The Silent Warrior – Remembering My Balls

This is my personal truth.

When you find yourself sitting in front of your journal at 1 am, merely hours from driving to the Sky Run training camp, you know that you had better dig deep because your Soul is trying to get through to your mind.

Ever since I had faced my demons at Sky Run 2014, I have been preparing to conquer this particular beast this year.  I have sacrificed rest to train, stayed focused and dedicated all this time, and I was ready to go go go!

Yet life has the amazing ability to continuously change and bring new wonders and adventures.  And this has been one of the most exciting years of my life – EVER!  I have up-skilled myself through an international academy, taken my business from local to global, and the cherry on top:  manifested a move to New Zealand!  All of this whilst staying on top of being a mom, wife, daughter, athlete, full-time entrepreneur, kick-ass woman…

But sitting with my pen lightly flowing over the page and seeing the words appear, I am reminded of my balls.

jugglerApproximately ten years ago I came to the conclusion that this life is all about juggling balls.  Most people only have a couple of balls, and they juggle mindlessly in robotic fashion.  Some people have lots of balls and look completely frantic and out of control.  And then you get the master jugglers:  the elite performers who have mastered the skill of juggling numerous balls at any given time, looking relaxed as each briefly touches their hands before being guided back into the air.  And as you become more skilled, you can start adding balls, touching each for a slightly shorter time.  As dynamic warriors we become used to juggling at high speed, and it becomes our norm so at times we’re not even aware of exactly how many balls are in the air at any given time.

Thing is:  all master jugglers still drop balls.  Like all elite cyclists still fall off their bikes.  All pro trail runners still fall and scrape their knees.  Shit happens.

This brings me to the next insight:  We have rubber balls and glass balls.

Rubber balls are colorful and add variety and spice to life.  You can drop rubber balls and they will either roll away and go lie in the corner, ready to be picked up again at another time, or bounce and you can catch them and continue the motion.

Glass-Ball-of-Life-WallpaperBut glass balls are perishable.  If dropped and you are lucky,  they will crack.  You can pick them up and continue juggling, but they are forever changed and you know if you drop them again it will be the end of them.  In my experience though, when dropped, these balls shatter and no amount of glue can put them back together again.

In my life I have 3 glass balls:  my marriage, my family, my health.  My three most treasured balls which take priority above all else!  And when life gets super exciting and I am juggling numerous balls and find that there is even a remote chance of missing a beat, I will drop those rubber balls like hot potatoes and refocus on my glass balls first.

On the 23rd of October 2015 at 1:30 am, I realized that the SkyRun is a rubber ball, and my family needed me now!

Let me first explain how amazing my family is:  they support me in my crazy endeavors NO MATTER WHAT.  They never  ask me to give up on any of my dreams, and they never share their concerns about me with me.  Yet the response when I let them know that I was staying at home was an extremely audible sigh of relief.  That was when I realized that right now, my boys need me to be at home and hold them at night.  They need to not worry about what happens to me in the mountain whilst they are studying for exams and packing up to move.  My husband needs me to stay in one piece and get the family across the ocean safely so that our little unit can be whole once again.  My folks need me to relax with them on the remaining week-ends, eating good steak and drinking beer.

Make no mistake!  Putting a rubber ball down is NOT easy.  Especially not one that you have been keeping in the air for 11 months!  However, my glass balls need my unwavering attention right now, and that is what they will get.

I am truly a believer in the fact that we can have our cake and eat it.  We can have anything we desire in life.  But I have also learned along the way that I’m not a sprinter – I’m an endurance athlete.  And in the race we call life, I’m quite happy to go at a slower pace and really enjoy the journey.  I will get to everything that I want to – I will even become a Sky Runner one day.  It might not be in the Drakensburg, it might be in another mountain.  But this particular rubber ball will stay by my feet until one day I am ready to pick him up again.

When last have you taken the time to look at all the balls you are juggling? When last have you named them?  When last have you identified rubber vs glass?  When last have you taken stock?

Don’t wait until 1 am!  Because when you drop a glass ball and it shatters, you will regret expecting all balls to bounce back.

Walk with honor.

The Silent Warrior – The Kitten Finds Her Roar

This is my personal truth.

43 today.  Fuck, it feels amazing.

Journaling this morning was given to reflection of what it took for me to get to this point.

Strangely, I have always felt that I was born in the wrong place, into the wrong culture.  It is really no wonder that I was constantly in shit.

For as long as I can remember I questioned the rules and found them fucked up.  I never understood why children should not be heard, why we had to respect our elders when majority of them clearly showed no respect to us, why women should be subservient – barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen.  I didn’t believe in corporal punishment and saw it as a weakness on the side of the adult who could not contain their own temper.

