My pandemic epiphany: I loved becoming a fitness junkie

Ever since my gym teacher stood, arms folded, laughing at my inability as a four-year-old to tuck myself into a ball and perform a somersault, exercise has been a foreign concept.

Team sports were an orgy of disappointment – of realizing I was the weak link leading us to yet another defeat – while individual endeavors were equally dispiriting. Running made me feel like my lungs were about to explode, I never learned to ride a bike, and swimming made me realize you could sweat underwater and almost drown in the shallow end of the pool.

Pre-lockdown, my body was a willing receptacle for pints of beer, cigarettes and sandwiches. My body had become this doughy thing I carried around with me. The only interaction I had with my physical self was the realization that my skin is brown - a fact that set me apart from my largely white social circle. It was something I came to define myself by.

When the coronavirus pandemic hit and we were all placed in lockdown, I thought it would be business as usual; hours sat at my desk, punctuated by eating, with the added bonus of working from my kitchen where my fridge was in reach. Living alone, though, the lack of human contact soon became punishingly apparent, especially when it came to seeing my best friend.

Read the feature in the Guardian.

[This piece was published on 26/06/20]