From art to yoga
I grew up hating sport. I was only interested in Art and Design from a very early age and only used my head and hands for a very long time. Nothing else mattered. Went to Art School, studied design. And rode the internet wave. It was the wild west, it was new, it was exciting we were cowboys. It was great fun until it wasn’t any more.

Along the way I started doing yoga, which led to me doing my yoga teacher training, which led to me teaching yoga which led to me owning and running a yoga studio. For many years I did Freelance design to earn money and taught yoga to find balance. I was living and breathing yoga at this stage. Turns out my body is hyper flexible.

Food poisoning, pregnant and mommy blues
Went to Mauritius for our honeymoon and ended up in hospital with severe food poisoning the first night. Pregnant by the last. Turns out severe morning sickness is not great for teaching 15 classes of yoga a week. After my three-day labour extravaganza, my body wasn’t the same anymore. My body did not like yoga anymore. Had a tad of mommy blues. I had to find a new way of coping with life. The search started.

Exchanging flexibility for running
I started doing strength training 4 days a week. Now, stronger for the first time in my life but way less flexible. Eventually I started running on the beachfront every Friday. This led to my first Run the Vines 5k trail run. I was hooked. Trail running was my thing. Soon I started 10k’s and half marathons.

Mountains are my jam. Currently training for the 38 km Jonkershoek Mountain Challenge next weekend. I did a 4hour training run on the Jonkershoek Cape Nature trails, 2 weeks ago. It turned into a 7-hour expedition. A reward for my mission was aggravating my plantar fasciitis which had disappeared for 2 years.

So, change of plans. Doing the half with only 700m elevation gain instead of the 38km 2800m elevation gain. But once my feet are better, I’ll be right back out there trying. Hopefully the full Mountain Challenge Series is back next year.

Surviving lockdown home-schooling and learning to ride a bicycle
Then March 2020 lockdown hits. I’m home-schooling my grade 1 daughter. Who deserves a way better teacher than me. Turns out I’m not so good with being stuck inside 4 walls for weeks on end. I was sick and tired of gyming over zoom. If I never have to do a zoom call again, it will be too soon.

As soon as Maya’s school opened. I would drop her off and head to the trails. At the time only khwa ttu was open. This also happened to be where Curtis and I got married. Side note: We made everyone camp for our wedding before we really got into camping.

Turns out my body got a bit tired of running trails every day. I dusted of my mountain bike and hit the single track. Hitting being the appropriate word. I had zero bike skills. I rode down that single track sitting on my seat, zero knowledge of ready position and light hands, heavy feet.

I came off my bike so fast, hit a puddle of mud face first, making a nice indentation with my boobs. I still have a ganglion cyst on my right wrist from this fall. I decided I cannot be this bad at mountain biking. I refuse to give up. I could not make it round a berm at Meerendal. It was bad. This was also not my last fall. This is the reason why I always ride with elbow and knee pads.

I decided to get some one-on-one mountain bike coaching. Nicole from BreakAway rides came to the rescue. With her help I have developed a love for mountain biking, and I fall way less often.

The Cobra at Hoogekraal also taught me I had an anxiety disorder. It’s easier to learn on your bike, than from everyday life.  I got the help I needed. Started taking anti-anxiety meds and it has changed my life for the better. I am a better mom, wife and person in general. Now I can see what is really there, and not my anxiety brain showing me what is not really there. I still haven’t cleared the cobra 100% but every ride I get closer.

Been there, done that, what’s next
I’ve ticked off an Enduro and a couple of multi day stage races. My favourite being Eselsfontein. It is crazy. Starts with a 30k night ride on single track. Serious rocky single track. Curtis said he will join me for Esels this year.

Hoping to do the Tankwa Trek with fellow Dirt Triber, Zania next year. Definite bucket list race. As well as Wines2Whales and the Attakwas. I am also keen on getting into gravel racing. Eventually. I just want to do everything.

BMX’ing like the boys did in the 80’s
As a little girl in JHB we had neighbours who raced BMX. I also wanted to race BMX. But in the early 80’s I’d only see female runners or Netball players. Let me not get into my school sport-based trauma.

My current mountain bike coach Brad, and his brother used to race BMX as kids in Durban. For 20 years Cape Town did not have any BMX racing. Until very recently.

A lot of the great mountain bikers started off racing BMX’s as kids so they have serious timing, jumping and bike handling skills. The course is 400m, but you are on for all 40seconds going as fast as possible. It’s all adrenaline.

Brad started racing BMX and coaching the kids from SONGO. Who are amazing! But I digress. Brad got back into BMX’ing and he pulled in his girlfriend, Nicole, my previous MTB coach.

Which led to me buying a dirt jump bike. Which is like a BMX but with a bit of suspension in the front. It is super fun on the pump track at Blaauwklippen.

In April I took part in my first BMX race. SA Cup 1, 2 and 3 at Kraaifontein BMX Club.

Nicole pulled her sister in with her BMX, along with Ingrid from Hermanus and I, now had 4 women in the 25+ cruiser class. Which means we did not have to race with the men.

Each race consists of 3 moto’s, a semi-final and a final. So, 5 races total. This being Nationals and 3 Cups. We did 15 races in total over Saturday and Sunday. We were broken. But it was amazing I got a silver and 2 bronze medals.

This last weekend we raced in Hermanus for the Western Cape Points Provincial Series #6. Not only are the surrounding mountains beautiful but the BMX track is sublime. Mostly brick and cement berms. It’s a super-fast track with a little kicky step-up jump before the second berm. We all caught some accidental air there. Most of us could land it too.

I received a bronze medal and stood on a physical podium for the first time in my life.

I am hooked. I want more.

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