DRIVING LESSONS


Jamie Drivingn

Yesterday we bumped into two friends we havent seen for ages.  In fact they are Jamies Grade 1 and Grade 7 teachers.  Jamie was driving the car and one looked at me and said, “I found the two most stressful parts of being a parent was choosing the matric dress and teaching my children to drive”.  And this comes from a well seasoned educator.

The story goes like this ……….

The word was out, everybody was failing their learners licence …….. by one point.

Sentences like …… moneymaking scam, and waste of time was being brandished around.  Booking the licence alone meant a full day out of school …… I kid you not.  We arrived at the traffic department at 7.00 am and Jamie was given ticket number 14 – he walked out of there at 1.00 pm ……… now this was to BOOK.

Well the day to write arrived, exactly one month after his 17th birthday, and in went a group of youngsters all looking very nervous.

Jamie being Jamie, had only done enough studing that was required in Jamieland ……. or 17 year old teen land.

All the parents waited outside (wish I had gone shopping because it took ages).

Jamie walks out ……. a sad look on his face.

“I failed by one point ……….. ”

“Phone your father ……”

“Dad I failed by one point”

At this Frans launches into one of those Dad lectures.  You know the ones …… “Son I told you to learn harder” and “I told you to learn for an extra hour” and “I hope you will take the next time seriously”.

Mid Dad lecture Jamie bursts into a HUGE grin and says “Just Kidding!!!!” and hauls out a piece of paper – HIS LEARNERS LICENCE.

I got such a fright that I tossed him the keys …. learning to drive starts NOW.

Now being who we are, we really dont allow the kids to do things before they are legally allowed to do it, no driving, drinking, going to bars etc.  So Jamie has had extremely little driving experience apart from parking the car at home – mmmmm now that I think about it thats about it (that I know of).

So off we go to grab a celebration bite to eat, and then to drive home from Humansdorp.

I get into the passenger side of my car and Jamie gets behind the wheel.

After much adjusting of the seat and steering wheel and shoofling in the seat, he looks at me ………

“Put on your safety belt”.  Good start.

AND-THEN-WE-START-JOLTING-DOWN-THE-ROAD-ONE-METER-AT-A-TIME.

“How am I doing?”, he asks as he stalls at the stop street.

“Very Good”, I say with gritted teeth after managing to peel my cheek of the windscreen.

NOTE TO SELF – Maybe the first driving lesson should be done at a deserted salt pan in Nevada …..
 or something.

So we stop round the corner of the stop street and I go through a couple of basics.  Like how to go into first gear.

Off we go.  Not so rattly the second time.

I begin to notice that my right foot is starting to tramp an imaginary brake, my right hand constantly moves towards the manual gear shift.

Then he puts the left hand indicator on for the first time and the car veers straight to the left.  I clamp my left hand on the passenger window.

He speeds up to 40 kmph.  “Slow down Jamie!!!!!!”  I yell.

“But its a 120 zone” he says.  I have to add here that Jamie has probable spent more time on wheels on the Humansdorp/St Francis Bay Road …….. Bicycle wheels, there is a difference.

We agree that 60 kmph is a good starter speed.

My body is rigid and pushing hard against the seat,  my left foot has made its way to between the dashboard and the windscreen, my right food is pumping an imaginary brake, my right hand is hovering above the gear shift and my left hand is still firmly flattened against the passenger window.

I am trying to be positive but my throat has completely sanded up and my mouth is opening and closing like a fish.  My eyes are wide and nostrils flared.

“Good driving Jamie”, I rasp.

“I know”  he replies.

A friend of ours overtakes us and toots and gives the thumbs up sign.  Jamie waves and the car veers to the right.  Me, well, I dont have any body parts left to do anything.

So there we drive the 16 kilometers home and into the driveway.

As we stop, Jamie looks at me with a huge grin on his face.

“Well that was great!!!!! and you didnt shout at me at all!!!!!”

I smile.

“Well done boy”  I croak.

…………… It took me 45 minutes to get out of the seat.  Now I have 4 years to worry about the dress.

 

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HOW TO BECOME HAPPY


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Yesterday I was sitting in my office.  The wind is howling, its cold ……. and to be quite honest I was feeling just a tad down about life.  My get up and go had got up and left.  I didnt want to feel this way – but I did.

