The few who spoil it for the rest of us

Let me start with some background…

Last night at about half past 10 my doorbell rang.  When I answered the
intercom, there was a guy outside asking me to come outside as he'd
just had an accident at the end of the cul-de-sac where I stay.  He had
just come from the local pub, and did not have a clue where he was…

Now, normally I would jump to the opportunity to help a fellow human
being, but unfortunately in our country you never know when it is a
scam to get you outside as an easy target for more sinister things.

In my view I made the right decision to deny the request, giving the
person my phone number to pass on to his relatives for directions to
the location, in case the story was true.

This morning when leaving for work I drive down to the end of the
street to check out the story, and lo-and-behold, he was telling the
truth, the fence posts of the compex there were bent, and you could
clearly see where he went off the road.

Firstly, whoever you are, I have to apologise for not coming out to
help, but I think if the roles were reversed you would probably make
the same decision that I did.

Secondly, whoever you are, you should not be driving at high speed in
the rain and dark on roads you don't know, even when you're sober, but
especially not after you've visited the local pub, that is just
irresponsible, and you would not have been in the position you were in
if there was a inkling of responsiblity in you.

Back to the heading of this post. 

Why is our country in this position, where people have to think twice
before answering a call for help.  Where criminals have sunk so low as
to target people's natural will to help fellow human beings, to turn
them in to easy targets.  It's despicable behaviour, and our government
is still doing very little to curb crime…

People say I’m mad, but the voices in my head says I’m getting better

After an absence of over a week, I'm back and writing.  The reason for my absence?

I did a cycle tour from Joburg to Durban.  690km in 5 days.  And what fun the tour was.

Therewere 13 of us riding, with the last stage being the Amashova race fromMaritzburg to Durban.  On the Saturday night we decided with the tiredlegs, we'll ride the race as a group, so we all hung back and took overthe D bunch, and controlled it from the word go.   In the end, therewere 5 of us who pulled the whole group to a 3:03 finish, which is byno means a bad time for the race.

This was something that I'dbeen looking forward to for a long time, and will definitely do again. By far the longest tour I've done, but now I want to go bigger andbetter.  So I need some suggestions on start and end destinations for alonger tour, I'm thinking around 1000 – 1200 km 7-8 days.  Preferablyonroad, I don't have the budget at this point to buy a MTB good enoughto do a tour like that.

Work better in 10 easy steps

I ruthlessly and shamelessly copied this from Scott Berkun's site.

 

  1. Do one thing at a time
  2. Know the problem
  3. Learn to listen
  4. Learn to ask questions
  5. Distinguish sense from nonsense
  6. Accept change as inevitable
  7. Admit mistakes
  8. Say it simple
  9. Be calm
  10. Smile

 

The secret of success

The first secret of success is starting.

 Yes, you cannot accomplish anything if you don't at least start it.

The secret of success is never quitting.

Learn from your mistakes, change direction, but never give up.

What makes a cyclist tick

Padraig from BKW has written a few posts about the things that make a cyclist tick.  These can also be applied to other aspects of life.

Motivation : Yes, we do ride a roller coaster between a huge amount of motivation to go ride, enough to brave any weather, any time of the day, and so little that you can't drag yourself out the door on a perfect day.  I suppose there a lot of contributing factors to this roller coaster, including your diet, and the amount of training you're doing.  As well as how you place in the races you compete in.  A race where you feel like you're pulling out all the stops and still get dropped can kill your motivation for riding quite quickly.  On the other hand, some days you feel like you're just cruising, and you have no issues staying in the race.

Pride : This is what ultimately drives your motivation, the will to show the world what can be accomplished.

I can just say that Padraig is spot on, and I can't wait for the future posts here… 

Self improvement

There are a few articles/websites out there that have in the last few weeks started inspiring me to seriously work on improving myself overall.

One by Rob Walling, on career questions then quite a few articles by the following people/sites:

Erica.biz and Steve Pavlina on life general.

Scott Hanselman on developing your coding/technical skills.

As well as a variety of others that I cannot quite remember now, but will update here once I find the articles again.

I'm going to lay a basic outline of what needs improvement here, and will then, after some serious planning, delve into the details of the improvements I want to make to each aspect of my life.

In no particular order of importance, here are the things I plan to work on.

