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About Charles


Health and fitness

Health and fitness

When I joined a gym about fifteen years ago , I was barely out of high school. At the time I had made the school team rugby.  Off season, I would find myself between the goal posts in the hockey field. During the holidays in my final year ,I would concentrate on weight training.
Even so, my formative days in the gym came with constant interruptions. There was no gym at school.The pioneer students that tried to set up one faced a ban. This came after the most promising lad contracted cerebral malaria. Consequently whenever the student body spotted him they scampered for cover as though a lion had been spotted. By then his physique was intimidating.

Three months after my final paper, my mates reminded me that i had ranted on and on about joining a gym after high school. That February, after exhausting all the excuses, I took up full membership in one of the top local gyms. Some of my mates accompanied me for the first few weeks. Soon I was to find myself alone, beating the same old path to the gym. The water bottle and workout kits on my backpack was all that accompanied me.

As the weeks slowly turned into months, some of my mates that stood beside me initially, during my ice breaking moments comforted me. They mentioned tales of how everyone begun with high morale only to slump back in due time. Soon I would wear out and join in their footsteps on the bench, like everyone else. My first real leave of absence came soon.

I had contracted malaria. It was one of the strongest bouts of malaria that I had ever suffered. It took me two weeks to get back on track. I was glad to resume my strength training. The coach an Eritrean national encouraged me, he said it was healthy for the body now and then to take such a break. As I continued to put in more hours in the gym each week, some of my friends noticed the determination in me and made many varied comments.

Well by then my physical power had almost doubled. Some of the boys I considered big or built were now about the same size as myself. I persisted in my workout routine until I achieved a seven month unbroken stint. Save for the two malaria breaks I had taken. My routine involved  two hour sessions every Monday to Friday after 5pm. Occasionally I would incorporate early morning jogs and evening rope skipping before my weight training sessions.

The following year I was to join college. My heart sunk when I realized that I would have to interrupt my routine. Luckily I discovered the college had some weights in some makeshift gym. These were to make a big difference in the days to come as I continued to chiseled out my physique. The first holiday break involved a four week return to my old gym.

Back in college, I had found myself alone in the makeshift gym. I was elated when finally, I completed a twelve week routine with a heavy bias on chest and stomach exercises. The available set of weights limited my routine to mainly upper body exercises. I completed these within an hour, every Monday to Friday after classes. In the photographs I took next, I was soon to see the clear results of my workout routine.

The college athletics events that year could not have come at a better time, my performance was sterling. I dominated my peers in all the short sprints and selected  field events.  I was second in the hammer throw and the top thrower in the short putt contest. In the discuss event I managed second position  and a similar top 3 slot in the long jump.

In the coming years, I had to juggle between work and gym. Eventually I decided to create my own home gym. This paid off tremendously as I could schedule more time to my workout routines with the maximum convenience. I could attend regular gyms on a weekly basis to complement my home gym workout routine. Some members took to calling me the squats guy because I could manage very heavy squat reps.

After about five years of keeping fit,I decided to educate myself on fitness. I enrolled for a six month fitness and nutrition course. At first, I was not implementing what I was learning. The knowledge I was acquiring was going to be invaluable in the coming days. One time, after an extended leave of absence of more than one year from keeping fit, I was a shadow of my former self. I slowly started to implement the knowledge I had gained. I set out to recover lost ground. Three pillars of exercise rang out clearly in my mind.

  • Exercise
  • Nourishment and
  • Relaxation

later, I set out to help other people to achieve their achieve fitness goals. This philosophy of exercise,nourishment and relaxation proved to be successful beyond my imagination. As I look back nothing has been quick and easy.There have been no quick fixes and short cuts. The saying ‘whatever a man sows he will reap’ seems to have been said with the physical shape of the body in mind.

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