So I googled, “how do I become happy” ……… in 0.34 seconds I had 438 000 000 hits.  Starting with the 7 steps to happiness up good old Wikihow’s 12 steps (with pictures nogal!) to happiness (love wikihow ………. it will teach you how to build a sandcastle and teach you how to be happy).

So this is what it said ……..

“Happiness – its what we all strive to find and keep.  Nobody is jolly all the time, but some are definitely more fullfilled than others.  Happiness has little to do with materialistic needs, goods, wants or high achievements, it boils down to your outlook on life, the quality of your relationships and basic amenities (ESKOM!!!!!).”  It then tells you to check step 1 and beyond for tips and tricks……

STEP ONE

BE OPTIMISTIC

Optimism seems to be ruled by your baseline of happiness, and each of us have our own baseline, and no matter what happens good or bad, these feelings of happiness or failure, will always revert back to our happiness baseline ………. which reminds me of a story ……

Every Friday I give the kids R20.00 each to buy lunch at school.  Now as we all know, in this day and age, 20 bucks doesnt get you very far.  Now because Rosie is in hostel (we will get to this story another time),  Jamie has the mammoth task of taking and delivering this 0.00000001 gram twenty buck note to his sister every Friday.

She is optimistic that on Friday ‘s  she will bring her tuck money to school.  He finds joy in telling us that she only talks to him at school when she wants money from him.

On the Friday in question Jamie doesnt eat breakfast, and by the time first break comes he is HUNGRY, and not normal hungry but cold 17 year old boy hungry, he is OPTIMISTIC that 40 bucks can buy him more than 20 bucks can and therefore will make him happy.

As he gets to the school tuckshop, he sees Rosie on a return trip with her arms FULL of tuck goodies, there are chips, sweets and fizzy cooldrinks.

She asks him “have you got money for me?”

He makes a snap decision, (a bad one), “No”, he answers, “Mom didnt give me this morning”.  Now Jamies optimism levels are running high, he knows, that Rosie will not tell on him because she doesnt tell on.  He also reasons that her arms are full of food that her baseline needs have been met and he has a bigger need for the money than she does.

The day carries on as normal.

At the dinner table I ask “Rosie did you get your lunch money?”

Dead silence.

I try a different tack.

“Jamie did you give Rosie her tuck money?”

Dead silence.

Now in our house dead silence is rare, and it normally means NO I DID NOT DO WHAT I WAS MEANT TO DO.

Jamie says “she already had money cause I saw her walking with a lot of food”;

Rosie says “while I was waiting for you I went and bought food for my  friends with their money”;

Jamie says ……….

Rosie says ………..

Jamie says …………

Rosie says ………

No winners here, except maybe Jamie because his first break happiness levels had been elevated, but now his happiness levels were well below his baseline because he had been caught.

Rosies baseline happiness levels were very low at first break, but now they were hitting the stratosphere because her brother because of his own actions was deep in the doo doo.

Anyway I digress …….. tiny tricks to being optimistic

*  Add up the little joyful things that happen during the day.  They are there just look for them.

*  Feel deeply grateful for the things you have.

*  Veiw the glass as half-full, rather than half-empty.

*  Put yourself in situation where favulous, fortunate things are likely to happen to you.  Its easier to remain optimistic if you set yourself up for success.  Cheating on your sister, or stealing a bicycle – whilst temporarily thrilling – will rarely end up well for any party involved.

*  Think of those less fortunate than yourself.

BUT MOST OF ALL

Learn to enjoy life.

So there we have it – step one of being happy.

So what makes me happy?  Feeding carrots to a horse, my husband just phoning to say he loves me, when the kids are not constantly bickering, having uncomplicated friends ……… little things …… the list is endless.

Whilst I was at it I googled “what do I do if I am bored”

Dear wikihow responed immediately:

“Pick your favorite TV, film, or book character, and imagine what they would do if they were with you right at that moment”  – now I can honestly say this is the most random piece of advice I have ever been given.

So I pick Jeremy Clarkson.

So what would Jeremy Clarkson do if he was bored?

He would pick up the phone and call Richard and James, and off they would flit to an amazingly funny and ridiculous adventure.  So maybe it wasnt such random advice, and believe me hanging out for a day with Jeremy, James and Richard sure would make me happy!!!!

