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Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Have you tried this weight loss programme?

With the start of the year everyone has their list of new year's resolutions.  Suddenly I am surrounded by people who are embarking on several weight loss attempts.  From the No-Carb, to Banting, No sugar, and some have gone as extreme as having no sugar in their tea.  Now when one messes with one's tea, then you know it's serious.  (By now most of you know that I suffer from Tepidophobia - fear of a badly made cup of tea)

But has anyone ever considered the effects of laughter as a weight-loss programme? It's been around since the beginning of time.  It also doubles up as a stress relief and mental health programme.  So you're getting added benefits to your weight-loss programme at No Extra Cost!  Here are a few interesting facts I found:

It's a funny kind of workout

- 100 laughs equals the aerobic workout of 10 mins of rowing

- your heart rate increases by 10 - 20%

- 10 - 15 mins of laughter burns 50 calories.  That's one chocolate!

- 1 min of laughing provides 45 mins of relaxation

  It's really quite convenient, you can do this any time of day, indoors or outdoors at work or at home.

What was funny talk is now romantic wooing.

- Men find it attractive if you laugh at their jokes

- Women find men who make them laugh more attractive

  Now you don't have to lose as much weight to be the sexy self you dream of, just laugh more!

More fun less fuss

- Decreases stress related hormones

- Stimulates natural pain killers

- Increases your immune system

- Helps with depression

  Less pain, more gain

Remember when you were having fun?

- Improves memory

- Increases endorphin levels giving you that 'natural high'.

  You'll be feeling on top of the world. <Click left

So here's your first workout. It's an 8:48 minute clip that is sure to get some giggles going.  Divide the video into 4 workout sessions of 2:22 minutes each and exercise daily.  If you don't find yourself busting out with an LOL then invite a friend, because we laugh more in social environments.  Now you have a workout buddy!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

madrap wisdom #18

actions which move our current worldview closer towards our biblical worldview are an indication of spiritual maturity

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Hollywood's favourite bad boy

As a South African working in Creede, I had barely set foot in Creede when I was told of the biggest thing to ever happen here.  This big event strangely didn’t include the Mine reopening; but rather the appearance of Hollywood star Johnny Depp and the shooting of the Walt Disney movie!  This ‘The Lone Ranger’.  This was big for the tiny town of Creede that, on a map, is only noticeable by a dot which is bigger than the town itself.  Until recently, even those living in Colorado had not even heard of Creede, which was suddenly put in the spotlight with the arrival of the Hollywood’s favourite bad boy.

The euphoria was still lingering in the streets.  People are speaking of the Johnny Depp episode with such excitement that it is as if he were still in town and, in their eyes, he still is!  Restaurants have autographed memorabilia hanging on the walls and some even have drinks named after him.  A town in enraptured by his presence!

Scott Lamb, the County Commissioner, explains how the town of Creede was chosen as a location for the movie.  “After the director Gore Verbinsky was shown photo’s by his location scouts, he came to check out Creede and immediately fell in love with it!”  Verbinsky wasn’t the only one either, it seems Creede had rubbed off on the rest of the Walt Disney team.  Johnny Depp was seen wearing jewellery bought from “Rare Things” during his appearance on  The Late Show with David Letterman.  What’s more, he gave “shout-out” to the public when Creede was under fire threat. 

Scott says he was privileged to be allowed on set to watch some of the filming.  “The set was amazing!”  he recalls rather excitedly. “They built a legit railroad track with ties and everything!  And when the canyon was lit up with all the big spot lights, it was magical!” Often entire shoots can be cut out of the final movie and Scott was very pleased to see that some of his favourite scenes had made it to the big screen.  “Not only was there a good portion of Creede featured,” he says proudly, “but it was an important part of the story line!”

About 60 residents from Creede attended the Premier together as a block booking organised by Connie Weller from the Underground Community Centre.  “It was unique to share the experience with fellow “Creedites”!  It gave it the movie theatre an atmosphere that was so enjoyable” she shares. They were enamoured seeing their little town in the spotlight of a Disney blockbuster movie.

The question is will it be a blockbuster?  Some critics haven’t given it a good rating.  I myself am eager to see the film before answering that question!  However, with the residents of Creede it was nothing but praise, awe and excitement, the most important critics of all seem very satisfied indeed!  

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Outsider's Perspective of the Inside

I came to America to “Live The American Dream” for a few months, taking a break from South African life.  Arriving in Creede, Colorado on the 17th June I never knew what would be waiting for me!  3 days later, The Blue Creek Lodge, that I had decided to call my home, was evacuated due to the West Fork Complex Fires, where 2 fires had combined to form one monstrosity heading rapidly towards us.  I saw ‘Pops’ and Thressia Philbern, both in their late 70s, ripped from their home, their livelihood and their future. 

