It is National Women’s day this Saturday and this month in SA is known as Women’s month and packed with activities and tributes to our women all month. In fact, today I am speaking at a Women’s Leadership Conference in Cape Town about work/life balance.
My message this week is that women can do anything men can do in the health and fitness space. There might be physical differences in our strength but pound for pound women can be powerful and move mountains with grace. I have met and worked with many such women.
Sleekgeek is also largely run on the generous time and energy volunteered by our people. I am generalizing here but the women are usually the first to get involved. They also love to shop! Our ladies merchandise goes at lightning speed.
Which is why this month we have a special deal to say thanks to all our awesome ladies from SG and our awesome partners Reebok. Real Flex trainers at R500 delivered to your door (while stocks last). Get in there fast.
I do Crossfit as my sport and fitness activity of choice. In the Crossfit community men and women are equals. We do all the exact same workouts and exercises. What a man can do a woman can and the classes are mixed. There is no such things as a ‘ladies pushup’ and we have many women who have phenomenal abilities. Many would put most men to shame. I love this aspect of Crossfit. In many other fitness environments women are often treated as a weaker sex with special needs. Like Katy Perry these ladies know how to ROOOAR!
The Sleekgeek community is overflowing with incredible women of all ages, shapes and sizes. I see it every day. I read it in the posts. I deal with many of them on our organizing teams. Women who embody our SG code. They are heroes in their own lives, families and the community. Today I would like to honour each and every one of you!
In our Sleek Girls ‘secret’ group we have 5,600 ladies who are members. Join that group here
In my personal journey to health working closely with strong women has been a core theme. The coaches I have worked with most intimately have all been women.I was privileged enough to be coached and guided by them. What makes these women so special is that they are not only physically strong and superb athletes but each one of them is as much beautiful inside as out.
Mentally tough, emotionally strong and in control of their lives, these women are ladies with grace and huge hearts. So today I would like to acknowledge them for helping me on my journey. They all have a special place in my heart.
Rika rowed for SA at the Olympics. She then won the Africa Regional Crossfit games and went to represent Africa at the international Crossfit Games in California. At the start of my journey Rika was one of my first Crossfit coaches and she took special interest in helping me progress because I was such a spastic and she saw value in what I was trying to achieve with Sleekgeek. In those days the community was small. In that process we became friends and did fun things like climb Table Mountain and Rika was there with me when I ran my first ever 10kms on a trail in Montagu. She also did some seminars with some of our Sleekgeeks on how everyone can find their inner athlete. Rika is one of those people who is shy and quiet but when she says something it is always profound, filled with wisdom and impactful. Thank you Rika for just being you and making me understand that health is meant to be about having fun and playing more with fitness.
Kelly Dessington is a brilliant strength and conditioning coach who saw a post I made about needing help with my strength training. She contacted me and offered me free personal training to help me address these issues. Kelly did not want any marketing in return saying that I was helping people change their lives with Sleekgeek and she wanted to personally help me on my journey. Simple as that. I was blown away by her kindness and genuine desire to help. Her and her husband , who own Progressive Edge in Greenpoint Cape Town, were so good to me helping me out over the 8 months I trained with Kelly. Kelly is also one of our Challenge judges and developed one of our 8 Week Challenge training and eating plans. Check out her profile here or read her blog
Kelly holds 3 South Africa records in drug free Powerlifting and placed 1st in two figure shows in 2012. Two very different ends of the scale, but confirmation that strength is the base of most athletic endeavours! Before I started working with Kelly my pull-up and leg strength was poor and she sorted that out. I never left a legs day with her walking fast! I loved working with Kelly because unlike many personal trainers who have been in the bodybuilding space she believes in no drugs, a natural approach and eating clean healthy food. I once remember doing a set of bench presses with Kelly and I was too tired. I wanted to re-rack the bar and give up. I was shocked when she would not let me do it. I pushed past my boundary and finished. Now if that is not love! Thank you for all you taught me Kelly about being able to do more than I thought I could.
Carla is another special woman I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to work with.
Carla holds an LLB in International Criminal Law and for years had the illusion that she’d change the world and its wars. She left that world to focus on a more balanced life. She was also a competitive sprint canoeist and raced all over the world for both the South African and Dutch National Teams until she found her passion for Crossfit. Carla went on to win the Africa Regional Crossfit Games (replacing Rika as the champion) in a nail-biting fashion and also went to represent us at the international Crossfit Games in California. I worked with Carla intensely at Crossfit and I relished her tough love and direct no nonsense approach. Carla really cares and has a wealth of knowledge. My favourite was when she makes people do Burpees as a penalty for saying they can’t do something. She trained us to always say “YET”. So I cannot do that YET. It is an amazing tool to teach your brain that everything is possible.
So a debt of gratitude to these amazing women you are brimming with knowledge, mindboggling athletic ability and the grace and patience of saints. Each one of you made a noteworthy impact on my life and journey.
I am so glad that I recently hired Dominique Warr as the SG Marketing and Social Media Manager so that we have someone at HQ who appreciates the specific issues and concerns that the ladies of our community may have so that we may serve them better!
Because like most men, I have no clue what women really want.
We all know at least one amazing woman. I urge you today to call one of those up and acknowledge they’re awesome. Let them know how they inspire you!
Have a fantastic Women’s day on Saturday ladies.