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Life Coaching 101

I help people realise their potential.
I facilitate growth by helping people achieve their goals and dreams.

We all have goals and dreams right? But how many of us have the tools and skills to achieve these? That is where I come in.

We might even have things in our past that are holding us back. I can help you clear these up so that you can move forward with confidence.

Each one of us is unique and so my coaching is on an individual basis so that I can facilitate your highest truth.

How does it work?

The first session is free. This is a getting to know each other session. You and I work out if we want to work together. Then we schedule a few sessions and you present me with what is important in your life.

I believe life is simple. Often it is just us who complicate things. My sessions are simple. I stay away from jargon. My challenge is to meet you where you are at and walk beside you on your path. Maybe I am more of a guide or compass, giving pointers here and there. Ultimately it is your choice of how you implement these. Life happens outside of coaching and I have the biggest respect for that.

I coach in person in my office in Plumstead or over Skype if that is more convenient.

My background 

I am curious about the people around me. I am fascinated by how we tick. More importantly I am interested in how to help clients realise their potential.

I received great theoretical insight into human thought by completing a BSc in Psychology.

A Life Line course gave me more practical skills and insight.

Being invited to formal Life Coaching training solidified my understanding. Just as we continually develop so my learning continues.

Please call me on 072 285 9563 or email me to see how we can work together.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Below you will find some of my ideas and thoughts which might be of interest.

Surfing the Line

Maybe a better description would be "balancing the line" or something similar.

I want to convey the feeling of dynamic movement, of back and forth, zig-zagging, carving back sharply then more smoothly. Adjusting course. But rather than dropping down one side of the wave as in surfing I want to describe riding the sharp crest of it. That is where the tension is. The sharp line between shadow and light. Cool and warm. Left and right. Hard and soft. Overwhelm and apathy. My destiny lies along this crest not on either side.  A friend described it like balancing a wobble board. But I think this is more dynamic. Running along the crest of a sand dune. My existence lies along that tension. Probably because of that tension. 
As I look behind, the crest is no longer clean and crisp but pocked by my passing. Murky where I have walked.
The reality is that the only way I can stay true is to put one foot either side. One spot of light in the dark and one shadow in the light. Transferring weight between the two. Thinking, being static does not keep me on course. Action, forward momentum, does.

As I know dunes are not straight lines but rather curves. Intersecting. Interjoining. The obvious path is not a straight line.
As I reach one summit I see others ahead. A sea of sand and opportunity or misery. That depends on me.

Add a title of your choosing

My preconceptions were the wall.

I had done this before. I had felt the holds. I remember the awkward move even from years ago. I knew I wanted to do it. To do the tick. I knew the consequences of pushing on and backing off. Backing off meant quite a lot when it was meaning that I was after.

I felt the dirt in the crack. Looked at the moves above I would not be able to reverse. My ideas, my fear tilted the wall against me. The lack of training (and that is a training of sorts) added to the cocktail.

How to be present and feel and see what is really there? Not blinded by what I think aught to be. That seems to be the real training.

The reps will change, as the steepness of the wall.

I admire all who continue to try into age. It seems too easy to just fortify ourselves in our own limits of thought, tradition, statements rather than questions and new possibilities. I admire all who keep an open heart to reality. Reality sometimes looks like opportunity and that is when we should act.

“Rise to the occasion” they say

A cure all, magic spell.

A hope even.

The problem with such a simple explanation is that it might just be too simple.

And hope does not provoke action but rather complacency.

Sure, just the right amount of stress can lift us to heights previously unachievable. But this requires us to be able to throttle that dose of external stress. That seems to be a very risky plan. Rather than relying on the right outside conditions I prefer to have a more failsafe method where I can control more variables. Essentially I want to be very sure in what I can do when the stress is high. That is why all athletes practice, practice, practice.

Almost a falling back (or down) to what is known. If I practice doing 2X load then repeating X load is easy, even under huge stress.

