1. What is all this?

1. What is all this?

Over the years, I'd had an idea of creating a site that was based around my own philosophies. My life had been quite difficult growing up. In no way was I homeless or ever without food, so there are tons of people with far worse backgrounds than I have. That being said, there wasn't much in the way of a father figure, and my single mother and I didn't have much. My mother had to raise me on her own, while working and studying her master's degree, with the help of my grandparents. We were a little poor Afrikaans family, who had an abundance of character. Hardship was standard, and hard upbringings are pretty much our cultural forte. I had been introduced to adversity early on, without even realizing it. A child doesn't see obstacles early as we see them when we're older. I knew there were things I didn't have, but I wasn't overly attentive to that aspect of my life. They would come and go, much like a river flows by. In the moment it would have been nice to have some toys, but that would soon be taken over by the love of nature, sport and freshly cut grass. These were my escapes, and they provided my spirit the freedom it needed to soar. My childhood despite it's humble beginnings are the best times of my life. 

I credit much of my mindset growing up to the two most important figures in my life. My mother and Grandfather. Together they helped mold me into what I largely am now. Along the way I've had incredible guidance from peripheral figures in my life. People like my step father (who I refer to as my father  - he came into my life when I was 15, but made a big difference), my very close friends who I've known since primary school (6-8 years old) and of course my beautiful sister. 

The main takeaways I got from my childhood was that despite hardships, there are always things of substance that no one can take away from you. My mother used to read mystic, spiritual works to me. We used to delve into the mythologies of old. Greek, Roman and to a lesser extent Scandinavian (Germanic). Through her I developed a love for culture and civilization. My mother used to refer to herself as Athena, the Goddess of these topics (and occasionally the goddess of War, whenever I'd forgotten to defrost the chicken). My thirst for knowledge led me down many avenues, but most of all, it gave me a love for literature, the spiritual world, psychology and learning. 

Through my grandfather I learnt what it is to be a man. He would teach me about nature, from an old musk smelling natural encyclopedia of African animals. I absolutely loved sitting on his lap hearing tales of the Gemsbok, Eland and Kudu. At night I'd wrap my little arms around him, listening to his powerful, calming voice tell me tales of Monkey and Baboon, tricking each other and getting up to mischief. I heard that the Lion was the king of the Savannah, and that all animals respected him. My grandfather would mention to me that it's the male lion's job to protect the pride and that they look after him, so long as he is brave and strong enough to keep them safe. My grandfather was always quick to explain the context of history and how our past shapes who we are now. He was always going on about understanding where things come from. He also taught me the value of not holding a grudge (though, I must add that he held many!). His age old saying of "do as I say, not as I do," is applied in this sense. I guess what he really wanted me to know is that those closest to you will fight with you, say things they don't really mean in the moment, and that it's ok to be upset, but at the end of the day: "jy's mos my vriend, man." He'd always smile at my lumps and bumps when I fell, and made it abundantly clear that my pain was his pleasure. Many a time I'd try and show him how high I could jump off an object, that I had no business being on. Instead of tell me to be careful he'd egg me on. When I'd wiped out, he'd be hosing himself, making me realize that he'd always seen that the stunt would go sideways, but he didn't care. He knew I needed the pain to teach me, and instead of trying to intervene, he let cause and effect take the wheel as teacher, every time. His minimalistic, simple world views were so invaluable. He has so many gems, but I'd be writing till the end of time, getting them all in here. Maybe I'll have an article series on the old man, if it gets enough traction. I'd love to pay respects to him in a way - and make his name and memory eternal, outside of our family. I still miss him every day, and think about him all the time.

The love I have for sport comes from my grandfather. Wrestling and combat sports were always his first loves. This combination with what my mother taught me growing up, equipping me with the tools to seek out knowledge, made me look at training differently to the regular person. For me training, sport and physical effort was a transcendental activity. I was acutely aware of how my psyche and mind were directly related to what I did with my body. 

I did a school project in Grade 11, titled Zen in the Art of Bodybuilding, and this was really the beginning of this journey. Making concrete and exploring the actual application of philosophy through movement and physical hardship. Using the body to break down the mind and make it malleable. 

This is what this site is. The realization of that life philosophy. If you've made it this far through the article, thank you. I hope you get to see elements of my own personal journey reflected in my work. I have an unbridled passion for all things meaningful and inherently deep. If you are similar, this site speaks directly to you. I hope you find freedom through this exploration of yourself. Make your life exactly the way you want. Take back your power.



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