One of the earliest recollections of my acknowledgement of mortality was my fear of ageing, which I daresay hasn’t left me till today. It has shifted, morphed, maybe even matured a little bit, but deep down I cannot but associate ageing with death, separation, loss, etc.

How did I know I was afraid? One afternoon I was playing with my mother’s hair, partly wistful because a bout of lice contracted during my second term in JSS1 meant my head had been newly shaven, and partly in awe of how long and full her hair was. And she always let me play with it, perhaps because she felt guilty they scraped my head?

Somewhere in the middle of running my fingers through her hair absent-mindedly and chatting with her, I caught, in the corner of my eye, something that wasn’t jet black. It stuck out like a sore thumb, like an ‘integrity-laden’ Bubu amidst a government overrun by corruption, ineptitude, and nepotism. It was silver, or grey, or white, but definitely not black. I was instantly terrified.

“Baby why are you sniffing,” my mom must have wondered where I caught a cold from. I was silent for all of one minute, and then I blurted out, “You have white hair; I don’t want you to get old,” started crying, and then bawled my eyes out.

It’s been more than 20 years since that incident, and while I am not as terrified of getting older (I now have a few non-black hairs myself, a couple of them situated in the weirdest of places), I occasionally wonder if we couldn’t go about this life and death business a little differently. For instance, why do people have to die at all? Why does it have to be so final, so irreversible? So unpredictable for the most part?

Michael Landon said, “Whatever you want to do, do it now. There are only so many tomorrows.” Agreed, but what would it hurt if we know exactly how many more tomorrows we had? How much time we had left? Would it be too way off the mark to have something to work with beyond life expectancy figures per country?

On the 24th of November 2018, my cousin passed on after a brief illness, a few days after his 8th wedding anniversary. Another aunty passed on the 14th of December, also after being sick for a while.

On the 1st of January this year, a dear aunt passed on (what a way to start the year, I know). She was, for all intents and purposes, in perfect health. As a matter of fact, she had visited us the day before, just to say hello, visit our newborn (I’m an aunty again, yay), and just generally hang out. And the next day she was no more. Just like that. I do not believe I have processed it yet.

Each death, just as devastating and painful for the family, each coming together of the family, an opportunity to be together and strengthen each other through what has been a difficult three-month period. Each ensuing conversation, a stark reminder of our mortality, of life in all its fleeting glory, and the need to live each day as intentionally as possible.

Intentionality being the key word here.

What Happens Next?

I’ve come into the New Year fully cognisant of Leo Buscaglia’s admonition for us to know that “Death is a challenge. It tells us not to waste time… It tells us to tell each other right now that we love each other”.

Let’s start with a big ‘I love you’ to everyone who reached out to condole with my family, the Agwuegbo’s. Thank you so much.

Here’s an even bigger ‘I love you’ to everyone who has ever read my blog, and to the ones who reached out several times last year to ask why I had stopped writing. To be honest, I can’t explain it either, but I currently feel a certain freedom in my heart that I hope translates into my muse returning and sticking around for a few articles this year.

For Ugochukwu. For Aunty Pauline. For Aunty Ije – forever in our hearts.

First off, this is the first time I’m writing on this blog since January 2018 and it is a big deal. A very big deal. For a very long time I have felt unable to write (at all), even when the writing was to be paid, and so just being able to write this today is a big deal for me. Almost emotional, yeah, it’s that big a deal. It’s like I blinked after the first article on money and 2018, and it’s October already. Wow.

So, what’s behind my writing today? I don’t know, to be honest. Is it the change of environment? I’m in The Hague at the moment and it better not be, obviously because I don’t live here. So what is it then? I think it just comes from a struggle to find myself and re-establish my long-lost channel for expression, but maybe also because I feel like I want to take charge of this aspect of my life again. I’m not sure if it will be another 9 months before I write something else here, but what’s important is I’m going to try. Maybe I’ll even redecorate the blog, make it prettier, host it independently, I don’t know yet. But I’m going to try, and that’s what matters.

Wow. Incredible that it’s almost the end of 2018. What did you hope to achieve this year? Are you on the way to achieving them? It’s a bit of a mixed response for me to be honest – resounding success in some areas, and results that make me want to curl up and hide in some others. But I am grateful. Dang, I’m grateful.

