15 Priceless Gems I Learnt From The #30DayAfriblogger Challenge

I blogged my heart out in September, a whole 30 days of creating posts was worth every minute of my time…

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Image from Pinterest

  1. What stands between you and what you want is the story you tell yourself about why you can’t have it. I told myself I was going to blog the heck out of this September Challenge and I did exactly that!
  2. Collaboration is key. There were days when the challenge topics were tough and I had no idea how to tackle them. Thankfully we had the option to invite guest bloggers to write for us on a not so creative day.  I’m grateful for Chantelle, Vimbai and Josh for coming to the rescue.  Through their work my eyes were opened to issues that I had been ignorant about.
  3. Having a Content Calendar makes life easier. When the challenge started I looked through the topics and I was convinced it was going to be one crazy month because it looked like a lot of work.  Turns out it saved me a lot of time because I worked on difficult topics beforehand and sailed through the easy ones.
  4. I’ve spotted my weaknesses and strengths. Before this challenge I was an impromptu blogger.  Thanks to having to do research beforehand I have become more organised and I can create blog posts days in advance.  My number one strength now is that I know I can actually blog everyday if I put my mind to it.
  5. I got out of my comfort zone and learnt about new topics e.g feminism. I always see the topic getting people in heated arguments on social media platforms but now that I am more knowledgeable on the topic believe me I will be jumping in with my views.
  6. Use of different tools and elements to evoke emotion. Pinterest was good to me, word play even better!  These tools helped with keeping my readers engaged throughout the month and I’m happy to note that most readers could relate to different topics.
  7. Blog titles.  The catchier the better.  One of my personal favourites this month was When In Doubt, Eat Sadza.  This post caught the attention of my readers; most readers are currently out of the country so seeing sadza left them feeling nostalgic.
  8. Scheduling posts was the best thing that ever happened to me in September! It gave me time to read other blogs and not work on blogging only.
  9. Excuses don’t bring blog posts! I wrote through both good and bad days.  That’s the problem when you initiate something; you can’t afford to let yourself down so it ends up being both a blessing and a curse.  I seriously think that Sweet Lips should give me a case of wine because I went through a lot of wine this month to keep myself from drowing.
  10. Trust is built with consistency.  My objective as a Blogger is to get people engaged on my blog and the only way to do so is through consistent work.
  11. You may be a blogger but you are also a writer. Once you are something you have the responsibility of being  the best version of that!  What better way to challenge your skills through a 30 Day Blogging Challenge?
  12. September has been the best month of the year statistically with 5,379 views, 3,598 visitors, 524 likes, 137 comments and 31 blog posts!  If you want to get this blogging thing on lock then becoming a reliable source for content makes your blog more useful and therefore popular.
  13. Team work is the sh*t! We had a WhatsApp group running throughout the challenge and we discussed difficult topics in advance and it helped to give you an idea of which direction to choose for your posts.
  14. Bearded men aren’t so bad after all, wait, bearded men are the business! Apparently a man with a beard comes with much wisdom, awesomeness and note there’s D on the end of the word beard!   My friend (who happens to have a beard) would check on some of my posts and read some of my drafts and let me know they were lacking my character.  Make sure you have a person like that to cross check your work before sending it out into the world.
  15. I was going to stop blogging by the end of this year because I thought I was completely out of ideas on what to write about but this challenge just took my creative juices to the next level! I now know how I’m going to proceed blogging wise sit tight, it’s going to be an explosive journey from here on.

*Bonus Lesson: It’s good to invest in learning some technical skills!*

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Image from Pinterest

That said, let’s celebrate good times!!  Congratulations to every blogger who participated in this challenge. It was one energy filled month, we outdid ourselves African Bloggers!!!  This is the end of the #30DayAfriBlogger Challenge and I’m happy to have been a part of something so profound.  The first time I did a write everyday challenge was last year in September and you can read the posts from here.

