Life’s Choices: Pursuing a passion
My road to London has not been an easy one. Nothing truly worthwhile ever comes easy in life.
I have faced and will continue to face many challenges along my journey. But it is the challenges that I value most; they help me to grow as an athlete and a person.
Many of my greatest challenges hit me early on in my cycling career. I broke my collarbone three times in the space of 12 months. My left twice and my right once. This all happened during the period extending from October 2009 to October 2010, my first year as a professional cyclist.
The first break happened in a training accident involving a car in October 2009. I had just won my second national classic in South Africa, The Telkom Satellite. I was on a high. I was fit, healthy and eager to make a good impression. I was in the final months of my Chemical Engineering degree and was about to get married that December.
The second break happened during the first stage of the Tour of New Zealand in February 2010. It was the result of a high-speed crash on a descent. Tour of New Zealand was my first race for my new professional UCI women’s team, Lotto Ladies and I was scheduled to depart for Europe shortly afterwards.
The third break also involved a car and occurred during training in Belgium early in September 2010. I was due to represent my country for the first time at the World Championships in Australia and the Commonwealth Games in Delhi later that month.
In all three cases, the costs were high and the disappointment overwhelming. But in hindsight, I’m truly grateful for these obstacles. It is through life’s challenges that we find our strength.
I must admit, if it wasn’t for my strong faith and belief that God has a plan, and that everything happens for a reason. I might have given up. Faith is what saved me, faith is what pulled me through.
It is through these obstacles that I have learnt my biggest lesson in life.
Life is all about choices. Everyone has to make the choices between giving up or growing stronger. I believe that attitude determines your altitude. The most significant aspect of winning, is the mental aspect. You choose to win or too lose in life!
I choose to focus on the positives in life. When things don’t go right, there is always a left. No one owes me anything, but I owe it to myself to chase my dreams and follow my passions.
I choose to live passionately. In honour of Carla Swart, I choose to “dream big and make it happen!”