Caster Semenya, our star South Africa athlete and all-round awesome human being trains her butt off to be where she is today.
The Hours Of Hard Work
Caster trains twice a day, six days a week. “Imagine what that can do to your body!” she exclaims. “That’s why you need good coaches and physios. Their job is to take care of my body; my job is to run.” She’s seriously dedicated, pushing herself constantly. “We train hard, we never give up, we’re like machines. It’s all about dedication and determination and the respect I have for myself.”
But how does she get so fast? “We do a lot of functional training and we focus on technique, so we do a lot of drills. Drills will make you quicker! Everything starts from your toes. If you have strong legs, then your core is easy to build. If your legs are weak, especially your calves, then everything falls apart.”
And those legs have had a big year already! Caster won both the 800m sprints and the 1 500m sprints at this year’s Common Wealth Games, a continuation of her success having won both of those distances at last year’s World Championships. She is flying! And she deserves to be with that tough training schedule.
The Undying Scrutiny Of Female Athletes
So the fact that Caster and a handful of other powerful women have come under scrutiny (again!) for their strong physique has us all riled up at WH HQ.
The new rules introduced by the IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federations) track and field’s governing body (which come into effect on November 1, 2018), will only allow athletes to compete only if they take medication to reduce naturally occurring levels of testosterone. And of course only women seem to be the targeted ones here. It’s a separate female classification for an athlete with “differences of sexual development”, which will cover races from 400m to the mile, including 400m, hurdles races, 800m, 1500m, one-mile races and combined events over the same distances.
READ MORE: 6 Sportswomen Who Totally Changed Their Game
Athletes including Caster will have to reduce and then maintain their testosterone levels to no greater than 5nmol/L by November 1, 2018 if they want to compete.
Steve Cornelius, a law professor from the University of Pretoria, has resigned from his position on the disciplinary tribunal of the IAAF. In his resignation letter, Cornelius says he cannot continue to associate himself with an organisation that “insists on ostracising certain individuals, all of them female, for no other reason being than what they were born to be”. He added that the adoption of these new regulations for females is based on the same ideology that’s led to some of the “worst injustices and atrocities in the history of our planet”, according to Sports24.co.za.
The Power Of Resilience
Caster has been an idol and a source of #fitspiration for so many South African women.
“I’m just a simple human being. I have ups and downs. I really appreciate the love and support my parents have given me. They appreciate me for who I am and that’s where I get my strength. Education is so important. I spend a lot of time studying, so I can take negative things and turn them into positive.” She’s spent a decade reframing. And it’s her resilience that’s made her who she is today.
“Believe in yourself, work hard, know what you want.”
We love you Caster!