I would love to hear from you, when was the last time you took up a writing challenge?  How did that go for you?  Did you face any challenges along the way and how did you handle them?

I’m going to be away for a while, taking a “break” from blogging but I will still be here reading through all your amazing posts.  Have a lovely weekend ahead and stay beautiful both inside and out.

©MaKupsy 2017

 

 

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Fitness Bae Challenge

It’s going to be a fun-filled week ahead!  Get your running shoes out; we are going to get fit or die trying!  I’m sure you remember I announced that Fitness Bae was partnering with Golden Pilsener a few weeks back; you can read about it over here. It’s the final week of the challenge and I am the host.

I love a good challenge, actually I live for challenges and here are some of the reasons why:

  1. Running gets boring, you can do a speed run, a benchmark run, a long run you name it but at some point you need to spice things up and that’s round about the time I challenge myself to try out something new.  Hello Yoga!
  2. A good challenge pushes my limits.  Nothing beats the sense of achievement.  I enjoy people who look at me and think I can’t run, they have no idea what this body is capable of doing when it comes to smashing goals!
  3. To encourage people around me to live their best lives.  Nothing brings me as much satisfaction as watching people achieve their health and fitness goals.  I’m here to motivate and inspire every single day and I never tire of doing it!
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Fitness Bae

I’m challenging you this week to get up and do something!  You can walk, jog or run through this challenge what matters is that you get to the finish line.

This is this week’s challenge please set your reminders!
Wednesday – 20,000 steps
Thursday – 5km run
Friday – 1km and picture of work out gear

If the prizes below don’t motivate you, I have no idea what will!

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The challenge starts tomorrow!  Make sure you use the hash tag #GoldenPilsenerGo4Gold each time you participate.

It’s going to be a blast, better get your gold! Keep it golden.

Fitness Bae®

Day 15: Why I Initiated The #30DayAfriBlogger Challenge

I love me a challenge, especially one I set up for myself.  Last year I did my first Blog Everyday challenge and it showed me just how much I can do the work when it comes to committing to writing everyday.  However, looking back at my posts I was still an amateur at it but this time around my writing has completely changed, things are looking good!  It’s true, practice does make perfect.  In my case perfect(ish) because I believe I still have a lot to learn when it comes to blogging.

I sent out a message on all my social media platforms and announced that I was going to be doing a blog everyday challenge in September and all bloggers in Africa were welcome.  In no time I set up a WhatsApp group and got in touch with  a fellow blogger Thembi and we added interested participants into the group.  We had to come up with a hashtag and we finally settled for a suggestion from Omolayo from Nigeria and we all agreed to go with #30DayAfriBlogger Challenge.

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Image from Pinterest

I could have written a very long post on the reasons why I initiated this challenge but I am honestly mentally exhausted, writing is so taxing so you will have to settle for the list version.

Here’s why I am taking part in the blog everyday challenge:

  1. I enjoy a challenge, with each challenge I get to learn something new.
  2. I announced I would be taking part in the challenge to everyone who would care to listen so yes, I am officially screwed and can’t back down now.
  3. To improve my writing skills.  The only way you can get better at something is through practice and so far I have learnt new vocabulary and I’m paying more attention to my grammar.
  4. To connect with other African Bloggers.  I follow bloggers from all over the world but since the challenge started I have read more content from writers who are right here in Africa.
  5. I want to be part of something original.  In the past I’ve had to search through Google or Pinterest to look for a challenge to take part in but look at me now, initiating original challenges and sh*t?
  6. To have a visual reference of my work.  Picture telling someone you blogged everyday for 30 days and they don’t believe you?  Simple, give them the link to your September Challenge so that they can check it out themselves.
  7. I was starting to write less in the past few months.  I usually post at least 4 blogs in a week but it was down to 2 and on bad weeks 1 post a week.  I needed something to get me back on track.
  8. To encourage other bloggers to write.  To let them know that it is possible to write a post a day if you simply put your mind to it.
  9. To stretch my mental capacity.  I always have a challenge to work on my physical strength but this time around I wanted to take my mental strength to the next level.
  10. To celebrate Africa!  The way I see it if African Bloggers do not share their stories no one else will and this is certainly a great way to start.

