Back in the Day…

Okay, so I was going to blog about psychopathy, but that is on the back-burner for now.  I want the post to be objective and in order for it to be so, a great deal more research needs to be done.

Instead I’ve decided to reminisce a bit, having come across some old photographs this past weekend, and also because of something I read on a friend’s Facebook feed this morning which touched my heart “I remember the days I prayed for the things I have now.”  Very often we hear “don’t live in the past”, and yes, I’ve blogged about that very subject here, but the last few months I’ve become more open minded about a lot of things.  I’ve learned much about myself and my character – and I’m not going to lie by saying it hasn’t been hard, because it has.  I think my parents, roommate and a handful of close friends will vouch for this, but as with everything in life, I haven’t lost, I’ve either won or I’ve learnt.

In the most recent instance, I’ve learnt, with a great amount of heartache, that things don’t always go as planned and that sometimes the only thing one can do for one’s own sanity is to smile because it happened, and move on.  It doesn’t mean that the person in question doesn’t still cross my mind, but it does mean that when he does, I don’t have to remember the sadness, but the happy times.  I’ve also learnt I’m more confident, sensual and fun than I give myself credit for – something I wouldn’t have realized had I not been exposed to certain people post-the-mindcrosser.  So, all’s well that ends well.

Moving right along…memories…all of these from 2013 – the year I was 33, going on 34, and decided to do things that made me happy, with people that brought out the best in me.

These photos were taken on January 27th, when my colleague Carla, my gym-trainer/friend, Steve and I went horse riding at Eight Bells Mountain Inn, not too far from where we live.  It was the first time I’d been riding in easily two decades.  I am not supposed to ride given a chronic back injury, but it was something I had been champing at the bit to do for ages (and yes, that pun was intended), that I went ahead and did it anyway (and for weeks afterwards I spent time in physiotherapy, but if I could do it again, I would, without a moment’s hesitation).  It was such an incredible feeling to be in the saddle trotting through the indigenous forest.  One’s perspective on life is simply different upon the back of a horse, and the animals themselves generate a calmness in my spirit.

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Then onto these…

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Me

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About three weeks before my 34th birthday, my now-roommate Shelby, convinced me to do a 10 Km walk/race with her and some of our other friends, Jason, Jerry and Steve from the gym.  Being quite fit at the time, I thought what do I have to lose, and we headed off to the local wedding venue that hosts this annual event, arriving in pouring rain.  The damp chill in our bones didn’t dampen our spirits – the starting gun fired and about 500 m into the race I knew I was going to regret my initial bravado.  The route was slick and muddy and I realized that while I may have been gym-fit, I was far from walking/running fit.  At the 6 Km mark, with not another person in sight for miles, I sat on the side of the road, intent on not taking another step.  My friends would miss me and eventually come to find me.  I must have wasted about fifteen minutes wallowing in self-pity when an old lady of 78 came walking along.

She looked at me like I was mad and said, “No man.  Are you going to sit there and feel sorry for yourself?  Or are you going to finish the race with me.  I’ll walk the remainder of the way with you.”  I was so humbled at her inner strength and willingness to forego the importance of the time on the clock, that I got up and trudged ahead.  We crossed the line together, with 24 minutes to spare before cut-off.

Arriving at the finish

I got a medal for completing the race and then collapsed on the lawn for a few minutes.  I was exhausted.

Done and Dusted

Now would be a good time to mention that by the time I eventually made it, everyone else had eaten.  I did not consider this when they dragged me to go wine tasting.  Twenty four red wines later and well…the rest is pretty much…a blur.  I remember asking Steve to buy me a case of this wine, with the promise that I’d settle with him when I saw him the following Monday.  Good thing he knows me well enough to know that I actually meant a bottle and not a case.

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Then of course, there was me conquering my fear of heights.  In a moment of complete madness I walked over to Carla’s office and asked her if she’d go ziplining with me in Sedgefield.  She immediately agreed and after much egging-on when it got to the first line, I took the plunge and it was amazing!

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I still want to do the course at Tsitikamma Falls sometime too.  That is such a picturesque course, over the Kruis River.

Right, enough rehashing old memories – it’s time to start making new ones!!

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