Sunday, February 14, 2010

Believe in Yourself

Yesterday we went to Pretoria, about a hours drive from Witbank to attend DJ's first dance competition. She started taking dance lessons middle last year and although she was nervous she was excited to do her first competition.

During the competition my memory flashed 30+ years back when my father took me to my first wrestling match. I can remember how nervous I was seeing all those competitors and not knowing what to do or expect.

DJ's dream is to become a professional dancer and open her own dance school. Being a straight A student we encourage her to go and study further to qualify and have a "normal"( traditional) career but she is adamant to become a dancer.

Maybe that will change later in her life when she start with high school but for now she is so committed and focused on dancing. She is really working hard and it just showed again that through hard work and believing in yourself you can achieve so much.

She participated in two items, Freestyle and Slow dance and reached the final in both of them. In the freestyle she came fourth in the final and in the slow dance she finished third in the final. One can see that the Ballet she took for a few years helped her during her slow dance routines.

Her coach came to me and said that it is a really excellent achievement to reach the final during your first competition never mind two finals. He was also very surprised that she achieved a third and fourth place.

DJ was disappointed with her results as she is like her father a sore/bad loser but I told her the following story about myself and my wrestling career. I started doing wrestling when I was 6 years old and I was so determined to become a champion that I did everything possible to become one. It was not easy and for the first three years of my wrestling career I lost EVERY match I wrestled.

I was so nervous that my father would tell me that I need to stop doing this as I was not good at it but he did not as he believed in me. During my fourth year of wrestling I won my FIRST match and it was just something a wanted so bad for so long that I wasn't going to go back and lose again.

In grade 5 I became provincial champion (guess it is called state champion in the US) in my age group and this continued as I moved up the age and weight division. When I left school I was provincial champion for eight consecutive years, a record that still stands. I also became national champion in Wrestling and was elected for my country.

This story is in no way something I tell to boost my image but an great example about some achievements that would never have been achieved if I didn't believe in myself and quit doing wrestling when I lost every single match for the first three years of my wrestling career. From this: Losing matches and just getting a small trophy for participation

To this: National Champion.

And doing this through endless hours of training.

Yesterday was just another example that anything is possible if you want it that bad. DJ is so determined and I know she will achieve so much more with her dancing, but most importantly is she is enjoying it and want to dance and with our support and believing in her she will become a great dancer. This is not something we as parents force her to do but something she chose to do because she loves dancing.

On the Ironman training side things are looking good and this coming weekend will be a good test to see if my fitness has improve and if it has by what margin when I participate in the Prestige Half Ironman which also doubles as the South African Long Course Championships. I guess I can't do any worse than last year as it was my first DNF in my Triathlon career when I inhaled water during the swim and couldn't complete the race.

Yesterday I could manage a sub 5min/km during my long run even with the 10 minute run/30 seconds walk technique. I had to cut the run short by 20 minutes to be in Pretoria on time but I am happy with my running and feel that this is one discipline where I can see some improvement.

Here is some picture during my long bike session today. Sharing the road with some cattle on my way to Bronkhorstspruit. There was a strong eastern wind making riding really hard on the bike today.

Kim brought me my extra bottle after three hours and followed me again for the remainder of the 5h25 ride.

Here's some pictures she took while I was riding. Guess it can become a bit boring following me at 30 odd km/h

The road not the widest there is with no emergency lane.

Advantage of Kim following me is that I don't have to look back to see which car wants to drive me off the road and they have to pass her leaving some space when they pass me.

Heading back to Witbank

Almost at the Steel factory.

Just had to post this picture of Eddy, looking down at me from the stairs and fascinated by the camera.

Stemmet not a very familiar surname in South Africa. Was surprised seeing this truck on the highway. Not family and don't know the guy. At least I can now use "family" when I want to move one day.

Today's Training:
Bike: 5h25, 163km, 135bpm, 4817kcal,
Run: 25 minutes, 5.2km, 4:57min/km, 140bpm, 397kcal

Weeks Training:
Swim: 3h52, 10km
Bike: 7h54, 246.1km
Run: 4h46, 57.8km
Gym: 1 session, 1h09
Total: 17h44, 313.9km, 13021kcal


  1. Great post.

    Congrats to DJ. Pass that along.

    I really enjoyed your wresting career story. Great perservation Amazing results and very motivational.

    I love the pictures. At first I though you were riding on the wrong side of the road. haha. Then I realized it is opposite than North America.

    Kim's a saint.


  2. Love the post and pictures Johan!

    B-I thought he was on the wrong side of the road as well. ha!

  3. B
    Thanks will tell her. Glad you enjoyed the pics. Now you know how confused I was when I drove that big SUV in LA and Kim telling me where to go and what to do all the time and everything is on the wrong side of the road- nerve wrecking my friend

  4. She
    Glad you enjoyed the pics and post.
    Yes can be confusing seeing pics when people are on the "wrong" side of road

  5. Congrats to DJ. If she hangs in there with sweat and long hours then the top step including success and satisfaction will be a given...

    Hey by the way, I know those cows!


  6. DJ's accomplishment is awesome, the apple does not fall far from the tree does it? Kije hed dad, puts her mond to it and goes and gets it! Great to haer that the training is oing strong, look forward to seeing your results and seeing the progress! Cheers and train well!

  7. Thanks John
    Will let you know how training and racing is going