 

THE DANCE


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Sometimes life throws you a curved ball.  Nothing drastic, just a little thing or two that will take you out of your comfort zone for a bit.  Now as this curved ball comes flying at you you can either:

a.  Duck
b.  Run around like a headless chicken without a plan and try and catch the ball.

or

c.  Do like kids do …….. close your eyes and spread your arms and hope like crazy that the ball will land in your arms, also hoping like crazy that the person who has thrown the ball hasn’t thrown it too hard.

Once a year Jenny Davis Dance studio has a concert.  Over the years this extravaganza has grown from her students doing dances to the whole community becoming involved.

Anyone with a deep need to be on stage to act, sing or dance,  (Jenny actually got the “tough dudes” in town to don tu-tu’s and do a ballet ……. well almost) was welcomed with open arms and all had their moment of fame.

This year the Church Choir sang, the youth boys acted and the various groups of people were slotted into the programme.

JOSEPH AND HIS TECHNICOLORED DREAMCOAT was becoming an ambitious reality.

Now this is where the curved ball comes in.  Quite happy with my busy lot in life ……. and for reasons I cannot remember me and the Bokkies are coerced to do a dance.  I seem to remember words like:

“Everyone has dropped out of the dance and wont we slot in”

“Jenny Davis REALLY needs you”

“Its a community thing and we have to be involved”

“President Zuma NEEDS you ……………………… ”

And so forth.

For most of us our kids were already involved ….. Rosie heavily entrenched in the dancing and Jamie back-stage.  None of our hubbies were in the performance.

Practice started months before the event and right from the outset it became very clear that about half of us simply could not dance.  We …….. me being one of them …….. had no rhythm,  we knew nothing about beats or bars or … or ….,  we couldn’t do the dance without going “one, two, three …….. ”  most of the dance was in eight counts, but if we didn’t concentrate it was a mess-up ……. you could constantly see us mouthing “one, two, threee ……..”  whilst our eyes were on Shona or Lindsay (who can actually dance) – hence we were always a milli-second behind them ……. and it was a co-ordinated dance.

We were the Egyptian Dancers …….. AKA The Egyption MOmmy’s.

Add to this mix was the costume – we all had to look exactly the same.  But … we are not built exactly the same – we had the tall blond goddess right through to, um, well, ummmm me.  Pictures of Cleopatra outfits and wigs flew over the bbm channels, and eventually, an outfit was agreed upon.

We practiced and to be quite honest we were looking really good ……….. until the final rehearsal – this is NOT the dress rehearsal, this is the rehearsal BEFORE the dress rehearsal (please note that the word HEARSE plays an important part in the word reHEARSEl ……… I now know why because it IS like driving yourself to your own funeral.

The whole cast is there and we are ready, as our music starts we realise that the rendition of our song was not the same one we had practiced with – in short we were awful.  Then Jenny says “just do it without the music”  easier said than done Jen!

Next night – the night before the show – is full dress rehearsal.  We go on and we were rocking and, so sad, our music stopped half way through our dance ……. we fell apart.

Anyway …… we were promised that tomorrow … the day of the show all would be perfect.

SHOW DAY!!!! In true Bokkie form we all had commitments for the Saturday morning and the there was to be two shows, a 3 o’clock matinee and a 7 pm evening performance.

At 1 we all finally got our act together and met at Lindsays for make up and together time.  Alas for us this also meant that our troop or herd of kids were also hanging out with us for make up and together time …… Flip the Ancient Egyptians used a lot of makeup.

We schmoozed over to the resort at 2 and the place was bopping.  Not only was there an Over-sold out Matinee (this means 250 people were there to watch) but there was some rugby match on so the rest of the community were at the CSF Resort to watch the game in the pub.  Hundreds of people were there.

The show started …….. and it Rocked, Rosie and her group were simply awesome, Jamie and Trudi were hustling up a storm moving sets and doing last minute changes back stage.  And then it was our turn ……… we aced it ……. the crowd went wild ……… they loved us.

One performance to go and then our careers as dancers would be over.  We had this in the bag!

Again the evening was packed.  We got onto the stage VERY confident that we would rock it a second time.  The opening notes to “Walk like an Egyptian” started.

Two of us missed the opening cue ……. no-one noticed it was a co-ordinated miss.

I couldnt remember the dance at all ….. but kept my eye firmly on Shona to keep up.

And then it happened ……….. half way through the song/dance ……. we hear DOEF CRASH SMASH – and the Resort is plunged into the deepest darkness.

“What happened”  We hear as we are all frozen in some Egyptian pose.

“Someone has fallen off the stage”  We hear

That got us all moving ……. one of the Bokkies was hurt.

