Wiehl’s on wheels

I felt trapped. Nursing my sprained ankle meant I had been balancing my body on crutches for three weeks while holding up a heavy moon boot. My knee and calf muscle were crying. My hands ached. I needed to get out of the house and feel like myself again. So I sent an urgent WhatsApp to my sister, “Please take me shopping!”

I was caught off guard when she arrived to fetch me with a wheelchair on the backseat of the car. “I’m not disabled,” was my defense but she bundled me up and off we drove.

By the time we arrived at the mall, I had stopped fighting and climbed in the wheelchair. What a relief to have my foot up and my hands free!

I could finally whizz around Woolies and pick out my own veggies and fruit again. I could feel the fabrics of the new fashion displayed in the stores. And it felt so good to just slow down and be outdoors.

The wheelchair humbles you. I was worried people would stare (which they did). But it showed me a different view of the world.

I observed:

– that some shops are easier to maneuver around than others. You need quite a wide path for the wheelchair to drive through. Shops such as Typo & Cardies do not cater all that well for wheelchairs.

– trying on a pair of shoes was difficult. The bench in Poetry is positioned conveniently (for able-bodied people) right smack in front of the shoe rack on a lovely fawn and pink carpet. It was a struggle to get close sitting in the wheelchair.

– when paying for goods, I could not see the POS / credit card machine screen when I was promoted to input my pin. It’s a tad too high.

– people apologize to you all the time. As you pass them or come around the corner, they see you, they jump out the way and say sorry.

– the beautician in Dis-Chem was the most comfortable dealing with me and even gave me mini manicure.

– when we stopped for lunch, the waitress remove the able bodied chair and wheeled my wheelchair in. It’s cumbersome sitting in the wheelchair. The foot rests are in the way under the table. The arm rests stop you from pulling the wheelchair closer to the table. And the legs of the table are in the way of this huge wheelchair seat.

For me personally, I didn’t mind hoping out of the wheelchair into the restaurant chair & asking the staff to move the wheelchair away. I know this isn’t an option for everyone.

It was great to get out! But more than a shopping trip, what I observed and how I felt in that wheelchair gave me a lot of food for thought.

Is wearing a moon boot for x6 weeks really the end of the world? Being impatient not being able to drive and my irritation depending on others almost seemed ridiculous knowing that it’s temporary.

Most of all, spending time in the wheelchair reminded me of just how incredibly blessed I am to have the use of both of my legs, to walk, to jog and to run!

My blog has been silent and yet I have so much to share!

My blog has been pretty quiet lately. It’s not that I have nothing to share. Quite the opposite in fact! I’ve been busy. Very busy!

Here’s what’s been happening:

  • We bought a small business. What an eye opener this has been! It’s taken us ages to sort things out. From bank accounts, merchant accounts, web development, ordering stock, waiting for the stock to arrive. It’s been such a learning experience, full of ups and downs. We wanted to wait until we were ready to start telling everyone and sharing our news, but that seems to be taking forever! So here it is: We’re officially the distributors for CW-X in Southern Africa! *Squeal*
  • Running your own social media content plan for your own business takes time! Most weekends and weekday evenings, I’m sitting down writing posts and creating content. The Instagram account is live (go check it out!) but we’re reluctant to get going on Facebook until our website is ready & people can purchase stock. Want to help me? If you do wear CW-X and have any photos showing the running kit, please can you share those with me. I’d much rather show real athletes (that’s you!) than posed models in the kit.

    This is us both in our CW-X clothes at Parkrun. We might need to work on our posing. LOL

  • Like almost 90% of Jo’burgers, I got bronchitis and was out of action. It took forever to heal, two visits to the Doc, daily nebulizing, lots of sleep (read: Allergex). Then out of the blue, I get shingles. On my face! WTH? 3 weeks of misery has taught me two lessons. One: listen to my body. Read bullet point number one. It’s been a stressful time! Lesson number two: when you can’t run, your body had no way of de-stressing. You get even more niggly. I acknowledge the huge role running does play in my life & will try not complain about my running again.
  • I have been on a mission to help an after care centre in Kliptown called Izanokhanyo Community Based Project get SnapScan so that donations can be easier as well as kickstart their social media so that we can start telling their story. Let me tell you, it’s made me incredibly happy inside to help. It’s early days but here’s holding thumbs I can help make a difference! I’d love your help! I’ll let you know how soon!

