Running and everything it means

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If someone would have told me 10 years back that I would run for 10 km I would have laughed my guts out. I never exercised as a kid. Instead I bunked games period in school to read books (Mills and Boon, Barbara Cartland, Danielle Steele, Sidney Sheldon). Since I was skinny and all, my parents didn’t care. They just wanted me to get good grades. Which is so wrong.

There is no high like being outdoors at 6 am. It doesn’t matter what you wear… how you look… how much you run… how slow you run… it is about being outside and just enjoying yourself. Everytime I take a break from running for a few weeks due to health issues (very rare) or am bored (happens sometimes) or I just want to sleep in on Sunday or its too hot… I start again with a new sense of purpose.

After the 10k at Pinkathon I was pretty low and didn’t have energy. In fact, I have missed the Dwarka Half Marathon today because I wasn’t sure am upto it. Rest is more important for the body than working out. Muscles are built when you sleep/rest and not when you are in the gym. So I took a break last Sunday and I feel so much better.

Gurgaon has the most health conscious people in India. My first visit to this city was in 2007 since the company HO was here. We were put up at the company guesthouse which was in the most posh locality of Gurgaon- Heritage City. People running/jogging/walking their dogs at midnight was a common sight in the locality. These were all rich, busy people and only had time at night to workout… and they did. There is always time… you have to make the time. I met my ex reportees few days back for lunch. One of them told me how he has started going to the gym from 5-7 am every morning. He just had a baby girl and has a hectic sales job which involves travel. He also mentioned how he has cut down his TV time and sleeps early to wake up on time.

Here are some ideas to make time :

– Wake up early. 6-7 am is the best time to workout. Join a gym or just put on shoes and go outside. Of course, you need to sleep by 10/10.30 pm which means your social life will suffer. But cutting out unnecessarily people out of your life is part of de-cluttering.

– After work. I generally carry my gym bag with me to office. From work I go straight to the gym… and then come back home by 6.45 pm for the cook. Or I leave home after dinner is made. All gyms are open till atleast 10 pm at night. There is enough time for atleast an hour of exercise

– A very senior person I know who used to be a workaholic and was unhealthy (not fat… but nearing fat) but has changed his lifestyle completely. He goes to the gym from 5-7 am… is in office from 8.30 am- 5.30 pm and then goes home to his family. And so his team also comes on time and leaves on time. Enough work life balance

– It will definitely reduce time with your spouse… but honestly, do you need to spend 4 hours after work with him? When you are together 24/7… it is quality time that matters and not the quantity. Better still, take up a common activity so you can spend time together. KC and I used to go for a swim together. Since he works late I would pick him up from work… head to the pool… and then come home together. Of course, he quit after a few months

– Have kids? Get them to join you on your runs… or put them to bed early (by 8 pm) so you can workout post that. Unless you are a single mother, kids should not be an issue… your spouse can take care of them. And there is enough availability of maids these days. Like I mentioned… quality time and not quantity.

There is no high like a runners’ high. I turned off all notifications today. In fact, I didn’t even track the distance. I know the route for 14 km… home to Galleria- 3 km… 2 rounds of Galleria- 8 km… Galleria to home – 3 km. Running should make you feel good mentally too. If all you are thinking about is pace, distance, time and panicking everytime the pace drops you will give up very soon. Leave that part for the half marathons. Daily runs should refresh and rejuvenate. And stamina automatically improves… your body is stronger and has more will power than your mind. I have experienced it. Shut down your mind and feel your body… the body thrives on physical activity while the mind is a pessimist. After sometime… the pace, distance, time become instinctive. I know when my pace drops… I know when am covering 1 km in 8 mins and when it is in 10 mins… don’t need a watch/app to tell me that.

I saw a 80 year old man jogging today. It was obvious he could barely walk but he was trying to jog. If he can do it… anyone can.

Next post – up by tonight… the best workouts you can do anywhere. These are exercises I do every week… as often as I can.

And am going to revive the fitness blog so people who don’t like these posts don’t get bored. Hopefully, on Monday.



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