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Beauty and strength

Beauty and strength

Newcastle’s Taryn Strydom is not just gorgeous, strong and fit she is also a sophisticated and intelligent woman. With such a mix it is easy to see why she is so well known in her community

Taryn Strydom believes being active is not just good for your body, but also your mind and soul. “I’ve been active all my life, I think it’s something I learnt from my parents. My parents always supported us in our school sports. My mother had VHS tapes of Jane Fonda and she did aerobics in the lounge. We would mimic her moves and it was so much fun! So there was always a reason to get up and go while I grew up. And my two sisters and brother are no different.”
Since she got involved in the Warrior Race, her goals have changed somewhat. “Three years ago, my sister and I got involved in obstacle courses which involved trail running, various obstacles, climbing nets, ropes and crossing rivers. We got really motivated and found it so much more challenging than just focusing on one item. Last year I took part in the Warrior Race in the Commando Elite Challenge. It was a true test of my endurance, strength and agility.” Having said that, she made two podium positions as she was placed third in two different races. “ The Commando Elite race was challenging, but this driven athlete loved it. She was inspired, so much so that she decided to take it a step further  later this year by entering the Black Ops Elite Division, where the obstacles will be far more challenging and the distance greater. “I don’t believe in stagnating, I want to progress in what I do. The race will be intense, but that is what the Warrior Race is all about, pushing yourself and achieving things you never thought you were capable of.”

She is goal driven, but certainly not alone. “I have a coach slash mentor, Trish Bahlman Eksteen from Adventure Obstacle Training, who guides me. We work together online, which means we don’t physically spend lots of time together, but she is an amazing woman and I’m fortunate to be working with her.”
Training for such a challenging event would be difficult for anyone, let alone a mother of two, a wife and a career driven woman. “It’s all about juggling time. My husband, Willie, is very supportive. He enjoys cycling, running and spending time in the gym. Because he shares my passions, he is very supportive. Our daughters, Ava and Mila, are still quite young, but they are already showing interest in sporting activities. At this stage, they both enjoy karate. Finding balance is important for us. I wake up early in the morning to start my training. We’ve created a practice gym in our garage where I train while everyone is still asleep. Getting up early makes the most sense to me. Sometimes I battle, but keeping your goal in mind and allowing that desire in your heart to drive you is a great way of not allowing the snooze button to get in the way. I think training at home is a great advantage, as you can find what works for you. The most important thing is getting into a routine. This way, you can make work, family, training and even your diet work for you. I train six days a week and eight hours per week.”

She is just as passionate about her career as she is about her physical fitness. “In Grade 11, I had an aptitude test done to see what career path would suit me best based on my skills and strong points. The results came back saying that the best career for me would be mechanical or engineering. I thought the tests were a little narrow in only assessing intellectual ability and not my interests. I am still very technically minded but it is not my favourite thing to do. I was unhappy while studying on a bursary I got through an iron and steel plant. Not long after I began, I decided I was going on my own and studying through correspondence for a Through my studies, I got exposed to lecturing and it turns out I really love that.”
Growing up in Newcastle, community is very important to her. “I think what grows and strengthens a community is definitely education. When I got the opportunity to work for Boston College, I was excited at the prospect of getting involved in strengthening my community. I’m the branch manager, but I still get the chance to work with students.”

With such a passion for her hometown, she doesn’t see them seeking greener pastures any time soon. “I enjoy the idea of raising our daughters in a small town. And although Newcastle is a small town, it has many city amenities. I notice with some of our students who transferred from cities, how the interpersonal day to day relationships surprise them. They love walking into the college in the morning and people greeting them by name. They have told me how great it makes them feel that they are no longer simply a number. Here in our town, they have a name, a face and a story, and they get the chance to also know those around them. Maybe we feel it should be like that because we are small town folks, but I don’t want it any other way.”
The Strydom family is always looking for fun, exciting activities in their down-time. “We go on hikes and then we always have a yummy picnic basket to enjoy. Relaxing outdoor activities are right up our alley when we just want to unwind and relax. We make an effort to visit my sister in the Cape as much as we can; the Cape is such a beautiful part of our country. We are really a close-knit family and we are lucky enough to have amazing people in our family on both my side and my husband’s. They are always ready to support and motivate us no matter what we do.”


Northern KZN & Midlands Get It June 2018

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