Thulisile Madi

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TBT to that time when the #RunRevolution movement was celebrating women, well here is one more :) 



On who you are...

My name is Thuli, which means peace in Zulu. When it comes to running, I must say that the trotting of my feet during any training session is anything but peaceful at times. I am definitely one of those runners who sweat WAY past the point of it merely being a ‘glow’, but I love the challenge because it reminds me that despite the fact that not every run is peaceful, it represents a step forward beyond anywhere else I’ve ever stood. I’m also a blogger, full-time law student and really passionate about God. Despite my many flaws evident like the beads of sweat on my face after a good run, and despite the steps that I have taken on the ‘wrong road’, I’m just a girl that’s trying to finding beauty in every terrain that I may find myself on. 

 On running...


I initially started running as a way of losing weight after my first year in Varsity, which entailed lots of unhealthy eating habits, led to my clothes no longer fitting. What started off as a mere venture on the treadmill for 5 minutes a day before calling it a day, further led to me entering races on Sundays and competing against no one other than my very self. Although the years have passed, and I now found myself running mainly for fun and to reach great goals, I haven’t lost the desire to run further than I have ever been. 

On your First Run...

My first run was most likely a race that my dad forced my entire family to do seeing as he was, and still is, an avid half marathon runner. I remember having a hundred negative thoughts in my head, all of which were founded on the fact that I was more interested in sleeping in on a Sunday morning instead of running a race. It mostly started off as a walk, but I suddenly found myself wanting to be a lot more than just ‘another walker’ or ‘another runner’. I wanted to find purpose in the discomfort I found myself in, and instead of fueling every step of mine with negativity, I fueled it with the desire to run a bit faster than my brisk walk. And alas, a love affair with running began. 

             On Street culture...


Street culture happens to be one of my favourite facets of Johannesburg. Some might consider it to be a fad, however I see so much beauty in the fact that people are constantly embracing their differences and staying true to themselves. Street culture to me is so much more than merely just being a ‘cool kid in the city’, but rather a facet of the new creative movement that allows people to be exactly who they want to be, be it in their fashion sense or musical taste. Simply put, I’m about that life! 



              On running culture...

I looove the running culture that has been adopted in Jozi, especially amongst young people. Ever since I started running, I noticed that the average runner in the races that I was participating in was much older than myself (sorry if I’m offending anyone!). Although I enjoyed the occasional cheering from the older generation during the race itself, I’ve enjoyed more so having people around my own age being so passionate about a sport that I initially thought to be for crazy people. I also love how the running culture has inherently brought together people from all walks of life, different ages and racial backgrounds together, bringing together an element of commonality with everyone who came in their running shoes, running gear and race numbers.


                   On gadgets...

I only ever run with my phone, and occasionally, with earphones so I can blast every inspirational and sometimes ratchet song on my phone. Most running magazines will tell you that you haven’t received your (un)official label as a runner if you don’t have a GPS watch to tell you how far you’ve run, or some other new techno-savvy toy to run with. Although I wouldn’t turn these gadgets down if ever I received them as a gift, I also have enjoyed running without them and I’m doing just fine. And sometimes, the gadgets are a representation of distractions, taking away from the nature we ordinarily ignore anyway when driving.


                                                  On injury...

I have yet to be injured (touches wood). I have however felt discomfort quite a lot in the past from using the wrong running shoes or over training. Generally, a good spinning class at the gym or a day off have helped. A very rare trip to the physiotherapist has occurred, and if you can look past the gut-wrenching pain that might ensue, it can be an awesome experience to get your knots ‘untied’.


                 On achievements...

I have yet to win a race (shocker, right?), but I have kept every single one of my medals. And I occasionally wear them all at once so I know how it feels to be a gangster, much like 2 Chainzz. 


                                             On future goals...


My most current goal is to run a full marathon. Yes, I most definitely think that I am in over my head, but I also think that it just might be one of the best experiences in my life to actually train for such a race and successfully run one. My training schedule has been on hold for a bit because I have the flu, which sucks quite a lot, and I had an amazing Church conference vibe at Hillsong, which was worth the running halt. As for the training days to come, I am going to record the journey to my chosen race on my blog, www.theworldbehindmyshades.com

On your social media...


My social media tendencies waiver back and forth in terms of my frequency in posting cool pictures on Instagram or cool sentences on Twitter. I do however spend a vast number of hours on Instagram, looking for inspiration from female runners that are killing it on these Insta-Streets. My current social media muses are style2run, and lydiaodo, who regularly post about their running ventures. If ever I am tempted to run straight to the couch and stay there instead of hitting the treadmill or Nike Running Club, those two Instagram Muses remind me that there are kilometres to be run. 

                   On Pink...


The colour pink isn’t my favourite colour or on the list of favourites. 

                                           On Pain...


Pain, be it in the running and physical sense, or an emotional sense, is much like a harsh storm on seeds planted in soil. First, you feel like you’re drowning. Then, you wonder how you could’ve ever grown without such harsh conditions.


 On women’s running (why women should run)...

Women should run because of the health benefits, but mainly because they want to. I don’t believe in body shaming, or even guilt tripping women into the way of thinking that they have to look a certain way in order to be considered worthy in society. Running also has given me more endorphins than any other sport or workout routine, so I think that might also be reason enough for women runners. 



 On the Past you (what would you tell your non-running past self)...


 I would tell my non-running self to run my own race, in every aspect in life. I’d also tell myself that the time I took to run the race is less important than the time I had while running the race, simply because that is what keeps my personal passion for it alive. I would also tell myself to not get into the habit of being so hard on myself. Whether I run, walk or crawl, the finish line will always be there, and sometimes, passing the finishing line is all that’s needed.


                   When I die…

When I die, cremate my running shoes and spread them on every road they ran on. JOKES! When I die, I hope that I could’ve left some genuine positive things behind, even if it’s just relics of hope for one person out there.

#RunRevolution


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