At the beginning of August I wrote about a blogger/lifestyle challenge I was taking part in with Shield. The challenge was all about seeing how people – from different industries kept moving – and stayed fresh while doing it. The idea was simple – a bunch of bloggers and influencers from around SA were given a fitness tracker and a supply of Shield and told to go about their normal lives. Shield then tracked our movement for the month, and an event was held on the 27th of August to celebrate the month of moving and announce the winner.
The event itself was amazing – the Shield SA ambassadors Unathi and Janez Vermeiren hosted us as we all took part in an intensive movement filled morning of Boxing, Dancing and Yoga. Sorry, Most people took part in boxing, dancing and yoga. I have 3 left feet so pretended to admire the view while everyone got rhythmic with the music.
They also announced who had done the most steps for the month, and that person was…well…me. Blush. You guys! Apparently my competitive streak is an actual thing, and that, combined with gym, running, dogs, a 15-month-old and my accountability towards my activity tracker meant that I won the overall event. And I walked away with a snazzy new Apple watch (that I won’t be paying off monthly like my husband a lot of people I know…)
I absolutely loved this event – keeping active and moving is a huge part of my life’s mantra, plus I’ve been wearying a fitness device for ages now, and it really does keep me accountable. I’m also a massive Shield fan – it was the only deodorant to see me through my sweatiest of days – my wedding.
A massive thanks for the Shield and Tribeca PR team for one of the most fun campaigns I’ve been a part of!
Ok, so I am pretty damn excited about this campaign that I’m taking part in, starting today, and running until the end of August. Firstly, because I’m revoltingly competitive, and secondly because its something I do everyday, and now theres a competition associated with that something I do every day – keeping active.
Shield have challenged me, and a bunch of other bloggers to a #ShieldItsYourMove campaign. The basic idea is to ‘just keep moving’. There are mommy and lifestyle bloggers (me), sports bloggers, food bloggers, fashion and beauty. You name it.
We all have the month of August to move as much as we can, and track our daily steps on our jawbone Up2 devices. We all move for different reasons – for me it’s training once a day and working off that office stress, as well as chasing a busy toddler round the house. Im not sure how the other bloggers spend their movement time, but all will be revealed during the coming weeks when we post our updates using the #ShieldItsYourMove hashtag across various social media platforms.
Moving and keeping busy is easy when you feel confident – which is where Shields new MotionSense technology comes in. It’s the words first anti perspirant with unique micro capsules activated by movement. So, the more you move, the more it keeps you dry, and the more you move the more Shield MotionSense releases fresh bursts of fragrance. And I’m not just saying that. I have been a Shield user ever since my wedding in 2013, when I trialled several antiperspirants in the build up to the big day and Shield came out top. Let me tell you, there is no sweat like wedding sweat!
So, follow my journey here, on Instagram, Twitter and on Facebook as I try to out move the other bloggers for the month of August.
Three years ago I took part in, and completed my first ever Half Iron Man in East London. Upon crossing the finish line I burst into tears. I was elated, so proud and felt like I had achieved the impossible. (Turns out, it’s the 2nd hardest course in the world, so my feelings were justified I suppose). Fast-forward to 19 June 2016 when I crossed the finish line in Durban, and all I felt was a heavy heart and bitter disappointment.
It’s been a few days since finishing the race, and I’ve been trying to understand why I feel so ‘let down’ about the entire experience.
The weeks and month leading up to the race were not kind, and as mentioned here, the odds just seemed to be against me. When I did the race for the first time three years ago, I had a lot more time to train, people to train with and it was I Summer, which meant Winter with its debilitating cold, dark and sickness wasn’t an issue. Back to back bronchitis, chronic anemia, no sleep, shin splints, planning a first birthday party, a resignation from work and massive stress in my life left me feeling seriously fragile for most of my training.