I’ve been loved this year – professionally – having people stand up for me, vouch for me at some of the lowest points in my career has been such a boost, such an encouragement, such a kick to the behind to not wallow in misery but to get up and get back out. Especially in the face of some unpleasantness.

This year I’ve also rediscovered the power of having a girl-tribe that has your back! Whoosh! I’m convinced (have always been, by the way, just reaffirmed is all) that women do support women, and if you’re in the ‘women are their greatest enemies’ club maybe you need to check yourself, but also the women you are rolling with. Women have and continue to be my strongest advocates, and every day I become more intentional about being a rock for the ones I’m with, but also for the ones coming after me.

What else? This year I have taken steps I never saw myself even venturing close to, and all I can say is I can’t wait to share outcomes!

Lol. Let me reroute this piece before it reads like a round-up of my year please; there’s still so much lined up for now till Christmas, and I’m here for it. Bring on happier times please; bring on validation, affirmation, joy, laughter, money (amen).

Let’s just say I’m excited about this month, and I hope it brings more laughter and joy that September. I think I can count on one hand… Never mind. I’m just grateful for the presence of mind to be back here. I’m typing each line and just drinking in how much I’ve missed writing here. Phew.

How have you been? How’s your work coming? How’s your family? What’s popping in your life? What’s on the cards till the end of the year? Talk to me!

Be well.

The Fairy GodSister.




I’m in love with my computer…

Posted: November 22, 2021 in Uncategorized

Brethren. First off it has been two years since I wrote on this blog. TWO YEARS. A baby born two years ago would have at least 20 words in their vocabulary by now, would be walking and running (have you ever wondered why babies/toddlers feel the need to run away from their guardians e-v-e-r-y chance they get? Lol, but I digress). Two years! Phew! Did you miss me?

Back here because I think I’ve thought up a challenge to force myself to get back into writing. I miss it so much. It used to be my outlet, my escape from the craziness around, my little community from all over the world, and I miss it. So, let’s write. I couldn’t settle on what I wanted to write about first, so I thought I’d come into my drafts and finish up an old post. Alright? Let’s do it!

Have you ever been shocked by your emotions? I mean, startled by the amount of emotion you expressed because you didn’t think you were capable of that much?

Here’s a short story for you. On the 29th of December 2017 -(yes this post has been in my drafts that long), I realised I was nowhere close to disposing of all my old devices as I’d promised myself. So off to a reseller, I went, with my HTC M7, M8, and M9, iTouch, and my faithful old MacBook Pro.

To sell the MacBook Pro, first, we had to wipe it, sign out of Google accounts, those kinds of things. And then before I knew it, tears filled my eyes. I thought there was something in my eyes at first, then I thought the computer dealership doubled as an onion-chopping establishment because I couldn’t seem to dry my eyes. And now I’ll tell you about my Macbook.

It was my very first MacBook, purchased seven years before with a generous student discount at the Apple Store at Bluewater Mall in Greenhithe. It is such a vivid memory, that day we purchased that computer, and how excited my late aunty Pat and I were. I mean she didn’t understand why I needed to spend that much on a computer, but my excitement rubbed off on her and we rejoiced together. And she prayed for me – Aunty always found a reason to pray for me – and said “you will buy bigger things.” Amen aunty! I wish she could see some of the things I’ve bought since then.

If devices could speak, phew! That MacBook and I have so many stories we could tell, from trips to experiences to tasks delivered, to near-misses, and oh there was the time I broke the screen and it felt like I had lost someone. I was in Charlton, at my friend Toksy’s house, and I don’t remember what I was doing but I heard a sound and couldn’t figure out where it was from. An hour later I opened my baby to confirm the delivery time for an item (I was to leave the UK in 7 days) and the screen was broken, like shattered and bits of it were on the keypad. How my heart didn’t stop is something I need you to thank God with me about! I cried myself silly, then headed off to the apple store. I believe I have written about this before but the short story is my eyes were so bloodshot (from wailing) the gentleman at the Apple Store must have believed I was getting abused or something. Also because the damage to the screen was significant. He asked me what happened to the screen a few times, didn’t help that I didn’t know what exactly happened to it, I just needed it fixed in like 72 hours (way ahead of their 7-10 working days turnaround time) so I could travel with it. My mac was booked, he said he’d try his best, urged me to stop crying (I was so weepy, gosh) and I left. Brethren, Apple reached out in the morning of the second day to say my baby was fixed. When I went to pick it up, that gentleman was scanning my face for a smile. When I opened the device and beamed, he said, “yay, she’s smiling” and I couldn’t have been more grateful. I’ll never forget that incident. 