We rushed over to where the DOEF CRASH SMASH happened and there lay a Bokkie in full Egyptian attire crumpled on the floor.  The remains of the piping hot stage light shattered around her.  She was making the most peculiar noises.

“Are you hurt?”  I ask …… DUM QUESTION

Funny noise comes up at me

“…….. can you move?”

The light come on ……

We see one of our precious Bokkies lying in the shattered glass.

She is crying ……… crying with hysterical laughter.

She gets back on stage and we all sort of finish the dance and the hobble back stage.  We are all now hysterical, black Egyptian make-up is streaming down our faces, we are relieved …. our Bokkie is fine.

Back stage pandemonium has broken out …….. the whole cast thinks that someone has been seriously injured.  The Doctor (who very handily was back stage … he was part of the cast) couldn’t get near his potential patient, we are all rolling on the floor with laughter.  The poor man didn’t know who was injured because we were all dressed identically and we were all carrying on like seriously injured imbeciles.

Jenny rushes backstage – she also couldn’t work out who fell.

Once she worked out that we were all just idiots, but not injured idiots she said these words:

“Would you mind going on and finishing the Dance if you are all OK”

“Oh Ja!  sure not a problem …..”  We all had officially lost our minds.

We did it …… Sort of …… The crowd went wild.

Anyway, back to the curved ball.  This dance was such an amazing experience.  I have now decided to embrace curved balls in the future.  It took me out of my comfort zone.  It didn’t cost me a fortune – actually pittance.  I met amazing new people.  I had experiences that I never would have had.

It has also added another fun memory, to the already bursting memory bag with me and my friends.

In the end that is what it is all about ….. memories, OH!!!! and lots of laughs.  OH!!!! and lots of photos ………… did I tell you about the Youtube video? ………..

ITS ALL ABOUT THE T-SHIRT!


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With advertising by-lines like RIDE THIS ONE YOU WILL REMEMBER IT, and ARE YOU TOUGH ENOUGH?.  The annual Steeltek race at the Lurie Ruskamp promised to be at the very least a tough one.

Now Jamie and the Steeltek race have a history, and not a happy one ……… he has yet to finish a Steeltek with both himself and/or his bike intact …….. in fact …….. he has yet to finish a Steeltek race full stop.

Add to the mix this will be his last ride on his beloved Merida 29’er (its got to go up for sale on behalf of the sponsor to make way for the new …… to be announced).  Boy did he love this bike.

Add to this there is only one race this year, no kiddie dash, no family ride, no 30 kay – only 60 km and on a new course set to challenge the riders to their limits.  There is 2000 meters of climbing (more than the Karoo to Coast).  You are asked to check out the race profile before the race so that you dont start too fast.

Add to this ……. the Mountain Events, Fat Tracks and Steeltek have  dangled a once off cherry to the participants.  Finish the race in Sub-4 hours and you will get a special T-shirt.  Oh there was a nifty amount of prize money, but the T-shirt was the real cherry.

Add to this the weather has been playing up as normal.

All the riders wanted that T-shirt.  Top local and not so local riders started entering the race.

As we set off, Frans shouts to us, still under the comfort of his downy duvet.  “There is enough petrol to go 120 km – it will be plenty”

IT WASNT

As we hit the J-bay turnoff it was as if the petrol tank started sucking its own juice.  50 kays left it said.  Crossing the Gamtoos – 30 kays (impossible! its not 20 km from J-bay turnoff to Gamtoos.  By the time we hit the Thornhill turn off it said 10 km.  We limped into Lurie.

Now,  Lurie is cycling heaven, all the names are there.  Lots of really nice bikes.  Lots of bike talk.  Eventually the cyclists set off.

Did I mention that Lurie Ruskamp is in the middle of nowhere, except, close to Lurie.  To my horror I find out that Lurie does NOT have a petrol station and somehow I must get petrol in Hankey .

“How far is Hankey?”  I ask .

“20 km” the oke says.

“Oh dear”  I say “I only have enough petrol to go 10 km”

“Ag then its about 10, but dont worry its all downhill”  He retorts.

I decided since its a four hour wait I will try my luck at getting to Hankey, and if I get stuck I will phone a friend at the race.

Off I go, as I start the car the light starts beeping ………. 0 km’s it says.  I decide to see it through.

