Friday, April 17, 2015

Hard working out

For the past 6 months my mates Dylan, Chris and Brandon, and Llewellyn have been giving me valuable help, advice, motivation and encouragement to take this tired and decrepit skinny body and breathe some new life into it. 

It's not easy at 56 to spend, or even find time to spend, at least 5 hours a week lifting weights and jumping around the room doing cardio and some crazy crossfit exercises. However in those months I have managed to increase my weight by 10 kgs and decrease my body fat percentage by over 3% and lower my resting and peak exercise heart rate. My aviation doctor says this is the fittest he has seen me. So big thanks to my helpers for showing me the ropes and training with me to push boundaries which exist largely only in one's head.  Chris said, "don't think about it, just do it." and Dylan said, "You managed to lift it when you believed you could". Check out the pics of the work in progress and for a sample of the action..

My workout yesterday.. the guy in the pics is not me (ha ha) but Dylan who trains in Amanzimtoti and is just completing his Personal Training course. He has given freely of his time and makes sure I train hard, whilst he lifts and does double what I can do... and leg press he manages 500 kg to my mere 160 kg. You're a machine Dylan!
High Jump

 I think the last time I jumped was in high school athletics meet, so I didn't think I could still get up there, but with a bit of focus it's possible, even if I look like I'm straining my foefie-belt ha ha. 
Box jumping at Toti Virgin Active

Chris got me started as he is relatively small in stature but has impressive guns and abs to die for and lifts weights like a beast. He encouraged me and gave me my new training programme which set the ball rolling in October last year and has been inspirational throughout and I catch up with him training once a week keeping me on my toes.

Dylan pushing half a ton!!

My mate Dylan manages half a ton leg press, and today passed his personal training prac exam, so will soon be able to offer his services on a professional level. Congrats man!! He is particularly keen on a programme for moms and their toddlers, showing how every mom at home can join the keep fit revolution whilst keeping her toddler entertained. He has started his own blog, Dylan's Way so be among the first to click on this link here and see how he develops the blog and puts into publication his brain-filled maze of ingenious ideas, nutritional advice, exercise tips and ways to better health. It's for everyone, including the ardent body builder and those just wanting to make better life and health choices. Thanks Dylan, I am sore for days after working out with you. It's great to feel progress!!

Thyme, Lemon grass and Sage tea
Herb Tea

Most of my mates are also non-smokers and non-drinkers, so whilst I have never smoked, I have been toning down my drinking habits. In fact, I now battle to finish two glasses of wine.. ha ha, and have been enjoying my new herb and green teas.. fresh out of the garden. You must check out the medicinal value of these herbs!! I was amazed.

Starting off small

I only started leg-training as well as a spinning class a few weeks ago and you have to be prepared to start small. In the pic below I think I was only managing 2 x 20 kg but over the next 3 weeks have increased that to my new record of 160 kgs. With dumbell bench press I also reached my new record this week lifting 2 x 30 kgs (60 kgs) for the last 10 reps of the set. I'm chuffed with that progress.
Leg press is a killer, especially for tender knees

These ropes are a killer and help develop your shoulders

Work in progress...

Trying to add some bulk to my arms which were always more like match-sticks. >>


By far the biggest lesson I have learned is that it is just as hard for fat people to lose weight as it is for skinny people to put on weight. The body has an amazing ability to confound your best efforts, slowing down your metabolism if it thinks you might starve, so cutting down with diets rarely works, and similarly if a skinny person eats more, your body just speeds up to compensate and out it goes as fast as you eat it... meals take careful planning and timing to achieve what you want to and for me it's eating much more than I used to, and eating the right kinds of things. 

Protein and fats are in

I have added a lot of protein to my diet to help build lean muscle and I have re-introduced some animal fats, which contrary to popular belief, are really very good, in fact essential for you. So double cream yoghurt is back in... omw have you tasted how good it is, whereas all this time I have been eating crappy fat-free yoghurts!! I have always eaten butter, not marg, so that hasn't changed, and I have always enjoyed the fattiest cuts of biltong.. yum. I have a diet plan that tries to balance the correct amount of carbs vs protein vs fats and the correct kilojoule amounts, but I do still struggle to find enough things to eat each day. Llew always said I eat to live, whereas he lives to eat. Food was never anything critical to me and I could go a full day without eating if I was busy. Now I am taking time out to eat and most days taking prepared food with me to the office. 

These are my boys Chris (left) and Dylan (right) - my mates, gym advisors and instructors; don't you love them!! I am training with the best.

Trolls' Croatian Vacation

Our group of mates have booked our own private yacht to cruise the islands of Croatia in September. The 12-berth catamaran is based at Trogir, near Split in Croatia, where we will board for an idyllic few days cruising the islands, preceded by a visit to Bulgaria and Montenegro (where the previous James Bond movie was filmed) followed up by a few days in the Greek Isles.

Here's a link to the Facebook group of the troll's Croatian Vacation where we will be posting more news and pics.

