Run/Walk For Life Fourways – Perseverance Award Winner

I have never enjoyed exercise – I am a couch potato. Nothing pleases me more than reading a good book.

At school I was a swimmer, and that didn’t really feel like exercise because I didn’t sweat.

Later on I really tried, and over a period of about 20 years I joined a gym, tried aerobics, bought an exercise bike, and even convinced my hubby to buy me a treadmill, with all the promises to use the thing every day – I hated that thing. I felt guilty just looking at it.

Eventually, at 55, overweight and unfit with aches and pains, I thought it best to start some form of exercise, and so, with much trepidation and insecurity and lots of convincing from Carrie Marshall that I CAN do it, I joined RWFL Fourways.

I started on the field doing two laps, and I was exhausted. The tiny little uphill nearly defeated me. I had a painful Achilles, which pained every time I walked. I got bronchitis and missed sessions, which resulted in me taking forever to go through the different levels. I was embarrassed and despondent when all the girls who started with me went on the road and I didn’t.

And then there was Beth! Beth who motivated me after every gruelling session and who had patience with me when I thought I would never get on the road. Beth once even called me an athlete – that was a first for me, ever!

Now on the road, I am able to do 5kms-plus, which for me is like doing the Comrades! I am still the slowest walker but improving all the time, but – as Beth says – I could be sitting on the couch.

So, thank you Beth and team for giving me the Perseverance and Determination Award. It’s the first time in my life I have won a trophy for anything, and so it just goes to show – you’re never too old and it’s never too late.

Daphne Parmenter (Run/Walk For Life Fourways)