Life is grrreat! J Don’t agree? Well… how would you feel if you had run the second 21km marathon of your life, alongside the Kenya ‘Greats and Up-comings’ and finished (yes, finished) in 02:39 hours, a whooole 6 minutes less than your first run?? See… now you agree… Great! I did, and though I wasn’t quite running alongside (more like behind… faaar behind) the professionals, it was an exhilarating and fulfilling experience exerting myself, complete with huffing and puffing up the maaany hills of Ndakaini! It dawned on me that life really is a competition, a challenge and a race, not so much against others but against YOURSELF! Each day get up and do whatever you do to the very best of your ability, skills and knowledge, and then you go and ‘better’ that, again and again and again! And guess what, no matter what you are actually doing or facing in life, there will always be hills (challenges, struggles, setbacks), and eventually at some point, level ground to catch your breath after the hills (Phew! So sweet!). Indeed, from varying perspectives, there will always (always) be people ahead of you, and others behind you. And it doesn’t matter when you get ‘there’, first, last, early or late, the view is the same and it’s spectacular to everyone (success, achievement, milestone)! How so? It’s not the destination that’s the point of life, but the experience of the journey that’s worth writing home about, right?! Just remember that it’s okay, even important, that every once in a while you stop and take a rest, re-energise and appreciate how far you’ve come. Encourage others around you too. Take time to… Escape!
Ndakaini Dam, Magnificent Murang’a County
The Ndakaini Half Marathon has been held annually for ten years in a row to raise funds for conserving the Ndakaini Dam, a water reservoir that benefits more than 4 million people including Nairobians. Even if you don’t run around it, be forewarned that you may feel like you have once you take a good look because the view of the sparkling waters reflecting blue skies and the surrounding lush green hilly terrain of the tea farms will take your breath away! Photos just can’t do enough justice, you need to go and see it for yourself. Gather friend or family, hit our fancy Super Highway towards Thika, take a left opposite the Blue Post Hotel and then go on for another half hour. The Dam Lake will sort of happen upon you shortly after you pass the small but very busy town of Ndakaini.
There are several establishments strategically located around the lake, where you can sit and enjoy both the view and refreshments; you could even consider spending the night, possibly even camp by the lakeside for the adventurous types. Standards are varied so take a look around first (Gentle caution: avoid Muchiri’s Resort unless you’ve run out of options, it’s a tad run down and unkempt, probably reflective of the low prices).
Whatever your bucket list of ‘to see’ places in Kenya, make sure Ndakaini dam is on it, then be like Nike and ‘Just do it’! Take a day out, or a weekend or an afternoon, go out and see for yourself… Escape!