I have been running for last 14 years and have run two Marathons and 18 halves till date. In the first glance, it seems crazy to run a Marathon which is a distance of 42.195 KM. It seems absolutely hopping mad when legend has that the first recorded instance of running the Marathon ended in a grave. Apparently the Greek messenger blurted out “We Won” before collapsing.
Long distance running like any other sport requires investment in time and money. Time is inelastic and is a zero sum game. The time spent on the feet hitting the pavement or trail is the one which got traded with time with family or even deep sleep. Hence it is not surprising that I am plagued with questions for subjecting my body to sweat and elevated heart rate for more than five and half hours. Here is my honest attempt to answer them:
Runners High: Constant Aerobic Exercise like running produces Endorphins. Endorphins results in runners high. Once you get hooked it is difficult to turn back.
Nature Connect: My favorites are nature running trails among towering Eucalyptus trees and aged Bamboo shoots. The herbal scent and creaking bamboos fills the senses and mind with indescribable peace. The scurrying squirrels, chirping birds and the falling leaves connects the runner to a deeper calling.
Inner Solitude: The rhythmic repetitive pounding of the feet translates to inner calm and balance. The world suddenly starts to look perfect. I forgive the driver who had cut me off wrongly and I forgive myself for feeling angry at him. It is a Micchami Dukkadam moment.
Walter Mitty: Running with Music makes me a Walter Mitty. It is the floo powder which takes me in to my favorite fantasies of having invested in Google when it was a fledgling startup, writing a bestselling novel, crooning melodies to awestruck audiences. So what, If I am tone deaf but in my mind there has been countless gold labels to my credit. Every weekend, I regularly solve the debt crisis, world hunger and write meaningful commentaries on purpose of life. Only PG rated stuff is mentioned here obviously.
Reputation: It could be a continuation of my Walter Mittiness, but I believe that my reputation is that “He might not look dashing but he certainly can last the distance”.
Strength: Running contributes to tremendous growth of mental toughness and ‘can do’ attitude. Crossing the finishing line feels NEW even though it has been done countless times before. It stands for ‘not giving up’ when it was easier to do so.
Camaraderie: Solitude does not mean I run alone but it is an achieved state of mind. I run with my best buddies. We regale ourselves with juvenile and off color jokes, continuously pull each other legs and break idlis or dosas together. We find inner reserves to run faster or longer to be together.
On a wine tour in Monterey, the guide told a motley bunch of tourist including me “My dream is to die in my favorite chair with a glass of wine in my hand”. Mine is to blurt out “I did it” while crossing the finishing line of a Marathon and the family watching with pride.
Great blog. I loved the passion. Nature Connect was my favorite-- something I sorely miss in the midst of this concrete jungle.Inner Solitude is something we all need from time to time to realize who we are and then we invariably experience the Micchami Dukkadam! Congrats.. well done :)Usha MohanReplyDelete
Thanks, Usha for the kind words.Delete
Jai...i am very new to write a comment over a blog...(doing it first time !!! ). But feels great about you! chears!ReplyDelete
Thanks, Doc. There is a first time for everything :)Delete
Great blog Jai! You inspired many of us to hit the trail often and enjoy the run. - GiriReplyDelete
You should move to Brisbane. Come rain,come shine, come floods, come earthquakes, someone somewhere is always running!ReplyDelete
Thanks, Purba for stopping by. I pack my running gear wherever I go. I have run in Sydney and Melbourne. I liked Melbourne more because I ran by the Yarra river with Shankar Ehsan Loy's "Hum hain naye, andaaz kyo ho purana" streaming into my ears.Delete
I am yet to visit Brisbane. Will I get Chamchams if I come there :-).
thanks for being "All time" inspiration.. Inner Solitude thought pen down in this blog, felt me the real beauty expression.ReplyDelete
Keep Running, Keep Rocking, Keep Inspiring!
Way to go Jai...ReplyDelete
Thanks, Amol :)Delete
Am not a critic writer to assert the writing style,but my all time question of how u can u run for such long hours is answered :)“He might not look dashing but he certainly can last the distance”,made me laugh :)and the strength to not giving up when it was easier to do ,wooo way to go ....keep it up ,cheers :)ReplyDelete
Thanks, Gauri for stopping by and for the kind comment!!!Delete
Running with Music also means that the CIA can hear your sensitive and not so quiet comments without the help of the drones :)! especially when the solitude is punctuated by your own rendering of the same ragas u listen to :P!!! but great going Mr Mitty! get to the 1000kReplyDelete
Ram, the moment of epiphany did strike again. I do not know what the word means but it sounds nice. Thanks for being there through all the distances.Delete
As a person who has experienced similar runners high, but you are amazing to put your thoughts and feeling in such a nice motivational words. great going jai. all the best for ur upcoming runs.ReplyDelete
Thanks, Chinmay for the kind words.ReplyDelete
Lovely write up. It's unquestionable high when you finish a workout :)ReplyDelete
Thanks, Anu for stopping by.Delete