December 2, 2013


Before the thoughts, my feelings go flitting off aon another train of thought, I need to write down what 25 means to me and on this my last day of 24.

24 was letting go, letting go of all that I thought I controlled and choosing instead to try and control my response to life and all that it threw at me.

24 was new family, finding Warren's father and his beautiful big family that had been there all along, just waiting for Warren to find his way back to them. It was new sisters and a new little brother, new grand parents whose love pours out of them in smses and huge meals, kisses and tears. It was aunts that cheer and cousins that hug and giggle. A new father and step mother who look on with love.

24 was breaking and rebuilding, stripping down and finding something new to grow. New dreams, more love.

24 was tears, happy and sad.

24 was a wedding, for a best friend, who I stood next to as she said her vows, just as she did for me.

So 25, means more love, adventures to be planned, friends to be loved, family to make memories with, a new home to find, a job to build on. 25 means standing on sure feet on the knowledge that love has and always will conquer all.

October 25, 2013


Yesterday was my first post knee injury run. It was F.A.N.T.A.S.T.I.C., seriously how do people live without running! I met up with my running partner Jess and we agreed to just do 6km run to ease my knee back into the swing of things and I think the rest period may have been the best thing for my running. From the moment I injured my knee I realized how much I had wasted my energy, my motivation, how I had taken for granted something I really loved. This is the only explanation I have for the fresh power I seemed to have, we finally conquered a hill that Jess has been telling me she could never run (I had run it before with my friend Chris), I ran like I had wings.

There were a few little things that I think were key to coming back to running and feeling amazing, not medical just purely what worked for me:

1. Pilates, from the second week I started gentle stretching and a variety of gentle Pilates exercises to keep the muscles around my knee flexible but never pushed so far as to be in any serious pain.

2. Only train in the absence of pain- this was the advice I was given by a fellow Pilates instructor/Bio, best advice ever. While I did start stretching I didn’t do any cardio till my leg was pain free.
3. Start easy, I felt things out seeing how my knee would respond to gentle GENTLE lunging, climbing stairs etc, then I did a little bit of spinning working with different levels of resistance and waited to see how I would feel the next day and only after being able to spin and not feel tight the next day did I feel ready to run.

4. Lastly, keep your head in the game. When you train with enough people in a variety of sports you get to see how injury can effect people. Often once we're injured we throw in the towel- "screw the diet, forget the weight training I'm going to eat junk food and sit on the couch". Thanks to my husband I learnt from his injuries, the fastest way to get back into your game is to keep at it- I kept eating healthy, I was still in the Pilates studio 4-5 times a week to train others and I did what I could ie. working arms, abs and flexibility.

Moral of the story, once I finished feeling sorry for myself I felt ready to pick myself up and get better and I felt better yesterday than ever before, I have a renewed sense of the importance of goals and working towards my best. Hope my experience helped a little if you find yourself in a weak spot.

xx Caz

October 11, 2013


Twelve hours in the car, a friends wedding took across an endless expanse of sand and rock to my first visit to the windy city, Port Elizabeth. All I saw for the first 30 minutes entering P.E. was low cost government housing, informal settlements and garbage stuck to fences and littered over grass as far as the eye could see. We drove following the GPS to our friends parents house where we would be staying, this didn’t seem right, the tin roofs and broken fences didn’t match the family I grew up with. On arriving at our destination once driving through the heart of what was definitely a township, I argued passionately with my husband that this could not be the address. We phoned our friend- yes we were in the wrong area. Driving out of the area and into an area which more accurately matched how I had pictured P.E. we met our two friends in a parking lot, laughing between the cars about our silly adventure to kick start the weekend.We finally got to the correct house and with some awkward hugs we rushed through showers and catch up conversations out to dinner to meet our friend’s fiancĂ©.