Having been there since 1976, it was all they knew.  As we packed up their precious belongings and family heirlooms, there was a heaviness left hanging in every room.  This may be the last time they ever see Blue Creek Lodge, the thousands of photo’s stapled to the walls, speak a history without words.  Thressia pipes up and says, while watching the boys dig out everything valuable from corners long since explored, “Well, it’s about time we had a spring clean!”  This was the beginning of my experience of the town of Creede and its people in one of the most traumatic episodes it has experienced in all its history.

Streets are quiet, stores are empty and the extra stock ordered for the season, which is dependent on tourism, grows old.  Only half of the 400 permanent residents are left, with the rest having decided to escape from either the smoke or the stress, but those who remain have something special about them.  Instead of the expected expressions of doom and gloom, I hear people talking of having a drink by the fire followed by chuckles and giggles as they continue to make light-hearted innuendoes around the devastating circumstances. 

 The streets display signs that say, ‘Thank You Fire Fighters!’, an amazing public appreciation for the fire fighters who are risking their lives to save their homes.  The optimism radiates throughout the San Juan Valley. 

The people of Creede ordinarily are never seen much during the summer months (for they are consumed by the hustle and bustle of the tourist season) yet this year has turned into an unusual summer, with time on their hands to stop and chat!  Though not much outdoor activity can be done with the smoke that has crept in, they attend the Creede Repertoire Theatre, and declare in true theatrical style, “The Show Must Go On!”, putting expression into action!  This is where it ends, or should I say only just begins, with just days before the famous  4th of July celebrations. 

After hearing the positive chirp by an older lady: “Well, it’ll be just like old times!” I am excited to experience, although rather different, a personal and intimate 4th of July in the town of Creede in 2013.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

I need a HERO!

In the process of passing time whilst doing some spinning training on rainy Cape Town days I have watched quite a number of animation movies in short concession (in the greater scheme of getting fit I should have watched plenty more!). In watching these I picked up on a common thread that runs strongly through each of them. Here are the movies I watched:

Bee Movie – A young bee sets off to discover a new order and save the day for everyone!
Kung Fu Panda – An unlikely Panda becomes the one who is predestined to save the world!
Horton Hears a Who – An ordinary elephant discovers he holds the future of an entire nation in a speck on a flower and sets off to save the nation!
Avatar – A man finds himself being the unlikely predestined one who will save the Avatar nation from being destroyed!

It is obvious! We are designed to believe in a hero! Someone ordinary and unassuming, someone innocent with a heart for the weak, who in his unassuming way, becomes the saviour for the group, nation or world! And I find it exceptionally interesting that very often these ordinary people are ‘predestined’ and in their journey they show compassion and often make friends with unusual, out of the norm, creatures.

In this filminography world of creative expression, what is undeniably illustrated is our deepest desire for a saviour, one who is ordinary yet predestined to play this role. Does this not, in itself, lead you to think of the story of Christ, who He is, and what He came to do? Does it not strike you that even in a world where Christ is cast out that we find ourselves acting out this script in our books and movies? Does it not prove that we are designed to know Christ!

I find it startling, amazing, very revealing and exciting!!! The story of Christ is so much a part of us that we cannot separate ourselves from it! The world is searching for a hero and Christ is our Hero!

“God is a God who keeps His promises, demonstrated in sending Jesus who died for us, was raised from the dead, and ascended into heaven to rescue us from sin and death. Faith in this Jesus transforms us in every aspect of our lives, and empowers us to live a life that is pleasing to God.” M Lombard

Monday, August 27, 2012

laugh till you're blue

Yesterday I was watching Avatar while doing the long, boring, and very arduous task of spinning!  The blue people from Avatar are from a completely remote place, custom and language and my mind started wondering, do the blue people laugh?  And almost as I thought that, after about 7 spins of the wheel that goes nowhere, the blue girl person chuckled!  Suddenly it dawned on me how much laughter is a universal language!  Anyone who has travelled to a place where no English is spoken has experienced the universal language of laughter.  We struggle to communicate, sign language is used, pictures are drawn, we prance around like dyslexic monkeys, yet when we laugh, we laugh together and it is understood!  And have you ever noticed how once you’ve had a good laugh with someone, you seem to have formed an instant connection?
AND it really is contagious!