Pebble beach near Makarska  where we will stay for a night before boarding the yacht on our drive from Dubrovnik to Split
Our group got together for dinner last night to finalise plans and bookings... flights are already booked. For Llewellyn and myself 3 Sept to 28 Sept!!! We used our Voyager airmiles and the tickets/airport taxes cost us R7500 each, including the connecting flights from Durban, Jhb, Munich, Sofia (Bulgaria), returning Athens, Frankfurt, Jhb, Durban, inclusive. Thank you SAA.

The yacht we will sail the islands in

We will board the yacht in Trogir, near Split
For the first time in 35 years I will enjoy a whole month vacation visiting Bulgaria, Croatia, Montenegro and the Greek isles
We will be staying here.. list will be updated as we make the bookings:
Bulgaria - Borovets, Flora Apartments
Croatia - Makarska, Apartments Soline
Croatia - Dubrovnik
Greece - Mykonos

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Sunday adventures

It was a beautiful Sunday for some air time in our Sling aircraft.. more pics and story on my aviation blog here..

We were also contemplating the time when we turn out to sea and head for the horizon when we undertake our 4 1/2 hour flight over the sea to Madagascar in July this year.
Setting off from Virginia Airport for a navigation exercise to the north

We'll be in Cape Town this Easter and meeting up with my son Mark and Lisa, so hopefully we'll get to do the Lion's Head walk they did this morning, snapping this glorious shot of Table Mountain from Lion's Head.

The view of Table Mountain from Lion's Head

The monsters in the cave - the Lion's nostril!! with the cable car station on Table Mountain in the background

Cherry blossom time

The one thing I really wanted to see in South Korea were the cherry blossoms and my daughter Kate is there for the second season with Spring in the air.

Watching a baseball game with the mates this weekend, Kate got clobbered by the ball, shedding a few tears and creating a huge bruise.

I haven't really had this game explained to me, but it's flip or something and involves flipping the cup upside down and downing the contents. Kate and her mates seem to be maters at this picking up an award.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Kitesurfing today

Kitesurfing is a lot like flying aeroplanes.. the kite is similar to an aircraft wing with a pumped leading edge to direct the flow of air and generate lift, which, if positioned correctly in the sky, translates into pulling you through the surf on the kiteboard.

I haven't taken my kite out for about 5 years now, mainly because I get hectic backache after a day on the beach after my back injury 20 years ago, not to mention getting roasted by the sun, particularly as you generally have your face to the sky/sun watching the kite.

However I have mates keen on kitesurfing so we took it out of the mothballs and fumbled our way to getting it back together and up in the sky at kitesurfing beach in Durban today. It was a load of fun and my back did get quite roasted.

My gym buddy and I were discussing which muscles would do the work pumping up the kite... I thought his muscles would be better ha ha.

Dylan gets the kite up for the first time

Dain getting in some practice getting dragged and leaping over the beach

Selfie time

Dain giving Dylan some guidance as they take to the surf getting a hang of flying the kite into and out of the wind

Dain and Kirsty

After action drinks time in our guesthouse pub

Meawhile in South Korea..

Kate-Lynn and Chris also enjoyed some beach time today, at Gwangali Beach, Busan, South Korea, where the winter is coming to an end and the temperatures are heating up for spring.

Chris and Kate on Gwangali beach with the  famous bridge in the background
Looks like they had after-action pub grub at Sharky's too while our own Sharkys were playing the Chiefs at Kings Park Stadium in Durban.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Kate postpones return

Kate has reached the end of her year in Korea and has postponed her return with a new contract, new job and new apartment. That means we don't see her for more months :-(

The view from Kate's new apartment near Gwangali Beach, Busan, South Korea

Kate moved into her new apartment last weekend

Kate's new home for the next number of months

And she arrived there with one suitcase!!!

Kate unpacks in her new apartment


Madame Zingara

What a show. Incredible performers and great evening and meal. Superb.

Llew's Dad Owen and his wife Karin joined us for Madame Zingara

Llew and his daughter Lauren

Dave and Llew before the show

This talented performer did the most amazing body balancing moves and the girls and boys couldn't get enough of his powerful toned body.

Mom joling too

My mom has arrived in Auckland, New Zealand to visit my brother for 6 weeks, after long flights to Auckland via Sydney. She enjoyed a night at Madame Zingara in Durban with us just before leaving for her trip. 

At the airport getting assistance to the plane

Kids galavanting

My kids are all over the show, Kate in Busan, South Korea and taking time out to ski in the central Korean mountains, while Mark is in Haifa presenting an academic paper at an international engineering conference, and visiting Jerusalem and the Dead Sea.. wow!!

Kate at the High 1 Ski Resort, Jijang Mountain Peak, South Korea

Chris, an expert skier from his USA hometown experience teaches Kate on the slopes

Snow bears

Chris and Kate on the chair lift

Mark visits St Marks Church, Jerusalem this week

On the streets of Jerusalem

Mark lights a candle

Temperatures were warm enough for swimming

The rocky view to the Dead Sea from the Israeli side

Mark afloat on the Dead Sea.. your body just wont go down!

You haven't completed the Dead Sea experience without being covered in mud, said to be good for your skin