Se7en’s Blog: It is Time to Set New Goals…

Se7en’s Blog: It is Time to Set New Goals…

In my previous post on the SSISA website, I ended by saying that I was really hoping to crack my goal of a Parkrun in under fifty minutes. I did it, it happened. Cracked the fifty. There were no flashing lights, no cheering crowds and no offers of athletic sponsorship. Hardly surprising really, I cracked fifty minutes for a 5km and it took twenty weeks of trying. Can I just say, that while the world didn’t stop and notice, I was thrilled. I had a goal, admittedly a secret goal, because at the start of the year I would never have believed it was possible for me to cover 5 km at all, let alone under an hour… and I did it.

Talking about goals, last week I was at the re-branding event at the Sport Science Institute of South Africa; it was huge. And there are splashes of the new brand essence #BeYourPersonalBest everywhere. Where your personal best means better tomorrow than you are today. This was the kind of evening when you listen to people tell their life stories and you realise everyone has a story to tell and everyone needs a chance to tell it.



Meet Riaan Manser 

Riaan Manser was there to tell us about his epic journeys: How has rowed from Morocco to New York for his honeymoon, he has rowed from California to Hawaii, and around Iceland, in fact he has cycled all the way around Africa. It all began when he decided to “get some guts and turn his life around.” In a time where there was no sponsorship, no twitter and really no chance… he stepped onto a bike and peddled out of Cape Town. As he says, reaching your potential cannot be fraught with excuses. He nearly lost his life a number of times and he had a lot to learn. When you travel through war ravaged countries, and are confronted by kids brandishing guns, who want you dead; and all the people you meet in some towns have lost a limb due to conflict… it changes you. There is an ocean between dreaming and doing. He had to grow up and take responsibility not only for his own life, but for his fellow travelers.

Riaan Manser’s three tips for success: 

  1. It takes courage to take the first step.
  2. Perseverance is key.
  3. There is a right attitude and a wrong attitude… get the right attitude.



Meet Brandon Beack

Brandon Beack shared his Olympic Dreams: As a young gymnast his Olympic dream was shattered when he broke his neck as he dismounted from the parallel bars during training. He was told that he would never be able to look after himself again, he would have to rely on other people to help him for everything. No one was counting in his inner athlete, and his Never Say Die attitude. He decided that he would not have limits set on his life and that he would walk again… Now a few years later he has a robotic walking suit that he walks in three times a week, he can bench press 100kg and he is totally independent and doesn’t rely on anyone at all. Life has come full circle, from nationals to world champs, to the Paralympics, he is in training for Tokyo in 2020. New sport, new goals and he is off. This is an athlete with a champion spirit and someone we can all learn from.


Brandon Beack’s three tips for success:

  1. Embrace the journey, not the destination.
  2. Surround yourself with the right people.
  3. Be patient and never give up. He will walk again… no matter how long it takes him.


These talks were so inspiring… really nothing is impossible if you set your mind to it, the message is loud and clear… #Beyourpersonalbest and dream big. That being said, I have started to achieve the goals I set for myself, and then a few more that I didn’t even set because I didn’t think I could achieve them. So it is definitely time to set some new goals…


Setting Goals

I am in that in-between place where my beginner goals are being reached, slowly but surely. Can I say that it took far longer than the initial eight week course. You definitely don’t go from zero to athlete in a day, a week or even eight weeks… these things really do take time. I don’t have new goals, because I never thought I would get there. I find myself somewhere between getting moving and climbing Kilimanjaro, I am somewhere between loving gym and working out every morning and maybe running a 10km one day, and I dare not say the Two Oceans half marathon… because surely for someone who takes 50 minutes to do 5 km that is impossible? or is it? I see the triathlon programme go live, and while I know it is totally beyond my reach and unrealistic… will it always be out of reach? When I started the programme I could not even pedal on a stationary bike, and now I certainly can and do every day. But, I am nowhere near a spinning class… the thing about motivational talks is that they make you think you could actually get there. Maybe it is time to get myself a costume and get back into the water. It’s twenty years since I trained properly, my head is in the right place to dream big… but it is going to take a lot of patience to get my body back into better shape. And manageable goals along the journey will certainly help me get there…

That being said, after this week’s workouts I am somewhat looking forward to an evening of resting on the couch. Which hardly sounds athletic… but there is a place for rest. And that has been the great thing about the Intermediate Healthy Weight Programme all along, every workout is challenging, you are tired afterwards. But by the time the next workout is due, I am totally ready and eager for it. I love that you get to work out at your own pace, you work out at your own level and you definitely improve steadily. I quickly learnt that in order to keep up I would have to work a lot harder. I love that, it means more time in the gym, more time spent working out and a lot less time wondering about when would I ever start getting back into shape again. That first step has already been taken.

What can I say, after talks like these, one has to take a breath and realise that, while everyone has a story, we all need goals to get there. It is time for me to find a new goal and discover my personal best and then make it better.


Achieve your personal best with SSISA

For more information about the SSISA Healthy Weight Programme, where Se7en started her journey, head over to the webpage:


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