Wednesday, September 02, 2020


Welcome to the Hotel California, in another life I really want to explore the world. I want to walk on the Hollywood walk of fame. I miss being in the air and looking over the clouds. By the way I really think that one of the airlines flies lower than the others. Can you guess which one? 

A while back I had the opportunity to host Eligia over IG Live. She has been part of the community for a very long time and a week doesn't go by without us chatting in the DM's. So this is actually the perfect way to close off x THE WMN 2020. Unfortunately technology happened so the interview has been split into the podcast on YouTube and text interview. Both which you can view below. 




As a woman, I have learned to face my challenges with courage. The times where women are set back due to our gender are in the past. However, there is still so much work to be done with our new generations. It is important to encourage women to believe in themselves. It is important to break the cycle in which women are limited to childbearing and home care takers. I truly believe that education is the first step towards freedom. Our mentality changes when we give ourselves the opportunity to educate and elevate our goals. As an athlete, I was able to pursue higher education. It opened my eyes to a world I was not raised to see. I come from a family in which women are so limited to family affairs. However, I had the opportunity to learn about my capacity in this society. I am more than a mother, of which I take pride, but as an athlete, as a working woman, as a member of the community I can deliver more of me. We do better when we break the standards in a society that limits our existence. I know a few things about breaking society standards. As a young lady, I was bullied and gave people too much power about my physical appearance. As an adult, I took that power from those who hurt me and learned to love myself. Although I gained weight over the years, I learned to accept my current body shaped and embrace my beauty. The reality is that everyone is beautiful in their own skin. However, the beauty industry has set rules as to what beauty looks like. This is where I come in. I have taken this mission in my own hands to show women how deliverating it is to turn your back on those standards and set your own. As a plus size woman, I feel as beautiful as when I was a small size. I embrace my thickness and the fierceness that comes with it. My skin color is beautiful even when I get darker as I go for a long run on a summer day. My glow is different when I recognize my own unique features. This is what I want to express to other women. Self confidence is key to opening our own opportunities. Self acceptance helps you find your flaws, but also all the qualities we possess. When we discover self love and self acceptance, we take power away from others. We take the power and turn it into fuel to continue our everyday fight towards bettering ourselves. 


I remember trying to get back to running and thinking that I was going to be slow due to my weight. I set my goals to lose weight only to perform better, as a runner, I still have a competitive mindset. Nevertheless, it is very gratifying to go run and be complimented on my runs regardless of my weight. Although I am no longer the fast lady from college, I take pride in always trying to do my best when I am out there in my trails. I was very lucky to have a strong support system growing up. My brother started the running tradition in our family. However, before being a runner, I used to play basketball and later as an adult, I played soccer. However, not a lot of women were fortunate to be allowed to play sports. I have volunteered as a coach in high schools and it is very frustrating to notice the low turnout of females in sports. A lot of times, I find myself talking to parents to allow their daughters to join a team. I try to educate parents about the many doors that open up for women when they do sports, from scholarships in college to the different skills they learned that are important for a better future. I often feel like I am trying to break a cycle in traditional families. Most of the time, parents feel that school is the only door to a better future. However, sports play an important role in a woman's life. It teaches us valuable skills such as team work, goal setting and most importantly, to find our place in society. Many great female athletes have used their platform to advocate for women's rights and equality. For example, Alison Felix walked away from Nike due to the fact that Nike was unfair to women when they decided to become mothers. She is the most commemorable athlete in history of sports and even she was unfairly compensated when she became a mother. Her confidence in her worth is what made her confront such monsters of the sports industry like Nike. These are the skills we learn while practicing sports. courage and determination. Although we have done a great job in creating more opportunities for young girls to participate in sports, there are still more areas we need to cover. We need to invest more time in communities at risk. Young ladies need to see the many opportunities available. As a coach, I have often faced challenges. I believe we need more female coaches to be the role models for young ladies. I used to think that professional athletes were the only role models we could have. When I became a coach, I learned I was wrong. Us the local coaches have so much influence over our athletes. They see us as their guide in sports and life. I have had the privilege to coach amazing ladies who continue to be part of my life as of now. Some of them are in school or have degrees in Engineering. It is great to see how they have now become the role models for the next generation. As women, we need to have more participation to be able to tell the successful stories of those we influence. Nowadays, we run or workout together and I feel great to run by their side instead of coaching them from the sidelines It is gratifying to hear of their successful stories. They are now my inspiration to continue my passion for coaching. This is one of the big changes we need to see. We need more female representation in sports. We need to see more female coaches.


