees far below seemed small. The stolen clementine had been a sweet treat with which to start the trek...