JOHANNESBURG – As if being a mother of an active one-year-old is not challenging enough, Springbok Women’s lock Celeste Adonis finds herself having to balance the demands of motherhood with training twice a day during the Covid-19 lockdown to maintain her fitness levels.
Adonis – one of a handful of players in Springbok Women’s coach Stanley Raubenheimer’s wider training group that participated in the 2014 Rugby World Cup in France – is determined to represent her country in a second World Cup at the 2021 international extravaganza in New Zealand, and she will stop at nothing to achieve this feat.
This determination was clear in 2019 when she returned to the field for a club rugby match two-and-a-half months after having her daughter, Paige, and only a few months later she represented the Springbok Women in the Rugby Africa Women’s Cup in Johannesburg and the internationals against Spain and Scotland in Port Elizabeth and Cape Town respectively.
Juggling attending to her daughter’s needs and training required a fine balancing act during the lockdown, but the physical 27-year-old believes she has hit the right notes in that regard.
“I have to train twice a day, so while Paige is having her morning nap, I work in my morning training session, and then I spend some time with her and do the same in the afternoon,” said Adonis.
“She is quite active and demanding so I have to keep an eye on her constantly, which makes her nap time the ideal slot for me to train.
“I also take full advantage of the times when her father and other family members spend time with her to squeeze in my training.
“There are times when she watches me train and tries to lift her doll’s pram as if she was training too, which is quite entertaining.”
Similar to some of her Springbok Women’s teammates, Adonis also has a weight training trick up her sleeve to add to the body-weight training programme the players received from the coaching staff to keep fit during the lockdown.
“One of my main home weight-training tricks is using a crate of cooldrink bottles – either filled with cooldrink or water – for doing squats, while my skipping rope has also been handy for cardio,” she says.
Adonis admits that it was tough at first to balance motherhood, her Springbok Women’s duties and work as a physical education facilitator at Groendal Secondary in Franschhoek, but that she is slowly getting used to it, and that it is all for a good cause.
“It certainly took some getting used to because I have to get ready for work in the mornings, then get Paige ready,” she said.
“I then have to drop her off at the nanny and go to work, where I train during my lunch break. The afternoons are generally also quite a scramble because I have to fetch her, drop off her off with family, so that I can train again.
“We recently started introducing aerobics in our physical education classes at school, and that has helped with my fitness as well.
“But I live for rugby and I am determined to play in another World Cup, so I am willing to make all the sacrifices I have to in order to achieve this. I believe in myself and I know that I can achieve that which I set my mind to, so I am going to do whatever it takes.”