Monday, 14 November 2011

Like Water for Chocolate

Well, I am almost at the two-month mark of my stay here in Kenya, and it's finally happened.  You have to understand - I have been very, very engaged with the work I have been doing at ICJ Kenya and I have been incredibly fortunate to come here, at this particular time, doing this particular type of work, when it is really the soul food of the political maturation of Kenya as a community and as a State.

But, the truth is, as much as the work has been firing up my brain, functionally, I am still basically sitting at a desk, staring at a computer every day.  My body was only going to let me do that for so long.

So, I am now doing this (just the short version), probably this (the half version), and have officially started training with the Impala Club Football (soccer) team.

Here are my first impressions of attempting to get back in shape in Nairobi.

  1. I have no idea what time is a good time to run.  I thought that getting up for a run at 6am would be good, but the roads are literally packed with people.  I hear through the grapevine that these people make the walk, early in the morning, from their houses, towards the Central Business District, in order to see if they can pick up casual work for the day.  If they don't manage to find anything, they spend the day relaxing in Uruhu and Central park, before heading home again.
  2. I feel incredibly self-conscious about running here.  Am I just another crazy Mzungu on parade?
  3. The possibility of it starting to rain is a really good motivating factor to make me kick the last kilometer of my run.  Fortunately, it's never started to rain, because I don't have the capacity to sprint for a kilometer yet (or ever).
  4. Trying to play soccer with a bunch of 20 year-old kids who are in the Nairobi top-flight division is humbling.  BUT, when you score a goal in practice, even if you were actually trying to pass it to a teammate, don't be stupid and actually tell anyone that.  You scored a goal.  Celebrate, and let everyone think you are a fantastic soccer player that is 'just a bit out of shape'.
So there you go.  Please send your positive vibes my way, as I undertake a personal project to get fit.  The outcome is still very tenuous.


  1. All you have to do is picture yourself running beside Steve Prefontaine =)

  2. I am having the same problems over here....I have joined a gym but half of the equipment doesn't work. I predict that February will be my slowest half-marathon time ;)


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