The Hummingbird Mile

The Hummingbird Mile

Female black-throated mango Hummingbird sporting her stylish threads. 

Photographer A. Peter


 “Where you start is not important.

Where you finish is what matters.”

~Joel Osteen, Next Level Thinking


In 2012, before entering my final year in undergrad at UWI, I sustained a knee injury on a loop hike from Santa Cruz to Maracas; I dislocated my right knee-cap. It was especially difficult to rest and heal when I had to walk from end to end on campus for classes, in addition to driving five days a week. It was just excruciating to drive with the damaged knee in stop-and-go traffic! I endured my pain internally and my mum always sympathized when I returned home every evening grinding my teeth from the pain.

The pain was a dull discomfort. It felt as though someone shoved their hand into my knee, rotated the hand repeatedly while messing around inside, before yanking it out raw. It took three years for my knee to feel “normal” again, before I re-injured it while stepping too hard off a pavement while rushing to invigilate an exam. Quite a bummer! Since then, I have suffered repeated dislocations on the same knee. I always have to be extremely conscious of every step I make. I can’t walk, run, skip, jump or hop willy-nilly without great forethought into the outcome. This has been most frustrating and agonizing, with me often ending up in tears. But over the years, I’ve learnt to cope. I’ve tried cycling, aqua aerobics and swimming to help strengthen the ligaments in the knee which helped a bit.

Last year, November 2018, while scrolling through Facebook I came across a new health initiative called Run Trinbago. It caught my attention because many people online expressed great interest in attending the event. It’s a four-part event, consisting of races which span throughout the year, starting from the Hummingbird 1 Mile, progressing to the Cocrico 5K, the Scarlet Ibis 10K, and climaxing to the Kiskadee Virtual Half Marathon. What’s unique about the event is that all four medals will fit together like pieces in a jigsaw puzzle.

The first piece of the “Run Trinbago” puzzle


Proceeds also go towards supporting four charities:


It had been a while since I was committed to exercising regularly, so I thought this was good motivation to re-start: working my way from ground zero back to the top. It’s an event that does not discriminate against fitness levels. Instead, it’s a journey that helps people set and accomplish their own personal goals, while ultimately having fun while getting fit. Plus, it’s for a good cause.

Initially, I believed the hardest part was deciding to register. But I was dead wrong. The hardest part for me was deciding to run again.


How was I going to do this?

In early December, I started slowly building my fitness level. I was making good progress, but it all flat-lined on Christmas Eve. Many of Aaron’s family members were visiting from overseas, so we used this opportunity to connect with all of them in the short time-frame. It proved to be both quite eventful and exhausting.

Then the beginning of 2019 was emotionally draining. It led me to become somewhat depressed and unmotivated to pursue anything. For almost the entire month, I just existed on auto-pilot. I wasn’t sleeping well, lost my appetite, my energy levels waned, and my focus was scattered. And my writing came to a complete stand-still. I didn’t feel like myself and I hated it.

In mid-January, when Aaron travelled to Cambridge for a week to attend a work-shop, like a “good wife” armed with free time, I made up my mind to get my body ready. The Hummingbird 1 Mile was less than three weeks away. As the days progressed, the cob-web from my joints and aching bones slowly blew off. I struggled as I walked and jogged amidst the throngs of university students at UWI; weaved in and out of campus traffic; and periodically felt energized by the, rhythmic, sweet tassa drumming which took place on the green spaces, fuelling their Zumba enthusiasts. My mood slowly began to change as I powered onwards. That was a good week.

The next week sucked. Realistically, I couldn’t keep up training every day. So I tried another approach. In the week leading up to the race, I decided to train for only two days in the UWI rugby field instead of on the road; less jarring impact on my knees. Fate also seems like it has a way of renewing your perspective on things when you feel your lowest. In a casual conversation on the field, I met a young man named Rico (hope I spelled his name correctly!) training with some colleagues. Rico, from Jamaica, was pursuing his post graduate studies. I like his analogy towards running:


“Running is like a debate between an angel and the devil. One voice, the angel, is always encouraging you, telling you to push forward, while the other, the devil, is always telling you to stop.”


For those two days, I struggled. I really was not feeling well. Physically, mentally and emotionally I was fatigued. A voice inside my head kept urging me to stay at home. But I didn’t listen. And on those two occasions, when I met Rico, he encouraged me to continue even when I didn’t feel like it. He said, “You must always try for that one last push.” I felt inspired to continue even though I felt half-dead. Thank you Rico.

On Facebook, Run Trinbago encouraged its participants to share reasons why they run:


What is my reason?

I run because running was once an impossible thought to me, given my past history of a series of unfortunate knee-cap dislocations. I ran my first 5K last year March, but the thought of running longer distances like a Half Marathon scares me. It’s a big challenge for me to undertake. I don’t even know if I can, but I’m willing to go the distance to find out.

Running reminds me so much like the journey of Life. Everyone has their personal goals and ambitions. Everyone is striving to reach that finish line, but there will always be roadblocks along the way. There are the moments of set-backs, failures and disappointments. The moments of self-doubt, frustrations, sacrifices and break-downs. The moments of false self-reassurances, testing limits, self-discovery, change, and lessons in self-acceptance. The moments you muster courage, tune out the naysayers, and experience break-throughs and triumphs after almost giving up.


It’s no wonder they say, “The race to the finish line begins way before the starting line.”


I no longer take for granted something so simple as running, something children do without a second thought. Choosing to embark on this journey was also a reminder to recognize and appreciate the people who encourage us along the way. On Saturday 9th February, the day of the Hummingbird 1 Mile, Aaron and I met many of our good friends we hadn’t seen in a while. They too came to participate. With us all present together, it felt like a mini reunion.

Pre-race group photo.


Post-race group photo. Aaron looks a little worn out!


Being in the company of good people; surrounded by like-minded individuals journeying to accomplish their own goals while supporting each other was a great, heart-warming feeling. Experiencing that connection is another motivation to continue running. We all enjoyed ourselves, and pledged to return as a team for the Cocrico 5K.

Aaron getting beat by a “small man.” He needs to train more!


Participants in the Zumba burn-out by BFit with Bella and Leston.

Above photos courtesy: Nandani Bridglal

The Run Trinbago team: Nicholas Singh, Shamirah Hosein, Kera Nimblett and Stefan Rampersad really out did themselves. It was only on the first package collection day did Aaron and I discover two of our friends, Kera and Shamirah were team members. This was even more reason to support.

Collecting my race package from Run Trinbago team member, Kera at Khan’s Gold Design, Trincity Mall.

Aaron and I would both like to express our appreciation to the Run Trinbago team for this worthwhile initiative. It has been a memorable experience thus far. And we look forward to continuing the adventure!


Sharing good vibes with friends and Run Trinbago team member, Kera.


We also want to thank you mama. By the time Aaron decided to participate, registration spots were sold out before the deadline.

Over 600 participants registered. I counted foot-tag #654.

Upon learning the event was organized by some of our friends, my mama gifted her registration spot to Aaron so that he could be a part of the journey. Thank you Kera for making the necessary changes.

I think the Run Trinbago experience was a breath of fresh air that helped pull me out of my depressed state. Once again I’ve re-gained my focus, and my drive for writing.

Showing off our “bling” with Gervonne (left) acting as our selfie stick.


Whatever your dreams or goals are, and whatever your reasons for pursuing them, remember this: Keep running your own race. It literally takes small steps to get you there. It got me across my first mile. And I look forward to crossing the last.


Missing owner of these abandoned shoes must have, “Run ah mile and ah half, and Tay lay-lay.”




To my friend, Asad who suggested this remedy for my writer’s block, “Just keep writing, even if you think it’s rubbish.”  I hope you find this post otherwise.

To my other friend Russel+1: May your journey to the finish line this year also be a rewarding experience. Remember to celebrate with Gelato!



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4 thoughts on “The Hummingbird Mile”

  • Excellent article. Sorry for your struggles but excellent that you are pushing through. Keep positive and best of luck with other journeys and challenges

  • This is a really inspiring post,Nadine.
    I am really sorry to hear that you continuously battle with your knee injury but I love that you never let it stop you from achieving your goals!
    I think I relate to Aaron in the phone where he’s all burnt out LOL!
    And thank you for the kind words in the end. Ironically, I do have writer’s block at the moment or it may just be that I am lazy. But your words have inspired me to continue to write and to reach that finish line!
    Thank you very much, my friend. And I do wish you all the success in your future 😀

  • Awww….. I’m really happy that you decided to start back running and that our first event was able to inspire you and give you that additional push that you need. Awesome article as well! Keep up the great work!

  • Nadine..this blogpost was truly an inspirational, one. My heart feels full and overwhelmed by it (brought tears to my eyes). You are right.. .keep taking a step forward, no matter how slowly you do. .keep it going! Much love- Josh


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