Lockdown made me do it.

‘let me see you move and rock it until the groove done’

Prior to 2015 my idea of going for a run was bolting around the streets in my neighbourhood at top speed before clambering home breathless in my gym gear. 300m, 2 minutes 46 seconds later that was me done. Top notch 👌🏾

Now, there was nothing wrong with that except in my mind I thought this was Olympic worthy running (watch out Mo Farrah). In my mind, the distance I was covering was at least 1000m 😖😳. I disliked running; I didn’t understand it but I did it with the sole purpose of making my stomach shrink: I can just see my guardian angel’s expression watching that free show (whaaaat!?) 🤷🏾‍♀️

Anyway, April 2020 and the whole world stood still in response to COVID (except our hospital staff and essential workers – we salute you). With gyms closed most of us needed some way of exercising and with options dwindling, a good portion of Englanders hit the pavement. I must admit even with gyms closed, I still didn’t choose to run, I still disliked it, but thanks to a friend and those viral challenges everyone was busy with in early lock down I was nominated to run 5km. To semi quote Bubba Sparxx ~”I didn’t choose to run, but running chose me”~ Already, to me, 300m felt like 1km so asking me to run 5km was asking too much. Anyway I did it – against my will – and begrudgingly I fell in love with running and *long pause* we’ve being going steady ever since *swoon*, the cold winter chill tries to break us up sometimes but- ain’t no stopping us now…

Running snuck it’s way into my life and settled in and now I sing it’s praises left right and centre. Not only has it helped me to drop a waist size, mentally it helps me clear my head I feel refreshed and clearer after a run, mental dilemmas fall into place better. It’s also a good way to spend some quiet time with myself (if I run alone) I can listen to a podcast or audio book and whilst running I notice a lot of beauty when I remind myself to look up and be mindful/present. if it’s in the morning there are some beautiful sunrises to light my path, or the friendliness of people I pass shining on me, there’s that beautiful house at the end of the Cul-de-sac to behold and admire, that local shop that sells bespoke watchumacallits that I’d not noticed whilst driving with eyes on the road. And, at the end of it all I’m rewarded with the accomplished feel of having “done it”.

Despite finding my new love, I’ve had to learn that there is a way to approach running so it’s most effective and also so I protect my body: those knees! I’m still learning but here are some tips from what I’ve found helpful in case anyone out there might want to start their own whirlwind Runmance *I’m cheesy I know* 😂:

1. Buy running shoes, something with shock absorption

2. Stretch before but especially after running: your hip flexors, quads, hamstrings, knees and groin.

3. Slow your pace initially, focus on breathing correctly as you run

4. Map a route to follow, I find a circuit is better so you can envision where you’ll end up (I don’t want to run 5km from my starting point then have to walk 5km back)

5. A flatter terrain is easier to run on (if you can find it – I live in Yorkshire so it’s all hills baybay 😩)

6. Parks are a nice and safer setting to run in, most will have a route map online showing at least 5km of running ground

7. A km is longer than you think, when you feel like you’ve run 10km it’s probably 4km but don’t lose hope – keep going.

8. It’s ok to walk if you’re tired but I’ve found you can run the whole distance if instead of walking you just slow your pace to catch yourself then increase your pace once you feel ready.

9. Use a running app to track your progress, it’s motivating to visualise how much ground you cover.

10. Enjoy what your body can do, start small and build your stamina, running is a practice not a punishment.

If all tips fail, pretend you’re running from covid- it’ll get you going. 🥇

Relative truth.

“It’s not so important how others see you [impression],what really matters is how you see yourself [self concept]” however it’s also important to understand how you see others based on who you are [perspective].

As I often do , I was listening to podcasts and this particular one by TD Jakes gave part of the quote above and inspired the rest. Listening to the podcast got me thinking about people’s views; for example I thought of how ten people could all visit the theatre and leave with different views of what the show had been about, having experienced different levels of enjoyment and likely all hold a different recollection of what the story line was about and, the sequence of events. If I were to interview all these people about their experience, I’d get ten versions of the truth with some similarities running through but I could almost guarantee that no two versions Continue reading Relative truth.

2020: one year done, a fresh 2021 to go…

new-year-celebration-lanzarote.1545899531

This year has been a lot of things to a lot of people, for me it’s been about growth, inner happiness, embracing myself, learning from mistakes I made, forgiving myself, unlearning bad habits and discarding views that no longer serve me. Through it all I’ve found enlightenment, healing, peace with myself, comfort in my own skin and with my thoughts. I am content.

For reasons which do not need to be birthed to life on the internet, this year was my hibernation year, my cocoon was a place of safety and growth. Occasionally I’d send a drone out to spy on the land to “see how other people’s children were living” eventually I got brave enough to join them… since my emergence Continue reading 2020: one year done, a fresh 2021 to go…

EiDid-eat !

Last week my mother invited our family to fast in solidarity with our Muslim brothers and sisters whose period of Ramadan was coming to a close. The fast began on Friday 22 May 2020 at about 3.00am and ended at 9.09pm (for the region we were in).

I’m so grateful to my mother for the invite; for the first time in my life I successfully fasted. I had fasted before and spent a dedicated amount of time without food, but my heart and mind had not been fully aligned to the act or sacrifice and in retrospect, my attempts where fine at the time but now Continue reading EiDid-eat !