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The week’s cardio summary and random thoughts

Third week of Rock month is almost done. My morning cardio for the week has been documented, courtesy of Strava:

I managed to cook all the chicken and prepare two lunch meals, as well as get through my usual morning routine of cardio, first breakfast, workout and then second breakfast. My workouts are intense but probably not as intense as they could be. I think this is a two-fold cause: on the one hand, I’m too distracted about everything past, present and future; and on the other hand, I’m not focused enough on what I’m doing. Okay, perhaps it’s one-fold. The good thing is that I’ve recognised it, right? Next week I’ll be a muscle-making machine.

I am definitely feeling stronger and more able. I’m lifting heavier weights than I did in the first week, and while my weight hasn’t changed, I am starting to feel a slow transformation taking place.

Today I had thorough fun at Maritzburg Prep: I taught the 8-year-olds a bunch of rock numbers from the 80s (Queen’s We Will Rock You, as well as I Love Rock ‘n Roll, We Built This City and Born To Be Wild) and then the 6-year-olds were taken through the choreography for the Bee Gees’ hit track, Staying Alive. Alas, we didn’t get any film footage, as we all got too carried away in the fun of it all… but perhaps next week – if anyone demands.

I have a pile of admin to complete and follow through on, but my plan for this weekend is to at least get some drawing done. I’ve realised that discipline means to maintain a sense of internal balance and creativity by fueling what I hope will end up the ultimate fire – music and animation. Tomorrow’s pics will be a nod in that direction.

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Kindness, kids and tomorrow I need to cook

Today is Mandela Day in South Africa. It marks the former president’s birthday and a national drive to give 67 minutes of your time to someone or something else.

This week at St Charles College I got to goof around with the junior primary boys in assembly. They were talking about the Kindness Can Challenge. As a way to demonstrate acts of kindness the boys acted out scenarios to show how it’s possible to be kind to each other using not only gifts but also words of encouragement, gestures of affection and acts of helpfulness. Basically, their job was to cheer me up!

So we’re starting a thing – which is simply awesome, and builds foundations into the kids’ lives in ways we’ll probably never fully comprehend. I’ve been reflecting on how much I love what I get to do over and above the daily work of music and sport, which in itself is just so much fun and so rewarding.

Rock month continues on track, although I have now run out of lunches. This means that tomorrow morning will be cardio, followed by cooking and simultaneously doing a workout. And that’s before the kids wake up and need breakfast! I like a challenge.

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Productivity continues…

Arms and abs today. Biceps and triceps and crunches and general massacre of muscle fibres. The good thing about getting all the hard stuff done first thing in the morning is that breakfast always tastes amazing afterwards!

Productivity continues – I have animation work coming in as well as more wedding gigs (for which I am deeply grateful) and I am churning out scripts and audio editing like there’s no tomorrow for what is proving to be an epic third quarter. My diary is jammed.

Another very exciting development that is ongoing is this:

KZN Costume Hire
Need to dress up?

Thanks to my friend Paul Russell, I now have a logo for my business! I have been working on the website and sorting through images thanks to my other friend Sarah Thomson (SL Photography), who endured a crazy nutcase photoshoot here the other day.

I must say, Rock month has been challenging but quite invigorating. Despite munching copious amounts of calories, I have neither gained nor lost weight. It’s hard to see much difference physically but I notice it in my daily work rate and activity… it’s unparallelled. In order to cope in this third quarter, this is life as I know it. Off to bed now, because the alarm goes off at the same time tomorrow.

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Akin to Discipline

I remember a book from a little while back in my youth, called Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster. I remember, as a young gun, how juxtaposed those two words seemed: not quite oxymoron but definitely not strung together that often, if at all. The word “discipline”, when I was younger, was generally associated with words like “punishment” and “correction”. Most kids thought “sore bum” or “feelings of separateness” when someone spoke about them “needing to be disciplined”.

In short, it was just a drain.