The laughing started from the first hello and there were few moments over the five days where we weren’t laughing. Warren, my brother Rory, our friend Dave and Ross (the groom) are old school friends and my brother and I grew up with Ross. So many funny stories were told over again and our little trip into what is fondly known in P.E. as gun town (yes it was a township) was told to everyone who we ate or drank with all weekend.The wedding was perfect, just outside of P.E; a picnic, a sit down dinner and a bonfire- Ross and Shyna really tried to make their day perfect and memorable for all their guests and it truly was. A little run on the beach on the Sunday after the wedding (insert knee injury and tears here), a spit braai, a trip to Jeffrey’s bay for the day and one last dinner all together promising to not wait another three or four years to see each other and it all ended as quickly as it began.

Port Elizabeth was beautiful, but I think mostly because of the people we shared it with.

September 30, 2013


I had some writing to complete, posts to publish and one I was anticipating after my first trip to Port Elizabeth recently and the wedding of an old friend but somehow all the inspiration got sucked away.

Trail running in Port Elizabeth with my husband, brother and a friend I fell, my first fall ever on a run. My knee made a horrible sound, the pain beyond words (just lots of screaming) and with my husband carrying me the 3.5kms back to the car ends the tail of my first injury. I've never been injured, never needed to rely on people just to get around and its a pride killer!

I'm back to walking but knees are apparently serious things to injure and so running and cycling are out of the question, and I'm not really sure for how long. Thanks to my new pilates job (another post unpublished) I plan to start rehab on the knee soon.

One little bad step and the things I love to do, my passion is no longer an option. I'm kind of scrambling with how deal with this, watching others train and feeling stuck, trapped.

So thats where I am, in a little bit of silence.
How do you cope with Injury?

August 28, 2013


Taking the time for yourself, to exercise, burn off a little stress is important right? But what about family time, or meeting a friend for coffee, spending time with your spouse-more important? I've heard this before, well in some version anyway I just don't have time to exercise. We work and rush to meet deadlines, pick up groceries, clean the house and somewhere in all that we need to make time for ourselves and for those we love. Maybe it doesn't have to be one or the other?

I've worked pretty hard over the last couple years at balancing all these parts of my life, I don't have down, but I have managed to weave together my fitness routine and time with friends and family and its created a pretty little pattern that makes me so happy and content, so here's a few suggestions on how to make it happen.

1. WORK TOGETHER, the photo above is me with some of my family at a fitness event, this worked because we chose to do this together. We choose at every opportunity to get fit together. This mostly started last year when we started triathlon training, we all had to train so we turned it into something we did together. We would all drive out somewhere to cycle and then have lunch together afterwards. We motivated each other and we grew closer.

2. FRIENDS WHO RUN TOGETHER STAY TOGETHER. I've mentioned my friend Jess many times, and maybe Chris? But there are many more, I'm talking about my friends who take the time to come for a run with me. Yes it takes a little more scheduling but running with a friend is so much better than just the average cup of coffee, you fight physical battles together and on the days you're feeling a little low they cheer you on. Organize a little better, maybe you start with walking but let this be your quality time with a friend!

 3. COMUNICATE, This is going to seem like a fairly obvious tip but communicating about your schedules makes  for way more fun training times. We have a wattsapp group for spinning so everyday we can see who is up for a class, or Sundays when we feeling like a little fun we call each other up and do some boxing training. No week has to be the same, your schedules change so let your loved ones and friends know, make an effort to make it work.

4. BE A SUPPORTER. I make an effort after a work out to pop by husbands gym when I can, he'll come to a night run (when I make the effort to do one). I try show interest in his sport, sometimes train at his gym. This means the pressure for him to choose time with either me or his sport is gone, I want to be a part of what he loves and want him to do the same. Its simple, be there, and if you can, take part too.

5. MAKE IT AN EVENT. I love the current running culture, with colour runs and glow runs and night runs, fitness has become an event. Grab your family and go to a mountain bike park together, pack a picnice. Or go to a run event, make a day of it. Meet friends at a night run and stay for drinks afterwards, these memories stand out, they make life fuller somehow because they feed body and soul.
Karen did this with her girls, looked pretty awesome.