In a culture that demands unconditional submission, I’m sure you can understand why I received so many hidings both physically and emotionally.  Finally I gave up – gave in to the idea that you can’t fart against thunder.  And so I would give soft meows when I wanted to say something and purred when I received approval.

I was playing by the rules and I fucking hated the game.

Then, after 40, something began to change.  I was no longer satisfied with empowering others but still seeking approval in my own life.  Approval from those I love and those that I didn’t know from a bar of soap.  I thought that in order for me to be accepted in the professional arena, I had to speak like a lady, behave like a lady, surround myself with other ladies.

But what if the lady was not a pussy cat?  What if instead she was an amazingly powerful lion???  What if she was so passionate that fucked up societal rules to keep you in your place (they call it respect) could no longer contain her?  What if she could strut into the arena with her head held high and just not give a shit if strangers could not see her beauty, her grace, her power – just because it made the other cats look like pussies?  And what would happen the day that she roared??

That is exactly what happened to me this year and it was magical.

What I found was that there is an entire pride of lionesses out there that was waiting for me to find my voice!  A pride who have stepped into their personal power and like me, questioned what they have been told for so long.  A pride that called out to me and took me into their circle without hesitation or judgement.  I am finally home.

The world has more than enough pussies.  And the fact of the matter is, that holistically, things are not working because the rules that have governed our behaviour for so long, does not make sense to the younger generations and therefore have a negative effect on society as a whole.  Instead the world needs more lionesses who will tap into their power, gracefully say ‘fuck it’, and have their unique voices heard.

I know that not everyone will understand this blog.  And please don’t get me wrong – I completely respect the fact that we are all different.  Some people thrive in the safety of the rules.  They have a desire to fit in and not upset the apple cart.  That is perfect too – as long as they are being authentic to their true selves.  Nature has more varieties of animals than we even know of, and humans are as diverse and unique.  There is place for all of us.

At age 43 I am finally free from wearing the suffocating masks.  No, not everyone likes me.  And that is okay with me.  I wasn’t born to be a people pleaser.  Love me or hate me, you will never forget me.

i AMBecause today I am woman – hear me ROAR!!!

The Silent Warrior – Be amazed by the gorgeous Anna Hughes

This is my personal truth.

One of the perks of my life is the fact that I am constantly meeting the most amazing women from around the world who inspire me through their personal experiences.  Today I share with you the story of a woman who have introduced me to the concept of a life-gasm.  I’m sure that you will agree with me that the world needs more people like Anna Hughes.

It was the day I decided to take full ownership of my life even when at the time I could barely foresee what direction my life would take.

And I thought giving birth to my daughters was tough. That certainly changed my life.

But little did I anticipate what a moment of total surrender under the grueling heat in the Sahara Desert would lead to. Time is only relative as I am still getting goosebumps savoring in the achievements from being a finisher of the Marathon des Sables.

I had prepared for this ultra marathon for 1.5 years. Well before that, back in 1999(!), I had seen a documentary on TV and in that moment a burning desire in me evoke from deep, deep inside.

This dream settled inside of me for 10 years!

I had the absolute faith that I was going to reach that goal one day and cross that finish line. wanted it so truly, madly and deeply that I literally became obsessed about turning this BIG DESIRE into reality.

I remember being entirely fueled up by the pure thought of running in the dunes, on dried lakes with barely any shade to cool off.

Something ticked inside me. I could not explain what it was. I just BELIEVED that I could do it. And took inspired action.

Every minute of the day I would think about it. I could feel the vibes through my body. Talk about LIFE-GASM.

I dedicated my free time to prepare for that race in the midst of raising two young kids at the time. It is all possible if you have the ABSOLUTE WILL.

I optimized my nutrition, training and equipment and invested tons of hours into meditation and visualization techniques.

Unapologetically, I took ownership of this desire feeling that I had already made it to that finish line. I felt invigorated my all those positive thoughts and felt in the best shape I had ever been in came race day.
I raced like an animal. As if my life depended on it. There was a magical power that busted open.

But…on the road to success there are obstacles to overcome. I got the flu three days prior to flying to Moroc. I lost weight. For a minute I felt devastated that my dream would be out of reach. That I would not make it to the start line.

But I did not give up. I did not lose FAITH that I would make it no matter what.
I wanted to succeed and perform on the highest level possible for me.

Fast forward to Day 4 of the 250 K long race. After having been on my feet for 11 hours I began hallucinating. I had a tunnel vision focusing on just setting one foot in front of the other.

My thoughts became clearer and clearer. I dropped a huge burden and left in somewhere en route in the desert.