Through practice I gain familiarity with my self and under what conditions I am capable of what performance. This more predictable outcome seems exactly what is required when stress is high and the environment is unpredictable.

This certainty in self, a lifeboat of sorts in stormy seas.

However…

10 Burpees

That is what my program said.

Does not seem so hard does it?

I skipped over what came before or what after.

The X3 rounds should have been a warning. There were others. There always are.

I thought, I knew, I ignored.

Suddenly I was at the place when things did not go the way I had planned. Certainly not the way I thought they would go a few minutes ago. That special place.

I won’t bore you with details but the burpees were the easy bit – in isolation. In the context of the workout they were the exact opposite however. Actually that is not quite true. The 30 sec rests were the worst. Just too little time to find relief, just too little time to psyche up for the next round.

I should have known that HARD would come and I should have been ready. Instead I relaxed and thought it would be OK.

HARD always comes at some point. That is the only thing we can truly know.

So what do we do when we arrive, unwarned, suddenly?

(see tomorrow’s post)

Freedom – some thoughts

Freedom from oppression, violence, physical or mental. Many of us enjoy these to the extent that we forget that others do not.
Edith Eger makes the distinction between freedom of and freedom to. To decide, to think, to vote, to speak, to be silent, to act.

Both come with a cost. But who carries that cost is the question. I might carry the responsibility not to oppress. Likewise you carry the cost to express yourself in a respectful manner. Is that a cost you are willing to pay?
Who has the responsibility to listen?

The argument of ‘I will treat you with respect only if you play nice’ whilst widely accepted does not follow logic.
‘I carry the cost of freedom’ makes it sound like a burden but it is no less true.
I think what I am trying to express is that any right is balanced by responsibility. The connection between those two is essential to keeping community in balance.
We mess with that equilibrium at our own peril and the game quickly falls over. We all know this. The same way as we all know when somebody has upturned the scales. We might not be able to express exactly what is going on  but we all know. And we all act accordingly. 

Tying Knots in the Devil’s Tail

https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/embed/5662928599

Rolling down the Palm Trees with Nasty C. Red Cadilac bouncing to the base, turning blonde heads clad in bikinis. Suddenly I awake. Dreams are like that. Inspire, frighten. Sometimes they remain dreams up there. We remain here, grounded.

I heard a tune on the radio but I don’t know what it was called. I waited for years to get a chance to listen to it. Mostly glimpses. Waited for years for it to be right. Waited for years to be fit. Waited for years for confidence to give it a go. In the end it was right here.

Somewhere between the start, the end and home that is where.

Sometimes our photo roll is full.

Sometimes our memories.

Seldom both.

This was the latter.

“I was busy” was my reply. What I meant was “I was engaged”.

The looking around I did was to (mostly) keep us on track. Not vistas, backdrops, hashed tags.

Surfing waves of boulders. Finding the quickest line not buyline.

This route was with me for over a decade. I am surprised that the cool kids have not found it yet. Maybe they will. Maybe they have and it is on Strava – I have no idea.

Start at Jonkershoek gate, Bergrivier Nek, down Duiwel’skloof, finish at the Kylemore gate. 25 km on the map (slightly longer on the ground), 2000m ascent 8h29. I expect a time of 5h is very doable. It might require a recce trip though. Funnest Known Time.

Buller’s Kop (two people’s thoughts)

Last weekend I wanted to explore an area I did not know well. I wanted to check out Duiwel’s Kloof in the Banhoek Valley and also there was the East Face on Buller’s Kop. Why it is called the ‘East Face’ I can not tell you. We were in the shade all day and according to my orientation the slope faced WEST. I digress. Here is the GPS track, judge for yourself:

I was keen to do some longer sessions in the mountains so this was a good opportunity to think about gear. I asked Alan to give me his thoughts too and what he carried. Here is the background: Temperatures were expected to top 19*C, we would be in the shade for the ascent, I expected to find water at the top of Duiwel’s Kloof at the latest. I thought the ascent would take us 2-3h.

