I finally hit the road running after a long lay-off. It was the first time I have struggled to resume running. Luckily, I had asked Cynthia to do all it takes to get me out of bed so I can resume running. Well, I didn’t know she was going to kick me out of bed!
I couldn’t blame her.
Yet, after spending an almost sleepless night, I wanted to continue sleeping. I woke up and gingerly walked to where my phone’s alarmed chimed. After switching it off, I drunk a glass of water and walked back to bed. I had just grabbed the warm duvet and wrapped my arms around my wife’s warm body.
“Get off and go for your run,” she barked, kicking me.
“Oh no,” I growled. “Can I hold you for one more minute?” I asked. “I’ve not slept the whole night.”
“No,” she replied. “You’re getting out of bed right now,” she added, kicking my heels.
“Okay,” I said, walking out of bed with heavy feet.
Stumbling and falling after a long lay-off
I walked to the sitting room and sat on the couch. I was battling with lots of nagging doubts. My recent failure to perform well during the Kericho Triathlon Series came to my mind. I felt useless and wanted to quit. I wanted to go back to bed and hold my wife in my arms. But I knew she wouldn’t accept me back unless I went running.
I fished my earphones and switched the phone’s FM radio on. After tuning in to Hope FM, I warmed up and finally left the house 30 minutes later. Usually, I would have not wasted 30 minutes the way I did today. I was still looking for a reason why I should not be out there running.
Three days ago, Jane Mbuthia, asked if I had signed up for this year’s Stanchart Marathon. I told her I didn’t want to and she kept asking me to. I finally agreed to but didn’t tell her I don’t have money to sign up. She has been asking and confirming if I have signed up for the last three days.
Three more fundraising events to go
I still have about three fundraising events left before this year ends. One is a marathon while the rest are duathlons. Much as I would like to sign up for all them and end 2017 on a high, I don’t have the money required to enter them. Because these events are out of Nairobi, I need money for fuel and accommodation.
These are the things that filled my mind while I was running this morning. I also kept thinking about God’s blessing throughout this year. God has been faithful, in ways that I cannot fathom. I begun this year with lots of plans, hopes and goals.
launch the Standing With Boys pilot in two schools
have a website for my online writing
support two mothers for six months
continue raising funds through running and biking
These plans seemed like lofty dreams at the time I was discussing them with my wife in January. However, God has been faithful. I have managed to raise more funding than I did last year. The Standing With Boys pilot kicked off in two schools in Kangemi. Save for challenges, here and there, the program is doing well.
I finally marshaled enough courage to take a huge step of faith as a writer. My writing is now doing well and I hope it will become profitable soon. The Lifesong Kenya team has gotten a boost after Elisha Maketa and Kelvin Hondo joined. The two of them were a huge addition to Jared Junior, Cynthia and I.
The five us were able to take part in several fundraising running and biking events. We managed to raise enough funds that enabled us to have bus fare for our work and activities at the prison. We were also able to support two mothers with rent and monthly shopping.
Falling flat on my face
I reflect, plan and pray a lot while running. This morning was not any different. Names of people I am praying for kept popping up in my mind. The faces of a lady we are supporting and her children came to my mind. She is going through a lot and I wish I could offer her more help.
As I kept thinking and running, I stumbled and fell flat on my face. I seldom fall down while running. When it happens, a tinge of embarrassment courses through my veins. Today, I fell outside Suna Estate along Wanyee Road. I fell right in front of a man while a No. 4W busload full of people passed by, on its way to Riruta Satellite. Faces of the people who have been supporting me sprung to mind.
What would Jared Junior, Patty Liston, Sophie Kutiti, John Wollwerth, Irene Kairungu, Tracy Hanson, Margaret Heighton, Celestine Odiwuor, Raquel Chirie, Job and Shirley Naibei, Joy Howes say? In the end, I imagined what my wife would have said and smiled despite the temporary pain. Here is what she would have said… “Get up soldier and eat dust! No stopping until you hit the finish line!” I stood up, brushed the dust from my arms and running gear and continued running. It is going to be well with me, I thought and smiled. What’s more, I going to get the money I need to sign up for the remaining events. I don’t know how. But God does!
Today’s running milestones
Distance run: 11.3 km
Av Speed: 7:46/km
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James Ouma is a Clarity Coach, Cyclist and Writer. He is passionate about positive masculinity and helping incarcerated male teens to reconcile with their families and their communities. He loves staring at his bicycle, flipping through movies without watching them, and playing ‘tap out’ with his wife.