Fitness made me conquer my mental illness battles and now even my lifestyle has truly transformed.
According to statistics provided by World Health Organisation, the suicide rate for men in Kenya is three times higher than that of women. A similar study conducted in 2015 indicated that Kenya was among the top ten depressed countries in Africa followed closely by Uganda, Algeria and Nigeria topped the list in the same year.
In a world where the population is at 7.6 billion, 300 million people are currently affected by depression and close to 800, 000 people die due to suicide every year. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15- 29 year olds. Our special feature shared his journey with depression and how he wanted to end his life but through fitness, he found his way back. Welcome back to episode thirty one of Tizi Talks with Thomas Olang'o.
Tom currently runs a booking agency and concert production company. His agency has signed over 200 artists, instrumentalists, DJs, MCs and cuts across a couple of A listers to the dreamers getting their footing in. Through the concert production, his company brings to life a performer's piece by incorporating music, lights and visuals and a whole lot of art. Tom is also a fitness enthusiast and the co- founder of Sweat Station Bootcamp; an initiative that gets people active while raising proceeds for charity. We caught him during his 5:30 a.m crossfit class and this is what he had to say....
TIZI: How old are you?
TO: I am closer to the third floor than I am to the second floor. I turned 26 on the 3rd of may.
TIZI: How long have you been working out?
TO: I have been intentionally working out since about September last year when I started home workouts with my big bro and his fiance. Though after high school I did some work outs kidogo.
TIZI: What made you start?
TO: I wanted to challenge my mind and myself to get off my comfort zone. Home work outs are the hardest but the days I was able to consistently workout were amazing for me.
TIZI: Do you feel like working out made a difference in your life? If yes, how so?
TO: Fitness has made a huge difference in my life. It started out as a fun thing to do but as I remained consistent, it became a huge life transition for me. It has made me conquer my mental illness battles and now even my lifestyle has truly transformed. Its the perfect getaway; not to mention the amazing friendships I have been able to build through fitness. I co-host a fitness boot camp every fortnight and I get to interact with so many people in the process.
TIZI: Can you please take us through your daily fitness routine on a weekday? And the weekend?
TO: I work out intently, three times a week. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning through a rigorous group class with fellow cross fitters. The workouts routinely vary but one consistent thing is pushing us to the limit.
TIZI: Do you find it difficult to include your workout in your daily routine?
TO: There is always that bit of the brain that wants to forfeit. I guess going to the gym actually proves that part wrong.
TIZI: Do you have a cheat meal? If yes, what is it?
TO: Hmmm...that's a tough one because I recently turned vegan. 5 months and counting. So i am still exploring the different options here and loving every single one of them.
TIZI: What keeps you motivated?
TO: Firstly, myself. That I am able to transform and make the best version of me. It's inside me! That self belief for me is the greatest motivation. I recently shared my depression story and how I wanted to make an end to my life about two years ago and since then, reflecting on the journey motivates me to work on myself more. Trust me when I tell you, there is no such thing as a life that is better than yours. And to see that my journey is influencing people to make good of themselves is not only a great motivation but the most humbling experience I will ever encounter as well. That, to me is another great motivator.
TIZI: What can you advise people who want to start their fitness journey?
TO: Believe. Begin. Become
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