27 June 2021

Circles Concern Imagination Intent

Covid-19 has plagued too many. This week last it touched us. We've always been as careful as we can with the circumstances we've had to face. But it found what we all assumed was our most reclusive link! An aerosol virus is difficult to predict.

How do you react to adversity? I read a Stephen Covey book many moons back, possibly 25 years ago. One of the key take outs for me was the Circle's of our lives. He spoke of the circles of control, influence, and concern.

We should be interested in all the world has to offer; it feeds our imagination. And of course the goings on in our world affect life as we know it. The world and its happenings should be of concern (some more than others). This is our Circle of Concern.


But
, we can only control our actions. Have you ever tried to tell your toddler: "don't touch the sweet!"? How did that work out for you? We can control picking up the sweet and putting it properly away... our Circle of Control. 

Sometimes our influence works, and sometimes we need to attract others of influence to make a broader change together... a kid will listen to a teacher where they won't listen to their mom or dad. Ironic. 

Here's my take out: work where you're effective, and don't sweat where you're not. You can't change the world, but you can plant or adopt a tree! 

Last week we announced I'll be running a ridiculous amount of hill repeats to get you to Adopt-A-Tree... but this week I've been in isolation. What happens to training? (Well we only found out late Tuesday, so that meant a few days of running free; then throwing back to garden running like last year. I did sneak out one morning really early and saw nobody! And today, when allowed out I went either too fast or too short! haha

Imagine living in a village of patched houses made of iron, wood and plastic windows. Do you intend to stay there? What barriers can you see in front of you... you have none of your current friends. In fact, they probably drive straight past you standing on the side of the road. And your kids? Where are they? At school, you hope?

Imagine being able to give safe places for food to be grown... to people that will ensure the gardens are protected and cared for, that the trees will survive to adulthood providing shade, oxygen and better food security. Imagine. 

Intend to make a difference now... with what you have. With me, Adopt-A-Tree.


Adopt-a-Tree and help the "Greening the Community" project. Indalo Nursery will ensure the trees are cared for in the schools and safe places they are planted. They will bear fruit. They will change lives. It's less than a cup of coffee a day this month!

So to our Covid-19 affected family... Fortunately we all appear to be okay, in spite of contact. My small family, #LancasterLovely, #LancasterLight and I are out of isolation as of today. #FatherLancaster and #MotherLancaster have chosen to isolate longer, which I endorse: they were vaccinated this last Monday, and by Thursday should have 75-80% immunity! We pray for #BrotherLancaster, #SisterLancaster and her parents that they remain okay, too.

20 June 2021

Everesting: in the footsteps of Hilary (and van Bergen)

Of all the motivational quotes to which I have access, this one was chosen for me:

‘You don’t have to be a hero to accomplish great things – to compete. You can just be an ordinary chap, sufficiently motivated to reach challenging goals.’ (Sir Edmund Hilary)


And in order to stay motivated for my #BigDreamsLittleSteps moment in September I have teamed up with the Community Conservation Fund Africa and Indalo Indigenous Nursery. I'll be Everesting, they'll be raising funds and planting trees! We hope to have 600 trees for Kwa-Nobuhle township in Nelson Mandela Bay before my birthday (Christmas...). Yes, we'll be "Greening the Community". 

Click here to read more

What do all these words mean?

Everesting - pick a hill (any hill) and climb it as many times as necessary to accumulate the height of Mount Everest (8849m) in one activity... I hope to have 24 hours to do it (but that may be cut by curfew; as this event has already been postponed 18 months by said virus)

Tree planting - is all good and well, but if we don't have a safe place for these trees to survive and caring individuals and community to look after them, then its not sustainable and not worth the investment... this project is very much worth the investment.

So we have an invested community (mainly schools for now), and individuals taking care of these planted trees (Blackie and his team at Indalo). They'll be planting fruit trees (both food and economic benefit), hardwoods (shade and longevity), and spekboom (food and oxygen) in these schools. These trees will be visited on follow up occasions to ensure their survival and thriving. More will follow.

We have a connected and reputable organization collecting and accounting for the funds raised, the Community Conservation Fund Africa (CCFA). They were started by The Mantis Collection's Adrian Gardiner and the Accor Group's Adrian Boynton, and with such notable board members as the late Ian Player, Andrew Muir, and Mavuso Msimang, this organization is ideally placed to assist not only a community in Nelson Mandela Bay, but communities throughout Africa. 

Using programs such as these, we stabilize communities mental and physical health, as well as their economic well-being. In so doing we remove barriers that more privileged people don't have! And this creates easier access to greater socio-economic gains. 

All that I'll be doing is climbing a little hill 141 times... hopefully 20 more. Its a small effort in comparison to the number of little hills many others have to get over each day... Perspective allows me to use my privileges to highlight causes such as this, and I invite you to join me on this journey of ascent to a better ecology and safer economy for all.

DONATE A TREE or DONATE A CLUSTER

13 June 2021

Of mountains... and men

It happened again. Wave. Looking a bit like that mountain... there in the distance.

Postponement. Too many Covid cases erupting... affecting us personally and directly, if not personally.

This time to The Tusker

Also... communities that have trees and plants are happier. Did you know that?

Preparation for my 2 big events these last 3 months has been tough... with a twisted ankle, and some similar humor to cope. But I was ready to head out in 22 days for more than 230 miles (370km) of trekking from Addo to Tsitsikamma, from Elephants to elephant, from Karoo dry to the place of falling waters.

Postponement has been a regular in an athletes life this last 15 months. Rightly so. This one was supposed to be immune to that: all the i's dotted and t's crossed; except that some were unable to travel internationally and others contracted this undesirable disease. Too much of a risk with 4 weeks to go.

For me, last weekend was going to be "easy, but hard training... 10km on Saturday followed by some chores around the house and feet up in the afternoon. Then 36 miles (52km) on Sunday exploring Crossways and Longmore Forest. Saturday was interrupted by a distressed call from my wife... her accelerator was stuck; her car stopped on the side of a road of an affluent area of town.

For here: no details, but the punchline is this, "I traded a great phone for a hat, worn out Nike (just one, not the pair) and a 17cm blade carving knife". 

Did you answer the question above? Whether you answered or not... here's another question: 

Did you know that Johannesburg in South Africa used to be a savannah, and was almost desertified by mining and urban creep? It is now one of the "greenest" cities in the world... it effectively is an urban jungle, because there are so many trees and bushes planted; and when the city did this, the economy stabilized and crime stats dropped.

The reason I bring all of this up is that I am happy. I live in a privileged area, happy with my life (as a whole). It is a green suburb in Nelson Mandela Bay. 

The man with whom I had the unsavory transaction above lives in the opposite situation. He lives in an area that has some of the highest crime stats in our country, and we know that much of the crime goes unreported in the suburb. It is frightening.  

So, what if we made a commitment to "green" Nelson Mandela Bay, but specifically those areas that are dusty and deadly. What if we, that are able, donated a tree through a grass roots nursery (or system of nurseries) who would commit to following up on the trees planted so that our efforts were sustainable?

What if?

Would you support my drive?

Would your company support my run at this dream?



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 ...