The past 364-and-a-half days have been one of those extra-large-value-pack-mix-bags of fun, laughter, tears, frustration, love, life lessons, friends and much more.

Here are some highlights:

  • Da Son started Grade 1 and Da Chick went into Grade R.  Being a year apart has its pros and cons, and they’re now at the stage where people ask me if they look like twins – which they obviously hate.  Not a day goes by that I’m not in awe of their wisdom and strength and unconditional love… That said, I also realise on a daily basis that it’s my sole responsibility to ensure that they grow up to be respectable human beings and world citizens and not unabombers /evil masterminds / anarchists.
  • Da Husband has been supporting all my crazy exploits while remaining quietly in the background.  He’s also taken to ripping me off at every chance he gets and will complete my sentences with “… because I’m training for a big race, you know.”  Meanwhile he’s been keeping the kids fed and semi-clean while I’ve been out training, even though he also has a demanding full-time job that is, frankly, much more important than mine.  He doesn’t always understand why I need to do these things, but supports me nonetheless.  And that’s why I love him.
  • My new-found love for running saw me participate in the Old Mutual Two Oceans Half Marathon.  I loved every second of my training programme with the Sports Science Institute (and highly recommend it) and the race itself.
  • My dad passed away in July.  The way in which everything unfolded – including the way in which he was treated in hospital and how they broke the news to my  mom after we rushed back to the hospital – affected me profoundly, but in true Leo-fashion I got on with business and made it my priority to ensure that everybody was OK.    At the same time I changed positions within my company.  Those who know me well will know that I’m a planner and ahead-thinker and that I like to have my life in order.  But what most people don’t know is that these two events, so close together, created such a massive stress that I fell into a deep depression.   So, even though I constantly assured people that I was OK, I really wasn’t.  I know that people judged a lot of my actions and reactions of the last five months and concluded that I was being arrogant / difficult / unreasonable and just had to get over it. BIG LESSON for me was to accept help when offered.  In hindsight, I should have listened to my best friend and to my colleague Sparkey when they told me to take more time off, look after ME and not try to be a hero…   This experience also reminds me of a quote I read somewhere:  Be kind to others, for everyone you meet along the road are fighting their own unique battles.
  • In the midst of all this madness, signing up for this year’s Ironman 70.3 (20 January… EEEEK!!!) and joining Embark’s beginner training programme to prepare for this, undoubtedly saved my sanity and my life, and slowly but surely helped me climb out of the pit of constant sadness, frustration and anger and embrace this crazy old life again.  I’m living proof that exercise is good for body, mind and soul.
  • I never expected to form such strong bonds and friendships with some of my fellow Embark participants, and I feel truly blessed to have them in my life.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – the only people who can truly understand what you’re going through are the ones who swim, cycle and run alongside you virtually every day. They are an amazing bunch and I look forward to sharing many more years of friendship with them.
  • I learned to SWIM!!!!  To most people this isn’t a biggie, but it is for me.  Especially once you know that, before I started this programme, I wouldn’t go deeper than ankle-depth into the sea.  Remember all the Birals I had to drink before I could even go into the pool?  Those days are long gone 🙂
  • Oh, and then there’s my appearance in Ironman Magazine.  I really don’t deserve to feature among such amazing athletes!!  And now the pressure to finish 70.3 is REALLY on!

There was obviously a lot more to this year but the above definitely contributed the most to how I evolved over the course of 2012.

Sooooooooooo… on that note, my resolutions for 2013 are:

  • To tell my friends and family what they mean to me, and hold them close.
  • To explore and pursue that which gives my life meaning.
  • To not be afraid to cut ties / let go of the things that no longer make me happy.
  • To listen more and talk less.
  • To live with gratitude and appreciation of everything that comes my way – good and bad – and learn from every situation.

I hope you have an awesome 2013.  Thanks for your support.

(In particular, a special shout-out to – in no particular order – Adri B, Adri T, Da Husband, my mom, Sofie, Meg, Stacey, Inge, Sparkles, Tania, Tanja, Lorraine, Mads, Sam, Amore, Chanella, Christopher, fake-husband-Gavin, coach Evil-Steve, Sue… and all those I have left out due to old age…)


my crew!

Two Oceans Finish with Gavin

Two Oceans Finish with my fake husband Gav


tendinitis – ouch (but aren’t those flip-flops just too cute? Meg and I got ourselves a matching set for when we are roomies at 70.3)

Willie & Leo

Da Husband and I, taking the piss at an epic wedding


Phelpsie The Mermaid


Da Son gets his yellow!

Da Chick runs a 5km race with me!

Da Chick runs a 5km race with me! (no, she’s not going in the wrong direction – she turned around to pose!!)


the gang