From a young age I have always been a hard worker. Someone who is prepared to spend hours practising a specific sporting skill until I think I can execute it at a specific standard (I do have high standards, so it was more than just a couple of hours.) I think this helped me to develop a reasonably sound work ethic, one that requires me to develop some sort of structure to achieve the required output, and to keep working at something until I can figure it out. Don’t be misled, having a sound work ethic or being a hard worker does not mean that everything runs smoothly…

Watching the Absa Cape Epic over the past week got me thinking about hard work and preparation. The teams competing in the race had many early mornings, hard interval sessions and plenty of long hours in the saddle. All this hard work just to complete arguably the world’s toughest MTB race? You might question the sanity of people who suffer in their training and then suffer again for eight days on the trails in the Western Cape. Worthwhile?? Isn’t cycling meant to be something you do for fun? Damn sure it is – and the hard yards make it worth it! Not every ride has an awesome sunrise. Some are spent in the pain cave where you can’t wait to put your feet on the ground again.

I am not suggesting that you need to suffer to enjoy something. Rather, I want to pay attention to preparation. Behind-the-scenes work on a bicycle is often not that enjoyable … unless, like me, you enjoy a bit of suffering every once in a while 🙂

Over the past couple of months I have spent a large amount of my time working – not because I have been tied to a chair or forced to work, but because I enjoy the challenges that my job provides me with. The space I am in at the moment is awesome; the people and company are a special bunch. I guess you could say that I’ve caught the Purple Fever.

So where do I find the time to ride my bike and put in that all-important preparation time? Well you know the saying “The early bird catches the worm”? This is the key!

Since I was a kid I’ve always enjoyed the early morning. I’m pretty sure I must have driven my parents crazy when I was growing up. As I grew up, you might think that I would have left these early mornings behind. I didn’t … and to this day I enjoy the tranquillity provided by early starts.

I am extremely grateful that I am not someone who finds it hard to get out of bed when the sun isn’t up. The majority of my training during the week takes place before Jozi really comes out of its slumber and traffic picks up.

An early start to the day gets you on track for the rest of the day and I feel great sitting down for breakfast after an early morning session on the bike. Some people may struggle with early morning exercise sessions, but give it a go. You never know, sometimes change is as good as a holiday.

These early mornings have given me the chance to witnesses some cracker Jozi sunrises, something to do with the city smog I am told. Anyway, whatever the reason, it’s a breath-taking sight. If you haven’t seen a Jozi sunrise, I suggest you make it a priority to see one!

So now you know that I am a sucker for the early mornings and I don’t shy away from the hard yards.

A massive congrats to everyone who completed the Epic. I hope the hard yards in preparation paid off big time!

Preparation is important. Try to make time for it! Work smart and make time for things you enjoy 🙂

Till next time, ciao and have a lekker Easter!

At CN&CO everything boils down to relationships. When good people interact with other good people, magic happens. This blog is a great example of the nature of relationships – how everyone knows someone who knows someone who provides free surfing lessons every Saturday or wants to work in a lifestyle business or just got back from a trip up the West Coast in a converted truck or is busy running from Joburg to Cape Town to take part in the Two Oceans marathon.

Joshua Nuttall is part of the marketing team at Purple Group and a champion cyclist. One of Josh’s sponsors is, which is an affiliate company of CN&CO. Josh’s dad Tim, with whom he rides a lot, is the rector of St Stithians, where Carel is the chairman of the governing council. Josh also rides for PinkDrive, which is one of our favourite charities. Josh is also a keen runner and runs for Born2RunAC – which is also the home club of a couple of CN&CO team mates and sponsored by Purple Group – which is where we started in the first place!