I’m injured- so what!

Truth time. It’s hard to feel like an athlete when you can no longer train the way you used to. This is the longest I’ve been out of running and at times it can be tough. For a brief moment I thought I was recovered and could get back into it but by day two we decided to rather give it more time.

Assisted pistol squats- getting there

So it’s week 7 of no running and the journey of self discovery continues. At times I feel the self pity snapping at my feet but that is possibly the greatest lesson. To seek opportunity in all situations. To stay positive.

This break has allowed me time to nurture the meaningful relationships in my life, which is something I am grateful for. It’s also allowed me to go back to basics, to build my base strength and to explore my original exictement for calisthenics. Granted, I’m nowhere near doing anything dramatically cool, but it’s fun to play around with it and see the strength gains.

Sport has a way of offering exceptional life lessons and acceptance is arguably the most valuable one.

Powered by Vivobarefoot South Africa vivolicious Vivobarefoot


How setbacks come with life lessons

Zoe_Papadakis Trail runner 2When you are so accustomed to waking up and going for a run, it can be disheartening having to wake up and instead do rehab, stretching and mobility.

Running is more than a sport, it is my greatest passion. It is the love of my life. Not being able to run in itself has been a source of frustration but I’ve also had a few personal setbacks in recent weeks, which have added to the stress and insecurity.

But I came across the beautiful quote that roughly equated to how it is important to be strong to face life’s challenges but to remain soft to its beauty.

I am fortunate enough to have a lot of beauty come into my life but, when you are elbow deep in trying to figure out your next plan of action, it can be so hard to just stop and appreciate the smaler things.

I can’t help but feel that there is a much greater lessons in all this, and part of that is how to be strong, how to pick ourselves up from the ground and be a warrior but, at the same time to not let it harden us against the wonderful and beautiful experiences life has to offer.

Adding a splash of color to mundane rehab activities with my vivolicious tech shorts also helps 

Overcoming adversity… and injury

“Turn your setbacks into comebacks” – Anonymous

I’ve been struggling with my peroneal tendon since I sprained my ankle months ago but a few weeks ago my body decided it could not take anymore strain and I was forced to take a break from running, and pull out of races I had been training for all year for.

The funny thing is, I was not as concerned about having to readjust my plan as I was about how not training was going to impact me mentally and emotionally.

Running has always been my outlet and has played an important role in how I manage living with Bipolar 2. But this setback has actually taught me so many positive lessons and I have learnt so much about myself.

Injury has always been one of my biggest fears and now that it has happened, I have realised my own resilience to adversity. We truly come to know our strengths when we encounter obstacles, not when everything is going smoothly. I guess that is why they call it growing pains?

Zoe_Papadakis_trailrunnerSo anyway, I have to spend my time in the pool and on the wattbike, but that is okay because I know I will come out of this a stronger person.

So here is to embracing challenges and here’s to the injured athletes.

This one’s for the days you don’t feel like doing your rehab exercises.

This one’s for the days you’d rather be doing anything but the stationary bike.

This one’s for the days you keep measuring yourself against your peak performance.

This one’s for the days when your mental battles are even tougher than your physical battles.

This one’s for the days you’ve stumbled and you wonder if you’ll get back up

Life lessons through running

Running track has a way of teaching me life lessons.

A band, Blue October have the most beautiful song that probably resonates with most of us to some degree:
“Today I don’t have to fall apart. I don’t have to be afraid. I don’t have to let the damage consume me, my shadow see through me.
Fear in itself, will reel you in and spit you out over and over again. Believe in yourself, and you will walk. 
Fear in itself, will use you up and break you down like you were never enough. I used to fall, now I get back up.”

I think we all face fear and self doubt and turn to other people to seek validation. Whether it’s in running or life. I’m guilty of that. Sometimes I guage my worth on performance.