Anyway, this was the device that 7 years on, I was letting go off. I had transferred all of my information to my new mac, wiped this old one, and was settling on a sum with the reseller. I got excellent value for it by the way; I’d bought it for about 1000 pounds in 2010 (£ = N250 at the time), and sold it for about N150, 000 7 years after. Next thing, I found myself tearing up, and it was the most confusing thing, for the seller, and myself. He kept on asking, “madam wetin” and I couldn’t explain that I was leaking water from my eyes for a device so I said an insect got into my eye and was irritating both of them. He said okay, but he didn’t believe me, lol. Money and receipts exchanged hands, and when I was safely in my car, I bawled. It was like I was watching a fast version of my experiences and escapades with that device, remembering the many people I had interacted with on it (for instance Skyping with my aunt), the work I’d done on it, the many firsts, the trips we’d taken, the boyfriend who accused me of being in a relationship with my computer (what a cad), everything!

Anyway. Five years with the device I bought then and we’re probably due another change. No, I will not be crying this time.

I feel like we do not have this conversation enough so very happy to reblog this piece that captures a considerable number of my fears.

Thinking Out Loud!

“As we have come to celebrate 80 with you, we will come and celebrate 90!! We will come and celebrate 100 and even 120 sef in Jesus nameeeeeee!!!!”

And we all chorused a loud earth-shattering amen.

That was the chairman of the day, praying at my friend’s dad’s 80th birthday last week. Shortly after the prayers, my friend came over to our table and some of our friends started to banter with him; asking if he truly wanted his Dad to live till the age of 120, he just laughed and we all moved on.

I would really love to see my Mum celebrate 120; actually, I want her to be around forever. At my big age, watching my mum grow older has been quite discomforting and unsettling for me. She clocked 65 in June and honestly, I still remember quite vividly, her 35th birthday. I am 34 and I…

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Quick thinking about some of the occurrences in the country over the past week, and decided to share some tweets here that summarise my opinion.

That’s all.

