I have some great news. Last night i got an email from the Swedish triathlon federation. It said; "Move Ludwig Fleetwood, SWE, from waitlist to start list (2016 ITU World Triathlon Cape Town, Elite Men". My first race of the season is less than a month away. Not just any race, I am going to race my first ever WTS race! This is huge for me and something that I couldn't dream about three years ago... Now it is actually happening. It is a sprint race and will happen the 24th of April. It will be broadcasted live on triathlonlive.org. I know that this is one or two steps above my level. But since i am down here and because it is a sprint race I thought i give it a shot to make the start list. And hey, i did it!
You might be wondering why I am writing in english. I can tell you one thing, it is not because of my huge amount of fans abroad. No, since I did spend the easter weekend in Hermanus together with the Quenet family I thought it would be nice to write this in english. Mostly so they don't think i write rude things about them in Swedish. This will probably not be something I'm going to continue with, but still fun to give the english a try every now and then. There will probably be miss spellings and grammatical errors here and there. But remember, I no speak english, Sweden I from am, and speak Sweden as first language I do... You're gonna have to deal with it!
First of all I wanna make a jump, to little over a week ago. Since I did that swim week I thought I would give the 1500m another try, well... Did not go as planned. Me and Sebastian decided to try the breakfast in town on the Saturday. We went to the Stellenbosch Kitchen where they had a big and what it looked like, wonderful breakfast. It tasted well but... After about four hours both Sebastian I was laying in bed and we had all weird stuff exploding from different parts of our bodies. Not very pleasant. We were out for 24h. The test that I had planned on the Sunday obviously never happened, I made an attempt on the monday but no... Pulled out after 1k, no power at all. Will try ta make another try but I don't know just when yet.
On the Tuesday my partner i crime down here, Sebastian went back to Sweden again, sad to be alone in my apartment, we had a really good time together. That left only two swedes down here, me and Micke. Unfortunately I did not se very much of him since he also got sick the day after (we did not transfer our disease to him!). On the Friday he was better and also he went back to Sweden. Only one lonely swede left in Stellenbosch... I haven't felt very lonely just yet tho. Because Nicholas and Alexandra Quenet were kind enough to invite me to there vacation house down in Hermanus over the easter weekend.
"Hermanus is a town on the southern coast of the Western Cape province of South Africa (About one hour drive south of Stellenbosch along the coas). It is famous for whale watching during the winter and spring and is a popular retirement town."
Nicholas (or Nick) Quenet:
18 years old. Junior African champ 2015 and Junior silver medalist at African champs this year. One of the fastest swimmer i know, he can drop 16.00 for 1500m if you wake him up in the middle of the night. He is also a quick runner. And a hell of a nice guy!
Alexandra (or Alex) Quenet:
20 years old. U23 African champ this year. She is also FAST in the water and drops all the d-squaders easily in the pool. I don't like to admit it but, she can (if she wants to) destroy me in the pool as well... Aslo just like Nick, good runner and a nice girl.
Yes, so we went down to Hermanus on the Friday morning with an over packed car ofcourse (we are triathletes after all). We arrived just before lunch, to a fairly big house just 200m from the wild sea. If you went up to the top deck you got a spectacular 360 degree view. To the south the big sea, and in the north the high mountains that runs along the coast and surrounds Hermanus. Very, very beautiful. The first thing we did was actually to raise the swedish flag on the top deck. I felt very honored. The house was crowded as well. Their parents Anton and Gaby gave me a warm welcome and later grandparents and friends also showed up. We didnt do much though, we had a nice lunch, chilled a bit and then in the afternoon me and Alex went for a 40min easy jog. The evening was also very calm and we had supper and then went to bed at 10 pm.
I am not going to bore you out, this is how the weekend continued. Some training, good food, some exploring of Hermanus. The thing we did the most was just to enjoy the holiday and spend time with the family. I must say I had a blast the whole weekend. The plan was to have a minor break, especially mentaly. I have been going on for quite a while now, sometimes it is nice to reboot the system. I really did that, now i feel ready to make the most out of my last month down here. Also, the weather was crap, cold, windy and rain. Didn't mind it though, it gave os a good reason to just stay home and relax as much as possible.
The thing i like most about being away for so long is that you escape the whole tourist thing. You really get to see what it is like to be, in this case south african and what they are like and so on. It is so fun to spot all the differences and similarities from how it is back home. One more thing that i really appreciate is talking english. I've been here for three months now. But when you are a squad of swedes you don't talk that much english. But now, four days of speaking nothing but english, it doesn't take long before you get in to it, I think and hope it improved a lot just during these days. I can also say two things that i have learned about south africans. The first thing; they are the worst road ragers I've ever seen. I don't think I have heard the word "idiot" inside a car this much ever before. It is quite amusing to watch from the back seat tho. The other thing is the strong love to the family. One second everyone was shouting at each other, then all of a sudden everyone is hugging and give each other nice compliments as if nothing had happened, this is also the thing I am most impressed about. And it confirms the myth the the emotion closest to crying is laughter. Or in this case anger to love.
Thank you so much for letting me come along. I had a blast the whole weekend and i hope you enjoyed my company sometimes as well.
Now is it back to business again. I feel fresh mentally and I am going to crush this last month down here. I'm feeling smooth in the water, strong on the bike and fly on the run. I can't wait to get going with the racing again!