The Greatest Gatsby!

The famous American baseball player, Jeffrey Fry, recently said: “The formula for success is 2% talent, 8% luck, and 90% showing up, every day.”  On Thursday evening we celebrated and applauded our Winter Challenge members for exactly this – their willingness to show up for 13 long, cold weeks.  It was a breath-taking Gatsby evening and everyone looked absolutely stunning!

The quote Amanda printed on our coffee mugs for the prize giving event, is, “Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain.” 

All of us could relate to that this winter.  We all had our own personal storms and challenges – several members suffered from bad bouts of flu, we had snow, there were injuries, personal challenges, family members who passed away or became seriously ill, we had Eskom, loadshedding, load reduction, and load management, but we made it. We endured all the storms, and we danced in the rain. Boy oh boy, did we dance in the rain!

I am proud beyond words – 46 Challenge members managed to complete their 48 sessions, and here is a recap of all the special awards:

  • Queen of Mini-Challenges 2023: Izelde Zwarts, with Stacey du Toit in second place.
  • Members who managed to earn all possible points, in every category, from social media to all mini-challenges, to completing 4 workouts or more for 13 consecutive weeks: Almarie van Aswegen, Amanda van der Merwe, Gosia Snyman, Stella Kalp.
  • Members who completed more than 100 sessions: Hannelie Slabber (102 sessions), Gosia Snyman (105 sessions), Mbali Ndlamlenze (106 sessions), Martha Ngwenya   (135 sessions)  (2nd most sessions), Susan Ndlamlenze (146 sessions) MOST SESSIONS DONE.
  • Elite athletes (less than 20% body fat): Jacqueline Sturgiss, Michelle Jansen van Rensburg, Gosia Snyman, Izelde Zwarts, Quinita Stoltz, Stella Kalp.
  • Strongest finish: Betsie Vermeulen
  • Survivor award: Martie Badenhorst
  • Miss Personality: Benice de Wet
  • Miss Vocal: Natalie Harris
  • Cheerful Challenge Chick: Victoria Manoel
  • Zoom member award: Linda Labuschagne
  • Newcomer of the year: Abeda Vally
  • Challenge newcomer award: Almarie van Aswegen
  • Most Challenges completed: Stacey du Toit (All 24)
  • Lone wolf and oldest Challenge member: Rita Kemp
  • Best improvement from end of New Year Challenge to start of Winter: Victoria Manoel and Rethia Naude
  • Best improvement in Muscle tone: Gosia Snyman
  • Weight-loss award: Lady B Maseko: 6,2 kg and Martha Ngwenya: 5,7 kg
  • Biggest drop in Visceral fat: Delia Maaka (3 numbers)
  • Biggest drop in fat percentage: Delia Maaka: 4,3% body fat and Hannelie Slabber: 3,3 % body fat
  • Best dressed winners: Izelde Zwarts, Linda Labuschagne, Benice de Wet, Mbali Ndlamlenze and Abeda Vally.

The winners of the various lucky draws were:  Almarie van Aswegen (Social media lucky draw of R500), Helen Lengenhager (Sweatgear lucky draw winner). Merisha Naidoo (Winner of 13 weeks/13weeks lucky draw)

  • TOP 10: (IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER): Annebie Venter, Corné Kemp, Gosia Snyman, Hannelie Slabber, Izelde Zwarts, Lady B Maseko, Linda Labuschagne, Quinita Stoltz, Stella Kalp, Victoria Manoel.

Congratulations to our overall winnersStella Kalp (1st), Hannelie Slabber (2nd), and Gosia Snyman (3rd). 

Thank you to Anton for managing the sound, Adele and Tina for capturing every moment of the evening (watch this space!), Jacqueline and Michelle, for being with me, every step of the way, Odette from Party Fusion and Amanda from Manna and Kwartels, for the incredible decorations, Schalk from Probag, Mari from Inkbox, Nicci from NichePrinting, Mariné for her assistance with the Nutrition Coaching, and our sponsors:  Sweatgear, Benice from Nails by Benice, Monica from Nails by Monica, Carol from Burlec, Brandon from Extreme Carwash, Amanda from Manna and Kwartels, Susan from Zoe’s Laser Cutting, Melinda from Footworx, Jacqueline for the Herbalife products, and Rethia from Truvision.

For the 24th time we have conquered a Fitness Challenge in style, and it was a pleasure paying tribute to our members.  We are so happy for everyone who flourished this winter and managed to reach their personal best body stats, but it’s even more important to me to acknowledge everyone who simply tried.  As B Oakman says:

“Every season is one of becoming, but not always blooming.  Be gracious with your ever-evolving self.”

…Whether you completed 100 sessions, or barely 48, lost weight or picked up, it doesn’t matter.  You endured, and you showed up.  Each season is a signal that we’re not stuck.  And even though we lose some things, we realize that we are strong enough to keep going long after we think we can’t.  I was reminded once again, this winter, that in the most unlikely of places, we make real connections.  Grace finds us, and we see worthwhile things growing in the dirt of imperfection.

Our Summer Challenge starts on Monday 18 September, another chance, another season, new life.  And, just like Anne of Green Gables, l am going to shout: “I don’t know what lies around the bend, but I’m going to believe that the best does!”

How about you?

Yours in fitness


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2 comments to “The Greatest Gatsby!”

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  1. Colette Barnard says:

    You all look beautiful! Well done with the successful winter challenge

  2. Liezle Roux says:

    Wow!! 👏👏🥲😍 Congratulations to every winner!! Congratulations to every lady who finished the Winter Challenge!! 🎉🥳🥰 everyone of you looked beautiful! What an awesome achievement! Well done ladies!!!👏👏🎉❤️😍🥰🎉🥳🤗🤗