Happy New Year folks!
How did you ring in the new year? Under a mistletoe, exchanging DNA? In church, a mosque, or some other place of worship? Turning up at some party? Whatever way, may the year be good to all of us. May it be better than last year, a whole lot better. 
What are you doing with your money this year? Apart from making it of course. All over social media, there’s talk about making money (tons of it), and generally exploding our treasure chests. Which is great till you realise that you probably had all these speeches this time last year, and your room isn’t littered with shards of your ‘exploded-from-too-much-money’ treasure chest.
Obviously, we expect better this year (and hopefully we will match the wishes with the commensurate grit and hard work). But on the way to that, I decided to domesticate this piece I read on CNNMoney, infused with a few personal touches.
You ready? 
1. Stop saving your leftovers
One thing I learned in 2017 (I know, better late than never) was to pay myself from every money I received (salary, gift, side hustle, whatever). I put the money into an account which I called an investment account and then did most of my investments from there. Also encouraged Bobo to join me in putting aside some money every month into an account which only I have access to (*cue evil laugh*) 
Seriously though, put money aside, first. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I had around the end of 2017 when I needed to get some things done, almost at the same time.
The lesson here: Pay yourself first, no matter how little. It adds up and gives you bulk money which will be more meaningful for projects.  
2. Stop using painless payments
Brethren, thank God for technology. Notice how easy it is to shop online these days? The major companies are outdoing themselves with making payments faster and easier, all the way to fingerprint payments.
How many things have you bought just because you could click through? For me, the most recent purchase was a mug. Yes, it was for a good cause (Sanitary Aid NG and you totally should check them out and support them), but it was click, click, click, money spent.
Dan Ariely, a behavioural economist and co-author of “Dollars and Sense”, said, “If it is an automatic deduction you don’t experience the annoyance in the same way and you’re less aware of the costs.” 
The lesson here:  Be intentional about payments you make, resist the urge to save your card details on too many sites, especially retailers. Oh, and stay away from one-click payment options! Take the time to type in your details. 
3. Stop being silent about money
We don’t talk about money enough. Most of the time we talk about making it the wrong way or we don’t talk about it at all, we talk about spending it and showing it off, but there are not enough about what exactly to do with it.
Did you know that the more we talk about money (with the right people and in the right contexts), the more confident we become about making better decisions with our own money?
Yes. In engaging with Subomi Plumptre‘s posts on Facebook, and subsequent conversations with her, I learned a lot of ways to put my money to work, and I’m better for it. Much better. In engaging with her and a few others, I learned new ways of saving and investing I didn’t know of. 
The lesson here: If your inner circle is all about spending, and holidays, and turning up, and not about legitimate ways to make and save more, maybe you need to re-evaluate that circle. Talk about apps that track your daily spend, which I’ve learned are even more draining than the periodic big spends. 
4. Stop your wholesale club shopping (online or offline)
I will discuss this a little differently than CNNMoney did and relate this to deals. There are a million and one of them, especially online. The temptation to buy the skirt and blouse instead of only the blouse which you need (or you’ve convinced yourself you that you need from the minute you scrolled through the retailer’s Instagram page). Yep, you know what I’m talking about. 
In buying one and getting one free, you’re still spending money to get the one; in saving 25% off an item, you’ve still spent the 75%. So, do you really need it? Yes? Great. Go for it. Can it wait? Yes? Wait.
The lesson here: Intentionally practise delayed gratification, or self-denial. See how long you can hold off on getting something, just because you can. See how you can say no to yourself, and mean it.
5. Stop allowing your credit to be available to anyone
Again, domesticating this one to say, go easy on giving loans. A lot of us have tales of woe, debts that have gone from bad to disasters even for the friendships upon which trust and the loans were predicated, and so this should sit easily with you.
There’s a saying that the voice people use in lending money is different from the voice they use in returning it. It might be great to consider giving a gift instead of loaning the money out.
Of course this doesn’t apply to giving to dependants, religious endeavours, charity, or like causes.
The lesson here: What is the friendship worth? What is the money worth? Can you afford to lose both? Think about that before you click the transfer button, or part with money in any other way.
Bonus points
A. Invest – What’s better than earning? Putting that money to work for you, and reproduce by itself.
B. Pay – The borrower is slave to the lender. Keep faith and pay your debts, or renegotiate payment terms that you can keep. Don’t make it difficult for the next person in need. Do not be a Pharisee.
C. Reward yourself – Give yourself a gift, you’re worth it.
Happy New Year!
Originally published on Huff Post on the 1st of January.

How was your Christmas? Did it go as planned? By that I mean did you eat till you became ashamed? (Smiles in sweet recollection). Gosh, I think I ate my weight in unhealthy food (AND DRINKS) in the last 10 days. Been thinking of penance but I can’t get past three months straight starvation, and even that might not be enough, lol.

Moving on very swiftly.

How many of us take our cars to get serviced by ourselves? Especially females? It is something I enjoy doing, to be honest (mom says I will soon not have to bother with those kinds of things – I’m sure she means that I will soon own my own auto shop to cater to my fleet, not that I’ll get married and shift those responsibilities to the Mr.)

Anyway, I took my car to the workshop where I normally get it done, and I asked them to throw in wheel balancing and alignment as well. Then we topped up my brake fluid (considering how much we needed I strongly believe it has been God stepping on the brakes for me in the last few weeks). Thank you Jesus!

Anyway, when I drove out of the workshop, I felt very confident. I can’t explain the way the car felt and that’s why I asked if you had ever serviced your car yourself and noticed the difference after getting all the work done. Certainly felt different.

Off to get a good scrub we went, and then I found fuel without waiting more than 15 minutes in the queue and after filling the tank (I almost asked them to fill outside the tank as well), which is a miracle considering the pain and suffering Nigerians have faced in the last 2 weeks due to scarcity. Thank you Momma, God certainly heard your prayer!

My car feels like a well-groomed crab, or like Bergen King Gristle Jnr from the movie Trolls. Gosh.

One of my older friends always says to me, “take care of yourself, first.” And that’s where we’re going with this. I feel confident to run all the errands I have to now that my car is sorted. As I smiled at myself leaving the fuel station, I thought about myself, and wondered if I was mentally/physically prepared to run those errands, and give 100%.

