WPC ‘Achievement’: There’s a first time for everything.

This week’s Weekly Photo Challenge, ‘Achievement’ had me racking my brain for something really impressive to tell you all. I suppose there have been a few times in my life when I’ve had a sense of achievement, like the one time when I actually got up the courage to go water-skiing, even though I couldn’t swim and was absolutely terrified. I skidded along on my haunches most of the way, but at least I was able to cross it off my Bucket List. My little jaunt up into the air attached to a parasail in Phuket, some of you have seen before, but it does bear repeating here, as I will probably never do it again.


I have enjoyed doing gym for quite a few years now, and last week, signed up for the Sunday ‘Boot Camp’ class. I haven’t done such vigorous non-stop exercise for a couple of years, since hubby and I used to attend ‘Cruel Neil’s’ aerobics class at our gym in South Africa. I will never forget the agony, as we hapless victims bent, stretched, reached for the sky, touched toes, did countless push ups, tummy crunches, and weights, whilst Neil’s strident voice kept urging us to ‘Keep going, keep going. One more set…….five, four, three, two, one, relax,” but only for a split second, before we were on to the next tortuous exercise. This went on for a whole hour, and I would keep looking at the clock, thinking. “What am I doing here? Let me rather die NOW!”


Balancing stork-like on one leg and then the other for a minute each side, always signalled the blissful end of the hour of torture. I can still do this, which I suppose is quite an achievement for a granny. Shortly after joining our gym here in Florida, I was selected to be ‘Gym member of the month’, which I guess does count as an achievement. Although I was sweating streams by the end of the Boot Camp class, the female instructor wasn’t anywhere near as cruel as the dreaded Neil, so hubby and I are definitely going to become regulars there.


After showing you my sister’s fantastic painting achievements last week, I asked the question,” I wonder how many of us have hidden talents which will never be used? It’s certainly food for thought, isn’t it?” Well, I decided to ‘put my money where my mouth is’, and signed up for a weekly art class. My first lesson was yesterday. It took me ages to work up the courage to put the first splodge of paint on my pristine white canvas, but once I got going, I quite enjoyed myself. This is just the beginning, but in six weeks’ time, I’m hoping it will look presentable enough, at least to hang in my closet. I’m sure you’re not at all surprised that I chose to paint a lighthouse. 🙂


To see more entries for this challenge, just click on the badge.


84 comments on “WPC ‘Achievement’: There’s a first time for everything.

  1. 😀 A gym member of the month! With those biceps no wonder 🙂 There isn’t a single post on your blog that I did not enjoy reading (though I am sure I miss a lot of them due to my hectic living), but this one is one of my favourites (together with the todays one). It shows me a woman that never gets bored, discouraged or tired. Keep inspiring Sylvia! xx

  2. Hi S – well when I heard about bootcamp I was wondering about the art class – and here you give us the scoop on both! nice!
    and your painting is coming along – and of course you would pick a lighthouse – or a bird I’d expect – and well, I look forward to seeing how it unfolds over the 6 weeks… 🙂

  3. To face our fear and dare to be adventurous, truly an exciting achievement. I wanted to para sail last Summer though I am scared of heights…and sharks. Unfortunately, I slipped days before and hurt my back so, I had to set aside my bucket list. It inspires me that you are following your dreams and wishes, even the ones that you are afraid of. Health is a great investment. It is one of our priceless wealth. Congratulations. Your sister’s painting, beautiful. Thanks. Have a great Sunday. Best regards to you and your family. God bless.

    • Thanks, IT. Yes, we do need to step out of our comfort zone occasionally. I hope you get the chance to parasail in the future. I think most people are afraid of shark encounters. 🙂 Wishing you and your family a very happy Thanksgiving week.

  4. These are all achievements, Sylvia. Not everyone is brave enough to try that jump, and your first painting is beautiful as it is. Talent runs in your family. I look forward to see more of your paintings. 🙂

  5. I haven’t done much extreme adventure lately other than tougher hikes. Kudos on that water adventure. I wish to do the same someday. Soon enough you’ll be able to draw a leopard. 😀

  6. Looking fab Sylvia, and I love your painting, can’t wait to see how it looks when it’s finished. You have a few hidden talents yourself by the looks of things 🙂 xx

  7. I’ve always wanted to have a go at painting, Ad, though I’m sure I’d be rubbish. Nothing to lose though, is there? Yours looks promising. Daunting to have ‘the sister’ but I bet you get loads of encouragement from her. 🙂
    Gym? Not me! Zumba aside, I like the less frenetic stuff and things I can do outdoors. Hugs, darlin. Have a good weekend!

  8. The painting looks great….it will be lovely to see your progress over the weeks:-)
    You guys have got very busy since your move…..but why your poor husband might need to attend a gym class is beyond me, with all that renovation exercise he’s been getting!!

  9. You are an inspiration Sylvia water-skiing when you can’t swim, to me, is the ultimate achievement. I can doggy paddle enough to keep my head above water, but if my head goes under I freak out and flail about panic stricken…

  10. This reminds me of my first time riding a bicycle without any help from any one or training wheel. I tried and tried until one morning I just went on two wheel by myself.

    Your painting looks good for the first time!!!

  11. Wow, your gym achievement puts me to shame. Maybe I will venture into my local gym in the New Year and try to shift some of this extra weight I am carrying. I need a Neil in my life!

  12. That picture – or another one – of your achievement in the air, I remember clearly. Well chosen. And, I’m glad you tried painting – a really good start too! That’s something I would like to try, because I haven’t touched that for at least 30 years…You seem to enjoy it – and that I can understand. It’s brilliant to try new things – as you say, you don’t know what more talents you have until you’ve tried to find out..

  13. How *marvellous* you’ve picked up a paintbrush as well as some weights in the achievement stakes Sylvia ! I think it’s wonderful to be trying something new .. do keep us up to date with how it goes … you’ve made a terrific start 🙂

    • Thanks, Poppy. I decided that it’s no good telling everyone that I can’t draw or paint, if I’ve never tried since junior school. My teacher then was so insulting about my efforts, that I never tried again. 😦

  14. Is it the light house in Umhlanga ?? Good for you on the gym work, and on the painting classes, talent runs in families and I can’t wait to see the finished product…

  15. What an excellent start you’ve made. You might end up discovering you’re as brilliant as your sister at art.
    I can’t think of anything new to take up at the moment, but you never know. The photography is pretty new for me, and I only started singing in public at the age of 40, having finally got on top of my shyness. But there are two things I have done once and can honestly say I’ll never do again, as they were just too exhausting and took me 6 months each to recover from. One was singing 17 difficult songs from memory in a recital, and the other was writing and producing some live performances of a musical, with a cast of about 20 people. I’m running out of stamina for such mighty challenges.

    • Thanks, Sarah. I started playing the piano and organ in public at around forty, and also started teaching school music about the same time. My first time playing the organ for a wedding, really gave me some sleepless nights. I think we all need to jump out of our comfort zone on occasion. 🙂

  16. Well done Syl (although your gym activities just make me feel guilty :-(. Did you ever learn to swim? I remember my mother taking lessons at the Zoo Lake when she was well into her fifties. It’s not really an English ‘thing’. 🙂

    • Thanks, footsy. I can swim from one side of the pool to the other. I guess I just need more practice, but being in the water isn’t my favourite thing, and I hate putting my head under water, although I have been snorkelling a couple of times. Even in the shower, I don’t get my face wet. 😀

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