One of my favorite local pop musicians Meja once sang, “Furahia maisha, furahia maisha” and the song became an instant sensation among both old and young people in Kenya. Translated, the lyrics are “Relish life. Relish life while you are still alive.” These lyrics have never had a big impact on me until a few months ago when I found out that I really needed to enjoy life in order to remain healthy and at the same time relish the little joys that life has to offer. So here goes my story:
I never knew that I would ever wake up with a bulky body that weighs 80 kgs. Never in my life. “But look at me now, weighing a whopping 85 kilos and if things go that way, I could easily scale to 90 and even 100!” That is no pleasant news. And I do not think it will ever be. Well, when I found out that I had a pot belly, a beefy body and would pant for breath after taking even the shortest walk, the first thing that I did was that I panicked. Really panicked. How had I ended up here? What was wrong? But I all blamed it on my sedentary lifestyle.
You see my job revolves around sitting down in front of the computer from Monday through Saturday. The only break I get is when I am going home and all I do is sit in the public transport vehicle and wait to get home. Once I arrive, I hold my kids, talk to the mommy and sleep only to wake up the following day to another routine. And that is damn depressing. Very boring actually. The only life is that rare Sunday when my wife and I go out to take nyama choma and have a few drinks. So when I heard that there is a new workout challenge in town where you indulge in one sport every month and win prizes for keeping healthy and fit, I was all sold. At least things did not have to be routine all through.
The first sport was cycling. So I borrowed a bike from a friend who was no longer using it. Man, I did not have any extra cash to buy a new one. But anyway! And man, after that first month, I was really toned. My leg muscles were showing and I was feeling like that was the best decision that I ever made in life.
The next month presented a new challenge; golf. Well for one, I always knew that golf would never be a sport for me. Maybe the only thing I could think of was being a caddie for a tycoon who loved golf. But never myself playing it. But here I was teeing off with friends. And since we were all very clumsy, we laughed it off and had a really good time. But who cares anyway. At least I got a pair of the best shorts for golf to show for my effort and commitment to the sport.And then the next thing was volleyball. Since I am a rather tall guy, I found volleyball to be a great sport for me. What with the spiking, scoring and blocking. It is at this time that I truly appreciated that I am really talented in so many things that I am yet to unearth and that I should live my life fully so as to learn this new things.
Most of the friends that we were with always entertained the idea of being paired up together with them because they found me to be really good in this sport.
What I learnt from the one month sports challenge
- On the value of resilience and accountability partners
While cycling, there were moments when I felt that I would not get the energy to wake up and face another of cycling. I still found myself doing it though. My cycling friends helped a great day I have to accept since they were pestering and tugging me along even when I felt that I did not want to do it.
- It is not too hard to remain healthy
Before this sports month challenge, I always thought health and being fit to be a big challenge. I felt that it would need so much money to be so. But how wrong I was. The only thing that was required of me was resilience, will and well, a borrowed bike and golf shorts. That was all!
- Relish every day
In the words of musician Meja, relishing life is the best thing that you can ever pride in. We come, we see, we live and conquer. While conquer might be an objective word, it is all about how you want to see it and what you believe the word means.