It’s been a month now since a small seed sprouted at the heart of Karatina. A seed bought from a market. Full of old women. Round women. Women with turbans on their heads. Women whose hands are rough because of handling money, and to be specific a lot of coins, their huge breasts acting as banks. And a few coins went into one of those many breasts in Karatina market before she gave out a small seed.
The seed was brought by one individual from the market. He tabled it on a table where he and other four people sat. Three women and two men. Talk of gender imbalance and you’ll not be a friend of the three women. The four individuals looked at each other doubtfully, laughing in their hearts, and wondering what they had to do with the seed as they were elites, not farmers.
But the dexterity that shone in his eyes was convincing. It exhumed confidence, vigour and valiance. That the seed was small, rare and capable of sprouting to many branches of good fruit.
And so the rest dumped their fears. They all ogled at the minute seed resting lonely on the centre of that table, emaciated and shivering. Thin coated. Wondering its fate. Looking at all those eyes focus on her. She quivered.
Then the mapping out was done. The same seed was tabled on a bigger table months later. With many eyes now. All not knowing what to do with it except the five whose eyes glittered. Glitter of hope.
The seed underwent thorough testing. Questions about it were asked. Some which made the seed shy, others- feel confused and dejected.
Two weeks later few students showed up at the stadium, all dressed in doubts if others will really turn up because it was the first day- a pilot test. In all sorts of clothing, they showed up, around 7 of them. All new to each other meeting to try out their foot in the field.
Then jogging came. Some dragged. Others walked. Legs got heavy. Ankles hurt. And mouths did an extra job in assisting the breathing. Then a few work outs. The exercise ended. People went home to attend to their tasks.
Two hours later I was added to a WhatsApp group- Karu Fitness Club where I was criticized for not attending as I was part of the team that introduced the idea. I wagged my tail behind my legs and then tucked it between the legs and humbly sent a congratulations message to all who turned up. I then gave out reasons for not attending, which of course others considered flimsy.
That was the birth of this small fruit.
Also read: The hole in Elsie’s life
Now every morning sleep evades me. My bed divorces me even if I treasure it. I do not need an alarm because after 21 days of practice, the mind gets trained to react the same way. The mind becomes programmed becoming the clock that you don’t see.
I enter into my trunks, which happen to be a pair of shorts with side pockets. One which a cuzo of mine gave me as a gift after high school. We can say it has stood test of time. It has seen all weathers. And then a t-shirt, a hood and a black Marvin. I slip into some light flat shoes, black in colour. During the first days I would use these basketball shoes that really made me lighter, only that they left sores on my feet. I dumped them somewhere and tried a number of others before finally settling on this black pair that leaves my ankles asking for more. I’m yet to get a good attire for the same.
Our plot is full of men, men who have been bred and brought in Kisii. And later went on to live in towns because they are not that big. Only one gets excited with this idea of waking up to the stinging cold of the morning to go and run. Two others go occasionally, when sleep has abandoned them and bed feels like it pricks.
Two men. We have been friends for long because we are kinsmen. But this jogging has moved the friendship even to a higher note. We now have something common to talk about. Sport brings people closer. Apart from literature, which both of us cherish ravenously, we also relish in a few things that impact our lives, such as making money. Because poverty will make you a beggar, desperate and vulnerable to the world, and you’ll be a man with no friends.
So we find ourselves talking about these books we have read. My friend being an avid reader and great story teller, he masters things better. He gets me reeled with stories, because he can remember them. He can narrate to you stories he read when he was in class 5 like he read them yesterday.
Every morning finds us in this same routine. Ready to meet the gravel and defy the gravity as we go up hills. Sometimes these hills drain all the strength in your muscle that you feel like sitting down on the top of that hill and grieve, or just lie on your back and sleep. The chest gets hot, you breathe like a donkey, but there is no stopping.
The road ahead of you waits. It’s a long one to the stadium. You cannot walk because what will be the point? Again you have classes at 8, and you can’t go back to the house. You keep running. Looking at your neighbor, he looks like he just started. His legs are swift while yours feel so heavy. So you struggle to keep up with him.
Again you look at his legs, the muscles look stronger and rejuvenated. They are springing in a constant pace while you have to increase the pace to keep up. The breathing gets harder. Your breath through your mouth.
By the time you get into the stadium, you are barely breathing. You are actually struggling to maintain yourself on the track. The energy in you has escaped, leaving you dehydrated and frail. Sweat streaks are all over your face, and you can feel some on your back, down the spine.
After days, you get used. Your legs grow starker. They can now hold your frame for long. You can breathe way better without even opening your mouth for extra air to cool the engine. You can run several laps without tiring.
At this point, many people have joined the club. Including villagers. Most of them men and women in their late 40s. And there is this woman who does not miss any session. She is just there every morning, come rain come shine, and in perfect shape. She bears testimony of being 104kgs in Dec, but now she is around 65kg. A testimony that appeals to fellow ladies because they all want to get rid of that tummy fat, get that slim waist and a nice, firm ass. So she is an icon. And when she talks women listen, not necessarily men because many aren’t interested in losing weight but gaining.
Women in yoga pants. Pants so transparent that you’ll keep peeping at the red or white lingerie. Or even the dotted ones I see often. Others, so body hugging that you can’t hold the focus because of the ass in front of you. Some big, others medium, others just there- not able to steal the attention.
In the club there a few trainers. The ones who know a variety of work outs to help your body gain shape. Knowing what works for men and women. Trainers who have been to Zumba classes and know how to swing the waist.
Decorated as it may sound, not everyone is able to keep up with the pace. But one thing with this specific trainer is that he knows to keep the team spirit high and interests of everyone at heart. He admonishes everyone to go with their own pace because we are all of different makes. Mercedes Benz, Bmws, Volkswagens etal. The performance in all these makes is quite unique and different from each other.
So is life. That we all ought to move with our own pace. The thing is to catch up because at the end of the day you expect to see progress.
This does not mean that you don’t get motivated to go quickly with others. No, it’s only that others started yesterday. Some started today but are very strong. Others adapt fast. Others have a plan. Others are made for that. You only need to set goals, and then work towards them. That’s the real life purpose. To get to the end, each time increasing the pace. You’ll get there.
I would like to extend my gratitude to all the comrades who made this idea a success. Thank you for the devotion and the consistency that you’ve shown. An idea so small has turned out to be a giant idea.
Let us meet next Wednesday. Cheers!