Posted in Challenges, Thumbs Up

Kenya’s Running Spirit


Many times I have a good laugh whenever another “new” Kenyan athlete comes to the limelight.  They seems to have been tuaght by the same teacher. It is almost the same script different cast. I love the passion that is exhibited, the comic relief in their “direct” translation of mother-tongue to English. More importantly their motivation and aspirations are just epic. That’s what role models can do for a society. All the athletes admire and want to make a mark in their lifetime just life the fore-bearers. they aspire to run in all the major race and WIN! Break world records and better their time in every race. They want to build nice home like their role models and support worthy causes.

So you can imagine their motivation as they run. A conversation in their mind could be something like this:

“I am winning this race, if Tergat did it so can I. The prize money will be enough to build my mother a better house, buy me a nice car and have enough to afford better training for the olympics. Poverty ishindwe! Yes I can run faster than these guys oooo yes there was a time no one knew Kemboi or Rudisha. I am winning…hakuna kitu ingine!”

As Kenyans everyone expect good sportsmanship from us. They believe we run marathons by default. It is quite another thing to actually run a full marathon. many of us can walk between 5-20km. Running the full 42Km marathon aiiaiaiaiiii that requires experience, lots of practice and tact. Professional marathon trainers recommend two years consistent practice to run a full marathon. I challenged myself a year ago to run two half marathons this year.

I was afraid to share the plan with anyone for then I would have to be accountable to them. Building a consistent training regime was the hardest step. Our bodies have mood swings so it requires being harsh to self. Wake up when the body thinks otherwise, push yourself when the body is screaming for rest and so on.

The best five tips I learnt in preparation for running the two marathons is that:

1. Build a running style consistent with your body size – get the right (comfortable& light)shoes and build a consistent technique. If you can find a running partner or more the better!

2. Start with small personal runs and celebrate those wins – then work to better your time and improve your pace

3. focus on the simple 6 step sequence and forget about everyone else run as if you are alone. Count one-two-one-two-one-two

4. When you are running out of breath run for five minutes then walk for two minutes

5. Build a resilience to run with little water in-take ( sort of wash your mouth and spit out-use the rest to pour over your head for cooling)

Lastly take time to warm up and warm down. Learn good sets stretches and repeat until you muster them. Most importantly loosen up – do not tighten your muscles as you run for that drains you the more. Have fun and hey its only a run!

Posted in Challenges

of Marionettes, Puppets and Actors


Puppets

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

” When actors pretend they are unbelievable, when they act we have no choice” Lunani Joseph

Marionettes have no life but their form comes to life when their strings are pulled and someones breath speaks for them. Puppets are useless rugs unless someone manipulates their form and tell their story. Actors on the other hand put to life dead lines.

That does not mean that marionettes and puppets are any less but the actors behind these two arouse our understanding of their story and build a backdrop of a living being. Life has been equated to a script and we often come out as “players” in that script. God has the power to change the script but our actions influence his well laid out will and purpose. This does not mean our good deeds can save us. On the contrary we require his grace and even when we fall short his mercy covers us. When we allow to be marionettes and puppets following his statutes then we have a great performance. There are times we require to put life in “dead” parts of our life scripts. These call for our stand for truth, good deeds and selfless character.

in my acting career I have had a chance to follow the script as is(the play “the burdens” and “the ladder” as well as many set book pieces) since any deviation causes confusion and distracts the true intended meaning. Then we have had other plays and TV dramas whose scripts when followed word for word would be bizarre and unbelievable. In such we have been forced to improvise, ad-lib and personalize the lines to suit the scene.

So when do we follow and when do we personalize our actions in lifes’ script? I am sure God is his ultimate wisdom through the Holy Spirit and the word deposited in us will direct each one of us.

 

Today I celebrate four years in marriage! I thank God for my beautiful, graceful and prayerful wife Dorine Akinyi Nalo whose companionship and association have brought the best out of me. I am learning to be blind, to be dumb, to be deaf as I love my queen. I have also adopted the art of following like a marionette in love and act in love. I love you more today and pray good tidings and favour of the Lord to be to you. Happy 4TH Anniversary!

