Toughen up buttercup.

 

31 January 2018.

So i am in dire need of a screwdriver!!!!!!! For us piss artists that refers to a dbl vodka and oj.” Heavy drinkers like to have them earlish in the day to tighten things up a bit.” Lol. Ok figuratively not literally. I have just spent 2 months on the road and as groovy as that was it was a bit long. (Never thought you would hear me say that hey). When we got back we had to move, which sucks. I seem to be up to my eyeballs in admin (which is not my forte) and well……. all the shit we all have to deal with every day.
So much is going right but why do i feel so anxious and why am i battling to enjoy things that normally give me great pleasure.

So, what to do………

Firstly, as a good friend says, “stop the rot”. Never mind trying to change everything just yet. First i need to identify what is wrong.
When i walk on Salt rock beach it is normally a spiritual time. Half of my father’s ashes are there, and it is my time to talk with Mom and Dad. This time something was wrong. My head was just not in it. As i walked looking for shells, the sun hot on my back and the new sports model Chad pronking almost Gisselle like along the beach. I started to relax and reflect. I have spent my adult life working in jobs i enjoyed. More for the love of it than the money. Travelling whenever i could and ultimately just wanting to have a good time;-). So now being sober and at the ripe old age of 35…….;-) ok 47 i am taking my life a little more seriously. My work ethic has improved which brings opportunities. Opportunities bring growth, growth brings more responsibilities and guess what i was not ready. I freeked the fuck out. All these cool things are happening in my life and i was not enjoying them. I felt stressed, everything was moving SOOO fast, i was battling to stay on this dust particle flying through space they call earth. Some might even say i was a grumpy bastard.
My head has found a lot more peace and my body feels …. well like it has lost 53kg’s. However, i was letting my spirituality run dry. I always have a laugh when some Africans say how in their religion they pray to their ancestors as if it were their thing. Well that is always what i have done. I pray/talk with my people every hour of the day. I religiously watch the sunrise and sunset every day. I surround myself with nature whenever possible. I try to be part of this world and will hopefully leave some good behind……..or was i????? Was i not just being the person i have rebelled against my whole life. I had forgotten to stop and smell the roses and more importantly taking time out to say thanks. To open my heart to the earths energy……..ommmmmmm schwang!!!! (i may start chanting soon) and to be the happy go lucky guy i always was. I was spending too much time not being Chad. As another friend said to me, being happy is hard work. Life is like a relationship. If you want it to be the best it can be you need to feed, nurture it. To learn from your mistakes. I was way too worried about being normal. Fitting in. Like all big drinkers i wanted immediate results. I had forgotten that i had been through a massively traumatic time and i just needed to let it be and let life take me on my new journey.
Well it is time for Chadman to come back out and play………this time without the jet fuel.
I plan on pacing myself, dividing up my time to get the best out of me. You can work your fingers to the bone but in search of material wealth you become a jerk what’s the point. Do too little work and stroll around the desert too much you may have a form of peace but you then rebel against the norm as you think everyone except animals are full of shit. Have too many lunches and your health suffers.
So today i am going to put a smile on my face, thank the big guy/mother nature and my ancestors for this awesome life, watch the sunrise, go for a swim, go work hard and come home to a lovely dinner with my lady outside under the stars. As for the next day i am not going to give it a second thought. Too far in the future to worry about.
When is this toss going to tell us about his swimming i hear you say well let’s see what the next few months hold for me.

“In a thick Austrian accent”………I’ll be back!!!!!!!

3 February 2018

21 years ago, i was on a guiding course in the north of SA when i met someone who had quite an influence on my life. After getting lost in the North our “Trainer” admitted defeat and told us we had to head to another camp 4 hours on as she had messed up the booking. This meant drinks time for us naturally. As the first can sprayed open the comatose body in the back of the bus (he had not moved a muscle all day) sprang to life and joined the party. He had apparently pulled an all-nighter as the concierge of the Michelangelo hotel in Sandton and needed to sleep. Lucas we will call him was one charming mother fucker. He was born to a wealthy family, studied at an hotel school in the alps in France, spoke French and was very intelligent. His family owned a slate quarry and had a Southfork style home in Honeydew. He was very small in size but more than made up for it in personality. Life as his friend was hilarious. That night after trying to keep up drinking with the bigger boys he passed out. In the early hours of the morning we heard this gut-wrenching scream and switched on the light in our dorm room to see Lucas sleep walking and having eased out his manhood he shot a manly jet of urine all over the retired headmaster of Bekker schools. That was just the beginng……
We became friends and genuinely had a fun time. One day will partying with him he offered me something that was to change my life forever. For the next decade we partied like rock stars but like all addictions it soon turned ugly. I chose to stop but he wanted to carry on. Telling him we had come to a fork in the road and that we were parting ways was very difficult for me. I really liked my friend. The sadness in his voice will always haunt me but it had to be done.

