I hardly recognise myself anymore. I am a woman who runs twice a week and keeps fit by exercising 5 days a week. When I was in school I used to find every excuse not to run. Athletics and cross country were in my mind for the insane. I had severe asthma which is made worse by dust, hayfever, pollen amongst other things. So those cross country trails were an asthma attack hub. I stayed behind on the track as part of the ‘orange crew’ that ran out with oranges and refreshments in between major activities. My sick notes were my saving grace or so I thought. One year my headmaster decided to force us slackers on the course. Instead of running the 5k course, I walked it with my friend. The man was behind us on a bike bellowing,”YOU.MUST.RUUUUUUNNNN!” Our headmaster had a nack of enunciating all words before dragging the last one out. I didn’t run and chose to walk the whole course. I wasn’t going to sweat for anyone, not even him. Now I’m training for a 5k race and hopefully a 10k to a half marathon next year.
What changed you ask? The realisation that I’m soon to be 30 and my body is not what it once was. When I moved from Zim I was a svelte size 28. Within 6 months I’d gone from 63kgs to 85 kgs. I was so overweight my eyelids were greasy. In a new country where food was cheap and plentiful I simply gorged myself on chocolate. Over the years I managed to lose the weight but plateaud at 76kgs.
Something fell into place 3 years ago but moreso over the last year. I’m aiming to be the fittest I’ve ever been. Diabetes is rife in my family and my mother whose advice is sometimes scathing but is given non the less ‘kindly’ pointed to my expanding middle and said I was on course for the sugar curse amongst other health issues due to my body shape, BMI etc. She went on to point out that I would balloon after the babies and find it even harder to lose. She had a point.
So I started slow with mum’s acid words resonating in my soul. I started with food by stripping out all the badness and eating better. With my diet in check I moved onto exercise since November 2014 but got more consistent in February this year. I started hiking in the countryside when the weather improved. You see fresh air is good for you. I would walk for miles and not tire as I’ve always loved walking. Then in March-April 2015 I started trying to run.
Ever since I increased my runs coupled with exercise, my physique is like,”yes, ma’am!” Marvelled by the changes in my physical body I stand in front of the mirror exposing my reflection as I admire my physique much like I did when I started sprouting breasts, hips, thighs, curves and all things womanly. I find strength in the changes to my physical body. All my perseverance is starting to pay its dividends. I am learning how my body reacts to physical discipline in the form of exercise. Each day I wake and push my body past the limits I had set myself. Each day I wake up with sore and aching muscles which initially resist and eventually yeild to the forces placed on them. Each time my mum sees me, she approves. She’s also on her own health journey as well.
I am not the fastest runner. Instead I brisk walk, then jog before bursting into a measured running pace. I plan my route and push past it each time. With each run I find I can go further than the last run. I run with my inhaler which so far I’ve had no need for. I find myself running faster to house and kwaito music. Some days I listen to gospel as I marvel at my beautiful surroundings. My lungs burn but I push past the burn and it’s getting easier. Sweat runs down my body into my eyes and mouth, still I push. It has been a long time since I’ve been this enthusiastic about anything.
In a period of time when things were bleak I just asked God for discipline. Discipline in all areas of my life which were health, faith, business and career. For so long I had lacked discipline. When I speak of discipline I am talking about self – discipline. Not the kind measured out in African homes. I’m talking about the discipline no wooden cooking stick or belt can whip into you. The discipline that comes from ‘self’. I lacked the focus and commitment to finish anything I started. Once the going got tough I quit. I remember I didn’t complete a course when I was left with 1 module. I settled for a certificate of unit achievement. My tutor was so disappointed. I can still see her expression. Life had got tough and I just couldn’t focus on that course. Looking back I am so disappointed with myself. Even with money I lacked discipline. I worked 3 jobs at one point and could have bought a house but I would spend money on clothes, buy my friends in Zim stuff and go out. Looking back now and realising how hard it is to buy a house, this is one major regret I have in life. Anyway that was 10 years ago this is now.
Being disciplined in my health and fitness journey has spilt into other areas of my life. Seeing results in my physique is teaching me that nothing comes easy. The more I push myself physically, the more I realise that I am capable. If through discipline I can change my physique imagine how I could apply the same discipline in other areas of my life. If through pushing past initial discomfort I can eventually settle into a routine that reaps rewards how different would my life be?
We limit ourselves as humans. We even limit God. Imagine if we lifted these limits off how much more we would achieve.
Where are you lacking discipline and where could you improve?
Be disciplined and lift those limits. Be the best you, you can be.