Posted in Challenges, Thumbs Up

MY BANNER OF VICTORY


victory

 

 

 

 

 

Victory is the Lord’s. This might spark a debate as to the effort into strategy, the determination and motivation that was employed to acquire victory. I believe that it requires our utmost dedicated service and unwavering output. That does not mean it is our doing. Just like the farmer who toils for a harvest, many variables are beyond him. Even in this day and age of greenhouses (controlled variables); God’s hand is evident in our victory. I am more convinced than ever that for anyone to win God must declare it so. Failure is seen through a magnifying glass. Rightfully so, this illuminates details that will help us win!

Then why do we loose? We are often defeated and many times run over…why why? I may never have an answer to these punchy questions but hold a strong belief that God has a good plan even when we loose. It may never be for us to understand but in the fullness of time he makes all things beautiful. The bible records of Stephen’s stoning and to many it was a great defeat. Unknown to them, the faith of many was strengthened and Stephen’s calm spirit was promoted to sainthood Glory. Our defeat experience are unique training and conditioning that carves our victory niche. Amplify your victory to God!>>>>

vindication

 

 

 

 

 

Many innovators of old and today, entrepreneurs, warriors and common folk have harrowed through defeat and came out stronger. Their attitude in defeat did not hinder their growth in resilience, wisdom and strength. Infact this compounded their determination. Talk of our elite athletes Keino, Tergat, Rudisha, Kemboi and many others that make Kenya proud; they had countless challenges but overcame. The stories of Einstein, Tungsten, Newton and the great physicists of old did not win straightaway either. Some had to do thousands of failing experiments to come to a great discovery. Eureka moments were the culmination of great, painful and shameful defeats. In the book Corporate Giants by Robert Darden & P.J Richardson we read of businessmen who using their faith did turn around horrendous times into glorious businesses that are world renown today. Turning bad experience to fortune has more to do with our faith than the circumstances. David of the Bible is a good example of one who knew defeat and the shame that comes with it. Even when it is a case of fixed-crime by the most powerful to the innocent; vindication is the Lord’s. Saul wanted David dead for no offense but the anointing on his head. David had chances to kill Saul and “sort” his case but he respects Saul’s life and even though no one can actually understand; he spare’s Saul’s life and chose God as his vindicator.

The funny thing is that when we loose, the hurt hangs so close to the point of suffocating faith and birthing doubts. Failure walks in magnified echo steps. I like David’s response in such times he records in Psalms 60 of the sinking feeling in his belly and pours our sincere desperation to God on their defeat. However, he is quick to turn around and reassures himself of the faithful God. When times were desperate David  being human he cried but quickly chose to Praise. Recounting of the great wins that he had witnessed before and proclaiming the victory he longed to see. This is a testament that our come-back from defeat and shame is not our doing but the Lord’s.>>>>

valour

 

 

 

 

 

Many defeats can be torturous but to those with faith then it builds great muscle required to be victorious. The conditioning in defeat creates warriors out of feeble hands and mighty men of valor out of common men. And since all these is never our doing really – for the breath of life in us is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof then we owe our valor also to him.>>>

In the here and now; In my defeat today or the Victory that is near; my banner of Victory will be raised for it all belongs to God.

3 You have shown your people desperate times;
    you have given us wine that makes us stagger.
But for those who fear you, you have raised a banner
    to be unfurled against the bow……

12 With God we will gain the victory,
    and he will trample down our enemies.”
 Psalms 60:3-4…12 

Posted in Challenges, Thumbs Up

WORKING YOUR DREAM


” No greater satisfaction comes to man than to see his dream come to pass” ~ Anonymous

there are dreams and there are big dreams. As a boy I dreamt of owning a big bed and many shoes. This is laughable but I know am not the only one. I met a High Court Judge whose dream was similar to mine and when he got his first posting he tells me he bought a bed bigger than the room he lived in and spent his second salary on five pairs of shoes. To date he buys shoes in bulk; more than he can wear them. Was his dream valid you might ask. Ohh yes it was. For those of us who were “shifters” in our own home. By this I mean had no bedroom but a pile of beddings that were laid either in the sitting room or any other free space then this was valid. They had to involuntarily wait for everyone to go to bed and on many occasions they had to stay all night especially if no one wanted to retire to bed. For the better part of their childhood they walked bare feet and the first shoe they ever got was in high school. Being the only pair of shoes they had, it was mended, mended again and then mended some more. The shape and look never mattered as long as they had a shoe on it was worth it.