But we don’t always realise that we are good enough. We are strong enough. We are brave enough to overcome fear and self doubt. Even if it’s just for today. Even if it means just getting through the day and getting back up again tomorrow.

Powered by Vivobarefoot Vivobarefoot South Africa
Thank you Ink It Tattoos for the tats


B is for Bipolar








Bipolar I am still not sure how to process this information.

On the one hand It would be a relief to finally put a label on the ugly monster that has defined so much of my life.

It constantly feels as if I am standing on the edge of a cliff, waiting. How will today be? 
Will I be completely ecstatic and hyper and overjoyed with life?
Or will I be clinically depressed and barely be able to get out of bed, let alone function.

Maybe I will fly off the handle in a bout of rage for no apparent reason and alienate everyone that is close to me.
Perhaps I will just be gripped by extreme anxiety and suffer waves of panic.
Maybe today I will have what I call my ‘freak outs,’ where I snap and end up sobbing on the floor, kicking, screaming, fighting my own self.

Truth is, it could go anyway. Each day is a gamble. Having a label could help me separate myself from this.
On the other hand, it induces such overwhelming feelings of shame. Not just because I am accountable for being a jerk. For pushing people away. For being a bad friend, sister, daughter, girlfriend.

But because there is still such a stigma attached to mental illness.

It is no different to any other illness. It just means my brain does not function like other people’s brains, and yet to society, it is still associated with terms like crazy, insane, emotional issues…

Yet, society still chooses to sideline these illnesses. And people who survive them.

For this reason, I am choosing to openly speak about this and other mental illnesses. For too long we have hidden the subject from public discussion. For too long we have treated it like taboo and now is the time to change our perceptions.

Mental illness does not mean I am weak. It does not mean I am crazy. It means I am a survivor.

Fun, fun, fun

edit“If you never did you should. These things are fun and fun is good.” – Dr Seuss

It’s easy to get so caught up in the end goal that we forget to have fun. Getting stronger, getting faster, beating a previous time, doing better.

It occurred to me recently that the motivation behind some of the most common goals are actually pretty damn negative. I am guilty of getting caught up in that mind frame- the one that basically implies you are not good enough until you reach that next goal. That is so silly.

We ARE all good enough. In fact, we are all incredible, wonderful, amazing, whacky unique indivduals following different paths so isn’t it about time we let go and enjoy the journey?

Side note- I just got these super cute shorts from vivolicious. I love this brand, I also have their Capris and their gear is AMAZING.

I like that their garments last- I’ve run ultra trails, sky runs and trails on rugged terrain and they last. It helps that they are super comfie, light and have a UPF30+ rating that ensures protection from harmful rays.

But what I love the most is that a percentage of their sales go to the Flower Valley Conservation Trust for fynbos flower conservation.

Please check them out and support local!

Be brave. Be strong


“Be brave. Be strong.”

That was my New Year’s resolution for 2018 and it really came to the forefront recently.

I hit a bit of a slump at the start of the year.

Having always been genetically predisposition to bouts of depression and anxiety, it is bound to catch up with me every now and again and I entered the year feeling very far removed from myself, which in turn affected my physical performance. It ended up being a catch 22 because I was not performing how I would like to, which made me feel worse about myself.

You get so used to feeling a certain way and it was only a few days ago that it dawned on me that I have been going through a bout of depression and I remembered my resolution.

The band I love the most, Rise Against, have a song that says “how we survive, is what makes us who we are.”

The thing about life, it inevitably ebbs and flows and emotions come and go, like waves, but how we face these challenges define us.

So today I choose to rise out of the ashes. I choose to be strong. I choose to be brave.

Big thank you to the people in my life who have been there by my side, supporting me through it all.
Vivobarefoot Vivobarefoot South Africa is such an incredible brand of shoe that has kepy me running strong the whole time.

And my coach Clinton Hunter of RacePace Coaching has been incredible!

Thank you Ryan Quevauvilliers for taking such an epic photo! Super talented photographer and videographer!