Last night I attended the Maties Sports Awards, where guest speaker Kathleen Taylor, SA hockey player, left me pondering about a few things.
First of all each one of us has a number of responsibilities that we have come to master the skill of juggling it all, or have our perceptions been mistaken? Whether it is work, social life and family time or sport, academics and hobbies. Each of these areas requires a set amount of time to function optimally. The challenge is to find the balance because one is going to enjoy more attention that the other. The thing is, are we spending enough time in the area we value most? Or are we stuck in the run of the mill demands of society.
This leads me to my next question. Am I or are you on the right path to be part of making history? Or are we okay with it passing by and missing out on the opportunity of being part of this process of making history. After all it all comes down to passion and your purpose in life. Are we spending our time wisely? Or is it time to step up and make a difference?
For the past 2 weeks my mother made Stellenbosch her home, whilst my dad is on a birding trip in Europe. During this time I just realized again how precious family really is and what a privilege it is to still have the opportunity to spend time with both my parents. Of course you don’t always agree on everything, but at the end of the day what does it matter anyway. Life is too short to let irrelevant, small things get in the way of true happiness.
Her cousin passed away on Sunday and it made me realize how precious time is. Why do extreme things like death always have to be the tool to remind us of these things? I guess the challenge is to live every day to the fullest. The word “fullest” can mean different things to different people, each one of us should just find that perfect balance……
I can’t believe a year had pass by since the 2012 Paralympic Games held in London. What an amazing time of my life, the lessons I learn along my journey and the incredible memories I made. But, it doesn’t help to dwell in the past because in 3years time it’s time to compete against the best in Rio, Brazil. It sounds like a long way to go but in reality there is no time to waste.
The past year I have really been blessed. Getting my story out there is my main mission, to inspire others who are longing to reach their dreams, but just need that extra word of motivation. By giving back you are more than likely to walk away richer yourself.
So I want to motivate each and every one to commit to someone or something to give a little back. It can be a helping hand, an ear to listen, a prayer or whatever the need may be…..
One probably wonders how we do it season after season. Because after every high there is normally a low and a cycle to work your way up again to the top.
Every athlete for its own but for me it’s really important to take a bit of a rest. Have some fun with friends and family and rest your body physically, mentally and emotionally. You don’t realize how tired you are after a major competition till you relax a bit.
I had the best 2 weeks of my life after the 2013 world champs. My husband and I had the privilege to travel Italy for 2 weeks. We had the most amazing weather, saw the best spots ever and made the most incredible memories.
Being away from the track for a few weeks, created that hunger to get my body back into the best shape it can be. The one thing that drives me to get going and staying focussed is the possibility to potentially stand on that podium again and sing my national anthem. It is one of those feelings I can’t describe in words, but it’s so powerful for me that it keeps me motivated. Purely because all the years of hard work flash through your mind and everything you have sacrifices was worth it. You appreciate the things and lessons you learned along the journey so much more. Suddenly everything falls into place and a different, more mature person steps off that podium. Ready for the next challenge…..
I had the most amazing 2 days and am really keen to share my joy with all of you. For those who know me I had a really rough 10 months. Injury wise it has been the toughest time in my sporting career thus far and I would have it over again just to learn the lessons that surfaced through the whole process.
It all started with a quad tear in London 2012, then a calf tear in Feb 2013 and to top it all a disc tear in my back end of May. It was touch and go or I wouldn’t have been at the World Champs.
I haven’t really raced this year. Two races doesn’t really qualify as being super prepared for the major competition of the year, the world champs that only come around every second year. But I surprised myself at a competition in Leverkusen, Germany at the end of June, running a seasons best in the 100m. This gave me a bit more confidence coming into the competition. Through all of this time I was still asking the question why all of these things happen to me. Just as I think I’m back on the horse another niggle pulls me off the rails. But I persevered with the help of friends, family and team mates and the love of God.
Before I went into the call room before my 100m final I said to my coach “Whatever happens here today is okay because of the journey I was on, just being here at the champs was already enough.” Although I didn’t run a fantastic time it was still amazing just to be out there doing your best and making your country proud with a silver medal. With the long jump up the next morning I didn’t expect anything, since my last jump was at the 2012 London Paralympic games. The result was no expectations from me as well as of me from anyone. And there another miracle happened. My first jump was the winning jump with a pretty decent distance for not training and then I just realized what the whole journey was all about. Throughout all of the tears and struggles, and there it was Gods bigger plan for me. To glorify His name and to use this testimony to share with everyone that God NEVER leaves our side no matter how we handle things. Man I can’t explain that joy I experienced on the track yesterday. Just being out there and embracing the moment and just enjoying myself. So never ever doubt the fact that miracles do happen you just have to open yourself up for it.
So the Champs have officially started. Last night we attended the opening ceremony and I had the honour of carrying our national flag. What a privilege this was for me. I never imagined that my flag bearing daubed was going to take place on a rainy day with a poncho over my body, but besides all these things it was still an amazing honour.
