Monday, 28 July 2014

Just Breathe

I'm a "take action" kind of girl.  My momma taught me long ago that in order to go from where you are to where you want to be, you need to identify action steps and then implement them - one of the best and most effective lessons of my life.  But I fear that I might be taking this truth a bit too far at times - I sometimes want change to happen immediately and without any hiccups.  In reality though, as I've learnt this week, change often takes a while, especially when it involves your whole family.  

So instead of pushing everyone (including myself) to adapt to our new surroundings as soon and as effortlessly as possible, this weekend I focused on just breathing and being.  And what a liberation it was.   

For a sweet 48 hours, I completely forgot about unpacked boxes and bags of what-not, and instead just focused on enjoying the positives of our new set-up.  Like a visit from one of the best friends ever - who came bearing dark chocolate!  Nope, visits don't get any better than that.


[On a side note: I'm pretty sure that I have the only two-year-old on the planet who eats and enjoys 85% cocoa dark chocolate.]

I also cut myself some slack in the running department: Instead of rushing out the door with both kids in the double stroller, exhausted from a lack of sleep, but determined to run like the wind, I set out at a leisurely pace and sang "Twinkle, twinkle" with K as we ran.  We sure didn't break any speed records, but we clocked a sweet 5 km and all returned home smiling.

We even made it to the shops to discover that our favourite post-run drink is sold right here under our noses...

Pouting because it's all gone.

So yes, you need to take action to get where you want to be.  But every once in a while it's good to also just breathe.

Thursday, 24 July 2014


We've moved.  We have a (temporary) new home, a new neighbourhood, a new town and a new province.  Well, sort of.  We lived in Kimberley (our "new" home) a few years back, so everything isn't really that brand new.  And most importantly: We have some amazing friends here that we can't wait to spend more time with.  But still there is a huge part of me that gets tired just thinking about all of the changes.

Despite the "figuring out life as a family of four"-changes going on for us right now, we had a pretty comfy routine going on back in our old town: I knew all the running routes in the old neighbourhood - I knew exactly where the road surfaces slanted; I knew which houses had aggressive dogs; and I knew when to avoid running because of traffic.  We also all loved our dear old nanny; K loved her little play group and I loved the fact that my favourite brand of dark chocolate was always just a block's stroll away.  We had a dear, dear neighbour and Will had a great group of cycling friends that he trained with.  Sigh.

So right now this mama is in "create a new routine as soon as possible" overdrive.  And Number 298 on my list is figuring out a new running routine: Finding a stroller-friendly route; making a mental note of houses with dogs; identifying a good time to run; and finding a parkrun substitute for Saturday mornings (Kimberley doesn't have a parkrun ... yet...  Whaaaaaaa!)...  Yip, again I'm tired just thinking about it all.  But at least yesterday we made a start.  All in good time, right?  

Our first run in Kimberley!  All 2.6 km of it... (before Mom was pooped and J Bear had had enough).
Helloooooo, Kimberley!

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

A tale of two parkrun moms

Even though we live on opposite sides of the globe, my friend Anna and I have many things in common: We went to school together; we both made our dancing debuts as bears in the same ballet concert; and we were both members of the yellow school sports team that always lost everything.  More recently we were pregnant together and gave birth to our youngest children (both boys!) only four weeks apart.  Yip, we've come a long way.

But perhaps two of my personal favourite things that we have in common, is a) our love for parkrun (and running in general) and b) the fact that we're both crazy competitive.  Yip, being in that losing yellow team was really hard on both of us, ha!  

Of course it was only a matter of time then before we started chasing each other's parkrun PBs.  And also each other's parkrun stroller PBs (because every running mom has a PB-PB and a stroller PB) - Anna in the UK and me down here in South Africa.  And we just can't stop.

Me and Miss K at a recent Naval Hill parkrun in Bloemfontein.  Winter down here.

Even though Anna and Baby L started doing parkrun with their "buggy" way later than me and K (Anna was busy training for a half-marathon and therefore did her long runs alone on Saturday mornings), they're currently in the lead as far as the stroller parkrun PBs go.  Try as we may, K and I (okay, more me than K) just cannot seem to beat their 28:34 - I've literally left my lungs out on the Naval Hill parkrun course trying.  Perhaps I need to find an easier parkrun...?  

Anna and Baby L at a recent UK parkrun - the reigning parkrun stroller PB champs.  Summer up there.

The solo parkrun PB (for now) still belongs to yours truly, though, and only just.  26:39, I'd better bring you down.  Soon.

So here's to many more virtual parkrun PB battles.  Thanks, Anna and L - you're the best parkrun buddies ever!