How you completely took me by surprise

December 3, 2014

Dear Max

Over the weekend you astonished me with your legs and heart, that, despite being small still, showed great strength and courage.

We were invited to Malaga Hotel over the weekend, which is in Waterval Boven area in Mpumalanga, somewhere I once passed while running my fastest- ever marathon a few years ago, the Elands Valley 42km.


It’s a gorgeous area, and the hotel has just been refurbished, so we headed there last Friday afternoon, just before the end of year rush and push.

There are quite a few activities in the area, and on our itinerary was a “short hike and easy rock climbing”. When they said “easy rock climbing” I assumed it was part of the hike, and just impiied walking over a rock or two as part of the “short hike”. I’m not sure how I got so deluded, but when we reached our venue and were given climbing shoes and helmets, I knew we were in for something different.

In many blog posts, I’ve written about my dislike of doing things that involve things where my feet aren’t firmly n the ground, which is probably why running is such a good sport for me – foot in front of the other, don’t think, and just go.

So I was a bit reluctant, but headed out anyway, with an excited five-year-old at my side.



When we got to the start of our short hike, you galloped like a goat with ease, with me puffing away behind you, very nervous and cautious about my footing, and clumsily stepping in the least precarious positions. I thought the victory and challenge would have been you just finishing your first hike with huge ease and confidence, but once the guide ropes had been set up on the mountain, you were ready to climb. When our climb guide called for volunteers for the first climb, from a group of five adults, you were the first with your hand up.

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This was your first climb, and aside from jungle gyms, and the window bars at your dad’s house, I’m not sure you have ventured up much. But with your helmet and little climbing shoes firmly on, you shot up, ably and confidently, listening to what the guide was telling you. You got about ¾ way up the first time, and then happily came down, as if this was as natural as brushing your teeth (which, come to think of it, I still sometimes have to nag you to do, and even help you with).


You climbed another part of the same mountain, which was a little trickier, and while you got some help from the guide, you were as able as comfortable as the first round.

There were three things that struck me while you were climbing:

  1. You’re pretty remarkable physically, which is something I’m seeing more and more of late
  2. Fortunately, you don’t carry my fears about sports that take you out your comfort zone
  3. Sometimes I think I know you and what you’re capable of, and then you prove to me that I know very little, and that you’re a whole lot more, and that maybe all along I’m just seeing my own abilities in you, which is unfair.

And to answer the question that might be on your mind… no, I didn’t climb up. Your ascent was the only high I needed.

Well done my little rock climber


PS: For those who are ever in Mpumalanga or the Waterval Boven area, there are guided rock climbs. We went with Rock n Rope

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  • Chantelle

    So amazing! x

    December 4, 2014 at 3:04 pm Reply
  • Heather

    Go Max! You must be so proud.

    December 4, 2014 at 10:15 pm Reply
  • Lynette

    Kol Hakavod. Very proud of my great nephew!!

    December 4, 2014 at 11:31 pm Reply
    • Tanya Kovarsky

      Aaaw, thank you Lynette 🙂

      December 6, 2014 at 7:41 pm Reply

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