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Showing posts from July, 2020

What I didn’t know Crossfit taught me until I gave it up

I know the jury is out on Crossfit and the long-term benefits or detriment to our health. That’s not what I want to talk about now, at all.   I started Crossfit to support a friend who was starting her own gym. That was my only reason. I had never imagined myself lifting weights and certainly had no aspiration to do a box-jump.   I didn’t know what I was signing up for, in all honesty.   But I'm stubborn as heck and when my cash is on the table, I am all-in. I outlasted most of the girls who joined our “yummy-mummy” class. And then some. I kept going when my friend sold her then, fully established gym, to a new lovely owner. I kept going right up until I was eight and a half months pregnant. I loved it.   Unfortunately, my shirts stopped fitting over my arms. And I found fitting in a rigorous schedule around three kids impossible. But I have full respect for the concept and loved my four years or so of being able to lift, jump, pull, squat and lunge.   It was only after baby number

To the Fat Guy sharing my Lane in the Gym Swimming Pool...

You smacked my face a few times.  And you accidentally smacked my bottom too.  But the pool was so full and I had to share with you because, well, no one else wanted to. The other lanes had up to three people in them. There was a group of would-be trainers waiting for the kids' swimming lesson to be over so that they could use their lane. But your lane, had only you in it. You were occupying almost the whole lane. You were swimming incredibly slowly. You were swimming backstroke! I knew I was there for at least an hour. I knew time was ticking as I had a husband upstairs on the treadmill, who would want to go home after said hour. I knew you were going to be smacking me occasionally. I knew you would take up more than half the space. But I cautiously asked, "Do you mind if we share this lane?" And you acquiesced.   Once, you apologised for smacking me with your widely-spread back stroke.   Once, you apologised for slowing me down.   Once, you apologised for being in my ha

To My Anxious Child...

I have asked myself a thousand times in your short eight years of life, "What can possibly be so bad that you vomit over it?" Surely, a child can not feel such enormous feelings? But you do - you feel things so darn deeply and its a blessing as well as a curse.    Today was one of those days, you were fine and then you were not. Your tummy got sore and you vomited and then you slept. And you are still sleeping.  I've tried to make light of it, talk you through it, help you prepare for it. I've taken you to doctors, alternative healers, specialists. I've prayed for you and over you in your sleep. You've gone homeopathic and chronic in your treatments. And still, your tummy gets sore and you vomit and then you sleep.  I wonder if you have nights like I did last night, where I tossed and turned all night worrying about you three girls, my daughters? I worried that you would be hurt. I worried that I had asked the wrong person to give you a lift somewhere. I worri

13 Reasons why '13 Reasons Why' left me Cold - But I couldn't stop watching

If you haven't seen it yet, be warned, '13 Reasons Why' (on Netflix) is not for the faint hearted. It hurts your eyes with gratuitous violence at times. The language is supremely foul. But the story line is both heart wrenching and gripping. The premise of a high school girl committing suicide and leaving behind thirteen guilt-soaked cassette tapes to explain her death is harrowing in itself. The lives that are affected by the contents of these tapes and the enormous ripple effect is where the story develops it's gravitas and universality. 13 Reasons Why on Netflix (Season 1)  Of course, I had to watch it. But it left me cold and here are my thirteen reasons why. 1. It was like watching my high school career all over again I didn't deal with the "big" issues in 13 Reasons. I wasn't raped, for example. But I would be lying if I said I hadn't faced some of the issues that are dealt with in the show. I faced many of them. As did many other pupils I

Motherhood and the Never-ending Cycle of Exhaustion

When you tell someone you’re tired because of your kids, they all give a knowing look and say something about remembering the sleepless nights. It has very little to do with the sleepless nights. It has to do with the fact that from the moment you give birth to that little person, they need you for something. Take a day in our home: Child A doesn’t sleep well, never has and is now almost eight years old. Child B won’t fall asleep (but sleeps well after she does,) Child C has bad dreams at least three nights a week. If I had one child, I would probably work around it, but with three, it's impossible. Then Child A insists on waking between five and five-thirty am. That’s when her body clock kicks in. Child B wakes at the slightest noise after first light. Child C needs to be woken with tea. Child A can dress herself, but has emotional melt downs at the drop of a hat which can be brought on from anything as simple as her school lunch box being in the wrong place, to the fact that she

Where’s Mommy? Out back, sucking the hind tit.

