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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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

3 Things About The Adidas Running Application

It has let me down, it has let me down so bad that soon after writing this blog post I am going to delete it from my phone!  I have been using Nike+ Run Club ever since I started running and I thought a change of app would do me good, was I wrong or was I wrong?  The plan was to try it out on my 3 runs this week.  The first day went though but the following 2 days were a disaster!

There are 3 things that really put me off about this application.

  1. It did not record my distance.  There I was running my heart out only to sync my run and realise that there was no record on distance and average pace. What the heck?The same thing happened today, what a let down.
  2. When I use Nike+ Run Club I can have a basic run or select the distance, duration or speed I want to run.  Unfortunately Adidas does not have this option.
  3. I made sure my location was on and lo and behold, nothing showed at the end of my runs.  I am really disappointed.

Now you see why people are resistant to change?

In other fitness related news, this morning I managed to do my morning workout in exactly one hour.  When I started on Monday it was taking me a good 1 hour 15 minutes sometimes more.  You see the benefits of rest day right there!   I am doing a 6 week challenge which I compiled for myself and it is tough!

I was thinking of the progress I have made over the past 2 years and I am very proud of myself.  Two years ago I struggled to do 10 sit ups but look at me now! You can read all about my fitness journey here.  It has been a rocky road but every step of it has been and continues to be worth it.

 

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I also did 2000 skips and all I can say is I felt was the good kind of pain afterwards

I would like to know from those who are addicted to running; what is the running application that you have found to be very reliable?  I have a challenge coming up in a week and I want to make sure I use something that doesn’t have a lot of glitches.  The last Nike+ Run Club update has my runs disappearing into thin air and I can’t afford to have an experience like that during a challenge.

H E L P.

Fitness Bae®

 

 

 

Run With Fitness Bae

We had a Run Everyday Challenge that ran from the 10th to the 16th of October.  I must say this was the toughest week of my life!  The challenge was to run 5 kilometres every single day for 7 days and the participant who had the best pace won.  There were 13 participants, please check out the table below to see how awesome everyone in the group was.

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Unfortunately not everyone managed to run every day and we came up with a penalty.  We decided that your slowest run plus 10 seconds was going to be slotted in for the days you didn’t run. Trust me, this method saw some participants who were ranking first place move down the grid.  I think it was a fair move because running is hard, waking up early morning and sacrificing the comfort of your bed is harder and running every single day and telling yourself you can get through a run is hardest of it all!

Thankfully we survived the challenge but it came with a lot of changes for everyone in the group:

  • Bed time was super early for most morning runners because most people had to make sure they were done with their run by 6am.
  • I can confirm that when I went to bed I was completely lights out. I am a light sleeper and most times I wake up at least twice during the course of the night.  With the challenge nothing of the sort happened; after jumping into bed I was probably dead till my alarm went off at 4am!
  • Most runners complained of fatigue.
  • I remember dreaming of new running routes to try out!
  • The classic one was when were one of the participants stated they were too tired to have sex with their partner thanks to the running challenge.
  • Women talked about how running actually helps during your period. Somehow exercise helps with the cramps and when one of the participants tried to back out of the challenge due to her period we encouraged her to keep going, it only gets better.
  • I for one can tell you that my appetite went out the window. I was hungry in the mornings, lunch time as well but come supper time I was just too tired to feed myself!  I think I lost a couple of kilograms but thanks to my bathroom scale dying out on me last minute I will never know!
  • Calvin went crazy on the last day of the challenge and ran at a pace of 3mins 12seconds on the last kilometre of his run. WHO DOES THAT??  No one in the group ran anywhere close to that pace and we were all green with envy because that’s a pace we only dream of.  Well done dude!
  • Kudzai also set a great pace, look at number 8 on the grid.  Unfortunately he missed a run or two and he lost the first place.  I actually had my fingers crossed that he would win but I guess he needs a longer pair of “secret socks”.
  • The one thing I was very happy about was that most runners had not ran 5 kilometres in a very long time others never at all but this challenge pushed them to their limits. Now that’s what a challenge is all about!  Nothing but serious business when it comes to fitness!
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Natalie

The winner was NatalieShe is truly an inspiration (and very young too).  The pace she set out for everyone was out of this world!  I mean, who runs an average of 5mins 12 seconds per kilometre for a whole 5 kilometres!  Like I said she is young and straight out of High School where they play sport, do all those cross country events almost every day so of course she was going to win! (This is what sore losers sound like. LOL)  A big congratulations to Natalie, she did very well and because she was the winner of this challenge she got to choose what the next challenge will be.