I work pretty hard to create a healthy lifestyle for myself but to be there for everyone in my life. Yes combining the two takes a little more work, but the bonds that are formed will be worth it.

xxx Caz
P.S. If you want to read on exercising with your kids Grace does it best:)
Also, if you're picking up errors on the post- blogger won't let me edit for some reason, anyone know how to fix this?

August 16, 2013


"Mind over matter"- you've heard this saying before, but the feet to road hard truth of this line is the most powerful thing I've discovered in my running and all areas regarding my body and fitness. From the moment you take your first couple of jogging steps on your run whether it be a 3km or a 10km your ability to quiet the call from your muscles to stop is what determines your ability to overcome any distance.

The most common way people do this is with music, we put our head phones in and we choose to listen to the words and the beat and we hope it drowns out the cries from our legs and lungs saying please can I stop now. I ran with music for a long time and could never understand people who ran without it, how did they manage an hour on the road with nothing to distract them, with no hard beats to drive them up the hills or flowing indie rock to take them through the long stretchs of flat road. Somewhere in the midst of training for my first triathlon last year I realised that what I needed wasn't a distraction, I needed to realise that my mind and body are working together, to find a peaceful state of mind where I could work through each physical wall that my body hit and simultaneously work through mental ones. Once I could do that distance and time seemed less of an issue.

THE PHYSICAL WALL- My friend Jess had started running with myself and some other friends, but every 1km or so she would stop and walk. One day just the two of us I told her we were going to run side by side the whole way. I spoke to her from the start and told her what her body would be saying, when we hit a hill mid-way I would say your legs are tired now, you need to run through this wall so your body can release endorphins so you can keep going, I cheered her on, I put words to what she was experiencing physically and somehow this allowed her to overcome physical boundaries. I learnt to acknowledge how my body felt, know when I was almost at a limit and realise my body would give me what I needed to continue if I could just push through that physical wall.

THE MENTAL MARATHON- running is a release for me, after a very stressful day a run somehow restores me to a happy mental state (thank you endorphins). Innitially running with music I found calmer music actually helped me keep my heart rate down so I could run for longer, and it calmed my thoughts. Then learning to run without music I realised that I could treat a route as a sort of mental sorting system- the first little hill is mostly physical,  my body wakes up and I'm aware of each muscle, my heart beat, the air in my lungs. Then as we start to hit a long stretch I relax, instead of trying to escape I work through things, I use the quiet to put things in perspective, to realise what is important and what isnt, the up hills pushing my muscles I work through the hard stuff and somehow the down hills lift my soul and remind me I'm strong and capable. Not only does this process help me clean out the mental clutter but it allows my body to get into rhythem and the pain seems to dissapear and the emotion drives me. With a clear quiet mind I can see the sunset and notice the trees, I'm no longer bound by mind or body.

I may seem like I've over thought this but seen such a difference in my running when I got mind and body to work together, I need to feel in control of both to push myself harder, further.

How do you overcome the physical and mental boundaries and walls you face?


August 14, 2013


Right at the start of something new, its so much easier to give up all together.
Every step into the unknown is a shaky one as you look behind you and there is yet to be any progress to reflect on, you look back and you just see the starting line, you look forward and you just see the endless road ahead of you, the sun glares down, your throat feels dry and suddenly you realise that going back is so much quicker than going forward. I know there are great things to be done if only I can walk further but this is a stretching period of time and sometimes I’m not sure where to next.

The great thing about a blog space with No theme whatsoeeeever is that I can write what I want, but that can make it all the more daunting. You see your “visitors” but the connections are not there yet and your theme hasn’t been set and so you just post. But the post is a written step forward to the more physical goals in a life so foreign from the countries that read about it, but maybe my steps and your steps line up,  and maybe there is some common ground we can walk, taking a little bold step forward...

