Fitness enthusiast Phindi Gule-Burley continues to push herself to the limit, never letting anything stand in her way.
Popular for her endurance running skills, Gule also has qualifications in Chemical Engineering and Journalism while also having a passion for personal development and entrepreneurship.
The soon to be 45-year-old is currently in the Top 25 of Tammy Taylor’s Mrs South Africa pageant 2019, but her road to this achievement started years ago.
Five years ago Gule made history by running the length of KZN with her husband Kevin Burley in an effort to raise funds for the organization LIV Village.
“When I turned 40 years old, I made history by successfully running the length of KZN, running from Mozambique to Port Edward which is a total of 900km alongside my husband to raise funds for the LIV Village,” said Gule-Burley.
The organisation which provides residential care for orphans and vulnerable children is very close to Gule-Burley’s heart, “My husband and I have chosen not to have kids of our own, however, we have been supporting the kids at LIV Village.
“These kids stole my husband’s heart a few years ago when he went to play soccer with his team there. When he came back home he just couldn’t stop telling me about the kids,” she explained.
Leading up to the 900km run she had completed the Comrades Marathon which she did not think she was capable of doing.
“When I had turned 35 years old, I decided to do something that I had been thinking about for a long time but didn’t think I could achieve, that was to run the Comrades Marathon,” she said.
With only eight months to train she went from being a non-runner to an ultra-marathon runner, completing the ultimate human race.
“After completing the Comrades Marathon I committed myself to doing something challenging and out of my comfort zone every five years – hence the 900km run. Each challenge always has to be linked to a charity or a very strong and compelling reason or message,” she said.
Keeping to her word Gule-Burley is now in the top 25 of Tammy Taylor’s Mrs. South Africa pageant for 2019. The pageant celebrates married women and inspires the spirit of ubuntu.
She explained that she entered the pageant in an effort to reach out to young girls who are insecure or feel that they are not enough.
“I want to encourage young girls to embrace who they are especially their natural self first and not to rely on quick fixes. They also need to remember that their health is their wealth because far too many young women are dying due to ailments that could be prevented,” she said.
The crowning of Mrs South Africa 2019 will take place at the Emperors Palace on November 8.
To all the busy women who, like Gule, are passionate about their health and fitness, here are some tips that she shared.
– See your doctor for a full medical check-up before you start any form of exercise.
– Always practice preventative medicine rather than reactive.
– Make time to exercise, stop making excuses that you don’t have time. If it’s important you’ll find time for it.
– Do not feel guilty about taking care of yourself. As women we are constantly taking care of everyone in the family and in the process, we neglect ourselves. That MUST stop. Your health is your wealth!
– Eat well and take the time to learn about your body and how it responds to different foods. Keeping in mind that you cannot out-trainrun a bad diet.
– Start slowly and build up, strive for consistency rather than doing a lot rarely.
– Always opt for stairs everywhere you go, do not use the lift and park far away from entrances – this way you are guaranteed some form of exercise DAILY.