The hash tags will be #NatalieChallenge #RunWithFitnessBae.  In order to win you must take part and when you post your run on social media don’t forget to use the two hashtags I mentioned.   This time around there are prizes to be won and they will be announced a few days just before the challenge starts.  If you want to take part please contact KudzaiUmba or myself and we will add you to the WhatsApp Fitness group.  There is a lot of information on and fitness, encouragement, good laughs and healthy food recipes so if that’s your cup of tea come and join the family.

Well done to each and every single person who took part in this challenge.  I know some participants have not taken on this kind of pressure before but look at how you sailed through this!  This is the beginning of many challenges to come.

The next challenge is from the 31st of October to the 4th of November 2016.

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I hope you had a weekend as lovely as mine.  If you have any questions on the next running challenge or you just want to join and get started on your fitness journey don’t hesitate to get in touch.  Today is Monday by the way, the perfect day to get up and do something!

©MaKupsy 2016

Run Everyday Challenge

Hello, good morning.  It’s a lovely Monday morning and I can’t wait to face the running week ahead.  I know I sound all bubbly today, it’s the feel good hormones running through my veins and I can only thank my morning run for it.  Today I left the house with running for a solid hour in mind and guess what that yielded?  A run that totaled up to 10K and I am super proud of myself because I beat my last 10K record which I completed in 1 hour 8 minutes.

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Sometime last year we tried out a Run Everyday Challenge and it was the toughest experience I ever went through.  To make it worse, it was in winter and you know how your body and the bed are serious best friends in winter.  I did the challenge with my running partner and friend Tariro.  This year I decided instead of just the two of us why not add more people to the challenge, the more the merrier right?  I took the news to Twitter and a couple of people decided they would like to take part.  I created a WhatsApp group (I hate those by the way) for the week that way I can track the progress for everyone.

The participants are as follows:

Name Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
Zvie 10.13K  7.11K  6.45K  9.33K  5.5K  4.46K  8.50K
Tari 4.04K  6.06K  5K  4.71K  5.51K  7.30K  4.04K
Kennedy 8.1K  7.3K  9K  8K  6.2K  5.10K  5.20K
Sheryl 5.15K  7.09K  4.22K  9.03K  6.01K  5.11K
Carlos  8.3K  12K  7.07K  4.13K
Chisepo  6K  10.02K  9.07K  10.20K  11.04K
Gerald  6.4K  5.10K  7.39K  6.28K
Garnet 1.07K  4.59K  5.10K  5.52K
Kennie  1.64K  2.58K  6.74K  10.66K  15.06K
Itso 5.04K  6.18K  7.61K  10.08K  14.20K  7.04K  21.21K
Patience 5.03K  6.03K  4.81K  8.04K
Rodney  5.01K  4.01K  4.31K  8.03K
Danai 9.02K 5.83K  5.31K  5.02K

The rules of the Run Everyday Challenge are as follows:

  • Minimum running distance 4K.
  • There will be no repeat runs, once you run a certain distance that’s it.  For example; if you run 4K today you are not allowed to run 4K again during the course of the challenge.Minimum running distance 4K.
  • You have to screenshot your run every day so that it is recorded on the runners list.

I wish the team all the best.  This is going to be a very tough week because come rain or shine we are going to go out and run!

If you want to take part in the challenge just tag your runs with #RunWithFitnessBae and I will also add you to the group.

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A few updates on the days will be posted as the challenge goes.

Day 1: Some members of the group didn’t run the distance stated in the rules.  I informed everyone that whoever didn’t subscribe to the rules was free to exit the group.  This is a challenge people not a run whatever you feel like.  Get fit or get out!  Let’s hope day 2 will have people getting on track otherwise they will be disqualified.

Day 2Kennedy has the fastest pace in the group going at 4″34 per km!!!  He is high on something if you ask me.  This morning Carlos took up the challenge to match or beat Kennedy’s pace.  Watch this space for a winner.

Day 3: WAKING UP THIS MORNING WAS HARD!!  I slept late and when I woke up this morning I was this close to quitting but I remembered that I initiated the challenge so giving up now would be such a let down so I soldiered on and did my run for the day.  A few participants are suffering from injuries.  Patience sprained her hip joint yesterday morning during her run so she was unable to run today.  Gerald had the runs but managed to do his evening run yesterday.  I checked up on him this morning and it seems “the runs ain’t loyal” but I do wish him a speedy recovery.  He will be pretty annoyed when he reads that I posted this but I am just being a good reporter.  Tari sprained her ankle and being the go getter that she is she managed to run all the way.  We recommended that she get some heat rub and stretch her sprained ankle and hopefully tomorrow she will be as good as new.