COVID19 stopped the world. I cannot express how this has affected everyone. Life has felt like a slow motion video. Everyday feels like the same day in replay. I have done everything in my power to maintain my sanity but it definitely challenges even those who are emotionally strong. Covid has tested us human beings and I feel we have failed, at least in my community. It has taken so many lives and it will not go away anytime soon. People have different opinions and therefore behave according to them. Some believe it is a lie and refuse to abide by the governmental orders. As they have said it, "they are not sheeps.' I believed that whatever opinion we can have in regards of this virus, it doesn't hurt to follow orders. It doesn't hurt to wear a mask. It doesn't hurt to stay home. It doesn't hurt to be respectful to those who believe in the severity of this virus. We have shown that we only think about ourselves and not others. In my community, everyone has rights, even if their rights affect others. People protesting the usage of face masks have been the most disappointing action I have seen. 
Nevertheless, I have seen so much goodness around me as well. I am committed to do what I can to help my community. I started by doing essential items and took them to a local health center. There were so many people donating items from gloves, masks, cleaning supplies to food. There was so much need but the moment I posted in my social media the collection, many of my friends happily donated items. This is what we do best as a community. It is great to come together to help those who are in need. I have found sponsors for families who lost their job. It is a collective effort. I am very blessed to have a platform that allows me to call on friends when others are in need. 

Frankly, this pandemic changed my views on reality. I thought of me as an independent and strong individual. However, after not having my support system around, I feel like I am only as strong as those around me. I also had to deal with a lot of stress from others and having to be kind to those who are not doing well can be difficult at times. People deal with this differently and therefore patience is a must during this pandemic. My priorities have changed drastically. While my focus was to train for my first ultra race, I now make sure I remain healthy while I go to work or the marketplace. My son has been my biggest help dealing with moments of distress. We also adopted a dog who has become my workout buddy. My biggest concern was to be healthy and to keep the virus away from my home as my mom was treated for breast cancer. Nowadays, I believe we have learned with the virus. We had to be normal knowing that there is a risk. Slowly I started going for runs at the park. The most important aspect was learning to live without fear. I wear a mask more than 10 hours a day almost everyday. The importance of tolerance is undeniably essential in these times. We have to learn to respect others' state of mind and beliefs and cooperate with ordinance to put an end to our current situation. 


Post COVID19, I feel we will have another way of looking at life itself. We have learned that money doesn't buy health. We will have learned to appreciate people more than before. I myself have learned to worry more about what I want and more about what I need. I have learned to use my platform to advocate for others. I have learned to use my time wisely and invest more on myself. I believe that those who fear this pandemic will be emotionally affected and for a long time will need to seek more support. When we finally can go about anywhere, I feel people will want to travel more and experience life outside of their regular environment. This will be great for those who can travel. Traveling gives people to experience other lifestyles and learn more from other cultures. This can always be great to influence our own for better. I also believe people will be more conscious about their health. I personally have plans to do more biking and more swimming. I hope I can do a triathlon in my near future. I still want to be able to do my ultra races. I will not give up on this goal. This is the best outcome from the pandemic. People have become more active and I can see better eating habits as well, talking from my own personal experience. We might be going through hell right now, but there is a light at the end of this tunnel. 


I want to thank you for allowing me into your lives through this amazing blog. I am so glad you are celebrated. I am honored to be part of this celebration and to share my personal experience and thoughts with you. I believe we are strong individuals who have endured years of inequality. I have also seen how with grace and courage, we have changed history for others. We have set higher standards for ourselves and have done an extraordinary job achieving our goals. It is with fierceness that we face all challenges and with humbleness that we accept our success. It is important that we continue working for a better future for our next generations. It is important we lead the way to the next generation of leaders who will continue to change history. We have made a presence in sports, politics and everyday affairs. Let's continue educating our young ladies and guiding them by becoming the role models they need in their lives. You are all ambassadors of power, love and wisdom. Be the influence this world needs to better our societies. While doing all of this, remember to take care of you too. You are the first person that matters. Self love is important to remain strong and confident. You are a queen. Be fierce.

- Other interesting reads for women's month feature the below WMN -

Refilwe Mokgosi , A cyclist, runner and future iron man finisher from Johannesburg, South Africa


Ncumisa Pongoma , A vegan chartered accountant and fitness influencer from Johannesburg South Africa. 

Hasina Bharoochi , A teacher, mother and niqaabi runner from Johannesburg, South Africa. Who improved the condition of her autoimmune illness through consistent running and healthy eating.

Roseline Eyenike , a yoga teacher and my sole mate from Lagos, Nigeria. Who recently ran 45km unprovoked during covid-19 times as part of a charity drive.


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