400KM ON FOOT TO #CPOTENTIAL
Today 14 January 2017 marks the launch of my “100 DAYS 2 MUNGA” campaign.
From 19 – 24 April 2017, I will be taking on South Africa’s first 400km non-stop foot race to inspire other women to see their POTENTIAL and to pursue their dreams with courage, while raising funds to equip rural mothers of children with Cerebral Palsy to do the same.
The Munga Trail is a 400km semi-supported, non-stop foot race from Belfast to Blyde River Canyon. Everyone starts at one time and races their hardest to the finish. There are four rest stations along the race route, spaced roughly 80km apart from the start. At each of these stations runners will be able to eat and sleep, but runners do not have to stop at the station or sleep if they don’t want to. It is totally up to them.
In the words of the organiser’s:
“Essential to the DNA of The Munga is the notion of pushing possibility. We’ve done it successfully in the MTB space, and now it’s time to see what’s possible on foot. Could someone run close to a Comrades Marathon every day for 5 days? Is it possible to cover 400km on foot in under 65 hours for the racing snakes, or 120 hours for the average runner looking for a challenge? Or is there nothing average about taking on this challenge?
Only time will tell.
I consider myself a very average runner, bordering on useless at times. What I do have however is an unrelenting desire to pursue my dreams, even if they’re incredibly intimidating. It’s why I can’t help but take on bigger and greater physical challenges that will push me to those deep places where I rediscover who I am and who I could be, as each time I do, those intimidating dreams become just a little more within my reach. Inevitably that just means that even bigger dreams emerge to join the queue.
Although I take my dreams so seriously, I have often fallen into that trap of following phenomenal women and thinking “Sho, she is seriously hectic – I would never be able to pull off something like that”. The dialogue in my head is usually a bit more complex, but it tells me that such greatness is only reserved for the elites and that I will never have what it takes to achieve it.
For most rural mothers of children with CP, dreams and ambitions come to a screeching halt when they are given a diagnosis of CP. Many live in ignorance with little or no understanding of what CP means and they describe being in a place of darkness, with no hope for themselves or for their children for the future. Many think that their child will die from this “illness called CP”. They find themselves abandoning the dreams and hopes they had for their own lives, their careers and their futures and feel ill-prepared for a life of caring for a child who will never “get better” or “be like other children”.
The purpose of this campaign to inspire women in all areas of life to pursue their dreams with courage and to not let circumstance or internal dialogue prevent them from becoming the best they can be. Taking on the Munga Trail is a dream that is still very far from a reality for me but I aim to show the world that all it takes to pursue a dream is: a decision to commit; an inspired plan; and a determined one-day-at-a-time approach, and that even if things do not go according to plan, the lessons learnt will be life-altering and will sharpen one’s character for what’s to come.
Through the programmes at Malamulele Onward (the Non-Profit Company that I work for), we work to equip mothers of children with CP to do exactly that: remember what their dreams are; commit to pursuing them; make a plan; and take a determined one-day-at-a-time approach and we are beginning to see some inspiring results. My goal is to raise R100 000 in 100 days to help mothers who have abandoned their dreams, to become agents of change in their communities who can pursue their dreams with courage.
Every day between now and end of Munga I will be posting a tip, trick or piece of inspiration that I learn along the way. I have invited some truly inspirational women to come on board as my Munga mentors and partners in inspiring other women to achieve great things. They are Tatum Prins, Linda Doke and Kim van Kets. Help us spread the word, inspire others and follow the campaign on Facebook and Instagram.