My passion is fitness. Health, making people happy. When I run with my friend Jess and see her boot a Kg that she’s been fighting for a few weeks and see how that fuels her it gives me the most incredible joy. Helping my husband in his fight camp (the period of time leading up to a fight) and cooking all the special meals or go to the gym to watch him train it reminds me that I want to be that person on the other side prepping people, helping them.

I’ve been studying over the last year on and off and working as a Pilates instructor, I would love to eventually be a personal trainer and that’s the goal I’m on the road to. I do a variety of sports, or training rather and I will be posting on my experiences and what I’ve learnt and would love to hear about your journeys and experiences.

Thank you for all the visits, whoever you may be.

Xxx Carey

August 2, 2013


You tipped it all out this year, my whole life in its little box. You emptied it out, onto the floor, you shook, and shook and shook till all the tiny pieces lay on the floor. Then you picked up the box and you folded it up and threw it away.

My life, all squashed in that box lay on the floor at your feet. You picked up the little pieces, the broken pieces and you put them back together. You pulled the thorns and the broken glass from where they had been poking.

You found pieces I’d never seen before, big pieces brightly coloured and new, you watered them and made them grow, they were a gift you had hidden for just the right time.

You unravelled the folded fabric, that lay untouched, shook out the dust and put it in the sun, the colours filled the room and my heart swelled.

You picked up the dead and dying, the rotting and old, you carved away until only good remained, you changed its shape and gave it new purpose.

You poured, poured your love over my little pile, till it soaked through, through my eyes that never cried, till it rained through ever conversation and over every cup of tea.

You took away my box and let in the light, you took away the box so I could stretch out my aching muscles, you took away the box to open my eyes.

I’m terrified and standing on the edge, clinging with every part to only you, to your promise to never let me go, to your promise of colours, of more.

July 31, 2013


I hear soft breeze rustle the leaves as it blows through the trees, the dying sun cast its last light between the houses as Jess and I start the first couple steps on our normal route. This is my time, no one to email, no laundry to do, dishes don’t even cross my mind and I am all me; free from my day, my worries, my decisions, the jobs I haven’t got, the projects I haven’t completed, the fears and uncertainties.

Its winter so its just Jess and I, the cold makes the air icy as we breathe in big gulps, and it keeps our running partners home with hot tea. We climb the first hill out of the suburb and onto the main road. This long hill we’ve climb many times, but since its cold and it’s our choice we take the route down the hill today. We’ve caught up on our days and we move from running side by side and I take the lead down the long hill. The cars rush by, and the sun hits my eyes and the city is on fire with its last orange glow. I breathe deep and feel the strength in my legs as my muscles are now warm, I push hard and could almost take flight as I run to almost a sprint, the robot changing red and green is my marker and I push hard to get there ducking under trees and leaping over gravel.

I hit the bottom of the hill turning to enter another suburb and watching for Jess behind me slow my run to the boom with a little hop-scotch over the wooden stepping stones to get back onto the quiet suburb street. I slow my run, waiting for Jess to catch up and we wind up the road between the houses starting our conversation again, wondering when we can up our distance again, when sunset will be a little later and give us a little more time. It’s almost dark now but we know we’re safe in the boomed area. The top of this little hill is in sight and I encourage Jess just a little further, we round the bend and climb the hill from one suburb back into another and onto the long straight road home.

The street lights are on and the sweat on my face is dried and I’m cooling down, residents walk their dogs and greet us as they walk past and I relish this moment of complete freedom, to be outside and smell fresh air, to see the golf coarse next to us with the water from the sprinklers hitting the old fir trees. We get to the bottom of the street where our cars are parked and I begin the final sprint up the last little street, Jess tells me to go ahead, as she always does but I slow and walk with her to the top.

The rush of life kicks back in and I realise I have to get home, cook dinner. We only did a little over 4kms, it wasn’t much and I know we can do more but it felt great. I climb in my car aware of the hard earned mental freedom I feel, the pumping blood and the deep breaths have cleared out the build up of stress and anxiety, and I’m proud of our small bite of hard work. I’m free and me again because I took that time, and I know I’ll climb that hill again, and I’ll run further and I’ll defeat demons on those hills.

