Modern Athlete Magazine Issue 154 November 2022 | Page 18


Lessons in Selfbelief

I recently received an invitational entry to participate in the Cape Town edition of the SPAR Grand Prix , and at first , I was jumping up and down like a kid in a candy store , but that joy quickly turned into doubt when I read the event digimag and saw the list of junior entrants that I would be racing . I believe in myself , but some days I have a lapse in self-belief , but I know this is just another test I have to overcome on my journey through life . – BY ELA MEIRING
On the junior category podium at the Nelson Mandel Bay Half Marathon

As a four-year-old girl , I was different to the other learners at my school , as my dad isn ’ t in the picture , and the situation was made worse by my knack for being a tomboy . I didn ’ t enjoy playing dolls with the girls , and instead ventured outside to the school playground to play rugby with the boys . I also had a passionate obsession with anything to do with Spiderman . In Grade R , the school did assessments to see whether the learners could be promoted to Grade 1 , and unfortunately , I didn ’ t make the cut when it came to the art of doing a ‘ rollie pollie .’ I was encouraged to go to an occupational therapist , and luckily she said there is nothing developmentally wrong with me , I am just stubborn and refuse to do it , as it makes me nauseous . Eventually , I was promoted to Grade 1 .

Robertson Logos is a tiny school , and thus is more academically aligned , with a curriculum designed to allow independent progression , so no student in one class was on the same academic level . The bullying I received due to not knowing my father , the tomboy drama , and being unable to perform the simplest of tasks , such as a rollie pollie , thus made me work hard to prove to others that I am not stupid or weird . In the process , I skipped a grade , and unbeknownst to
Images : Action Photo SA & courtesy Nelson Mandel Bay Half Marathon
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