On running

I grew up a swimmer. Long before I could walk, my mother would dunk me into the swimming pool, while she caught up with her daily exercise. I grew up playing tennis. Every day, after school, my father’s man-friday would turn up with at the YMCA with our tennis racquets, so we could make it to the 4:30 PM class. A little later, I grew up playing squash. My (not so) old man grew up playing squash, and I was emulating him.

All along though, I never really ran. Not a muscle in me could run beyond the one-odd kilometre. At twenty-six, I took to running. It was the silliest, hardest thing I had ever done. I ran foolishly, defiantly in parks and in gyms, on treadmills and on the beach. I achingly moved past 200 metres, 1km, 10 km and somewhere along the way the darned 21Km mark. When I was sad, and when I was angry, when I was hurt and I was tired, I ran. The thing was, no matter how I felt, I turned up… I ran.

It was easy to give up on running though. Despite the little and big joys in running, the pain in my shoulders, the ache in my legs made it easy to let go the will it took to run. Running was easier for some, running wasn’t for me.

I started this year determined to run. I ran my first 10km at the end of January, and I continue to run at Bangalore’s beautiful parks.

It is the easiest thing to forget to do, but I want to bring back my run, I want to keep at my run. Running reminds of everything that is hard to do- yet can be overcome. Running brings me to new faces, new places. Running pushes me. And finally, running reminds me of me. Who I am without the run.

A young, alone starter fighting to win. Always.


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