Now next time someone says to you “Its all downhill”, dont believe them.  I have never been so happy to see Sarah Baartmans grave in my life, I think I made hankey on fumes in the Ford.

Anyway …….. The car and I get back armed with 300 bucks in the tank and now I can relax.

The race has started claiming it first victims.  Last year, at this race I saw one oke limp home with s SQUARE wheel, I kid you not, it was square.

After 2h31 mins Jason Meaton flew in ….. “Shew that was tough”

Ten mins later Conrad Viljoen ….. “Tough”

and a mere 4 minutes later Jason Reed ……. “Toughest Ever!!!!”

And these guys are top top riders at the peak of their game.

More casualties came in, and still Jamie and his friend Nick are out there.

The riders start dribbling in, each of them heaving a sigh of relief as they come over the finsh.

At the 3 hour 40 mark I see Jamie in his Custom Bike shirt comming up the big finish hill.  He had made the 4 hour cut off AND he had got the T-shirt.  A few minutes later Nick came in …… he also got a T-shirt.

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The last sub 4’s dribbled in, and then the wait began for the rest of the field.  The question on everyones lips as they rode in was “Did you get the T-shirt?”

The T-shirt was important, 4 pieces of white cotton sewn together with some printing on it became a major aquisition at the Steeltek.  I proved that you were Tough Enough.

Which all got me thinking. Sometimes we need these physical reminders that we are good enough.

Rosie and Jamie gave Frans  a mug which says # 1 DaD,  he knows he is a good Dad, but boy does he love his mug.  Many years ago ……… many many years ago, Jamie painted Rosie a mug saying “MY BEST SISTER”, that she is his only sister is irrelevant, after he gave her the mug they were nice to each other for about two minutes and then the bickering started again.  I keep the mug in memory of those two minutes.

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I have a sticker …….. yes a sticker saying “MOMS TAXI” ……….. mmmmmm, I wonder …. does this mean I am tough enough?

THE LIVING ROOM


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We have a living room.  This living room is exactly what I DIDN’T want as a living room, you know the type of room that no-one ever sits it ……… I remember going to friends homes when I was young and there was this room in most of my friends houses (we didn’t have one).  It had cream carpets, a cream lounge suite, beautiful cushions, tasteful drapes, lovely lamps and works of art tastefully placed in carefully thought out places.  Amongst all this beauty there was always a sense of loneliness in these rooms – this was the sitting room kept for special occasions – to me, it always felt like a “left-out” waste of space and I vowed I would never have one if I ever owned a house.

Homes are meant to be lived in, they are not museums they are houses where memories are made and every inch of space should be used.  Anyway, we don’t use our sitting room – it isn’t hidden away behind a door it is there in the openplanness which is our home ……… it just doesn’t get used …….. ever.

So in this unused space Jamie saw an opportunity.  He gets home from training one night and enters the house – bike and all – through the front door.  Now at the best of times a cyclist chomping around in full kit with cleat shoes pushing his bike is not a pretty sight.  For one thing the shoes make them walk like ducks,  a cyclist in full kit walking is a bit Borat-ish, a bicycle inside a house just isnt great, add to this when Jamie finishes his daily ride everything, and I mean EVERYTHING is full of mud.  The bike is caked in mud, his body is full of mud, even his face is full of mud splatters.  It can be the warmest, sunniest day and Jamie will come home full of mud.

Back to the opportunity.  Jamie calmly minces in, bike and all and parks the bike in the sitting room.

Frans sits there looking to and from Jamie and myself like a spectator at a tennis match ……. his mouth is wide open doing sort of fishy movements – no sound comes out.

I sit there looking just at Jamie.  My mouth is wide open also doing sort of fishy movements   – no sound comes out.

Rosie on the other hand will never let an opportunity go by to point out to Jamie what he is doing wrong – 100% normal 12 year old sister behavior.

“Why are you putting your bike in the lounge????”  She asks just loud enough for the whole of St Francis to hear.

“Get a life …………”.   He answers. 100% normal answer of a 15 year old boy to his sister.

Frans’s fish mouth is the first to find words, “Jamie why don’t you put your bike in the garage?”

“The garage is too dirty”  replies Jamie, “I am trying to look after my bike”.  He has calmly forgotton that his bike is full of mud, he is full of mud, man, even his riding glasses are full of mud.

Now I am really finding it difficult to take a boy seriously who is dressed in full muddy cycling kit, still in his cleats, sunglasses and helmet I am wondering what alien has walked into my home.