September is African Bloggers month!

©MaKupsy 2017

Day 3: My Totem; MaDube

I absolutely looooove being a MaDube.  My totem is a zebra.  The females who bear this totem are titled MaDube.  The men who bear our totem are titled Samaita or Tembo.  I would never trade my totem for any other.  What is a totem?

A totem is a natural object or animal that is believed by a particular society to have spiritual significance and that is adopted by it as an emblem.

To be honest, I don’t have much information on the subject of totems so I will share the little bits I know.  The last time I had to do this was way back in junior school when we were tasked to find out what our totems were and write up how the totem was “praised”.  In our culture, we use totems as a form of identifying each other.  For example, take a couple trying to get to know each other, one of the first few questions they ask is, “What’s your totem?”.  Unfortunately if you bear the same totem chances are you can’t date because you will be “related”.  (There goes the love of your life.)  

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Zebra

Totems are used at different occasions:

  • For greetings; Mamukasei MaDube? (Good morning MaDube)
  • For praises when you excel at something.  For example after you have cooked a meal for your family they will thank you using your totem.  Maita basa MaDube. (Thank you MaDube)
  • When you do a great deed, for example, taking care of your siblings school fees for the term. Maita basa Tembo mugare kure nemoto. (Thank you Tembo may you be protected and not fall into misfortune.)
  • When you give your partner some mind blowing sex it takes them to another planet and back.  After such an incredible experience your partner will thank you using praises of your totem. (Maita Tembo zvirambe zvakadaro) loosely translated to; Thank you Tembo may you continue to do the things that need to be done!

Fun Facts about MaDube

  1. They are short tempered.  Trust me, I know, I’m a MaDube.
  2. They are known for being the best lay ever!  (I wouldn’t know though, I’m a virgin)
  3. Zebras have very nice legs, no lies at all.  Take another look at the picture above, then refer to the one at the bottom for confirmation.  They have strong, toned and beautiful legs and so it is only natural that those who bear the totem are blessed in that department.
  4. If you are a MaDube feel free to add more fun facts…I’m all out.
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MaDube

That said, this blogging challenge has gotten the best of me and it’s only day 3.  Today was a tough day and I nearly didn’t blog but I remembered that I am NOT a quitter and besides I initiated this challenge, who goes around letting people down like that?

If you have a totem do tell me about it.  If you are a MaDube like me what are some of the things you have heard about our totem that you can completely relate to?

©MaKupsy 2017

 

September Challenge

 

Hello September!

Thank goodness the skies are clear and the sun is out; that’s every reason to go out and get your fitness on!  This month I have switched things up a notch and replaced our usual skipping with dance and yoga.  I will be letting you in on the benefits of doing these workouts during the course of the month so stay logged on.  In the meantime let’s talk about how September is going to be set up.

Burpee Challenge

You want a toned body but you don’t want to do the work because you think fit bodies drop from the sky?  I’m here to remind you that it doesn’t work like that and you are going to have to push yourself to get the results that you want.  There is no excuse for not taking part in the Burpee Challenge because all you need is yourself and some space to do the workout.

unnamed (2) Here’s why YOU should do burpees:

  • Burpees are awesome because they work your entire body.
  • You can do them in your home, at the gym, in the garden, on holiday; anywhere.
  • Burpees aren’t just great for helping you to lose fat and build muscle; they can actually help to improve the health of your heart and lungs.
  • They burn MEGA calories!

Dance and Yoga Workouts

You can buy a DVD workout, you can watch from YouTube, you can download an application and install it on your phone; you can even just create a power playlist and dance away.  Whatever you have to do, just make sure you get to do 30 minutes of it on the allocated days, you can thank me later.  The idea is to get your body out of your comfort zone.  Over time your body gets used to doing the same thing and boredom creeps in.  That’s why it’s important to spice up your journey so that you stay motivated.

