Back by popular demand?
But I’m back anyways. Doing everything except running. That marathon adventure proper burnt me out. And while I haven’t asked for a divorce, I have asked running to try a trial separation.
While he’s been living next door, I’ve been entertaining every other physical activity under the sun.
Boxing, Spinning, Swimming (drowning), Bikram, even weights. And I have to tell you that my findings have shown me what I have always suspected; running alone does not have you at your physical peak. Not mine anyway.
Where I felt I had suffered a muscular flatline, returning home with not so much as a blister, I knew it was time to switch it up. My body became accustomed to running and no longer saw it as hard work, let alone a threat.
Laughing in the face of injury, these other exercises have once again awoken, the desire to challenge myself. Can I get to a 90 second plank? Will I be able to leg press double my body weight by October? Will I ever stop skipping like a five year old?
So many questions and I am so excited to find out the answers.
Does that mean I’ve thrown my lunarswifts into the fire? Unfortunately not. There is still races to run and money to raise. I’m just opening myself up to a land of possibilities.
It was Robin and Bangs that first introduced me to BOOM! A spinning class with a twist, I was down for that. These thighs aren’t just for show. It’s finally a joy to sweat something, I’m already good at.
So imagine my hysteria when BoutiqueSport and BOOM! were offering a free class, with coconut water and a goodie bag to boot?! Yeah, involved.
The workout was new to me as I had only attended a hip hop class previous to that. But the tunes were banging and the teachers energy was through the roof.
Then she told us to grab weights.
Weights, what in all hell?
But I went with it.
Using 1 and 3kgs she made us use our entire bodies. To my admission I ended up kicking the 1kgs under my bike. It felt like shadow boxing with Rice Krispie squares. But by the end of the class my ego was in the corner begging for mercy because those 3kgs creep up on you!
By the time we were warming down to the sound of Lana Del Ray, I was whacked and sucked off the VitaCoco, like you would not believe.
So for me, BOOM! Really is the way forward. Especially since they gave a voucher FOR A FREE CLASS! HASHTAG WINNING.
I think the aim should be for us to move for one hour a day, doing what ever we please. As long as we sweat, we are doing the right thing, and I ain’t mad at that.
Next on my list:
Yep. A team of us at Y&Y have been given the VIP treatment and are going to do da ting. Again.
Will it ever stop?
The dust has settled. The medal takes up prize position on my fathers shelf. This part of the journey has come to an end.
What is funnily enough never mentioned in those pesky training plans, is the emptiness you will be left with once the finish line hasbeen crossed.
All of a sudden my diary is flung wide open and I can socialise again. I have no fifteen mile runs to ‘look forward’ to and i don’t quite know what to do with myself.
Once the tantrums had unfolded, tears dried and head deflated. I had to make some decisions.
Yes, I will run again. This tour has nothing to do with me and everything to do with HIV/AIDS. I will not stop until the stigma does. Point blank period. Two people I know and love are HIV+ Interacting with them allows me to simmer my ego and remember why I began this journey in the first place. Many runners take part in the physical to boost their own ego. I understand it. but I don’t co-sign it.
The fact I began to champion Avert is what has kept me going through the darker times.
I will do my best to mentor more ‘minorities’ and ensure that next years VLM has more black girls than a Snoop Dogg video. I understand that I am an unwilling role model. While there are no immediate plans to sack off my ‘recreational activities’ I will endeavour to lead a healthier lifestyle, if thats what it takes to get more people DOING DA TING.
All upcoming races have been put on pause. An X-ray revealed that I disrupted my ACL on the VLM race. That coupled with the fact that my stress fracture, still causes me stress, I am taking some time off. A month actually. I’ll probably have to come bad with a couch to 5k plan but fuck it, at least I’ll be able to walk in the shoes I work so hard for.
Whatever I do next, will not be so public. This space will always stand and the updates will continue to be regular but the time of inviting every tom dick and undeserving sally into the mix are well and truly over. This path we shuffle along is mighty lonely. While we are pressured into believing that we need assistance all of the time the marathon taught me that no one knows what you’re going through. So as the tour progress’ I am going to be playing my cards a lot closer to my chest.
To everyone that has donated thus far, there are no words that can entertain my gratitude.
To all those who consider me a role model, thank you. But remember I am human and when my shit hits the fan, it stinks more than most.
“Like most others, I was a seeker, a mover, a malcontent, and at times a stupid hell-raiser. I was never idle long enough to do much thinking, but I felt somehow that some of us were making real progress, that we had taken an honest road, and that the best of us would inevitably make it over the top. At the same time, I shared a dark suspicion that the life we were leading was a lost cause, that we were all actors, kidding ourselves along on a senseless odyssey. It was the tension between these two poles – a restless idealism on one hand and a sense of impending doom on the other – that kept me going.” Hunter S. Thompson, The Rum Diary
DO DA TING
I have sat in front of this screen toying with ways to explain what went down today, A run recap is boring. A little note is disrespectful.
