This isn’t gonna be one of those posts. You know, the kind where the author laments how much they’ve neglected their blog and reaffirms his commitment to posting regularly. I dunno man, maybe I’ll post some stuff, maybe I won’t.

So I’ll attempt to do one of those catchup things they do at the start of new seasons of complicated series.

Since we left off… I’ve travelled to California, Dubai, Qatar, Japan, Swaziland, Namibia, Iceland, Spain and Portugal. I swam Midmar, I rode 947, I ran the odd 10k. I got a promotion and went from getting fit to getting fat for about 15 months. But I’m on track again. Today is my 43rd consecutive day of going to the gym. My clothes fit again. I can touch my toes again. Muscles are slowly reemerging from under the flab.

The exciting part is that after years of struggling with procrastination and weak willpower, I’ve finally figured out a way to eat healthy and stay fit indefinitely – no willpower required. But more on that later… or not… who knows.



The other day I was meeting some friends in Parkhurst, so I decided it would be fun to ride my bike there.

When I got to 4th Avenue, a popular restaurant strip where loads of cyclists hang out on the weekend, I was dismayed to find that there’s not a single secure place to lock up my bike.

I asked the restaurant manager if I could keep my bike in their backyard, but apparently they receive this request so often that they have a standing policy not to allow any bikes through their doors. Maybe they should take the hint and put up a bike rack?

Luckily they had an extra chain on hand, so I could at least lock my bike to a tree with mine and secure the wheels to the bike with theirs.

All the same, I would love to have access to a futuristic automated bike parking facility like the one in this video.

These crazy people didn’t just finish the London Marathon yesterday, they did it in fancy dress!

Hello sailor!

I think he escaped from that Cadbury’s commercial


Ugh, just imagine the chafing.

Run, run as fast as you can. You can’t catch me, I’m the gingerbread man!

I just hope there are some ventilation holes somewhere in this outfit

London Pride… say no more.

Photos courtesy of Reddit user alwaysfreezing. There’s loads more pics here.

A few years back I visited a little town called New York City, where I quickly found out that long days of powerwalking across hard pavements did not agree very well with the 30kgs or so of bodyfat that I was lugging along.

Desperate for some sort of relief for my agonising and disgustingly swollen feet, I hobbled into the nearest Footlocker and picked up a pair of these:

Nike Zoom Victory track shoes – these were so cool in 2008

Here’s a big giant fat person modelling them (brace yourself):

Yup, that’s me testing the limits of 30 Rock’s structural integrity

Okay, now that I’ve totally put you off your dinner, let’s fast forward to 2012.

My inability to walk comfortably on my NY trip played a big role in my decision to start eating better and getting fit. Since then I managed to lose about 20 kilos of fat and get somewhat fitter by cycling my ass off. In September last year I figured it was time to expand my cardio repertoire, so I dug the Nikes out of the back of my closet and started running.

After feeling like Forest Gump for my first few times, I completed a couple of races and got into the habit of running at least once a week. And that’s when all the cool stuff started happening…

I discovered all the weird little things that a human body does when it’s being pushed to its limits. I revelled in the feeling of accomplishment when I finally got to the top of a steep hill or when I managed to run a little farther than the day before. I found an incredible sense of peace in the razor-sharp focus that running demands. And I learned to love the freedom of being able to cover vast distances, propelled by nothing more than my own flesh and bones.

The only problem was that my four-year-old Nike track shoes were hardly forgiving on my tender untrained feet, ankles, knees and hips. Running days were usually followed by achy days.

So yesterday I headed to the famed Sweat Shop in Dunkeld and with their expert guidance, picked out a pair of proper big-boy running shoes.

Is the name a clever pun… or does it refer to how running shoes are made?

What’s really cool about this shop is that it’s kinda like Ollivander’s Wand shop in Harry Potter. They make you run up and down in various pairs of shoes until they find the one that’s just perfect for your running style, pronation and whatnot.

“Right Mr Potter, let’s see how you do with a pair of Asics Nimbus 14s. Nice and whippy with a high abrasion rubber core…”

For me, the magic happened when I donned this pair of Mizunos:


Mizuno Wave Inspire 8 running shoes. Hello 2013!

They’re not the prettiest shoes I’ve ever owned, but they’re definitely the most comfortable. Can’t wait to test them out tomorrow!


If you’ve read this blog’s ‘about’ section, you’ll know that my fitness philosophy is that the more fun an activity is, the more likely it is that you’ll keep it up.

So after trying conventional weightlifting and being bored out of my mind, this year I started a bodyweight routine and so far it’s been loads of fun.

The common misconception about bodyweight training is that you can’t really progress much by just slinging your own body around. But as you’ll see from this video, there’s a million ways of making even something as simple as a pushup incredibly challenging.

Check it out:


One of my new year’s fitness resolutions (which I’ll stick on here as soon as I have a chance) is to complete an Xterra offroad triathlon.

These events don’t come around very often, so when a friend told me about the Totalsports Xterra Buffelspoort, I entered right away despite not having swum freestyle since my age was still in the single digits. But I’m fairly fit, so how hard could it be, right?

Excruciatingly, humiliatingly hard, as I found out the first time I tried to swim a length in the pool. And it didn’t get much easier as the Xterra got closer, so I was very, very nervous when I found myself standing on the shore of the Buffelspoort dam on Sunday, 26 January.

When I stuck my head in the water and all I could see was a soupy green void, I felt like this:

(WordPress is a little bit dof, so click the link to see the animated gif)


I panicked, lost my rhythm and spent the next 15 minutes doing whatever I could to keep my head out of the water. Despite my pathetic flailing, I wasn’t the last guy out of the dam by a long stretch. Lesson learnt: You can’t brute force your way through swimming.