Ask yourself, beyond the lip service a lot of us pay to “New Year, new me”, are you ready? Ready for the newness (of any kind)? Let go of baggage that might hinder your swift movement? Done your medicals this year, are you of sound body and mind? Paid your debts? Gosh. This particular one. If you owe people any money, pay them, or be sincere in renegotiating your payment date. It is not just disrespectful to the person you owe to ignore their calls/lie about when you’ll return their money, it makes it harder for the next person who might be in need of lending from them. Are you a devil? Or a Pharisee?

Anyway, take care of yourself first. You can’t give things you don’t have. Deborah Day said, “Nourishing yourself in a way that helps you blossom in the direction you want to go is attainable, and you are worth the effort.”

As for me, I’m writing this from a salon, where I’m getting a pedicure. Let’s start there.


A week ago my friend and senior media colleague Alu Azege invited me to read to the children in her book club. I said yes, even though for some reason I was super excited and nervous at the same time. You see, anyone who knows me knows I love children, I absolutely adore them; I believe that children (babies especially) are proof that God still makes beautiful things. My niece, my nephew, children I know, and even those I don’t know, I just love.

Let’s put my gushing on hold and go back to that Saturday morning. I had agreed to do the reading at 10am, to enable me catch a flight to Lagos for 1pm for a few engagements.

I got to the venue and found about 16 children aged 6 to 12 seated in a circle, and I was told the immediate challenge was getting them to agree on a book to read. After we were introduced, we held a small ‘election’ (gotta catch them early) and settled on reading ‘Eze Goes To School’, written by Onuora Nzekwu and Michael Crowder in 1963. Mr Nzekwu died in April this year (2017), at the age of 89. Interestingly, I read Eze Goes To School at least 20 years ago (good luck trying to figure out my age).

Anyway, off the top of my head, I decided we would read two pages, discuss them, answer any questions, and then take on the next two pages. I wanted to be sure the children followed the reading, and also to accommodate the younger children because the class was combined.

The first two pages had me cringing at the blatant patriarchy and thought patterns that existed in those days. Eze’s father, a successful warrior, was illiterate but believed that his son Eze would benefit from an education, and so he pushed till he went. For Ulu, Eze’s sister, however, education was not on the cards at all, simply because she was a girl and girls didn’t need to go to school. The entire book is therefore centred on Eze’s education and the hurdles he faced in his quest for education.

Another thing that gnawed at me was the advice Okonkwo gave his son Eze as he set off to start school. He said, “You must beat all the boys in any examination you take. You must take first place always. And if you are stupid enough to let a boy beat you, never, my son, never let the girl, Chinwe beat you.”

On the 3 mile trek from their village Ohia to Ama where his school was located, a young Eze soon became tired, but he couldn’t say, even to his mother because it was out of place for boys to show any weakness. Even in exhaustion, lol.

In between questions, the younger children being unable to sit still (cue countless trips to the restroom), searching Google for words we didn’t understand and for a picture of African Garden Egg, we could only read one chapter before I had to leave. If I could, however, with total respect for the authors, I would change quite a few things in that first chapter, maybe even in the entire book.

Our culture, tradition, even the media we were exposed to created a generation of men who were afraid of their/to show emotion, for whom tears or the slightest expressions of vulnerability were seen as weakness; a generation of men bred to suppress their feelings.

Any wonder it seems like the majority of the men around are unfeeling? It is what they were conditioned to be from childhood! They were taught to play and explore and be adventurous while the girls were raised to be subservient homemakers, forgetting that it takes two to tango, and two to make a home.

This is why I say our generation of parents and would-be parents have an incredible responsibility to raise children that see themselves as equal, not superior by reason of class or gender; who strive for excellence with healthy doses of competition and camaraderie. So that Eze can go to school with Ulu, and do well at school because he’s applying himself and not because he wants to do better than a girl.

PS: I can’t wait to read to them again, and I’m taking my nephew with me. Not taking my niece biko, before she scatters the place. It’s a bookclub after all, not a nursery.

“The heart of man is desperately wicked” – the Bible is so true.

I saw something on Twitter last night that I’ve seen manifested in a number of ways online. People who claim to be friends, maybe even best friends have an argument and next thing, all their secrets are out on the web for the world to read, be entertained by, and store as arsenal for later.

