There are cold morning, hot morning, rainy day, sunny day, hangover, muscle cramp and miss the alarm day – More than excuses, these are the voices inside our head? But when you take that first step out of your front door and hit the street, all the voices felt silent. Because you’re better than what you think you are. THIS IS WHY I RUN!!!
But if I have to retrospect on why I run, it’ll be much more than to prove – I’m better than what I think I am. I started running like most people to be fit, to be a healthier father to my kids. I have never been active my entire life, wasn’t into sports during school and college days. Most days, I was this bloated, heavy and tired man. When my daughter was born, I refuse to be the father who came back home and crash on the couch.
Early 2009, as a new year resolution, I started walking. I was not much of a morning person, so in the evening, I walk 15min in any direction from home, so I could complete 30min. I have NO TRAINING PLAN and NO GOAL – I just want to START. Gradually I was walking more distance in my 30min walk.
On 31st May 2009 Sunfeast Bangalore Run I did 5k walk-run, with some of my co-workers. I don’t know how much time I took for that 5km, but I had the highest high. The carnival like atmosphere, it was a party in dri-fit attires, though I was in a cotton T-Shirt. I don’t know if it’s runners high or the endorphin. But I wanted to do more and that feeling stuck with me. Post that, I regret not continuing with that initial euphoria of running. I was lazy and I needed motivation or rather crudely – kick on the back side. So I joined Nike Run Club, a free weekly running camp organized by Nike at Kanteerava Satdium. That was the best thing I ever did to myself in my entire life.
Nike Run Club – A New Chapter: Under Coach Beedu Sir and the inspiring Arjuna Awardee Reeth Abraham, everyone from the daily grind of life, mostly cubicle sloths like myself were pushed to the limit. Every Saturday morning, I submit myself to the grind. Straight talking Coach Beedu Sir showed no mercy, but no one complains. Because when the session ends at 8:30AM, you walk away feeling like a warrior who just won a battle – the battle against those voices in your head that says – YOU CANNOT DO IT. THIS IS WHY I RUN!!!
First Half Marathon: Dec 2010, one of my co-worker ask if I want to come for the Goa Half Marathon. Though I’ve done few 10Ks, I’ve never attempted that distance and with just about two weeks left, there was no time for training. My wife and kids were out of town visiting in-laws, so I agreed. But few days before our trip, my friend pulled out due to some personal emergency. I thought I’ll drop the plan, but I went alone. I was eager to experience what’s it like to run 21.1 KM. It was a beautiful route, Goan came out to cheer the runners. Once we cross the city limit, it was hilly terrain with steep up and downs. I completed in 3hrs:16m. Though I walk with a limp for the next few days, I overcame the fear of a 21.1km Half Marathon.
Running in Goa made me crazy about out-station runs. There is something magical about running in a new city. I started planning family vacation with running events. And the best sight is to have your kid waiting at the finish line.
In 2012 I ran all the 3 India IAAF recognized Gold Label Road Races – Standard Chartered Mumbai (Half) Marathon, TCS World 10K and Airtel Delhi Half Marathon. Running in Rajpath, India Gate, New Delhi; running on the Mumbai Sea Link, running to the tune of the Navy band playing ‘Saare Jahan Se Achcha’ . These are moments that I will cherish forever.
For me running is such a humbling experience. When you doubt yourself wondering how you’ll do a 21km if you’re losing steam in the first 5km. Your body responded with a rhythmic thump of your heart and legs and your spirit soar. I no longer run to the music of my MP3 player, there is more beauty in the rhythm of your heart and the cheer of friends and complete strangers. To experience this is a powerful feeling, strong enough to have us coming back, again and again, for more1. THIS IS WHY I RUN!!!
To me the Half Marathon distance of 21.1KM, is the perfect distance of endurance and fun. I’m still not the fastest man in the block, my Half Marathon time is still a humble 2hr:42min but I’m in better p(l)ace than the day I started.
John Bingham — ‘The miracle isn’t that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start.’
Running in Infosys: I’m not much of social runner and you’ll still see me running alone in Cubbon Park. But since I came to know of Infosys running group HappyFeet. I have met some of the nicest people, ran some of my most enjoyable runs. Running is now a regular party in dri-fits – cotton T-shirts allowed. There are no Terms & Conditions, just a smile to cheer, the will to start and the courage to shut those voices inside your head. THIS IS WHY I RUN!!!
If you’re still sitting on the fence, thinking to run or not. Tell yourself, there might be thing impossible, but contemplating is futile. How would you know if you don’t even try? You’re better than you think, you are.
THIS IS WHY I RUN!!!