But then, I jumped on my bike and I felt like this:


What an awesome ride, I was unstoppable! The  trail was fun but challenging with a few bumpy parts and some tricky river crossings.

Then came the 6km trail run, which involved jumping down a series of huge steps to the bottom of the dam wall and then climbing a steep ladder back up the other side, hurling my tired ass over rocks, through rivers and up a mean bastard of a mountain. I wish I had this guy’s skills:


And finally some actual footage of me crossing the finish line after two hours and 21 grueling minutes:


Whew, I was just happy to have survived my first Xterra. I left with a shiny new medal, an awesome goodie bag and some very sore muscles.



I’m a bit of an outlier among middle class white folks in that I think SA is a pretty amazing place to live. That’s why I was super keen to be part of Kulula’s Most South African Flight Ever.

I entered on Facebook and my impassioned plea had the right effect – I was one of just 100 people picked from a pool of about 5000 entrants.

But my heart sank when I got my invitation and it said that I had to dress the part – I hate any and all forms of fancy dress! So I got thinking – I could be boring and just go in jeans and a T-shirt, I could don a soccer jersey and a makarapa like every other person there, or I could go as The Most South African Cyclist Ever.

The awesome guys at Anatomic sponsored me a cycling jersey to fit the theme and I’m sure  spandexed ass raised a few smiles.


The event, held at Lanseria airport near Joburg, was loads of fun. They pulled out all the stops to saturate the event with S’african flavour – when I arrived at the airport, I was greeted by gumboot dancers, puppeteers, soccer players, a magician and (inexplicably) a tranny contortionist.


At the boarding gate, we were entertained by zef Afrikaans rapper Jack Parow before crossing the ‘green carpet’ to board the equally green and brand spanking new Kulula plane.

Waiting on my seat was a bag full of South African ‘padkos’ – koeksisters, biltong, gummy mopani worms, a ‘larney sarmie’ and a biscuit. The organisers really thought of every little detail – even the in-flight mags were swapped out for Huisgenoot, Drum and You.

So we took off on a scenic flight of Hartebeespoort dam and the Pilanesberg mountains. In-flight entertainment consisted of Kurt Schoonraad, apparently a well-known comedian, and the Wits Choir leading us in singing the national anthem (twice!).


An hour later, we were back at Lanseria. We each received a lumo-green backpack stuffed with South African goodies like Peppermint Crisp, Ouma rusks, mielie meal, Klipdrift & Coke, rooibos tea and nifty little model of the plane we just flew on.


Thanks to Kulula for a great morning of patriotic fun!

Lacoste Polo of the Future

I always find it bizarre that even though synthetic fabrics have been around for a century, most of the clothes we wear are still made from a fluffy plant and need to be rubbed with a hot piece of metal before we can wear them.

Clothing is effectively still in the stone age.

In this video, Lacoste envisions the polo of the future – you can tap the little crocodile to change colours, tug the sleeves to go from short to long-sleeve, it can keep your tennis score and doubles up as a bike light at night!

This is obviously completely far-fetched, but awesome nevertheless. Watch:

Check out the campaign site here.

Gerber Gear Mud Run

Ever since I first heard about obstacle races like Tough Mudder and the Impi Challenge a few months back, I’ve been dying to try this latest racing craze.

The Gerber Gear Mud Run, held at the Avianto Clubhouse in Muldersdrift this Saturday, was a nice and easy introduction to obstacle racing.

There’s no way I was taking this one on by myself though, so I teamed up with a bunch of tough girls from work. Danielle, Tshego and Thobeka kept me going for 12 tough kays. Luyanda, the fifth member of our posse, was felled by an asthma attack, but she was definitely there in spirit. Next time, Lu! The boyfriend and our friend Clare chickened out and decided to do the 5km race instead.

Of course, this wouldn’t be an obstacle race without some obstacles, and the organisers came up with some super fun and crazy ones.

There were the usual suspects – a mud pit, some tight tunnels, a 2m tall wall and several river crossings perfectly timed to keep us mildly moist for most of the race.

Gerber Gear Mud Run

Then things got interesting… first we went through Snipers’ Alley, where camouflaged sharpshooters took pot shots at our behinds. Next we had to cross through an empty pool at an abandoned resort and then came the Zombie Apocalypse, which I’m not ashamed to admit made me scream like a little girl. We each received an elastic waistband with three orange tags and had to run through some abandoned buildings where the ‘zombies’ were hiding. Their sole mission is to tear off our tags, each representing one ‘life’. I made it through with a single life remaining, but alas, there was another zombie hiding in the woods. With no lives left, I had to do fifty push-ups in penance.

The last two obstacles were actually quite pleasant – a refreshing ice bath followed by one of those giant inflatable slides that I always thought I was much too old to go on.

Gerber Gear Mud Run

Swimming through about a million rivers ensured that our ‘after’ shots were surprisingly mud-free.

A short run up the hill and we were done! I didn’t carry my phone with me, so I don’t know our exact time, but as far as I can tell we finished the race in 2:15 or so. Another surprise was that instead of medals, we each received a nifty little Gerber pocket knife.

If you’re keen to do an obstacle race, there’s a new series called the Warrior Race kicking off in February. It looks about ten times tougher than the Mud Run, but it’s definitely on my to-do list for 2013!

…I want to go ride my bike here:


Lately I’ve been writing walls and walls of text, so how about some pretty pictures for a change?

The Hiawatha Trail in Idaho, US, was constructed on an old railbed, crossing seven bridges and eight tunnels over 21 kilometres. Photos via Idaho for 91 Days: