Monday, October 26, 2015

HEARTBEATS

Day 13 of 40 started today! Monday, new day, new week!

I had an incredible hour and a half mountain bike ride before work early in the morning. No photo taking (which most would know, I love to do),no dawdling, just riding from a short warm up base of 15 minutes to practically flat out for the better part of an hour and then another 15 minute cool down.

Images from Day 12 of 40

The ride was incredible! It was almost like when taking repeated deep breaths of fresh air that filtered right down to the core of one’s belly and when exhaling, feeling so alive, strong and determined! It’s in that moment in time we so often miss and take for granted. We sometimes fail to relish that point in time when we’re trying to accomplish a goal through fitness. That moment feels like time stands still, you feel and hear your heart drumming inside of you out loud. The air seems fresher. Your breathing feels ‘cleaner. When you’re giving what you have, exerting yourself and it seems so damn comfortable while you in the thick of it and you just do it thinking you’re about to break the proverbial ‘wall! It’s a rather exhilarating feeling!

13 days in of my 40 day biking odyssey. It’s going well! 3.1kgs lost in 12 days and I am still on track! Did a tad little cheating with some vino again and an over indulgence of nuts and walnuts in the week but hey! Why not live a little!

It’s been a while, almost feeling like an eternity since I committed to a regime such as this and I had also almost forgotten what it can do for you and the rewards that go with it! It’s an awesome feeling!
Around a 20% increase in effort in my second week off my first week’s base, with a slight decrease in ascent though, it was good to do in excess of 200km plus which has me feeling extremely motivated! And that was just riding, excluding the walking and running twice in the week! Building slowly.

Using a periodic training ritual, my trusty Garmin and all its stats, I will attempt to increase my coming week three efforts by 10% off of week two. It’s all a build and recovery process and strategy. If you do it right, believe me, it works! It doesn’t only make you fitter but also makes your mind stronger.

I am already viewing part of some of the route for the Freedom Challenge race across South Africa which is almost out my back door that I would like to go recon over 3 days at the end of this year. This will require that I obtain authorization from the Freedom Challenge race organizers to cross this terrain and farm lands out of race season, so watch this space…

The past two weeks have been purposeful. My biking has provided some sanity in our ever changing world and the stress that we can allow to manifest and consume us. Rising just after 4am every morning has started to become habitual and easier each time. Sometimes it’s the whole idea of occasionally not planning where I will be heading and wondering where my bike will take me, what views I will get to appreciate and what experience I will take from it that excites me. I have one added advantage but maybe also a disadvantage in that my world is a little quieter than most whilst I am biking as I don’t make use of hearing aids while outthere. When people look over a quiet valley watching a sunrise and remark how peaceful it is, believe me, it is that much more peaceful for me and I write that with a wicked smile…

With the Carel du Toit Centre, Cape Town still always in the back of my mind and we move towards the end of the year, I am still optimistic that the support will come and those donations will be made…..










                      Keeping fingers crossed!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

THE BIKING ODYSSEY



The past week has been bliss. I recommend anyone trying to get back into mountain biking to try this. I call it the biking odyssey plan which I devised. I picked up the idea in a cycle mag I subscribe to. It’s a plan where you must ride for 40 days. A minimum of one and a half hours or minimum 25 kilometres per day which ever comes first, or go longer or further as well as include at least a minimum of 400m of ascent into each ride.




I started my odyssey eight days ago and have to tell you that with the focus on the ‘big one next year namely the Freedom Challenge race across South Africa and with a sporadic training plan up to now for reasons explained previously in this blog which was moving me around aimlessly, it has really allowed me to start focusing on the enjoyment of being back on the bike properly along with a plan. Not to forget my initiative to raise funds for the Carel du Toit Centre in Cape Town that schools Deaf children.



We can so easily be sidetracked by stresses, problems and issues that we may have to confront in our day to day living and we start to get too serious about life. We then forget how to have fun; well some of us that is and things may seem more a chore than an enjoyment.



I missed a day yesterday due to unforeseen work commitment which should have been day 7 and I really frowned upon breaking the past 6 day’s habit. BUT! Curve balls is what you will face in life. How you deal with it determines the outcome. Completed my day 7 this morning and felt really chuffed!



The odyssey plan can be just plain riding or it can be a blend of interval training on the bike as well as a combination of cross training - running, walking and core body workouts included the way you feel best. I am hoping to shed some kilos in the plan that I have adopted and having had the base to work off I managed to shed 2 kilos in 6 days!!

AND NO! There was no real dieting. All I have done is cut out my vices – sugar, coke, cookies, sweet, chips, beer (did have wine on Saturday though!) and just cutting down to fist size portions with a small breakfast in the morning, snack mid morning, a sandwich at lunch, a snack mid afternoon and a fist size portion dinner minus carbs along with drinking water only and nothing else.



I am so focused on my goal for next year and all because of adopting some small changes which has been long overdue. 


It proves my theory that we all have purpose within us and if we have the right plan, the right sentiment, and the right focus and implement it, the rewards can be endless even if they are personal.



Who says a person that is deaf cannot have fun! Your attitude will determine the altitude you will rise to!


Thursday, October 15, 2015

DAY 3 OF 40

15 October, 5.15am, start of new day, new dawn. Start off of systematic Day 3 of 40 training plan. 

Loving it....!!



Wednesday, October 14, 2015

WHAT CAN YOU DO?



With Freedom Challenge race across South Africa - 2016 at the forefront of my planning, training and preparation over the months that lie ahead, so is my initiative and commitment to try raise funds towards the Carel du Toit Centre, Cape Town where Deaf children are taught and learn to speak.

Some people that are not affected by deafness would probably not even give it a second thought on the impact of what hearing loss can bring, especially with children.

In this post, I would like to touch on some of the key elements of the effects of deafness in children.


The effects of hearing loss on development:
Hearing is critical to speech and language development, communication, and learning. Children with listening difficulties due to hearing loss or auditory processing problems continue to be an under identified and under-served population. The earlier the hearing loss occurs in a child's life, the more serious the effects on the child's development. However, the earlier the problem is identified and intervention begun, the less serious the ultimate impact.

There are four major ways in which hearing loss affects children:

·         It causes delay in the development of receptive and expressive communication skills (speech and language).
·         The language deficit causes learning problems that result in reduced academic achievement.
·         Communication difficulties often lead to social isolation and poor self-concept.
·         It may have an impact on vocational choices.

The specific effects:

Vocabulary:
Vocabulary develops more slowly in children who have hearing loss.
Children with hearing loss learn concrete words like cat, jump, five, and red more easily than abstract words like before, after, equal to, and jealous. They also have difficulty with function words like the, an, are, and a.
The gap between the vocabulary of children with normal hearing and those with hearing loss widens with age. Children with hearing loss do not catch up without intervention.
Children with hearing loss have difficulty understanding words with multiple meanings. For example, the word bank can mean the edge of a stream or a place where we put money.

Sentence Structure:
Children with hearing loss comprehend and produce shorter and simpler sentences than children with normal hearing.
Children with hearing loss often have difficulty understanding and writing complex sentences, such as those with relative clauses ("The teacher whom I have for math was sick today.") or passive voice ("The ball was thrown by Mary.")
Children with hearing loss often cannot hear word endings such as -s or -ed. This leads to misunderstandings and misuse of verb tense, pluralization, non agreement of subject and verb, and possessives.

Speaking:
Children with hearing loss often cannot hear quiet speech sounds such as "s," "sh," "f," "t," and "k" and therefore do not include them in their speech. Thus, speech may be difficult to understand.
Children with hearing loss may not hear their own voices when they speak. They may speak too loudly or not loud enough. They may have a speaking pitch that is too high. They may sound like they are mumbling because of poor stress, poor inflection, or poor rate of speaking.

Academic Achievement:
Children with hearing loss have difficulty with all areas of academic achievement, especially reading and mathematical concepts.
Children with mild to moderate hearing losses, on average, achieve one to four grade levels lower than their peers with normal hearing, unless appropriate management occurs.
Children with severe to profound hearing loss usually achieve skills no higher than the third- or fourth-grade level, unless appropriate educational intervention occurs early.
The gap in academic achievement between children with normal hearing and those with hearing loss usually widens as they progress through school.
The level of achievement is related to parental involvement and the quantity, quality, and timing of the support services children receive.

Social Functioning:
Children with severe to profound hearing losses often report feeling isolated, without friends, and unhappy in school, particularly when their socialization with other children with hearing loss is limited.
These social problems appear to be more frequent in children with mild or moderate hearing losses than in those with a severe to profound loss.

Ref: Article insert from: www.asha.org


What You Can Do
Recent research indicates that children identified with a hearing loss and there is early intervention may be able to develop language (spoken and/or signed) on a par with their hearing peers.

Why don't you consider giving me a helping hand towards raising funds to keep Carel du Toit Centre Cape Town doing what they do?

As mentioned before, from August 2015 to June 2016 and myself being a deaf individual along with my quest to complete the Freedom Challenge race across South Africa in June 2016, I am also attempting to raise funds for Carel du Toit Centre, Cape Town where deaf children learn to speak.



Authorization from Carel du Toit Centre Cape Town to raise funds:

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

HEAT OF SUMMER



....Well here we are again... A quick vacation break with family away from home and all with trekking around and round trip of 2000km completed, by vehicle that is. Apologies for the lack of comms but this happens when you are out of range or you get a minimalist blip on your signal notification bars on any gadget that requires a signal to beam out to the world.



Took off on my mountain bike early this morning and even though training has been sporadic with plenty interruptions up to this point and with the Freedom Challenge race across South Africa just short of seven and a half months away, the volume, heat and intensity has begun, like a switch being flipped.

Some serious planned, systematic, projected training starting and coming my way.



The end of 2015 is racing towards us at a rate of knots. The summer heat has kicked in and I surmise we are going to be in for a hot rough ride. This will call for early morning riding and putting in some miles before the heat threatens to derail the best of plans and intentions. Heat has never been my forte, give me the cold any day but as it be told, the training must go on, heat or no heat. The planning will manifest and as we may well know, failure to plan is planning to fail.



As mentioned before, from August 2015 to June 2016, raising funds for Carel du Toit Centre, Cape Town where deaf children are taught to speak, is something close to me, and I also realise that it may still be early days to push for donations towards my initiative and cause but yet I have. Sadly, barring two donations to date, I have pushed out numerous requests at present and it has either been a negative response or as it may, companies willing to offer some of their brands whether for my personal use on the Freedom trail or to use to rally donations from it. I am still hopeful for positive outcomes.






Come on! Join me! Make a difference!

THE STORY OF 2016 RACE ACROSS SOUTH AFRICA

The full 2016 Freedom Challenge race across South Africa race report https://view.publitas.com/private-18/2016-freedom-challenge-rac...