Jamie also seems to have calmly forgotten about the other 3 bicycles that he owns that are safely and quite happily living in the garage.

So now I am beginning to see method in Jamies madness.  The sitting room is unused.  No memories are made there.  There is a little voice in my brain saying “why not”

Before I know it the words spill out before the brain has time to process ……. “why not?”

Frans looks at me …… you know that look a husband gives to a wife when she is treading on uneven kid ground.  Its a sort of look, the eyes narrow, the head gives a little shake, and then the eyes move in a sidewards upwards direction.

What he is actually saying is ….. “That is the most idiotic thing I have ever heard, STOP TALKING NOW!!!!!!, come upstairs so we can discuss this without the kids hearing”

But OH NO!  mouth is in full swing here and brain has shut down.

“Frans, I seem to remember you actually building a boat in our living room once”,  what he has forgotten in those days we only had one place to sit, no TV room, no seperate dining room – just one place ……….. and he built a boat in it.

The shakey head is going a bit stronger here, Jamie and Rosie are looking on with interest – I can actually see their ears flapping.

“We dont use the living room ……… so why not?”

The brain starts catching up ……. I know my kids, once you give them an inch – or in this case 1.8 meters x 65 cm – they will take a whole room.

I can hear Rosies mind calculating how fast she can get a horse, hay and water in the room so we can have a new addition to the family.

Jamie is checking out the space and mentally working out where his workbench can stand, and how he is going to fit a personalized bike workshop in there.

Frans is pondering how much bigger this living room is and whether or not he should start construction of another boat.

Me on the other hand is punching myself in the mouth!!!!!

In that one single moment I realized why my friends parents had this “room” in their houses.  We all need a sanctuary.  A place of beauty, serenity and peace.  A place where the word cluttered doesn’t even hit its stratosphere.  I have it in my unused living room and I was just about to throw it all away – I need that unused space of beauty in my house.

So the end of the tale is ……. Frans doesn’t get a new spot to build a boatie thingie, Rosie must realize that horses belong at Homestead Estate and that is it.

Jamie on the other hand is still putting the bike in the sitting room ……. but …….. when he does, it is clean and shiny – lets face it a Merida Big Nine is a thing of beauty after all.

Lekker Okes


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Cycling takes a huge amount of dedication, training and stamina.   But it also takes a huge amount of commitment from the supporting team of a cycling teen (read parents).  Actually this is also true for any sport that your kid is mal over.

This Saturday the alarm went off at 3.00 am, and I groggily got out of my warm, soft, snuggly bed.  Frans as normal was snoring lightly and contentedly in our warm, soft, snugly bed.

I go and wake up Jamie.

“Are you joking”  the first words rip out of his mouth.

Ummmmm DO I LOOK LIKE THE TYPE OF PERSON THAT MAKES JOKES AT 3.00 AM IN THE MORNING!!!

“No sweetie, you have got to get up for the Addo Cycle race”.  Voops!  He is out of bed in a shot and jumping into his monkey suit and shirt.  He efficiently packs his bag, gets himself breakfast, showers, brushes his teeth and hair and tidies his romm.  Each one of these actions a miracle in themselves because not once do I have to tell him to do anything.

He gets into the car on time – I am gobsmacked, it is 3.15 am and I haven’t raised my voice once.

Off we go to meet the rest of his mad friends at the Links Circle.

When we get there a bakkie pulls up and we get out the car.

“You look good for this time of the morning”  says a voice.

It is Grant, he is always nice, always chirpy and me thinks is long overdue for an eye test.

Anyway, off they go, four dedicated cyclists off to a 6.30 am start in Addo, 2 hours away.

My day goes as my day goes and at about 1 I get a call that they have just left PE.  The car sounds like there is a PARTY of NOTE going on.

“Whats cooking in the car Jamie?”

“Oh, the guys are just chatting “

I WANT SOME OF WHATEVER THEY ARE ON!!!

At 2-ish I get the call to fetch him at Grant.

“How did you do?”

“I did it in 2 hours fifty something ish minutes” he replies with a big grin on his face.  He is filthy, he smells odd and he has a very peculiar tan.

“But where did you come ….. 10th, 20th ….”

“I dunno”

Now this got me thinking.  Jamie has done 3 Addo races.   Each time he has come home happy, filthy, smelly and with a peculiar tan.  To date we have NEVER known where he has come in the race.  We have never even looked at the race results.  Did it ever make him feel different about going out there and putting his heart into a race – NOPE.  What did nark him was missing the lucky draw prizes when his name was pulled and he wasn’t there – but that is tough and that is life.

