Quite a number of folks in CG have been taking to fitness seriously thanks to the efforts of Prakhar Nashine and his circle of runners. Seema Rajesh (C-502) outlines her success story, that should really motivate others.
“The miracle isn’t that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start.” as said rightly by John Bingham.
‘So..all set for tomorrow’? Rajesh(Sivanarayanan) beamed to me while walking back home on the eve of the target day, March 2nd. ‘Yeah.’ I replied with lot of excitement. But was I really all set, I doubted it. Every time the sense of doubt sprouted, I immediately told myself “its ok even if I am not, I still have the courage to step into it and that’s all matters.”
I still remember Bindu’s first whatsapp message about her friend’s 8k achievement that suddenly kicked her guts to start off…’lets run too…. Will request help from Prakhar’. Just like how people say, right things start at the right time. So, did not think another second and whatsappd back.. ‘I am in’!!!… :),a totally unexpected trigger for the start, the start of another adventure!! The very next day Prakhar guruji agreed for a meet with us. Smitha too joined. Thus started our amazing journey along with Rajesh(Sivanarayanan), Gulpreet and Sarang who were already getting trained for 10k since a month. Guruji mailed us a training plan for 5k and the run was to be on December 9th. It was already October with a long way to go. I laugh my heart out even now when I think of our first day of our training when guruji asked us to run 200 mts …JUST 200 mts..and how we huffed and puffed to reach there…I got a catch below my chest and Bindu screamed …not a single step more…unbelievable achievement for that day…200 mts!! :)…I think the second day, Madhusmitha who was taking a casual walk just joined us with no idea of what’s going on and when she did, she stayed as the most active runner. Dhanya too joined…then days passed on with longer distances, fast runs and more gatorade!!
We did our first 5k at the Ajmera run at Mysore road…oh! what an experience! From the start point the run venue was more uphill and scary but a beautiful fog-filled road. It felt awesome to run together, so many people screaming with thrill. Though it is said that we needn’t think about the timings, when we see others race, we race too. Raj paced with me. It was fun to run together, with Raj helping the tired ones on the way. We all finished with good timings. Prakhar was worried about us coz it was more an uphill run and we had not trained ourselves enough for it, but we did it coz we had the courage to do it!! The amazing part is that we can literally feel the happiness begin to swell inside us when we see the finish line just a few meters away and then we gather up all our remaining energy to draaaaag ourselves into it, that ecstatic moment of victory, it’s just worth all the effort!!
We realized that it was not over yet when Prakhar mailed us the training for 10 k..and again the same “OH MY GOD!10k?”…yea…and it was coming up on March 2nd,Women’s day Contour Run. So we started again, and slowly it occurred to me that it’s all in our mind than our body. When the target is pushed further our mind prepares our body to move on towards the new target. Its amazing to realise how our mind works. Many a time when I thought I reached my break point, my mind tells …”ok..u can stop. but after 10 steps, so I take the painful next step and then one more and by the tenth step my mind tells me…”see ..u r fine, nothing has happened, and then it says, why stop now?” And that’s the tipping point when we are most self-motivated to get going. It’s all in the mind. Our Master Mind.
Amidst all the running, we also enjoyed all the attention and the WOW exclamations from friends and that pushed us on! Guruji’s diet instructions too worked well for me. Just for the terrible experience of beetroot juice its tasted…ewwwww…until I added salt and pepper to it and gulped, wishing it to be Bloody Mary 😉 And thus we completed the training plan and felt all set for the day.
The registrations started and just three days before the red day.. I was thrilled to hear many new names registering for the run. Pramila, Smitha, Ruby, Shilpa.. They were planning to take the 5k ..walking. Gossip walk. Hmm.. It’s all in the mind again… Walking or running, at least they came out willing to do it..Felt very thrilled that somewhere we had implanted the idea of possibility into their minds. My mind told me, if they have willed to walk, they will run too, soon..
According to Guruji’s words, we were supposed to sleep early the night before, but it hardly happens to me. Woke up before the alarm screamed. All 12 of us were geared up with shrilling excitement. If not anything the fun to be in a gang always gives me the rainbow feel. We all left around 5.30 am. Got Madhu’s message that she had fever and so would not come and I felt so sorry coz she seemed so fine even the previous evening when she came home to collect her bib.
Reached the venue around 6 and we hardly had anytime for warm up…run started sharp 6.30. Guruji had specifically told us that we should start real slow and catch up with speed after 5k. So that’s how I did and within a few seconds and I was far behind.. could see Bindu and Dhanya sweeping away with the crowd and I wondered how they would sustain till the end. Initially I felt proud that I started slow and I continued with my consistent speed till the 6.24 k loop. Then, when I tried to run faster, I felt my knee prick like a current flowing around it. I slowed down thinking it to be just for once and after a minute tried again but to feel the same throbbing pain. I noticed that there were very few people running within my sight. I was far behind. Then I let go…”its ok, its not the timing, I need to just finish.” So I continued in the same slow speed. When I was already feeling disappointed about myself, Raj came to check on me and told all have already finished…..I still had a kilometer to each there. Felt the tears forming…but didn’t want to stop. Kept telling myself, ’its ok.. I am going to finish it too.’ Sometimes convincing ourselves is the most difficult thing to do. I somehow dragged myself slowly and when I reached the stadium for the last round I suddenly felt stronger. Can’t say if it was the relief finishing or the joy of getting back to my friends soon. Whatever it was, I just couldn’t believe I was there. The last 300 mts Raj told me to sprint.. just when I doubted if I could, I saw them, my gang, all clapping for me together…’yeee…come on Seema…go…go… go….’ And suddenly I forgot all about my knee pain…sprinted with all my will and carelessly drowned into the finish line..” YES….I DID IT. I FINISHED.. my first 10k!!!”
Back home, rewinding the day, I smiled to myself thinking about all of us. Bindu’s joy of fulfilling her wish to prove her friend that she could run too. It was her will that made her get it. She always said she could never start the run slow as advised by our guru. She always took the fast pace and then got tired…and the same happened on that day too. She ran the 5k fast and then slowed down but still finished in an amazing timing of just 68 mts.. Though she is not the type to exaggerate, her endurance is very obvious feature in her. All she felt was immense gratitude to Prakhar for making her dream come true. And Dhanya, an amazing runner, finished in 69 mts ..every time I saw her running I doubted if she was actually running or floating in the air..such was her posture and confidence. I hardly saw her even sweat!! She too like me felt it’s more of psychological strength than physical that she could run in a relaxed and calm manner. Prami, Ruby, Shilpa and Smitha, I think they had their best time. An unplanned unexpected achievement for them!! Prami was most thrilled to see all the enthusiastic runners that she took to running after walking half the distance. She is happy for her husband, Rajesh too coz under the training of our mentor Prakhar, she knew anything was possible.
Of all this, my personal joy was the group as a whole…compared to anything else is the joy of doing something together..and such an event without such a group would never have grown as it has now!! CHEERS TO CG RUNNERS…HIP HIP HURRAY!!
My favorite photos of the day…