July 29, 2013


At the last possible minute, I texted Warren on Wednesday before last weekend and asked him if he was cool with me going to Durban for six days with my family, stress levels had me feeling crazy and I just decided I needed to go.
After rushing out as much work as I could to clients early Thursday morning I drove to my parents house and hopped in the car with my dad and oldest brother and we zoomed out of the city to join my mom, little sister, little brother and two of his friends.
I love the drive to Durban, as we leave Johannesburg and move into the country side and as far as you can see around you the land is flat and yellow with farm lands. As we near Harrismith, the sort of half way mark small mountains start to form, the air as you step out the car in Harrismith is cleaner and the first real mountains surround the little town. We continue on reaching Van Reenans pass and the farm lands are replaced with moutains and forrests for the rest of the way to Durban.

We always slip right into routine when we arrive in Durban, bags are unpacked in minutes so as to avoid the feeling of arriving and skip over to living. The mad rush to reach the beach before sunset to have the first surf, first taste of the sea after after months apart. My trip was simple as it always is, no planning required, wake up to tea and all get ready for the beach, 7am dawnie in the hopes of getting good surf before the wind picks up. I'm not crazy enough to get in the cold water in winter but happy to have breakfast on the beach with my mom and watch all the others paddle out.

Little sister getting out of the surf

North beach

We stayed on the beach till everyone was either freezing or starving, then they would fight over who sits cramped under the surf boards and we'd head home via some surf shops. The rest of the day was filled with a combination of eating, sleeping, reading or watching movies and finally we'd head back to the beach for a sunset surf. I chose to run along the beach front on one of our afternoon beach visits, a rare treat.

My dad

Older brother Rory getting out of the surf

We ate well, holiday food; enchiladas, homemade hamburgers, Friday night we had pizza's from Caminettos, a little India pizza place in Overport city. This is our favorite take-away place in Durban, you don't get a better combo than Indian food on Pizza!

The trip was exactly what I needed, it reminded me that the rushed schedule of home wasn't neccesary, that second cups of tea and afternoon reading, long runs and early nights were all part of soaking life in a little more. I left renewed, ready to tackle the things that seemed so insurmountable before I left.

July 26, 2013


My Final post on our Asia trip, glad I got it all written down, memories banked.

Hong Kong is one of the few places I've ever felt so sad to leave, we made ourselves at home there even discussed what it would be like living there. We've discussed living in many different places, we'd both like to live in as many new places as possible, life is short- I'd move to Hong Kong in a heart beat.
The city is modern and clean but retains all its charm with the huge street markets and cramped shopping buildings hidden above the Mcdonalds or down the alleyway. We spent a week in Hong Kong, tried to see as many areas as possible, there is so much to do and see and experience in this city and we had barely dipped out toes in when it was time to travel home.

While we were there we couldn't resist visiting Hong Kong Disney land, we visited the one in Paris and loved it, the Hong Kong park isnt as big and more geared towards smaller children but just as enchanting.

The city is so much more beautiful than I could ever have expected,
Hong Kong job offers welcome..;)

July 24, 2013


Why is it that we always book our transportation at the most unpleasant early hours of the morning- we caught this ferry from Phuket to Krabi. There was seating inside but we chose to go back-packer style frumpy hoodie on the deck, the view was too beautiful to miss. With the wind stinging our faces we saw island after island all the way to Krabi.
We caught an open air bus (why arn't all buses open air!!) to our hotel in Krabi town- where we were reminded of why Thailand is amazing, our accomodation was 4 star by S.A. standards but alot cheaper, stunning! We again rented a scooter and since Warren wasnt training during our Krabi leg we ate, explored, ate, got sunburnt and generally just relaxed. The food at the restaurant in the sister hotel walking distance from ours was amazing and the gentleman who sang and played three instruments on his own every night kept us very entertained and amused.

