2020 Finish Line
2020 has been a difficult year with the Covid-19 global pandemic and the standard sucker punches life routinely throws at you. However, if you’re reading this I want you to know something... you’re a survivor. There’s a reason why you’re still here; you have a purpose to fulfill. As you cross the 2020 finish line I want you to think about your life’s mission. What drives you? What wakes you up in the morning? Are you staying loyal to your dreams?
Personally, 2020 is the year Roadrunner Zambia came to life and I’m proud of it. I had doubts, fears and insecurities but I overcame them with the spirit of courage. I want to help you find that within yourself because I truly believe that ‘the highest human act is to inspire’. You may not be passionate about fitness or blogging🤷🏾♂️but you’re passionate about something -- let the world know. You have value, your ideas💡are worth something and you can make a difference.
On the face of things, some of you may think I’m just a madman obsessed with fitness, I’m not. My mission at it’s core is to help you help yourself, whether you run or not. Perhaps I can guide you on how to eat better for superior health or maybe I’ll just inspire you to put yourself out there, start doing your own thing on various platforms and complete your own designated marathon. The truth is I’m a recovering introvert looking to assist other ‘turtles’ come out of their shell. My message to you is 'be bold and dare to dream'. Less impressive people have done big things simply because they had the courage to start. Start where you are with what you have. Don’t wait.
On your next lap in 2021 I want you to do more than survive, I want you to thrive!
Here’s how to transition from surviving to thriving in 2021:
Don’t tell me that you don’t have time to implement these things because people far busier than you get it done and it shows. Don't get left behind.
As a man when you excel in anything it's important to acknowledge the people who give you the stage to perform. I'm a married man and I want to use my platform to acknowledge my wife; a woman that has literally been a cheat code in life for me.
This is my truth:
My wife, you're the reason I wake up in the morning and go harder than last time. I want you to know that I'm grateful for your acts of service (cooking, cleaning, ironing - the list is endless!) as it fuels the beast and allows me to flourish in my fitness endeavors. I'm thankful for the words of affirmation that you provide when I need them most as it allows me to keep persisting when I start to feel discouraged. I cherish our quality time because it recalibrates me and calms my spirit. Your physical touch melts away my stress and reinvigorates me. Your supernatural capacity to be able to gift me things I didn't know I needed still puzzles me to this day but provides tangible examples of your thoughtfulness.
You taught me the 'mpaka concept' - which is to keep persisting until you get the outcome that you want. Mpaka vi chitike. I went from struggling to overcoming, from an unknown to a brand, from a street runner to the Roadrunner Zambia. You are the reason why my spirit is so strong and defiant, my body is armored and my mentality is bulletproof. I am who I am and what I am because of you, for you and with you. I've been enhanced by you and you've done more than make me better, you've evolved me.
Thank you for supporting the hustle and developing the ability to speak every love language❤️🗣️. My greatest privilege has and will always be running life's marathon with you.
Here's my advice on how to appreciate others;
Mrs. Given Minziwe Majula💍, I love and appreciate you. Mpaka ku manda!
Working out on vacation
I recently received some bad news in relation to a planned holiday with family on a boat for a couple days. The boat owner informed us of significant damage to the boat from heavy rainfall and that repairs would not be complete in time for our scheduled trip. Why am I telling this story? We've tried to find an alternative vacation spot and it's been a nightmare! It's fully booked EVERYWHERE! The corona virus pandemic hasn't stopped people from going on vacation. For those with secured vacation plans and indeed those already on vacation I wanted to share some tips on working out on vacation. You can have fun and stay active for a dual benefit. Don't let a holiday interfere with your gains!
If you do nothing but chilling, everything you've worked so hard for will start to disappear. Cardiovascular fitness declines after just a week of inactivity for the average athlete so you should keep yourself in motion to prevent this decline.
It’s the festive season and that means a whole lot of food and liquor for many households. If you mismanage the situation and overindulge ma New Years resolution ya za vutako. I want to help you avoid entering the new year looking swollen while maintaining a decent baseline of fitness.
I enjoy a pint just as much as the next man but I still haul my butt out of bed and get ready to rumble when it’s time to get a workout in. During the festive season I switch to Castle Lite and embrace a ‘nutty lifestyle’🥜 where I keep nuts on hand. Castle Lite represents a low calorie beer option and various nuts offer a filling snack option to prevent overeating junk food (hello cake🎂). With nuts I eat the most readily available options such as groundnuts, walnuts, cashew nuts, almond nuts etc in short intervals. This practice helps suppress my appetite and as a man it helps with other obvious things that I won’t explicitly mention but just know it’s beneficial. Women can benefit greatly from nuts as well, and nuts may very well be the answer to “How can I fight off cravings?” 👉🏾eat nuts. You’ve heard.
