छिमेकी

know your neighbour

Run Comrade Run

Posted by chimeki on July 19, 2014


Every morning at 6 I run. Be it hot, humid or cold I don’t change my morning routine. My life has been going on like this for last two and a half years. On 24 January 2012 I pledged to save myself and family from untimely destruction. I had only two options. Either I continue doing what I was doing and finish everything I had or take a leap forward and change my life completely. I chose the latter. Looking back I can proudly say that that was my wisest decision ever.

Then I was one of the synonymous of the word obese. I couldn’t sit or stand properly without support. A few minutes of walking would make me breathless and look for water or energy drink. I also had a very bad temperament. I would become angry, frustrated and happy in no time and without any reason.

Now after working out consistently for two and a half years I can rightly claim that I am back in good shape and form. Today, I am able to run, play football and jump rope. I am one of best players in the team I play with. I like it very much when young boys battle to have me in their team. In November 2013 I ran 21 kilo meter long Delhi Half Marathon nonstop. Recently, I completed 10.5 kilo meter race organized by Decathlon India in 57 minutes. It shows that now I take less than 5.5 minutes to run a kilo meter. That’s remarkable for when I started running I could complete my first kilo meter in 11 minutes!

It is worth reminding that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step and that there is no shortcut to success. Long lasting success is of pyramid shape. The broader the base of it the stronger it is.

On 24 January 2012 when I started running it wasn’t an easy start. I could barely run one hundred meters in one go. Even that short a distance would make my limbs ache and heart explode.

Before I hit the ground I had no idea that I had reached that level of physical wretchedness. I was a complete wreck. I always saw myself as fit or at least in a condition where I could get into shape any day I like. That proved to be the biggest mistake. Fat, laziness, depression kept on piling and I grew to become a person who could only be compared to hippopotamus. Once you have crossed that threshold it is always difficult to put the wheels back on track. But there is one ray of hope that we all should remember: that is it is NOT IMPOSSIBLE to make a comeback. The life stories of all the great men tell us that there is never too early or too late to achieve anything. Immanuel Kant changed the course of philosophy at the age of 60 and John Keats wrote the best of English poetry before he was 25.

My condition was not completely my sole making. The company one keeps too matters. I had the company of people who were very busy. They worked 16-18 hours a day. Usually they work 2-3 jobs simultaneously. Hence, physical activity, if it was not earning them money was out of question for them. They did only that much of physical activities that could take them to their offices and bring them back!

The vernacular literature that we Indians grow up reading is seldom motivating in this regard. The heroes of our literature are hardly sporty. Usually, they are chain smokers, drunks and eccentrics. They are never normal! They are cut off from labor. But they are big talkers. Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen rightly observed that Indians are argumentative. However he didn’t answer why they are so. Let me tell you why. Indians are talkers for they dislike physical activities.

I have never come across a revolutionary friend of mine who thinks that one day he will hold a rifle or plough and fight exploiters. He always imagines himself as a leader sitting in a dark room, sipping tea or vodka, puffing cigar and making plans for takeover. He can command, give orders and chalk out plans while his followers shed blood. In his imagination he is not part of the people but someone above them. This is exactly what he sees himself as. The result: he is dull, lethargic and weak.

I too was a victim of this great proletariat thinking where I was a leader who was cheered, applauded and hailed by the masses. The masses were the makers of history and I was the one who would eat the first fruit of that making.

This way I refused to acknowledge the importance of physical activity for my well being. I am of short stature and when I put on weight I looked terrible. My head was buried in neck. When I walked my thighs rubbed against each other. I couldn’t walk or stand for more than few minutes. Moreover I was getting insane psychologically. I would avoid going to markets, meeting people and exposing myself to Sun. The last thing I wanted to do was to meet strangers. I was completely cut off from the society. This happens to people who are weak emotionally.

My experience tells me that physical strength is a must for emotional stability. Both are complementary to each other. In absence of one the other will not come. Physical strength gives the mind stability. Healthy body keeps mind in control. Weak body makes one crybaby. It makes a man drop tears in no time.

So a visit to Jaipur in 2012 changed everything for me. It was there that I realized how weak I had become.

It was January. My friend and I decided to attend Jaipur Literature Festival. I had no permanent work or to be specific I was not able to find one. I couldn’t face interviews. Whenever I was forced to walk-in, I would get rejected automatically. It was happening because I had lost my confidence and was unable to recover. I was a batsman out of form.

Today, I remember with regret that then I ruined my friend’s outing. I could not accompany her to the top of the Amber Fort, I wouldn’t sit to listen to speakers and press her to return to our hotel. Naturally she didn’t like to walk with me or to be with me. I frustrated her to the point where finally she gave up on me and vowed never to accompany me anywhere. That hurt me and I decided to introspect. I don’t know how but I came to the right conclusion that I needed to get into shape and become healthy to bring my life back on track. If not for myself, for the sake of my love I decided to work out. On the 4th day of the festival I, for the last time, told my friend, ‘let’s return’. We took a bus from the Jaipur bus stop and reached Delhi at around 1.30 am. At 6 I was ready to face the world.

Today I can confidently say that I saved my life. I changed it for good. I want all my friends to change theirs too. I want them to workout, give themselves time, love their bodies. Hence, I have decided to chronicle my experience. I am, like many who have changed their lives, a living testimony of what workout can do for people. We, the urban toiling masses, have only one hope for living long and healthy and that is by working out regularly. In the next few entries I will narrate what difficulties I faced when I began working out and what result I got from it. I hope it motivates my friends who have stood by me through thick and thin. This is, in a way, a miniscule return for the innumerable favors they have been doing for me.

V.S.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: