I strongly believe that Lagos must have the highest number of potbellied ‘runners’, most of which you will find on the famous Lekki-Ikoyi suspension bridge on a Saturday morning. These potbellied runners are usually soaked in their best fragrance, dressed in their matching gear (some with face caps) and all have the arm bands showcasing their variety of expensive fitness gadgets.
Lagos also has a high number of bra-less ‘runners’, most of which you will find on the famous Lekki-Ikoyi suspension bridge on a Saturday morning. These bra-less runners are usually soaked in their best fragrance, sporting the lightest possible tights and tops and are usually eager to hop jog a few kilometres, showcasing the variety of ‘cup’ sizes and sensitivity to the windy environment.
Welcome to Lagos, where everything is another way to get hitched!
I’ve been told I need to go out more in order to meet potential suitors. If you’ve ever lived in Nigeria, you would know that as a single woman, your mission when you step out of your house is to meet a potential husband (I’m only being sarcastic by the way). Not once did I ever think that working out would be another way to ‘spouse hunt’.
For the record, I’m not a fitness junkie, I run power walk daily to keep fit because I tend to sit for long hours during the day. I prefer power walking outside because walking on a treadmill looks lazy and my naturally competitive self is slightly irritated by the random skinny chic who decides to ‘fly’ on the treadmill right next to mine. I mean why abandon all the other equipment and come next to someone who is clearly struggling with anything more than a powerwalk on a treadmill? WHY? What’s your point? So you think you can fly? … *deep breaths Miss Gidi, deep breaths*
Anyway, being fit has become one of the most popular trends in Lagos, from celebrity personal trainers to Shaun T’s insanity routine, everyone who is anyone wants to be fit and/or have that bikini body even though most of us don’t wear bikinis to the beach and are subconsciously addicted to jollof rice and eba.
Although this has become a city-wide trend, some parts of the city (*cough* Lekki), have taken it a bit too far by turning it into an avenue to meet their potential partners with the newly constructed suspension bridge being the perfect location for such matchmaking. I guess the idea of 1.36km (0.85miles) of potential suitors excites them.
As most things Nigerian, there is always someone who has a story of how they got hitched and the story of meeting someone on the suspension bridge is fast becoming a trending topic. I always thought they were stories that could never be true until my size 6 friend who resides in Phase 1 said she only goes for a ‘run’ on Saturday mornings because that’s when the big boys come out to play. Of course, as the curious cat that I am, I decided I was going to experience this lekki bridge transit dating.
My friend and I agreed to meet up at about 9am at the Lekki end of the bridge. Upon arrival,I noticed she had matching gear from top to bottom hugging her well-proportioned curves while I, well I had on an over-sized slight faded t-shirt covering the folds from the twix bars I won’t let go of and a scarf to put my weave in place. As I walked towards her, I subconsciously prepared myself to be scolded for my nonchalance as I clearing missed the memo on dressing etiquette while working out in Lekki.
After a few minutes of stretching, we decided to start slow before increasing our pace. The bridge was packed as expected with people of all shapes, sizes and fitness levels not to forget the cyclists with top of the line bicycles and all the fancy gadgets. To be honest, it was a sight to behold, seeing so many Nigerians being health conscious or so it seemed.
While some were running the full length of the bridge, others were exercising their eyes on the variety the bridge had to offer. I couldn’t help but notice the occasional pot-bellied runners walking in pairs and smiling at every good-looking lady that walked pass or the bra-less runners passing by in what seemed like hopping instead of jogging; I almost tripped watching a pair of Double Ds have a life of their own while their owner hopped ran towards me.
At the other side of the bridge, there were certain newly acquainted couples who were taking out time to get to know each other while pretending to brisk walk across the bridge. You could tell they weren’t talking about fitness because I am certain a conversation on sweat, miles and pain is not enough to make a young lady laugh flirtatiously while tucking back the strand of South American hair the wind keeps blowing in her face…or maybe it’s just me.
I noticed my friend had picked up her pace so I got out of my state of shock and focused on burning the twix bar folds I had accumulated. I was only a few minutes into my increased pace when I felt a tap on my shoulder and heard my friend say
‘Abeg slow down! How do you expect to get a toaster when you are running?
*sigh* What can I say? #girlsarenotsmiling