By Ngosa Chibuye Muyatwa
My earliest memories of my morning runs are when I started work and I was far away from familiar things. I have always used running as a crutch, to help me figure out life’s uncertainties. Therefore, when I started work away from family and friends I began to run, every morning, mostly alone but my students would join in too and challenge me as they were more fit and would run faster.
This was before I had any children. I continued to run faithfully during the pregnancy of my first child (please do not do this without a doctor’s say so) and when I got to 6 months and could no longer run, I walked till I gave birth. I stayed without running till my baby was bigger and when I had just resumed, I fell pregnant with my second child. I had just taken up running and nothing would stop me. So I continued running and when I could not leave the house I would do other physical activities like skipping, stationary bike etc. My second pregnancy was relatively easier than my first and my body handled it well and I continued running and walking towards the latter stage of the pregnancy.
Running has become such a part of my life and I feel strange when I do not run for a while. I have a love-hate relationship with running though, because after I put on weight during and after my pregnancies, I hoped running would be the cure-all and I would snap back to my previous body but this did not happen and so I began to hate running and would not want to put in the effort for a while. Yet here I am still running.
There are so many reasons why I run and here are some of them;
I run to escape.
When I had 2 children under 2 years of age, I became overwhelmed with motherhood and how much these children needed me. I was sure I would go insane so I started leaving the house. After leaving the children with a trusted adult I would go out for some air, some alone time and some peace and quiet. Running was my saving grace.
I run to think.
Being a stay-at-home mum and an entrepreneur who mostly works from home, means I cannot think as my attention is required so much within the four walls of my home. I run to figure out issues that might be on my mind.
I run to talk to God.
There have been times that I am exhausted from my own life that I feel like escaping from it as we all do at one point or another. When I run, I talk to God and vent and sometimes he answers and sometimes I just feel peace which I get as a sign that he is still God.
I run to discipline myself.
Running is hard, at least for me. When I just started, I could not even run a kilometer and I have slowly built up and have even run in marathons. When I started I reached out to people in my locality to ask if we could run together and would be disappointed and set back when they wouldn’t show up. Most mornings I do not feel like running or getting out of bed to run and I have learned that when I feel like that, that is when I need the run most. So I run regardless of how I feel or how my life is because I am training myself each day to put in the work.
I run for the Assurance.
When a run is hard and I still do it, I get the confidence that I am capable in other areas of my life where I might be facing challenges. The work I put in and the sense of accomplishment afterwards makes me feel invincible.
I run for the community.
I have established a sisterhood that inspires and motivates me, and we run marathons together. This makes my life relatable and I understand that the challenges I face are not just specific to me.
I run for Aesthetics.
Last but not the least, I run to lose weight because after becoming a mother I put on over 20 kgs. Running has helped my body lose some of the kilograms and it is a work in progress. But it didn’t happen overnight as I have been running on and off for close to 10 years now.
Ngosa is an Educator, an avid reader, a runner and a mom. She documents her fitness journey on Facebook: Tales of a Zambian Running Girl/Mother.
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Edited by Bwalya M Mphuka
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