My journey from arthritis to Triathlete
From a young age I was always active and participated in sports. When I grew up in South Africa, I was a competitive swimmer, training up to 8 hours a day through high school. I was a dancer and a runner too. There were times that my dance teacher and swimming coach would fight over which pathway I would pursue!
Around 15 years ago I was diagnosed with osteo arthritis in my hips. My joints were so sore and inflamed, that after sitting in the car for a time, if I tried to get out… I would literally collapse!
The Doctors at the time advised that I wouldn’t be able to do sport again…. I was shattered. I was diagnosed on a Friday and spent the whole weekend in bed crying!
The thought of not being able to do sport was devastating! Sport is what I love; I am such a physical person…this really rocked my whole sense of who I was and what I could do with my life.
Lucky for me, a good friend suggested yoga as a way to regain flexibility in my joints and soothe the inflammation. I had done a bit of yoga and enjoyed it but to be honest I thought it was fine for once a week but a bit too slow for me at that time, but I was desperate for change and open to trying it. I have to admit to myself that inside my thoughts were – ‘that’s just not going to cut it’! I was used to more intensity and I was not sure about doing such a big 180. My friend had researched different methods of yoga and she had started Ashtanga yoga… she was convinced that I would love it…
Thank you forever to Sarah Wood, the rest is history 😊
I met with the teacher and she explained all the benefits of yoga to me. She gave me references of ‘yogis’ compared to elite athletes and in all the studies, every time the yogis were fitter, leaner and stronger on all levels (in the cases studied of course). The teacher asked me to commit to a month of practice, daily and give it a go and judge for myself. I had nothing to lose.
By the end of that first month I felt that my life had literally done a complete 360… I felt better! There was almost no pain, I was more relaxed and just happier. It was hard to explain, but I felt benefits and so I continued to learn and study and practise Ashtanga Yoga. I have now had a daily practise for 15 years, that has seen me deliver two healthy children and because I believe in the benefits of yoga, I now teach yoga to other people.
Yoga drew me closer to listening to my body and noticing symptoms and addressing them holistically. Usually, when we experience pain or injury, we are told to rest or stop. But I found that when niggles or pains arrived, I used homeopathy as a complimentary therapy. The impact of this was so significant that I went on to study homeopathy and become an accredited homeopath.
I can’t even begin to explain to you the absolute awe and amazement I have for this modality of medicine! It empowers you to take control of your own health, helps you to understand how things relate to each other and literally shifts energy to allow healing from the root cause of the issue you are having. The principle is ‘less is more’ so as you heal, you no longer even need to take remedies. The idea is to get better and not live on any medication.
I recently returned to South Africa to spend time with my family. My brother and his wife’s family are all amazing Triathletes. His father in-law just won the Kona ironman at the age of 70 so you know what I mean when I say amazing! Spending time with them all really inspired me and so I decided to set myself the goal of completing a triathlon (Olympic distance only 😊) before I turned 40 in September.
I signed up with trainer Karla – at Kikstart (who I have never actually met in person as she lives in South Africa and I am in Australia, she is the most amazing, inspirational and supportive trainer ever and never made me feel crazy (even though I might be 😊). The event was meant to be run in Byron Bay in June however due to the current Covid situation, all events have been cancelled. I decided to fulfil my goal anyway and do the event here in Sydney on my own – nothing would stop me from completing my goal.
So now, 15 years later, I am still practicing yoga and being a homeopath and on Sunday 7th June, I completed my first triathlon. That’s a 1.5km swim, 40 km bike ride, and 10km run.
The tissue salts I used were ferr phos - for inflammation, calc flour for elasticity and mag phos to relax the muscles. I also took one dose of rhus Tox which is a great remedy for me and my overall constitution to help support my joints and muscles. I made sure I was well hydrated the day before and stocked up on carbohydrates to ensure my energy stores had enough to support me through the 3-hour event. On the day, I calculated my energy requirements and fuelled myself accordingly during the race. After the event, I made sure to replace my energy stores nutritionally to avoid crashing and by Sunday morning I was ready to do another one!
If I can do it… so can you! There are lots of stories out there about different ways of doing amazing things. Find one that works for you but find one that supports you for the long run….
This is my story and I am not great at sharing these things on social media but I am just feeling so happy, proud of myself and empowered that I had to say something.
Happy to talk to anyone that needs some inspiration and tell you the ins and outs or better yet book an appointment to come and see me in person or online and lets get you achieving the things you want to do – trust me it feels ecstatic x
If you would like to discuss your personal health needs in more detail, please contact me on
0415 847 429, or alternately you can book in for an appointment via my website: