It was April 2014 when I was introduced to the Sleekgeek Facebook group/website by my fiancé. She would refer me to the various success stories and I found them all to be encouraging. Fast forward to Sunday 25 May, my fiancé was at her computer and she was signing up for the 8 week challenge.
All the success stories got the motivation going and I too signed up. We decided to attend the Sleekgeek dinner and I was looking forward to the evening. To my surprise there weren’t as many overweight people there as I thought, but I sat at a table with a lovely group of people. This was my day 9 of the 8 week challenge and Ilana van Rensburg now refers to me as “Day9.” I have a feeling it’s going to stick with me forever.I was also really happy to meet Felicity Dreyer at the dinner, we had chatted on Facebook and she had given me lots of advice and encouragement.
I heard of parkrun at the dinner for the very first time and having left the dinner more determined than ever, I decided to register for the very next parkrun.
I have never run in my life and it was my intention to walk the 5km. I don’t do “last” and I am not a good loser. I really dreaded this day, who gets up at midnight (6am) on a Saturday morning to suffer out there. Well, the 8 week challenge was underway and I promised myself that I would make each day count. It was a freezing cold Saturday morning out at Eden on the Bay, but the scenic view was worth getting up for.
I was unfit and I was dreading coming stone last. The time had come and the runners were out ahead and I felt left behind. Every now and again I would surprise myself and run for a couple of seconds before reverting back to walking. I surprised myself even more: I did not come last! I came in ahead of 10 others! All the Sleekgeeks were there cheering when I was about to cross the finish line.
What hit me the most was Jacques Conradie coming up to me to show me my time. It took me 57 minutes to complete the 5km. Out of all the participants, he had chosen to time me. I was so chuffed with completing the 5km that I challenged myself to attend the parkrun 7 days later at the same venue. I wanted to beat my time of 57 minutes and I did.
The parkrun bug bit me and I now go to gym during the week to ensure that I am ready for the next parkrun. Saturday mornings have now been reserved for Parkruns. Having completed 2 parkruns and going to gym and only walking out 2 hours later is something I never thought I would do.
I have only just started my journey but I know that I have got this, I know I am going to make it this time. It is impossible to fail! I experienced something I had never experienced before. This was the beginning of the real “revolution” for me. Being part of the Sleekgeek community and the support that I have received via social media from people I have never met is incredible. The support is never ending.
To all those out there who feel that they are not ready to attend a parkrun: I challenge you to attend the next one. You will never look back. The bug will bite and it will change your life forever. I want to thank Elan for taking a leap of faith and creating this community. To all you sleeks out there who have taken the time to encourage and support me via social media and at the Parkruns. You have all rocked my world! You are the revolution!
See you on Saturday!
If Michael’s story inspired you, be sure to read Marianne’s story HERE.
This could not be possible without the leadership and enthusiasm of some of our community leaders in those regions who have stepped up as volunteers to organise and coordinate people.
Your fearless regional leaders are listed below. Simply click on a region name to join the dedicated event group for your region on Facebook.