Today he is dead.

Honestly i am surprised it took this long and i can’t say i did not expect it. However, i am here and i am strong. Never again will anything or anyone have control over me. I cry for my friend, but it also reinforces to me that it always ends the same way. And believe me it is not Glorious nor pretty. You would sell your soul to have the pain taken away. I lived through it, why i don’t know yet but there must be a reason.
I will find it and i will do it.

RIP Lucas aralias Maximus.

26 February 2018.
I have come back from a great golf tour to the Natal midlands. Once again, my head was moving too fast, my golf was not up to scratch so no win this time. However, we were beaten fair and square. Our new reigning champion did however help me with a bit of a realization. When we had finished we were sitting on the balcony of the magnificent champagne sports resort when he asked me how where things at my business. I complained that i was run off my feet and had so much to do that i was losing my mind. He said……..so doing business then.
2 and a half years ago i was going to sell my safari vehicle to keep my head above water. Now i am making a success of my business and have a few more vehicles. I realized your rewards from business are directly linked to how much effort you put in. I was feeling sorry for myself but in fact all successful business men work a big portion of their day and rest (or drink) much less. So, lesson learned now toughen up Buttercup.

One of the reasons I started open water swimming was that I was inspired by Bruce Salts successful crossing of the English Channel. I won’t forget nervously watching his GPS dot slowly make its way across my computer screen. 13 hours later he was in France. It was a hell of an achievement. Well done once again Bruce. I was privileged to have him take the time out to swim with me late last year. Thanks, and Niceoonee Bruce!! (he is on the right next to the good looking one😉)

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Still i was battling though………..i was just in a bad space. Enter the Guru. Luckily when i stopped my wild ways i was surrounded by great people. I write this not to thank them (they know how grateful i am) but to tell those who want it that bouncing thing off someone else and listing to other sides of the story certainly helps. When i was young and my Mother died i really should have gone and seen a professional. However back then men did not cry! So, I went back to my guru and i have put the effort in to use the tools she taught me in the beginning to get myself back on track. I did not drink, nor was it even considered. I just was in a stressful place. The stress does not go away i just manage it better now. Niccceeeoonnee 😉

4 March.

This weekend i did an 2,1km open water swim at lake oanab. I finished in a time of 1 hour 9 min. Very slow by most endurance swimmer’s standards, but it means nothing to me. I started from the back to avoid the better swimmers swimming over me (i lost my cool on New Year’s Day and grabbed a guy by the leg and pulled him under as he swam over me……oooops) and started slow. As i was at the back the ski boat captain who was the backup was close to me and i had to tell him to fuck off as i was not going to drown and his diesel fumes was making it hard to breathe. Two thirds of the way through all the muffins and Danish pastries i had been eating over the Dec/Jan holidays came back to haunt me. I had put on a few kg’s and i was weaker. It felt like i was dragging a backpack behind me as i swam. I was honestly exhausted. But i will be dammed if after 1 years training i was not going to finish in front of my swimming buddies/coach/friends and Ingi. I changed my breathing to every second stroke to get more oxygen. Blew all the carbon monoxide out of my lungs first and aimed for the crowds. As i got within 100m of the end the freeking ski boat captain decided he was going to get me back and attached the finish buoy to his boat and disappeared to wherever buoys are kept. I was about to have a complete shitfit when i thought of my Dad. This was just not cricket!!!!!!! You do not pack away the finish line until the last athlete is finished. He was old school and good sportsman ship was everything. It brought a smile to my face and i put my head down and swam in to my people.

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19 March.