Then we have big dreams. Dreams of achieving the impossible. For my friend the High Court Judge was to study law and be the very best. This was no mean task for a village boy attending a village school and later on proceeded to a local secondary school. More so a village that had notorious local brewers and know for its drunkard people. Like Lupita Nyong’o’s acclaim and winning of the prestigious Oscar award, big dreams need hard and smart work.

We have understand what it takes, dress the part, we need to show up, stand in line and stand out in our role. I like what the bible says in the story of Gideon, he is ordered by God to ask his already depleted army(after the first cut over the proverbial water drinking by the river-those who cupped the water and those who drank directly by leaning on their fours)” whoever has feeble knees and feels not able to the task to return to camp”. I am not sure about the fate of those who ran back to the camp but one thing am sure they were never decorated with praise and accolades after a mere 300men army won against a great formidable enemy.

I like the part in the story where each soldier is asked to carry his weapon, a torch and a horn. Big dream require us to double even other times triple or quadruple in tasks and roles. My friend the judge as a law student, tutored students in secondary school, did menial jobs during the long breaks and still played a sport almost going professional. Lupita had to do many scripts locally and as an actor I say this with all humbleness, local producers push you further than you can reach, require of your undivided attention, need you many times to carry your own costumes and pay little or nothing at all. That is why many of us opted to branch into other careers  that had prospects of bringing a regular wage.

Big dreams seem a burden to carry but at their threshold it is all worth it. The strain of learning the trade, the nay-sayers ridicule and the suffering associated with being consistent discourages many. I urge you to push on. I pray you find wisdom and peace even your dream boat is rocked by the hardest of storms. You can make it and all heaven is cheering you on.

Posted in Challenges, Thumbs Up

Swedish Massage: My Current Need


“Exercise means more wellness, wellness means more vitality, vitality means better life balance” Technogym Equipment Messages

Eleven months ago, I discovered a few flight of stairs would run me out of breath. I had trouble finding sleep and there was sort of a drag in my step. For someone with a brisk steady step and one who would find sleep even in the loudest environment this was not ordinary. For a guy who ran to school about 10km away non-stop. Crossing three rivers this was unheard of. And more recent I would walk from town to Pangani without losing my breath just to catch the matatus before they hiked fares to Kasarani this really troubled me. Many times I did deliveries between the four corners of Nairobi; from Keekrok to Ukulima Cooperative house, TomMboya Street to Anniversary Towers and Railways to Finance house all within 2hrs. I could run the 10 floors of Harambee House as we all know their lifts were either reserved or under repair and always took too long in between floors.

This concern grew that I had to start exercising. But where was the time? I involuntarily changed my schedule to include a little exercise. For the better part of the first week all I did was check into the gym, struggle to cycle or walk on the treadmill or cross-trainer machine for an average 10-25mins level zero average speed of below 50 then steambath and sauna.

The adhoc nature of my schedule did not help and I often struggled to find time to exercise.

New Discipline

I do not remember exactly how the schedule streamlined but this I do remember; I made a deliberate decision to make time (an hour three days a week) for exercise. I cleared my schedule to accommodate this determination. My body was always in revolt. I wanted to relax more, I wanted to sleep more and the aches of muscles that I had not felt in a long time. But the muscles would joy each time I pushed myself and sleep was always in abundance so I slept easy and sound. This encouraged me. There are weeks I did four  even five days.

The exercise schedule become a routine and how nice when it turned into character. Now my body no longer revolts but yearns for exercise.

New Peace

Many times we want to lose weight so fast and get into shape in a flash. This “quick  fix” mentality spoils the fun and brews a storm within and without. How dumb-founded  I was when I met men twice my age, thrice as fit, actually they would pass for elite athletes. There are those who are big by any standard but they are not only swift but their body mass index ratio is at a balance.

Exercise is not about weight-loss or body tone – although this inevitably comes to those who are patient and regularly exercise. Exercise is finding peace in body and soul. When you sweat out the toxins and burn the excess calories and build stamina an unprecedented peace encompasses you.