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Running

The challenge would be incomplete without running.  However, this month you will be running less times in a week and each time you go out for a run you will be focusing on different aspects of running and not just going the distance.  Team Fitness In The Park is big on taking part on the #JustDoItSunday run that is hosted by Nike Run Club and it would be great to have you join us on those virtual runs.  Make sure your battery is fully charged the night before you go for a run, you wouldn’t want it to switch off on you during your run.

Prizes

Steward Health is sponsoring fitness related prizes this month so make sure you take part.  I will announce the “challenge day” a day in advance so that you have time to prepare.

Hash Tags

Each time you post your run or workout on social media be sure to use both #StewardHealth and #RunWithFitnessBae

Park Runs

Tomorrow at 6:30am we will be at Greenwood Park, Harare for the first Harare Park Run.  You don’t want to miss this!  This will be an every Saturday do for the month of September so bring the whole family for some fitness fun, the event is free.

Please print the workouts and stick them somewhere you can see them all the time, that way you can feel guilty each time you don’t workout!  Make sure you get enough rest on the prescribed rest days.  Stay hydrated, eat nutritious meals and document your journey so that when the month comes to an end you can see all the goals you smashed; one day at a time.


The first Harare Park Run had 9 runners:

  1. Fitness Bae
  2. Lisa
  3. Fitness Hunk
  4. Fungai
  5. Decision
  6. Archie
  7. Nyasha
  8. Toriro
  9. Percy

2nd Harare Park Run – 16 September 2017

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  1. Tambu
  2. Decision
  3. Fitness Hunk
  4. Fungai
  5. Saimon
  6. Toriro
  7. Fitness Bae
  8. Toby
  9. Rudo
  10. Tafadzwa
  11. Alyssa
  12. Yemurai
  13. Clara
  14. Bertha
  15. Liberty
  16. Lynah
  17. Yemurai
  18. Tapiwa
  19. Rati

3rd Harare Park Run – 23 September 2017

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  1. Chenesai
  2. Munyaradzi
  3. Saimon
  4. Nyasha
  5. Miss Bubbles
  6. Fitness Bae
  7. Tapiwa
  8. Toby
  9. Fitness Hunk
  10. Lisa
  11. Decision
  12. M.K
  13. Fungai
  14. Alisa

4th Harare Park Run – 30 September 2017

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Fitness Bae®

 

Cauliflower Potato Mash & Chicken Stir Fry

Cauliflower is one of the few things I like to eat but rarely know what to do with other than boil it and add a dash of oil and salt.  Thankfully today Yapi was kind enough to share a healthy and easy to make recipe that includes this delicious vegetable.

Chicken stir-fry:

1. Chop and boil carrots and green beans and put aside
2. Chop 1 onion, green pepper and 1 tomato and put aside.
3. Cut chicken breasts into strips, add salt and pepper, paprika and garlic.
4. Add a bit of oil in a pan and fry the chicken until golden brown.
5. Add in onions, green pepper, tomato (and whatever vegetables you may want to add)
6. Mix in the carrots and green beans that were previously boiled.

Cauliflower-potato mash:
7. Cut up cauliflower head and potato and boil for 15-20 minutes
8. Strain any left over water and leave aside.
9. Mash with a potato masher, fork or hand blender until it’s at a consistency you like and add parsley (Add milk or left over water to help get a creamy consistency)
10. Serve! Use chopped chives to garnish.

Yapikachi won the cook off challenge we held last week during the #UrsulaChallenge and won herself 5 bonus points. I loved her plate. It’s what I call a “happy plate”. The presentation is on point, there is a variety of colour and texture and best of all you just want to dive in and enjoy it.

Fitness Bae®

Madbarz Workout : Tehn Diamond

Madbarz workout is an application you definitely need to add to your phone if you are an individual who likes to work with a schedule.  As you know, I am always on the look out for anyone doing anything fitness related and some weeks ago I saw Tehn Diamond sharing some of his routines for the day and I obviously got in touch with him.  Below he shares part of his fitness story.