My family appeared before my inner eye, I looked at the two wonderful bracelets reminding me of my kids’ unconditional support. I felt so grateful at that moment where I was being left with only the bare essentials of food, water, some spare clothes and my own good company.

From that moment onwards I knew there was nothing and no one stopping me from getting to that finish line.

The POWER of my thoughts, my indestructible mindset had taken over.

On Day 6 I crossed the finish line and collapsed into the arms of the race director who wrapped the medal around my neck. I cried my eyes out and never felt so grateful.

I could not believe my own belief. I had made it. I had captured my biggest desire at the time. The medal representing so much more than pain, heat and blistery feet.

That day transformed my life forever.

Up until today that flow has not stopped. The experience has enabled me to play the bigger game in life.

I want to remind you to follow your dreams and desires. Always. Unapologetically. Becoming the biggest version of yourself. It is possible. Without the slightest doubt.

Every one else around you will benefit from your glorious aura as an empowered woman.

Are you ready to take the leap and succeed at an elite level you never thought possible?

Are you ready to take ownership of your feminine power and rock it out in the world?

#1: Take that first step today. Tapping on your desire that gets you burning from the inside out and that totally invigorates you.

#2: Take the first action step toward that goal now. Commit to following a clear plan and nothing will stop you from living a life less ordinary.

LIFE-GASMS guaranteed!

The Silent Warrior – Players and Spectators

This is my personal truth.

The rugby world cup has started again which makes for some pretty interesting times in our home.  To see how excited we all get whilst watching the game would probably have most people rolling on the floor with laughter.  Yet, we take the sport of spectatorship really serious – well, some of us more seriously than others.

I took a moment to reflect on this from a different angle today and realized how this entire phenomenon of the spectator vs the player plays out in our every-day lives.

First there are the players.  The people who are IN the game.  The ones who are committed to achieving their goals, winning in their lives.  It is a disciplined life where sacrifices are made.  Sometimes you have to say no to the parties that everybody else is going to.  Most days you have to get up early and drag your ass out of bed to train, to plan, to work, to do what needs to be done.  There are sore bodies to deal with.  Everybody gets injured along the way.  And you know that no matter how much you train, no matter how much you learn, no matter how much you prepare, winning is not guaranteed.  It all comes down to the day.  You learn to pray.  You learn to give it your all.  You learn to deal with pain, with aching lungs.  You learn to deal with disappointment.  Because sometimes you don’t see the gap, or you miss the ball, or you aim in the wrong direction.  And if you don’t win today, you will go back, get up earlier, train harder, get a new game plan, and try again.  You will ask for the input from the spectators, to show you what you have missed, where you can do better, and you will incorporate all relevant feedback into your game plan.  Whether in rugby, running, marriage, or business – you are a player.

Then there are spectators.  The people who only watch the game.  Sometimes they are experts at the rules – knowing exactly how the game should be played in order to win.  They have a birds eye view and can see the gaps which players sometimes miss.  They are pumped full of adrenaline and jump up and down – cheering and jeering all the time.  They praise the wins and curse the losses.  They can be unforgiving because they have forgotten what it feels like to have your muscles screaming and your lungs burning as you give it your all, but that is not enough today.  They get swept up in the energy of the crowd, and sweep up those around them.  Sometimes unforgiving, the spectators expect those they back to win at all cost!  To play perfectly every day, every time.  And if you don’t win today, they expect you to go back, to get up earlier, to train harder, to get a new game plan and to do better next time.  They will go home and continue sleeping in and wait for the next game so they can watch, support and criticize.  Whether in rugby, running, marriage, or business – these are the spectators.

Thing is, there can be no game without players and spectators.  But have you ever noticed how few players there are compared to spectators?  Some of us choose to be both.  In my life I am always the player, but I have chosen the role of spectator as a coach to give my clients my birds eye view.  To teach them the rules as I understand them.  To provide them feedback on lost opportunities and what they can try differently next time.  Being a player as well, I can do this with compassion.  Because I still hurt, my muscles still scream, my lungs still burn.  I still play.  And I welcome the input of other players taking on the role of spectators!  Because these are the people who not only know the rules, but who knows that winning the game is all about mind-set.  And mind-set is not understood if you only live in the stands.

So what are you?  Are you a player or a spectator?  And more importantly, does this choice serve to create a life that will leave others in awe at your magnificence?

Is it time to get off the stand and on to the playing field?

Walk with honor.

The Silent Warrior – Learning the true meaning of faith on a trail run

This is my personal truth.

It’s been a while since I’ve come here to run.  The terrain is truly beautiful, but challenging both mentally and physically.  The early morning sun is beating down on my face and I’m loving the clean air that is filling my lungs as I start out on the trail.

