learning curves

The learning curves of the last year have been both vast and numerous. This Africa trip has challenged us in ways we never imagined. And even while we’re here in Africa the learning curves continue.

Over the past couple of weeks I have struggled greatly with my health. Electrolyte imbalances, muscle cramping, a lack of appetite, hormone imbalances and nausea came to a head with a nasty bout of strep throat. And then I conveniently reacted to the treatment.

Yet I am stubborn. It is harder for me to sit in the vehicle than it is to push myself on the pavement. No matter how irrational it may seem, when I can’t complete a run, I end up questioning my commitment. It is easy to be hard on myself; I didn’t come here to sit in the car. And thus over the past few weeks, I have responded to these irrational thoughts with irrational exertion. And today, I paid for it; I collapsed 25 km in with chest pain, a racing heart rate and breathing trouble. My body has apparently had enough. My heart is working overtime and my body is shutting down.

So I guess the long and short of this note is that I’m sitting out for a few days. I’m awaiting some medical tests to double check on my heart health and they won’t be completed until Tuesday at the earliest.

Thus the learning curves continue….one – I’m learning that sometimes it doesn’t matter how much you want something – willpower can only take you so far. And two – more importantly, I’m learning what it truly means to be a team. And what a team I have.

–  Erin


16 Responses to “learning curves”

  1. Tina and Peter Dunkley Says:

    tHi Erin,

    If you need to sit out for a few days then please do, taking care of yourself is very important for you to be able to continue with your goal. Just know us in Victoria are thinking of you and wishing you all the best.

    The Dunkleys

  2. Erin! Wow. Totally the kind of injury that would happen to a powerhouse like you never giving up and pushing limits… but you’ll come out of this as soon as you went in if what I’ve learned from you yet is at all correct. Feel better Erin… I’ll be praying for you all.

    Love Scott

  3. Tracy Ryper Says:

    Erin…please take of care you, be thankful for your team and accept the help they offer. To have even thought of running across Africa is amazing in itself. You have already done so much. I am very proud of you and think of you everyday. I want you to know you have my full support because you deserve it and because I know I have always had your support with everything I have been through over the years.
    Always in my mind and my heart….Tracy

  4. Melissa Mouland Says:

    Oh Erin,
    please… take care of yourself. I know the next few days will be difficult for you, but just know that you will overcome this. You guys have come so far, all of you are such an inspiration. Take care of yourself, you are all in my prayers.

    Love, Melissa

  5. jen cox Says:

    Erin… I am so thankful for your raw honesty. It helps us to know how to pray for you. I know it must be hard for you to ride in the car when more than anything you want your feet to be pounding down on the roadside, but I also know that God will, in his time, recharge you and restore your health. Before you know it you’ll be back at it. But perhaps even stronger than before… because you now have this chance to see your team mates step in and run some miles in your shoes. What a blessing that you are in Africa, not alone but as a team, helping to carry one another loads…
    We were really moved by your post and thank you for sharing the good days and the bad days. We will continue praying for all of you.
    Love Jen and family

  6. Lisa Powell Says:


    Who’s my most inspirational player? You were always a great teammate and supporter, and now you get to receive that in return from your current teammates. Feel no shame in it, you deserve it. Knowing you, you’ll be back running before they even clear you to, your passion driving you. You fall down, you get up, and I always loved that about you. Take care of yourself, and live the dream. I miss you, and hope to be regaled with incredible stories once you finish this (because you will) and return home.

  7. Daniel McDougall Says:

    Hello, my dears!
    Ah Erin, your zeal for the run and the let-down guilt of needing to take a few sick days off is COMPLETELY normal. How I wish I could be striding alongside you, encouraging you (and that all-too-healthy Reuben, of course:-)), and assuring you that your present frailty is NOT a sign of failure but the mark of a race well run. PLEASE be assured that we McDougalls are praying for you, alongside you and before you as you regain your strength and vigor for the miles ahead.
    As a former long distancer myself, I know something of the sheer slog of getting up, strapping on the shoes, fighting the demons of discouragement and feeling the rebellion within the gut to go further. But PLEASE know that there are folks timezones away who care for you beyond mere distance, a Father above who strides (or limps, as you require) along with you and a crown of imperishable accomplishment that awaits you at the end.
    Special cheers and blessings on you both (and the team, of course),

  8. Nick and Nancy Donker Says:

    Please listen to your body. Take the time off when you or anyone else needs to. You can always cont. when you feel up to it again. Your body is def. telling you something. Hope you take care of it. Your sister can only do so much to make it feel better and I can imagine the plenty she does for you all. Maybe you just need to rest for a bit.

    Ofcourse I’m not telling you what to do. I just feel for you as I can only imagine the stress on your body you would get from the frequent marathons. Your health is number one. I hope Patrick is listening as well.

  9. Frank Slabbert Says:

    Take a break and let your body recover before you hit the road again. Even if you have to take longer to complete the run to reach your goal. You can only take so much stress and you don’t want to let this dishearten you. Let the men carry the can for a while and then see what you can do.

    A little additi0nal rest may be just what you need right now. We are with you in this.

    Frank and friends

  10. judy and jim Says:

    Oh Erin, how difficult! We are praying for your complete and quick recovery, and for the fullness of joy found only in God’s presence to rise up in your heart this moment to give you strength. May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 15:13) Praying protection over all of you guys,

    Much love from the Aalders

  11. Lindsay Says:

    Hi Erin,
    I hope you feel better soon! It is absolutely incredible what you guys are doing. Everytime I tell someone about how long and where you’re running people are speechless. So way to go!! You’ll be in my prayers!!


  12. Krystal and John Says:

    Hi Erin,

    Our prayers are with you in the victories and in the challenges. Sometimes the ‘real life’ is played out different than first envisioned. It’s not wrong, there is no defeat, it’s just different. It’s also in those moments when God presses in and refines us even more. As hard as it is to sit in the car and watch the others run, know that you remain in His promises, and they are for sure and for certain because He loves you. We pray your heart and body recover and that your run will be stronger and more steady than before. Many blessings to you and the team! You guys rock!

  13. Dear Erin,
    My heart ached when I read your beautiful note. How courageous you are to share this, as well as to sit in the car. I am praying for your body to rejuvenate quickly and catch up with your will power. You are a very very strong lady, an inspiration.
    You are wise to take time to heal.
    You mum’s friend Lynda McLeod

  14. Erin & Anna – Connected with your Mom and Dad today-they are such incredible giving loving parents that are so proud of both of you and the team – Erin, I came across a picture of you & Jesssica when you were 6 you were such a beautiful, sweet and loving child-and your whole family were so good to Jessica and I. I will never forget what an incredible family you were together full of laughter and fun and goodness – so am not surprised that you and Anna are on this important fundraiser for the African people and whatever your body can do physically – your heart, spirit and soul will more than succeed. Let Anna nurse you back to health and then you can take care of her when her bum wears out riding that bike. Love to you all, Patty

  15. Melinda Curless Says:

    Dear Team – I’m Drew and Anna’s anut in Missouri. I’ve been following your progress with much interest and prayers. I hope Erin is back up on her feet and Drew and Anna are doing well with their running. Be careful of the elephants – I’ve read that they sneak really quietly!! I love hearing about the animals and the people you have encountered. I’ll be keeping up with you – what is your projected finishing date?
    Love to all, Melinda

  16. Somehow i missed the point. Probably lost in translation 🙂 Anyway … nice blog to visit.

    cheers, Hansberry!

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