In this blog I want to share, with their permission, some of the journeys of three amazing young women in our world.
Bianca Haw, Frankie du Toit, Christie Hearder … three young women, 3 years apart in age, loving bikes, reaching for the top… and each with their own struggles.
Bianca HawBianca – I have known Bianca since the age of 15 when she burst on the MTB scene and absolutely dominated female MTB in her youth and junior years. Bianca finished school a year earlier than her peers and headed to Stellenbosch to start her studies and to pursue her cycling career further. And then she became ill. Bianca was diagnosed with Glandular Fever and this illness and all its side-effects resulted on her being sick on-and-off for around 18 months. Her illness and self-doubt in her abilities kept her from becoming the dominating force in mountain biking we all expected her to become.
Now she is back in KZN, her health has improved and her journey to become as good a female cyclist as we all know she can be is back on track… if she can stay healthy. So, when you look at Bianca and see a care-free and always smiling young women, know that the discipline she has to exercise with her nutrition to remain healthy is very, very tough and not something most of us will even try and manage.
Frankie – And then Frankie arrived on the scene just a year after Bianca, also 15 years old and she took to mountain biking like the proverbial duck to water. Frankie finished school and decided to take a “gap-year” to see if she could not squeeze in through the back door for the SA Team to the Rio Olympic games.
2016 started very well for her when she was the 1st South African at the 1st SA Cup race at Mankele and we thought she is in with a shot. And then mother nature played a bit of a trick on her and she started gaining weight. And let me tell you that although Frankie has a bit of a sweet tooth, her nutrition is mostly very good, so her weight gain has nothing to do with her lifestyle … it is purely her body’s way of changing from being a girl to becoming a woman.
With this her self-esteem took a bit of a knock and she went into a bit of a negative world when she raced. There was a time when her body-language during a race shouted at me to just leave her alone. But Frankie knows this is what she wants to do and that mother nature will either give her extra strength or allow her to lose a bit of weight again. Through sticking to her journey and persevering Frankie won SA Champs in the U23 category this year … yes, against the odds and mostly because she just WANTED TO WIN.
Christie – Christie is the youngest of the three ladies and finished school last year. She joined our family some 2 ½ years ago and had absolutely no cycling experience before then. She rode a bit with her dad in the plantations around Hilton on an oversized bike, but from the day I met her I saw a young lady with an iron will. Christie’s mom was very ill for many years and for the last 5 years of her schooling Christie, as the oldest child, was the “mom” in their house. This did not allow her to have a similar, carefree lifestyle as most of the young women her age. But she faced these challenges head-on and if you follow her progress you will see her rise to become a prominent mountain biker has been absolutely amazing.
I shared this with you so that you can understand that no-one has an easy, carefree journey. Everyone has challenges and struggles, even if it does not look like it from the outside.
Those who get to the top, do so by being 100% committed to the journey and they do not measure their success from event to event, but rather by considering if they are better than yesterday, last week, last month and last year. Life will put obstacles in your way and you will ask yourself why this is happening to you … obstacles makes you stronger and builds character and its best to embrace them.
Our coaching philosophy is very much relationship driven and by our athletes trusting us as coaches we know we can play a bigger role in their journey.
Absolute Motion Coaching