Monday, April 14, 2014

ROAD TO RECOVERY - MY FITNESS JOURNEY

Please excuse the hideously blurry picture, but you try standing on one leg with a touch screen phone and taking a photo. A challenge within a challenge. So I have mentioned countless times that I have had a bad injury, yes you have heard it all before. But if you haven't :) A quick recap. I danced my whole life, pretty much from age three. It was my main focus, my world and my life, even moving from JHB to CT didn't stop me. I have always done ballet, then later, modern, tap and a variety of other forms. When I moved to CT I started taking it a bit more seriously, so naturally the institute I studied at would become the college I wanted to attend after school. To be able to dance, sing and act and be on stage performing in a musical was the dream. The main dream.

Maybe I got lazy, maybe studying full time and working part time (mainly standing for hours) or simply the fact that I have a tendency to push my body, is what would ultimately end my 4 years of  dedication and hard work. The injury hit in third year, it was misdiagnosed and a huge strain before they found what it really was. By this point I was majorly into drama and singing, which I completed and I am proud of. Decisions had to be made, motivation was lost, passion was fading and the pain was affecting me as a person. Walking was an issue. I was angry, emotional and I knew that I had to stop. Just like that, at 22 I became a dance cliché. I was angry and frustrated, no one could relate. I had failed. 

It took a year of rest, intensive pilates and then a God sent physio with the healing touch that would bring me back to a place where I could exercise without my back being sore. Having a prolapsed L4-L5 that push on a nerve route running into your leg affecting your nerves and your overall ability to do basic life things is a problem. So because you look fine you are fine right?? No, so wrong. The emotional strain and the major worry of what I was going to do with my future were  overwhelming. Needless to say I ended up starting at VEGA doing a 3 year Diploma in Integrated Brand Communication that fired up all the passion again, not forgetting how my drama and presenting skill could finally pay off :)

So my road back to gym, to basic movement, basic fitness, minor baby walks and general standing or sitting properly began to progress. I never thought I would really ever be able to reach my full potential,  to feel that love or passion for movement, for dance and expressing myself again. The feeling of a strong body that had the perfect amount of well deserved pain, not injury pain. I began Yoga and was totally petrified, I struggle to arch my back and sometimes I get a little stuck and feel a bit panicked, but overall it bought back that similar feeling to dancing in a weird way. Fortunately the dance background helped me adjust my body in class, understand what felt good and bad and gradually progress more into yoga. The injury is permanent, it flares up if I push too hard, or do something stupid like wear heels or sleep awkwardly. Sometimes I can ease it out on my own and sometimes I have to go to my physio. Its ok and it's a process. 

Yesterday I realised how far I have come from feeling so defeated. I have started running, not very far, but I love it! I am back into stretching, my yoga is still top of my list and more recently I find I am messing around in the gym studios and doing a little bit of dancing :) Some ballet, movement, some of this and that. It feels good, I am still nervous and I don't want to push, because I know what happens when you do. But I am still learning and my progress is huge. It was painful to drive at one point, and here I am stretching out and taking a selfie :) Progress is always good, it doesn't matter how long it takes, it is the journey and how you get there, some days are really good and some are horribly bad, but even I have to take a few steps forward and a few back, I am at least moving.




I MOVED TO THE BURBS - ANOTHER EXCITING CHAPTER BEGINS!

So, my blog has been grossly neglected as of late, but all in the name of a very good reason! I moved to good old Rondebosch - because after all, home is where the heart is ;)
I moved to Cape Town when I was 11 years old in 1999 and home was my beloved Sea Point. 15 years of living with in a 7 block radius with 5 moves over that time period…. home was the Atlantic Seaboard. 

I always felt lucky and grateful to experience living near the ocean, having the promenade so close, the park, beaches and the general buzz and growth of the tiny separate island of Sea Point. The library was one of my favourites and the easiness of hoping on a mini bus taxi to get to college was always an adventure. Oh and my beloved Waterfront.

But things change, we all need change at some point. You would have read in my previous posts about my endless search for a flat near SP or town. Sadly time and money were not on my side. Prices were astronomical and the made dash to try get into an affordable place was becoming exhausting (who knew flat hunting was so freaking competitive??)  It sounds silly but leaving SP was a big deal. It was my hood! But then I realised the Bosch is  only 10km's away! Don't get me wrong it is not totally new to me, I have been coming here for a very long time :)  No lies, the place is tiny but my oh oh my, what years of packing experience has taught me and paid off! I had to do a purge of some old clothes and a couple of rounds to varies charities with odds and ends, but it all fits, perfect! Sharing a tiny baby cupboard - done deal! 

So here is my suburban adventure, some things I have done, and a lot still need to be done!


Everyone runs in the Bosch, just like they do in SP and they look hardcore doing it!
There are loads of runners out every morning and evening and on a  Saturday at 8am you can do the 5km Park Run around the Rondebosch common.

Some really sweet coffee places are tucked away as well as some great corner side restaurants. 

I caught the train to college in Town the other day, quick, easy and super entertaining - also my first time catching the train in Cape Town. It is about 2km away from where I now live.

The Claremont Virgin Active, ummm AMAZING, great facilities and a proper Mind  Body studio! (attending first yoga class there tonight). Already made use of the treadmills overlooking the pool and the studios when I stretch. It's just really nice ok!!

