I have a Dream - Tracy Kruger

“Whatever you can do or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius power and magic in it” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

On the 17th of February 2022, I emailed STeve inquiring about joining Embark. I wrote my email thoughtfully and in point form asking many questions, which he answered patiently and almost immediately. I felt my anxiety about having zero experience in swimming riding or running subside a little. I explained that I had done a few short jogs on the prom but had never swum a single length in a swimming pool and I was yet to put cleats on my new gravel bike, which I had ridden twice. STeve was assuring and motivating, and I paid for my first month, ordered my black and red training kit and fetched it the next day. Steve added me onto the Embark Atlantic Seaboard WhatsApp Group and onto Coaches Corner and so my journey began…and ended a few days later. I read the banter on the chat and saw the many, many photos of the week’s training with many, many people and my social anxiety skyrocketed. I emailed STeve, returned my clothes and cancelled my membership with immediate effect. I continued to ride a bit in my Sunglass Hut sunglasses and trail running sneakers, but only managed to change from my little gear to big gear after 3 months. 

But something was pulling me back to Embark. I had a dream to do something bigger than me; I wanted to do a psychology experiment to see how my patients felt when I challenged them to make big life changing decisions; I wanted to inspire my twins to believe that they could do anything they set their minds to; and I wanted to have a space to put my stress. 

 I emailed STeve and asked if I could join and once again and very patiently, he encouraged me and I joined Embark officially in October 2022 … and so my adventure began.

 What is a brick? 

It has not always been an easy time for me joining Embark. I had to learn a new language by asking very embarrassing questions. A brick has nothing to do with paving, LSD is not a drug, ROTB – couldn’t even think what this could be, drafting, tribars etc - but by asking questions, I made friends, I joined in on the banter and slowly, slowly I became braver and stronger. 

You always remember your first

I had to challenge myself beyond all comprehension and experienced so many firsts. Who would have thought this could be possible at my age! Swimming in the kelp from Beta Beach to Bakhoven. Swimming in the canals (terrifying but now amazing). Riding with cleats. Riding in group. Riding up hills that are difficult to walk up. Running fast, running hills, running long and slow. And then the races came. First ever running race (Knysna half marathon), first ever cycle race (Winelands Race), first ever triathlon (Blue Lagoon), first every half iron man (PE 70.3), first ever Cape Cycle Tour, first ever DC. 


 I believe in you

There is something very powerful about someone seeing you and believing in you and this is one of the many gifts I have received from STeve and Embark. I remember riding out towards Llandudno one morning and feeling so much anxiety. STeve had given us a leaderboard challenge and told us that we were sprinting from Bakhoven to the Hout Bay sign and every part of me wanted to turn around and ride peacefully home. However, on this day I decided not to “zone 2” with Jannie and joined the group. However, after each peddle my anxiety grew and people kept passing me. STeve saw what was happening and said “Trace, what’s going on? Everyone is passing you,; you are in the wrong gear, change gears now” and so I changed gears, and he pushed me from behind. These words made me feel seen and they encouraged me. I changed gears and I rode as fast as my 47-year-old legs could go, all the way to the top, and for the first time, I passed a few people along the way. 

 I often use this analogy with my patients. Sometimes in life, we are in the wrong gear and getting up hills and doing well feels impossible, but when someone sees us and encourages us and we listen to guidance, there is no telling what we can do. I know for sure my life has changed because of this.

 And then there is progress

With Embark there are always new challenges and something to look forward to. In Winter  2023 I joined STeve’s Quarter De France challenge. We followed the Tour De France and did a quarter of what they did every day. I committed to this completely, I rode in the rain, I rode in the dark, I rode on an archaic hotel stationary bicycle for 2.5 hours, I picked my bicycle up and carried on riding when there were dead ends and streams, and I finished the challenge with a big smile on my face. There is something very satisfying about committing to something and seeing it to completion. Better than any quick hit of instant gratification. I followed the Embark programme as best as I could and then I began to see results. My first ever cycle race (and the first time I ever rode 100km) I struggled so much. I was hot, I was tired, I was anxious, and I had no experience. My time for the race was 4h06 and my average speed was 24.7km. Exactly a year later in Jan 2024 I did the same race, and my time was 3h23 and my average speed was 29.4km and this is just after one year with Embark .


I get by with a little help from my friends

Embark has helped me in so many ways professionally but also socially. My shyness has become more manageable, and I have met the most incredible people who have become my friends. There have been setbacks for me along the way. I fractured my pelvic bone after a fall but after a few weeks of physio with lovely Genine Manchip and rest, I started again and made my way back. With flat tyres and falls and finish lines that cause me so much anxiety, there are also lovely friends and as I write this, I am so filled with gratitude for the incredible space that STeve has created for us to explore our dreams and our potential.



 Amazing Tracy - So Inspiring that through the bumps in the road you persisted ! 

So what's your Dream ? Are you Looking to tick that race off your bucket list , get into shape and become the fittest you have ever been ? Come and join us , click the link to find out more 

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