Last year, when the runners started crossing the finish line for the Two Oceans, I was excited for them. The Two Oceans is a race I am very aware of, and for many years I have been supporting the race, often on the side of the road, cheering on friends and family.
But if you told me last year that I would be one of those runners in 2019, I would have laughed and told you, “I don’t run.” And I could have said that with all honesty, as only 2 days earlier, on 29 March 2018, I walked a little over 3 kilometers, and was not so sure I would ever do it again.
I grew up in a household were the boys did sport, and the girls did culture. So, while my brothers played rugby and ran all over the place, my sisters and I were encouraged to play music and perform in school theatre productions. This was simply the norm, and I didn’t really consider exercise as a part of my life.
Of course, as the years passed, I realised that I do not have a body that can be described as “small” – and that misguided eating habits and the lack of exercise probably had a lot to do with this. I had exercised and dieted a few times in my life, always with the goal of losing weight, and had never thought that it could be anything other than self-inflicted torture, with the main goal of liking what I see in the mirror. And I always gave up at some point, not liking myself at all…
So, when I took those first steps, a little over a year ago, I did not have much hope that it would last. The main reason I even put on running shoes was because a friend of mine pitched up at the door and said, “Let’s go.” I didn’t even put on exercise clothes, but wore a long skirt because I was too ashamed of myself and did not want people to realise that I was exercising.
But my friend kept on knocking on the door, and we kept going for walks. Later those walks became shuffle-jogs, and later still, jogs. In November I realised I could jog for 6 kilometers. Slowly, yes, but for the complete 6 kilometers. That was the first time I thought – maybe, just maybe – I can take up running as a sport.
A month or so later my running shoes (which I had had for years and had used for all kinds of things, other than running), got to the point that they needed replacing, if I was going to give this running thing a proper shot. My running friend and I went to the store, and she asked the sales person, who was holding a pair of running shoes, “can those do a half marathon?” I giggled! A half marathon was crazy, that’s 21.1 kilometers! I had done walk/runs of up to 12 kilometers at that point, and a half marathon seemed a very far way off… The sales person confirmed that a half marathon could indeed be done. I still thought it ridiculous, but a seed was planted…
The idea stuck, and since my running buddy had entered for the Two Oceans Half Marathon, and I had been supporting the race for so long, I decided to go for it. I would have nearly 4 months to train, and I had people who believed in me.
As the race entries had already closed, I had 2 options, wait for substitutions to open (where you take over the entry for someone who cannot take part anymore) or, run for charity. I liked the idea of running for a charity, as the extra motivation of doing good while attempting this challenge seemed like that extra little push I needed. I choose Sakhikamva as I believe education is key in the future of South Africa, my hubbie has a dream of learning to fly, and my kids have a very strong chance of turning into computer geeks, just like their dad.
Now, with just over a week to go, I am thrilled that I am almost half way to my fundraising goal, my training has been going well, and feel ready to take on the road for Sakhikamva.
If you would like to donate, please visit https://www.givengain.com/ap/suki-lock-raising-funds-for-sakhikamva-foundation/