Editor’s Note: This article was published in a pre-COVID world, even so, the sentiments shared remain the same. This year has introduced many changes that may have added a few inches around the waistline.
Most of us left the lockdown(s) a few pounds heavier. Add on movement restrictions, working from home, comfort and so on, many of us are feeling conscious of our bodies right now.
Our hope is that this will encourage you to find a community of like-minded individuals, pursuing the same health goals. Come on ladies, we can do this!
I lived in India my whole life and relocated to Botswana in 2010, as a mum to an independent 13-year-old and wife of a busy executive. Soon after the move my status changed from “busy and on the move” to “lazy and stuck”.
The cruel pounds piled on with affection and promised never to leave me nor forsake me. Self-care and attention to grooming took a backseat as I no longer had anywhere to get up and dressed for most mornings. The pangs of moving to a new country, having no one to talk to, and no girlfriends to laugh with did increase binge eating to fill up the emptiness.
Hit by a weight gain of over 25 pounds, I needed to do something! Facial palsy and a hysterectomy added to my woes. One morning while reading my devotion, I came across a line that said, “Faith is like exercise.” – what once feels hard like running around a block will get easy as you do it every day!
My Introduction To Running
A dear friend from church introduced me to the Couchto5K program which I decided to try. This running program helps anyone even a person who is a Couch potato ease into running 5 km in a matter of 8 – 10 weeks. The program is available as an app or as an audio mp3 file. Do check it out here.
I did a version with worship songs but there are various versions with upbeat workout songs as well.
The cool thing about this program is it you have someone cheering you on to persevere. Yes, there’s a voice encouraging you along, letting you know when to walk and when to run, which is helpful! The program starts with a walk-run-walk method. You have the freedom to repeat weekly routines till you get it right and are ready to move to the next level.
A 40-year-old overweight woman running on the road? This image brought in fear, but all I needed to do was step out and actually do it. I almost cried and caved in when I had to run for 5 minutes. But 14 weeks later it was well worth it when I successfully completed the program.
Invaluable Lessons Learned From Running:
- You can do it.
If you only hang in there long enough to overcome the pain. This lesson has since applied a great deal in many circumstances in the past couple of years.
- Great results follow, with hard work. Age is definitely a mere number not a limiting factor.
I lost 30 pounds in a year and have kept most of it off!
- I feel refreshed and satisfied when I exercise.
Running clears my head, takes off a lot of weight from worry, stress and anxiety. Keeping my physical energy, mental and emotional state on a more positive note.
- Many people run in Botswana and this is a great way to make friends.
- Weight loss is a guaranteed plus!
- It is all about competing with yourself and not others.
Running Clubs In Gaborone
Now restrictions have lifted a little, the GGC5K run has since found a farm to host the Park runs on a Saturday to replace the Monday GGC5K. They have all your running needs covered with trails for 5.5kms, 8.5kms, 12.5kms and 21.5kms. The best part about this is it’s open to the whole family!
The run on Kenmoir Farm is accessed by Plot 99 Ruretse. A 5 minute drive from the Ruretse road junction on the sewage ponds road, just before Phakalane.
Register at https://www.thetrail.run/
This running club helps beginners and advanced runners. There are runners at various levels and the organized runs around the city help one train seriously.
Be it running as part of a club or running on your own, while Botswana main roads are pretty safe, here are a few words of caution:
- Never run with valuables visible – phone, jewellery and anything that would attract attention.
- Avoid running in the by-lanes where dogs may attack. I got attacked once in Phase 4. My neighbour’s dogs were carelessly let loose and as I crossed their home I was attacked This set me back for almost a year!
- Never run alone in the dark. Stay vigilant and be careful.
- Listen to your body – walk when you have to, but keep moving.
if you’re looking for an all women’s running movement, The Pack is just what you need.
They will be reviving the running spirit soon, within the recommended safety regulations. Follow them on Instagram @thepackgbe to stay updated.
So lace up and run your way to fitness! Please leave a comment and tell us about your fitness journey.