By 07h00 on Saturday morning I was dressed in the thick black leggings I usually wear for Hip Hop dance classes, together with a plain black T-shirt and an ultra warm K-Way jacket. Oh and my And1 high tops.

They’re actually basketball shoes that I bought for Star when I was in LA a few years ago, but he didn’t like them and since they give my ankles much needed support [tearing the ligaments in your right calf and ankle TWICE dictates the need for caution] – I have retained them for my running walking needs. Suffice to say they’ve lasted six years without so much as a scratch and still look new.

Well they did on Saturday morning, not so much now.

Laura, the colleague that is constantly nagging me out to go clubbing with her, devised a new tactic to get me out of the house and invited me to join her and her friends on a fun run / walk. Since it was being held at the nature reserve I wanted to visit a week ago but didn’t, I decided that I would make the morning sleep sacrifice, and go with her.

I figured that since I often walk 1.5km’s on the treadmill at gym, a 5km walk isn’t that much longer. Math and distance calculations are clearly not my strong point; because the 5km walk plus the 500m we had to walk from the car to the starting point, together with the additional 500m back to the car after the walk is actually four times the distance I don’t travel on the treadmill. And if I work up a sweat with that short distance, why is it that I didn’t take into consideration what a quadruple journey would do to me.

*sigh* Harmony and her bright spark ideas.

Did I mention that Laura and her friends are runners; not joggers, not walkers. I told her to go ahead with her friends, citing my heart problems as an excuse not to run. Well it’s not even an excuse, my heart murmur is a bona fide reason why I cannot put the the precious organ under any undue exertion. Heart attacks just aren’t pretty. Especially when you aren’t on a medical aid.

However, she felt that since she invited me, she couldn’t go ahead with the pack and leave me straggling at the back, and so she walked with me. However, I should also note that Laura is tall, and I am short. Meaning for every stride she took, I had to take two; so whilst we did indeed walk, it was a very brisk walk for me and I struggled to keep up.

How I made it over the finish line is beyond me, because I was puffing and panting, and sweating and swearing. So much for a leisurely walk in the nature reserve; I cannot even tell you the sights [apparently we passed streams and waterfalls] as my eyes were firmly on the ground in front of me, to avoid tripping and to prevent myself from seeing how far from the end I was.

But I made it! I walked 5km in under a hour, which is brilliant considering it takes me 20 minutes to walk 1,5km on the treadmill; and I didn’t stop to rest once, despite the rugged terrain. I was very proud of my accomplishment and despite no medals being handed out *tsk tsk* I rewarded myself with a tasty bacon and egg roll.

It took us longer to get out of the parking, as it was the park’s 100th run/walk; people from all over Gauteng came through to participate and according to Bruce Fordyce, the mornings race announcer; there were over 2,000 registered walkers / runners. Unfortunately I didn’t print out my bar code [I even have a number!!!] and they couldn’t scan it from my cellphone, so my time is not registered; but now I know for next time.

Yup, you read correctly. I shall return to conquer the mountain hill mound; and next time I will walk alone to that I can go at my own pace, and take in what must’ve been very beautiful surroundings.

Anyone keen to join me?