Thanks to the South African government’s various lockdown restrictions, Sean and Joanne Badenhorst haven’t done a team stage race together in more than a year. But that’s about to change as they find motivation in fear to do four weeks of panic training for the 2020 KAP Sani2c. Here’s Part 1 of their latest marriage-challenging journey.
As with everyone else, this year hasn’t gone as I’d envisaged it. But that’s okay because while I turned one year older and started my 50s, I also grew a lot more in my appreciation of just riding bikes, riding bikes with my family and friends, having freedom and doing more of what I truly love. Also known as following my heart.
When we were forced into the hard South African lockdown, I slept a lot and got obsessed with Zwift, which I wrote about here. Then I got ill (Covid-19 I assume – nobody got anything else this year), got inspired but then got injured, which I wrote about here, and got busy with work as lockdown restrictions began to ease.
As winter changed to spring I lost my impressive level of fitness gained in April and May and, at the end of October, I hung my head dejectedly as I watched our bathroom scale scream a horrible message to me. Facts are facts. It was the heaviest I have ever been! It wasn’t too much of a surprise though. My clothes have all been feeling uncomfortably tight lately. I have always refused to buy larger clothes when I have found myself in this position and just get into better condition and become my clothing size again.
But it’s not been that easy this time. What’s been missing? Motivation. That’s what’s been missing. And what better motivation to come along than fear!
“Would you be keen on a media entry for sani2c?” asked Marryann Shaw, who manages the media and PR for KAP sani2c.
“For the 2021 sani2c?” I replied.
“No, the 2020 edition, in early December,” she said.
“Let me sleep on it. I need to think about this (and speak to my stage-race partner and wife of 25 years, Joanne).
The next day I accepted the invitation and suddenly the fear of suffering my way up ‘Iconic’, the ridiculously long climb out of the Umkomaas Valley on a searingly hot KwaZulu-Natal summer’s day, had me highly motivated to squeeze into my new Ciovita bibshorts and revisit Zwift’s Watopia on my Tacx Neo 2 smart trainer.
The panic-training has begun for KAP sani2c 2020!
Four weeks is a not enough to train adequately for a challenging three-day mountain bike stage race. Panic-training is what I call it. But four weeks of suffering in the saddle and disciplined eating is just what I need right now. And the prize? Firstly, the freedom and flowy riding that is the KAP sani2c. A race that didn’t let Covid-19 stop it’s 2020 edition – something I can really relate to and want to support through my media platforms. Secondly, I’ll be able to fit into my clothes comfortably again…
Oh boy, here we go again!
If 2020 hasn’t pushed you out of your comfort zone in one way or another, count your blessings. You are one of a very elite group of people. In all honesty, I don’t know if I have a comfort zone, as we are Mr & Mrs Last Minute.com, which we thinly disguise by calling ourselves spontaneous.
This year in general and Covid-19-induced panic and lockdown in particular, smashed me around like the crunching cyclone waves off Durban’s North Beach. I survived that (a long story over a stage-race wine), and I will survive this.
Luckily, I managed to ride though the hard lockdown on the Tacx smart trainer, and have been riding consistently since. Not long nor tough rides, but riding has been my sanity-saver. My fitness is not at its best, but I have been enjoying the freedom of riding my bike, after it was so suddenly and unnecessarily taken away from us.
And so, the offer to ride this year’s KAP sani2c came along, unexpectedly, via a WhatsApp message from Sean. After a brief discussion, I agreed to take on the challenge. My next message to Sean was “are our wills up to date?”. Bit of a stupid question, because I know they aren’t.
Throwback to 2018 and our first KAP sani2c as teammates. We finished, but were a lot fitter than we are now…
I fear I have definitely taken on more than I can handle with this challenge. The very same fear that is motivating Sean to panic-train, is motivating me to panic train. Add to this, the panic to get my will updated. I am not even going to open the bodyweight can of worms! Tsk, men don’t even have menopause.
I will train over the next few weeks to the best of my ability. If I lose some weight it will be a bonus, but my plan is to ride the 2020 sani2c from water point to water point and hopefully make it to the finish. With my sense of humour intact.
Follow Sean on @sean_badenhorst and Joanne on @JosieB_SA on Instagram to see their training progress.