How many Superwoman vlogs have you watched where you can tell she's got bigger circles under her eyes than your own friendship circle and yet she still says "gotta keep hustling".
All this is somewhat inspiring, it gives you a rush which lasts for around a minute or so. Within that minute, your mind re plans your whole life and your daily routine and you create a pseudo version of yourself being productive, finding your passions and tackling them head on.
A minute later, you say "Ok, I'll start working on it right after this cat video".
Two weeks later, you watch another Superwoman vlog, she says the same thing, and the cycle continues.
Since I started medical school four years ago, I've always wondered what it would be like to work ruthlessly and give every fiber of your being to a project you care so much about - enough to stay hungry for more results, enough to stay up all night because you're not satisfied. In the pursuit of finding our passions, we create brick walls of frustration and impatience.
I was this person two years ago. Every day I kept searching for projects to work on, projects to start on my own and the only thought that I had was, "I'll turn this project into something big, I know that I will work day and night to make this happen”. Forty-eight hours later, my life would go back to its usual ways. Like many of us, I went through this feeling, I had my eye on the prize, I wanted it so badly, but it seemed so difficult to get a hold of.
How do we get this prize? How do we hold it proudly and call it our 'passion'?
After many bouts of these episodes, I realised the best way to stay content was to go the extra mile in every other hobby I was pursuing. As I have mentioned many times in the podcast, my whole life is based on playing basketball and doing sports - it's my happy place. So I focused on my running, and every day, my only goal was to stick to a training schedule which would prepare me to run a half marathon within the space of two months. Alongside my running, I was helping out with a few charitable causes in my city which was very humbling, especially because in the chaos of studying Medicine, I would forget that a lot of people around us are missing the simple things in life, whether its food, clothes or even a hug!
Race day came by and I was as ready as I could be for my half marathon. This was my second one, however, my first one was two years before that so it still felt like a whole new world to me - seeing hundreds of runners at the start line and looking at their skinny legs with big round calves really put me on edge! But I was the one who signed up, I was the one who set myself this goal and I had to cross the finish line - whether I would cross it walking, crawling or dragging myself along the floor like Madhuri Dixit in 'Maar Dala'. I just had to do it.
The race went as smoothly as I could have hoped and as I crossed the finish line and went ahead to get my snacks and drinks, I met a group of Kenyans - who by the way, run at supersonic speed. I'm pretty sure that as I was eight kilometers into the run, they would have finished, showered, had a full meal and maybe even run another half marathon. I'm not the type of person who would go up to strangers and introduce myself, but because I had been to Mozambique before my studies, I was curious to know where they were from and why they were in the Czech Republic running a half marathon.
Our conversation led us from a mere introduction to my journey in finding that 'prize', I finally found the path towards that 'prize'.
This is the day I met one of my dearest friends, Wambugu. Wambugu lives in a small town called Nyahururu and not only does he run these half marathons to feed his own family, but he runs to take care of twelve orphans. After we spoke, I understood the severity of his situation and how he has given his life and soul into caring for these kids. Feeding, clothing and educating a small family with two or three kids is tough as it is - I could not fathom how tough it must have been for him to take care of twelve orphans.
Wambugu had built a small home for these kids with his own savings, but unfortunately, the authorities in Nyahururu had to take it down because the home wasn't built under the correct construction regulations. Wambugu had two options: either he would build a new home with the material and legal
planning required, or he would send the kids back to the village where their grandparents would have to take care of them - who also, like the kids, have
very little to their name.
Due to financial restrictions and Wambugu having a limited income stream from his running, the best option was to send them back to the village and collect enough money for food, school, and clothes. Nishant Joshi, @AltCricket, who was also studying Medicine with me at the time started the Alt Cricket Foundation to help these kids live as normal of a life as possible. Since then, we've been holding small fundraisers at the University to send over to Kenya.
And just when I was having one of those weeks where motivation levels are so rock bottom, that you'd have to go to the core of the earth to find it - Wambugu came to the Czech Republic to run some more races! Of course, I got super excited and collected bags and bags of clothes from medical students here in Prague to send to the kids. Thanks to Rana and Aprajita, two medical students who are studying in Prague with me - they have been my saving grace this week! They helped me pack up the bags, we bought around five kilos of candy for the kids, footballs, notebooks and everything we could think of under the sun that would bring a smile on their faces.
Our dream is to one day build a home for these innocent children, a place where they can play with their brothers and sisters, a home where they can sleep safely and a home where we can give them the brightest future they could have ever imagined. As of now, we are trying to stick to the basics by making sure that the kids at least have the bare minimum - food, clothes and most importantly, an education.
I would have never imagined two years ago that planning to run a half marathon would bring me to the position I am in now. I found something I would give my heart and soul to, I found something I would stay up all night to complete and most importantly, all this feels effortless. If you are looking for your 'passion', if you are looking for that one thing to put blood, sweat, and tears into - don't look too hard. It will find you, all you have to do is give 100 percent of yourself to the things that make you happy and one day, you will find it right at your doorstep.
If you would like to know more information about The Alt Cricket Foundation, please do send us a mail to [email protected] or you can comment below!
All funds will be directed solely for the kids' purpose and nothing else. We will not use any of your donations for administrative purposes.
A fifth-year medical student successfully placing my stethoscope the wrong way around every day. I'm a podcaster, sports enthusiast and I guess, a feminist.