5 Lessons We’ve Learnt From The Queen Of Fitness


Megan Flemmit |

In partnership with adidas; photograph by Donovon Thorne

When  locked onto the idea of ‘Sport has the power to change lives’, they recruited five our most-loved WH fit family to headline the campaign: Pop-Up Gym’s Letshego Zulu; Mapule Ndhlovu, Cara-Lisa Sham, Carmen Crous and Tracey-Lee Lusty. Whether sport changed their destiny or their health, eased their demons or vanquished their grief, their collective stories are so incredibly inspiring, we decided no amount of sharing them would be enough…

Mapule Ndhlovu is no stranger to struggle. Growing up in Alex, she found herself doing odd jobs for four years until one day she received the call that would change her life for the better.

Now a certified personal trainer, and our first Next Fitness Star, she continues to inspire us with not only her exercise combos, but also her words of wisdom. “I always use the principles of fitness in my life,” she says. These principles have helped shape the person she’s become and we can all learn a lesson or two from her. We’ve rounded up the five biggest lessons we’ve learnt from the .

Watch: “Discovering Fitness Helped Me Achieve My Goals Despite The Odds”

1. When Life Gets Tough, Exercise.

When Mapule first applied to become a personal trainer, she didn’t get the job. The rejection crushed her, and she found she couldn’t discuss it with anyone. “Exercise was the only way I could deal with the whole situation.”

2. Count Your Blessings.

Whenever Mapule struggles to find motivation to workout, she counts her blessings to remind herself how lucky she is. “I always remember that I have an ability to inspire someone through fitness,” she says.

3. Your Life Is Yours To Live

Mapule believes that life is a personal journey we create for ourselves through our beliefs. “Don’t compare yourself with others, you must be open-minded and try different things,” she says. Mapule knew she didn’t want to be just another girl from Alex, so she started running even though others warned her against running through the streets of Alex.

4. Speak positive things into your life

Believing in yourself is important if you want to progress. Whether you’re having trouble exercising, or trying to get ahead in your career, you need to think positive thoughts. “You’ve got to know that you have the potential, that you can do it,” says Mapule.

Watch: “This Is How Sport Save Me After My Husband Passed Away”

5. Keep Hustling

Mapule managed to achieve her goals despite all the odds stacked against her. But instead of resting on her laurels, she continues to work to better herself. “You just got to wake yourself up in the morning and tell yourself that I’m never done working, I’m never done improving, I’m never done motivating myself. I’m never done being me.

Looking for more inspiration? Here’s how sport helped Carmen Crous deal with her Cystic Fibrosis, taking up yoga helped Cara-Lisa Sham overcome her eating disorder. 

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