I swim to keep fit and to keep off the Kgs. John Bailey has always said I have wasted my gym subscriptions. Be that as it may, I am amazed each year at the sudden surge of activity mid-January as Midmar approaches. A flood of pale, normally overweight bodies arrive for training. The pattern is the same – they enter the water like possessed beings, striking out at the water with anger and disdain. After a very short assault on the water the profanities begin, blaming the water for their distinct lack of fitness and finesse. Some are never seen again until the event, others return every 3 or 4 days to try again, and the remainder make a decent attempt at preparation but they are few and far between. My personal favourite this year was as I was finishing my routine I noticed a parent on the side of the pool admonishing his son for his lack of commitment. As I approached the father asked me how many lengths I had done, to which I replied 240. He turned to his son and said “see how many lengths he’s done and look how old he is” … I have never felt prouder!
With this in mind, I am proud of the staff members who have given it their all for the team EXPAND A SIGN.
Memory and age should not be linked in the same sentence; however my grey matter when severely shaken and not stirred yields some accurate information (I could soon be hiding my own Easter eggs). The company first entered the Midmar Mile in 2006. Wade, Shaun (Gecko legs), Tim, Ann and I formed a formidable team (formidable in enthusiasm only). What a sight with my 51 year old body in a speedo and Shaun’s see through skin. All our competitors shook with trepidation and fear … or maybe it was laughter.
Anyway 4 out of 5 finished (Geko legs really only wanted a ride in a speedboat). This is how the tradition began. We have always entered for the team spirit not really worrying or taking note of where we came in the event. Many associates called me in 2008 when we finished in the top 10, we cheated a bit because people pulled out and we ended up fielding a, shall we say composite side.
In the last two years our Johannesburg branch decided to put in a bid for the EAS title. Five brave souls readied themselves to beat the Banana boys in their back yard but alas only 1 made it to the other end, so it was boat rides for most. It must be said that the training put in by the Joburg team consisted of big talk in pubs and restaurants. They were truly concerned about peaking too soon so didn’t get into the water until February. Needless to say they are preparing for an onslaught in 2016.
Mention must also be made of Geoff who has attended each year alternating between his selling responsibilities (harassing all other companies for business) and his ever important braai duties. A team has to have backup and he has been really great.
Midmar participants thus far include: Ann, Wade, Tim Churchman, Shaun, Emmanuel, Calvin x 2, Theo, Bryan, Justin (the prize for most events entered and least actually attended), Jarod, Kim, Warren, Phumlani, Ralph, Kent, Natasha, Leo, Mark, Gary and myself. I hope to see more EAS participants on board to share in next year’s Midmar Mile experience!