It still feels a bit surreal. I would not have believed it if someone told me I'd be going to Olympics four years ago. But this dream is about to become a reality in only a few days time! Robyn and I (who are sharing the teamhouse in Belgium at the moment) are getting super excited!
We have been a bit sad to miss all the motivational speeches, farewell celebrations and chartered flight from South Africa but we're about to join in soon. We leave for London on Tuesday. From what Barry has told us, the Olympic village sounds awesome! Just the fact that there is as much free food 24 hours a day from anywhere in the world (sushi, Indian, McDonalds, smoothies, any fruits, muffins, cappuccino on demand) makes me very excited. I LOVE my food! Going to be so hard to resist eating too much!
I feel very happy and privileged to be sharing this amazing experience with two women I respect and admire. As is also said in the business world: build a team around great people and success will come. We are going into this race positive and motivated for success.
Dreams don't often happen by chance. Unless you win the Lottery. I believe it comes from the drive for greatness within yourself. Not wanting to settle for mediocrity. Believing in yourself. Since I was young, this drive for being great has not come without its issues. I suffered from stress and insomnia as a child in fear of not getting top marks. I used to work so hard my parents had to encourage me to have a social life! I was fiercely determined in everything I did. I gave my parents a hard time being so stubborn as a child and I remember my Dad, trying to be positive, saying that I hope her determination gets her far in life.
Discovering sport and exercise at varsity changed me. I still wanted greatness but sport helped me deal with the stress and pressure from it. It would clear my mind, help me put things into perspective, gave me time to reflect and always made me happy. It filled me with positive energy. I discovered I only needed to study a fraction of the time to get the same results.
I believe that you can do well at anything you really put your mind to. If you believe you can do it, then why not? It's never usually easy, but that is often because the more you have to sacrifice, the harder you have to work, the more you have to push yourself, the greater the reward most often is.
So after not being willing to settle for letting the boys beat me on training rides when I first joined my husband 4 years ago, to getting up at 4am to train every morning before a 9hr work day, to giving up my job this year and leaving my husband behind to pursue my dream of going to Olympics this year, it is a GREAT reward!
I encourage others to dream big and make it happen (as Carla Swart used to live by!).