My 1st half of life’s story goes like this – Coming from a Brahmin family with lot of emphasis on studies to make it big in itself was quite daunting leaving very little room for any other sports / extracurricular activities. One day as a kid, I accompanied my best friend for a Table Tennis practice session and was instantly smitten by Table Tennis. The passion grew multiple folds acquiring prestigious titles at the District / State / National level championships.
Thus started my journey of being a sport person and training hard which gradually became the way of life. Little did I know board exams meant a yearlong break into sports!!! Then there was graduation / post graduation and finally corporate life that killed it all. There have been very few happy moments when I have held the racquet in my hand and played some challenging opponents in the corporate world (which I do look back and cherish).
Coming to the 2nd half of the story of my life – ‘Marathon Running’ sounded so elite and only the chosen few could achieve long distance running is what I always thought!!!
I was so wrong….
I started training for as small as 5 km distance back in 2012. Successfully completed my first 10km in 69 min in 2013 and receiving the medal was ‘Out of the World’ experience. Did 2 -3 more 10 km / 11 km only since Half & Full marathon was never meant for me (I thought!!).
I then gave a good break of around 2 years where all the calories had accumulated and time had come for me to change my wardrobe (can’t be more depressing for a Lady..)
How I managed to get back into action!
I realized our company (IDBI Federal Life Insurance Company Ltd) swore by fitness! I came across some spectacular achievements in the world of running by few colleagues and was floored.
What next? Registered myself for a marathon (10km) in Dec 2015 and started training for a few weeks. My colleagues at work asked me to pen a few lines around running, however told them I am awaiting ‘The Moment’ when I’d run a Half Marathon. I completed 2 successful 10km marathons and that surely boosted my confidence.
During training, I would constantly seek the experiences of Karthik and Manish who were absolutely the ‘Go to’ persons and I can’t thank them enough (small, big, silly, funny queries – they answered it all with a smile). Small tips yet such profound benefits, I could see them all as I trained.
So finally, I mustered the courage and gave in my timing for our very own company sponsored New Delhi and Kolkata Half Marathon 2016. The list was out and the feelings were mixed. Firstly, I was elated since I made it to the Delhi list secondly, nervous on how to accomplish my very first half marathon.
I gave in my best to train hard for that special day with never ending words of encouragement and tips from our company’s kitty of strong runners.
‘The Day’ arrived –IDBI Federal NDM2016, Feb 28th
Excitement started to build at the holding area as I saw the countdown began for the flag off. Karthik had been more than kind to be my pacer (couldn’t have asked for more). I took off well until 2 km, and then there was a dip only to up my pace until 7km. I was quite comfortable and managed pretty well to the mark of 14km. The next leg was harrowing since I didn’t know how to stay on my feet beyond 2hrs over 14km and to me it was entering into a No Man’s Land.
It dawned on me at one point, ‘Will I be able to finish what I started’??? I kept those tiny voices from within at bay as they would do no good if I strayed. I saw the 19km mark and said to myself they have fooled us with the KM marking since the course seemed endless (such were my thoughts!!!).
I was doing everything I could, math calculation, anticipating no water stations ahead, will I do it sub 3hrs…
Karthik said we are doing good to be able to complete at 2:50, which silently brought a smile to me.
At 19.5km my feet almost gave way. At 20km, I put my head down and said I shall run for my life’s greatest moment. As I turned left, I saw the grand ‘Finish Line’ and there was sudden dip in my energy levels. It was as that point I thought ‘so close yet so far’.
Karthik clutched my hand and dragged until a few meters before the finish line and said it’s your moment, so finish it in style with both your hands in the air with a victory sign!
On a lighter note I felt like the movie scene from DDLJ – ‘Jaa Simran jee le apni Zindagi’ JJ
‘I DIT IT’ I said! I clocked my very first half marathon in 3:02. I realized the ‘Pleasure in Pain’ is beyond imagination as I ‘ENJOYED’ staying firm on my feet for 3hrs. That was my moment of euphoria!
I discovered a lot of people run for fame, peer pressure, social status, catching up with the Fad, selfies. We need to have a clear sense of purpose of ‘Why we are running’ navigate here.
My purpose of Running is sheer JOY, what’s YOURS?
‘….I chose to pursue a fulfilling life rather than an impressive lifestyle’
What’s your choice?