Four day week.

The last few weeks seem to have been rather chaotic as they were littered with public holidays, celebrations, events, functions, gatherings and meeting upon meeting.

I am not sure when exactly in my life it happened but I have now became an individual that finds solace in the comforts of routine.

As a youngster the thought of routine had me up in arms, wondering how could anyone one ever let their days wither away performing the same activities, at the same time, with the same people, at the same place. Yet now I find myself drawn to the above.

Although I would still have liked to have a bit more freedom, more annual leave days, more work from home days, more free time where I could pursue other interests except for work, it is comforting having a routine which one can adhere to and also keep oneself accountable of.

Currently, on an ideal day, my routine would be as follows:

  • 5:00AM – 5:50AM Coffee and reading in bed
  • 5:30AM – 6:00AM Breathing and meditation
  • 6:00AM – 6:30AM Journal and plan
  • 6:30AM – 7:00AM Prepare and pack for work and gym
  • 7:00AM – 8:00AM Gym
  • 8:00AM – 05:30PM Work
  • 05:30PM – 6:00PM Cycle Home
  • 6:00PM – 7:00PM Cook, eat and clean
  • 7:00PM – 9:00PM Work on projects
  • 9:00PM – 10:00PM Study
  • 10:00PM – 11:00PM get ready for bed, journal and read.

So as you can see this is a rather ambitious schedule and pretty hard to keep up and especially hard to keep up when there are tons of public holidays scattered throughout the weeks.

Not that I do not like these said public holidays as they really do provide a well deserved rest but there is normally some function, some event or some social happening, which leads to the opposite of a rest, in fact, one needs another rest day to recover from these.

Now as per schedule, its ten to eleven and time for bed ūüôā

Quick Post

I had not been writing a lot because I encounter what I have now termed as blocker posts. Blocker posts are posts like the previous post, which I try to capture happenings and events from several days and several occasions into one post.

The problem with these posts are that they become very long and long winded and I normally lose my enthusiasm around midway through, as with anything I believe that writing has to be practiced, developed and consistently be worked on to improve and I think that my writing muscles are just not there yet to write these 1500 plus word articles in one sitting.

As I write and blog more, my capacity to write more and still feel inspired will increase but for now its pretty hard. So I am going to try and avoid the long winded posts that tend to end up over 1000+ words, until I am truly comfortable with writing these long pieces.

This will probably mean that some events and happenings go undocumented but that is also ok, as long as I write consistently and frequently, I will be happy with myself.

A side effect of getting older?

The older I get or rather more recently, my thoughts, actions, habits, ambitions and dreams have tended to move more to the betterment of humanity and the sustainability of the earth than self enrichment and self glorification.

I tend to rather think of giving back, making the world a better place and how can I make a difference to the world instead of thinking, how can I get rich and how can I make profits.

I never use to think like, my greatest goals and ambitions all involved and how I can get what I want. I looked up to ruthless business men who could bull doze whatever obstacles in their paths to achieve whatever goals they may pursue which in most cases is money.

I listened to podcasts where the cut throat tactics of men in power was discussed and how most powerful CEO’s tended to be psychopaths. I strived to be more assertive, more dominant and more aggressive, yet all the while¬† knew that this was not me.

I show immense empathy towards other humans, their hardship and plights, their stories, their sacrifices, their victories and their displays of kindness and empathy. I always knew in the back of my mind that I cannot be one of these so hard men.

I had an employee a few years back who was both a great guy but also had a tendency to show up to work without his head on his shoulders, which brought out an angry side of me, a side which I did not know I had. It was a sobering experience, now in my life I am sure that I would handle situations differently than a few years ago, actually I would handle certain situations different than I did a few days ago.

In the time that I had the employee, I still had the urge to build an empire, no matter what stood in my way. My uncle once described a man with whom I did business, who’s disrepute far exceeded his repute, “Be careful of his, he leaves bodies behind.” Off course not literally but yeah he would have tread upon and devoured anyone and anything to get an extra buck, crazy for me to even type this out.¬† I do not believe that I stooped to these kind of lows but I would tickle ethics if it meant growth and progress.

This all changed, I am not sure exactly when or exactly why but I do believe that travelling through South East Asia, may have spurred the development of the disregard to consumerism and capitalism.

I was welcomed by fishermen families in Vietnam, feasting upon fresh seafood along with several friends and their family members, whereas the hosts had nothing more than the food for the day, yet the calm, the serenity and the happiness was evident in their manner, never mind the fact that a seventy year old man could easily be mistaken for as being fifty years old.

I do not believe that I was raised to try and improve the world or to try and make life better for my fellow man. I remember everything from my education to my parental upbringing to be more self focused and aimed at self upliftming.

