I am an adventurous, multi-cultural, nature-loving athletic mother of 3 girls. I love being in the outdoors and sharing my experiences with others.
Cycling: Since my earliest memory, the bike has always provided me with a sense of freedom, an escape from everyday life. My bike has become a part of me, allowing me to stay fit, to meet like-minded people, to focus on healthy eating habits, to discover different areas from my neighbourhood to foreign destinations, to learn skills, to be connected to the outdoors, to push my mental and physical limits and to bring fun into my life.
Running: I have always enjoyed the freedom of running as it requires minimal gear and one can do it anywhere. It’s an easy way to feel good in a short amount of time. I have focused on trail running as it takes me on natural terrain and being out in the bush, or running along the coast or up high in the mountains is like meditation to me. It’s when all the drawers in my brain get sorted and I come home to normality with a fresh energy and outlook on life.
Climbing: Climbing is the sport that calms me down and is the most meditative form of exercise. It provides the opportunity to take things slow but really sharpen the mind and focus on the next move. All other thoughts have to be put aside, otherwise one cannot think of what move to make next. One always needs a climbing buddy and so I have met many other adventurous people through this sport.
Surfing: Surfing has allowed me to learn about the ocean and to be respectful of the forces of nature. I feel a sense of calm in the water and when one does catch a wave, there is no other feeling that compares. There is so much joy in being at one with the board in the water, an experience one cannot buy. It has led me to discover many different beaches, to learn about the sea and meet others in the surfing community. The ocean humbles you and teaches you a lot about yourself.
Snowboarding and Backcountry Skiing: I only started snow sports in my early 20s drawn to North America and Europe as back in South Africa there was not the opportunity to go skiing. I first learnt to ski in Lake Tahoe working at a ski resort but then changed to snowboarding and now enjoy taking my board backcountry finding untouched powder. “Surfing” the snow is such an incredible feeling of happiness. It takes a long time to master sports as one gets older but with persistence one gets there. I am always prepared to fall and get hurt but I know eventually I will get that feeling that is called the “stoke” shared by so many adventure lovers.
Trekking, kayaking and bush-walking are other sports I enjoy as they are all nature-based, providing me with the opportunity to explore our beautiful planet, and taking me to remote areas where I am just struck by and in awe of nature. Good planning, fitness and good gear is required to face adversities in terrain and weather but I enjoy these challenges. They help me grow as a person, always coming back with new life skills and increased confidence, remaining humble and respecting our environment and forces of nature.
I continuously bring my family into the outdoors as I feel it’s a way I can offer them a tool to have when they go through hard times in life. I try and get out daily even if it is for ½ hour and often prefer the early mornings or late afternoons when I can catch the special light, it always sets me up with a positive mindframe. The outdoors equals life’s classroom to me. I am always learning and growing as a person.
I have had so many incredible experiences from bike touring by myself through New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Switzerland and France; snowboarding all around the world; joining multi-day Enduro Mountainbike Events; trekking various great multi-day hikes in South Africa, Australia, Europe, to sea kayaking in Alaska off Kodiak Island. There are so many places I have been lucky enough to have visited, experiences no-one can take away from me and that have shaped me as the person I am today.
I recently did a canyon out at Kanangra Falls and on our way climbing up a scree, a rock came tumbling down as one member of our party had rushed ahead and not heard the warning to be mindful of loose rocks. The rock came hurtling down and I just screamed “watch out” and my friend managed in the nick of time to raise his hand and protect his face with his wrist. The rock bounced off his wrist over his helmet in a split second. That was such a scary moment after and already epic day. We were fatigued, hungry and almost at the end. Luckily we all made it out safe but it was a good reminder to keep together as a group and make sure we stay safe at all times.
Through all my adventure sports, I have met so many people of differing shapes, social status, colour, size, sexual preference etc. There is no room for discrimination as the joy one has sharing something one loves doing in a beautiful environment brings people together.
I am not a naturally talented athlete but have always felt that the outdoors is such an healthy environment to be active in whether by foot, by bike, by surfboard or snowboard, and it’s where I have met other adventure lovers who keep it real and have taught me a lot about life.