Meet our Ambassadors: Nicola Lawton of RWFL Westville

The Run/Walk For Life Ambassador and sponsored athlete programme gives RWFL members a chance to share their own stories of triumphing over challenges, whilst motivating and inspiring other RWFL members to be the very best they can be.

RWFL’s ambassadors and sponsored athletes have been announced, and it is our pleasure to share one ambassador’s story of overcoming the odds to live a healthier, happier life.

Here is RWFL Durban Ambassador, Nicola Lawton’s story.

“My journey with RWFL began in September 2019, when a friend of mine who was taking part in the FitSlim Challenge told me about it, and suggested I try to find and join a branch in my area. 2019 had been a very bad year for my health, and I had gained almost 20kg.

“I then Googled RWFL in Westville, found Megan Shepstone’s details, and contacted her about registering for the Challenge. Even though I was a week late, Megan was accommodating and told me that I could join. I was over the moon… I knew that this would be my new beginning to get out of the depressive and unhealthy state I had found myself in.

“After the first three sessions, the bug of being fit and training had bitten, and I was looking at conquering the Challenge, as well as running my first race. The FitSlim Challenge ended and I placed second, losing a total of 9.8kg in under seven weeks and going down a whole dress size.

“Next, was my very first race, which was Ignition. This was a 10-kilometre race in Durban North. I was nervous as ever, but Megan – being the most amazing and supportive coach there is – walked and jogged with me for the entire race. I completed it in 1 hour, 29 minutes. I was extremely happy that I managed to finish the race within the given time. Little did I know, this would be the first of very many races to come.

“Deciding that this was for me, I registered as a member for RWFL at the Westville branch, excited to be a part of such a dynamic and supportive team. The next race came up in December, and I entered.

“The Illovo Christmas Fun Run was a 15-kilometre run in Westville. It was a very hard, challenging race, but I had a friend with me, and again Megan and Claire (from the Pinetown branch) helped us finished the race. This was such an achievement, as I had only been training for under three months. This is when I spoke to Megan and said I would like to register and get a KZN Athletics number to be able to race in 2020. I continued training, going on longer walks and runs on the weekends, and pushing myself to the max to up my fitness.

“Megan spoke to me about applying for the Ambassador position, and I thought it would be a great motivation and achievement. So, I put together my application, along with pictures and a motivation, written by Megan, submitted and held thumbs.

“In the mean time, our first race of 2020 and our league took place and I finished the 10km Kearney Striders in 1 hour and 28 minutes. This was a very hilly race, but I endured and felt strong and proud to have done it.

“To date, I have lost 15.1kg and dropped a total of two dress sizes.

“Megan and RWFL have completely changed my outlook on life, as well as given me a new purpose and drive to set goals and never give up, as anything is possible as long as you put your mind to it. I am going to share my journey and get as many people as I can to join me in my healthy, fun-loving lifestyle that I have gained from RWFL Westville. One friend has already joined me, but I am hoping to inspire many more to join.

“My next race will be at the end of February in Pietermaritzburg, for the PMB City Marathon. I will be doing the 10-kilometre, and will be doing my club, RWFL and the Ambassador programme proud! I am truly honoured that I have been chosen as the Durban Ambassador.

“I would love to thank my coach, Megan Shepstone, who never ever gave up on me, who was always my pillar of strength, no matter what and, more so, the support I needed and will continue to need through my journey. I am no longer registered as a walker but as a runner, thanks to Megan.

“My running partner, Reg Groves, thank you for pushing me on those long Friday runs… these are the best.

“Thank you to RWFL for this opportunity, and I can assure you I am going to do my club and the brand proud!! Thank you, RWFL, for making me realise there is more to life.

Stay posted for updates!

Light, love and motivation to you all,

Nicola”

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