However, Foster’s book title has stayed in my head ever since, and while I haven’t read it anytime recently, I find myself – in my adult years – feeling more akin* to this word “discipline” and it’s benefits than much else.

*He says smugly having woken up at 3.30am to go training in the cold and dark for two weeks straight.

Leg day today. I’m not sure I’ve fully grasped the meaning of this workout. After running, to exercise legs again just seems like, well… dumb.

And there’s this (pictured, right).

However, I did it for the third week in a row, just for the sake of… well, whatever. I’m waiting to see whether the rumours that those who actually persist with leg day start to prefer it as their favourite workout of the week. So far, not me.

My work days are becoming more and more productive. Mom-in-law reckons it’s all the carbohydrates. She likes the idea of rice and potatoes. My aching muscles like this idea too. I can only attribute the lack of extreme D.O.M.S. to the carb intake.

As part of my teaching workload, I have half-scripted the annual school concert at Maritzburg Prep, and called it Pop, Rock ‘n Roll – a surging blitz through the decades of pop music and rock ‘n roll, and how those hit songs form the perfect soundtrack for life in a junior school.

This weekend will be a moment to record some vocals and do some more storyboarding. I’m excited.

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Rock month ain’t any easier

So after blogging for two weeks on my Patreon page, I have decided to continue the storytelling saga of my Rock month here on my own website. Now in week three, my alarm went off at 3.35am and I departed for what Strava calls a “Night Run” at 3.52am. I suppose it’s not wrong… it just feels wrong to be called that. Mind you, it is pretty damn early.

By this stage, I would have thought that it gets easier. It doesn’t. It’s still freezing cold in the morning and yes, I am nuts. All in the name of “discipline”.

Chest workout followed my early morning kick start, and I spent the better part of 45 minutes clanging and banging in my iron shack (not paradise, like the Rock has). One thing that it does do, is makes you feel superior before you start your day.

The gigs continue to roll in and I also have some animation work which is now making it’s way into my diary, which I’m excited about. The animation for my solo show with the Great Deep is no doubt going to be a bit of a monumental mountain to climb… but we all know it’s best done one step at a time, which is what I started over the weekend after completing the draft of the script.

Sketches for storyboard ideas…

Tomorrow morning is leg day, so best I get some rest.

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Rock month

I’ve decided to eat and exercise like The Rock for a month. No, I don’t want to look like him. But a bit of extra muscle never hurt anyone, did it? Nevermind.

“You what?”

The incentive is to get healthier, boost energy levels, and focus on discipline. I guess, I just want to see if I can do it for a whole month. I mean, a man’s got to have goals, right?

Here’s what the eating and training looks like…

Monday – 30-50 minutes cardio, Chest Workout
Tuesday – 30-50 minutes cardio, Legs Workout
Wednesday – 30-50 minutes cardio, Arms/Abs Workout
Thursday – 30-50 minutes cardio, Back Workout
Friday – 30-50 minutes cardio, Shoulders Workout

Wakeup: 2 hard-boiled eggs. 1 cup oatmeal
Post-Workout Breakfast: 350g sweet potato, 3 egg white omelet with a cup of onions & red peppers
Lunch (First): 2 cups white rice, 250g chicken breast, cup of broccoli
Lunch (Second): 2 cups white rice, 250g chicken breast, cup of broccoli
Dinner: 250g steak, 300g potato, spinach salad
Pre-bedtime: Glass of milk

I’m four days in and have been blogging each day on Patreon… it’s a site where artists get supported by people who follow them in order to build a sustainable income. The daily blog there is open to the public and is not all health and fitness, but more like a day-in-life journal. I try to keep it light-hearted.

If you’re keen on supporting, click here and I’ll be your new best friend!

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Camping getaway

April 2019.

So I’ve been at Midmar for two days.

I managed to salvage the leaking tent.
The blow up mattress is flat.
The only food left is a tin of baked beans and some left over coffee.
Everything smells like a firepit.
And I feel reborn.

It’s pretty primal out here… and there’s very little to distract me. So what if I haven’t showered in 2 days? The dam water is beautifully cool. So what if I haven’t eaten anything green in 2 days? Chakalaka has vegetables.

