What would you do , if you weren’t afraid?

What would you be capable of doing, if you didn’t have fear? It’s a question I’ve been asking myself for several months now, and the answer is ‘much more’. I’m not sure if this fear I am feeling has something to do with growing up, nearing my thirties and generally becoming more aware about the futility of life? When last did you see a young child not jump in the water, for fear of the cold or harm? Not often I’m sure. Post swim, said child will be all blue lip smiles and chattering teeth. Why then, as adults are we so terrified to do what brought us so much joy only a few years earlier?

Lately I have been even more bothered by this question, as I’ve experienced something so utterly terrifying, I’m actually embarrassed. As you may know I started training for the Half Iron Man event in January next year – an intense race broken up into a 1.9km sea swim, 90k cycle and a 21 km run. Who would have thought that I’m considering quitting the training and selling my entry because of the swim?

I jokingly recounted my first open water swim a few weeks back, and even mentioned how I was going to do another swim (part of a triathlon) the next weekend to ‘get over my fear’. I may as well have stated I was just going to ‘hike to the moon’. That swim proved to be one of the toughest and draining experiences of my life. To find yourself suspended in 13 degree dam water, surrounded by hundreds of swimmers, 200 m from land, whilst having an panic/asthma attack, sobbing and needing to throw up was a horrendous experience I wish never to repeat. Even after the lifeguards had come to take me to shore, I still refused. Some (still sane part of me) refused to quit. ‘Harden up Kearney’ I told myself, more than once, as I repeated the above process for 3/4 of a kilometer until I managed to get to dry land. (I can honestly thank my very patient boyfriend for not leaving my side the entire time, for me not completely losing it). Once I got to shore I handed in my timing device, quit the rest of the race, and spent the rest of the day in a very dark and sad place. Not my proudest moment.

So what now? Now I learn how to face my fear, and not feed it. I grew up swimming in pools and swimming for my school. Pop me in the clear blue waters of a Virgin Active and Im positively dolphin like. So why the fear of open water? Too dark? Too cold? Too open? Who knows, all I know is that my fear of that, along with every other paranoid feeling and thought I have needs to be eradicated now. So there you go fear-demon – from now on you shall be starved and left to die.

Off to give it a 3rd attempt on Saturday. Hoping it will be a ‘dam’ good experience!

Image

Image

What would YOU do, if you weren’t afraid? 

 

Continue Reading

Sleek Geek and Half Iron Man

To make up for doing absolutely nothing that was even remotely interesting in the last few weeks, I have decided to repent with a bang and challenge myself to probably my biggest event yet. Somehow between a bottle of wine last weekend and a bit of heckling from 15 post Comrades runners I committed to doing the Half Iron Man race next year. After a small vom (nerve, not wine induced) I pulled up my big girl panties and decided life’s too short to say no to a challenge and decided to give this my best shot. I also reckon the biggest reward at the end will be looking slim and sexy in spandex, not an easy feat.

The Half Iron Man race consists of a 1.9km swim, 90 km cycle and 21 km race. I am so lucky to know a few awesome people, doing this race and have 2 fabulous training partners for most of it, Barry and Eryn.

The training seemed to start almost immodestly, so I was literally thrown into the deep end on day one (hello swimming pool mid winter). I am lucky enough to have a boyfriend with several Iron Men under his belt – gosh that sounds rude – and his trainer who is so specialized he makes chuck Norris look like a janitor. Their input into my workout plan has been invaluable.

My training at the beginning consists of the following :

Monday : 1 km swim
Tuesday : 1 hour spinning class
Wednesday : 1 km swim
Thursday : 3 km run and an hour Bootcamp class
Friday : Off day. This means the heaviest lifting I will have to do is pouring my wine into my glass.
Saturday : 2 hour spinning class
Sunday : 8 km run

So far week one has gone pretty well, but I am nervous for the weekend part. Acknowledging that my morning lie-ins are now a thing of the past has cut me deep. I also know I better suck it up because this training is apparently very basic, and it will only get worse going forward.

I’m also hoping this exercise will pay off with regards to the Sleek Geek change I’m currently taking part in. The diet has been going well and I’m surprised I haven’t yet tripped and fallen into a family sized pizza considering this shite weather. Wait, when I say well I mean I haven’t gained any weight. I still however weigh exactly the same as I did 3 weeks ago. FML.

The below pics are of me full of joy upon acceptance of my quest. And also my heart rate – how not to do it – monitor, after lasts nights Bootcamp.

Happy Weekend!

20120622-112837.jpg

20120622-112851.jpg

Continue Reading

It’s a dogs life

Living in Joburg definitely has its limitations(money making traffic riddled city aside), and I’m constantly reminded how hard we have to work to find new and interesting places to visit. Walkhaven is one of those hidden gems that I have absolutely fallen in love with, and if you are ever looking for a beautiful spot in the countryside to bring your fur-mily, then this is it.

Rupert Gypsey and Holly – carpoolin’

Rupert and Bella braving the dam water

Situated in the infamous ‘wedding strip’ in Muldersdrift, and a mere 18kms from Fourways, Walkhaven is exactly that – a haven for you and your pet. From the moment you drive down the dusty road you are greeted by the sight of hundreds of humans and their wagging tailed friends. Walkhaven consists of 2 very large dams (sorry humans, swimming for pooches only) and vast open spaces, walkways and long grass. The perfect place for your furry kids to run free (Rule 1 at Walkhaven – no leads) and explore to their hearts content.

For the humans there is a lovely restaurant on the deck, plus several picnic benches dotted in and around the vicinity. The restaurant has delicious food, and on Sundays a massive buffet breakfast.

You would think that with so many dogs running around unleashed there would be absolute chaos, but the lack of restrictions allows the curious canines to explore, lick, sniff, swim and greet other pooches without feeling threatened or controlled.

My two dogs, Rupert and Bella, adore the place and after a few hours in the sun at Walkhaven they come home muddy, smelly, wet, but very very happy.

Need to know :

– R25 entrance fee per person. dogs are free.

– Complimentary water bowls all over Walkhaven

– Can bring your own food, drinks and picnic hampers

– Dogs tend to lose any hearing/training skills/sense of discipline when around so many other exciting friends. Be warned

– Dress casual, it’s muddy and wet and a whole lot of fun.

– Walkhaven is open Saturdays and Sundays from 7 am – 6:30 pm

 

The start of the walk

Bella en route home. Absolutely exhausted (and filthy!)

Dirty dogs!

Aunty Candy and Bella

Can we walk now ma? Huh? Can we??

 

 

Continue Reading