We arrived in Durban on Thursday – to give us enough time to register, chill with the friends whose house we were staying at, and acclimatise for the race. The big rule before any event like this is easy; REST UP. Unfortunately, the Monday before, Carter had started with some severe gastro that was so bad we did what we have never done before and actually panicked enough to take him to the hospital. There, they declared a viral gastro infection and asked us to ‘wait it out’. On the Saturday before the race (having waited it out for 7 days) he was only getting worse; there was blood in his stools, he wasn’t sleeping, had a raging fever, was as miserable as sin and we were exhausted. We took him to the hospital in Durban and within twenty minutes he was admitted for dehydration and on a drip. Emotional doesn’t even begin to cut it, I was devastated for two reasons – one for my poor sick baby in hospital, with a now bacterial dysentery (the guilt!) and two, for the race in less than 15 hours time – which Barry and I had both trained so long and hard for, sacrificed family time for and had been planning for, for the better part of half a year. Barry insisted I still race – knowing that after this 70.3 I was probably going to give up triathlon for a bit and focus on finding some balance in my life. With a heavy heart I left the hospital to go and pack my transition bags and rack my bike. If it wasn’t for my friend Eryn who we were staying with – who had just completed the Full Iron Man – I probably would have given up there and then. Thankfully she got my mind right(ish), helped me pack my bags, nutrition and bike and helped me get to the race to set up. She also took me down to the race the next morning at 5 am and stood on the cooking hot pavements, with her hubby and son, and supported me the entire day.
On the same Saturday that Carter was admitted – before we took him to the hospital – we had the pre-race training swim. Normally the pre-swim is a free for all where athletes get to play in the water, get a feel for the waves, the current and the ocean. This year the ocean was not playing ball, and the race organisers seemed uneasy. They made it a swim where you had to queue up and head off 10 at a time, with the organisers checking people in and out using our timing chips. Alarm bells were ringing in my head, and as the queue got longer and longer and more and more swimmers were coming you the water looking less than happy, I was in full blown panic mode. After about an hour and a half of waiting to go in, they abruptly cancelled the pre-swim. The water was just too dangerous. My heart sunk a bit further into my chest. The swim was my Achilles heel and mentally I had been preparing myself for this single discipline the entire time. Distracted by a very unwell baby though, we left and took him to the hospital, as above.
After a last visit to see my baby and Barry in the paed ward, I went home to Eryn and Greg and slept surprisingly well (could be the red wine or Xanax..or both). Up to this pint I had also picked up a tiny bit of Carter’s gastro, which meant an upset tummy and zero appetite – also not great before a race).
Race morning arrived and I was up at 4 am. For those who take part or spectate in triathlons, you understand its not as simple as arriving and running in to the water. It’s a mammoth task of logistics, planning and time. Even though your bike and two transition bags are packed and racked the day before, you still have to get down to transition the morning of the race to pump tyres, stock nutrition and triple check you have everything you need in the relevant bag. I did this all and left the transition area to find Eryn. It was dark and fresh and a beautiful morning. My tummy was feeling better, Carter seemed to be on the mend, and I suddenly had a bit more optimism about the race. Then the race organisers made the announcement: The swim had just been cancelled.
3000 athletes went in to panic mode. This was the first time in 20 years that the swim had been cancelled – which meant that the ocean really wasn’t in a good mood. Many people were angry and quick to judge. I was gutted. The biggest challenge for me, and one that I finally felt ready for had been pulled form under me. Which meant we technically weren’t doing a triathlon – we were doing a duathlon. I, along with 2999 other athletes felt cheated.
The race, instead of a well oiled slick machine now turned into disorganised chaos. The pro athletes (only about 16 in total) still had to do the swim, and the rest of us plebs would start on the bike once they were done. We walked down to the swim, my mind now completely unraveled and watched them start. ‘The waves aren’t that high’ I thought to myself as I looked down. Then the gun went and the pros went off and the only thing I can liken it to was confetti being tossed into a gale force wind. Swimmers were everywhere. Some immediately got pushed several hundred meters to the left, others got pushed to shore and some just could not get past the surf. Two ladies had to be rescued and many of them (remember, all pro athletes) said they thought they were going to die. To give more context – take a look here.