Krabi was everything I had been in search for when we traveled to Thailand; thick forrest, turquoise water and majestic mountains that spike out of the ground with the roads winding between them, it was breath taking. After a day or two of exploring the local beaches we booked an Island tour. I'm not big on activities designed around tourists , but the day trip was alot of fun. We left on one of many boats and visted Island after island, even the one from the movie the Beach, which was slightly ruined for me by the tourist who put out her cigarette in the sand. We had lunch on Ko phi phi and headed home, definatly a worth while spend.

Bamboo island

Ko Phi Phi
Aside from the beautiful mountains the town had a cute little market, and driving a little out of town we found the Tiger cave temple , Warren and I can never resist some beautiful architecture and this place had sections carved into the mountain. It was peaceful and beautiful!

Krabi was just perfect, the town is real and messy but it doesn't feel like a tourist town like some of Thailand, its real. The night market is hot and over whelming but full of all the good and bad kind of cultural experiences you want when visiting a new place, the service is impecable and every person we met was friendly and helpful.

We left Krabi so relaxed, jumped on a plane back to Bangkok to catch our flight to Hong Kong, the final leg of our trip .


Linking up with Grace again today- I really enjoyed getting to "meet" so many people through her last link-up!

1.I picked up 'The five love languages' book by Gary Campbell this weekend that I havn't read since a few years before Warren and I got married , it provided all over again a few revelations about love and is sort of a vitamin B injection to any marrriage. I would definatly recommend reading it!

2. I'm loving Elizabeth's blog at the moment, I love reading about lives in place so different to South Africa and seeing how people live and I really love her writing style.. OF COARSE Grace's too:)

3. I'm loving writing again, I've always wanted to write and I have written so much just not "published" much and this space has given me so much freedom in the last month.

4. CHILLIES, I've always felt amazing eating chillies and my parents sort of forced us to eat them as kids, my mom always used to say U never know we could move to a chilli eating coutry tomorrow and then force you to get the curry down. My dad is a huge chilli fan and I've been loving his fresh chillies and chilli pastes lately, plus the health benefits are insane, helps to burn calories and prevent a bunch of diseases this article is just one of many that shows how good they are, seriously google chillies!

5. Spending time with family, had five days away with them, and really there is nothing better!

July 17, 2013


Getting back to my posts on our Thailand trip..

The first day and night in Phuket it seemed so different from what I expected, only the next day did I realise we were staying in an area of the island that is seperate from the tourists and fancy lodges. We stayed amoungst the fight camps at a place everyone called Mama's. Mama's was the place everyone came to eat in the evenings mostly because the service was so friendly and the menu had an item for any home sick soul where ever you came from. It was a tiny "lodge" with little rooms/bungalows in a messy garden, but the pool was stunning and there were zero drunk tourist types to be found.

The owner and her daughter seemed to take a liking to us straight away (although all Thai people are extrememly friendly) and they were so amazed to find out we were married and they seemed facinated at how petite I am (Petite is people non-offensive way of calling me short). They organized us a scooter for basically nothing and we were set to explore.

Warren would leave for training in the early morning and I would wake up and lie by the pool ordering ANYTHING. Everyday was fairly similar; we would hop on the scooter around lunch time and just drive.. Innitially we would just drive in the direction of the ocean but never seem to find a beach and so we opted for the drive over the little mountain down into tourist town to find the more popular beaches. A swim in the sea and then we would drive back over the hill into our little peaceful part of town for dinner.

We tried Thai barbeque one night, which was possibly one of the most stretching food experiences of my life and then decided to stick to Mama's and her infinite menu for the rest of our stay. Driving up the mountain to see the giant buddah that looks down over Phuket was worth it if only for the incredible views from the top. My only regret was not going to some of the animal sanctuaries or going on an elephant safari- we drove up to one but the  elephants looked slightly worn out.

I would definatly go this route for staying in Phuket again, Mama's was incredible and the ladies made us feel so at home and more often than not we ended up spending more time by the pool sipping orange slushies than on the crowded beaches and this made for the perfect relaxing leg to our trip.

The Training camp