Advice for beer benders🍻
Embrace the ever popular Castle Lite beers or any other ‘Lite’ beers such as Windhoek Lite, Bud Light, Amstel Lite, Heineken Light to keep your caloric intake from alcohol relatively low. For the uninitiated, Lite/Light beers are essentially a diet beer with less sugar and fewer calories than regular beer.
Advice for wine drinkers🥂
Look to consume dry wines (both white and red) because the drier the wine, the fewer calories and sugar it contains. Alcohol/wine has 7 calories per gram, so higher alcohol wines are higher in calories. You can test this by checking for the alcohol by volume (ABV) listed on the label and only consume those with an alcohol by volume of less than or equal to 13%. The lower the percentage, the better. So, dry wine with a low ABV should be your first choice if you’re a wine drinker. Love sweet wine? It loves you back and tends to display it’s love on your thighs, hips & bellies - Lobe!
Advice for Whiskey (and other spirits) lovers🥃
Mixing - Mix your preferred spirits with plain old water, soda water or Coke Zero only. Ngati ndiwe chikali drink your spirits neat. Avoid mixing with soft drinks, ginger ale, lemonade, Red Bull and tonic water. Take the time to read the nutrition labels on your favorite mixers and your jaw will drop! Specifically look at the carbohydrates coming from simple sugar per can/per 100ml. Take tonic water for instance, despite its bitter taste it contains a whooping 10 grams of sugar per small can on average.
Spirit type - Where possible, consider opting for clear colored spirits such as Vodka, Gin or Tequila (shots anyone?). They’re lower calorie options and will do less cosmetic damage to your bodies. Lastly, avoid cocktails🍸 except maybe Martini’s and Bloody Mary’s. The rest are meshed sugar bombs.
For more general guidelines & tips, check out my alcohol and fitness playbook here. Alternatively, call me and let’s talk about it.
Drink responsibly and eat in line with how you want to look.
Yesterday morning I was approaching a corner that leads back home when I found my neighbors perched by their veranda enjoying the rain and cool breeze. Upon seeing me they shot me a puzzled look and asked "How do you do it? Isn't it dangerous to run in the rain?" I proceeded to explain what I'm about to share with you now.
So, how do I do it? I start by checking for any thunderstorms and lightning and the strength of the rainfall by peeking outside and observing for roughly 10 minutes. While arriving at my conclusion I also open up a weather app on my phone to gain further insight on the situation outside. If the coast is clear (no thunderstorms and moderate rainfall), I get dressed in warm clothing which typically means a base layer of clothing under my reflective shirt and accompanying accessories plus a sports cap with all the other essentials such as running shorts, a GPS running watch and shoes. I set out on a familiar route to avoid any surprises such as falling through an uncovered manhole (believe me it happens!) or masked ditch. I run at a slower than usual pace for the entire duration of my run to avoid any slippery accidents as roads, sidewalks and other surfaces tend to be slippery when it rains.
Is it safe? Yes. Running in light to moderate rainfall is safe. In my opinion, there's really only two major concerns when it comes to running in the rain and those are visibility for motorists not to make a pancake out of you and lightning to prevent a human braai situation. If there's no thunderstorm get out there and get after it as the threat of lightning is minimized. With regards to visibility; If you drive you already know how difficult it can sometimes be to see during a downpour. As a runner you can protect yourself by wearing the appropriate reflective clothing and accessories to ensure that you can easily be seen while observing key personal safety guidelines.
The following items need to be considered and properly implemented for a successful and safe running session in the rain:
If you’re going to run while it’s raining, make sure you’re appropriately dressed in warm, reflective gear. Warm clothing is necessary to control your body temperature as it may get cold out there and reflective gear is essential because visibility is reduced in the rain. Cars may have a harder time seeing you so you should wear bright, visible colors along with reflective accessories.
Also on running gear, it's very important to wear appropriate running shoes with good grip to avoid any slippery accidents. A pro tip for wet shoes after a run in the rain is to crumple up some newspaper and stuff it into your wet shoes. The paper will absorb the excess water in your shoes thereby shortening the drying time and preventing them from smelling funny.
If there's thunderstorms and accompanying lightning then you should postpone or cancel your run until such a time when these things are no longer present. Getting your run done is not worth the risk of getting struck by lightning. Alternatively, you can opt to run indoors by hopping on a treadmill.
Roadrunners be very careful where you place your feet as the rain can conceal potholes, ditches and other uncovered openings. Be sure to run on familiar roads and on surfaces that you can clearly see. Additionally, avoid muddy surfaces to protect yourself from slipping and falling.
Get warm immediately after your run in the rain by removing all wet clothing, consuming a hot cup of tea and taking a hot bath. The objective is to raise your core body temperature after exposure in the rain.
Rain season is no excuse to let your fitness levels drop. Get out there and get it done no matter the circumstances.
ISSA Certified Fitness Trainer & Nutritionist
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