Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Looking past the dark skin

I think dreads are beautiful, I was so excited to get them and when I finally got the hang of palm rolling I was so proud. Yet I spent several hours and many episodes re-watching scrubs this weekend taking out my dreads.
But what about your angry feminism, and desire to form progressive attitudes to non-Western models of beauty?

One reason I decided against a chop and instead spent hours combing out the knots was because I wanted to keep the length. Why did I decide to take them out. Well the negative comments I received from immediate family was a little annoying but actually it was my own dissatisfaction with them, they were not the soft, even thin dreads I had envisioned for myself. If I was going to put myself out on a limb with these they had to be perfect and they weren't.

I am not done with dreads I am just taking a break. I am certain I will be back, partly because when done right dreads are an incredibly attractive style and I love them. In terms of training having my hair out and loose is a bit easier. I can go swimming without worrying about how long it is going to take my dreads to dry. My dreads certainly didn't hold me back from doing sports but they definitely didn't make it easier. I am not sure quite how I will style my hair in the immediate future but I will have fun and learn.

Documentary on Kenyan runners called Born to Run: The secrets of Kenyan Athletics

So on to the link of the day. No one ever says what is it about the Canadians that make them such great Ice Hockey players, or why are Australians so good at Rugby yet the sporting media fetishises the Kenyans querying what is in their genes that makes them run so well.Nothing, they are a product of years of concerted effort. When you run everyday since you were 5 and you're now 25 you become a half decent runner.

That said genetics obviously have a role to play; look at Usain Bolt's height and leg length, the leanness seen in all successful distance runners, the huge lung capacities of distance cyclists, the slightness of jockeys. Even those physiological factors are influenced to greater and lesser degrees by environment.

Ultimately what I liked about this documentary was that is nicely highlights many of the factors needed to create a winner. The training, the motivation, the nutrition, the recovery, the equipment, money as well as focus are just some things winning athletes need to surround themselves with to create a winning mindset.

I know at the moment I do not have these things around me. Even in terms of being a great student I haven't created an atmosphere of success. I must become like the Kenyans. I have need to create a hunger and desire for the things I want to achieve. This may mean sacrifice. Other idle dreams and escapist fantasies need to be discarded in the name of the greater goal. This summer is about building habits, slowly surely. I have set myself one running and one cycling target. The targets are simple in nature but require consistent effort on my part.

Wish me luck

Image credits:
Surprised baby - Shutterstock

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