I am often asked what I am training for… my response? Life.
My training philosophy is that you need to find something that drives you to push harder; something that pulls on your passion strings and keeps you coming back for more; something that becomes a habit rather than a chore; something that you fall in love with.
At school, I dedicated much of my time to competitive squash – I trained by myself, with my dad, with a coach, at tournaments, at a provincial level. I was driven to be better with every stroke. But when I left school and the competition ended, I lost interest. I also lacked the strength to play when I became anorexic.
But during my recovery, I refused to be inactive. I was determined to build back my strength – physically and mentally. I developed a love for endurance – mainly cycling but also a bit of running. Unfortunately, medical school consumed the time I needed to become seriously competitive in cycling… and then I went to a CrossFit class. And I found strength and endurance in one! I absolutely loved the philosophy of combining strength and cardiovascular exercise. When I could no longer afford CrossFit, and when I realised the inherent dangers in how it is so often performed, I walked into the weights section of the gym.
I believe in training intensely not only to build muscle but to stimulate cardiovascular function simultaneously, as I believe that is the fitness we require for life – to perform at our best functionally and disease-free. I don’t want to be one of those that just looks fit – I want to actually BE fit, DO more!
My 2016 philosophy for training combines strength, endurance, friendships, and fear. I have decided to sign up for IronMan 70.3 in East London in January 2017. Considering that I have had a phobia of swimming since I was 6 years old after being caught in a storm on my father’s yacht, this is a huge fear that I want to challenge myself to face. I have started training with Embark in Cape Town and I could not have made a better decision! I have made incredible friends, I have faced my fears, and I have built both mental and physical strength through gruelling distances on the bike and on the road. One day I hope to complete a full IronMan… watch this space!
Happy training 🙂