Anyway, all of a sudden over the last year it seems to have become very important WHERE one of us came in a race.  Horseriding means if you come first you get a sash and a rosette.  Sailing means you get ………. um …………. I am not quite sure what you get because there is always some kind of groovy handicap system and it just confuses me.  At cycling you get to stand on a podium for a milli-second get a medal and your photo taken and that is it.  Me, I am easy, I am consistently last in every race I do – I am happy last and there are always new, interesting and fun people at the back of races.

Add to this pressure, Jamie has recently secured a cycling sponsorship from Merida Bikes and Custom Bikes, and, although there is no pressure for him to get podium finishes, he almost feels he should do well to do well by his sponsors.

Pressure, Pressure, Pressure.

Now again this got me thinking.  Yes we look in admiration at the athletes on the podium, but, hey there are only 3 of them.  Of the 1 050 starters of this race only 3 get to stand on the podium.  But ……… 1 020 other okes are also in need of recognition for just starting the race.  Yes we remember the people on the podium, but the ones we really remember are the ones who threw us a bomb when we had a flat,  who pulled us out the bush when we had a bad fall and the ones we had a really good laugh with on the journey.    We remember the guy who came second who goes to the person who came first and shakes their hand.  Unfortunately we also remember the guys who sulk when they don’t win and blame their bikes for bad performance.

At the moment cycling doesn’t have many mentors.  I think sponsors should start looking at those “lekker okes” on the bikes to market their products.  The ones that make the races fun and making other riders want to go back for more.  The ones hakking it out with the masses and loving the sport for the sake of the sport and not for the medals.

As with anything life is a journey, and if we are constantly trying to be at the front it will get lonely.  Being in the masses means you will not miss out, but if it means that through hard work and dedication the front is the place for you, remember the guys behind you and remember to cheer them on, shake their hands and become a “lekker oke”.

THIS WEEKS TOP NEWS – WHO THE HELL IS BERT?


By now the story is out, in fact it is old news ……… the Olympics are here.  So here in fact SA has already nabbed itself 2 Goldies.

Sport for once has taken over our Televisions, our dining room table, our bedrooms our everything.  The PVR schedule is full from Ping-Pong to (a firm favourite) womans beach volleyball.

Chad Le Clos’s win over Phelps last night was a feather in the SA swimming cap.  And as well as Chad did, the real star and the entertainment of the evening was Bert ……………… Bert??? 

WHO THE HELL IS BERT?

Well …………. Chaddy-super-duper-swimmer-boy has a Dad, and his name is Bert, and Bert from the looks of things is just about the proudest Pop on the planet.

Bert – last night was amazing, he was swathed in a SA Flag and throughout the swim he was cheering on his son, his beer boep was poking out of the top of his pants, he stood there with the “Lance Armstrong arm V” when Chad won and his facial expression just screamed “thats MY booitjie”.  Tears of happiness overcame him at his sons win that he deemed it necessary to mop his tears with the SA flag, I, personally was waiting for him to give a good ole nose blow into the Flag.

None of this stupid British reserved stiff-upper-lip business for Bert, he showed us how to cheer for our Olympians in a Proudly South African way.

Now Bert simply did last night what every parent dreams of doing when watching their kid at an event.  I bet you beforehand Chad got  THE SPEECH – you know the one:

“Son as long as you try your best, it doesn’t matter if you don’t win – we are proud of you!”  I bet he added, “Just being here makes you a winner!”  Whilst all the time his body is screaming “YOU GO OUT THERE BOET AND CRUSH THE COMPETITION”.

Bert, and Mrs Bert (who was also overcome with emotion but a lot less flamboyant) have most probably done the parent pool time.  As any swimmer parent knows, there is a lot of to and fromming to training.  At galas you are normally roped in as a time keeper which equals – you sit at the pool for 6 hours and your kid will swim for 38 seconds.  You have travelled 100’s of km to Galas to watch your child swim for 38 seconds.  You have watched your child shave all body hair off himself just to attain a 100th of a second advantage – you have sat with your child for the next 3 weeks scratching from the re-growth.

Bert – I salute you!  YOU made my night – I felt proud for you and your family for I understand the sacrifices you went through for Chads win last night.