It was while watching the pro swim that I realised the organisers had definitely made the right call. I can guarantee that several people would have lost their life that day should the swim not have been cancelled. However, that still didn’t stop the thoughts banging in my head. People just aren’t going to respect us now. People will say it wasn’t a real race.
Now, this is where I think I started feeling like a loser, and why the race has left me with a bad taste in my mouth. The bike start – instead of happening as people came out of the water – ie a staggered approach – but still relatively in line with your age groupers happened with all 3000 athletes at the same time, but actually not at the same time at all. Which meant a 2 hour queue as they let people off, five at a time every 15 seconds. I happened to be one of the very last in the queue, which meant that by the time I eventually started my bike, other athletes had already been out there for almost 2 hours. That does a lot for ones psyche, and even though your time only officially started once you had got on your bike and started cycling, mentally it felt like you were already behind. As an example, if athlete A started at the front of the queue and cycled a 4 hour race, and athlete B started at the back of the queue and cycled a 3 hour race, athlete A would still finish the bike first and start the run while athlete B was still riding. This is what happened to me, and even though I feel I had an OK’ish bike time (for me anyways!) I came off the bike and started the run when pretty much everyone had already started. Because of my late start, and the mentality of the organisers and volunteer staff being that of a normal race (ie cutoff times after swim and bike), by the time I turned around at the 40 km mark, people had already started packing up cones and aid stations and cars were flying past me on the freeways. Not cool. That, coupled with a really bad stitch in my shoulders made me a glum chap.
I got off my bike in transition and looked around in dismay – it seemed as if 90% of the bikes had been racked – which made perfect sense when you thought about it logically, but totally threw me, because even though I was well within my cutoff time, it felt like I was coming stone last. I started the run when most people were on their second lap, and so by the time I started my second lap, I had marshals rushing me along – again forgetting that I was making decent time and that time on the clock wasn’t an indicator of athlete performance. “I started 2 hours after everyone else!” I wanted to scream.
The run was shitty, and I will never again underestimate a ‘quick 21km’ again. Because it was completely flat I assumed it would be the best and easiest part of the day. It wasn’t. Flat means no hard uphill, but it also means no lovely downhill to relieve your legs. It was also 1 pm by the time I started, and 36 degrees.
I just felt the spectators at that point were disinterested, and I felt lonely for most of the run. Even my parents, who had come all the way to see me race, looked bored. I think it had been a long day of waiting, and due to the slow start, there wasn’t much excitement in terms of masses of athletes all competing at the same time. I could see them thinking ‘really, is this it?’
About 8 kms in I started running with a girl Siobhan who I met along the route and who mentally helped me a lot. I left her after a few kms as I was feeling a bit stronger, and she needed to walk a bit more. (I hope she somehow stumbles across this blog and makes contact – I never caught her last name, but we did commit to having lunch in Joburg together to celebrate not dying). The last 10 kms were much better than the first, and I kept a very slow but steady pace (race day goal was a 6:45 and I was managing between 7:30 and 8. I was hurting and the tummy cramps of the previous few days had flared up.).
On those last 10 kms, again due to the lateness of the day and mentality of how it’s usually done, a lot of the aid stations had closed up, sponges and water had run out and the promenade had been opened properly to the public. I ran into 2 people, was hit by a wayward soccer ball and had to dodge more than one child running in and out the crowds. By then I was close to despair and started going in to a very dark place.
Eventually, I finished, in my slowest 21 km time ever of 2:44. I crossed the finish line happy, grabbed my medal and T-shirt and made my way back to the supporters area. It was completely empty. That kind of (un)welcome does a lot for this already battered ego, and I felt so sad and despondent.
The positive to the race was that my baby boy was discharged that afternoon so he and hubby at-least got to see me on the route, which was a beautiful sight when you are empty and broken inside.
Sadly, I don’t feel as if the organisers handled the delayed start well, and I’m bitterly disappointed by how I was made to feel like a B grade athlete out there – at no fault of my own. I think the organisers had been prepped for a 7:30 am start and a cutoff by 15:30 – so when the plans changed and the time got pushed out, they weren’t aware that it was OK and athletes competing were not a bunch of losers. I also definitely know that having had the swim portion cut out – which actually made the race harder for some reason, has made me feel like a 2/3 Iron Man.
