30kg’s down, Sam Bell started walking at the local Parkruns in Joburg. The walking led to swimming, something she loved doing as a child.
That was 7 years ago.
Now, at the age of 50, she has discovered many “firsts” that include weekend motorbike rides with her hubby, Dion, and getting onto her first bicycle.
It was seven 7 years ago that she lost the weight, moved to Cape Town and decided on sustainable change. Using her experience and knowledge Sam specializes in Nutrition, Emotional Intelligence and Mental Health coaching while also working in IT.
“My dream is to see more and more women take back their power over food and mood. To see women healthy, happy, hopeful, helpful and having the best time of their lives.”
She was introduced to Dirt Addict two years ago by friend, Kamin Taute, and instantly clicked with the girls.
“I found my tribe.”
Having only started cycling later in life, she has had to overcome the challenges that include the scrapes, bumps and bruises from multiple falls. Being part of an accepting Tribe has helped the process.
“These wonderful women are uplifting, supporting, laughing, challenging, and get me out of my comfort zone. This tribe welcomes the shy and outgoing, the slow pokes and speedsters, roadies and MTB, walkers and runners. There is a coziness to the smaller groups and a sense of belonging in the bigger group activities. And always, always the pride and courage of getting out there and doing something that our bodies will thank us for.”
Sam started sprint triathlons three years ago and fell in love with the sport because it combines the three disciplines that she loves.
“I’m normally the one at the back of the pack supporting the stragglers and keeping the sweepers smiling. I genuinely love feeling part of a bigger movement for good.”
She joined a challenge in 2022 that was committed to participating in the 70.3 Ironman Mossel Bay. A course now deemed the hardest out of the South African competitions. Being a stronger swimmer than most in the challenge group, she helped many face their fear of the water by taking them into the ocean in the lead up to the event, showing her dedication to empowering other women.
At the event, she had to face her own challenges.
“I was so frightened that I would often struggle to swallow the panic in my throat. I had to follow my own advice, knowing I had a 50/50 chance of finishing. I managed to finish the swim, and get halfway through the ride, before getting pulled off the course. There is a stubborn bit of embarrassment that hasn’t gone away, but it is always covered by loads of pride for having attempted it.”
It’s in the determination that makes true heroes and Sam showed that by showing up and sticking to the plan.
“My biggest roadblock with being active is consistency. If I have to run on my own, it might not happen. But if I’m committed to doing it with someone else, I show up. That’s been a game changer with the Dirt Addict group.”