Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Who I Are
Like Lance Armstrong, Nick VDL sidestepped a promising career as a professional triathlete and body model to pursue teaching and writing. Having converted thousands of Koreans to the English language and his way of thinking, Van der Leek bounced back from a series of heartbreaking break-ups (with beautiful Asian girls, many of whom attempted to sucker him into marriage) - to make a brief foray back to his original passion - the Ironman Triathlon. Seeking a new challenge, he then returned to South Africa to tackle that countries problems - crime, AIDS, ethics and potholes.
Describing his tremendous success modestly as 'a work in progress' NVDL credits the turnaround in South Africa's crime, HIV and rugby team to the sudden surge of interest to his website, which esposes those traits that epitomise Nick van der Leek himself: Nature Virtue Decency and Logic.
"People want to get back to nature," Van der Leek was quoted as saying (in an interview from his bicycle in the streets of Johannesburg this morning). "A hero never dies," van der Leek explains crytically (a reference to the Halo game?), "and each of us, I believe, secretly believes they have something heroic inside of themselves. If they don't, they wish they did. It's okay to be inspired; it's better to inspire."
Reconnect to the Inner Self
For a moment he pedals along beside us, as though waiting for this to sink in. Then he says: "...and so those South African heroes amongst us, having gone back to Nature, realise that what they are really seeking is a reconnection to who they are. It starts with reconnecting to our virtues. It's logical that decency is what underlies what this nation needs to get itself back on track. That's why what I have to say resonates. I'm not saying anything new, I'm just enunciating what everyone knows, but in a sense has forgotten."
With that Van der Leek steps powerfully on his pedals and streaks up a steep hill, fluffy clouds of purple Jacarandas enveloping him. The motorcycle rider stops, turns off his engine, removes his helmet and stares into the space at the top of the hill. The speck we're watching disappears.
Meanwhile NVDL in October has grown tremendously, almost trebling the number of vistors over the previous month to date (24 October). Friends of NVDL have reportedly said this week: "Watch this guy. There's no stopping him."