2 Backpacks and my entire life belongings inside them. This was an adventure into the unknown, from the cold and wet UK to the windy and warm, South Africa.
This week has been a good one. Leaving a lot behind and this time last week I was feeling apprehensive about what lies ahead but now writing this in Cape Town, South Africa I feel like it was the best decision I’ve ever made.
My week in numbers:
- 2 planes taken
- 85,065 steps done
- 4 workouts done
- 6 days of reading
- 2 articles written
- 6 Savannah Lights drank
Wednesday last week saw me up early with two backpacks and a train ticket down to the old smoke, London. A meeting with Luke from The Personal Trainer collective and the first, of many, podcast appearances.
It was a great podcast talking about my journey from nothing to a successful personal trainer and excited for future trainers to listen and hopefully pick up some nuggets to help them – help more people.
People like Luke are few and far between. Everything he touches turns to gold and I am happy to be working with him on a few exciting projects moving forward. Podcast link and video should be live in a few weeks for anyone that would like to listen to Coach Lou’s story.
From the big smoke, it was down to Haywards Heath. Home to my good friend, Jerome and his gym The Performance Project. Great set up and an inspiring story of someone doing a lot of good things.
From here the next 24 hour was some of the best and strangest of my life, I’m not going to talk about them now as I don’t want to tempt fate – BUT, if this continues then I will 100% mention this on a weekly soon. Sometimes you’re in the right place at the right time and that can completely set you off on a different path.
A night of training, food and business with my man, Jerome and it were up early for some work, more food, training and a flight to Cape Town, South Africa.
I won’t lie, up until this point I had been absolutely shitting myself about this journey and adventure and not really having any plan or idea of what I wanted to do. But in true Lou fashion, winging it turned out to be just fine.
My flight was from London Gatwick to Dubai (7 hours) and then Dubai to Cape Town (10 hours). I’m not too bad with flying but a combination of poor sleep, turbulence and discomfort, the second flight was one of the toughest I’d ever done.
Landing in South Africa
Fortunately, I know two incredible humans that live out here in South Africa and there were there ready and waiting the moment I got off of the flight. Welcomed with big hugs and bright smiles, it was off to a great start. A quick drive home, show around their incredible home and we were sat down with friends and family having a lovely first evening.
Saturday we went for a little wander around their food and craft market, route 44. Then up towards the mountains for a walk and dip in a lake! Saturday night I was invited along with Russ and Becs to a 50th birthday party. I obliged and had a great night. Turns out Savannah light is a great tasting cider and easy to get drunk on – oops. But the best was yet to come. How do South Africans do after-parties?
They invite you to their house at midnight and make a cooked breakfast of course! I mean I spent the night stroking the resident dog, but the sausage and bacon toast was nice.
Sunday I experienced my first Township and first real glimpse of poverty. Water was out in the township and it meant the residents there were queuing for water and walking it miles back to their little houses.
For me this was really difficult to watch as earlier that morning I’d had a nice long shower, a chilled morning with food, coffee and drinks. Could have even used the pool if I wanted too. Then no less than 5 minutes down the road I was greeted with hundreds of people queueing with the containers waiting patiently for a basic need, water.
It made me feel so guilty for letting such unnecessary things torment my mind on a daily basis. Money, relationships, and worries that have no significance when you consider these guys are going without something we take for granted every single day.
Getting stuck back into a routine
Back into the swing of things with work now that the weekend was over and I’d been well and truly welcomed into the family. Honestly, everyone here is so unbelievably friendly – it’s incredible.
I’ve talked about reshaping my habits and routines and I’m slowly but surely trying to do that. Waking up, taking a shower and then spending my morning writing, reading and focusing on some time for myself and my own goals. Made so much easier by the warm weather and beautiful pool in the back garden.
This week I’ve written a fairly huge article for a PT company. Which to my surprise got some great feedback that was super welcoming. But feels good that even out here in South Africa, my focus and work is not affected, if anything only going to get better the more I stay here.
Workout wise I managed to get in a session last Wednesday and Thursday in the UK, thankfully I trained Thursday because I didn’t then train again until Sunday. The gym situation out here has been rectified today (Wednesday) but I managed two bodyweight workouts whilst I didn’t have access.
For me, that’s huge as I wouldn’t ever consider a workout at home, but thankfully I have a little wizard that wrote something up for me to get on with.
So far this year I’ve worked out 15 times, so absolutely well on my way to smashing 200 for the year.
Already feeling a huge difference in not only my physical appearance but my mindset too. Coming out here was hands down one of the best things I could have done, and randomly flying from Gatwick airport is easily the luckiest decisive I’ve ever made.
If you’re not already following me on Instagram then you should do so. I’m updating it fairly frequently and want to make a conscious effort to document my life here in South Africa.
You can follow me @loubrierley.
I honestly cannot thank Russell and Rebecca enough for welcoming me into their home with open arms. These guys are the best and I’m looking forward to exploring and doing more with them over the coming weeks.