'Today we launched my new book, ‘Destined to Win’. It went superbly well, people were touched and inspired. But, when we got home Rene said “You shouldn’t wear those pants any more, they are too tight.” Ouch! That hurt - they are my favourite pair...but it’s true - I am overweight, unfit, stressed out and unhealthy. How can I fix it? I don’t feel like exercising at all!’
It’s difficult to describe just how “down-and-out” I felt at the time. We had produced two movies, ’Faith like Potatoes’ and ‘Hansie’ during the previous four years. The financial stress was made worse by the recession and we were battling to keep our heads above water...
Making a new healthy start
A few weeks later a friend entered the Argus Cycle Tour. Impulsively I decided to do the same. Being a former provincial rugby and cricket player, I am honest enough with myself to admit that I am motivated by competition. In order to qualify though, you have to do one of five ‘Fun Rides’. It meant that I had to successfully complete ‘Die Burger Cycle Tour’, a 98km race. I had never done more than 20km. I owned a basic old mountain bike (MTB), so with only a month to prepare, I did 36km ride, three times per week. And during the last week before the race I did a 52km ride. For the event, I put ‘slicks’ on my MTB (they are thinner, smoother tires, made for the road).
I was so nervous before the event, but on the day I got into a group of fairly strong cyclists (all on road bikes), just put my head down and pedalled for dear life. I had to endure some initial abuse for being on a MTB, but when I did my share of work at the front of the group, they ‘kind-of’ accepted me there. I must have looked like a bull terrier, sweating and panting, but refusing to let go! Some of them dropped out, but I kept up until the end and finished in 3 hours 25 minutes.
My backside was hurting and it felt as if I would pass out at any moment, but I had qualified for the Argus and got into a decent seeding group.
Reaching my goals
I learnt an important lesson in that month. My fitness (body) is just as important as my spirit, soul and mind. If I am going to fulfil my God-given purpose of making movies, I will need to look after it. So, I have set myself some goals and am determined to execute them. A friend helped me get a basic road bike and I was able to complete the 110km Argus in 3 hours 41 minutes in tough, windy conditions. Since my wife politely pointed out to me that I was a dash overweight, I’ve lost 20kg!! I feel great, am full of energy again and I can face the work stress (and ’lack of’ cash flow) much better. Unfortunately my favourite pair of trousers still doesn’t fit me as I went from a size 38 to a size 34.
Launching cycle for JOY!
My current goals are to do the Double Century in less than 6 hours later this year and a sub-three hour Argus next year in March.
We are working on two new movies. One of them, ‘Out of the Black Shadows’, has a short scene where we see an old cowboy movie. So, we decided to make our own cowboy clip, instead of having to purchase the rights to a John Wayne film. I got some of my work colleagues and a few old school friends together on Clara Anna Fontein farm to do the shoot. It was great fun. We played around like little boys, shooting each other while the cameras rolled. Afterwards most of my friends couldn’t walk, they were so sore from all the exercise, because they too were unfit.
I prayed about it and asked the Lord’s wisdom about work, family and friends. Then I realised that cycling gives me a great opportunity to worship God and to have fellowship. If I start a cycling group or club, I could meet with my friends on a weekly basis, help them begin exercising and provide each other with the support that we need. I am starting this club in Cape Town, but want it to be country wide and hopefully worldwide soon. We teamed up with JOY! Magazine and now ‘Cycle for JOY!’ is a reality.’ I hope JOY! readers and their friends will join the club’.
What is Cycle for JOY!
- Our goals are that ‘Cycle for JOY!’ will:
- Be a network through which like-minded people can be contacted to cycle with and have fellowship with
- Be a news hub re: cycling and major Christian events
- Donate money to charities and missions
- Organise cycle events
- Design quality clothing to help promote our club and identify club members. Clothing only available to club members.
We would like as many people to join the club as possible, so the membership fees are kept low. Join us on Facebook, the website or email us for details about the benefits of joining.
Please share your goals with me and let’s try to raise as many people as possible to become fitter in body and in spirit.
Frans Cronje is a film maker and entrepreneur. He is also the head of Cycle for JOY! To join up or for info see http://www.facebook.com/Cycle4joy!#!/pages/Cycle-4-Joy/134120429973477