Some people work hard to achieve their goals.  For others, the real work starts only once they achieved their goals!

Earning your black belt in karate is not the end of a goal, it is the beginning of a journey of improvement. This is where the real work starts.

It took me six years to progress from a young white belt to my first black belt.  As a girl who hadn’t really set any goals before in my life, this experience, honestly, was not any different.  I never set out to become a black belt, yet the black belt became part of how I live my life.

I failed my first black belt grading.

It was the first time I failed at something.  And it was a wake-up call.  

Since that first failure, I decided that something worth achieving is something worth putting the time in.  And the blood, sweat and tears.  In the years that followed, I earned my 2nd Dan and my 3rd Dan.

I also met my husband in the karate dojo.  We were both black belts when we met.  We married a few years later.  The underlying principles of karate – respect, character and sincerity – has become a way of being for our family.

As a black belt, the training always goes back to basics.  You never forget the basics.  The intense focus is to be better than yesterday.  Your sweat, focus and training are to improve. Even as a black belt, you never stop training.  And it takes commitment.  You cannot be a black belt if you are not committed.  There is no halfway, no half measures.

With commitment comes the risk of injury.  You get injured. You get up. You always get up. Until you can’t. 

Like the day a young new black belt punched me on my diaphragm during a training session.  I collapsed to the blue dojo mat as the air was forced out of lungs and I couldn’t breathe.  I wasn’t crying yet the tears streamed down my cheeks.  I couldn’t get up.  I couldn’t breathe.  The sensei helped me up, held me up, and instructed me to breathe.  It was the hardest breathe I had to take.  

This is what happens when you have an autoimmune disease. 

You think you have it under control, and then it hits you and floors you. You need help to get up. You need support to stay up. You know you have to breathe, but why can you not take a breath?

When you are diagnosed, you are like a white belt.  You rely on your sensei to guide you, teach you, help you.  Train, focus and help you be better than yesterday.

And when you are floored by your autoimmune disease, I’ll be there to pick you up, hold you up, and tell you to take a breath. 

So that you can be better than you were yesterday. 


A few facts about Adele
  • Founder of Healthy Hashi Hacks, which provides health and wellness support to people who have been diagnosed with autoimmune disease.
  • 3rd Dan in karate.
  • Completed an MBA degree at the University of Pretoria with distinction.
  • Diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, in 2015.  
  • President of the Gauteng Chapter of the Professional Speakers Association of Southern Africa. 
  • Distinguished Toastmaster.
  • Passionate about juicing.
  • Varied career experiences, including management consulting for a large global consulting company, to opening a mathematics learning center!