The week ahead looked rough. Especially rough. Rougher than the week before or the week after. I hated that it was coming and I could do nothing to simplify it. My children’s demands were neigh high. My needs were too. And husband, well, his needs remain constant, don’t they? It’s not easy. And I think people forty years ago had different expectations for mothers. Many mothers didn’t work. If you Google the statistics, you will find articles entitled, “Women Surge into the Work Force” and “The Rise in Working Mothers.” Women’s Lib would do that, of course. You can’t fight for the right to work, and then not work. That wasn’t all that long ago. So my granny, who was born in 1921, was one of the first mothers who had an opportunity to work and raise a family. She took it, but not to the extreme of becoming an engineer or a doctor. Her daughters-in-law however, did. They were all qualified, working women.  Accomplished in various fields. I remember though, thinking my friends who had moth

Authority to Speak in Areas No One Else Will

A funny thing happened to me the other day. I have a gorgeous friend, who's really humble about her looks. She's also, by profession, an aesthetician. She makes other people beautiful, essentially. We were having a coffee, when a lady came by and said hello. This lady had terrible skin, so I assumed she was a patient. The chatting revolved around general how we were, how hot it was etc. and then this interloper looks at my gorgeous friend and tells her that her hair need to be touched up. Urgently. And that the colour was actually looking terrible. (A fact which I hadn't even noticed!) The nerve!!!  I mean, would you ever? Especially to a doctor who's treating you as a patient? Except, I had it wrong. My friend was the patient, in the sense that this lady was her hairdresser and had been for years. If anyone in the world was allowed to point out that the colour was shoddy or the hair needed fixing, it was her. It made me realise that we are all to a greater or lesser ex

#ImStaying because of the Kolisis

I've never met Siya or Rachel Kolisi. I would even (ashamedly) admit that up until this Rugby World Cup, I didn't even know who our rugby captain was, let alone that it was a black man. Don't get me wrong - I love rugby but it just so happens that most of our games are in 'crazy hour' with three kids around. But I got to watch last week's quarter final. I was in a little town en route home after an amazing trip the bush and we stopped at a Dros. For those who don't know - a Dros is a family pub - and a franchise that advertises "Jou ma se kos..." (Food the way your mom would make it.) I sat in this place, with an Afrikaans name and slogan, in a small town in Limpopo province. We arrived in time to catch the game, grab a bite and continue on the long road home. In my youth, Dros was a restaurant white people went to. As students, we went there for the beer specials and bottomless buckets of ribs. This day, South Africa versus Japan in the 2019 RWC q

Fear Shaming in a World Unknown

It’s okay to be a contradiction. It doesn’t mean you’re a hypocrite, it only means that you are human. Life is not always only black and white and you have to choose one not both. There are, in fact very few instances in life where you have to only be one thing. It’s okay to be afraid right now, while not ‘living in fear.’ Having fear is not the same as living in it. One is okay, the other is crippling. In the wave of Corona panic, I have been accused of living in fear. The supposed symptoms: -I’ve opted for semi-seclusion. -I’ve had no (unusual or unnecessary or large) social gatherings with friends or family -I’ve conducted all (but one) meetings online -I’m checking the temperature for anyone who sets foot in my home - I own about six masks and wear them whenever I am with a person not immediately related to me. Including in my own home. Yet, my children are at school. I go grocery shopping. I’ve seen my parents. Contradiction? I guess. As more of a contradiction, I've had enorm