With only eight weeks to go until the SkyRun, and my lower back telling me that I’m getting old, I have to start training harder but smarter.  That is why I drove out to Kloofendal Nature Reserve this morning for a three hour training session.  It is quiet here.  I’ve only seen one person so far which means nobody to encourage me to keep pushing – it is all up to me.

The beauty of the land keeps me captivated and I eagerly climb up as I know the view from the top is going to be spectacular!!  I love climbing up.  Yes it is hard on the legs, on the glutes, on the lungs.  And at times I wonder how much further until I reach some flat land just to catch my breath.  But I can always see the next step, I can always look ahead to pick out the best route.  And I love the view from the top!  Who doesn’t?

Not so on the downhills.  In fact, this is where my greatest challenge lies.  I’m shit scared of heights and rocky descends.  And going downhill my mind starts playing sneaky games with me.  Showing me landslides about to explode the moment I step on the wrong stone.  Making my body tense which I know is more likely to lead to an accident, but I simply can’t help myself.  I try to focus on my breathing, to get out of my head.  Change the voices that tell me devastation lies ahead to ones that are more empowering,  telling me I can do this, just keep going.

As I approach a particularly steep drop, my steps falter and I slow down.  It seems that the path completely disappears!  I can see a trail on the other side going up, but I cannot see a humanly possible way to get there.  What the hell????

kids downhillThat is when it dawns on me – THIS is faith.  The knowing that even though I can’t see the ‘how’, the Universe has already laid the trail.  It is easy to have faith when you can see the next step.  But when the path disappears, you have to have the faith of a child, throw caution and fear to the wind and run like a complete maniac, trusting.   All I have to do is to trust and keep moving forward.  And like magic, the next step appears.  It is the most astonishing thing!  Every time I take a step forward, the view changes, and the next step appears as if out of thin air!!!

I start thinking of my life.  Of how I have set goals which seemed impossible at the outset, and quite frankly most of the way as well.  But I could see the desired end.  I knew that someone else has already accomplished this goal, somewhere, at some time.  Which means that it is possible.  And then all I do is commit and keep taking one step forward every single day, keeping the faith.  I don’t always understand the steps that I take.  And sometimes I slip and fall.  But I get back up, look around, and find a better path.

I have a deep faith in the Universe.  I believe that I am fully supported on my path and that even though things look like a mess from where I stand at times, God has a perfect view from above and he knows where I should turn next.  I guess that is why I can do the crazy shit I do…

He also knows me well – and understands that I’m not the most patient person.  I like shit to happen now!  So at times, he simply provides me the people who will give me a different perspective, a different view:  my husband, my mom, my dad, a mastermind partner, my boys, a coach, whoever is most suited for the specific part of my journey.  And by giving me this view, I can make better choices and get faster results.

Where in your life have you stopped because you cannot see the next step?  Where in your life is faith the missing link to getting to your desired finish line?

If you are feeling completely stuck, just take one step!  Just one!  I dare you!  Because as long as you stand still your view doesn’t change.  It is only by moving that you can get a different perspective.  And it is only through movement that we demonstrate faith and give the Universe an opportunity to do some magic.

Take that step!

Walk with honor.

The Silent Warrior – The most powerful question a mother can ask

This is my personal truth

Today I am speaking directly to all the mothers out there. Although this question can be just as powerful for any woman who does not have children of her own, or for any father.

I don’t have many childhood memories – probably because most of them were really shit so I have blocked out a lot. My early childhood was in a home with an abusive father who passed on his behaviors to his son, which resulted in a very unhappy and submissive mother, and me, the rebel, who got punished on a regular basis. Oh don’t feel sorry for me, I was born to be a warrior! This was simply my training ground.

But as a little girl I could never understand why my mom would possibly tolerate this life for seventeen years!! Which is how long it took her to finally leave my sperm donor. When I asked her, she would always say she stayed for us, for her children. She thought it was the best thing she could do for us, because how could she possibly make it on her own? How could she take our father away from us?

2015-08-30 11.49.01I love my mother. God knows I would give my life for this woman who has served as my pillar of strength and who continues to be my inspiration every single day. Unfortunately what I didn’t realize for many years, is that because of this love for her, I made a soul contract which stated that I would suffer for her in return, so that she could live in the knowledge that she made the right decision in staying for so long in a nightmare of a marriage. And so I manifested really painful relationships which I suffered for the sake of others.

The Universe, in its compassion and love, finally released me from this soul contract by giving me the mentors, coaches and tools that would reveal this contract to me and give me the opportunity to start making better decisions. The question I started asking myself is: Would I want this life for my children one day?

