'Your uniqueness is what makes you you!' - Chantel Struwig
For most people, their teenage years and early twenties are characterised by search for identity and a desire to fit in. But Chantel Struwig sees things differently. This 20 year old was born with a vascular birthmark on her face that makes her stand out. Although she initially struggled with her self-confidence as a result of being different, she says learning how to embrace her uniqueness taught her how to live #Limitless.
"It affected, my self-confidence when I was younger," she told #TheTopRunner. "When I would walk around in malls and shopping centres little kids would stare at me and be so scared of me," she explained. But the girl from Montana in Pretoria never allowed the stares to get the better of her saying she let her sparkling personality do the talking.
"But I was never bullied or teased in school because I never allowed it. I just felt like my personality is strong and I'm not going to allow kids to tease me and bring my self-worth down," was her mature outlook. So Chantel's confidence grew, so much so that she has become an advocate for those living with her condition. In 2019 SPAR noticed the young lady's infectious confidence and roped her in as an ambassador for one of the most loved sporting events in South Africa.
"I always enjoyed sport. In school I did athletics and netball. At the end of my Matric year I started doing gym and lifting weights and it's been amazing. It's taught me that I am strong enough to do this on my own," is the lesson she has learnt from sport which she shares whenever she graces the SPAR Women's 10km Series stage. "I'm so honoured to be part of this again, just to be part of that group of women that are trying to better themselves. And it's so much fun because everyone wears costumes. It's just such a nice environment to be a part of," she says.
This year Struwig will take on the SPAR Women's 10km Virtual Challenge on the 4th of September as she continues to preach her philosophy about the importance using what some may see as a handicap as a source of inspiration to live without limits. "Use that to your advantage - your uniqueness. It's so boring if everybody is going to look the same and act the same. Your uniqueness is what makes you you!"
Tune into SuperSport Variety this week as well as Showmax and DStv Now for more motivation from Warrior Ric. Enter the SPAR Women's Virtual Challenge online at www.sparvirtualchallenge.co.za