FROM RUNNER TO LIFE CHANGE
Temo truly came into my life to be more than a running coach, which is what has been the most unique aspect of my experience with training and coaching.
I met Temo socially and, as runners do, we realised we both run and that he is a coach. I told him I had been running with a permanent injury in my ankle that I had made peace with and was running through. His response- a confident and caring conclusion that there is no such thing as permanent injury, and that he believed I probably need to correct my stride. That is what immediately drew me in. I knew he was the person to help me with my running journey- he did not ask me any medical questions, how many times I had been to physiotherapy, or refer me to yet another another sport expert, which is what many others had advised me.
I was surprised when he told me we would do my first run together, having never had a running coach who hit the road with me. I assumed this was because he wanted to observe me, and thereafter he could send me a programme for what to do when I went out for my runs. Every single training run for races from that first run, Temo has been there with me, kilometer after kilometer. Either than major races, Temo has been to every race I have wanted to enter, sometimes travelling to other provinces to run a race.
What I have learnt in the time he has been my coach (going on three years now), is that what he understood from our very first conversation was that there was something he could unlock in my mindset and attitude toward running, and toward my body. He is attentive to each of his clients, always making you feel as though you are the only and most important person during that time. Even though he is exceptionally qualified and experienced in his profession, he coaches by heart and deep care, rather than by the book. I can't recall the number of times I have uttered the words, "I think I can't do this/this is hard", and he has stopped whatever we were doing (running or workout), asked me what's wrong and, once he has established that I'm not hurt or ill, he has quietly pushed me to the goal.
I ran my marathon PB in 2017 to qualify for my first Two Oceans in 2018. I did not finish my first Two Oceans, and the first thing Temo said to me was, "I could see your mind was not right. Next year." I wanted to kill him at the very idea of "next year" when my heart was still broken. In 2019, I finished Two Oceans for the first time ever, and my mental strength has never looked back. My approach to life challenges and my resilience to cope are all thanks to the limits that Temo's guidance pushed me to.
Truly, I am not exaggerating when I say Temo moved me from being a social runner to someone with a refined disposition and attitude in life. This is a rare God-given gift, and I am thankful for Temo for this. - Zukiswa
Dr. Zukiswa Mthimunye
Independent Consultant, GIBS Faculty