Monday, 19 June 2017

Run Like A Butterfly

Good Morning to all the followers/readers of my blog.  First of all I have to apologize for neglecting you all for a while, but as you will read in a minute or so I have a reason why I have been so scarce of late.  Some of you may remember a post I placed on the 5th of May 2014.  I quote:

"I am not, I repeat, NOT an athlete.  Although I love walking, and can even walk at quite a pace, I am not athletic at all.  We are not an athletic family.  We love art.  We are regulars on the culture scene.  My idea of running is that the engine is here to stay!  Yet I have a dream, one that I have kept quite well hidden, well that is until now.  Deep down, in the very darkest recesses of my heart there is this desire to run at least a 5 k. There I have said it, now I want to hide!  
So, that is how I find myself at this point in my life where I have bought the shoes and actually donned them.  Now it is time to set out on the journey.  Time for the unwilling athlete to step up!"

and on the 5th of January 2015 I wrote:

"So, how did it go with this resolution?  Well, I did it.  Not only did I do it, I went on to the 1ok and the 15k!  "

I was so excited by this.  My daughter and I went on to run many more 10k's, and quite a few 21k's as well.  Fifteen months later my daughter gave birth to her first child and after being in labour for 33 hours proclaimed that she could now conquer anything.  Thus a new dream was born: to run the Ultimate Human Race!  What a goal for "non-athletes" like ourselves!  It is a race of approximately 87 km known as the Comrades.  I was excited yet apprehensive.  I had no idea how I would ever be able to do it, but we both agreed to give ourselves two years to train for it.  Eight weeks after her daughter's birth, we started our training program.

Our single focus was to constantly improve our running and to religiously stick to our training program.  Several 21k's became 32k's and the prospect of doing the Comrades in two years time got pushed forward to six months!

On the 4th of June 2017 our dream finally became reality.  We ran the Comrades from Durban to Pietermaritzburg in a time of 11:47.  Unbelievable!  We had to pinch ourselves, it felt like a dream!

How did we do it, I can hear some of you ask.

First of all: Faith.  No, not faith in ourselves, but faith in God.  We would not have been able to do it without Him.  Every training run was an opportunity to spend time in his presence.

Philippians 4:13 (NIV)

13 I can do all this through Him who gives me strength.
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission
Secondly: A singleness of thought.  We had to exclude all reasons why we should not be doing this.  We refused to pay any attention to any of the excuses we thought up as to why we could not do it.

Thirdly: we refused to listen to negative talk.  Very few people really want a person to succeed.  Most people feel it is their duty to point out the reasons one should not attempt to do something, they feel obliged to point out the dangers and the futility of your quest.  They mean well and they are concerned, but very few people are there to just encourage somebody in their "foolhardiness". Some people had tried to discourage us with horror stories, others openly laughed when they heard about it.  Many thought we would eventually come to our senses and quit.

This brings me to the fourth point:  Enter real friends and family...
They are the ones who get up while it is still dark outside, and sane people are all snug in bed, and drive behind you while you put on long and lonely kilometers.  They are the ones who join you on your run just to encourage you even though they have no race to prepare for themselves! They are the ones who encourage you, but keep their doubts to themselves.  They are the ones who wait for you to come past to give you the sandwiches they have prepared for you the night before the race.  They are the ones who follow you every step of the race via live-tracking and carry you with their prayers.  Without them we would not have been able to achieve this.

Lastly, but certainly not the least: we did it together.  We encouraged each other.  We did it as a team, as one organism.  We did it as Comrades in the spirit of the Ultimate Human Race.  We did it as mom and daughter.  This song says it all...

It was without a doubt one of the most amazing experiences of my life, and I thank the Lord, my daughter, my husband, my children, family and friends who helped to make my dream a reality.

To my girl: with you by my side, I ran like a butterfly...I love you.


  1. I love you too, mommy! It still feels like a dream. What an amazing experience to share with my best friend! Would not have wanted to do it with anyone else. I'm constantly finding myself thinking back on that day. I cannot wait for our next race together, I feel like an addict waiting for the next fix hehe. Today we start our next training programme, so excited to do it with you!