Happiness is not just a fleeting emotion that comes with moments of grandeur. Happiness is a decision. It’s the realisation that you are in control of your life and the choices you make – be it your chosen career path or daily rituals such as exercise and diet – will impact your overall state of mind.
This is something Crystal Arnold learnt early on in life and it’s part reason for her success, along with hard work of course. The well-known Supersport presenter not only defied the norm by becoming a female authority in sports, but is also a wellness activist.
Though a huge fan of team sports, Crystal’s busy lifestyle – what with travelling the world and all – doesn’t allow much time for communal sport. Instead she indulges in running, indoor rowing and weight training to keep herself in shape. When she needs to escape from her busy schedule you can find Crystal at the driving range as golf is slowly making it’s way to the top of her ‘fun ways to stay healthy’ list.
She says, “I just love the outdoors and can think of no better setting then spending a portion of my week on a golf course. It is my happy place.”
So what motivates her? Being around active sportsmen helps. “It’s like having a constant fitness screensaver,” she laughs.
“If the cricketers are not playing they are probably training and that’s contagious. One of the benefits of touring with the Proteas is that you not only tap into their active lifestyle outlook but if you’re up early enough you can share some hotel gym treadmill space with a Morne Morkel or a Kagiso Rabada. Believe me If they are running next to you, there’s no way you’re giving up midway.”
For Crystal, not giving up is the secret to many of life’s problems. It’s this motto that saw her progress from a small time DJ in Kimberley to much loved broadcaster on national television.
Her job has afforded her many great opportunities. Last year Crystal travelled with the Proteas to the World Cup in Australia. A few months later she covered the Commonwealth Games announcement in Auckland where history was made: Durban was unveiled as the 2022 host city of the Games. Treasuring these moments, the skilled television presenter has also learnt some important life lessons along the way.
She points out that defeat is not permanent. She explains, “From Sportsmen whom I have had the privilege of seeing up close and also had the chance to tap into their thought process through our conversations and interviews, I’ve learnt that experience is invaluable and defeat does not define you.”
The second thing is that no dream is too big and no challenge is too difficult.
“My dreams as a girl growing up in Eldorado Park were different to those around me, bigger than circumstance allowed, but knowing where I wanted to go was important. What helped me was growing up in a household where I was instilled with the values of ‘You can do anything’ and ‘You can go anywhere.’ If I do have an ‘off’ day or even when I am standing in the middle of the Olympic Stadium where Bolt has just run, I try to remember where I’ve come from, where I am in that moment and where I’m headed.”
Balance can be tough when you are working 16 hour days and constantly on the road, which means a shortage of sleep. But Crystal doesn’t use her circumstance as an excuse. She adds balance to her days with a healthy diet and regular exercise.