Does that mean I have unfinished business, and will be coming back next year to see it through? Probably not. I’m feeling a massive sense of relief that this race is over, and that I can focus on some other aspects of my life right now. Nothing that looks or sounds like a swim, bike or run… although, that’s what I said straight after my very first Half Iron man in 2013…
*Disclaimer. You’re about to get knee deep into the biggest pity-party this side of 2016. Sorry.
In 13 days’ time I will be standing at the start line of 70.3 Durban, and hopefully finishing less than 8.5 hours later, with a second Half Iron Man medal under my belt.
I’m dreading it. I feel like the odds have been stacked against me from the very start of this race.
Firstly, the race is on 19 June, slap bang in the middle of Winter. Which means training has been happening leading up to, and in Winter – dark mornings, dark nights, freezing weather and less than ideal circumstances. Have you ever been swimming at 5:30 am on a Monday in -2 cold degree, in the dark? It’s super kuk.
When I last did the race I was kid and fancy free. I could train twice a day, and train with my now-husband and some friends. Now that we have a son we have to split our time – so one of us will do the morning run while the other trains, and visa versa in the evening. That means apart from a very lonely 5 months of exercising alone, I also never see my husband, and get to tuck my child in bed 50% of the time. We are like 3 ships in the night.
I’ve also had the worst year, health wise. I was recently diagnosed with severe anemia, which is a relief, because I genuinely thought I had caught a bad case of the stupid. I’ve given and received bronchitis several times and had more throat infections than Zumas has wives. I’ve pretty much trained through antibiotics, iron drips and the plague.
And then the broken sleep, and sick baby, and teething baby and baby in general. Holy hell. My one-year-old gives zero shits that mommy needs to be up at 5 for a spinning class, and then a full day of work afterwards. And it’s fine, because I have dragged this kid through the trenches with me. We wake him up at godforsaken hours on the weekend, bundle him in layers of clothing and trek him from race to race. He has been a champ, and I think when he gets fed up of having to attend one more training session or Club V class he decides to grow 18 molars in the space of a day. Just for payback.
So I’m really tired, and exhausted, and so looking forward to this day being done. I’m also really scared that I don’t finish in time because despite it all I’ve given it 100% and tried my absolute best from day 1. I’m so worried of what people will think or say if I fail – how silly am I?
Also, have I told you that despite training 7 days a week for the past 4 months I HAVENT EVEN LOST ONE KILOGRAM? Anyway.
My husband slash coach asked me yesterday what my next goal is after the race is done. My answer? Chill the fuck out. (Until the next family gathering when after one too many glasses of wine I agree to another race, like Comrades or something equally stupid).
A while ago I wrote this post. One that resulted in floods and floods of emails, calls and messages. I’m still amazed at just how many women could relate to how I was (and sometimes still am) feeling.
It’s been a few months and I’m getting there. Slowly. I still have some kilos to go, but in the middle of work, training for a Half Iron Man, being a mom, wife and friend, I find very little time to stress about it as much.
Also, I really, really love pizza.
I do also fall off the wagon from time to time, and being winter in Joburg also means its a lot harder to train and find time when it isn’t freezing or dark, to get my ass in to gear.
I’m pretty sure I’m not the only person who has hit a bit of a mid-year slump, and who’s waiting for a change of season/new month/week/year/bikini/the stars to align to start working for the body they want.
The thing is, the time really is now, and every day wasted means a day you haven’t started. A year from now you’ll wish you had. I promise
So, some good news for those of you ready to take the plunge, but aren’t quite sure where to start.
I’m teaming up with P3 Fitness Centre and personal trainer Jennifer Barkhuizen (BA (socsci): Sports PsychologyBA (HMS) HONS: Sport Science) and giving away a two months personalised online training experience with her. The prize includes a dietary programme, online training plans specific to your needs, Skype consultations with Jennifer, body measurements, before and after photos and so much more. The prize is valued at R4000, but the way you will feel afterwards is priceless.