I am doing these body weight workouts at home using this app called Mad.  I fell off on my gym routine earlier this year and using this application is part of my journey back to the gym.  I am also trying to develop a routine that I can use at all anytime and anywhere.  My tour really messed up my health and fitness routine.  Madbarz is working out very well for me because with my line of work coming up with a system that can adapt to the randomness of my schedule is a high priority!

Madbarz Workout Schedule:

MONDAY – Chest + Triceps

TUESDAY – Legs

WEDNESDAY – Back + Biceps

THURSDAY – Abs

FRIDAY – Legs

SATURDAY – Abs

SUNDAY – REST

This is what my Madbarz workout weeks currently look like. I am not a fan of rest days, they ruin everything for me. However, I do understand and accept that they are key to muscle growth.

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Tehn Diamond

For me, it’s all about looking and feeling great. The pictures are my happy place as far as weight and appearance.  I am learning more and more to just enjoy the process of building a body I can make the most use of for the rest of my life.  For the next month it is going to be all body weight workouts and then I am going to add a gym session every evening. (I hope he knows about the Total Fitness Winter Challenge).  

 

At the moment I train first thing in the morning, around 4am. It’s nice and quiet; I really love working through the cold morning chill and that’s a plus for me!

There you go dear readers, I hope you get this application and see if it will work for you.  I am planning on trying out this Madbarz workout as soon as I am done with the skipping challenge next month, it looks like something that will take my training to the next level.  I am a big fan of switching things up when it comes to fitness and this looks like an application worth my while.

Fitness Bae®

 

 

Running & Photography

Just before the winter came in full swing, towards the end of the month of May, Fitness Bae introduced us to the the Winter Challenge. When she told us about it I thought it would be fairly easy. Running 2K a day when you are used to running 4K to 5K was obviously going to be a breeze right? I was sure I would smash this challenge. It turns out that leg raises are not the easiest thing on the planet! It was in all this difficulty that my best friend Onai  decided to add a new angle to the challenge.

It started out as a silent competition between the two of us.  The challenge was simple.  We wanted to see who would have the cooler image accompanying their Nike+Running Club stats.  The pictures had to be images we had taken ourselves.  Simply because it’s in our nature we went on to create a challenge in the midst  of another challenge!

A collection of our images below:

archie flat

shoes

onai reduce

archie minato

onai escape

archie RObot

The winter challenge continues and we are seeing more people quietly jump onto the #WinterPicChallenge (maybe we should make this a hashtag) and give more life to the already exciting winter challenge.

Archie

Hello June, I’m Still Slaying!

Today I feel so good I have nothing but feel good hormones rushing through my veins!  Each year since 2015 I weigh myself on the 1st of June just to see if my weight has made any drastic change over the year.  I can safely say that in 3 straight years I have managed to maintain the same weight range.  Amazing how I am the exact same weight I was a year ago…

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S/O to Sammy for the beautiful poster 🙂

This year I have a plan for winter and I came up with a Winter Challenge that will be sure to keep the weight off.  Everyone is invited to take part it will be a lot of fun and you don’t want to miss out on this.  Today I took a before picture to use against my after picture once the 60 Day Challenge is complete.  I can’t believe my abs are disappearing before my eyes, I blame the white wine!  You can read the post I wrote last year same time below and get to see how far I have come on my health and fitness journey.  Those taking part in the challenge, good luck, it is NOT going to be easy.

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Winter is NOT my friend, look at that pouch 😦

1 June 2017: Weight 74.3kgs

1 June 2016: Weight 74.3kgs

1 June 2015 : Weight 74.9kgs

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Hello and good morning.  It’s a beautiful Wednesday and today I got off the scale with a huge smile on my face.  Can you believe that I have managed to maintain the same weight range in the space of a year.  I was actually surprised myself because given that I haven’t been running as often as I used to I would have thought I would have gained weight.  After posting this question on Twitter

experts have to help me with this one. I’m losing weight each week but I don’t run as much as I used to. What am I doing right?