The other, more troubling manifestation is the hilarity and glee with which people share the misfortune of others online. I’m sure we’ve all seen this but last night I was just shocked.

Some lady tweeted about her friend getting played by some guy she had basically kept house with. So this lady had cooked for the man and his friends, taken care of his needs, etc. and then the man left her, married someone else and now has a child with them. The amount of laughter emojis this so-called friend had in that tweet scared me.

Like, how do you take pride in someone else’s unhappiness? Is this for the retweets or you’re just really awful?

I tweeted a response, but by this morning the matter still hadn’t left my mind. A lot of us have been burned in telling our stories or sharing our burdens with so-called friends who do nothing to ease the pain (besides -oohing and aahing), but hasten to spread tales every chance they get.

Personally, this is one of the biggest lessons of this year: be slow to speak. We are the X and Y generation with social media, the ones who are expressive, the ones whose voices have been amplified thanks to digital tools. But, be slow to ‘share’. Be slow to by yourself, make yourself the dinner table topic. Be slow to betray confidences reposed in you, especially when you are angry or offended. Be slow to share that secret with another close friend. There’s a place in the book of Proverbs that says, “In the multitude of words, there is sin”. Technically, shut up a bit more.

See, we must protect our circles and our joy. Not to induce paranoia, but not everyone smiling with you is truly happy for you. Sometimes they’re smiling and just counting down to when you suffer so they can share the story and lol. Some so called friends are just staying close to have stories to tell when you fall. Awful people.

Brethren, be careful where you share your business.

How you doing people? To my Nigerian readers, what did you get up to for the holidays?

I went to Lagos, spent some quality time with my best friend Wunmi, and her son (my godson, duh). Nothing like family!

Dodging the sun vs. basking in the awesome lighting! This is such a great and awful photo at the same time, lol.

I must also confess that my diet was abandoned (which is what good people do during holidays, lol) so I’m typing this from the treadmill, trying to redeem myself.

It was also a good opportunity for me to focus on myself, and the exhaustion I’ve been feeling lately. I’m grateful for the massages, the sleep, the absolute rest I was able to achieve. So thankful.

A bit about my best friend before I move on… She’s an amazing, real chic. Like, I know I’m going to contend with her swollen head later but she’s one of the strongest women I know, an amazing worker, even more supportive wife and mom, and I’m just thankful for her today. Get yourself a bestie like mine!

Okay, Wunmi worship done, here’s the reason I decided to write this. So, it’s still raining in Abuja for reasons I cannot fathom. It rained from 4pm yesterday till about 11pm when I fell asleep. Why? Sigh. Plus it was thundering like God was scolding us (anyone understand thunder-speak?) and totally defeated the ‘weather for two’ purpose of the rain. Just as well since Bobo is far away at the moment.

Anyway, so I was trying to get home when the rain subsided a little bit and there was traffic. Not the Lagos type of traffic that can last an entire pregnancy term but it was bumper to bumper on what should have been an express lane.

I trudged through it, and then around my area, I ran into some traffic as well. A little pissed off at the time I’d already spent navigating traffic, I decided to leave the inner (speed) lane I was on, and get ahead using the outer lane. Was quick for all of five minutes and then I realised I hadn’t factored in that I would have to contend with the ‘keke napep’ riders who use that lane.

I struggled in that lane a little bit, trying to avoid the keke riders who do not see the need to indicate but feel the need to stop abruptly wherever they please, or even the ones who tried to scrape my car in the name of driving rough getting ahead.

When I narrowly missed one of them rear-ending me, I asked myself why I was raising my blood pressure on a lane that ended up not giving me the speed I’d hoped for, and then quietly moved back to where I was earlier.

I thought about it before I slept last night and tried to relate it to everyday living and humans switching lanes thinking someone else has it better than we do. In truth, sometimes they do but we don’t know what else they have to deal with that we don’t. So before we jump into something we’re not ready for in the name of the grass being greener on the other side, maybe think through it a bit more carefully?

PS: I will blog more. It’s a super distraction while I’m jogging on the treadmill. Been using this app called Couch to 10k, I’m in the 7th week, and I did 2.5miles today (25 minutes non stop). Talk about progress, when I started I was barely doing 5 minutes without gasping like I was being strangled. Can’t wait to do a full 5k! Yeah, I’ve never done that before.