I personally find that being accountable to someone is half the battle won, so a customized 2 months plan with an exceptional trainer might just be the motivation you’ve been lacking till now.
So, if you are looking to get your body back after baby, trying to lose weight for your wedding or simply want to be a better you, then this is the competition for you.
It’s so simple to enter:
Comment on this post and tell me why you want to win this prize
I’ve entered another Half Iron Man. With MUCH cajoling and bribery from my family-in-law might I add. I think I’m crazy. Work is busier than ever, I have a very demanding 9 month old, 2 dogs, a husband, 16 hours of traffic a week, no nanny and am starting an additional career advancement course through my company. So what possessed me to now dedicate a further 8-15 hours per week to training is beyond me. I suspect it has a lot to do with the fact that half my family is doing the race, and a lot more to do with the fact that I am fiercely and stupidly competitive, and a dare – in pretty much every shape or form – will have me agreeing to do it.
So here I sit, crapping bricks about how my life is going to work for the next six months, but also so excited about getting this arse into gear and re-learning a skill I last utilised in January 2013.
So, what’s keeping me accountable? 3 things; the people who now know I’m doing this race (AKA all of you), my own sense of warped pride, and a little device that has become my new bestie: Fitbit.
Confession – when Fitbit was first launched I thought it was another glorified step counter that allocated 5 movements for every fart or sneeze. Then several months ago a trainer suggested I get one to stay accountable. I scoffed at the idea, but like any seed that gets planted I decided to let it grow, and a few weeks later I bought myself the entry level one.
I was hooked – the band, along with the app turned me into a crazy woman who started watching her wrist like a hawk, waiting for the lights to show I’d done my 10 000 steps for the day. I logged food, training and started competing with friends and colleagues through my phone. A few months later, being the gadget-whore I am, I upgraded to the Fitbit Charge HR and my life was turned around. A very dramatic statement sure, but suddenly I was wearing a device on my arm that measured not only steps but meals, heart rate, calories burned, floors walked and workout sessions. I was so used to strapping myself up like a pysch patient before this – my Polar watch requires a chest strap, the watch and a separate GPS tracker just to do what the Fitbit can.
There’s something very rewarding about feeling your arm vibrate when you’ve hit your step target for the day, or when you see you’ve consumed less calories than you’ve exerted (yay weight loss!). I do suspect though that the greatest reward is are the free smoothies at Kauai, because the Fitbit is linked to Vitality Active Rewards, and gives you points just for moving.
The Charge HR is available from iStore, www.myistore.co.za, Incredible Connection or DionWired for R2 999. They come in small and large and in colours black, blue, tangerine and plum. I have the plum one and when I wear it I kinda feel like this lady (except a bit fatter and with more sweat)
Fitbit has a device for every level and comes in a variety of shapes colours and sizes. Plus, news just out is that they’re lunching a brand new device called the ‘Alta’ which is the high school cheerleader of the Fitbit range. It’s slimmer, sexier and more fashionable. Basically everything I want to be in my next life. *Swoon*.
This is not to say I’m stopping my ‘lifestyle change’ now that I’ve hit 21 days, but I do feel like I’ve reached a bit of a milestone in my ‘Fuck You Fat’ journey.
They say it takes 21 days to form or break a habit. Let me tell you, 21 days is a very long time when that habit is so ingrained in you, and such a part of your everyday life.
A few weeks back I made a commitment to myself to give up the following for most of January (I say most, because it’s my birthday in a few days, and there ‘aint no way in hell I’m going without champagne, sushi or spaghetti on my special day):
So, on day 22, how have I done, and how do I feel?
Emotionally I feel, well, the same. Everyone tells you how wonderful, revived and rejuvenated you will feel. I had visions of bursting through the office doors on a Monday morning singing about the hills being alive while group high-fiving the entire office and drumming on my keyboard with organic carrot sticks. Alas, this never happened, and I feel none of these things. In fact, I am more tired, lethargic and moody than ever before. This could be due to other factors such as Zuma, my finances, the state of the Rand, work stress, motherhood, traffic or the weather.