Hydration/Nutrition during:

My thinking was the pack 1,5l water. I expected to use max 1l before I could refil. I ended up using 500ml in the first 4h. In future I would carry the same unless I was more familiar with the routes/weather. It is getting hotter so this dynamic will change in the next weeks. What was a massive advantage is making sure that I was well hydrated the 2 days prior. I also tried to drink as much as 500ml before starting that morning. I ended up drinking a total of 1,5L the whole day and feeling good the whole time.

Nutrition is so much linked to effort. I had my normal breakfast of double cream yoghurt, 20g of protein, chia seeds, low carb granola, 2 cups of coffee with coconut cream. Normally I don’t feel hungry until after mid afternoon. I did not eat anything until 5h in when we hit the top of Duiwel’s Kloof. I had a Maurten 160 Hydrogel sachet. I sipped that and only ate Nuggat and biltong at 7h. I felt good all the time. If my effort had been harder then I would expect to require more fuel and hydration. ……

Basic Gear: (Mainly the stuff you hope you won’t need)

This being an off trail outing I am more self sufficient. the fact that we could see home for most of the day can be deceiving and should not lull us into a false sense of safety. Besides the t-shirt and shorts I was wearing I had a polly pro base layer, Polartec Alpha Synthetic Puffy Jacket, waterproof Jacket, Windpro Buff (this is warmer and more wind resistant than a regular Buff, First Aid Kit, SOL two person bivy (really good to generate some heat and is only marginally heavier and bulkier than a single person version)

All packed into a UltrAspire Zygos. I use the bottles and not reservoir as in my mind they are more versatile and similar weight.

Other stuff I wear:

Full brim hat (I believe this keeps you cooler than a running cap), HR belt (don’t even get me started – wrist based HR measurement is just crap when you are doing anything other than sitting at your desk), PocPac phone pouch is also my wallet with credit card and drivers license, Ziplock bag waterproofs keys and as a double layer for PocPac.

Finally recovery starts when I get back to the car. this is what I had waiting and was enough to get me home. Protein Shake, Water, Fruit, Mini cheddars and rehydrate.

Now here are Alan’s picks and why:

So a short list of what I took and why

1. Wind and rain proof jacket with a hood. Always take this as the weather has a nasty habit of turning.

2. Light weight fleece, took this having considered the weather and checking what the forecast temperatures would be for the day and the evening following our outing, if colder temps anticipated would pack a heavier fleece in.

3. Long sleeve technical top, helps with layering.

4. Water proof stuff sack to keep above dry.

5. Space blanket

6. Small medical aid kit

7. Leather man

8. Head lamp with fully charged battery. 

9. Fully charged cell phone.

10. Running pack 12l, I found this a convenient size for a day out for the type of adventure we planned.

11. 2l bladder, good to keep hydrated

12. 500ml soft flask, only took one as it was a short day out.

13. Carbon running poles, I usually carry these in case of an injury or tough downhill that I feel I’m lacking confidence for.

14. Sun hat

15. Fleece beanie and buff.

I would normally include sunscreen but fell fly here.

Nutrition I took 

1. Keto Enduro Plus, I had one serving of this sipped over the first 4 hours of the outing.

2. Keto Exo, I took one of these with, didn’t feel I needed it so didn’t use it.

3. Keto protein bar, had this at our first snack break I think that was two hours in.

4. Keto nut butter, had this at our snack break in the kloof, just to top energy up.

Reason I’ve been using Keto has been to try and stabilize sugar levels due to diabetes, has worked well for the 5 months.

Wetting Out / Drying Out

I got caught in a downpour this week. I was prepared and wearing my Rab Polartec Alpha synthetic fill puffy jacket.

Less than 3 min in a downpour.

I was not exposed for long and confident on drying out quickly. It could have been very different.

A couple of minutes later and the outer fabric hat wetted out.

I came across John Barklow (check him out on IG as he has some cool videos on gear) recently. He is with Sitka Gear who produce gear for hunting. You might ask “What has that got to do with trail running?”

