Atlegang Mosimanekgosi

Sunday, January 04, 2015

I was never a fat child, I could never be fat. That is not something that I am not capable of, something I never want to achieve. It was never about losing weight, that was never in my thoughts. It is something that came as a by product of a gift that was forced on to me. I don't know why I didn't say no to them, I just said yes I will do it. I paid with my mothers credit card and that was that.

"Take off your shoes and socks" I hated that sentence, I still do now. It meant I was going to be forced to do something. Something I was not good at, something that I did not enjoy. It seems everybody had the talent for it, everybody was faster than me. This I had to go through for the first few weeks of every grade in primary school, it was athletics season. I would smile when it rained because that would mean athletics practice would be cancelled for that day. I would do anything to get out of it fake sickness, come with letters from my mother or outright refuse. I just could not do it. I never had that talent.

"Take off your shoes and socks" not anymore, now it was "look down Grade 8's" but this was not as bad. This lasted for a week and it was over. Athletics was voluntary and I would not be there, it was not my scene. Years went by, grades went up and I joined debating, public speaking, newspaper, drama and my waist expanded because I was not playing tennis anymore, it was not offered at the school. If you participated in these cultural activities you would know what RHS diet was. Slap chips x white bread x cool drink, I was not skin and bones anymore. I was categorised in the chubby range, that was not a problem for me. All my life I had always wanted to gain a kilogram or 5, to be less skinny, so my bones would stop showing. I always found clothes that fit so it was not a problem, it was a matter of buying more clothes. Shopping for my matric dance suit the pants did not fit and they got a bigger size from another branch. See what I mean finding clothes was never a problem.

Size 36, my waist size when I left for first year at Wits university. It was not a problem skinny jeans were made in that size, in fact they were cheaper, finding clothes was never a problem. 2 guys living together, none with a girlfriend, cooking takes 2 hours, washing dishes was never our favourite chore. The other guy will agree to this, our friends know about the dishes story. KFC was in Braamfontein before Mcdonalds and we had a loving relationship, they fed me I paid them. Fat Girl Moment, me and Zaheedah used to call it. Streetwise 2 x white bread x A tall glass of Coke x KFC coleslaw, No combination of food beats that one, maybe pizza. Even typing now I am salivating thinking about it, I could drive to KFC now, in 2011 I would have but now I know better. 

2012, I was flirting with size 38 jeans. They were touching my body and it seemed in some places they wouldn't let go. The flirt, I had bought at Mr Price keywest for R10. The flirt came with a brother and a sister, I separated them to different locations together, together they could tempt me to hug all 3 of them and forget about my other clothes. Like I said finding clothes was never a problem, for men at Mr Price, skinny jeans get cheaper as the size rises. Walking to campus left me in a sweat, my energy levels were decreasing. Somebody mentioned Runjozi and I thought nothing of it. You will read more about this in the interview I had with myself. YDE had a sale and we were there at Eastgate scavenging for clothes, that is what you do when you get there late, it is a jungle. I found shorts, I think they were swim shorts and XL Blake pants. The Blake pants fit well and the swim shorts "fit" with enough heaving and pulling. After the second runjozi, The Blake pants were loose and the swim shorts fit. They just slid up my legs and stayed there.

2013, I have already established a Braamfontein to Zoo lake and back run regime with Letoya. We have been doing this for more than 6 months now. People promise to join us on our adventures but they never really pitch up. They always seem to have a dictionary of excuses stored in their heads, ready to recite it at any given moment. I join the Braamfie runners and they become part of my saturday morning. Rain, shine or snow I am there running through Joburg cbd, something I thought was dangerous. Goals are set, pushing our bodies to new limits. Experiencing surburbs through their streets. Every location has a different story and you feel its story through your feet. Running is my new addiction, no more Fat Girl Moments who still buys from KFC anyway? we burn calories, we don't buy them. You don't want to run with me? fine, I will run alone and I will run for longer and I will have the highest kilometres on Nike+. 

Injury happens and we are conditioned to run through the pain, you push until you get to the finish line. You cry after you pass the finish line. What is the difference between 111,38 kilometres in July and 174,62 kilometres in August? an ultra marathon, but we run it. We push through the pain until our bodies break down and our bones crack. A moon boot and crutches becomes your new transport. Atleast a moonboot you can take on and off unlike an "ice cream"(plaster of paris cast) which you are stuck with for weeks without washing that area. Our bodies heal themselves with time, we stop limping and throw the crutches into a dark room. 

What does not kill us, makes us stronger right? I now know that I can run a half marathon with an injury. Stupid you might say, true as that might be but it was done. Now I know that I can run up any hill because I have a years worth of runnning from Zoo Lake to Braamfontein via Jan smuts. That hill is my friend, a friend who strengthened me, a friend that built me to get over hills and warn my knees about downhills. 

I am thankful that I had friends who forced me into doing Runjozi, the same friend calls me a skinny bitch now and does not want to run with me. He forced a gift on to me and I am grateful, I often think about what I would do if I lost the function of my legs. I could not deal with not running for 3 months and that is why I think of it as a gift.

I run for me, I run for you, I run for world peace, I run to get rid of the streetwise 2, I run to push my limits,I run to be a better person, I run to inspire you to do start being active, I run to wear shorts, I run to look good naked(that's still not achieved), I run because I am addicted, I run for those who can't, I run because I love the pain. I run to start a movement.. 

& I won't stop running.

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  1. I hear the streets calling my name

  2. I'm still struggling with food, it is my greatest struggle! :(

  3. Love your story...where you began, your tribulations and where you are today! Very inspiring! Thank you for sharing. This fuels my own goals for running. After a series of injuries, I'm ready to get back into the running groove...I've missed it. Cheers & Blessings to you***