All the things that preoccupy so much of our modern thought life have been stripped away, and what you’re left with is your thoughts and beautiful surroundings, and a still small voice.

It’s been good. So good that I think I’m done being by myself… but I’m not quite ready to go home as yet. So I’m going to fetch the kids.

I message Tam to tell her my thoughts. 13 years of marriage has taught me that I need to communicate clearly, so I explained the whole thing.

Me: Was wondering about the kids coming for a night or two.

Tam: Oh my word they would love that

Me: You’re welcome too, but it’s seriously rustic

Tam: No ways buddy

Here’s the rest of the story, in vlog form, on Patreon.

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20 years ago, I did this.

I’m at Midmar Dam. It looks quirky, doesn’t it? But this is actually serious business. I’m here some 20 years later, to do what I started out when I was 18. It was quirky back then as well… but equally serious. It only struck me once here just how profound the journey has been, and despite my wayward tendencies, the Lord always has His way.

Back then we had a band called Pulse. Flippin epic days, they were. It started as a youth group, and the band formed from that as an excuse to build and grow together. Music was the excuse to connect with people back then, just as it is now.

Before this trip I would say that the Great Deep has been a decade or so in the making… but as I think back, sitting here at Midmar dam in April 2019, it’s been a lot longer than that. Some of these songs have evolved and grown over many moons. But my prayer is that as I’ve looked back and as I find myself thinking about these things, these songs will help people’s thought life, their every day activity and their future. Besides my wrinkles and less hair, little else has changed.

Back then, Pulse started playing and writing gospel praise & worship songs for the context of church buildings and gatherings, and the deeper we delved into what we were actually doing, I realised that the heart behind what we were doing was for those who weren’t part of it all.

So the band then started writing lyrics that crossed over to play outside of church walls.

That whole process started something in me, which debuted as Ryan Calder, then became the Ryan Calder Band, and these days oscillates between the RCB and me as a solo artist.

I vlogged it… so if you’re interested, this is a 12-minute, deeper inside track of the getaway experience and my reflections of then and now:

As always, I love hearing your thoughts and comments below.


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Live Music for an Event?

I am a musician who performs acoustic covers, generally from the 50s, 60s and 70s era (Bob Dylan, John Denver, Simon & Garfunkel, James Taylor, Neil Diamond, Van Morrison, Elvis, etc) but also including modern-day singer-songwriters such as Ed Sheeren, John Mayer, etc. I perform at a variety of wedding ceremonies, cocktail hours, parties, and other events throughout the greater KwaZulu-Natal area and beyond.

I provide a happy, relaxed atmosphere through pure acoustic and vocal sound with a vintage feel. (I do also provide the PA system and DJ for the latter part of proceedings.) I enjoy working with couples and clients to craft that ideal playlist for the event – plus I can offer suggestions and guide you through the planning process. My primary focus is on contemporary acoustic and folk music, but I’m also branching out into songs with the ukulele. I cover an ever-growing list of pop, classic rock, indie, country songs from the 1940s through the 2000s all on steel-string acoustic guitar.

The Basics
I am based in Pietermaritzburg, KZN but am willing to travel all over South Africa. I regularly perform in Hilton, Howick and the wider Midlands Meander.

  • I play for all sorts of events and in almost any setting – weddings, private parties and house concerts, restaurants, corporate events, company parties and celebrations.
  • I primarily perform solo, singing and accompanying myself on guitar or Ukulele, but I also have options as an acoustic duo or band, depending on the event and the atmosphere.
  • I provide my own sound equipment (mics, speakers, etc.) and can handle events with up to 200 guests.
  • I provide contracts and invoices.
  • I’ve been performing in KZN, the Western Cape and other parts of South Africa for over 20 years and have performed too many events to count!

Dreams that you dreamed of once in a lullaby.If you like what you hear, please get in touch! Call me:

or SEND AN INQUIRY. Let’s chat about your date!