This morning, I did the running community and my orange shorts great injustice. It wasn’t my fault though and here’s why.
On Saturday at around 10.00am, I drove down to Gilgil for a friend’s ruracio. Almost all the youthful attendees had made plans to sleep and party in Nakuru after the event. Given that I had a million things to do on Sunday and I had left my family back at home, sadly, I could not be party to that party.
Ruracio was the usual. A resounding success nonetheless, especially given some major threats that we faced initially. At first, the rain seemed to want to make a statement now that the flashy gang from Nairobi was visiting. At around 1.00pm, a light drizzle thrummed on the tent then shortly after, fierce winds roiled the place, threatening to tear off the tent. The bride who was peering from the bedroom window and worried stiff went down on her knees and prayed for the weather to take a chill pill. And chill it did.
Later, five chics including myself, fully covered in lessos were lined up for the groom to identify his better half. It was a piece of cake given that the bride was like 3”5 (ok maybe 5”1) and the rest of us were 5”5 plus. However, their five-year-old son who was the groom’s wing man believed undoubtedly that the lady in the middle donning a green lesso (who was the tallest of us all btw) was the mom. With such strong conviction, he kept tugging at the dad’s shirt and pointing at lady in green saying “Dad, ni huyu!”
The older crowd held its breath, but the bulk of us who were familiar with the bride were in stitches. I hoped that the dad listened to him because I have always been curious to know what happens if one made the wrong choice. Do the villagers call time on the event (because it’s always the villagers that run that show) and ask the guy to go back when he has his act together? Or is the guy asked to settle for whomever he picks anyway (assuming they are not taken) since perhaps cupid had initially aimed the arrow at the wrong person? Has it ever happened to anyone? I would love to know.
At around 7.00pm, the function came to an end. We said our goodbyes and drove towards the highway. The rest of the gang turned right to go to Nakuru and I turned left to head to Nairobi, oblivious to what was awaiting me 2 kilometers down the road. Monstrous traffic with cars and trucks snaking for over a kilometer which was as far as I could see. No pressure, let’s listen to the West Africans do what they do best. I thought to myself. Wizkid, Yemi, Tiwa Savage. Get Walshy Fire to fuse some of these Nigerian sensations with Jamaican dancehall and it’s a wrap. Before I knew it, 1.5 hours had lapsed. Same spot. Madness. Google traffic situation on Nakuru-Nairobi highway. No relevant results.
At 9.00pm, I remembered Albert Einstein’s definition of insanity and I chucked it in. I called the mister, explained my predicament and made a U-turn for Nakuru. There may have been a smile on my face. My friends who were just about to leave the hotel for the party scene were elated to see me, as I was to see them. Thank God for same size friends, I was quickly handed over a pair of jeans and was ready to paint Nakuru red. More like paint the club 7D red because when you get to my age club hopping is no longer a thing.
7D made me feel like I was at some club in Nigeria-I hear they don’t take their party scenes lightly. It’s nothing fancy but well hyped. The club sits on very little space which could easily be converted into an SQ, or a main house verandah. However, it has a huge outdoor area (which must be a parking lot during the day) where the revelers spill over. There are countless screens all over the place and two deejaying units, one on the inside and the other outside. The in-house DJ played old-school music till around 11.00pm when the guy on the outside took over, starting off with dancehall and sending the crowd into a frenzy. Initially, I was overwhelmingly contrite for being away from my family. But at some point, when Konshens’ No Friend Zone was blasting on the speakers, I figured I might as well get the bit between my teeth!
If you are wondering where this story is going, this is where.
At around midnight, I head to the counter to grab some water. It’s obviously parked and I must squeeze my way into the club and at the counter. I finally find some standing space and try to get the bar man’s attention. Suddenly, this chic figures she’s uncomfortable, shifts her seat and lands one of its metallic stands squarely on my left foot’s big toe. Her entire weight, something north of 105kgs. I don’t recall labor ever being that painful! I scream and cringe and writhe and shed tears, which I never did on both occasions of labor (I lie hehe).
She keeps apologizing and patting my shoulder and wanting to give me a hug but that just exacerbates the pain, so I tell her that I am in excruciating pain alright, but it is not her fault and she should stop apologizing incessantly as it wouldn’t take it away. But she doesn’t listen to me and keeps at it. This infuriates me further and leaves me cursing under my breath saying “please leave me alone” then “just leave me alone” and finally a very loud “F*****G LEAVE ME ALONE” escapes my mouth. I have never seen a 105kg person recoil so fast. Next day, I wake up at 7.00am to a swollen left foot and thank God I am not a leftie because I have a two-hour drive back to Nairobi to cover.
So, earlier today filled with feral energy, I set out at 5.04 am to run. I think to myself that perhaps I should cover 15kms since I am up early and full of beans. But fate has other plans for me. The toe which I thought had fully recovered (four days later) starts acting up. My right knee also joins in, as if to say that it’s unfair for them to give me such great service yet I can’t even protect them from life’s atrocities. I struggle through the first 4km and when I get to the arboretum, it’s dark as hell and I take this as a sign that running was not meant to be. At least not today. So I turn back at the shell in Kile and walk all the way back home. Even in the dark, I could see the stares and feel the judgement from the other determined runners as I walked up the hill, rocking my head to Sarkodie’s Pain Killer. How apt! This was at around 5.30am. I bet they were wondering why any sane person would wake up so early, dress up in running shorts and an Adidas jersey then take a brisk walk in the biting cold. I was ashamed of myself. I wished I could just narrate to them the story of the lady at the bar and my toe but they were too busy putting in the miles and judging me.
Next time you are the bar and you think of shifting your seat, please mind the person next to you as you never know, you might just kill their dream to participate in the Olympics.