Physically I feel like a thousand bucks. No booze means my skin isn’t blotchy in the morning, and I have absolutely noticed less-puffy bags underneath my eyes. I’ve lost 3.5 kilograms and my tummy doesn’t bloat or ache like it usually does after a meal. I’m back in (some) of my size 10 jeans, and am feeling slightly more confident about my body. I say slightly, because I had to take some before photos for my SleekGeek challenge, and whilst clothed bodies hide a multitude of sins, half naked ones are truthful as fuck.
My diligence has paid offand I train 5-6 days a week, alternating between running, Pilates (which is super hard by the way, jaysus), crossfit &bootcamp style exercises and weights. Getting to the gym some most days is hard, and I often think up every excuse under the sun not to go, but afterwards I am so glad I did. Classes have also kept me accountable – it’s a lot harder to sneak out of a packed Grid class than it is to stop a treadmill run half way.
Side note story: Last week in my Shape class, 3 guys from the weighs section joined the class. I could tell they did it as a bribe or a dare from their buff gym boys, and I kept a close eye on them throughout the hour long session. Because I knew that about half way, they would be begging like orphaned puppies to be let loose and go back to the benches. These guys died. I had one of them ask me for my ‘girl weights’, one of them removed his weights entirely and the other one collapse to his knees half way through a jumping squat sequence. ‘Twas not sweat that fell from their brows, but little pissy man tears. They both made it to the end, but barely. Okes, before you ever judge a ‘girly class’ from outside, come in, do it, then say sorry.
I’ve cheated twice. Once was when I added 1 potato to a batch of fishcakes I made as we had nothing else in the house, and the other was when I added a tablespoon of curry powder to a dish I was making, only to realise afterwards that it contained gluten.
On that topic – everything you eat contains gluten and sugar. Have you read a label lately? Not even tinned Ratoutille is safe. It’s incredible just how clean you start eating when you read food labels. I still don’t understand most of what the label says, but I have learnt what I should and shouldn’t have.
Planning is the most important thing when it comes to not falling off the wagon. It’s a schelp, but that extra 10 minutes you take at night to pack a lunchbox, means you absolutely can stick to the plan the next day. I’ve also found that meals are a lot more delicious and exciting than what you initially think of when faced with the idea of a carb, gluten,sugar and booze free diet. I allow myself brown rice and quinoa once a day. That, along with delicious fruits, veggies, smoothies, eggs and legumes have also meant I’m never bored.
Being accountable to someone or something is key. I mentioned the WhatsApp group I created – a bunch of ladies all looking to change their lives through diet, exercise and humour. Some need to lose 1 kilo, some need to lose 31, we are all different in our approach and style, but at the end of the day we check in with each other, post (gasp!) before photos and keep each other on the wagon in times of trouble (read: birthdays, weekends, kids tantrums and work trauma). The ‘something’ I’m accountable to is my FitBit device. I feel personally responsible for logging my food, hitting my step goal and appeasing this little band on my arm. The data doesn’t lie, and I treat the Fitbit challenges like my own personal Zelda quest.
I can live without sugar. I have never had a sweet tooth, so this was the least daunting approach of them all – and possibly the easiest of the items to cut out. I do still dream about a large pizza or a mac ‘n cheese though (because it takes 21 days to break a habit, not to kill your taste buds entirely). Funnily enough, my biggest craving of all? A donut.
I’m really battling to live without wine.
So, whilst I’m nowhere near my goal, and whilst I won’t stop at 27 days, I will allow myself to have 1 ‘cheat’ meal a week. First stop? My birthday. That sushi carousel has no idea what’s about to happen to it.
I’d be very interested to hear your experience with breaking a 21 day habit – please share in the comments below.
Five days ago I posted this, and the response has been incredible. Turns out, I’m, not the only woman who hates the way she looks and feels naked. Turns out there are a ton of ladies in the same boat (mom, non-moms, young ladies, older ladies and even some men!).
Being accountable on this blog has meant I’ve really had to own this, which means if I let myself down, I’m going to let a lot of you down as well.
