Everyone always seems to have a really cool fitness journey about how they were out to overcome some immense trials in their life and they took to fitness. Mine is a lot more simple, some may even think it silly but it has driven me. A lot has changed in a little under a year, so many lessons gained and now I am chasing a huge goal. I’m positive I can make it happen and I have already started putting in the work.
I didn’t start running because I had grown grossly obese or because a BMI calculator on my smartphone classified me as obese. It also had absolutely nothing to do with a doctor telling me I would be dead in a year if I didn’t shape up. For me, don’t laugh, but the story involves AliExpress and Super Mario. Quite the unlikely pair to drive someone to fitness. I bought two Super Mario themed t-shirts from China and when they came only one of them would fit and even then it was a really tight fit with my potbelly sticking out like a sore thumb. This would have been the perfect time to use that “Ha, Chinese cuts are always smaller” line but I knew the truth.
I realised I was turning into my fellow millennials. The beer drinking, skinny jeans wearing, tight t-shirt and three-months-pregnant-and-in-denial looking millennial. I’m talking about the guys, parked at Fife avenue Shopping Centre on a Friday without a care in the world. I started wearing a shirt to work and it would become uncomfortably tight after lunch. Whenever I bumped into old friends they automatically assumed I was now married. Why is that people see a potbelly and assume you are married? Are potbellies so unattractive that you must be married to let yourself get one because that person is stuck with you for better or worse? I felt like I was in a borrowed body so I had to do something about it.
Whenever I bumped into old friends they automatically assumed I was now married. Why is that people see a potbelly and assume you are married? Are potbellies so unattractive that you must be married to let yourself get one because that person is stuck with you for better or worse?
Penny-Pinching me was not willing to give a gym USD50 to run around their premises looked to YouTube. I started with the dance fitness type videos and slowly graduated into cardio but I did not feel any change. I felt I needed to do more if I really wanted this. That is when I started running. Honestly, in the beginning it was more walking than anything else.
For three weeks consistently I ran one kilometre and walked two. I would be out of breath, feet burning, t-shirt drenched in sweat but if felt amazing. Soon I could run two, then the full three. It was a great feeling. I tried to run consistently but it was hard especially with no one to talk to, my best friend was slacking off; running once a week and that wasn’t doing me any good. It wasn’t easy doing it by myself.
As fate would have it (I’ve always wanted to write that), said best friend soon had this girl behind the #RunWithFitnesBae hashtag on his podcast. Listening to her journey and then getting to go to one of the Fitness In The Park sessions was great. That is how I met MaKupsy at the meet itself, I was around people chasing the same thing. Different reasons, different levels of intensity but the same mission and it was good. Later joining the WhatsApp group with these very same people was even more helpful than I initially thought it would be. Setting a goal by yourself is one thing, but when you share it with friends and you are accountable to each other it’s so much better. Even just seeing your friends running will get you out of any slacking mindset!
Time moves so fast when you’re running. It’s been several months now and I have reached a point where I run 5K every weekday morning. Now I have found a new challenge: The Victoria Falls Marathon. I recently learnt there was a chance to go to the the marathon on the company’s account but first I would have to be part of the the 5 with the longest distances in a ten day competition. It’s not over yet, it has me running twice daily now and it’s not easy. I’m already planning the training I will do to ensure I can at least run the half marathon; 21K is a lot and there better be an ambulance at the end of it. The plan is to run the whole 21K non stop.
The biggest key is the ‘family’ I share my progress with daily. Now I have people sending me messages when I don’t post asking me what happened. It’s very difficult to slack when it’s like that. Maybe I just like running so much I’ll take any reason to do it.
I have learnt a few lessons on this journey so far:
- That a skipping rope can make you feel like hanging yourself is easier than using it for a work out.
- I have learnt that the Avenues of Harare are small you can easily run out of places to run.
- Joggers are not the target market for prostitutes.
- Shoes are important, The wrong type and you are screwed!
- Most of all I have learnt that you should share your journey. Share your progress. You never know who will be inspired by your drive. That’s why I like what MaKupsy has done, everything from the story in her journey itself to the platform she has created for all of us to come and share both the great and no so great parts of this never ending fitness journey.
The only time you should ever look back is to see how far you have come!
by Archie Moyo