Daniella Van Heerden

Wednesday, April 04, 2018

Photo Credit: Cornel Van Heerden

Q. Who are you and what you do for a living?

My name is Daniëlla van Heerden, I am a news anchor and journalist at eNCA and eNuus (the Afrikaans bulletin on KykNET).
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Photo Credit: Cornel Van Heerden

Q. How do you balance your exercise regime and your professional life?

I make the time to exercise, because I sure won’t “find” it! I get up early (and I was never a morning person) or squeeze in short workouts whenever I can. 
News is exciting industry to work in, but also challenging and stressful. When I train I feel happy, energized and more balanced. 

Q. When and why did you start running?

Last year, I entered for the Medihelp Sunrise Monster 10km as part of a charity event for a family that was injured in a car accident. I really enjoyed the “vibe” at the event and completed the race in 1 hour 6 minutes. Those extra 6 minutes frustrated me – I knew I could do better and wanted to do a 10 km in under an hour! So I added more running to my regimen. 
I ran my next 10km about 3 months later in 56mins30 seconds, and by then I was hooked.
And this from someone who used to say that I don’t enjoy running as I found it boring! (When running on the treadmill, I use my favourite songs as an aid: changing the speed and the incline with each song for a killer HIIT workout.)

Q. What motivates you to go out there, when you do not feel like it?

Settings goals! Entering races also help; as I am then committed and have a specific event to work towards. 

But after pushing through for a few weeks (past the “I do not feel like it”-stages) habit rather than motivation is now what gets me out there. After getting up many mornings, the consistency has taught my body to just do it.
As part of this habit, I now manage to work out 5-6 times a week. This usually consists of about 2 running sessions, 1-2 “Pound” classes and 2-3 Weights sessions. 

Q. What is the longest distance you have ran? 

15 km, at the Varsity Kudus race early in January. 
I am aiming for a half marathon: Om Die Dam in March!

Q. What gives you the confidence to run in the streets?

Running with a group.
I actually do not have the confidence to run alone in the streets, so I started searching and found one: The CMIYC (Catch Me If You Can) movement! It is a running community exclusively for women. I joined one of their groups running early mornings in my neighbourhood, and it’s been great. I feel much safer when we are 10-15 women together, and I also made new friends!

In 2018, I hope to run with more such different groups and communities in and around Jozi.

Photo Credit: Marnhe Grove

Q. What do you think about the lack of exercise?

Our bodies were designed to move! It’s good for your heart, lungs and soul. 
As part of my career, I have done wonderful news stories of people proving that you CAN: A blind man who competes in Iron Man; A oupa of 87 who still plays touch rugby; Teams competing in wheelchair basketball; The gogos in Cosmo City who have taken up boxing!
They have all inspired me.

Q. What was your best running experience?

The FNB Joburg 10km was great! The vibe, the huge amount of competitors and the route. I also ran my fastest 10km then :)

Q. What was your worst running experience?

It’s always good! The only bad part is if I have an injury or I am sick and can’t run for a while. 

Q. How do you push through the pain?

I am often re-energized by the people around me during a race, who will always encourage me when they see I am struggling.
But I also listen to my body – I am not embarrassed to walk up a hill during a race if I feel I need to take a rest; and then I take a deep breath and keep on going!

Photo Credit: Cornel Van Heerden

Q. What advice can you give somebody who wants to start running?

Start slow, start small, but commit to one goal at a time and reach it; then set a new one. 
And join a community where you feel safe and can make friends and run at your own pace. Parkruns are a great start!

Photo Credit: Marnhe Grove

Q. Which Social media sites are you on and how can one follow you?

Instagram: @dannisnaps

Twitter: @dannitwiet

Facebook Page: facebook.com/daniellavheerden


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