New Confidence

“No grumpy feet, no nasty fists” This was a caption posted in our boxing arena in Dandora Phase 5 back in the day. I did boxing back then not to be fit but for self defense. Many young lads in my neighbourhood then had been involved in bouts either as a show-off or youth rivalry for girls or something stupid. And those were the days Bruce Lee, Jet Li, Jackie Chan, Van Damme, Rambo among other star movies were showing in “local theatres”. our “local theatres” were temporary “mabati” structures with big speakers and elevated 14inch colour tvs. I can count the number of times we watched big screen cinema in my adolescence. The very first experience was the Kenya Film Trucks that toured our communal grounds once a month then Jogoo Road cinema where Dad took me to watch “Bad Spencer & Terence Hill” plus the few times he took us to Cameo, Embassy and Shan cinema in Ngara.

The sweaty sessions of exercise, clears all internal glut and the result is glowing skin, a good toned body and a confident step. Your general outlook is enhanced and your step becomes bolder. All over sudden your output in many matters improves. You wake up early, you can do more hours at work and get more accomplished thus you become the guy to go to.

New Balance

When they say sports is a discipline they are never wrong. Could this be the reason most of our elite athletes come from the disciplined forces? Everyone can get the discipline but do not rush – build it over time. By creating time for exercise, you can spend your time more wisely and get more done. This enables you to plan effectively and gives you a push to follow through. This could be the reason of having your own sports watch, training diary and health chart.

The beauty that comes with good planning and timely execution is the new belief system of breaking big things into manageable sets just like exercise. Running for 10 minutes at a certain average speed, doing dummel weights certain sets and the other parts in that order. This balance will often extend to family, work and even your spiritual life.

Since I started exercising regularly, I also made time to be home early, made time for bible study once a week among many other things.

New Understanding

We often stereotype people and have misconceptions about things or situations. Training in a group greatly helps to clear many myths and such conclusions. There will be that guy whose bag you will not like in the locker room but he is always on time and exercise is a lifestyle to him. Another will not often greet you but the peace around them is tangible that you would pay anything to have it. Then there is the other who has an opinion about everything but has all you admire; a cologne that is very good (googling its price checks you into a blush for its not in your range). Then there will be exercises that you will have to struggle with every-time and their mastery is only in motion never in speech. Miss a few days and you will struggle with the same exercise just like any beginner.

You will realise that exercise without prudence will get you into sport injuries. You will learn that exercise is meant for the whole body so over indulgence in one regiment is not healthy. The greatest understanding is when you take into cognisance the importance of a healthy diet and lifestyle. Anything in excess will ruin your hard earned body tone and balance. No more 6 bottles of soda, no more 2kgs of ugali, no more 4kgs of nyama choma, no more 6 pizza servings just because they are on offer.  A balanced diet is all you need in the right portions.You have to understand what your body “requires” and quench the voice of what the body “wants”.

New Fellowship

I have made many friends, yes there are those that will never greet you in the locker room but will recognise you at the supermarket. I have found great encouragement, great discussions, healthy comparisons and moral support. And you will pass it on to many others who come maybe confused as you were and not confident about themselves and train together. Salute! Here is to why I need a Swedish full body massage.

Posted in Challenges, Thumbs Up

HEALTH CHECK THEN RESTORATION


Happy New Year! having said that this 22ND day of January 2014 may seem a little odd but the fact that we are still in the first quarter of the year. this is to encourage all to have a new start.

Sometime last year must have been in July of 2013 or thereabouts, I felt some pain in my right heel. I assumed it was the after effects of walks in the field. I knew it would wear off and like many times before I quickly massaged it and forgot about it. When many days later I did feel the pain again I massaged it with more vigour and even did soak my feet in warm water.

In October I would wake up with a limb and after a few steps the numbness would go away. In November I thought it wise to be massaging it in the night with balms like emami, sloans or deep heat. The ointments were soothing and the relaxation only lasted the night but in the morning the limb was still present. In December I would massage with the ointments then wrap it in an elastic bandage for the night. By the 3RD December 2013 I had had enough and I finally went to the hospital. At Karen Hospital they took an x-ray of both feet. The x-ray the doctor determined showed no broken bones or irregular formations. He asked if I did exercise and when I answered affirmative he attributed it to muscle spasms and stress. The doctor then prescribed another ointment  and painkillers. After two weeks of using the prescription I noticed no change.

