Author: Altra Ambassador Martin Malherbe


Finally I have a bit of time to reflect on how this pandemic has affected me and my family.

From the initial excitement of working at home and seeing more of my family, planning some garden running and loving the warm evenings in the garden while sipping wine, as late summer slowly slipped away. 

Work quickly morphed into a non-stop online 24/7 scenario, where no time of the day was out of bounds and you were expected to deliver quicker than before but with less resources.

Running around the garden was novel to start, but I quickly lost interest when my GPS watch failed to pick up any distance even though I had just done another 200m lap of the garden and then promptly froze as I tried to reset it. 

At the beginning of lockdown I naively thought there would be time for Netflix series, baking banana or sourdough bread, catching up on reading and generally relaxing. However life is never as you plan. I have mastered the use of Teams, Webex & Zoom and didn’t know those existed 8 weeks ago.  

I have a lot of opinions on what we should be doing as a country, but as an armchair expert I will keep those to myself, only to say that the more exercise people are allowed the healthier the population will be. Mentally and physically.

Then we were finally allowed out to exercise at Level 4 and boy have I taken advantage. Those precious 3 hours each morning just calmed my mind and allowed me to get back into a routine and rhythm of daily life and made me a nicer person to be around again.

I suppose you read the above and there is a lot of moaning. I should be happy with my situation and I am!
I am so grateful to have a job, that can function from home and keep me fully employed. There are too many stories of those less fortunate or employed in non-essential services who are just battling to survive every day. 

I am so grateful to have been able to spend so much extra time with my wife and son and seen him grow up enormously over these last few months. The time chasing each other around the house or jumping on the trampoline will never be forgotten.

I am so grateful to be healthy and to be able to run outdoors. I have explored new routes, run every street in my suburb and seen so many more people on the roads exercising than ever before. I miss the group runs and the banter, but that will be back hopefully sooner rather than later.

I am so grateful that the rest of my family and friends across the country are safe and healthy. Hopefully soon we will be able to catch-up, run a trail race and have a beer or 2 after. My dream day! 

I am grateful that I got the opportunity to race at Addo earlier this year, when so many of my friends have had races cancelled and now have nothing to show for all the training early in the year. It is so sad to see all these iconic events cancelled, but stay healthy as 2021 is going to be epic!!
I cannot wait for the lockdown to be eased further as I have a date with the Drakensberg mountains!!
Keep safe everyone

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