This weekend i went down to CT for a swimming camp. It was actually in the Langebaan lagoon and run by Derrick and Debbie Frazer. They own a company called big bay events and supply support to swimmers doing various events. Their main one is the Freedom Day swim which is the mass participation Robben island crossing. I was there to learn feeding techniques, theory on cold water acclimatization, hints on nutrition and general logistics of open water swimming. On the way there i was honestly shitting myself. I had not swum in cold water since New Year’s Day and i have put on a few kg’s over the last 2 months as my eating has been out of control. I really have been battling with my nutrition. Due to the years of alcohol abuse all the sugar i have drunk has turned me Hypoglycaemic. Meaning my blood sugar is now too low. So, when i eat any processed carbs or cane sugar i spike. Then when it dropped again it falls too low. I get disorientated, confused, have slurred speech and shake like a leaf. The only way out is to have more sugar quickly. This then starts the process all over again. It takes its toll on your body and the rest of the day i am very weak. It has been getting worse and i am at the point where i know i need sugar to up it again but find myself standing in a shop unable to choose which chocolate to buy as i am so confused. It feels like a wet towel has been wrapped tightly around my head.

As always when a bunch of strangers get together it is a bit odd. However, our hosts quickly got us all together and bonding over our one thing in common. Open water swimming. We were split into 2 groups. 8 swimmers were going to attempt the 8km Preekstoel swim and 4 of us where doing a 4km swim closer to the shoreline. We were all from different backgrounds, but everyone was very friendly. They all were genuinely good people.
My time came to swim and i was nervous. But as always in i jumped feet first into the icy turquoise water and immediately was calmer. The water did not feel that cold. It turns out that most of the swim was done at 15 deg and a low of 13. We swam for an hour and 20 min and had covered 3km. We got out at a beautiful beach which was the end. I really had my heart set on 4km to standing there shivering i said to a nice guy called Wada lets swim onto the next beach and back. He agreed, and we hit the 4km mark another 25 min later. According to my GPS watch we swum a total of 4.5 km. I was over the moon as this was my furthest swim yet.

Our accommodation.

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Derrick and Debbie.

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Our support boats and life guards

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Heading out for the swims.

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Sunrise coffee before my swim.

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21 March

So, from CT I went directly to Swakopmund for another camp with my squad. Ryan organised it to give us some more open water training. Once again just sooooo much fun. Friday afternoon we did 6 loops of the mole and I covered 1750m. There was red tide, so the water was unusually warm. Around 18 deg. I swum with a lovely French lady (Beatrice) who swims in my lane in Windhoek as we swim at similar speeds. She was awesome, and we enjoyed the loops.

The Saturday we swum the Jetty mile and we swum together again. We both did well, and I broke my previous time by 20 min. We swum it in 55min. Jorn and Philip who have swum for Namibia in the World championships swam out again and escorted us in. The others where far faster than us but we were very proud of our achievement.

We swum ins and outs on the Saturday afternoon where we swum out through the waves to the back line and back again. This is actually very hard under normal circumstances and you end up out of breath before you start the long swim past the jetty.

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However not really any waves today so we enjoyed it a lot 😉

Then the big day arrived. Ryan said we can go out and try get the best possible time if we wanted. The conditions were great. Small swell and warmish.

And………I made the Jetty mile my bitch!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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49 min later I hit the beach in the mole. 26 min better than my first time. I was able to give it everything I had, I took a great line and swum as hard I as could. I honestly could not be happier. 14 months ago, it was not swimming it was survival. Everyone is so supportive, and I love the people I swim with. Ryan is a great coach and well……we rock! The weekend was a great success. In the week I swum a total of 11km which is by far my best.

The coolest swimming squad. 😉 You all rock and I salute you. 😉

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My time may have been increased a bit by the sharks is the water……Lol

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This picture was taken by Sonja’s Mom from the Jetty but to be honest I did not even know they were there. I was so amped I would have Chuck Norris’d the fuckers anyway 😉

I miss my walking and so have decided to do a small walk. On the 12 May I am going to walk through the Puros canyon to Mount Himba. Following the length of the Hoaruseb river. Around 65km. It will just take me a week but now with swimming and business being so busy that is all the time I can take off.
Thanks for your interest in my journey and I hope you find your way through this crazy world. It’s a good life if you don’t weaken (or are a grumpy bastard) The next time you are on a beach or in a desert or where ever you find yourself pick up 1 piece of litter. It will make a difference! Embrace your inner swami. Do it baby……just do it.

Until then keep on Rocking…….Chadmanswimming out!

Categories: Uncategorized | 1 Comment

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One thought on “Toughen up buttercup.

  1. Eric

    Well done hang in there

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