I forgot about it and knew I would heal naturally. On the 29th December 2013 I got a fever attack and had to go for check up at Nairobi Hospital. I promised myself to get into the habit of regular check-ups. So I made a point of visiting my optician to replace my spectacles. They too surprised me by saying my eye sight was very good and the lens needed only a little tweak. At Nairobi Hospital they did another x-ray and the reading this time was different. They determined that the back part of my heel was swollen abit and the two spikes of bones at the heel seemed a little elongated than normal. Dr. Ibua sent me to Dr.Vladimir Shchukin a specialist in Laparoscopy, Bariatric Surgery, Sports injury and back pain. I saw Dr. Shchukin and he diagnosed a sport injury.

One look at the x-ray, a few touches on the heel and he knew the problem. My right heel tissue that cushion the bones had hardened and thus the bones were gnawing on the inner flesh. This caused the pain. He prescribed an injection once a week for three weeks. It was at the first injection appointment day that I met Caroline Mutoko of Kiss 100. We had a good chat and shared insights on various issues. That very evening the medicine must have provoked my body into a revolt. I had another fever attack. I braved it all night and at the crack of dawn went to Nairobi Hospital. After blood tests they discovered I had a bacterial infection that required anti-histamine among other drugs. Officially I was grounded.

That night I was not depressed that I could not be up and about. I marvelled that God really wanted me to rest and knew how I passionately throw myself into work. He knew the projects coming our way as http://www.in-synque.com were exciting and I am sure he wanted me to raise more leaders at the workplace. My thanksgiving that night was very candid as I planned what to do the next three weeks.

There are some areas at our current residence that required restoration and thus I called the painter, mason, carpenter and a few others. And what was a small restoration job turned into a project. I could not resist the temptation of office work so I would still make calls and advice where necessary. Over the last three weeks, I did not only rest but restored the house. I felt like Nehemiah in the bible. Initially the project was to take six days but it lasted the whole three weeks. Mid-way I could experience discouragement and the drag that medication brings but I enjoyed it all.

I started our daughter on an evening walk. And she took it in stride and fumbled to find her footstep. On the very first day we took her walking she was trouble some. The following days she got accustomed and I could tell she longed for the walk each day. How overjoyed I was when she walked steadily all by herself approximately six metres yesterday. The healing seemed long, the restoration project seemed unending and the walk was a tight call but all in all I enjoyed being away. And I hope I can now do more regular check-ups. To be restored you have to rest and to rest you have to plan. By the way I need to book a date with a dentist…HAPPY NEW HEALTH!

Posted in Challenges, Need Intervention, Thumbs Up

IS SEX A MEASURE OF LOVE??


In my childhood days, the subject “sex” was considered offensive. So it was never discussed and just the mention of the noun would give you stern looks, disapproving gazes and some bashing afterwards. During my adolescent years, the topic brought our class to giggles during home science lessons. This embarrassed the lady teacher. Many times in embarrassment never mentioned it or referred to the subject in quick passing and changed the topic too quickly.

As a Christian teenager, the literature and theology material provided to us in church was very categorical. Keep sex for marriage period. Whereas the sex literature available (unsolicited through friends-hidden in places we stumbled on) gave us a glimpse of illicit descriptive affairs that just blew our minds off. This created a nag in our manhood that like a dagger against our chest caused us to succumb in many ways than one.

The hunger for more illicit sex “reads” grew. The imagination of recreating the stories we read or pictures we saw kept our eyes evil with desire. The rogue of us went further to solicit for sex, cajole girlfriends or plainly deceive girls of a non-existent love expecting sex in-return. Were we prepared? Did we know how to start? What rules did we lay to protect ourselves? On what doctrine or principle did we engage? We were oblivious to all these facts. The lurking lust could not be vanquished in thought and so we indulged. Many came back with stories of greatness, new conquers laced in exaggerated symbolism.