Breathe in the power of this question: Would I want this life for my children one day?

This question has changed my entire world for me! Because the moment I ‘got it’, the moment that I started looking at my life and my decisions from my children’s perspective, I stopped being a martyr!

I stopped tolerating destructive and abusive relationships. I stopped staying in jobs that made me miserable so that I could be the ‘responsible’ adult who pays the bills. I stopped sitting on the carpet with my children feeling fat and miserable so instead I got on my bike and rode away my stress. I stopped looking like shit because I first had to take care of everyone else which meant there was never any money or energy left for me.

I started making the life choices that I would want my children to make one day.

I also finally started having real conversations with my mom. And I started asking her for help when I needed it. Because as a mom, I would be devastated if my kids didn’t have the freedom and courage to ask me for help one day or to have the open and honest conversations with me.

This blog needs to come with a bit of a warning though: when you start making more empowered decisions like this, people are going to judge! There will always be those mothers and fathers who call you selfish, irresponsible, crazy even. Let them. Because unless they wake up really happy each morning, unless they are making decisions that they would want their kids to make one day, they are simply stuck in soul contracts which they are not even aware of!

I cannot tell you how often I meet people with un-lived dreams ‘because of their children’. They can’t possibly take the chance now ‘because of their children’. They can’t possibly have a happy relationship now ‘because of their children’. But what are you modelling to your children? That misery and suffering awaits them when they are adults because having children is like a prison sentence for the next twenty years?? That they will go from free-spirited brave souls to whipped, groveling, suffering martyrs? Geez and we wonder why the next generation don’t want to have kids…

I am not saying you must quit your job today, get a divorce or start living like a bum. I am inviting you to have an honest look at your life and see where you are using your children as an excuse to live small, or for being miserable. To set better, more empowering goals and to start working towards them immediately! To start asking for help where you need it. If your marriage is unhappy, then either leave or turn it around to the best relationship in the world!!! Yes darling, it is possible. If you are unhappy in your job then sit down and figure out what does your dream job look like and either create it in your current place of employment or go out and find it or create it in your own company. Whatever you do, for the love of humanity, stop suffering for the little children!!!

I am inviting you to ask the question: Would you want this life for your children one day?

Walk with honor.

The Silent Warrior – The storm is building

This is my personal truth.

If there is one thing I have learned by now, it is that nothing ever goes the way you planned.  This is one of the key reasons why my Inspired Action Plans are not written in stone.  And I most certainly do not write them down once and then never revisit them!  In fact, I have a look at them on a daily basis and ask myself, what is working?  what is not working anymore?  what do I need to do more of?  what do I need to change?

With the SkyRun less than 3 months away, shit is happening and it is happening at the speed of light!  Our anticipated move to New Zealand has manifested way sooner than what we had originally thought it would leaving me alone with the boys for the remainder of the year which means getting through exams and race day on my own.  I also need to make some choices with regards to training as I know the 6 hour runs are coming soon and I don’t want to leave my boys for such extended periods of time on their own.  On top of all this, my lower back has decided she ain’t playing this game anymore resulting in excruciating pain from about 1 kilometer in a run.

I found myself sitting down and asking if it would not make more sense to walk away from the SkyRun?  Don’t worry, this was a very fleeting thought.  Remember that by the time that I write down a goal, it is a non-negotiable for me, come hell or high water!!!

I remembered the time I won my first silver medal at a provincial level race.  I didn’t win my medal because I was the fastest – shit I was competing against some professional cyclists!  I definitely didn’t win my medal because I was the strongest – back then my hip had already shown warning signs of what was yet to come.  I won my medal because nobody else finished the race!!!

Waking up to the sound of strong wind and relentless rain against my window had me lying in bed debating the wisdom of going out to race in the storm.  I had been training with my coach for months with the goal of getting podium position at my first provincial level race.  Truth be told, I had no idea how I was going to accomplish this!  But I had done every training session, listened to everything my coach told me to do, damn I had even cleaned up my eating and weighed less than I had in school!!  So I dragged my body out of bed, loaded my bike and headed off to the race.

Standing at the start line, it was clear that most of the field had the same thoughts as I had in the early hours.  Except they decided to stay in bed (hint:  you have zero chance of winning if you don’t even show up!).  We set off for the first lap and it didn’t take too long for me to lose sight of the women in the front.  A couple of times I was nearly blown off my bike, the rain hitting exposed skin like needles!  I could hardly see 5 feet in front of me with water and tears constantly blurring my vision.  Then came the thunder and lightning.  Hot damn that was scary as hell.  And this was followed by hail leaving bruises on legs, arms and back.

storm3As I came around to the end of the first round I was thinking how much easier it would be to just get off my bike.  But then I saw my amazing husband standing in the storm screaming his heart out to encourage me so I dug a little deeper and kept going for round number two.

