Jane Ballot

Being me in the world

Friday 1st May

Workers’ Day today. Boy, did I work!

Today, I went alone to the team managers’ meeting, because I thought that Dani needed to sleep in and it really was not necessary for us both to be there. After all, she paddled a number of kilometres yesterday, including sprinting just a few of them! It’s amazing how that takes it out of the girls. On the other hand, I understand pretty much why they do get so tired.

200m does not seem far on land; on water, though, it is very far – especially to sprint!

Yesterday I took myself on a little drive (of 60 kms) to go and fetch some tent poles that had been left at the place David and his friends camped last weekend. It was amazing to see this whole big tent rendered useless just because of 3 little pieces of metal. It was like one of those lessons in understanding that it’s often the little things that can seem to be so vital – in relation to the rest.

Last night we all had to share Sian’s tent, because mine was not erectable. Tonight, I sleep in the luxury of my own ‘house’! It’s amazing to think that it took the whole day to find the half-hour or so to actually put the tent up, in between preparing for races, watching races, cheering and feeding my child, so we actually only put the tent up in the dark this evening. At least, the girls and some friends did, while I hammered the odd peg in 😉

One of the reasons I love SA Schools is because of the whole camaraderie that emerges during the event, particularly fuelled by the camping experience. Unfortunately, not all the girls are camping, which means that not everyone is in on the whole experience. This is a pity, as it’s such a great time for them all.

I think that life is about taking the opportunities presented to you and diving in as best you can. I know that I really do that with this event. Why not? The whole point of the three days is to facilitate my daughter’s paddling and to be there to cheer her on. I always mostly adopt the other girls too and we all cheer for each other. This year, I have chosen to organise the whole team and it has been really fun this far. One more day and then it’s all over L

On the other hand, there’ll always be other events to organise and attend!

In between all the everything that has been going on today, I have not really thought about having had anything wrong with me. I have been hobbling around a little with my sore knees, but that is just part of what happens, I reckon!

What did bring it all home again, though, was someone I am friendly with who we only see at canoeing events every-so-often. I was walking with Sarah, watching Dani and the girls paddling the LD event. She looked at Sarah and asked something like, “What’s with the Goldschagg girls and your hair? Are you trying to look like Mum?”

Sarah and I looked at each other and then Sara answered, “That’s the whole point, ja.”

I then explained why they had done it. My friend was a little taken aback, as she had not heard about the cancer.

There is a whole world out there that just goes on, no matter what happens to us individually and within particular closer groups.

That is what life is about, I reckon. Mum used to say that even living in a huge city like Joburg is somewhat like living in our own little villages: we shop, go to school, even work in a particular area and don’t necessarily even go to, or interact with, places so geographically close, but kind of psychologically different from us, unless we have to.

So, in my little world, I had cancer and we all went through the battle together. In other little worlds around me, people are going through so much of their own. Sometimes, the worlds and experiences overlap. Mostly not, though. And we all continue to build this big world just as we live in our own, smaller ones.

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