Hollywood celebrities often turn to philanthropy once they have achieved their fame and fortune as a means to find fulfilment in their day-to-day lives. Whilst I certainly haven’t achieved any of their level of fame or even a small percentage of their fortune, I thought to myself, ‘why wait till I’m that rich and famous to help out – what can I do now?’
Now as South Africans, we know what it means to help others – we have been rated as one of the most generous countries in the world when it comes to helping out others. Even in these tough economic times, Saffer’s find a way to give of their time, money and efforts to help out other Saffer’s! So I’m preaching to the converted already!
So the little bit that I can do now is jump behind a great cause like Trojans Neurological Trust. I’ve had the privilege of raising funds for, and riding with this trust for a number of years – going back to well before we got the act together and introduced the excitement and the pain that goes with the chariots.
So by training, I’m an actuary which should imply ‘great with numbers, average at everything else’. I’d like to think I have a slightly-above-average athletic ability, and have completed my fair share of long distance races (2 Ironman finishes / 10 half-Ironman distance finishes / a couple of marathons and countless bike races). I thought this qualified me to know what real mental toughness is like in a race – I was underprepared for the 2015 edition of the 94.7 race – chariot style!
I had the opportunity to pull a chariot around the race course, ably assisted by some fellow Trojans on my flanks and my long-suffering and brave charioteer, Alex. What a day! From the excitement at the start, the support along the way from the crowds, the comradery with the other Trojans, the relief of the Power Zone on Witkoppen Road to that feeling of having overcome at the finish line. A long 6 hours – there was a point at which I thought I couldn’t go on (about 100m from my front door!) – it’s at times like that you gaze deep-down inside to see what you’re made of and push on!
When the opportunity arose to pull a chariot again this year, I jumped on it, both feet to the cleats! It could be the thrill of pushing through my comfort zones to places of new pain, or perhaps it’s just the bragging rights that come with pulling a chariot around the race, but I think it’s more than that. I look forward to partnering with my fellow Trojan pushers (who for the record, do most of the work), my charioteer who gets to enjoy the day with us, the great support along the way, but most of all, doing my little bit to make a difference in the lives of those less fortunate than ourselves.
If you are already involved in this great cause, then you know what I’m talking about. If you looking for a cause to get behind – why not Trojans Neurological Trust. They make compounding differences in peoples’ lives and remind me constantly that “the only disability in life is a bad attitude!” Hope to see you out on the road and give us a wave when you come past!
Kerrin Lynch (charioteer!)