Myk replied and said ” @MaKupsy running on a regular basis can temporarily increase your metabolism , which burns calories for energy.You’re still reaping the benefits”.

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June 2016

That said, it’s winter this part of the world and getting up in the morning to go for my run is becoming a lot harder.  I have been setting my alarm for 5:15am for the past two weeks and I have lounged in bed for an extra 15 minutes and then sometimes I have even decided to not go running at all because my bed will be warm and comfortable.

However, this week I have come up with a new strategy.  Instead of torturing myself by waking up early and actually not clocking in any runs I now just wake up when my internal cooperates.  Say today for example; I woke up at 6:15am.  I didn’t have time to even think about whether I felt like running or not.  I jumped out of bed, wore my running gear and left the house in a flash because time was not on my side but my run still had to be completed.  See, I can safely say that in winter I can work best under pressure because this alarm thing is certainly not working out.

I am also watching what I eat.  Thanks to this miserable weather I am feeling hungry most times and I told myself that if I don’t eat right and mind my portions I might end up gaining all the weight I have worked so hard on losing.  I am having fruits, vegetables, meat (minus beef I am not a fan of it AT ALL) extra small starch portions and drinking room temperature water because I simply can’t stomach cold water right now!

If you’re a runner what winter tips and tricks do you have that you have tried and tested?

©MaKupsy 2017

Winter Fitness Challenge

Hello Winter, you are NOT ready for what we have in store for you!  Fitness In The Park team is on a mission to get lean this year and because we are all weather fitness people we will sail through winter like it’s nothing.  From the 1st of June through to the 31st of July 2017 a lot of different activities will be taking place.  The details of the challenge are as follows, be sure to pick your poison:

Run Everyday Challenge (June)

Participants are to run for 30 straight days throughout the month of June.  The prescribed distance is 2K but if you feel you have energy to run a greater distance by all means go all out.  If you choose to run the 5K for #JustDoItSunday you will be entitled to a Rest Day every Wednesday of the month.  Each week there will be a different challenge on pace, elevation gain, time and consistency.

This winter focus we will focus on working out the entire body. 

Ab Challenge (June)

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Image from Google

The challenge above will work on strengthening our core.  I have used this challenge in the past and produced positive results.  The trick is to do the workout in proper form, eat right, stay hydrated and not miss a single day that is prescribed.  I know you can do it, you’ve got this!

Squat Challenge (June)

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According to Researchers squats can actually help you improve both your upper and lower body strength.  One of the many benefits of squats include; great for digestion, the exercise does not put a strain on your back, you don’t need any fancy equipment just yourself and hello toned legs!

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Skipping Challenge (July)

We had this Skipping Challenge in January and it was a success and because of that we want to do it again!  The only difference this time around will be that we will start the challenge from day 30 going backwards.  Brace yourself for 10 000 skips on day one!  Remember you can buy your skipping rope from me in case you want to start practicing in advance.

Rules Of The Challenge

  1. If you miss a day of the challenge you will be disqualified.
  2. Share your workouts on any social media platform.
  3. Use the #RunWithFitnessBae challenge together with your other favourite fitness hash tags.
  4. You do not need to complete each exercise in one go; for example 100 crunches, feel free to break it up if needed.  You can do 50 crunches in the morning and the other 50 in the evening as long as you complete your 100 crunches for the day.

This is meant to be nothing but fun and at the end of winter we will announce the winner.  There will be a prize or two to be won so keep your eyes on the blog for updates, you don’t want to miss out.  All the best on the challenge and may the best man or woman win!

P.S. Make sure you print and stick the challenge on your mirror or fridge as a reminder of what you need to do that day.

Get up every morning and tell yourself, I CAN DO THIS!

Fitness Bae®