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Remembering the Captain

I notice, as I get older, that the real measure of a man is marked out when he dies. If you were kind in your life, that reflects in what people say about you once you’re no longer around. If you were a real %$*&!@ then likewise, that will be your legacy in the conversations people have about you.

I met Barry Meintjies when I was 13 years old. His son and I were playing music together in his studio one afternoon when the door opened and “the Captain” poked his head in. Continue reading Remembering the Captain

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The process of minimalism

I unearthed a bunch of VHS cassettes in our packing up process. As soon as I saw them, I had a memory of certain things that were recorded on the analogue tape – but not all of it. I made some enquiries and found someone who converts the information from analogue (tape) to digital.

What’s interesting is how much information was on there that I simply had no recollection of, but as soon as I saw it, the memories came flooding back. For example, footage of the bulldog for a music video (which I had forgotten about). But it was also the furniture in the background (the kitchen, the open plan lounge attached and the vintage TV cabinet) which suddenly flung me back 30 years to our family home growing up.

My brother reiterated the same thing when we were talking in our weekly family catch up. “I had forgotten about some of those Pulse gigs and it took me a while of seeing the footage to remember,” he said.

It’s made me think about memories, and how much they are connected to physical things. As a family, we’ve been trying to own less stuff for a long time. It’s easier said than done. Birthdays come and go, but presents and gifts stay. Your children grow, and their needs change from baby toys to devices and stationery to get work done. And steadily, stuff gets stored. You look up and there’s a mountain of outgrown clothes and toys that hold sentimental value and storage space.

So the excitement of travelling overseas and ridding ourselves of a lot of excess was an exciting prospect for me personally (and probably secretly for my wife and teenage daughter as well). At last, we could focus on gaining experiences rather than possessions. We could fill up our minds, hearts and souls with the wonder of travel, cultures and places, rather than the burden of stuff.

I don’t think of myself as sentimental. I’m more fascinated with the future. However, this process has made me stop and think about the fact that my memories are attached to stuff. I mean physical items. And I’m suddenly wondering: if I throw this thing away, will my memory of that time and place be lost forever?

I realised, seeing that video, that memories of growing up are so integrally linked to possessions. For example, seeing some kitchen bar stools and a certain type of carpet – I could almost smell the room! I haven’t thought about that stuff in over 12 years since my parents moved from that house. I was watching that crazy old bulldog snore, and I suddenly remembered the dreams that I had, the aspirations I was after and the journey I was on. And the details of it all. And on one level, it did my heart good to understand how far I had come. On a different level, I was suddenly stressed about the memories of things fading with the purge of possessions currently taking place from our house.

I don’t know what the answer is. I just thought I’d share my journey at this point in the process.

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Blog: Run Your Own Race Pace

You hear triathlon coaches saying it all the time: you have to race at your own pace. In other words, you have to swim, bike and run at a pace that your own body can handle. Trying to keep up with the Joneses means it’s not only going to hinder your race, but quite possibly put an end to it if you’re racing outside of what you should be. Continue reading Blog: Run Your Own Race Pace

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Blog: Does Gratefulness Make You A Champion?

Just before I went for surgery, I went for a walk that morning in our local village to get some fresh air and gather my thoughts. It was crisp, clear and cold  (watch the video). I took some pics along the way and was meditative in the process.

One of the foremost things on my mind was around the idea that I wouldn’t be able to exercise for a while because of the nature of the surgery. It would take a while before being able to get active and mobile again. Continue reading Blog: Does Gratefulness Make You A Champion?