So I am going to just type away and try to encapsulate all the emotions and thoughts that happened over the course of a 3 hour and change, run.
This is still very strange to me. I am not the fastest, lightest, most dedicated runner I know. I smoke, drink and complete races on an empty stomach. I am not a role model by choice, in fact I should have ‘don’t try this at home’ tattooed on my face. But alas the universe has shifted so that I am embarking on a journey, that far exceeds the parameters I set myself.
It doesn’t matter if it’s 2 miles or 20, every time I run, I feel like a fraud. It still hurts, it’s still a challenge and while I am consumed by the benefits, I have yet to fall in love with the physical act. Running is still a chore.
I cannot believe, that I have hung up heels for ‘supportive footwear’, mini dresses for dri fit. Everytime I look in the mirror I question my reflection. I have yet to decide whether that’s a good thing.
I entered the London Marathon as a test to the Divine. If I am supposed to continue to practice this act, give me a sign, Alas, it arrived and I am now knee deep in training.
Two years ago, I wouldn’t run for a Hermes sample sale. Now I cancel nights out to ensure that I am rested enough to do a decent job in the morning. Like I say to folk, this hobby will show you who you are or at a reach, who you want to be.
Today was the big one. Seventeen miles. How would I do?
I had warmed up the day previous with a stunning 9 miler, which allowed me to really focus on my pace and ‘getting comfortable’ (no such thing, but hey ho)
While nervous, I have decided to not let these runs distract me from the ultimate goal, DOING THIS MY WAY.
I made a few promises to myself
GO AS SLOW AS YOU WANT TO
WALK IF YOU NEED TO
With that in mind, I guzzled a hi5 energy source drink (no way is that fuel enough for such a distance. Lesson learned) stuffed some clif blocks in my pocket and decided to go wherever the wind took me.
The wind blew me from Barbican to Battersea and back in a slow but steady 3hrs 9mins.
Three hours that were filled with such fantasy, pain, ridicule, question and doubt that if you are not ready you will lay face down and await the next vehicle to take you to a better place.
I learned more about myself in those three hours than I have in the last three years.
I need to eat breakfast more often
I should listen to my early am bowel movements
My left leg is heavier than my right.
Men fancy me with a bare face
I have no shame in singing aloud*
My pain threshold far exceeds my patience
I can be made speechless
By the time I came to mile 10, I was at a firm 5miles per hour. Way off my personal target but guess what?
THIS IS NOT A GAME.
The audacity to even have a target time came swooping down on me like a hungry crow.
“Wow Cand, you could be on road for five hours plus at this rate.” I scolded myself
“Good. Ain’t no bitch gotta run this town but me.” I shot back
And that is the sweetest lesson, I ever did learn today.
I AM ALONE.
And it’s okay.
Today I also learned that I am blessed. What I lack in speed, I make up for in faith and what I lack in swiftness I challenge with determination.
My friends, the marathon fight is not about fitness. It’s about being able to weather the storm, depend on yourself and sit through the turbulence
I’ve had my fair share of turbulence.
As I came back along the Embankment I had a moment of clarity; everything is exactly as it should be.
No longer will I weep about my Father, my daughter or mother. I am already in pain. Why not source a reward for it?
As, I pressed ‘end workout’ on Nike+ GPS, I smiled.
This is only the beginning.
*At the Jamaica marathon, once I was heading back to my hotel, I saw a man who was approaching mile 18, hands aloft and sweat pouring down his face he was moving at snails pace and singing aloud. He was in incredible pain but was so consumed by his own definition of success that it didn’t matter.
That will be me. Somewhere between mile 18 and 23, I’ll have my hands in the air, crop top in full effect. Smile, wave and cheer. Or better yet, hand me a beer.
‘Dont want to meet your mama, just want to make you…’
Three in a bed.
“Your parents died in a car crash when you were twelve? Awesome, we can date then!”
You never say that of course but deep down within your (terribly horny, and so they should be) loins, meeting the parents is never something you look forward too.If you do, you are lying or you want to shag your love’s Ma or Pa. Or both. No judgment.
This has never been a problem of mine. Problem meaning the first time I met the Ex’s Mum, I was a character witness for her son. She had no choice but to love me. His Dad was a non-factor. First time, I have been all for the ‘absent black father’ stereotype. So it was easy. His mother and I developed a friendly relationship, which has gone on to outlive our own. But it’s not always that easy is it?
And why not? Do we, like everything else’s in our seemingly first world, spoilt rotten (you are reading a blog on a laptop, you are living the LIFE) lives, over complicate things? If you have ever recreated Meet the Focker scenes then yes, maybe you need to back away from the opium and become a nun.
