Last night I conquered a 5km run at the PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Nite Race here in East London. An email came out announcing the event a few days ago and as the hosting company, a request was made for volunteers to help out at the water points. Being the overweight and unfit me that I am, my fate seemed destined to be a volunteer, this I welcomed and agreed with. Well … that was only until my friends started pestering me left and right to run with them, that I thought ‘okay maybe let’s try this.’
I shouldn’t have listened to them!!!
‘I’ve gone and started my year off with such a horrible decision…’ this is all I could think of when me lady friends jogged past me, leaving me to troddle breathlessly behind them. The first 500 metres were the ultimate worst, I started feeling an unbearable pain in my feet so bad I wanted to cry but I persevered soberly aware that I was not even halfway the 5km mark yet. I shortly discovered that power walking actually causes more cramps and aches than an actual jog so every time the road was steep enough, I would jog up. But this was still not enough because children under 5 were leaving me behind, so were wheelchair pushed family members and friends. I was disgruntled and annoyed mostly by the bigger and taller adults 😦 this made me very jealous blaming my short legs for adding to my demise. I continued alternating between jogging and brisk walking and eventually this seemed to relieve me of all pain in my legs. At about 3.8kms I realized, I was all by myself on the roads leading to the finish line, my mentor later confirming that I was in fact the last one to arrive.
I could almost hear my body furiously scolding me, feeling so betrayed for letting it chill out for so many years, only to attack it viciously with such a long long long run and walk. While I was in the race, I realized I was feeling alone, not only because the streets were empty but the running was giving me a solitude I was relishing. It had been a long week and with each day that passed I felt its heaviness draining and dragging me down. The race was providing me an usual calm, and I’m certain that’s what kept me on my feet, even when my body was no longer willing, somehow my head and heart seemed pleased with the continuous thumping of my feet against that tar road.
The race taught me that my unhealthy body is not made out of glass and that all this time that I’ve been classifying it as too big. I was just denying myself a chance to challenge it to its greatness. So, yes I celebrate being last at the finish line because it proves once again that my young starts have finishes. Of course right now, every part of my body hurts so bad. But running gave me more than just physical exercise on Friday night. It has also given me the quietness I enjoy most when I’m with my thoughts. It didn’t take anything away from me, instead it added a peace I seek every day in my life. Only time will tell if I will be consistent and as determined but my heart is willing and clearly my body has proven it is capable of anything.
Wish me luck. And here’s to good health for all of us in 2016…
Cover Photo By: Lutendo Malatji
What unexpected victories have you celebrated that have surprised you about yourself?