Christmas eve! A merry christmas to all of you, I hope you have a good one! For this christmas I have an amazing gift for you, a girl I met randomly walking the course at Toughest in Stockholm 2017. I was stuck at sternum checker (as usual) with my friends, and Dominique came by. She was so sweet and said to me “You got this, you are more than strong enought, just do like this!” …and she just flew over it. Me of course did still not. Race day we ran back and fourth with eachouther, at that race I was a little bit better runner than she, and she a little bit bette at the obstacle. That made us come equal into the ramp, and I remember I was so proud. Next time we met up was at the OCRWC 2018 and it was just amazing seeing her again. I follow all she does on IG, and she is just a totally incredible athlete. I know what 2019 is bringing for me, and there is no money to do anything more - but maybe 2020 will bring me and my fam to South Africa??? I sure know that one day I will come down to train and learn from Dominique! I really hope you will enjoy this reading!
Age: 34 (35 in January 2019)
What brought me to OCR… (this is kinda longish, are you ready?)
Growing up, I was generally pretty active and enjoyed doing most sports but from the age of nine I found a love for gymnastics. I continued to do gymnastics for almost 14 years, 4 years of which I represented South Africa on their National Team and thereafter I received a scholarship to study at and represent the University of Utah in the United States. Doing Gymnastics became a solid foundation for me in terms of developing a keen sense of body awareness, which later helped with my OCR.
After graduating from the University of Utah (2006) I was done with gymnastics and looking for other activities to keep me busy (and healthy). I’m goal-driven by nature and not very good at sitting still so I wanted to try another sport, something that gave me a challenge to work towards. Also, I love eating, so I needed a reason to burn some extra calories 😊
While still living in Utah I was dared to do a triathlon, so I did! And I survived! When I moved back to South Africa I met a few people who were active in triathlons at the time so it seemed natural to join them on their adventures and test my hand at a few more of these swim-bike-run thingies.
This endurance stuff didn’t come naturally to me so I had to work hard on improving my longer distance fitness – especially the running! (Give me 100m sprint anyday!). I started off doing sprint triathlons then, over a number of years, gradually progressed to Olympic distance and then Half-Ironman distance. I even represented South Africa in my age group at the 2012 ITU World Championships in Auckland, New Zealand. The longer stuff was always a challenge for me, but I do like a challenge 😉
I first stumbled upon Obstacle Course Racing in 2012 when I took part in the Impi Challenge with my then boyfriend and some friends. We had loads of fun and I really enjoyed using my body in a way that reminded me a lot of my gymnastics years. There was a small competitive field at the time and I wondered how I would fair against those ladies (the competitive person in me).
With the introduction of The Warrior Race in 2013, OCR started having more of a presence in SA and a friend suggested that I try out the Black Ops Elite event (most challenging category) in the Cape Town race. Now if you haven’t guessed already, I love a challenge, so it was on like donkey kong! I had no idea where to even start prepping but I just knew I had to run a lot of trails (I probably did some pull-ups inbetween too).
As luck (and God’s grace) would have it, I won the event and have been hooked ever since!
The Warrior Race – specifically the Sprint races, but I enjoy the tough obstacles in the Black Ops Elite category too.
The Grind Race once hosted an indoor 1km sprint event which I absolutely LOVED, but it was sadly just a once-off thing.
I have only done a few races overseas and have enjoyed each one for various reasons, but if I had to pick one favourite it would be TOUGHEST (I did the one in Stockholm in 2017 – where I met the beautiful Mari! 😊). I love the concept of fast lanes and challenging oneself on more technical obstacles.
Any technical obstacle that requires grip and movement skills.
Favourite (race) venue:
Locally – Cape Town and Durban – they have such beautiful scenery, it’s easy to forget how much you may be suffering on the course.
Internationally – one that I haven’t yet experienced 😉
(this is another long answer but will try give you the shorter version this time)
So, because I had a fair amount of experience with explosive, anaerobic trainingin gymnastics, and thereafter dabbled in endurance training for triathlons, I’ve come to a point with my training where I’m experimenting a bit with what might work better for my body type (and my age!) and what I ENJOY doing – that being the shorter, more explosive type of training.
For years I focused on building an endurance base in the beginning of the season but now I’m mixing things up a bit and doing things a little differently in 2019 so I’ll have to let you know how that works out. No matter what, it’s important to me that I have fun with what I’m doing, the rest will fall into place as it’s meant to be. Life is too short for boring sport, right?
I have a couple of these, but this is my go-to reminder of what’s important in my sport and in life:
FAITH. COURAGE. FUN.
Goals for 2019…
- I own and coach at an obstacle training facility in Cape Town (@obstaclefitnessCT). Through this, I have the privilege of watching people grow in the sport and it’s amazing to see what it does in their personal lives too. I would love to continue to play a positive role in the lives of the people I reach and ultimately grow the sport as well.
- I would also love to try some new races (internationally). I’m VERY keen to try out something like Ninja Warrior but we don’t have it in South Africa so I need to explore the possibilities of taking part in another country.
- Keep having fun and be a better version of me.