Thoughts on a run, when everyone else is on a plane

I’m surrounded by a rather small group of people in my life. A close-knit family, a handful of friends and then colleagues who I share pretty much majority of my week with. But in recent months, I’ve started to notice that more and more people are moving away, leaving me somewhat ‘behind’.

My decisions to dedicate myself to the blue bank has been largely influenced by the people I work with. Inspiring leaders, thoughtful team members and colleagues who have become good friends. But some of these leaders have left, team members have changed roles and some of my good friends are leaving SA.

Talking about leaving SA, the number of close friends who have left is now being counted on both hands, not just one. Friends who have made the decision to start their lives in other parts of the world. A re-start for some, an adventure for others.

Even though we have the technology and social media to stay in touch, I’m feeling a little sad. Actually very sad.

I’ll admit that it’s a heavy burden to carry knowing that I’ve decided to stay & commit to a life in Johannesburg and South Africa on a continent I call home, knowing very well that KK would be on a plane to any other destination without hesitation tomorrow.

My reasons for staying have always been my close-knit family, my handful of friends and colleagues. But what happens when they’re all gone?

Thoughts such as these make my escapism afternoon runs actually mentally exhausting.

Runners, do you recognize this face?

Mens MoosaHe’s a familiar face at pretty much all the road races in Jo’burg as well as Pretoria. He arrives at the race long before majority of the runners and sets out all his goodies. It’s mostly running shorts, carbo loading sweets, cool drinks from the back of his bakkie and running gloves (which have saved me before on an icy Winter morning). His name is Mens Moosa and he’s been a friendly face at the races for the last 25 years!

Mens says his love is mainly for ultra marathons and boasts 25 Comrades medals to his name. I did not realize that 5 minutes before the start of the races, he quickly packs up all his goods and manages to get to the start line to run the race with everyone else.

When you do see him next time, say hi! No race is the same without seeing his face! Thanks Mens!

Running through a storm is not as glamourous as it sounds!

I heard the thunder, I saw the dark clouds moving in, but I simply ignored it thinking it would blow over. It didn’t.

Two kilometres in to my run last week Thursday I got caught in the biggest storm to hit Jo’burg. At first, the drops didn’t appear to be that heavy so I decided to push on and not turn back.

Big mistake!

Within 5 mins, the rain was so heavy I could not see in front of me. I had to seek shelter along the side of the road under the trees (I know!) and next to some bushes. At first, I thought it would blow over but it just got louder and heavier, it felt like the lightning was going to hit me!

I stood dead still, holding myself in a tight ball and closed my eyes. I waited. I hoped it would stop.

Every now and then a car would drive passed. The problem is that with no pavements and very little water drainage in Douglasdale, I would get splashed. I refused to cry. I kept trying to convince myself that it was awesome. It wasn’t!

After 10 minutes, I made the call to run home. It did not look like the rain was going to stop and I feared it might hail. It was getting late. I was freezing! I was 2 kms away and thought that at the most, it would take me 20 mins. I could not run fast because the puddles of water were so deep. My running shoes were drenched!

I arrived home, ran straight upstairs and jumped in to the shower. My mascara had run all down my face. I had left puddles of water from the front door all the way through the house.

I’ve heard people raving about how wonderful it is to run in the rain. How refreshing it is.

Geepers! I rain in a storm. Never again!  

Sometimes, the signs are there and we refuse to listen. We ignore them. And then have to face the consequences.

The lesson: if it looks like a big rain storm approaching, it most probably is. Go run at the gym!