    Helen, who runs Izanokhanyo without a salary, handing out sweet to the kids.

  • I’ve been successful in my application to be part of a pilot project kicking off at work. All new. Unknown. Virgin territory. Exciting as hell but I’m also nervous. But after climbing in & assisting with some of the project management for the last couple of weeks, I’ve proven to myself that I am capable of learning & trying something new. Doing this nowadays at work needs to be the norm.
  • My Dad’s partner Rina passed away too. It’s funny how you think you have time and you discuss illness and old age and plans on what to do if this happens and if that happens. But when things do happen, no one is quite prepared. Everyone grieves differently. Each person says goodbye in their own way. I’m glad we’re spending more time with my Dad. I wish my parents stayed closer.

Everything I’ve mentioned above happens for a reason and at the right time. The delays in getting our business up and running gave me more time to spend with my Dad. Getting sick slowed me down and forced me to rest and take stock of what mattered. What mattered was helping Izanokhanyo in my spare time and not using that time for reading work emails. And yet I was rewarded by getting the job at work.

I’m going to make more time to blog too. This one was long. If you made it to here, the key take out is that I’m fine, I’m excited and yes… I’m still running! We’ve got Run-The-Berg (or in my case with limited training Walk-The-Berg) coming up, Kaapsehoop and Otter.

Can’t wait for that purple carpet to line the streets!

By the way, the jacarandas are starting to bloom. It’s the most beautiful time to be outdoors! Go for that run!

When running a small business feels like running Comrades

In less than a week, entries open for the Comrades marathon. Mentions of this iconic race have started to slip into conversations. For me, it conjures up memories of the intense training that goes into preparation for race day. KK heading out on his early morning long runs, driving to the ultra’s and the months of carbo-loading & daily lunch preps. It’s a tough & long buildup.

I’d say that nothing else compares to how tough this is, but lately, it’s met its match. As previously mentioned, KK and I have bought a small business.

Our excitement and enthusiasm has been fiercely squashed as we’ve struggled to get business bank accounts opened, a courier account registered and our first order processed. With no previous knowledge of how things work and with zero credit business references, not many people have been willing to help us. But we’ve persisted.

As with any marathon training, there any many days where as a runner you want to give up. When getting out of bed to run is a huge mental struggle. When there is this mountain ahead. And from what many have reported, you start to hate the training and long for race day to come.

It’s all been a learning journey and as most runners will tell you, they enjoyed their first Comrades marathon the most. Maybe as newbies, it’s not knowing what to expect and just never letting anything get in your way? It’s the rush, the euphoria, the dream. 

Regardless of all the obstacles, I must admit that sitting in this space right now feels amazing. Green behind the ears, excited beyond words, Comrades down run, here we come

Ps: don’t forget to enter Comrades! It’s the journey of a lifetime!

Is the sun going down on you?

Call it a midlife crisis, inspiration from a TED Talk or just mid-year review, but I've been on this mission to make time for more quality in my life. Notice that I said "make time" and not "find time". You will never find time, trust me on this one.

In order to make time, you need to do a combination of the following:

  • Plan your day. Make sure you know where the gaps are and which meetings at work will be productive or not.
  • Be selfish with your time. When you say yes to every meeting, every interruption and every invitation, you don't have anything left for you.
  • Make sure you're allocating enough quality time towards doing the things that enrich your life and make you happy.

To force myself to make time, I've been committed to getting home before the sun sets. I've taken a photo every day to prove that it's possible.

I've made time to bake in the middle of the week.

I've walked the dogs when I've arrived home from work.

I've even ensured that I look after myself physically and get my hair done on a regular Friday afternoon. There's no better feeling after a busy week to kickstart the weekend feeling fresh and beautiful!

More importantly I've made time to run and stick to my training programme. That's the single thing that I didn't sacrifice. Guess what? I ran a race on Saturday and was thrilled with my time! Just 2 minutes off my PB!
It pays off and the rewards come.

Make time for yourself and the things that matter in your life!