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First time running the Two Oceans Marathon

Yes! You read that right! I just completed my first time ever 21km half-marathon. The Two Oceans is known as “the world’s most beautiful marathon,” and running against the backdrop of the breathtaking Cape Peninsula must be one of the most exhilarating moments of my life. And this is the new experience I’m sharing with you this month.

I have learnt that having a clear goal is essential to trying something new or doing something for the first time. Running a half-marathon has been on my vision board for a few years, and you may remember me sharing it with you – even in Covid times. Two words stand out for me in achieving this goal: persistence and consistency. Believe me, getting up every single morning to run, especially in winter, is not easy. And your aim does not have to be easy either. You may decide to take up art or learn a musical instrument. You may want to walk the Camino de Santiago – or the Cape Camino. But every journey begins with one single step. And the first step is setting your goal. In my experience, persistence and consistency get you where you want to go.

Sometimes, trying out something new is a deeply personal journey you may want to go alone. But a lot of times, having special people join you – or support you – makes it so much easier – and enjoyable. I had many partners on my running journey, including my 22-year-old niece, Robyn. And thank goodness for Robyn! I was initially intent on running a 42km marathon, and Robyn convinced me to start slightly smaller – we agreed on the 21km instead. It turned out to be great advice! Running up and down the hills was much harder than I thought it’d be.

One of our Planning Specialists at Chartered, Craig Harrison, also ran with me. He could have finished the marathon in a much better time but opted to stay back and support me, for which I am so grateful. Although you’re the one doing the work, you end up not running alone. Running in the Two Oceans felt like being embraced in a wonderful community of people helping and supporting you to the end. And it was lovely to see my husband Gys, my son Josh and his partner Rachel waiting for me and welcoming me over the finish line.

Sometimes you may have to call in extra people to help you reach your goal. I have a great running trainer and teamed up with a functional trainer who helped me exercise the right muscles to get me over the steep hills.

It really does help to have a support system when trying new things. Whether planning a unique adventure, a fresh learning experience or a new venture, having people who believe in you and encourage you along the way can make all the difference. But more than that, trying new things often calls for stepping out of our comfort zones. It’s easy to get stuck in a routine and shy away from something new. But new experiences can lead to personal growth and a sense of accomplishment.

Remember, trying something new does not have to be a grand gesture but something small that pushes you out of your comfort zone. And the rewards are often worth it!

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