As a coach I take my role quite seriously, perhaps too seriously at times but I value the role my coach (Imtiaz) played in the early stages of my development as an athlete. He helped me to achieve some incredible goals and feats in a relatively short period of time. Sure, some of these achievements were aesthetic goals I had planned years before and had never managed to tackle on my own, but some happened on the fly, when I was focusing on my movement and simply having fun and working hard. Magic exists.
When we select an athlete of the month at the CFJ facilities, we look at a few things that we as coaches place value on. A members commitment to training and consistency in training, their focus on movement proficiency, determination to get better than yesterday and also their attitude towards and interaction with the their training “crew” and the community – community spirit.
Marga Steenkamp is CFJ East Athlete of the Month for October 2016 because she exudes these traits and has done so since beginning her journey to fitness. Congratulations Marga, you deserve the nomination and have worked your butt off to achieve the goals you have!
When I sat down with Marga to complete a video interview with her as part of her nomination, it was a little noisy at the box so we landed up watching the 5:30pm crew training, whilst we caught up. To go back to the role of a coach – I was reminded of just how important this role is over the next 30 minutes.
Marga is the matriarch of the Steenkamp family. She has put her family first for the better part of 30 years and that won’t stop. Her role as mother, wife, caregiver and bookkeeper at a school have required her to put tremendous effort into others – To give of herself. No easy role here and responsibility that is incredibly rewarding but requires resolve and resilience over the long haul.
When her son-in-law Wessel joined CrossFit Jozi about 5 years ago, he couldn’t stop talking about CrossFit at family dinners. Marlize, one of Marga’s daughters was next to join CFJ 2 years later, just before her and Wessel got married, and Anneli (Marlize’s sister) just after her. Marga joined CrossFit Jozi East towards the end of April 2016 and was inspired to join her family because of their enthusiasm and enjoyment of CrossFit. She was also advised that exercise and living a more active lifestyle would assist with alleviating the sometimes unbearable symptoms of menopause which she had been experiencing for some time.
Marga got a bit more than she bargained for. She trains at CFJ East, her home location most evenings with her crew – Shirley, Gayatri, Tanya and others. She’s found a strong and supportive circle outside of the norm, a “diverse group of like-minded people” as she puts it so aptly. She’s finding herself again, getting stronger each day and working on her, for her. She has found a space where each minute is physically demanding but rewarding. An introspective experience that she is guided through by experienced coaches but more importantly, has full control over. Control over her body, control over the effort she puts in and control over the environment.
Marga’s experience and her testimony are a reflection of the true CrossFit experience. Everyone hates burpees, some more than others. The barbell can be unforgiving at the start of a cold dark winter morning or after a tough day at the office, but the magic is in the movement – A simple and powerful means to a fulfilling end.
Congratulations once again Marga, and thank you for allowing me to share your story with the community.
WHAT DROVE YOU TO JOIN CrossFit JOZI EAST?
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A MEMBER FOR?
WHO INSPIRES YOU?
My family and my CrossFit family
WHAT ARE YOU DOING WHEN YOU AREN’T AT THE GYM?
Working as a bookkeeper at a school.
TELL US ONE INTERESTING THING THAT PEOPLE MIGHT NOT KNOW ABOUT YOU?
I’m an avid reader
WHAT WAS YOUR FAVOURITE CHILDHOOD T.V PROGRAM?
IF YOU HAD TO HAVE A SUPER POWER WHAT WOULD IT BE AND WHY?
Being able to travel at the speed of light so that I can visit my family that lives far away
WHAT WOULD YOUR PERFECT WORKOUT BE?
I don’t really know, I’m just happy when running is not part of the workout.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR MOST MEMORABLE CLASS OR SESSION AT CFJ EAST?
A buddy workout with Tanya, working on Sumo deadlifts.
WHAT MIGHT WE FIND IN YOUR FRIDGE AT HOME?
Lots of fruit and vegetables
WHAT IS THE COOLEST THING THAT YOU HAVE ACHIEVED AT CFJ EAST?
70kg Sumo deadlift
WHAT CHANGES IN YOUR HEALTH HAVE YOU NOTICED SINCE STARTING?
I’m more positive and am feeling better in general and I sleep much better.
The spring in my step is definitely back!
LIST SOME OF YOUR BIG GOALS.
To do proper pull ups and ring dips. And box jumps. And Rope climbs