My education was at two all boys schools which focused a lot on individual academic achievements and although there was team sports, a lot of the attention was also focused on your performance as an individual. I wonder if this in fact breeds the kind of self centred  life that so many of my fellow countrymen back home live by no fault of their own.

As of now, I also live a self centred, self focused life but what has changed is my dreams and my ambitions, whereas my goals a few years ago may have been, “drive a Porsche”, “live in a ten bedroom mansion”, blah, blah, blah, it has now focused more to giving back and making the world a better place.

For now all I can do is respect my fellow humans, their beliefs, their opinions, not judge and live an open and honest life.

Tomorrow I am setting a new personal running record.

Tomorrow is a special day, I will be running a 14 kilometre charity run with a few colleges. The run will take place around 20:15 tomorrow evening and I plan to end before 21:15, which means that I will need to run at least 4 minutes and 28 seconds per kilometre.

4.28 x 14 = 59.92 

The above equation is the slowest average per kilometre distance that I will be running, the cool thing is, even if I do run this slow pace, then I will still make the 14 kilometres in under an hour.

But that is not the plan. I plan on averaging at least 15 seconds below this and even pushing some kilometres to way below the 4 minute mark. The thing is, I can do it, I am extremely fit at the moment, doing some form of exercise at least once daily and I have not touched a cigarette in months.

4.00 x 14 =56

Now this equation I like… Its simple, its rounded off and it easily achievable. Tomorrows new personal best will be at time of 4.00 minutes per kilometre for 14 kilometre.

But off course I am always open to do it faster, check in tomorrow for an update.

Midweek beers and midweek cheers.

 

I never made it to the gym this morning, as I had planned, but one needs to be ok with the fact that things do not always work out the way that you want it to. It is like my old college Cedric always said:

“The secret to life is that you should really want something, have an intense burning desire for it, but if you don’t get it, you should be happy with that too.”

This is great advice and it stretches way beyond missing a gym session or not getting retweeted by Beyonce.

The universe has a way of working both with you and against you. It is a lot about what you put out there and then in contrast what you internalise.

Lets use a metaphor:

Good grapes make good wine, good soil make good grapes, good nutrients make good soil… And one can go on and on but I am sure that you get the drift.

Lets get to the title of this post. In all honesty, I have absolutely no creativity when it comes to the titles, it is really the first thing that comes to mind, so in this case, it is Wednesday, which means it is midweek and I am drinking beers. Therefore, Midweek beers and midweek cheers.

Normally I would not be drinking beers on a Wednesday but a college of mine had a motorbike breakdown, so I hung around with him waiting for the tow truck and once he and his bike was loaded, I returned to the office to finish some work and do this blog post.

With that said, its about time I head home!

 

 

 

What I talk about when I talk about running

This blog title has been borrowed from the book title by the writer Haruki Murakami and the main image is from the fan blog, http://www.haruki-murakami.com.

I have been toying with the idea of writing a blog post, inspired by the above mentioned book and my running habit. The book, a memoir, is a sort of autobiography which centers around the writer Haruki Murakami’s running habit.

Here is a small excerpt:

“Most runners run not because they want to live longer, but because they want to live life to the fullest. If you’re going to while away the years, it’s far better to live them with clear goals and fully alive then in a fog, and I believe running helps you to do that. Exerting yourself to the fullest within your individual limits: that’s the essence of running, and a metaphor for life ‚ÄĒ and for me, for writing as whole. ” – Haruki Murakami

Ever since I can remember, I have always been an avid runner, probably influenced by my father who at the age of sixty two still competes in marathons and runs on a regular basis. I keep track of his progress with my Runtastic App and can see exactly how many kilometers he has run for the month thus far.

I have fond memories of us running together, competing in races together and of him dragging me out of bed, telling (bamboozling) me, that we are only going for a quick jog around the block, which always ended up being a tough eight kilometers fast paced run around several blocks.

I don’t know why, but I always fell for his bamboozles.

Running on Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa.
One side of running on Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa.
Running on Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa.
The other side of running on Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa.

Also, I have many memories of primary school, of waking up at the crack of dawn only to run the two or so kilometers to my school’s sports grounds, and then starting my official running training.

After high school I became a lazy student, who neglected health and fitness by citing academics as an excuse. Once I started working I did not get any better at all, I did a few fun runs here and there but nothing serious.

At the age of 26, I competed in a half marathon (The Two Oceans) with absolutely no prior training, just will and determination. It was a horrible idea. Once I passed the three kilometer mark, I dreaded every single meter thereafter. At times, I thought of flagging down the medical team and tapping out of the race, and at other times I contemplated just giving up.

Luckily I did neither, finished the race, and vowed that I would never run a half marathon again in my life…

The next year I ran the same race but this time, I had trained for about three weeks prior to it. As expected, it was yet again a horrible experience.

