speaking of making a spectacle

something that i’ve been meaning to mention is how much of a spectacle i am/make when i do my run/walk intervals. not necessarily because i’m running (but yes, that is a bit of an oddity) but because i’m a white woman running. one of the things that kept me from running or briskly walking for exercise outside in the united states was the potential of being noticed by others out and about. mostly i was worried about people judging my slowness or lack of form. however, i will say that these reasons are not usually what would have kept me from getting out and about. (the ipod is a magical invention that allows one to just disappear into one’s own world.)

recently the path that i’ve taken has been the more difficult one through the bush, off the beaten path, in an attempt to avoid people and vehicles on the road that stir up too much dust and make it difficult to breathe.

yes, i turn up my techno mix so loud that i can’t really hear anything people say/shout at me. sometimes i can’t even tell that people are talking to/at me. yes, i realize this is rude but have come to the conclusion that sometimes one has to be a little rude to keep sane. and these workouts have become something that is keeping me sane–and if this means that i’m not going to hear when someone shouts mznugu! at me as i am trying to get this body into shape–well then thats what it means.

this is not to say that i haven’t had some interesting interactions in these past three weeks. i’ve been followed by children who can run a lot faster, farther and better than i. once a child of about 8 chased after me pushing a child of about 18 months in a wheelbarrow. i didn’t hear them for a while (yes, my music is loud.) but when i finally noticed them i stopped and took my earbuds out and smiled turning my attention to the older boy, pointing at the little boy saying “your brother is afraid.” (as he was wail/crying.)

the older boy grinned a huge grin and said, “MZUNGU! YOU GREET!”
i demured, “um. i think he’s afraid…”
he persisted, “MZUNGU! YOU GREET!”
“um. okay.” i stuck out my hand to the little one offering my hand expecting the wail/crying to increase but was wrong. as soon as he grabbed my pinkie finger, hung on tight and the tears just dried up. after then greeting the older boy i was off again.

on a different day, a wednesday i believe, i encountered an elder in a magnificent headdress trotted after me until i stopped, again removed my earbuds–he was mid sentence. it took my brain a second to go from thumping techno music to fast flowing ngikaramajong but eventually my brain caught up and i understood that he was telling me that what i was doing is “good” and that i should continue to do that. also, he wanted tobacco and laughed with me when i turned out my very empty pockets. we went our different ways.

i wonder if i’ll encounter anyone this afternoon when i do my third week three interval… that is to say: a third post is pending later this evening!


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