With the London Games fast approaching, over the next 40 days leading up to the road race event, I’ll be posting a series of blogs documenting my journey to the Games.
The journey to the Olympic Games is not an easy one, only a select few manage to get there, and I believe that every Olympian has a story. I would like to share my story with an aim to inspire others, to find their passion in life and pursue it!
In memory of Carla Swart, my motto for 2012 is to “dream big and make it happen!” Life is what you make of it, LIVE PASSIONATELY!
My journey began with a miracle
I remember the day clearly, however the exact moment eludes my memory. I remember the tension. My horse, Patch, was not comfortable in the company of the other two horses. He was prancing around, playing frantically with the bit in his mouth, looking for any excuse to play up.
As we turned into a field, a bird took off from a bush. This startled him and he took off! The bit I had chosen that day was not hard enough, he wasn’t responding to my tugging. He had one goal in mind. He wanted to go home and that’s exactly where he was headed.
I decided to sit tight; he had to stop eventually. I remember taking three 90 degree turns on our route home. He was galloping now. I remember seeing the stable entrance approaching. We were almost there. That’s the last I remember.
In the July of 2003, my final year at school, I was involved in a serious horse- riding accident. I fractured my basal skull bone and found myself in hospital in a coma and on full life support. The initial prognosis was not good. The doctors were convinced I would not complete my schooling career. They told my parents I would never be the same again. I was on the edge, a case of life or death, and God gave me life. Not only did he give me life, but also he blessed me with a full recovery. A true miracle!
I remember waking up in the hospital. Completely confused! I had no idea what had happened. My parents and sister were all there. They told me I had been involved in an accident and that everything would be fine. That was the extent of my vocabulary for the remainder of my stay in the hospital. Every time someone came to visit, I would tell them “it was just an accident, everything is going to be fine.” I was told afterwards that I kept repeating these words.
With lots of hard work, commitment, support and encouragement from my family, I was able to complete my school career. I matriculated from Eunice High School in Bloemfontein in the October of 2003 with 7 distinctions and went on to study Chemical Engineering at Stellenbosch University.
My near-death experience truly was a life-changing experience. It was through prayer, faith and hope that God healed me. Realising how miraculous my recovery was, a switch flipped in my head. I realised that if God saved me, He must have a purpose for my life. It was then that it became apparent to me that God had a plan. It was then that my search for a purpose began!
My Road to London #2: Discovering a talent……stay tuned 🙂