But if not, then maybe the answer is simple;
You do not want to be rejected by the person who gave up their womb (rent free) for the one you love.
Mmm hmmm. I wish I had the time to dance around the issue but the truth is I have a heavily overdue brief, a Will to draft and a biological clock the size of Big Ben that is on the cusp of running low on Duracell. But second to that first truth, if you and your love’s ‘rents can’t kick it, expect to be kicked to the curb. Sure it may not be suddenly but over the years the cracks will appear. And you would have wished you could thank me sooner. These two people, who I am sure if they had nothing in common with said love, would be lovely, are going to judge you. This fact cannot be escaped. And if you think you are the exception, take an arena of seats and sip some apple juice.
I help look after a young man. I have my glock ready and waiting for all these honey dip hoes, who are going to try and claim he has impregnated them. I also have paternity sites bookmarked just so I can recreate Maury at the kitchen table. Trust me, I don’t need to pass the bar. Guilty!
But in all (semi) seriousness the fear evoked when having to meet the parents for the first time is enough to make you break up with the person and/or wish their parents were dead. Neither of which I would advise. Wanking gets boring and funeral costs have risen by 17% in the last decade.
You can’t wear the dress that he likes on you; she’ll think you are a hooker. Don’t swear or order beer, neither is ladylike. Don’t speak unless spoken too. Nonsensical rambling can quickly lead to you giving up sex tips. She made him, I am sure she is fine in that department. Compliment but not too much. Be friendly but not overbearingly so unless, you want to have to spend years trailing around Ikea with her. Remember to breathe, not sigh. All the while thinking ‘CAN I GO HOME AND SHAG YOUR KID YET?!”
The reality is as soon as your back is turned, they hold the cards and whatever you have said/worn/eaten (including their kid) doesn’t count.
So maybe we need to chill and take a bloody load off. Hope the stars align and that karma has the grace to allow us to be loved by the ones that really count. And all smart asses know, it’s not all about the one you love. Be yourself. If they love you, great. If they hate you, excellent. The sex is always better that way.
It was only a matter of time before this space got personal.
This morning I was wondering how I would present more personal pieces. The space is about running no? But then a friend Niran suggested I just create another ‘page’ where I can get buck wild on whatever I feel at the time.
Now, me and WordPress are fighting, so for the meantime, I’m just going to let other musings live under the same roof. They are tagged as ‘Life in the slow lane’ (tortoise, remember?)
Once I find out how to work this thing, ‘Life in the slow lane’ will have it’s own space.
Until then, enjoy.
No ‘ist’s’ allowed.
Never one to beat around the bush, I’ll just cut to the chase; I am a 23year old black woman in love with a 38 year old white man. Now while obviously that is not a problem to either of us, it still does raise a few eyebrows.
After a much needed date night, we scurried under the damp of Notting Hill and made our way to the tube. I know what’s going to happen, so does he. It happens all the time. You watch as ‘the audience’ try and decipher the connection.
Friends? No, they are holding hands.
Stepfather? No, they just kissed.
Wait…they are (for lack of a less pedantic word) ‘lovers’ as those once raised eyebrows now knit together in disgust and their bottom lip curls with the sour taste of hatred, I can only think of two reasons why this could be a problem.
Race or Age.
I look young. He looks old. I am black. He is white.
Now for some reason, those factors (both of which were totally out of our control. Much like the choice of toy with a happy meal.) seem to be an issue to many. Now while none have yet dared to voice their outdated opinions, I live in anticipation that the time will soon come.
Believe me, I understand that, within London, there is still a sufficient under current of racism to over turn a small island, but I don’t always believe that, that’s the problem.
So it can only be the other ‘ist’; Age.
Unlike its unrivaled counterpart, ageism doesn’t seem to provoke the same human outcry of injustice. It just rocks up under a headline that normally has the word ‘Cougar’ in it, stays for a few and then plods along hoping to enrage another international company who frown upon hiring people (ok, women, but that ‘ist’ needs a blog of it’s own) entering their fifth decade.
But never has this been more apparent to me. A woman of my ilk, in her mid twenties, who prefers to date men within the 35-40-age bracket.
My partner is going grey, a dashing shade on him, I might add. Much to my encouragement he sports a matching beard. The difference in how our relationship is regarded by ‘the audience’ is based upon his current choice of postiche, never fails to amuse us. And amused we are, because for the life of us, we cannot understand why our relationship seems of such negative and/or inquisitive interest.
We are the passive couple, who appear to be blissfully unaware of any questioning eyes that last longer than the polite three seconds. Or so it seems. Because as we leave the situation to return to our own interrupted world, we end up discussing the ‘visual dressing down’ we received.
While the public view of my relationship does not irk me to the point of asking ‘can I help you?’ it does make me wonder if, as a society, we will ever mind our own business and let two consenting adults be such, without and ‘and’s, ist’s or but’s.’