I remember how angry I was during the race. Angry that I had entered, and angry that I allowed others to influence me to enter.Not only did I vow to never enter a race again, but this time I told myself I was done with running. I actually think I bought a mountain bike a few weeks later.

The point of the stories above is that I do have a certain degree of natural fitness, a bit of crazy, strong will and determination and an affinity for running, which I have only embraced again recently.

I ran a couple of random races over the last couple of years but never in my life have I run like I run now. Every run is a small competition. A competition to try and beat myself, beat my time, beat my pace, and mostly: beat my mind.

Running to me has become an escape, and definitely a small addiction. Yes there is the physical element, where the brain releases endorphins, but there is a lot more to it.

I have grown to love the scientific and mental aspects of running as a sport, where I challenge every factor which could have had an influence on my performance for a specific run.

For example, on Monday, I will do a ten kilometer run at 6:00PM, my time will be approximately forty six minutes and seventeen seconds. Then on Wednesday I will run the exact same route, also at 6:00PM, but this time, my results will be approximately forty four minutes and twelve seconds. Which results in a difference of two minutes and five seconds.

Now this is where my mind starts working, I consider each factor: from what I had for breakfast to what time I went to bed. Then I also consider the mental state in which I was in when I started my run, and once I finished.

I weigh each factor and determine the influence that it may or may not have had, then I take note on how I might alter an element to improve my run.

The other day, I ran without drinking coffee, and I did exactly the same run after two flat whites. Needless to say, the post coffee run was way better than the no coffee run, this article explains more.

The above example is a little self explanatory, but there are more examples which are a little harder to explain, like the Kanye West vs Chance the Rapper phenomenon…

I have found that I run way better while listening to Kanye West than when I listen to Chance the Rapper. There could be several explanations for this, but my friend’s explanation still remains the best: “If I had to listen to Kanye West, I would also run for my life.”

Hilarious.

All jokes aside, Kanye’s earlier, pre-dark stuff is actually pretty uplifting and inspiring, I use it all the time for training.

So now you know what I talk about when I talk about running. As the title suggests, I do in fact talk about running.

This is not a topic which I can and will cover in one post, as I still have a lot that I could say when it comes to running. With that being said, I will end this with another timeless quote from the book title by the writer Haruki Murakami, one which has been a sort of a mantra for me.

“Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional. Say you‚Äôre running and you think, ‚ÄėMan, this hurts, I can‚Äôt take it anymore. The ‚Äėhurt‚Äô part is an unavoidable reality, but whether or not you can stand anymore is up to the runner himself.” – Haruki Murakami

Sunday bloody Sunday

I spent my Friday evening with some friends in a smoky bar, surrounding by people drinking and having a great time, I do not drink myself but have no problem hanging out in bars and around people drinking.

I actually sat at the table next to my ex girlfriend and her new husband but neither of us made any attempt to greet each other as we carried on as if our three years were together never actually happened, I am not really sure how I feel about that…

What did get to me, was the smoke, I spent around four hours in the bar and it was clouded with smoke! I must have smoked at least five cigarettes with all the second hand smoke that I inhaled.

At the time I did not realize the effect that it had on me but while driving home I could feel my throat aching, scratching and my sinuses starting to act up.

When I awoke Saturday morning, it felt like I had the flu, my head ached, my nasal cavities were all blocked up and I was in a down right foul mood. It felt like nothing could go right and everything just felt off, it was a sort of angsty depression, very strange sensation.

I can only deduct that this was caused by the smoke in the bar as no other external or internal factors changed except this. All my clothing from the night are still tainted with the smell of cigarette smoke.

I don’t judge people who smoke but I do hate smoking and as an ex smoker, I do believe that I have the right to hate smoking, as I know from personal experience the terrible health risks that smoking holds, it actually blows my mind that people still smoke but admittedly I was one of those people, not too long ago.

It seems that addiction trumps all sense of self preservation. Horrible really.

Saturday morning after finally getting put of bed, I had an insane training session, it was great, I trained in the sun, worked up a great sweat, followed it up with a cold shower and a great lunch but still I could not kick the dreaded feeling, the dreaded feeling followed me until I fell asleep and I finally managed to shake it the next day, which is today, but only after a yoga session, meditation and a run.

So the time is now 11:00AM on Sunday morning, it feels like my day can finish already as I have been so productive but alas, no rest for the wicked, I still have tons to do.

Once I finish the blog post, I have to pick up some ingredients for a herb, parmesan and steak carpaccio salad that I making for a lunch that I attending a bit later. Then I have some work to do afterwards and also some planning and decision making, I need to do, to ensure that this week and months goes as smooth as possible.

On a side note, I ran my fastest kilometer of my life today, with a flying speed of 3:35 for a kilometer, it was downhill but it was also on a trail, so I am sure that I can improve this on a tar road!