Wizards and Teachers

Muizenberg - The shark flag on the left is raised because of the choppy waters
Everyone needs a sounding box. Something against which to bounce your ideas and guide you on your way. No easy answers, just an honest critique of your intentions. The world would be a better place.

On facing the cross roads, most people simply require a friendly word to nudge them along the right path and avoid the pitfalls of the dark side's sweet embrace. "No Adolph, I don't think invading Poland would be a good idea" would have saved a million lives. "No Mr Armstrong, it certainly is just about the bike" would have saved a million broken hearts.

It was therefore with good fortune that my trophy wife approved me taking my bike and running shoes along to Cape Town for the recent Christmas holidays. As it happened, several friends who I had not seen in a while were available for a few spontaneously orchestrated athletic excursions. 

It was in these moments of aerobic chatter and catching up that I realised that all these guys, aside from being my friends, are my advisers, counsellors and teachers. In all things. From happiness at the home to achieving a work-play-life balance to the pursuit of excellence in sport through discipline and to living life with passion.

This led me to thinking. We are all raised on a consumer diet of emulating and pursuing the lives of Supermen and Heroines who sit under the gaze of the public spotlight. Few icons live up to the standard. Most falter. We push them off their pedestals into the twisted corridors of grubby history books. It is an impossible arena, fraught with the mirror-reality of our expectations. We want to be entertained at all costs. Aside from our mislaid hopes, the sadness of it all is that we follow the masses blindly and feed the frenzy.

It was the holiday season that cemented the realisation that it would be better for people to emulate, not the airbrushed celebrities, popular populists or Nike-endorsees, but rather the noble characteristics we see in the people we call friends. 


Here are some quick snapshots and notes of my hols before I forget......

Below is Houston and I pretending we are surfers. We caught some frothy bubbly stuff which some people call waves. Most importantly, no-one got hurt! 

Phil Mosley reveals that he is going into Cape Town's Bay to Bay race fully loaded. Although usually relaxed and in semi state of Zen, he was forced to man up for the race as the dad of his better half, Litchi, had a PB of 2h06m which no-one in the family had dared better for fear of failure and ridicule. Phil pulled out all the stops with a 2h03m run!

Finish straight of the 30k Bay to Bay. The Atlantic coastline off Camps Bay idles alongside.
Eric The Viking: intellectually curious and a warrior in the mountains. Pensive after crushing my quads in search of the trig beacon above Camps Bay.
The Money Shot: Get dehydrated by riding 100k's; suck in the gut; get sun-side of the camera; and smile like you're on Saturday Night Live

Houston, Creedo, Blur2 and The Philenator on our 100k ride from Somerset West to Hermanus 
The Viking: More shredded than a can of tuna

Botanist and battle hardened foot soldier, Eric, above Noordhoek
Find your heroes in the kitchen,