21 Pizzas.

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I haven’t written anything in three months.

It was my 21st birthday a couple of weeks ago. The only way I saw fit to celebrate was to eat 21 pizzas from 900 Degrees with people (and dog) that make me smile.

Ironically, on the same day as eating pizzas somebody sent me an email asking me to write more sports related posts.

Ask and you shall receive, Imani is back.

Watch this space and thank you for waking me from my food coma and inspiring me to write again!

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#AllLivesMatter

Normally I keep my mouth shut when things go viral. Not because I don’t care, but because I don’t like to speak without knowing all of the facts. 

Once again #BlackLivesMatter is doing the rounds again. This is a disgusting thing to have to find trending so often. 

People don’t deserve to be treated this way.

Hearing these stories makes me realise how important the way we treat and inspire others is. 

I am proud to be part of DMSF that shows all of our young people that they can be whatever they want to be. No matter where they live, what colour their skin is or how much money they currently have.
Opportunity, purpose and big dreams is the only way young minorities are going to break the stereotypes. 

I’m not just talking about black people. I’m talking about anyone that has ever been stereotyped, labelled and misunderstood. That’s all of us then isn’t it.

Thank you DMSF for giving me the opportunity to create more opportunities.

Curly hair, don’t care.

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My blog posts often portray that I seem to know what I’m talking about, who I am and what I’m doing with myself.

I actually don’t.

Especially when it comes to hair.

As you may have noticed, I have curly hair.

I generally have three hairstyles: a bun, French braids or out.

I would have more hairstyles, but I do not own a straightener, nor do I know how to straighten my hair by myself.

I’d often to wear my hair straight as a child, because all of my friends had straight hair and I was embarrassed of my big, fluffy hair. I then cut it all off, I’m not sure what the logic was behind that??

After years of trial and error I’d say that I feel more confident in my hair now than I did growing up.

It’s reassuring to see more young people wearing their hair curly in the media (Annie in the latest version of the film, Tip in Home, Amandla etc). My biggest natural hair icon as a child was Alicia Keys, I don’t remember seeing anyone else.

I hope that the next generation of curly and straight haired kids make the most of their pretty hair and feel confident wearing it however they want.

This brings me on to my next topic – dreadlocks.

I’m not sure whether any of you have watched the recent video, where a woman accuses a white man of cultural appropriation for having dreadlocks. This isn’t the first time this subject has been bought up, it’s just the most recent/viral.

I’m not going to delve much further into this topic.

Just two thoughts: I as a little girl would have liked to have seen more people wearing their hair in ‘canerows’ to help make me feel normal. I didn’t care what race the person was. Also, who cares? If a person is kind, then surely the way they dress/wear their hair is irrelevant.

I have bigger things to worry about. Such as revising for exams, world peace, walking my dog and combing my hair.

Clothes, hairstyles and music are about what makes you the person you are.

Goodnight x

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Sugar tax is great, but does it really get to the root of the problem?

Those of you that know me know that I have more than just a sweet tooth. Some of you may even describe it as an addiction.

I’m sure I’m not the only one that can go overboard with sugar. If we are to class sugar as an addiction, will raising the prices of sugary food really do what the government want?
The whole notion of an addiction is that one will do ANYTHING to feed that habit.

Instead of a sugar tax, perhaps there could be government subsidised good quality sporting classes.

I have found that the more active I am, the more healthy I want to be overall. The more I train, the less I want sugar.

Two and a half months on from leaving a heavily subsidised athletics group and only now have I realised the cost of being healthy.

I paid £220 for a fun and challenging 8 week boot camp with Nathan Cockroft. It was the best thing I’ve tried out so far. As a student I wouldn’t be able to support that for a whole year; £10 for a one off hot yoga session; One of the cheaper classes I found was Thai boxing at £4. The only problem was that I’d have to get two buses to get there. Two buses that wouldn’t be covered by my bus pass, not to mention the time spent travelling. Time that I struggle to find after uni, coaching, waitressing and Netflix.

The sport I can do for free is great, I love to run and do circuits in the park. But following numerous attacks in Manchester parks on runners, I wouldn’t want to train on my own with that fear. 

We can’t be beaten by the bullies though. It is encouraging to read that there is a meet up in Fog Lane park this Saturday, as a response to a recent attack, to give sporty people an opportunity to train together.

At the end of the day it’s down to us. If we can’t afford a class, prioritise – Do you really need those expensive shoes? If the answer is yes, which it usually is for me. Stop complaining. Get a few friends together and go to the park. Do YouTube circuits. 

Do something.

I don’t know what to do with myself..


 2 and a half months on and I’m beginning to regret my decision.
The past week i have met with a few old friends. The conversation goes like this every time, them: “how’s running going?” Me: “I don’t run anymore, I just couldn’t find that hunger to run well.” Them: “I can’t believe that. You were so determined/dedicated/talented.” Me: “ughhhh.”

Maybe they are right.

I don’t know. Yes there is element of truth. Yes I do miss it. But there is more to me than that. What I do really miss though is the constant gratification that you get from running. Good races and bad races both make you feel really really alive. You have something tangible to respond to.

university is great. We have mocks, we get markers of where we are, but the adrenaline rush isn’t there. I find myself feeling bored.

So, I’ve decided to set myself a goal. Potentially a sporting goal. It needs to be something that will challenge me physically and mentally. If anyone has any ideas, please let me know!

Diane.

I love you Diane.

