Running News

CHANTEL: FASTER THAN I COULD IMAGINE

May 11, 202014:09


I trained for four months to complete my basic military training with the SANDF. But
when I started working as a military firefighter in Oudtshoorn, I became less fit, and
struggled with weight gain.

I knew I needed to do something so I joined the SANDF Athletics Club and I would
walk with them. It took a whole year before I was able to start running with them.
It changed my life. As far as I can remember, I always used to be extremely shy and
had a low self-esteem. When I gained weight, I was also diagnosed with Diabetes
Type 2. Running helped me to regulate my sugar levels, and feel better about
myself.

I’ve realised now why I love running so much: it has helped through some really
difficult times. I struggled with weight gain after the birth of both my children in 2009
and 2014 – until 2016 when I drastically lost it. I thought it was from running but it
turned out to be Non Hodgkins Lymphoma Cancer Stage 4.

I stopped running. I thought it was all over for me when I had to start chemotherapy.
But one month into chemotherapy, I started running small distances again.
I tried 5km, then went to 10km, to 21km, and to 30km. Because of steroids that they
give you during chemo, I picked up the weight again and struggled to lose it. But it
was worth the struggle. In August 2018 I was declared cancer-free.

2019 was my year. I joined the Sleekgeek fitness program and I’ve achieved
milestones I only thought were only possible in my dreams. No matter how much I’ve
struggled with weight, running has given me that sense of motivation. I learned to
push myself to do races.

Running has always given me the motivation I need to keep on trying and never give
up.

faster_than

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