So, while I may only be on day 5 of ‘New Kate’ its been quite a week.
I’ve cut out all alcohol (and plan on doing so until the 27th – because, birthday). Yes, alcohol includes wine. Have you ever?
I’ve started a Whatsapp group where like minded ladies share before and after pics, encouraging messages, post motivational pics like these below and basically talk each other off carbohydrate and sugar ledges, daily. If you want to be a part of this group pop me a mail with your number .
I’ve cut out all gluten, white carbs and sugar, which is easy most of the time, except when my child eats spaghetti in-front of me and proceeds to dangle it on his head like some sort of glory hat.
I’m exercising more and using my ‘off’ days to haul this saggy arse into the gym. I recently tried a ‘Shape’ class at Virgin active. Most fun I’ve had in ages! Also, I’m so fucking stiff I wee standing up. That’s the sign of a good workout.
I’ve paid for and signed up the the SleekGeek Ultimate You challenge, starting on 18 January. I might break the Internet with my ‘before’ photos, but I need to win the cash prize to pay for Crossfit classes.
I’ve found an office buddy who is lovely and kind and a huge motivation for me. I adore our morning coffee chats where we both bitch and moan about our cellulite, but then actually do something about it.
I’m quite excited to share stories of kilograms and centimetres lost, and hopefully that will come (dear god, let that come) but in the meantime I wanted to touch base and let you all know – I’ve started, and that’s the most important step.
If you started on your personal journey this week as well, well done! If you haven’t, remember: A year ago you’ll wish you started today.
At the beginning of my triathlon career, my husband bought me a shiny fancy new road bike. It was yellow and black and we called her ‘Bumblebee”. Being a complete novice cyclist I had no idea if she was a good bike or a bad bike. All I knew was that she didn’t weigh nearly as much as my prehistoric concrete mountain bike, she had thin fancy wheels and clip in pedals. I mean, could you get anything more professional?
Bumblebee saw me through many races, including Half Iron Man, without so much as a puncture. She was super.
It was only later when I learnt more about bicycles that I realised she was by no means the most expensive bike on the block, nor was she the most fancy or sought after. But I loved her and her no-drama attitude.
About a year after we got Bumblebee we were broken in to. It happened one night when we were both fast asleep and we only woke up to the guards at our complex telling us that our front door was wide open. At that stage we lived in a ‘security estate’. They stole a whole bunch of stuff, except Bumbleebee.
The next day we bought a terribly ferocious guard dog by the name of Rupert.
Fast forward to Christmas 2013 and we were broken into yet again. This time they hit the garage and literally cleaned us out. We only noticed a few days later on Boxing Day when I happened to go into the garage to look for the vacuum cleaner (Side note – the reason I never went in to the garage was because I’m married to a triathlete, and every woman married to a triathlete knows that cars sleep outside, and bikes sleep inside).
When I say they literally cleaned us out, I mean they took pretty much every single thing in the garage. Except Bumblebee. There she lay, mounted to the walls, between empty spaces that used to be her much bigger, better and more expensive bike cousins (husbands bikes).
We laughed the robbery off (bitterly) patted ourselves on the back and said the usual “at-least we weren’t home/hurt”, submitted yet another insurance claim and laughed (bitterly) at the irony that we LIVED.IN.A.SECURITY.ESTATE.
A few days later I turned round to my husband and said to him. Fuck this, If we keep getting nailed in a complex, let’s move.
We moved. To our glorious house in the ‘burbs.
At this point, ferocious guard dog 2 – Bella – had entered the mix
(Are you sensing a trend here, dear reader?)
This one happened 3 days after we moved in to our new house in the ‘burbs. They managed to take a lot of stuff before our security company arrived on the scene and/or the alarm scared them off. We were both at work and laughed (bitterly) about our luck, but also reminding ourselves just how lucky we were we weren’t home. Garden beams and CCTV were added to the mix, we claimed from insurance again and kept looking forward.
Bumblebee, if you’re wondering, was safe.