I am closer to Muizenberg! One of my goals this year is to get more into surfing, nothing major, maybe a minimal or long board vibe, but it's a lot more encouraging now  that it is closer.

It is really pretty out here. The view is of beautiful tree's and old oaks and if you stand in the parking lot you get a gorgeous mountain view with a stunning sunset. The sky always looks beautiful and the light catches the mountain perfectly.

The Pick'n Pay is amazing, like a million times better than the crummy SP one.

Newlands forest and a variety of other forests are close by, as well as beautiful walks and hikes, can't wait to do more of that.

We have a third in a kitty (its complicated).

I am a million times more social than I ever was, I actually am prepared to drive the distance, get involved and make an effort to get out of the house and actually see people. I am cooking more and feeling settled and content. I look forward to more braai's to having more friends over, to wine and chocolate ice-cream curled up with Neil on the couch, to the sound of the crickets - because if you didn't know there is a crazy infestation this side of the world. The neighbours are friendly and the vibe is great. The occasional loud party but overall it's bliss :) The cheers from Newlands Stadium are encouraging us to look at booking tickets for events because we are so close!

It is good for now, for where I am in life, I like the silence away from the buzz, for a change. I know one day another move will be on the cards. But for now I am just grateful to live in a home of love, a city that is so accessible and beautiful and allows me to experience the freedom of living in such a special part of South Africa. I am excited to learn more, experience more and share the journey with you all :)

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

BREAK OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE


Try break free of your protected views and easy judgement. It amazes me in social situations, how quickly people lose interest in conversation. If you are taking the time to engage with someone the least you can do is listen. Often peoples beliefs may not align with yours, you may not agree with their political choices, thoughts, religion etc, but for goodness sake... Do not eye roll or look like you HAVE actually switched off, actually make an effort. Once in a while if we all stepped out of our comfort zones and engaged a bit with people we choose to surround ourselves with we may actually learn a little more and challenge our idealistic view and step up some healthy debating.

Make the time to nourish your mind, body and soul. Do whatever it is that makes you feel whole, complete, peaceful and happy, exercise, being around friends, whatever it is do it and make time for it. Stop feeling guilty about it.

Stop saying sorry and getting defensive. The two oddly go hand in hand, think before you speak and make sure your not then spending an eternity apologising. I met foreigners who kept on asking why we apologise for EVERYTHING and we do. In class the other day we agreed on this and agreed if you say it all the time - for no reason, it actually loses the meaning. So go easy on the sorry. Stop defending yourself all the time, its pointless and draining. Do it right, own it and be honest first time round before you feel the need to defend yourself or say sorry.

Enjoy the view. Everyday. So not everyone lives in a beautiful place, but there is a lot of beauty around us that we take for granted. I live in Cape Town I am so spoilt by the lifestyle, the view and scenery I often take it for granted. I went for a run and did not take in as much of the beauty as I should have I only thought about it when I got home, the sea spelt amazing, the air was super crisp and the light was golden. Take it all in, the evening light on the mountain, the sunrise on the way to work, the dew on on the grass, the clean fresh sky and all the beauty that surrounds us. Be thankful and appreciative of it. Buy yourself some flowers. Be present and take life around you in.

Cook more. MUCH more. Challenge yourself a bit, get out of your comfort zone in the kitchen, make mistakes, make perfection, make things you really want to make, regardless of calories and content. Just do it and learn. Share food experiences with others, no fun on your own. Book club? Na, make it cooking dinner club.

Don't be flaky be honest. Really busy? Do actually have legitimate stuff to do, don't have time because your juggling a million things and that coffee date is not an option? Well stop apologising and making excuses for it. Be honest, the people that love you will understand and respect that. Don't be flaky and make bad excuses either, if your not in the mood or not up to it or you would prefer to watch GIRLS and drink wine with a box of chocolates, then say so. No one will disown you. They may even ask to join you.

Set goals outside of your comfort zone. Nothing like a challenge to freak you out and keep you on your toes. Make vision boards and dream big. Why not right? Why do we limit our dreams, goals and aspirations? 

Stop the jealousy girls, it makes you bitter and holds you back. The girl with the skinny thighs and fab hair is human too, lets not burn her at the stake lets rather admire maybe envy her a tiny bit? Or the girl who gets stuff done and is dedicated to gym and juggling busy life, family, friends and  a million things while maintaining a dream set of gorgeously groomed eyebrows  or the chica who is on a holiday on a beautiful island somewhere drinking coconut water and frolicking on the beach, not jealousy - inspiration and motivation. Support your fellow ladies and put the jealousy aside. It is a mask that you hide behind that fuels your insecurities. Step it up, pull it together and love yourself enough to focus more on you than someone else.

Challenge your style, try something new, give a new make-up brand a go,  try skinny jeans, do the hair braid you keep wanting to try, eat something you haven't tried, go somewhere you think of but don't get round to going. focus your energy where it is needed and meant to be. Don't waste a second. Respect yourself, your loved ones, your best assets and best attributes, respect your needs, your desires and wants, learn from mistakes, learn from others, grow your mind, soul, every fibre of your being and fill your life with hope and faith to get you past each day, because there is SO much to be grateful for. This is not a dress rehearsal folks

Thursday, March 13, 2014