Not really what the organizers had in mind for the opening but the rain is something that you can’t control. Unfortunately we didn’t experience the whole ceremony as we left before another shower poured down on us.
However the games have begun and it is show time now. Excitement is running high and it needs to stay there on top.
To all my team mates I wish you good luck and really hope that all the hard is going to pay off. Too those who have experienced this before you know the drill, but to the new guys enjoy every minute of it, embrace every moment and remember fear is the opposite of faith. Trust in the Lord and believe that greater things are yet to come!!!!
Ok so we have reached our final destination, Lyon France. We left Lanzaroti Thursday last week and off we went to Germany for our final preparation before Worlds. We competed in Leverkusen and once again God showed that He is holding us tight in His hands. I ran my second race of the year and it went really well. Now I can go into World Champs with so much more confidence.
The plan was to travel to Lyon by train but instead we decided to fly just to cut out some admin climbing on and off various stations along the way.
When we arrived in Lyon we realized the tour de France is finishing close by our hotel and that no taxis are available. So we took the train, then a bus, then the train again and as we got out from the underground there we were 300 m from the finish line. Man was that amazing. To experience that was really great. All of a sudden none of us were tired anymore just being a part of the amazing vibe gave us a new burst of energy. That didn’t last long as we had to walk about 1.5 km all the way to our hotel, not really knowing exactly where it is. Eventually we found it and now Worlds is here.
I just realized again how privileged we are to have travelled so much in such a short time. One day we say hello in Spanish, the next thank you in German and then yes in French.
Now it is game time because here in Lyon was what the trip was mostly about. I’m not using the word all about because this trip also helped me to confirm once again how amazing God is and how He works in mysterious ways to guide and shape us. What an honour to know Him.
My gym trainer once said “just be like water. “ Whatever life throws at you just go with the flow. Man o man this is a tough one. Today things were upstream for me. This whole time I have been trying to stay above water, but today I got weak and sunk a bit. Sometimes you don’t know why things happen you just have to trust that advice people of the sea give you when you get pulled in by the current, to let go and let the current wash you out to shore. For those whom have ever been in such a situation it is easier said than done. Sometime the current is just too strong. But eventually you will get back to shore and it will all be over till the next time. The secret is not to get into that space again but to move forward and get stronger so that when it does happen you have the ammo to fight it and come out the other side a stronger person.
So are you sinking or swimming at the moment?
Every evening after supper whoever wants to join can come and share a bit. Sometimes we have a topic or theme we discuss mainly of a spiritual nature or sometimes we just listen to someone testimony. How God had an impact on their lives. Last night we spoke about expectations. What are our expectations for now in our sporting career and personal lives?
This topic just confirmed it once again that it is not about us but it’s ALL about God. This morning I listened to a song ‘My desire’ and it challenges you to make it your desire to live Gods will. Not your own, because His plan is so much greater. Another thing that came out of the conversation was to live limitless. It’s crazy how we sometimes put limits on the things we do. We doubt ourselves or sometimes don’t look any further than what the day of tomorrow has to offer. I find comfort in the fact that God has so much more to offer us than we can ever imagine and thus we should have faith and trust Him completely to guide us into greater things.
As I went to bed I was excited about time trials today. Just to challenge myself to run limitless and to give it my best effort. Unfortunately I didn’t get the opportunity to gain some confidence out of the races because my body didn’t want to cooperate. My coach gave me new perspective and said my body is like a diesel engine, it take a little longer to get up and running. Eventually it will get there. It made me think about my last 11 months journey through ups and downs that God is taking longer to reveal His plan for me. This is the time we need to be strong and obey Him patiently. Although this is a tough time I know that He is holding me strongly in His hands.
So what are your expectations for the journey you are finding yourself in?
So one probably wonders what we are up to all day, when we are not training. Believe it or not there isn’t a day that I have been bored yet. We wake up, go for breakfast and then off to the track. Most of our mornings we spend there and then go for recovery baths at the wellness centre. Then time to eat AGAIN. After lunch our “house” build some chats over a cup of coffee and either have an afternoon nap, go to the physio or just have some me time. It’s relaxing to read next to the pool, or watch a series from time to time. I’m busy watching Heart of Dixie, quite cool so far! If you don’t have an afternoon training session you are off till 7pm for dinner. My Skype time with my husband is normally 6pm. always nice to hear what is going on back home.
Yesterday we had a super fun day. It started with a card game and the person who lost had to sing a song at the karaoke night held every Wednesday night. Unfortunately my roomie was the (un)lucky one. At the end of the day she had to sing 2 songs because of a bet she made earlier the week. To keep us awake till 22:30 we played a game of 30 seconds and got to know each other better on a much different level. Some of us had a double core session with all the laughter. But the best was yet to come with the karaoke. All I can say is what happens on tour stays on tour. Well done roomie for being such a great sports!!!!!