lessons learnt

in this post, i want to bore with some of the lessons i have learnt in my few years of active training and hope that you don’t repeat the same mistakes if you are going to get into exercise

  1. Sit ups, if overdone can lead to muscle tear in the stomach and this can manifest in so many different ways. You might think you have a stomach bug. If you are going to exercise any part of your body, start slow
  2. Every time you run a hard race, take time off pounding concrete. Your muscles need a break.
  3. whatever you do, don’t get a groin injury
  4. cycling is a good way to recover from intense activity
  5. include stretches as part of your work out schedule. especially after a strenuous run
  6. water is your friend
  7. carry a pressure pump, puncture kit and or a spare clincher for long rides, you don’t know where a puncture will find you
  8. listen to your body. if in pain stop. if sore, continue working out, but gently
  9. most of the time, the weather is not bad for a work out, we are just not appropriately dressed for the weather
  10. good nutrition is your other best friend
  11. finally, sleep is your best of friends. it can be the one determinant between a successful workout and a ruined run
  12. and final final, rest and recovery doesn’t necessarily mean being a couch potato.

Get up and run. Have a fun filled day everyone.

some quotations

As you have guessed it already, I am reading Steve B Biko’s selected letters in I write what I like. The essays were written when our author was actively involved in black emancipation in South Africa before he was brutally killed by the apartheid regime. In this address to black ministers of religion, he writes in conclusion

[..]I would like to remind the black ministry, and in deed all black people that god is not in the habit of coming down from heaven to solve people’s problems on earth.

Even now, in the face of a mass shooting in the US where over a dozen children were shot dead, sending thoughts and prayers will not help. Enacting stringent regulations around gun ownership, addressing other societal pressures like racism, unemployment, mental health is what is called for.

Elsewhere, writing on African religion, we read

Another aspect of religious practices was the occasion of worship. Again we did not believe that religion could be featured as a separate part of our existence on earth. It was manifest in our daily lives. We thanked god through our ancestors before we drank beer, married, worked etc. We would obviously find it artificial to create special occasions for worship. Neither did we see it logical to have a particular building in which all worship would be conducted. We believed that god was always in communication with us and therefore merited attention everywhere and anywhere

He then says

It was the missionaries who confused our people with their new religion. By some strange logic, they argued that theirs was a scientific religion and ours was mere superstition in spite of the biological discrepancies so obvious in the basis of their religion. They further went on to preach a theology of the existence of hell, scaring our fathers and mothers with stories about burning in eternal flames and gnashing of teeth and grinding of bone. This cold cruel religion was strange to us but our forefathers we sufficiently scared of unknown impending anger to believe that it was worth a try. Down went our cultural values.

And I can’t agree more!

On metaphysical guilt

Steve Bantu Biko, in I write what I like, describes it as being

There exists among men, because they are men, a solidarity through which each shares
responsibility for every injustice and every wrong committed in the world, and especially for crimes that are committed in his presence or of which he cannot be ignorant

Biko

He then goes ahead to write

This description of “metaphysical guilt” explains adequately that white racism “is only
possible because whites are indifferent to suffering and patient with cruelty” meted out to the
black man. Instead of involving themselves in an all-out attempt to stamp out racism from
their white society, liberals waste lots of time trying to prove to as many blacks as they can
find that they are liberal. This arises out of the false belief that we are faced with a black
problem. There is nothing the matter with blacks. The problem is WHITE RACISM and it
rests squarely on the laps of the white society. The sooner the liberals realise this the better
for us blacks. Their presence amongst us is irksome and of nuisance value. It removes the
focus of attention from essentials and shifts it to ill-defined philosophical concepts that are
both irrelevant to the black man and merely a red herring across the track. White liberals
must leave blacks to take care of their own business while they concern themselves with the
real evil in our society—white racism.

Steve Biko

which, from what I read of some societies where racism is still a problem, almost rings true. But I could be wrong given that the problem of race did not have a long gestation period here, not that it didn’t exist at all. No it did. We have white neighbourhoods and African estates. There were miscegenation laws among other racist policies here too.

Think of this promise

That the biographers of Jesus tell us he made. That those who believed in him should not worry about food, clothing or drink that these would be attended to by great providence. Imagine what men and women would do with the time freed from mundane Labour. That they needn’t worry about housing.

It does seem to me, that every where we look, all christ cultists are busy looking for these necessities just like the rest of us. And if there are any who are not doing useful work, they know there are others who are doing the useful work for them.

