Boitumelo Vero Rikhotso

Destined for greatness!

MYTH #3 – This is how I amĀ  January 14, 2016

Filed under: Life — Boitumelo Vero Rikhotso @ 5:30 am

If there was one thing that made boot camp difficult apart from the pressures of training and little sleep, it would have to be personalities. We were a group of about 100 trainees, from all walks of life and all women. What an interesting experience!

Sharing space isn’t the easiest thing in the world to do especially having to share bedrooms, bathrooms, mess, laundry room and classroom with diverse people (strangers) from diverse backgrounds with diverse ideas on how to speak, to clean, to eat and generally to live with others. Never in my life have I had to learn so much about myself and bite my tongue like when I was at bootcamp. Not even when I was married did I have to do that much soul searching and internalizing – maybe that was the problem lol. I digress…

When there were disagreements, most people resorted to the reason ‘that’s how I am.’ Perhaps so but when you’re not living on your own, in your own space with people who tolerate you, one needs to be more considerate and understanding. Some who were perhaps louder than others when told to perhaps reduce the volume would say ‘this is how I am, I speak loudly’ or ‘its my culture.’ 

Another would say ‘this is how I am, ndiyaphoxana mina’ (I’m snubby) and yet another would say ‘please don’t talk to me like that because I have a small heart and I get angry quickly.’ I also had my own issues of being impatient and I had to learn to be intentional in reciting patience in my head when dealing with a person whom I considered rather slow.

This showed me that I had pride because I thought of myself better than another one. Just because I was good at something, it didn’t mean someone struggling was stupid. Of course I wouldn’t call anyway stupid but in being impatient with someone struggling, I was subconsciously thinking better of myself. What an aha moment for me to practice more patience and more love. How God must look down on us and just shake His head sometimes…

When God reveals to us who we really are and chooses to love us anyway, it’s overwhelming. So overwhelming in fact you just want to repay Him by loving others. Never again will I say, ‘this is how I am, get used to it.’ When we say that, I believe we rob ourselves of an opportunity to become better people and be more pleasant. 

I remember one lady who was in her late 40’s and concerned about not having a life partner. When we just shared with her about how she came across as rude often times when speaking, perhaps not intentionally, she duely informed us that ‘that’s how I am and that man must just love me like that.’ Perhaps she’s right in that she should be loved as she is, however, it doesn’t mean we cannot improve in our communication skills more especially in dealing considerably with others. Granted, you have no control over how a person receives what you say, but you have full control of what you say and how you say it.

One of the things I was known to be a broken record as saying at bootcamp whenever someone said ‘this is how I am’ was ‘it is not a deformity, it is something that can be worked on.’ Everyone who knows me pretty well will tell you I’m a chatterbox. Yes I speak a lot, but no one at boot camp described me that way. In fact most people said I was reserved. I was conscious of my tendency to speak a lot and made a decision to be more careful about what I said, when and to whom. I proved to myself that ‘this is how I am’ is the easy way out, perhaps even a cop out. 

I stand by my words…

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Myth #2 – Tall and slim = fit and healthy January 6, 2016

Filed under: In pursuit of a bikini,Life — Boitumelo Vero Rikhotso @ 8:45 am
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For the better part of my young school life I hated being tall. It was the ideal thing for nicknames. Giraffe was a favourite one. Having been skinny at the same time also didn’t help matters as I’d be called names like skinny legs, mosquito, motsetserepa etc.
For a long time I walked around with a notion that I was slim and therefore healthy. What a shock when a few years ago I was found out to have a very high cholesterol level. I couldn’t believe that a slim person could have such an issue. Granted, it was also genetically influenced but my diet also had a great contribution. This called for me to relook my nutrition and not think I was healthy just because I was slim.
When I was at boot camp recently and battled to do exercises that tall people were apparently supposed to easily do, I again realised that tall and slim is definitely not equal to fit. I performed poorly in most of the challenges at the beginning of the camp and felt so much pressure because some of those who were slightly heavier, or way shorter or even older were performing better. This gave me sleepless nights and propelled me to have additional running sessions in the mornings to build myself up.
There was a 2M wall that I was supposed to jump over which was supposedly easier for taller people. I’m 1.76m tall so I guess I get the logic. Unfortunately with no upper body strength, that wall beat me twice. Then I understood the need for push-ups. Push-ups were the main punishment and when I noticed their benefit, I incorporated more push-ups in my private time to improve my upper body strength for the wall and the monkey climb challenge (pics below). Again people who were shorter or even a little heavier than me could jump the wall because they were fitter and they couldn’t understand how I couldn’t do it.
Long story short, I eventually conquered the wall and went a couple of times more net for control lol and was also able to improve my running time. All these things took effort and practice. They didn’t just fall on my lap just because I was slim and tall. What should have been ‘easy’ for me wasn’t simply because I wasn’t fit, and people who were fit showed their strength. Do the work and see the results.