To the casual observer, Lindie Steyn is an ordinary person. But to those in the know, she’s something of an ironwoman. Lindie lives in Port Elizabeth and works as a theatre nurse, where she spends the vast majority of her time. When she’s not in the hospital, she’s either sleeping or training. We caught up with her to discover how an ordinary person can do extraordinary things for a good cause.
1. You’re a theatre nurse – a high pressure job that demands long hours. Describe an average day in your life.
We work shifts and no two days are quite the same. On 12-hour shift days, I need to get up at 04:00 and be at the gym at 05:00 to start my one-hour training session. For Ironman, I’d like to train for at least two hours per day, but it’s not possible when you work a 12-hour shift. Days are mostly chaotic and about as predictable as Capetonian weather. Lunch hour can happen anytime from 12:00 to 16:00. Usually we are cleared to leave around 19:00 but depending on your list, you might end up leaving much later. Any glimmer of hope you may harbor of having a social evening is often squashed. Mondays and Thursdays are better. Half-day shifts mean ample time for training, relatively speaking.
2. How do you find time to train on top of your gruelling commitments?
Honestly, I’m not sure. You simply have to manage your time and follow the rules you set yourself. Discipline is really important. One slip-up and you feel the consequences. It’s equally tough on everyone, so I suppose it is how badly you want to achieve the goal that determines whether you succeed or not. To me, failure is not an option. There are people relying on us to make this project a success. That is reason enough to train hard and make this work.
3. To do this, you clearly have an unbridled passion for charity. Where did it come from?
It’s been there for as long as I can remember. Maybe that is what drove me to pursue a career in nursing. It’s nice to be needed. I want to care for people. To be a part of a team saving lives in the process is a bonus. Life is tough and that’s not going to change, so knowing that I help alleviate some of that for other people makes it all bearable. I want to contribute in a positive and constructive way while I have strength in me.
4. How would you describe your connection to the Dando Ambassadors project?
I met Friedl a little while ago. From the get go, we realised we had a lot in common. Similar dreams and visions for the future. Working with kids, building schools and setting up clinics are things Friedl is passionate about and we share that passion. Financially, I couldn’t figure out how I would be able to sustain myself while living this dream on my own. As a team, it seems like we might just be able to pull it off. The Ambassador project is the ideal way to start making things happen. It combines everything I enjoy; sport, kids, charity and a brand that I’m proud to associated with in DANDO. Friedl knows I want to be involved at ground level and be a true Ambassador in every sense.
5. Friedl considers you something of an heir to his legacy. What are your thoughts on that?
Those are big shoes to fill. I’ve been a nurse all my working life and do not have any entrepreneurial experience. That said, our dreams and visions align perfectly and I think he trusts that I’ll be willing and able to continue our mission. Friedl would not have mentioned any of this ‘heir’ stuff without being 100% sure. I know how much DANDO means to him, so this is an enormous compliment.
6. Is working for Dando something you’re looking into?
In short, yes. We’ve discussed this on a couple of occasions. I love nursing, but I can take care of people outside of the theatre. The dream we both have will allow me to keep on nursing. Yes, it shall be in a different capacity, but I’ll still be able to do what I love, and hopefully with more far-reaching consequences. I will be able to manage a CSI portfolio, do sport, represent a brand I am passionate about, care for less fortunate people and have access to spectacularly good coffee. What more could you want?
7. What do you do for fun, when you aren’t running or saving lives?
The reason I run is so that I can eat chocolate and drink wine. Kidding! But, besides those two things, I do like to bake. Throw in a few friends, a bit of family and a beautiful view and I’m the happiest woman in the world.