Or maybe I misunderstood the promise and it is meant for a future life, at which time they wouldn’t need food or shelter.

The Brothers Karamazov

By fyodor dostoyevski is an interesting book. Yesterday I decided to reread some two chapters, rebellion and the grand inquisitor. In both chapters, it is Ivan doing most of the talking and Alyosha doing the listening.

In the rebellion, Ivan takes on the case of suffering but dwells mainly on the issue of children whom he says are innocent. The adults have eaten the fruit and know of good and evil but not the children. He argues, therefore, that suffering of children is acute and must be explained.

He tells Alyosha the promise of a pleasant heaven where there is happiness does not cut it for him. He will take his chances on this side of the grave. He tells Alyosha he cannoy the person who has metted suffering on the children even the children forgave and sang praises to the good lord.

In the grand inquisitor, Ivan goes for broke. He says the three questions or temptations put to Jesus at the of his forty fast and his response to them is the reason for the unending strife on earth. By refusing to do as per the tempter, he denied men the miraculous, the mystery and authority.

By refusing to turn stone into bread, he denied men the miraculous. Only the elect few can follow him. The rest of mankind must look for bread.

By refusing to jump from the spire of the temple, even if he wasn’t certain he would be rescued, he denied men mystery instead ingima requiring that they worship him without the burden of miracles.

Lastly, by refusing dominion over all mankind, all empire builders have been struggling to unify the world. The Gengis Khans and all. Their tower of babel all come to naught. He would have achieved much more had he obeyed the tempter.

I say going for broke because there are many miracles Jesus does as reported by his biographers. Whether any of the supposed miracles achieved their ends, the jury has returned their verdict.

Have you read the two chapters and what do you think of the positions adopted by Ivan?

Without apology: the abortion struggle now

Is a short book by Jenny Brown, that is free to download ( for now) on verso that speaks to the question of abortion in quite a very powerful way. In it she links the abortion rights issue to the reproductive rights debate, in a way that is both convincing and powerful.

Some light bulb moment for me was to learn that some phrases that i use often have their beginnings in feminist organising. ‘The personal is political’, ‘consciousness raising’ among others.

It also does seem that capitalism is antithetical to women reproductive rights. That whenever countries become more capitalist, the more restrictive their reproductive laws.

Ain’t it absurd that a country as the Uneducated States of A would ban distribution of sex ed, birth control and other material on reproductive health to women while expecting cases of unwanted pregnancies to go down.

One other thing to note is what Brown calls the feminism of 1%. The pro-choice feminism. If you get pregnant its your choice and you should deal with it as being inimical to the overall struggle of the women. Something which i have read somewhere else.

If you have two hours on the train, or at home after mowing the lawn or doing dishes, pick this book. You will be the better for it.

What this blog is about

If you have followed this blog for long you will notice a recurrent theme, addressing religion. I believe if we can address the contradictions and some of the doubtful claims of religion, we can be on a path to addressing ignorance in our world. Some of the beliefs people hold, like being visited by ghosts, are only possible because they have similar such beliefs in religion.

For example, you should question why your religion can convince you that it’s pious to fast during the day and binge eat at night, or avoid eating some food on Friday but eat it all the other days. Your religious teacher has convinced you that the god you worship is everywhere but you need to, even if poor, to build an extravagant place of worship where this good lord will hear your prayers more.

The worst form of a decadence must be the belief that your god is pleased when a person is killed for blasphemy. A young woman has lost her life in Nigeria because her righteous classmates acting on behalf of the prophet, first stoned her then burnt her to death for what? Saying some not nice things about the prophet.

Elsewhere, it seems The google is helping end religion, one old lady at a time.

I don’t write on alien abduction not because it is not off the rails, but because it is such a North American problem that makes no sense in my village.

If there is some absurd belief you think i should write on, perhaps just start it as a niche project. Life is short. Time, what is it even. And interests are many.

Have a pleasant week.

Nairobi City marathon

Half marathon finishers medal
The concrete that is the expressway
Racists Athletes at the start line

So yesterday I went for the Nairobi City Marathon. I think it is the first of its kind. We have Standard Chartered Bank Marathon and other runs but they are different. To cut the story short, I clocked 1:47 for the race distance I entered in. There is still work to do to shed off the 7 minutes to 1:40.

Happy Monday everyone.