An Trek Fada

Day 2 – Ja well, but why?

My favourite pose in Shankill Road, with my South African Beanie one... In reconciliation with one self all is possible
My favourite pose in Shankill Road, with my South African Beanie one… In reconciliation with one self all is possible

The flesh was willing, but the get up and go did not want to play with at the start.

The body was surprisingly fit after yesterday, but what started off as a sunny day – yes I even have a bit of sunburn – ended up being a day with gusts and showers.

So I am inspired by a comment by Gisela to write the reason tonight why I am doing this walk, and particularly in this outfit.

I am truly astounded every day how conscious young kids are already about their dietary habits, or lack of – and what they look like.

I respect and appreciate the Jamie Oliver’s of this world and all attempts to make kids eat more healthy, but even the healthiest eating child can have self image issues – and hence lead to eating disorders.

What you never hear about is that genetics also dictates what you will look like and how you will be built – and that we can do absolutely nothing about. So where are they explaining THAT to kids?

Where do they teach them coping mechanisms to deal with not being little Brad Pitts and Claudia Schiffers? Do they teach them other skills, or park it with a “ah you’ll be grand”

So I learnt when I was not going to be the next Ms South Africa to develop a keen sense of humour, or something akin to what is referred to as a personality.

I also learnt that when you are not “normal”, best to learn to laugh at yourself, before others do! Simple really!

So this walk is to raise funds for BodyWhys first and foremost, to help them help those who are not blessed with the confidence to deal with whatever causes their attitude with food.

But it is also for me. To remind myself that just before I take myself too seriously, and become too corporate – that at the core of who and what I am is having a bit of a laugh… even at my own expense.

When I read up on BodyWhys’s function in today’s society I realised that is exactly what they deal with. And I wonder how much time and hurt in my own life could have been avoided had I that type of support in my early teens, when it could have made such a difference.

An Trek Fada

Day 1 – Belfast #1

Terrence & Myrtle holding my hand for the first leg send off!
Terrence & Myrtle holding my hand for the first leg send off!

There has been curiosity as to why I actually started in Belfast, when Dublin would have equally gotten the message across.

Well, it’s a very personal reason (and I apologise to other Irish cities in advance) – Belfast is my favourite city in Ireland (ouch – stop that stoning please!!)

The other reason is that now that I am officially Irish, I can cross the border “legally”.

What I have loved about Belfast since the very first visit is the tangible history embedded in every nook and cranny. This is not an old history, and the undercurrents of the political strifes are still very evident, but at least it is real.

The Titanic Centre is amazing, the walk up Shankill, and then through the storm gates down to Falls Road is like walking in time with history, rather than reading it in a book.

The Europa Hotel, the Crowne Bar, the Linen Library, and the list goes on. Most importantly the Taxi Tours are a must – but you have to do both a Protestant and Catholic one to get full perspective. The respect within the taxi tourism community is something I think many can learn from. Civility, some safety words but most importantly a mutual respect for each other’s turf.

Not an agreement, just a respect and understanding that everyone is different, but deserve their space.

So when we parked in front of the Titanic Centre today – may I add ON THE TAXI RANK as a man kept on reminding us (where is their sense of charity…. sinking! whahahahaha) – we had a car park behind us and in a thick Natal accent ask us if “This is parking”

What a co-incidence! Terrence and Myrtle are on holidays in Ireland in their winter woolies and fleeces! There they randomly park at the titanic centre – lo and behold only to meet more Saffas! And one that proceeded to strip for them! They of course now think I have been touched by Irish madness, but it was such a great send off. Unexpected but somehow as it should have been!

So with the Belfast Marathon just at an end, people’s initial reaction was not of surprise, as there were many lycra wearing folks around, albeit that they might have looked a little more sporty, if not less drenched. But yes, I did get a couple of lads commenting on “Look what this guy is wearing!” Really – lad – my job for BodyWhys is FAR from done!

I had a young boy on in Lisburn Road ask me if I was cold and needed an umbrella (Bless), and I made a few oldies giggle outside a home where they were watching the passing parade (under a canopy).

When I hit the A1 however, many tooted encouragingly, and although the last 4 kilometres were really hard going (a lot to be said for long slow rising slopes), a day done and dusted.

Now to wait and see what the joints think tomorrow (and not the ones I can smoke and fly with either )

Anyhow – one down and 12 to go… who’s scared?

An Trek Fada

-2 Days – Wet! Wet! Wet!


It’s official on 4 apps…. 70-80% chance of rain on Monday! Well, as a wise man once said, there is no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothes.

Enter the full on Transparent Mac. Belt, pockets… The works. It is now taken out and aired in advance.

I would be lying if I said I was not disappointed, as dry weather would obviously make the first day that little easier, but hey! It’s all for a good cause.

That said, keep those donations coming in… It’s now a case of wet and lost dignity for a great unsung charity that is BodyWhys Ireland, but that affects almost everyone at some level!

See the DONATE HERE! At the top of the page and Just do It!

You know I will!


An Trek Fada

-3 Days – Fear


It’s extraordinary how debilitating fear and self doubt can be.

Those who know me knows that I am not half as opinionated, obnoxious and confident as many would believe. In fact, when I tell folks that I am painstakingly shy they find it hard to fathom…. Verging on ridiculous.

But that in itself is one of my greatest fears I face, that someone might see through me and read me as a pushover.

This new fear is the one of disappointment. The outpouring towards my chosen charity has been overwhelming, their support phenomenal and hence the fear that I might fail them has become gut churning.

I am exhausted…. Not from work or walking, but from a pitted knot in my stomach that I might fail. And not only fail them, but fail myself.

The hardest thing in the world is sometimes to forgive ourselves in advance. So tonight, I am saying to me:

“What’s the worst that can happen?”
You could break a leg. Cramp. Blister. The list goes on.

But I sure is going to give it my best, and in the end that is all we can do. Our very and most determined best.