It is worth thinking about the ideas that Sitka talk about. Loosely these have their origins in the Navy SEALS and before that Alpine Climber Mark Twight’s book “Extreme Alpinism

It is not one product but a system of products and how they work together. Each product in the system has a particular function but they need to work together for overall success. Patagonia have their High Endurance Kit. The problem with buying into a system of gear is that if you don’t know what the parts are trying to do then it looses much of its versatility. Certainly this is super clever and versatile but I want to dive into the ideas behind it.

Worth noting is that the Sitka range is aimed at facilitating drying out. Check out this video here:

OK so what can we learn from this:

  1. Ideas on layering: I have used the “action suit” concept for a long time. For example: pre trail race (or hard outing). The concept is that I want to keep moving as much as possible. Therefore stopping to put layers into my pack needs to be minimised. I try to regulate heat as much as possible with adjusting headwear, arm warmers and gloves remove or add as few layers as possible. I would layer as follows: Base Layer, Windproof, Puffy Jacket. I assume that I am taking off my Puffy pre start. I will be too hot anyway to run in that. A rain jacket will usually be in my pack as emergency kit. In truth I most times prefer to run in a windproof jacket in rain rather than a waterproof.
  2. Being (or Getting) wet is not the issue. Drying out is! Check out this static rewarming drill:

The huge difference to the first video is that there is no activity to warm us up. Think an emergency where for some reason we are immobile (twisted ankle, assisting another runner, exhaustion). Even if we are able to move I might be helping a slower person and therefore not able to generate enough warmth for me. Very quickly I become the liability. Also we will normally not be soaked like in this video but we will be wet non the less from perspiration, also we will not have as many layers and gear as above. So what gear we do need depends on conditions and should be well considered.

Ideas to consider:

  • How do my gear choices enhance or take away from my overall experience?
  • Have I got a way to create a shelter? This could be anything from carrying a space blanket to a tarp to a tent.
  • How do my layers work together? We know cotton t-shirts are best left for the mall but what about down sleeping bags for a Drakensberg Traverse? There are no absolute answers but I encourage you to consider and question.
  • How can I improve the functionality of my gear? This is where my thought process started when I got wet. I was ok when my puffy got wet but I could easily have prevented that by treating the outside with a DWR. Here (and here) are two previous pieces I wrote on this. Servicing gear is like servicing your Porsche (yes one day I will get to drive one). Without it the gear does not work!

Actually come to think of it the above is worth expanding on. The web (and links I posted above) have tons of info so I will try to not bore you but rather give my perspective and spark thinking. Watch this space.

Dear Katie

I am writing this for you, but probably for me.
I could claim that I knew you back then. That I saw you in Stuttgart. 
But that would not be true. I was cheering for Lynn then.
I could claim that I know you now but that is equally untrue.
So I write this for me.

I know only what you write of you now. What you choose to show now.
Maybe that is the best of you now. Maybe it is something different. 
Maybe it is something more.

I can't lay claim to your present any more than your audience can 
lay claim to your past. 
We are just doing what we do and weaving our way through the now.

A memory of a hero from the past.

“listening is the light of the universe” somebody said.

Lifting certain objects out of the darkness. 
Out of the noise, into existence. 
I imagine my light sweeping through zig-zags. 

Dawn. Environment streams in, jostling.
At first gentle, growing in power.
Does it distract or inform?
Do you let it?
I need constant reminder that I have the power. 
To filter.

So if I pay attention, what is the cost?
The brighter my beam, the more it draws
specific clarity.
Surroundings fade from focus.
Noise canceling headphones to another world. 
Eventually laughter when I sing (out of tune).
But this listening is for me.

What if I attend to others? 
For their clarity, not mine.
Taking care with my beam.
Offering presence.
At a different pace.
Directing for their benefit, not mine.
That is what guiding is about.
A conscious choice.
Into the night we take what we need. 
Lessons from the light guide us. 
Images in the distance guide our path, 
into the valley beyond.