How It All Started

I’m a reluctant fundraiser. There I said it.

If someone asks me to support their cause, I very quickly move on. Ever since at school I was forced to raise a certain amount of money for Blisters for Bread, I have hated fundraising.  So I am very conscious that I am about to ask a lot of people for money. And probably on more than one occasion. But as someone said to me, I need to get over myself and just ask. If they don’t want to give, they won’t and that’s that. Fair enough.

So how did I come to get myself into this distinctly uncomfortable position? On my to-do list for many years I am ashamed to say, I have wanted to do something that wasn’t for me. It seemed like through my 30’s, everything was about me, about my career, my relationship, my marriage, climbing the social and financial ladder. All my goals were very selfish. So I started volunteering for Shine at the wonderful Zonnebloem Primary School in District 6 at the beginning of the year. Even though I am probably one of the youngest volunteers by a good few decades, I would encourage more of my peers to do this. You only have to commit to one hour a week and as such it is something that is quite easily worked into normal job routine. I do it every Friday from 9-10am, just think if it as a weekly morning meeting. But with kids. And books.

During this time I managed to secure an entry into next year’s ABSA Cape Epic, a MTB race that I have been wanting to tackle since the event started over 10 years ago. Not for nothing is it known as the ‘Tour de France’ of mountain biking stage racing. It’s also obscenely expensive at R35K per entry. It’s basically taken me 10 years to save up for the entry.

So having secured my entry, mortgaged my house and paid, I sat down to think about my training plan and realised with some horror that I had planned to move and work in London for the next year. Training for the Epic through a London winter was never going to happen. That’s when I had the bright idea to cycle home. THAT would be my training! Genius. Cairo to Cape Town has always been knocking about my head, it’s one of the world’s mythical journeys, no matter what your mode of transport. Mine was always going to be bicycle. I couldn’t afford a Landrover.

Then I worked out that next year’s Cape Town City Cycle Tour would be my 10th. It’s also the 40th anniversary of this iconic event and I am turning 40 this year, so that had to get added to the list. Another stupid idea that had been rattling around my head was wondering how hard it was to pull off a Cape Epic and an IRONMAN in the same year. So I checked the IRONMAN SA dates and it turned out the IRONMAN would be a week after the Epic! Yikes. But now I was on a roll and that got swiftly added to the list.

Then I thought, well since I’m taking all this on, I should try and make it a more meaningful journey and that’s where Shine came in. Which takes me back to the beginning of this story. I hate fundraising. Sigh.

So fundraising has become the 5th and hardest challenge. Help.


Just 2 coffees is 1 more book for Shine's understocket library


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