Isn’t it beautiful when someone tilts their head back, eyes form slits, mouth opens wide and she laughs from deep inside her belly?  I had a friend who had such a contagious laugh that once, while having coffee at Mugg&Bean, he let a big one out (a laugh I mean), and there was a definite post laughter-laughter from most of the people seated around us.  The other day, whilst walking down the streets of Stellenbosch talking to a friend, something I said was obviously funny to him (obviously!) and he belted out a laugh.  The old man on the other side of the street started chuckling and smiling!  In that moment our laughter had reached another and had made him smile too!  There was also that instant connection, we had shared a moment, though we will most likely never see him again.
It reminds me of the Mary Poppins song: 

So never miss a moment to laugh out loud, and when you laugh, you must really laugh, let your head tilt back, your eyes form slits, mouth open wide and, “BA HAA HAA HA HAHH!”

Thursday, July 26, 2012

CycleHome2Home: The beginning

Those on facebook would know by now that I have decided to cycle from home to home (my home in Kommetjie, Cape Town to my parents home Amatikulu, Durban), some 2000 or so kilometres.  When I tell people that often reply to this with a ‘why?’ and just to be cheeky I tell them, ‘The question should rather be, “why not?”.’

We can get so wrapped up in our lives, too afraid to do anything daring, to do anything above the ordinary and unpredictable.  Part of the personal reason for my journey is to intentionally go out and be bold, be confident, be crazy and be alive!  Everybody needs adventure, in whatever form that comes.  We need to take risks, to step into uncertainty, to push ourselves out of our comfort zones, we cannot and must not stay in the zone of predictability where we are able to know and calculate the cause and effect of every move.   We were not created to stay in a safe space, nothing is ever learnt in a world of normality, but rather abnormality! If we were we would not be truly alive! 

The idea of cycling from home to home has sparked the theme Home2Home and this theme will not only be lived out in the journey through me staying in people’s homes all along the way but it will be a part of the message of LifeXchange that I will spread with and through the cycle trip. 

The message:  Through one-on-one mentoring of youth at risk, LifeXchange creates a platform for the mentors to address the fundamental development gaps in the lives of these young people.  Ways to address this stems very simply from providing the natural, committed and loving support that a parent would give to a child throughout their growing years and this is why mentoring is often coupled with the word ‘reparenting’.  From an understanding of ‘parenting’ and a holistic ‘adoption’ of a young person into one’s life and family, the developmental needs begin to be immediately and naturally flow out of that relationship.  What also follows is a supporting network that comes from being in a well rooted family.  These networks ordinarily come from close family and friends, positive adult members in the community, church and school and are a huge contributing factor to our positive development as a young person.  Mentoring a young person at risk provides this same supporting network, a network entirely lacking from their life. 

When the theme of ‘home to home’ came up I spent a lot of time thinking about what is a home, and what distinguishes a house from a home.  When do you call a place a home and not a house?  What is it that a home offers?  And through this I began realising that in its simplest form, this is what LifeXchange’s approach of a Holistic Life Mentoring Process aims to provide in the life of a young person.  Not necessarily an actual building and place, but all the elements of what it means to have a home and to grow up in a ‘healthy’ home environment. 

Monday, April 16, 2012


One of the elements in the Human Resilience Code, a platform we at LifeXchange use to bring about positive change within an individual, is Generosity.

Too often we limit our understanding of generosity to; give ‘muchly’ ‘easily’ and give money. So I looked to see what synonyms Microsoft Word gave me, and this is what Bill Gates’ guru’s decided on:

“Generosity: kindness, big-heartedness, open-handedness, liberality, bounty, munificence (say what?), charity.”

A very different picture! Charity being only one on the list and somehow I love that “kindness” is the top of the list! Kindness is free and readily available! It is something we can all offer!

Last week two of the LifeXchange guys and me tagged along with Peter Solomon, a chiropractor who used his professional network to collect Easter eggs for the Red Cross Children’s Hospital. We went and handed out the eggs to the very many little kids who were in hospital over Easter. It was a small gesture that reaped great reward. Too often we label generosity for the rich, for the well-off, yet here Keanan and Lucian were, only a few cents jingling in their own pockets, putting an enormous smile and a very definite twinkle in the eyes of these precious little people! When we got in the car, their first words were, “I feel good inside. I did something good today”. Simple words attempting to explain a complex emotion! From their backgrounds, a code of selfish survival is their standard, so to do something for the complete benefit of another is a foreign concept. And I don’t believe it was the fact that they gave Easter eggs - they didn’t buy the eggs, they didn’t even collect them, all they did was hand them out. So what was it that gave them that ‘warm fuzzy feeling’? The simple act of kindness.

Generosity – “My life has purpose, I can make a difference!”