Remember yesterday’s Pace Challenge?  Carlos won it with a ground breaking pace of 4″36!!!!  CONGRATULATIONS MAN!  All the best next time Kennedy I guess now you have to “Stay in your lane.”

Day 4: A big well done to Sheryl not only did she clock in her most running distance today, she also entered a new running level on NikePlus.  She has now entered the Green Level.  I am super proud of her.  The challenge is doing everyone some good because the participants are clearly taking themselves to the next level of fitness.  Incase you are wondering what the NikePlus levels are:

Nike+ Levels are assigned to the following kilometer-based achievements:

  • Yellow: 0-49 kilometers or 0-30 miles
  • Orange: 50-249 kilometers or 31-154 miles
  • Green: 250-999 kilometers or 155-620 miles
  • Blue: 1,000-2,499 kilometers or 621-1,552 miles
  • Purple: 2,500-4,999kilometers or 1,553-3,106 miles
  • Black: 5,000-14,999 kilometers or 3,107-9,319 miles
  • Volt: More than 15,000 kilometers or 9,320 miles

We have since concluded that the Morning Runners are in beast mode!  Most of them are the pace and distance setters!

Danayi was a little late for the party and that’s why her runs start reflecting on Day 3.  But the more the merrier right, we need all the motivation we can get to reach our final destination.

I am super proud of the team because EVERYONE ran today, no excuses at all.  Well done team!

Day 5:  We are near but yet so far… Just two more days to go, I have never in my life looked forward to Sunday the way I do right about now.  Rodney shared some interesting information on the group today.

Guys, during my run yesterday. I met a 70(!!) year old marathon runner. He’s been in the comrades 18 times and started running in 1980. I was like 😰. When I started talking to him, he was half way into a 30km run. Anyway, you know how old people are like. He gave me some words of wisdom (which i wont necessarily follow). He says the trick to his running is never stopping. Run 5 days a week and DONT STOP. The other things was he drinks a concotion of 500ml water, 6 table spoons of lemon juice, 4 tables spoons of sugar and one tea spoon of salt. before and after every run. for energy and recovery. Who wants to try it?

No one has volunteered to try out the advice he shared so let’s wait and see how the day goes.  The morning runners have been outdone by Itso who ran 14.20K this morning, WOW!!!  I wonder what he is on, whatever it is I want in on it!!

It was an epic running week!  Never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine myself running 50K in a week.  I guess it just goes to show that anything is indeed possible.

A big THANK YOU to everyone who took part in the challenge.  We kept each other going throughout the week.  It was a fun group and even though one individual decided to drop out that didn’t stop the team from continuing with the challenge.  I can’t wait for the next challenge.  Maybe this time I will make it a pace challenge…Now that will be something!

MaKupsy

Day 30 – I Made It!!

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MaKupsy

My challenge is complete!!  I managed to complete 30 days of blogging every single day.  When I initially set out to do this I was full of confidence thinking hey, this is easy, I love to write and this is going to be a walk in the park.  Hah!  Some crazy talk right there.  The next time anyone asks me to define the word challenge I will simply tell them that a challenge is telling yourself that you can blog every single day.  It is not impossible, trust me, but it’s the putting ideas and words together that will get the best of you but it can be done.  There are few things I learnt from this challenge:

  • I am a go getter!  Whatever I tell myself I am going to do I get done and I give it my 110%
  • Blogging ideas are everywhere.  I got mine from work, reading through Tweets, during my morning run, when I was watching television, conversations with friends, a magazine article, a book I was reading, my random sex thoughts; you just have to be open minded about it and trust me your creative juices will start flowing.
  • I also learnt that I should completely stop drinking alcohol, it is not my friend.
  • To be thankful for those close to you, real friends are hard to come by and if you have people who are there for you do not take them for granted.
  • I actually keep my word; remember the give away challenge I did on day 7?  I can not even begin to explain the way I was tempted to spend that money but I had promised I would fulfill my end of the challenge.
  • I didn’t get any comments on day 5 post, could it be safe to say my readers were trying to send a hidden message?
  • Lastly, this experience taught me that you can do anything you want to do as long as you put in the work.  Great things don’t happen over night, after all, the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.

A big thank you to everyone who read all my random posts throughout the month of September.  My blog wouldn’t mean much if you actually didn’t pass through to read a blog, two or more.  I will be taking a short break from blogging for a few days; yes I know that is jaw dropping news but I am sure you will do just fine without me for a while.  I am undergoing surgery today and I will blog about it sometime in the near future when I am back to good health.  In the mean time please keep me in your prayers and thoughts so that I can get through this in one piece.

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Start doing the things you love.  If you don’t like something, change it.  Open your minds,arms and hearts to new things.  Life is short.  Live your dream and wear your passion.”

MaKupsy