The Build-up to Drakensberg Northern Trail (DNT)

Wow, it is another year and DNT is upon me once again! What can I say?

Drakensberg Northern Trail 2017 is the first ever marathon I have ever completed and one of the hardest races I have ever attempted and completed. For those who are interested… ..Drakensberg Northern Trail is the first race in the Skyrun Series.

Now on to a post-mortem of last years race…

Last year’s DNT was an emotional race for me. Not only was it my first marathon and Skyrun, but it was cold, wet and misty at the start.  As far as idea race conditions go, the weather was perfect for speed as you did not have to re-hydrate and your body stays cooler for longer.

The only problem with the weather was that it made the rock faces that we had to ascend slippery and treacherous.  Unfortunately, within the first 10km, I slipped on a wet rock and fell hard.

Consequently, I had two choices: either call the race or push through and complete the race. Fortunately, one of the top Skyrunners in South Africa, Bruce Arnett decided to stop and see if I was okay and told me to push through it.

Furthermore, Bruce and I decided to run the race together and he mentored me throughout the race. What was a painful and disastrous start, turned out into an amazing experience running with a legend in the Skyrunning community.

The tactics and lessons I learnt from him that day have stayed with me to this day. And as I look back after nearly 1 year I still can’t believe we could chat and run through some of the wet, rocky switchbacks in those conditions and not break any bones or injure ourselves for over 30km of technical trail.

Bruce in the front and I’m just behind

As I finish off, there is one thing for me to say, and that is: “DNT I am coming for you, and I will conquer you!”

Musings: A Time of Change Leads to New Beginnings

The more we let God take us over, the more truly ourselves we become – because He made us. He invented us. He invented all the different people that you and I were intended to be… It is when I turn to Christ, when I give up myself to His personality, that I first begin to have a real personality of my own.” – C.S. Lewis

Sunrise at the beach – new dawn; new beginnings

C.S. Lewis is one of my favourite authors. I have read his Narnia Chronicles over and over again, and still, they resonate deep within me. The first book in the series, “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” speaks to me of new beginnings and new opportunities. It also shows that change is okay as well as possible to manage.

Changes are in the air

As most of you have guessed from the title of this post, significant changes are afoot. I’m moving to a new home at the end of April, my daughter leaves for the European summer cricket season, and I’m relaunching my fabric dyeing business.

  • The daughter is stretching her wings
The DD and her passion for cricket

As you can imagine, it’s not easy to say good-bye to the DD (Darling Daughter); however, juxtaposing the sadness is immense pride in her achievements and her strength of character. Fortunately, online connectivity makes it much easier for families and friends to communicate no matter how scattered they are around the globe.

  • Moving homes

Secondly, while moving is stressful, I am excited at the new opportunities afforded me in the guise of a move. I’m looking forward to moving out of suburbia into a more rural setting. My new home has a front porch that runs along the entire length of the house. I’m looking forward to relaxing on the porch, watching the sun both rise and set. The house is south-facing there will be equal opportunities to experience the majestic start and end to each day.

  • Hand-dyed fabric

Unfortunately, due to the fact that my raw fabric supplier was forced into liquidation, I’ve had to relook at how to rebrand my part-time hand-dyed fabric business. I was in the fortunate position where I could get loomstate fabric that woven from cotton that was grown and processed in Southern Africa. This allowed me to market a unique product at affordable prices. Sadly, I now have to use the same 100% cotton fabric that all the other hand-dyers currently use.

Playing with ice dyeing and Shibori folding techniques

Upon further reflection, it does not make sense to copy all of the other hand-dyers’ products; therefore, I am spending the next six months having fun and playing with different techniques. Of course, the ultimate test will be whether my different samples sell or not. One of the first things one learns in marketing is never to assume that your consumers will purchase your products. Ergo; it is vital to test the market before launching a production line.

Final musings

While I’m not really looking forward to the DD leaving, nor am I looking forward to packing and moving all of my stuff from the soon-to-be old house into the new house, the future looks as though it is full of hope and promise.

Finding Peace and Solitude on the Mountain Trails

 

“Chasing angels or fleeing demons, go to the mountains.” – Jeffrey Rasley, Bringing Progress to Paradise: What I Got from Giving to a Mountain Village in Nepal

Continue reading “Finding Peace and Solitude on the Mountain Trails”

Underberg, Bushman’s Neck, the Drakensberg, Mountain Running, & Dog Training

 

“I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery—air, mountains, trees, people. I thought, “This is what it is to be happy.” – Sylvia Plath Continue reading “Underberg, Bushman’s Neck, the Drakensberg, Mountain Running, & Dog Training”