So what’s up with the “Butterfly Lady” ?
Believe it or not, there is a story behind the butterfly trail.
At each and every race Bernita leaves behind a black and white paper butterfly, always in a tree of some significant spot.
“Why?” people would ask.
“Well, I am doing this for my precious mom who I miss dearly. My mom passed away the day after Mother’s Day 2013, and that night I had a vision of millions of butterflies. Days after I was diagnosed with life threatening blood clots, there was one butterfly in the house for two weeks! ( I still have it ! ) What amazes me, thinking back at all the happy, sad and challenging moments I had in my life, a butterfly was always present.”
Asking Bernita how it came about for her to start the butterfly trail, this was her response.
“When I started running I decided to dedicate my runs to the precious Saturdays I spent with my mom when she was still with us. She taught me that one should always push your limits and go beyond whatever your current circumstances might be and to identify something in life that motivates and drive you. I saw how she always gave her very best; often in days that were not easy at all and this brought me to the very real realisation that one should put something out there to challenge you.”
“Running became my escape, my so called “me time”, my time dealing with everything I could not help her with.”
I asked Bernita what this process and running specifically did for her. Again her response was immediate.
“Through my running I met the most amazing people, made friends, created bonds which only other runners would understand and appreciate. My runs are dedicated to my mom, the person who taught me to always just do my best and my running friends now share this very intimate ritual with me at all the runs we do.”
I also asked Bernita if there was a message she wanted so share with her fellow runners with whom she share the road with at all the races and training runs?
“Yes, thank you for supporting me on this AMAZING adventure and thank you for your love and encouragement which you always so generously share with me. This year I am doing my first Comrades, The Ultimate Human Race, and I guess you all now know what will be at the end of the Comrades adventure, yes, my butterfly!”
Since she mentioned Comrades, I asked Bernita why she decided to challenge herself with this iconic race, “The Ultimate Human Race” ?
“The words of Tommy Lasorda I think says it all. He said, ‘The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a person’s determination.’ When I decide on something, then I do it. Simple as that. I give it my all, nothing less. I always wanted to run and to date I have completed four ultra marathons, something I would have never even dreamed of doing, but I did. Sometimes things do get in the way in life and hinder or even stop you from doing what you’ve set out to do, but even with the possibility of setbacks and hindrances, I will give my all to make it happen and to realise my dreams and goals because it is something that I can do for myself. Someone once told me that I am resilient, and I somehow always remember this when something gets in my way, trying to stop me doing what I want to, like doing an important race. Somehow I always bounce back and manage to do it. Comrades has become my next challenge, and I know this race is going to push me way out of my comfort zone, but that is where the challenge lies. Like I said, after the run on the 29th of May, the butterfly trail will continue.”
Any final words from you Bernita ?
“Yes, don’t just breathe, LIVE”
That folks is the story of Bernita Bornman, “The Butterfly Lady”. Look out for her at the races and see if you can spot her butterflies. This is once again such a good example why we should always try to run for more than ourselves. It also underlines my motto; #MakingMilesAndMomentsCount
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