Every run is meditative. Every run is an achievement

Growing up in a fauji home, fitness has always been a part of my life. Badminton, cricket, swimming, name it! I had played it all. There was a time when I picked up Golf as well. Unfortunately, all that came a sudden stop when we moved from the fauji lifestyle to adopt the big city life in Bangalore. Sports no longer was played a role as important as it was before. The only sport I had in those days was kicking myself around from school to the innumerable tuition classes.

By the time I finished college and started working, I jumped on the gym bandwagon to keep myself fit. Somehow, my heart wasn’t in it. I kept at it as my lifestyle was changing and that was the only way I could think of to keep fit. A few kilometers on the treadmill for warm up, twenty minutes on the cross trainer and then some weights, few group classes thrown in here and there, it was ok,… perhaps a little repetitive for the ever distracted me. That’s when I decided to participate in the TCS 10k, for it gave me something to work towards. Unfortunately, the drive wasn’t as strong and I soon lost interest.

Exactly two years back, over one of the usual Saturday night get together, one of my friends told me that she was participating in the Pinkathon. She was to run 5 kilometers the following day. I was so in awe of her and I don’t know what it was, it was like a life purpose was tugging on to me and the entire night I couldn’t think about anything else.

The following day, I registered for the Contours Day Women’s Day Run 2014. I knew that unless I registered, I wouldn’t take it seriously and running would remain as ‘something I’ve always wanted to do’. At that time, I didn’t know that my life was about to change.

Now, the CWDR was just a week away, and all the running I had done was just a few kilometers here and there. That one week, I did all the research I could, trained as much as I could and the morning of March 02, 2014, I was ready for my first 5k. Nervously, I lined up with everyone at the start line. Wished my buddies luck and I leaped off into the unknown. The first few hundred meters, I found myself scrutinizing everything around me trying to fit it. Could people see that I was a first timer? Am I doing this right? What if I can’t finish? I kept moving forward despite the uncertainty of my run. Slowly, but steadily, as I crossed the kilometer markers, I found myself growing more and more confident. At some point, I remember, my sole of my shoe started wearing out. (Yes, they were pretty old shoes. I didn’t know the importance of what kind of shoes to use at that time. I did lean eventually) However, that didn’t deter my spirits. I just put one foot in front of the other, smiled confidently to myself, until the finish line was visible…

As I crossed the finish line, I was awarded my first run medal. With that piece of bling around my neck, I walked quietly to an open space where I could cool down and do my stretches. Before I knew it, a wave of emotions took over me. There I was, not just one among the hundreds of runners out there. I had achieved something extraordinary for myself. I had achieved something that I had been wanting to for a long long time. There I was… with no excuses this time. I had made the effort, pushed myself and that day I stood proud and tall. Now that I have been running for almost two years and 5km is not a big deal anymore, but that day it was the world to me. I felt like a monster! Bwahahaha! I have never had a moment so emotional even after I did my first half marathon.

The first 5k run in early March 2014 paved the way for my first 10k at the TCS run, followed by my first half marathon in October that year. I felt like I found a part of me that I felt I was missing. Running to me is not about losing weight. It about staying fit and taking care of myself. You automatically think about what goes into your mouth and how that will affect your progress. It is a me vs me sport. The more you push yourself, the better you get. I also wrote a little post on my blog about why I like to run after my first half marathon. (You could check it out here )

In less than a month, it’ll be two years since that first run of mine. I could never thank my friend enough for inspiring me to take that leap and Contours for being around at the most opportune moment. *wink* Had it been any longer than one week from the day that I registered, I know that the drive would have worn off. Today, two years down, I have completed two half marathons, a bunch of 10k runs, and raked up on many many kms of running. I do get asked many a times, ‘Isn’t it boring just running, and running and running?’ There is only one answer to that questions… NO! Every run is meditative. Every run is an achievement. 5, 10, 15, 20… no matter what the distance is. The only way you will know that  is if you fasten those laces and hit the road!

The author blogs at  https://www.abitofthisandalotofthat.com/run-a-versary-with-contours-womens-day-run/

– Ms. Pooja.