Dear Dad

Dear Dad,

On this day as most people remember fathers, I seek out time to write something about you and to you.

I strongly believe you will read this. Now that you are no longer limited by your body.

Not that today is the only day I have thought of you. That would be impossible.

I carry you in every breath of me. I literally look at you when I look at myself.

This letter wants to find out how you are doing. I am sure the limitations of the body with its sicknesses and pain cannot find you anymore where you are.

This letter is also a way of me finding some form of contact with you.

You and I were not always the best of friends.

Truth be told we were never friends.

You were my father and I your daughter.

You did what you believed was right for me and for society.

You had your own way of loving me and I my own expectations of love from you.

I broke your heart several times and yours mine.

Looking back, I question my inability to relent and accept you wholly as you loved. To accept your ways of loving. And to accept the fact that it was how you knew best to love.

Everything I am comes back to you.

All the skills and values you instilled in me from day one  till you left I use each passing day.

The distance between us had taught me how much I am just like you and how much I loved you.

It had taught me to love you more and learn that love means accepting you for all you were and are to me.

I wonder in moments when I am by myself how different things would have been if you were here.

What advice you would give me and how you would prefer me to live at the moment.

I have lost your fatherly protection and humour.

But your sarcasm, your resilience, your fighting spirit and zeal for learning thrives in me.

I love you dad. Take care and hope to see you when I cross over to your side.

Your daughter

Nana Kesewaa

Why I love morning runs

Why not right? Mornings are cool. The birds are singing. Most of the people I meet on the run, are happy, sharing morning compliments. The sun is shining on my face. The cool breeze cooling off the warmness of my forehead. Morning runs are cool. It allows myself and my thoughts engage in conversation. And a place or state where I get ideas for just about anything.

I started running about a decade ago, in Accra. It was a challenge! I remember Sena coming for me from his house at dawn. He did, well not literally, push me out of the comfort zone (of my bed). For someone who had offered to help, I felt he was enthusiastic, more enthusiastic than I. He was patient. A trait which has made him a great personal trainer.  After those episodes and on my own, running still did not come naturally to me. I went running when I felt like. Once a month or twice a week. And each time it was tough, pushing myself to finish what I started.

In Weimar, I would run as the weather dictated, only during the warmer seasons.  My first 5k was in Weimar. If I ever did a 5k in Accra I would not know as I never used Apps to monitor my distance or speed. Speed and distance were not the goal. Using Apps like Runkeeper helped my pace and how further I run. The furthest I have run was 22km in April 2020. It took me 2 hours 40 minutes and 57 seconds. I was really proud of myself for that feat. It made me ask myself what else could my body do if I pushed it? I am looking to run a marathon someday, probably on my own or in a group. That is a cool goal. I can tell everyone proudly I have ever run a marathon. You know what a much cooler goal would be? To get running to be a natural thing to me. As natural as eating and sleeping.

So why do I love morning runs? Not only because they are cool but also each time, I leave the house in the morning for a run, it is a form of recognition, self-respect, and self-honor to my set goals. It is an act that says I did not just set those goals or daydream them, but I am putting in the effort to be that vision I desire. I do this also because I am not your average running girl. I am black, weigh about 90 kg and about 5.11 feet tall. Furthermore, I’ve never seen anyone like me out on a run in Ghana nor Germany. So I rep and protect my uniqueness on those tracks. I’ve over the years learned a lot about myself running. Most importantly that running is not just physical exercise, it is a mind battle. Even today, each time I step out for a run I engage in a battle. But guess what I get better at winning this battle each time.