Cycling
Yes, I do currently race at a fairly high level, but that is with very little training, some weeks as low as 4 hours in the saddle.  To the less fit of us out there that may sound like a lot, but compared to the pro riders out there, who sometimes do over 30 hours a week, I'm doing precious little.  So I figured if I start training more, and better, quantity is not always quality, and drop the extra weight I'm carrying…

Which brings me to the next point… 

My weight/health
Since quitting smoking over 5 years ago I have not managed to shed all the weight I picked up.  At the time I was down to about 84kg, but then tore the ligaments in my ankle and quit smoking shortly after.  The 4 months of not being able to do any sport and the quitting smoking quickly balooned me up to about 96kg, of which I managed to lose about 5 fairly quickly after starting training again, but I've been yo-yoing between 88kg and 91 kg for the last 3 years, which frankly, is just too heavy to be competitive.  So my plan is to get down to 80kg before a point in time in the not too distant future.

Professional skills
Yes, unfortunately we all have to make a living somehow, and my wife's business is not at the point where it will support me in a life of luxury just yet. Luckily I'm in a profession I really enjoy, so having to work for a living is not that bad.  In terms of professional skills I have a fair understanding of a lot of technologies, but only a detailed understanding of a few.  So there is a lot of scope for growth.  This development will also help with the ultimate goal for me and my family to move elsewhere in the world for a safer life than in Johannesburg.

Squash & Golf
Another 2 sports which I absolutely love playing, but just don't get enough time for, especially the latter.  A big problem I have with these 2 is that while playing you get in this rut of not thinking, and that totally kills your game.  So I could work on my physical skills here, but I think my mental skills for these need more work at the moment.

Personal Development
Although I'm not a devout follower of any particular religion, I do have my reasons which I will expand on later, I do have faith, leaning more to the Christian side of life.  I am very interested in the spiritual side of the world, and would like to expand my horisons on this front.  So I will definitely be joining my wife on a Reiki course, as well as some other things that I want to learn & experience.  Since about November I started daily meditation, with the help of Holosync, which did mak e a big difference in my life, but with the changes so small that you do not realise it immediately.  For the last month or so, I have dah a serious shortage of time for a lot of things and one of the things that suffered most was the daily meditation.  I can now feel the huge difference it has made with some of the motivational problems I experienced last year surfacing again.

The how
As put in Rob's article, I feel that currently I'm only a consumer of information, that's the almost the equivalent of a parasite, just take and no giving back.  So for that reason I'm going to consciously start becoming a creator.  Two ways of doing this, I've had a few ideas for some web applications that could be useful to the general population.  I've already started developing the first on, watch this space for more info soon. Secondly, I'm going to use my learning experience to start writing some informative articles on the things I learn.  Not only from a technology point of view.  I have the gift of being able to quickly understand a concept and then put in words that anyone with no knowledge of a subject can understand, so hopefully there will be some interesting things for everyone being published here in the near future.

So, this is step 1 of my commitment to improvement…

Deepest Fear

 

"Our deepest fear is not that we areinadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is ourlight, not our darkness, that frightens us most. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I tobe brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and famous?' Actually, who are you not to be?You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There isnothing enlightened about shrinking so that people won't feel insecure aroundyou. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's notjust in some of us; it's in all of us. And when we let our own light shine, weunconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberatedfrom our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

Maryanne Williamson

 

Becoming a grand-master

Jeff Moser wrote an excellent piece about becoming a grand-master developer, but in my eyes, this applies to any skill you can learn.

If you're not constantly pushing yourself into unchartered territory, you're not going to improve.  I needed this piece for a bit of a wake-up call in both cycling and software development.

Quote of the Day 2008-01-25

"The real contest is always between what you have done and what you are capable of doing.  You measure yourself against yourself and nobody else."

 – Geoffrey Gaberino –

 

Married

Me and Leigh-Ann got married on the 31st of August.  In case you are wondering why so soon after the engagement…read on.

I decided to ask her on our holiday overseas, but when we realised that we'll need to arrange our wedding around the availibilty of family members, who we definitely wanted at the wedding, we started arranging the wedding, but I was not willing to change my plans for the proposal, so things seemed a bit ass about face, but worked out perfectly.

The venue we used was absolutely stunning, Oakfield Farm in Muldersdrift, and the service they gave us was awesome to say the least.  I can recommend them.

I let Leigh do most of the arrangements, and must say that it was the right decision.  Everything was planned to the T and worked out perfect.  Thanks Love.

We went to Plett for a few days for our honeymoon.  I was reminded just how beautiful it is on that part of the country, I haven't been down there for about 6 years.  I'll move to Nature's Valley in a blink if I had the opportunity.  Photos to follow soon.