I remember when we moved back from Norway. I was so shy. You dragged me out and knocked on every door on our road to try to help me find some children to play with. At the time I was filled with embarrassment.

Now I’m just proud of you.

A few months ago you beat me in a race. A few people approached me suggesting that I should be embarrassed.

I was in fact filled with pride. Not many 20 year olds have mothers that can put themselves on the line in a race against their own daughter.

As a child I remember watching you do interval sessions in Alberquerque. You looked so fast, yet so easy.

15 years later and you’ve managed to evolve and be great in a new field, building up your own charity into something really special. Your work hasn’t just been recognised by me, but also by your peers IOD NW Director of the Year – yaaas!

You did good Di.

Thanks for inspiring me.
 

My name is Imani.

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Taking into consideration the current ‘In The Mind’ season on BBC, a series on mental health.   I thought it an appropriate time to blog about something very close to home.

Throughout my life I’ve always been very emotional. I love being happy, sad, angry and everything in between. I love feeling feelings.

However, at the age of 14/15 things started to get dark. I felt painfully empty and useless.

I actually started to harm myself physically and mentally.

I went to visit a councillor. I didn’t want to be there, so nothing really changed.

My parents eventually found out how I was feeling. This was the best thing that ever happened to me. I realised that I wasn’t alone.

Things didn’t change immediately. At the age of 17, I’d have to take regular breaks from whatever I was doing to go and cry. I couldn’t concentrate and everything was just too much.

I eventually managed to find ways to cope and now I’m happy that I am back to being productive, organised and in control.

I still don’t really know why I felt the way I did.  But I do know that if you do feel that way, it’s OK.

I know it’s hard. I also know that I’m not the first person, or the last person to have felt like this.

It can be scary to talk. It may feel silly. The two things that scared me the most about talking about my feelings were ‘Will I get a job if people know about my past?’ and ‘There are so many people that have it worse than me, I must stop being so selfish’.

You don’t have to tell the world. But please talk to someone you trust. No feeling is too ridiculous. Being able to talk can make such a difference.

 

 

 

 

A sugar rush gone too far…


It has been a month since retiring from my life as an ‘athlete’. During this month, like many in my position would, I went off the rails a little bit.

For me going crazy means chocolate, cereal and pizza.

In the past I have allowed myself 1-2weeks per year of pure junk food. Usually on my binge weeks the lack of substance in my diet results in me getting grumpy and irritable – imagine a tired toddler.

This time I decided to up the anti and do a whole month of allowing myself a few extra bowls of chocolate cereal.

This time I had taken it too far. I’ll be the first to say “My name is Imani and I am an addict.”

The usual mood swings from the highs and lows of sugar would hit me on a daily basis.

But then shit got real, excuse my French.

I was in the cinema with a friend and midway through the film I started to get really, really hot. I then got really, really dizzy.

This is not normal.

I decided to go to toilet. Barely able to make my way down the stairs, I reached the exit. Only to find that I was sitting on the floor. A loud buzz in my ears and everything shaking inside my head.

I manage to stand up and use my weight to push the door open. Only to walk a few steps and then find myself falling slow motion back to the floor.

The next thing I know I was in the bathroom, again on the floor. I splash cold water on my face, other ladies look at me like I’m a mad woman.

I finally have enough energy to slowly walk out of the bathroom and find a member of staff, a few minutes later and I was fine.

Kids, please remember to eat your greens.

Mamma, Pappa I hope you don’t read this! If you do, please don’t shout at me…

My take-home message from The City of Champions Dinner 2016.


It’s not rocket science.

We all want to do better. We all want to do this, we all want to do that.

It’s not rocket science.

After attending The City of Champions 2016 gala dinner raising money for DMSF, I realised – It’s not rocket science.

Dame Kelly Holmes, Anthony Crolla, Tracey Neville MBE, the Smith brothers, Kings Chambers, Andy Lord, Harold Riley, Nadine Merabi, Greens Vegetarian, Diane and Vicente Modahl and everybody that was there on the night they know the formula – It’s not rocket science.

The key to success is not rocket science. It’s the ability to get on with it. To do what needs to be done and do it wholeheartedly.

Giving back is also fundamental. Many of them spoke of someone that supported them at some point.

They all get it. Work hard, be selfish at times, but also give back.

They did it. They told us how to do it. Now it’s our turn.

It’s not rocket science.

   The Nadine Merabi auction prize.
 The Gallagher’s gym auction prize.

 #inspired

Enough is enough.

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My parents are Vicente and Diane Modahl.

My pre-rehearsed response to “Would you like to go to the Olympics?” …  Well it would be the ultimate dream. 

Athletics has been part of my life since birth. I have been on more training camps than most seasoned sportspeople.

But would being an athlete really be the ultimate dream? If so, who’s dream? Not mine, that’s for sure. As a child I was very good at telling people this. “NO! I want to be an astronaut… a taxi driver… a doctor” I would say.

Even so, over the last two years my own ambitions have become increasingly ambiguous and distorted into a false sense of me. I was living somebody else’s dream. Like a passenger in somebody else’s car, with no control of where I was going.

That doesn’t mean that I do not enjoy the sport, it is one of the most fulfilling hobbies I have ever had. I have been on some amazing journeys, learnt some fantastic things and made some wonderful friends. Through DMSF I will continue to support those who are dreaming to be the next David Rudisha. For me however, it is time for me to venture into the unknown and head towards my dreams.

I am finally back on track.

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