Yesterday as I was packing up to leave the office my phone rang. It was our security company notifying me that a panic had gone off and would I like them to go check it out. Yes please, I would like that very much. I immediately called my husband to find out if he had set it off accidentally, and when I got no reply I popped him a Whatsapp asking if everything was alright.
I jumped in my car and left the office.
5 minutes late I got a phone call that left me cold. My husband had arrived home at 4 pm and let himself into the gate and then garage. 30 seconds after parking he walked back in to the garage to hang up some washing (it was raining). In our garage he was confronted by a man with a gun to his face who made him lie down. There were others too, although at this point not visible to my husband. Luckily, he had his gate remote on him and he activated the panic button. Unluckily the alarm went off (not silently as it should have). The frightened thieves punched him in the face, grabbed his keys and left on 3 bicycles.
Almost 6 months pregnant and stuck in bumper to bumper traffic I was unable to get home and felt utterly helpless. Luckily my best friend and her hubby raced over to be with Barry until I could get home.
When I got home I was met with what felt like hundreds of cars, police, armed response and neighborhood watch. Our house was a hive of activity. My husband was (thanks a million stars) OK and the situation under control.
Fast forward to a day later and I am angry and sad and shocked and tired and so upset that this keeps happening. I’m devastated that there was a weapon involved. I’m apalled at our armed response for taking 20 minutes to arrive and I’m absolutely appalled that they phoned me when they should have gone straight through. I’m tired of hearing about crime riddled areas and how one can arm oneself to the hilt, but if these guys want in, they will get in. I’m relieved my husband is OK and I’m desperately emotional at the though that perhaps the only way to avoid living like this all the time is to leave my country.
I’ve also come to realise that riding expensive bikes is a very dangerous sport. Because all our bikes were stolen, except Bumblebee who still hangs on the wall, now very much alone.
Tonight, I’m convincing my husband to take up golf.
Readers of my blog know that I am a lover of all things fitness and exercise, and generally track and document my activities on Rupert Approves. You may also have heard me talking abut my next Half Iron Man distance race (Tri Rock) in October. Sadly – I have had to pull out of it for a few reason (one being lazy and the other a recent health incident …. maybe one day I will blog about that). So, cancelled triathlon aside and what feels like a year long winter, my body has hit a serious slump. So serious in fact, that my fat pants are now toit pant and I am feeling uncomfortable ALL.THE.TIME. It also doesn’t help when my husband, bless his cotton socks, grabs my tummy and makes big squishy vagina faces with it.
Recent health events (annoyingly vague, I know), stress at work and a damn long year have all played its part and I must admit, I have been lazy as hell, choosing to get home after work and lie on the couch with a glass of red, over hitting the gym. Silly me – because all the hard work I put in before the wedding, getting to my goal weight, has reversed and I have piled the kilos back on and am feeling utterly crap.
I’ve listlessly tried a few things to get this arse back in gear – suggesting a neighbourhood running group, aimlessly wandering around the gym and cutting out all carbs – none of which lasted more than a few days. It’s clear to me that the only time I ever achieve anythng is with a plan and goal in mind – so I decided to investigate some training options out there.
What better way then by stalking following a few Instagram accounts that showcase the famous ‘body transformation’ pic. One of those accounts belong to Australian trainer and 6-pack-owner Kayla Itsines, and after realising a lot more people in SA follow her, her plan began looking like an option. It was also after chatting to cyber friend Meg Pacoe (Fit_Megsie on Instagram) who is also doing it, that I decided to give it a bash.
So here we are, 3 days in and walking like a colonoscopy patient. I never in a hundred years thought that this plan would leave me so sore after just two days (considering the first 4 weeks involve around 28 minutes a day). But boy was I wrong.
I’m considering loading some before pics but am honestly so ashamed that I’m not sure if I can…would you still love me, dear reader, if you saw me at my worst?
In case you were wondering the reason behind my excitement – take a look at these transformations:
I know, right!?
Also, I am following both her eating and training pan and would love to hear from anyone else who has done this program (I’m particularly interested in feedback on the eating – as it’s a lot more carbs than I ever thought would be OK)