In life you have many choices, the choices you make affect yourself and others around you. You do the best you can with the choices you choose but sadly there will always be people who disagree or think it should be done differently. In the end it’s your life, your journey and as the saying goes “your bed to lie in”.
Life as a mom, as a professional athlete, as a wife and as a friend is a constant juggling act, give or take here and there. People often ask me how I manage it all. To be honest I am a master at juggling most of the time, its all I know, but I too drop the balls here and there and at times yes it also gets too much BUT in the end I try the best I can to keep everyone happy. I never ever put anything in front of my children, they will always be my first priority because I am firstly a mom, then a wife then an elite athlete. My training is intense, if it were easy how would I improve. If I want to compete with SA’s best I must train like one of SA’s best, so yes with that comes sacrifice but sacrifice I have chosen, this is my career, this is my life, I am living a dream I dreamed as a kid and doing the best I can with what I am given.
A couple of weeks ago I had a very heavy heart as I was told running is a very selfish sport and runners are such selfish people and that I have become selfish and everything revolves around my running. I was really hurt and pretty taken aback by this comment as I’ve only ever tried to keep everyone happy, I juggle so much and I honestly try not let my running impact on the rest of my life BUT in the end it’s my job, my career. Yes, it’s my passion and my sport but to be professional, you have to treat it as a profession. I had a huge race coming up so things were more intense than usual and I can understand that it seemed my running came first then but in my defence we race TWO marathons a year, this was one so of course I’m going to be super focused on it to ensure I get to the race trained, healthy, uninjured and rested. It was my first attempt at the marathon 10 months post surgery.
This December holiday was probably the most challenging ones I’ve ever had. It felt like a constant whirl wind trying to please everyone while sticking to my training. I mean seriously, do people think while they sit there on the beach sipping a cocktail, that I honestly feel like putting on a pair of running shoes and going to train. Im human man…of course I don’t BUT I am dedicated and committed and I do what I must to get to where I want to be. Im sorry if this upsets people but if you know me you would know that’s the last thing I would intend to do.
Training over December with three little children was hectic, there was no rest and a million family functions you are expected to be at. Yes, along the way I had to choose at times and it seems it ruffled some feathers. It certainly wasn’t my intention at all and it cuts deep that because I’m dedicated to my sport, my career, I am labeled selfish.
A mother isn’t selfish full stop. When you choose to have kids, you are immediately 2nd to them, in my case I have three so I’m 4th haha. I am incredibly blessed with the most supportive, loving and caring husband who is so part of my running journey, so hands on with our daughters and loves to see me living this dream. Its because of his support I am able to run and train how I do. Life throws out many hurdles, but you have to jump over them or find away around them. You have to count your blessings. Sometimes life is about risking everything for a dream no one can see but you.
So to the people my training and my running upsets, please know that’s not my intention, I am professional and I will continue to pursue my dream and hope you can be part of this journey and when you think I’m being selfish please take a step back and reframe things.
Ive just got home from Dubai. I went to race Dubai International Marathon. A trip where nothing went to plan but was it worth it. Yes, OF COURSE it was. Was the sacrifice over the December holidays and being labeled selfish worth it for a bad race? My answer is still, YES.
To be part of the elite field in Dubai International marathon is an incredible honour. To be surrounded by some of the worlds best athletes, such running talent and to be able to stay in the same hotel as all the elite athletes is something not everyone has the privilege to experience.
My race didn’t go to plan, I was very unlucky and got food poisoning which resulted in a DNF. I never in my wildest dreams believed I would ever bail a race, but I did, after cramping in my stomach from 3 km, vomiting from 12 km to 25 km, I just couldn’t go on any further. I had to think ahead, I would have ended up with sever dehydration and in hospital or done more damage. I made a choice, it’s my bed to lie in as the saying goes. That’s life, that’s sport, these things happen. I was devastated and disappointed on the day but I truly believe you learn the most from the hard races when things don’t go to plan.
“It’s not how you celebrate the victories that counts but rather how you overcome the disappointments that defines you as an athlete.”
Was THAT worth it? 100 percent yes, life is about up’s and down’s, experiences whether they are good or bad. I got knocked down but I’m up again and watch the space, I’m not done yet. I got to experience how wrong a marathon can go, it humbled me but I also got to experience Dubai, a place I have never been. I always tell my
Children that sport is an incredible thing, it takes you places and makes you friends. I am very blessed to be able to see the world doing what I love.
To all the incredible people who were so supportive before and after the race THANK YOU for your love, kind words and picking me up. As much as people say I inspire them, you all inspire me too and keep me going when times get tough.
The year has just begun, I have the whole year ahead of me and many goals and dreams to chase.
LETS DO THIS. Lets run some races. Lets have some fun. Lets do what we love. Lets RUN.