So on Saturday morning I went for a run after a very long time of not working out. It was inspired by my friend Tash Africa, that child has a body chiseled by hours of extremely hard work. She shapes her muscles one by one into a form that she dictates! And even though she lives in Germany and I in Zimbabwe, we are some sort of workout and life buddies. We have never met in real life and yet we understand one another really well, we think alike in so many ways and it is weird how she can get into my brain and vice versa.
Enough about the AH-mazing Tash Africa, I was telling you about how I got my groove back; but I will start with how I lost it. After failing my fitness assessment in January I just wanted to stop working out till I was mentally able to push my limits (this was an excuse by the way, I was just disappointed that I had failed). I had not even prepared for the assessment and the last time I had worked out properly was in October during the preps for the Miss Earth 2014 international pageant. We did workout during the Miss Earth 2014 bootcamp, but it was nothing compared to the work that I had been putting into work out sessions since 2013. When I came back home I had tonnes of excuses for why I could not work out, I even became an expert on jet lag and the need to rest so I would lecture anyone who wanted to get me to resume my normal routine. The truth is that I was just plain scared, I was terrified of the pain during sessions, but I craved the burn.
I have never been good with failure, it has a way of making me want to curl up into a ball, tie myself up in a big knot and separate myself from the world. I am really mind boggled by this feeling of total defeat that engulfs me after failure, it makes me want to not try again because I just might fail and then get disappointed again. One of my goals is to be a fitness trainer, so I told my trainer who agreed to help me reach it. For a long time I walked around with my head held high seeing possibilities, imagining myself as a trainer. When a random text from Eve, my trainer came through saying that I should not miss training because she wanted to assess my form and fitness level I was not excited. Even though I knew what I wanted I had not worked towards it and obviously during the assessment I was skiving, huffing and puffing in lousy form. When she told me I needed to get fitter before she could work with me towards being a trainer I was gutted, so much that I just wanted to give up.
Everyday for the past three months I would look at my to do list and there was a subtitle that was never crossed out nor updated. The word “Superwoman” stared at me in the face daily and I would look at it the way I look at guys who try to chat me up after a “psst” – like it was made of glass and was transparent. Whenever I dared to make an effort and update it I had a reason why what I had set out to do could not be done, so it moved untouched from page to page. Tash and I would swap ab pics, meal tips and workout ideas, but I still felt uninspired. This month I decided it was time to actually get up and do something about the hot mess that I was, to stop wallowing in self pity and change the fate of my goal. It was after a realization that I was not going to click my fingers and be a trainer, that I have to work for it and had I started working earlier I would not be in this pool of discouragement.
Before I became a lazy excuse machine I used to jog for over an hour but on Saturday I only managed 25 minutes of running, walking and wheezing and to my surprise I was not disappointed! Even though I did much less than I used to five months ago, I did more than I had done the day before and I was still pleased with myself because I was 25 minutes closer to achieving my goal. When I got home I went straight into a 30 minute lower body workout that almost ripped my legs off and was highly rewarding!
There is something about working towards an achievement, being real with yourself and pushing your limits while at it. When I started my first real job I was told to under promise and over deliver, it is starting to seem like a principle which does not work well in the relationship I have with me. Maybe if I am real with myself while consistently promising and delivering I will be closer to achieving my goals.
The river flows. . .
“Ndawana wekuchemera, ndawana anondichengeta, ndawana wekuturira! #NdagarwaNhaka” – Tuku Music
This kugarwa nhaka business must have been relieving back in the day when cultured African men wore loin skins and knew what it meant to GENUINELY want to take care of their deceased brother’s wife. It must have been an honour to be entrusted to ensure the safety and well being of your brother’s wife and children.
Sadly, these days when a parent passes on, their siblings are the first ones in line to make the orphans’, widows’ and widowers’ lives a living hell! They are the ones already planning on how to get their hands on the title deeds, how to make sure that they get the sofas (never mind that they already have a set at home – they just want more to put in the bedrooms), they are already weaving a story to ensure that they get the car.
What happened to the faithful, loving, giving, caring and compassionate REAL man who was content with being thanked for taking care of a family that was otherwise going to suffer? What happened to the man who was already grateful for his own wife and didn’t lust after his dead brother’s wife? What happened to the man who valued integrity above personal gain?
Where are the men of days long gone, the men who took on the responsibility and not the burden of taking care of their kin? Where are the men who understood that #NhakaSandiBonde?? The men who were real protectors of women and children. The men who saw a mother and child bearer before they saw a sexual object?
Is it not their blood that flows today in the veins of these men in suits and ties? Is it not in the men who have title deeds for their land instead of simple boundaries?
If we don’t find it in the man of today, let us resurrect it in the man of tomorrow. Let us raise our sons to have a raw desire to protect women and children. Let us be the reason for a better tomorrow which is just like our yesterday.
Come with me back into the future where the man knows that #NhakaSandiBonde
The river flows!
It is 6.24pm on Valentine’s Day as I write this and it is ‘Show&Tell’ time all over the world. Chat platforms are going berserk with pictures of gifts flying from one person to the other. Others have just realised that they might not be the main chick and some are throwing secret fits (very secret) because they have not YET received gifts. The bottom line is that the Day of Love is almost over and this is the time when your friends are asking you what you got and you are returning the favour.
Blessed is the woman with the man who believes in THOUGHTFUL gift giving on Valentine’s Day. The man who knows that it is not the quantity or extravagance of the gift, but the meticulousness of the gift giving process. This man knows that it is not the which, but the how and why behind the gift giving that matters. Whether he gives you a R10 or $100 gift this man knows how to make it one that you will never ever forget because of the feeling you had the moment that you had it. He knows that the gift lights up certain parts of you and he remembers the light you emitted. It becomes a moment that neither one of you will forget.
Gift giving is quite complex because you are never sure what the other person would like and when they DO tell you what they would like then it takes the fun out of the process. When it is time to buy presents for whatever occasion, most people hit the panic button and go to pieces. Some people are always on point and a few of the lot rarely have an idea what to do. So when your man gives you a gift that makes you smile for WHATEVER reason you need to be very grateful.
I am one of those people who really do not expect much on Valentine’s Day because I really want to shield myself from a ‘Crisis of Expectation’. The other thing is that I really am quite difficult to please because I DO NOT WANT anything that is cliché. I want something that shows that the giver has thought about me and how I would relate to the present at that particular time. YES – at that particular time because I always change what I want according to what is happening around me.
It is my guess that most women are like me – they are tired of the usual chocolate, roses and dinner which paves the way for the “thank you sex” that the ‘gentleman’ is hoping to get. We really just want something that shows that the men in our lives have thought about who we are, what we do, what we like and what is happening in our lives at that point and time. That is all – as easy as 1, 2, 3!
If you didn’t get a present, didn’t give a much appreciated one, didn’t have a giver or a recipient, don’t you worry – there are 320 more days to go in this year. For those that successfully gave and got then you need to start showing and telling, just don’t rub in your receiving and acceptance! I’ll go first (I have been itching to Show&Tell since I got my beautiful gift!!!) … simply cannot stop grinning, he makes me want to burst with happiness – *usually!
Happy Valentine’s Day!
The river flows. . .