After another 10 kilometers I started losing my sense of humor completely.  By now I was freely cursing the wind, the rain, the hail, the potholes, the bloody baboons that I had to dodge in the road.  I was not a pretty sight!  But I kept going.  The main thought in my head was “I’ve worked too fucking hard to give up now!”  So I kept going.

By the time I had crossed the finish line I was exhausted, both mentally and physically.  I was hurting, I was angry, I was disappointed in my finish time which meant no possibility of a podium finish.

Except I did get podium!  In fact, I received the silver medal because NOBODY ELSE HAD FINISHED!  That’s right, only two riders continued after round number one to cross the finish line.  The winner (who was a professional cyclist) and little old me who was too stubborn to give up!  That was the birth of my indestructible mind-set.

So back to the drawing board and revision of my action plan for the SkyRun.  I’ve arranged my support structure aka WonderMom and SuperDad to help out with the kids whilst I go on the training camp and race week-end.  I’ve moved my schedule around to facilitate my long runs whilst the kids are in school (the beauty of being an entrepreneur).  I’ve changed up my training to include more cross training in the form of riding my bike (woooohoooooo!) and strength and mobility training to support my lower back.

storm1Lesson:  when the storms come up, and believe me they always will, you have one of two choices.  You can decide to stay in bed and have no chance of finishing the race.  Or you can adjust your sails, let out an almighty war cry, and ride that baby all the way to the end.

You know what I’m going to do!  What about you?

Walk with honor.

The Silent Warrior – The mountain, the devil and a bottle of whiskey

I’ve had tons of requests to re-post my blog on Sky Run 2014 to understand what this goal is all about.  So here it is…

This is my personal truth.

Finally the alarm goes off.  2 AM.  I have not slept for a single minute.  Am I going to die today?

I can quite honestly say I have never been this terrified in my life – and I’ve had some hair-raising moments.  But as I listen to Adriaan moving around in the room packing up and getting ready I’m convinced that this will be my final day.  Not only will I be running further than I ever have before, but I will be conquering my fears of height, extreme weather conditions, being completely isolated – and how the hell am I going to get over the Dragon’s Ridge???

This is the Sky Run Lite.  65 kms of complete isolation in the Drakensburg.  Self supporting, self navigating, self care.

Why am I here?

To inspire.  To live my life purpose.  To show my boys what can be done.  To give others hope that anything is possible.

Fast forward 16 hours.  Night is starting to fall.  It’s been 14 hours of absolute bliss and horror in the Burg.  After a mere 11 kms I stepped into a hole and twisted my knee.  At 20 kms I had to make the call – this is the last turn-around point.  After this nobody can get to me until I reach Balloch Caves at the 60 km mark.  The remaining back-markers of the Lite have all packed it in and gone home.  But I was determined to conquer the Dragon’s Ridge as I’ve been having nightmares about this bloody piece of mountain for a month!  knee

I strapped up my knee and continued.

The next 35 kms has been a haze of pain, wanting to vomit, strapping my knee tighter and tighter, and watching the last people getting further and further away.  I’m the last soul in the field.  Despair starts creeping into my heart like tentacles of ice.  I can no longer see where I’m going.  The spotlight on my head providing a small patch of hope in front of me in a marshland of mud and tall grasses.  My knee has finally given in from the pounding on the down-hills and I’ve only reached this far by alternating between hobbling and crawling on my ass.

And that’s how I find myself sitting here in the mud.  Pain screaming through my every fiber as my ankle twisted and collapsed.  There is nobody to hear me scream.  Nobody to see the tears freely running down my face.  Nobody to keep me strong.

devil whiskey2‘Poor Anel.  So cold.  Here, have a sip of whiskey – it will warm up your limbs’

Poor me.  I’m so cold.  I should have a sip of whiskey – it will warm up my limbs.

‘Poor Anel.  So tired.  Here, have a sip of whiskey – it will revive you’

Poor me.  I’m so tired.  I should have a sip of whiskey – it will revive me.  But I just want to lie down and sleep.  Just give up and go to sleep forever and make the pain stop.

‘Poor Anel.  Hurting so much.  Here, have a sip of whiskey – it will make it all better’

Poor me.

What the hell??????  These can’t be MY thoughts.  This is NOT who I am!!

The Devil is a clever piece of work.  Waiting patiently in the shadows for years.  Waiting for a moment of weakness to strip away your power.

Dig Anel Dig!!!  Why the hell are you here?????

To inspire.  To live my life purpose.  To show my boys what can be done.  To give others hope that anything is possible.

