As a committed athlete, I have never been involved with the softer and gentler world of Spirit and Guides. After a very debilatating injury (my pelvis eventually went out of alignment and I could hardly run for 20 minutes painfree), in order to regain my balance, I started visiting the Ananda Kitur Ashrama in Rondebosch East in October 2000, to do the beginner's yoga classes. Here I often laugh aloud when I see the flexibility of the instructresses and realize my own tightness and inablity to stretch. Being a triathlete means that the hamstrings have shortened dramatically in their quest to make one a faster runner/cyclist.
In the Ashrama I happened to pick up the programme for The Art of Living Festival 2001 and was immediately intrigued by the variety offered. I decided to attend the Australian, Michael Roads' two lectures and subsequently the lecture by Sue Myers, a kinesiologist from the United States. The latter interest sprang from the help I received from kinesiologist Kevin Campbell in Claremont whom I had visited on the recommendation of my sister. Kevin unlocked my hamstrings and pointed out a few internal emotional issues that were so spot-on that they left me in a daze for days! As athletes we are often notoriously guilty of understanding our physical abilities but are often completely in the dark about our feelings and emotional issues - emotions do not get you fitter and often hinder in the process to become the world's best physical phenomenon!
In the lectures given by Michael Roads, he told us of his previous lives experiences - not something I have believed in before and a topic on which I challenged him afterwards: "Is he absolutely sure that he was a Maori chief?!!" Now I know a little better and can only laugh at my own ignorance. Sue Myers completely blew me away with her confidence and from her I had to learn that she is assisted by a guide, a concept very alien to a down-to-earth born and bred NG Church Afrikaner Plattelander. These lectures so intrigued me that I organized a private session with Sue after the Festival. I felt that she may be able to help me get back to my former running champion status.
It was of great significance to me, as a qualified scientist, that Sue pointed out the very same flaw in my belief-system as Kevin had. In the amazing 3 hours I spent with her, I learnt more about her guide, Abe. However, her findings about me were complete Greek to me - that I am actually an angel myself, so to speak, and that I am very advanced in my light body level. I kept saying : "I'm not telling my Dad any of this!"
As a result of these experiences, I decided to attend the three day Discovery course that Sue was offering at the beginning of May 2001. Here, for the first time in my life, I experienced channelling which some of the 20 participants shared with the group - it was amazingly beautiful. We each had to find our life purpose during the course. With Sue's (and Abe's help, I guess) I finally got enough courage to say that I will become a motivational speaker - something I have wanted to do for years but have never actually committed myself to. Sue had also previously pointed out to me that I am not in touch with my emotions and that is why I had such a hard time reaching my life's dream i.e. to become a world champion (that happened in 1999 after 31 years of competing). She also said that nothing happens by chance - my running injury was part of my path, which is why I ended up having a private session with her.
As an athlete I am familiar with the technique of positive affirmation which I always use to increase my level of performance. Using this technique I worked through my mistaken beliefs and also worked with my subconscious to heal the imbalance of my pelvis. Gradually my running started to settle back in to place and I decided to enter for the Nice International Ironman Triathlon race at the end of September - my favourite triathlon race in the world and a race I had won in 1998 (as a veteran).
I have always felt that pushing myself to the limit physically is when I experience the greatness of God most profoundly. The Nice Ironman Triathlon is an amazing race; the whole city comes to a standstill. At 7 in the morning over 1700 competitors dive into the Mediterranean Sea; an awesome experience (see photo). After the 4 km swim, we have to cycle a mountainous, twisting and very technical 120 km. The race is concluded with a 30 km run along the Promenade des Anglais which is next to the blue sea.
During the race I noticed something which filled me with admiration and made a big impression on me. When I got onto the bike after the swim, I noticed a guy next to me. He was only peddling with one leg and at first I thought he has lost his pedal. Later I would discover that he was one of the 4 handicapped athletes who were entered for the race (he actually won the race for that division). Afterwards, when looking at the results, I noticed he swam the same time as me. On Monday I read in the newspaper that during the long ascent - he stayed with our group until we got to the first hills - he got cramps and had to walk some of the way. But what courage - he finished the whole 154 km even though he has lost the use of his right leg (from a horse kick on the tibia). He did not put a limit on what he could do; he had the courage to join the race.
Courage was one of first things that was chanelled by one of the participants on the Discovery course - we as human beings must have courage. When I read of these channelings (through Obediah) - courage, belief in self, truth and integrity etc. - I was stunned by the similarity to my own motivational belief thoughts. These thoughts, beliefs, self written stories etc., I have saved over the years for use for when I finally became a motivational speaker. I always start my Zest 4 Life lectures with Anais Nin's saying: "Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage". I believe that one human being that is brave, gives us all courage. Obediah said: "Heaven and earth are one, just as we are one with infinity. This is the beginning not the end, as we step into space we are together as one. GREATNESS IS THE KEY TO INFINITY AND STRENGTH OF WILL AND MIND THE ULTIMATE OF OUR LIMITATIONS".
Since attending the Art of Living Festival in 2001, I have started on an extraordinary journey. My life has changed dramatically: my running and triathlon training is back on track. I am more balanced and in touch with myself - I did not have any flu or colds this year preparing for Nice. I won the 20th Nice Triathlon (as a veteran) and I am starting a new career. I will hopefully become a qualified kinesiologist after my certification in January 2002 at Sue Myers's Healing Centre in Florida! That is the wonder of life - if we love life, God, our neighbour and ourself there is no limit to what we can experience. And I guess that my guides have been doing their job well, after all, don't you think?
"An extraordinary journey - winning the 20th Nice International Ironman Triathlon with the help of the spiritual realm" . Published in 2002 in the Odyssey Magazine, Volume 26 no 2, April/May, 19 - 20.
Parts of this article published in 2004 in Kindred Spirit, UK, Jan/Febr, 20 -22 under the title "Lion of Africa"