Modern Athlete Magazine Issue 143, July 2021 July 2020 - Page 38

TRAIL RUNNING
Naturally , having come so close to the summit , Remy admits that she was bitterly disappointed when her group had to turn back , but she says it just makes her desire to reach the summit of Everest even stronger . “ The Mountains will always be my biggest teachers , and maybe this year they weren ’ t ready for us . I won ’ t know the answer to that , but I will continue to respect them with my whole heart , and remain humble in the process . I know my summit shine will come , and I have full faith in my mountain Gods . They know my plan . It ’ s hard waiting , but I ’ m choosing to focus on the joy along the way , such as making the best of friends amongst my fellow climbers and the wonderful Sherpa of Nepal .”
A Deep , Dark Hole
Remy ’ s journey to just below the summit of Everest took a few unusual twists and turns . Born in Cape Town , she grew up in a very large family , with a German father and South African mother who subsequently divorced , remarried and then had more children , meaning Remy has one full brother , Matt , and nine half- or step-brothers and sisters . “ I was exposed to global adventures from a young age , in a loving family environment , and for that I am forever grateful . However , growing up in a complicated family dynamic came with its struggles , and I often felt invisible and unheard .”
“ I was diagnosed with depression in my final year of school , and it felt like the darkness that clouded my head consumed every fibre of my being . Depression is like wanting to scream for help , but having no voice . It ’ s like being trapped in a dark , suffocating hole , gasping for air , the blurred world passing by and nothing making sense . Burning tears would flood my tired eyes as I yearned for inner resolve , but with the support of my family , the right help and years of medication I managed to crawl my way out of that darkness . However , it was now anxiety that stepped up to take on the role of that crippling conductor , dictating my actions , my emotions and my feelings , holding me back from being the most authentic version of me I so longed to be .”
After a post-Matric gap year to try navigate her depression and anxiety , Remy attended the University of Cape Town and completed a B . Sc in Property Studies and an Honours Degree specialising in eco-friendly ( green ) building . She completed an internship in London , worked for the Green Building Council of South Africa in Cape Town , then moved to Johannesburg and began working as the Sustainability Manager at Growthpoint . However , though things looked great on the surface , Remy ’ s anxiety was still causing problems , and by 2017 she was feeling lost again .
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ISSUE 143 JULY 2021 / www . modernathlete . co . za
Navigating the treacherous Khumbu Icefall between Base Camp and Camp 1 is one of the most dangerous parts of the whole Everest expedition
“ I had an energetic and inspiring group of friends , a long-term relationship , a beautiful home and a great job . However , the overwhelming levels of anxiety still seemed to control me . The routine I had established proved a false sense of security , and it wasn ’ t allowing me to fully let go of my past and allow myself to be authentically me . I felt like a fraud . Burning deep down inside of me , I knew that I needed a change , despite on the surface living a seemingly happy life . A change so big and challenging that it would push me to dig deep into my reserves and truly discover my own inner strength , and what I was capable of ,” she says .
Images : Courtesy Remy Kloos