SO GET UP!  GET UP AND GET MOVING!

So I get up.  I wipe snot, tears and mud from my face and put one foot in front of the other.  Just keep putting one foot in front of the other.

Finally the marshals come across me.  They don’t help.  They don’t even talk.  Leaving me in my own private hell to find the inner strength to keep going.  Just staying close enough to ensure I don’t kill myself.

The last 3 kms takes me 2 hours to complete!  PURE F*CKING HELL!  I stumble, I crawl, I walk.  Inside I’m screaming and crying but on the outside I’m quiet.  Don’t show the Devil your weakness.  Don’t take a sip of whiskey.

And then I see his face.  My guardian angel.  My best friend.  My husband.  The worry is etched on his face.  I can see that he has been through his own private hell waiting for me.  Seeing everyone coming into Balloch.  ‘She’s just behind us’ they told him.  That was an hour ago.

He silently walks up to me, falling in beside me.

‘I’m hurting so much Babes’.  Tears now freely flowing.

‘I know.  Just keep going.  You’re almost there.  Just around the next corner.’

My husband is an amazing person.  Just like the marshals, he understood that this was my journey.  Helping me would have taken every small victory of the day away from me.  And there were many.

With a sprained ankle and a twisted knee I was unable to cross The Wall to the finish line.  5 kilometers.  So near and yet so far.

But I had achieved more in one day than I had in 42 years.  I had found my personal darkness.  I had sat down with the Devil and a bottle of whiskey and told him to go to hell.

2015 will see me entering the SkyRun again.

Why?

To inspire.  To live my life purpose.  To show my boys what can be done.  To give others hope that anything is possible.

 

Walk with honor.

The Silent Warrior – Fairy Tales Are True!

This is my personal truth.

Do you ever wonder where fairy tales come from?  I believe they come from wisdom.  From ancient truths which find their way into our hearts without us knowing.

I love fairy tales.  Always have.  In fact, I still have some of my favorite fairy tale books which my mom bought me when I was a little girl.  Of course my collection has grown considerably to include themes like The Hobbit. Shannarah and Belgarath the Sorcerer among others.  But they all include magic, wizards, witches, trolls and dragons.

Yes, I do believe in magic.  It might not come to us from a wand or a spell book, but in the never ending energies flowing through creation bringing about change or making our dreams come true in the most amazing ways.

RosesTake these roses for instance.  I woke up Saturday morning with a deep craving in my heart for something beautiful.  I wanted something unique that would touch all my senses and make me feel alive (the dream). I decided that before the end of the day something beautiful would come into my life (casting the spell).  Adriaan and I went out on a tedious errand to apply for an unabridged birth certificate at the Department of Home Affairs, but after driving to 3 locations, we decided to rather stop to buy croissants for breakfast.  The moment I walked into the store and saw this bunch of roses, I knew that they were what I wanted!  Now, if you look really closely at the perfection of each of these flowers, you will understand the level of magic that went into creating them!  Absolutely MAGNIFICENT!!

 

Let’s take it further!  Do you remember the story of the Frog Prince?  What this story is really about is the power of our perceptions and transformation that occurs through the act of love.  The sad truth is, I’m finding more andFrog princess more people are expecting the worst of others.  And what we believe, we perceive.  I had this conversation with my son whilst we were out walking the dogs.  He told me how rude people are in general and that only one out of ten people ever greet him back when he walks to school in the morning.  I said to him: ‘I’m sorry that is your belief about people.  I believe that people are really friendly and always waiting for an opportunity to connect with me.  That is why I find every person I greet on my runs in the morning not only greets me back with a smile, but they take it a step further to ask me how I’m doing’.  Your beliefs create your thoughts create your perceptions create your reality.  I bet you will find that when you change your negative beliefs about certain people, you will find some love in your heart for them and that will change the way you see them.  The frog truly does turn into the prince.

hyenaNOOOOOOO I don’t live with my head in the sand! I know that no matter how positive our belief systems, there will always be those who choose the dark side.  Just yesterday I decided to try my hand at Periscope.  It took all of 30 seconds for the first pervert to find my broadcast and start making really inappropriate remarks.  Hiding behind their faceless internet identities of @20brightspark (oh wait, that would be too long a word for them to spell!), they go around circling the internet like a pack of hyenas so they can disrupt learning for others.  I was quickly reminded why we live in a society filled with mediocrity!  Because instead of making the most of the opportunities that the Universe is providing them to learn and better their lives, they turn it into a game on insults, edging each other on.  Yip – I now know you can block them.  But how sad that the developers even had to create such a function.

Just remember that they exist, be valiant and don’t back down.  They have chosen to disrupt and hang onto their identities of victims with all their might.  It doesn’t mean you have to live your life according to their rules.  We all know the story ends where the lions kicked their asses!

evil queen

 

From the Wicked Queen (mother-in-law:  I’m just kidding!!), to the troll under the bridge (the fear that keeps us from achieving our biggest dreams), to dragons (the average masses that swoop down on you the moment you stand out in a crowd), fairy tales probably have more wisdom hidden in them than all the psychology books in the world.

 

 

It is about really seeing the princess within you that deserves living in a beautiful castle with the prince of your dreams.  It is about having the knight in shining armor fighting next to you for your cause because your purpose is brilliant.  It is about following your dreams and knowing that magic exists to make them come true.  It is about realizing that you don’t have to be the biggest or the smartest or the scariest to come out tops – hey, look at what those dwarfs did!!!

I invite you to go read some of your favorite fairy tales again and to find the wisdom hidden deep within them.  And start sharing them with your kids!  Not to teach them that magic only happens in fairy tales, but to show them that magic truly does exist in their lives and the power that they have in co-creating their reality.

Walk with honor.

The Silent Warrior – Meet The Incredible Miss C

This is my personal truth.

When Adriaan told me that he would not be able to do the Sky Run with me this year, I was more than just a little disappointed.  Not only did I lose my training partner 3 weeks before the event last year, which means I know how tough those long hours of running is on your own, but I had set a goal to finish this year in a Sub 15 hours.  For most seasoned trail runners this seems a walk in the park.  For an old lady with many injuries, a fear of heights, and no sense of direction, it is a challenge.  Plus you all know by now how very loud those voices in my head can get when I’m out there on my own!

So once again I started asking around for anyone who is up for a magnificent adventure.  For some strange reason though, there appears to be very few people who, like myself, commit to seemingly out of reach goals before figuring out the how.  Personally I find this to be half the fun.

Eventually I decided to ask the Universe.  I drew up a list of requirements of my perfect racing partner.  This is a powerful tool that I use consistently in my life and I have seen the amazing results my clients get through this as well.  From business associates, to perfect clients, to your soul mate – simply draw up a list of the characteristics that you want in this person and let the Universe work its magic.

But back to my perfect racing partner – she would have to be a woman who can talk a lot without needing any responses (I am normally too busy trying my utmost to breathe and not pass out to even attempt answering).  She would have to be new to trail running as well so we could learn and explore together.  She needs to be an endurance athlete who has the fitness needed for this event.  She would definitely require a magnificent sense of humor!  A lady who is focused and committed.  And one with a sprinkle of nuts to say !  Sounds like a tall order and even I was wondering about the likelihood of this happening.

And the Universe delivered the Incredible Miss C!!Miss c5

Well I didn’t really ask for a woman who looks like a model at 6 am for a run, but then again the Universe loves over-delivering!

The Incredible Miss C is the perfect partner for me.  Not only is she more than a decade younger than me, but she is fast as hell and honestly one of the gentlest souls I have ever met.  She is the ice to my fire, but with a core of steel and some glutes to match!  If we were a Caramelo Bear, I would be the chocolate and she the caramel.

The Incredible Miss C completed her first Comrades this year in a time which put a lot of veterans to shame.  She has also turned into the most relentless voice in my head every time I go out training, with or without her.  Talk about having to up my game!!  I have to train harder, run faster, and become a little more fearless on the rocks.

In return, I keep her grounded, bring my determination and enthusiasm to the table, as well as the emotional support which I know will be crucial on the day.

Did I mention she is a hell of a lot of fun to hang out with??

No longer can I miss a training session, or cut short on the intervals, or eat that extra slab of chocolate.  Because the Sky Run is no longer just about my personal goal.  By teaming up with an awesome runner, I not only have the support that I was seeking, but an accountability partner of note!

Miss c4

But that is exactly what is needed when we set incredible goals.  The people we surround ourselves with is crucial to our success.  You become like those who you associate yourself with which means that if you want to be a winner, you better make damn sure you have winners on your team!!

 

 

It might be time to look at those you have chosen to surround yourself with and ask yourself if they are lifting you up or pulling you down in the pursuit of your goals.  I know we sometimes really struggle to let go of those people who have been in our lives for a very long time, but if you are keeping them in your life out of guilt, or even worse to subconsciously blame them for playing small, you are not doing anyone any favors.  Love them enough to let them walk their own journey instead of continuously using them as an excuse to hold yourself back.

And when you decide to love yourself enough to seek out those who will let you live your dreams, the Universe will always bring an Incredible Miss C who will celebrate your victories with you!

Walk with honor.