Trail Running at 57 & Losing 15kgs: Jeanine’s story

What we loved about Jeanine Koopman’s #adventureshare is how it’s so relevant and applicable to so many other women out there. Jeanine, a 57-year-old mother of three and grandma to one, simply decided one day that it was time to shed some extra weight and hit the trails of Cape Town (her hometown).

Trail running

Jeanine taking a rest during a trail run.

Her journey began at the beginning of 2018 when she made the choice to improve her lifestyle, do something constructive about her health and boost her fitness levels. Jeanine says that she’s always aspired to be a runner, but hasn’t always found the time while raising three kids. Now that her kids have finished school, she has taken up the challenge. Jeanine’s journey to better health has meant that she spends more time with her girls, feels great about herself and has lost an incredible 15 kilograms.

Over to Jeanine…

Why I trail run

Well, I spend most weekends hiking with my friends and dogs in the Silvermine Nature Reserve, so running was an obvious and sensible extension to my time in the outdoors.

What I loved most about trail running…

I love being outdoors. I love the freedom of the downhill runs most, as I get to jump around like a mountain goat!

Trail running

Spending special time together on the trails.

Most challenging part…

It’s been tough running in winter, getting up when it’s cold, and heading for the hills. The weight loss, however, has been relatively easy. Once I make up my mind to do something, I always make sure I complete the challenge.

My greatest memory so far of hitting the trails…

At my first trail run this year, I wasn’t feeling too well, but since I had committed to running with my girls, there was no backing out. I had a wipe-out about 2 kilometres from the end. I hobbled to the finish with a bloody shoulder and leg and a bit of a bruised ego, but hey, I finished the race.

Trail running

The second trail run I completed was on Freedom Day in South Africa, the 27th of April 2018. We left straight after the race and only once the results were published, did I realise that I came first in my age category of 50+!

The highlight of my year however, has been completing my first 10km race in August without stopping once.

Greatest lessons learnt so far…

Be kind to yourself. You are never ever too old to challenge yourself to achieve things that take you out of your comfort zone. A little progress each day adds up to big results.

My next bucket-list adventure

Taking part in the Gun Run Half Marathon in October this year.

Tips for other women who’d like to follow in your footsteps…

Once you’ve given thought to achieving something – JUST DO IT! I am much more confident now, having completed my first 10km race – it’s inspired me to take on even bigger challenges.  The same applies to weight loss. Make up your mind and try to stick to a plan. Start every day and try your best. Weigh yourself initially so that you have a yardstick to work with. Keep weighing yourself weekly and keep track of your weight loss. It is truly inspiring when people around you start noticing the change in you!

Want to see what trails in Cape Town look like? Check out this post.

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