Many caught up in the lies about sex are still drowning in the illegitimate expression of it. Others who covered their stories “in veiled” pretence still struggle to check the allure of the “lurking lust”. Few confessed, repented and welcomed the Holy Spirit to help weed out the sinful desires.  As my bestman Reuben Odanga well puts it “Your spirit will accept salvation but remember the flesh is still physical & so when  in temptation FLEE!!”. And testament to his admonition-our flesh plays games to our mind and the nagging sinful feeling is always at bay. Many times I flee but the “lurking lust” is always in pursuit. This made be re-evaluate and re-strategise my approach towards sex.

It is a creation of God. Who intends it for noble, meaningful and satisfactory engagement of married couples. For the discerning believer, all it takes is to retrace our faith in Jesus Christ. There is no one who is pure. But you can start by confessing, repenting and change your discourse unto Christ. Once there, then map out sex not as a stumbling block but as God’s gift. Whose use in the context of marriage is not only a blessing but a powerful tool for God’s Glory.

Here is what I have learnt in my pre-marital class and going four years in marriage:

1. Prepare for Sex: Like any great venture, more knowledge than little is good insight to any unfamiliar territory. Set the mood. Check the room, check your breath, body odour or cologne, check the ambiance(music, lighting,smells..) and accessories (lubricants, towels, snacks, drinks…)

2. Pray for a good sex life: There things to bind and loose others for a fulfilling sex life in marriage. Bind the past (evil or not) Loose any heart or physical binds of former days. Pray for that which you desire-the quality, quantity and else. Get to the details that disturb, confuse or arouse you. Pray before the wedding, after and all days for the sanctity of your marriage.

3. Un-learn, Learn & re-learn: Forget ye the former ways & assumptions. Remember this is your wife. Honour her by unlearning what you think you already know. Learn her preferences and keep in mind as much as you want to be pleased as you engage in sex-she needs to be pleased and satisfied. Research about sex in marriage. There are many useful on-line resources and books e.g His Needs, Her Needs; http://site.themarriagebed.com/ ,  http://www.the-generous-husband.comhttp://www.the-generous-wife.com/http://www.fascinatingrelationship.com and many more. If you look keen enough you will find many other useful resources. Remember to discard those that amplify sex as a pleasure gratification object for consenting adults. IT IS ONLY MEANT FOR THE MARITAL BED.

4. Submit you are human: Temptations will come as to that you can handle thus promises the Lord. Learn Satan’s allures – the light touch, flirting, mischievous texts, the lingering hugs, winks, pokes, the pretentious help calls etc And flee them. Never give them room as they will sneak in and destroy your blessings path.  In unbecoming circumstances retrace your steps to God.

5. Walk with thy Kingdom: When in doubt of the invitation ask your wife to accompany you. Men are physical and the emotive intelligence of your wife can be very useful in steering you away from trouble. When invited for weddings, parties or other social events-ask her in advance to dress the part and accompany you. For business meetings out of town that allow for couples and might take longer than a week-check if it is worth it-if you can afford it and if her coming will not inconvenience her schedule. She can plan activities for the day-research in the town etc then join you in the evening.

6. Adore thy Queen: Where your treasure is so is your heart. Live this principle. Invest in her pleasure. Give her time she needs and some more. Buy her expensive presents that you are too broke to be philanthropic with any other. Plan for the exotic escapades. When out of town put her first by mopping out any extra time that the devil might use-schedule your day so tight by training in the gym,read the bible and other meaningful publications, shop for her(one time I shopped three suitcases and only three items in the total luggage were mine-she had to send me money for excess baggage and God was she glad when she opened them), call her often, long and deliberate. prepare a story of the trip-take photos, write notes and any other interesting things about the place that will make good conversation & knowledge. Help her with her dreams- help her study; Help her with house work, be her confidant, bodyguard, chauffeur, trainer and massage therapist ( you can learn). This vulnerable things make many women adore other men. Do not wait to be replaced-mark the territory! Treat her with royalty and man will you remain King (all will notice)

7. Review, Reflect & Recharge: Do not get into routine. Style up; write poetry, make cards(even with external help), Print t-shirts, email, text, call, drop flowers and others. Just when she thinks she knows how you love her- surprise her again and again; and she will fall for you over and over!