I am a lazy fitness enthusiast. I have tried my hands at almost all that is meant to keep you in shape. Gym, yoga, running, cycling, boot-camp, Sport - couple of them . You name it.
Did I miss mentioning variety of diet gimmickry and also the swanky obesity clinic that ripped me of my money and did make me poor and miserable at the end of it? Oh! Yes.
As in surfing, you are on the ride for a few seconds but to get there you have to swim against the tide a long time, which I couldn't. As a result, I was a reluctant cyclist, average badminton player and a rigid yoga practitioner. which eventually puts you off, back into the cozy comfort of the bed. Perhaps all that a person, at the bottom perils in the fitness ladder, looking up -longing and with aspiration- is kindness and comradeship. Dream runners and - add all the emphasis you can here - Dominic John, made me felt belong. Not only was my lack of strength or stamina NOT looked down upon but it was seen as something he expected! All that was asked of you was your commitment and the team made sure that one goes back home, better in spirits, if not for fitness - always. Within a few weeks, thanks to this contagious setup, people and process combined, I too became a dream runner, albeit a slow one. The training brought me awareness that my core, upper and lower body needs strengthening, no kidding! But, like fly attracted to fire, I stuck with the group, watching my body slowly transform from a huge obese man to an extra-sized man (still sporting an unhealthy belly).
Make no mistake, that my run itself was uninspiring. For the books, I finished my first 10 K.M, in a record 1:25:15 (I concede, it is a personal record). I was looking at all the inspiring stories around me. A elderly couple running (and walking) holding their hands, an extra sized man trying to ignore this bulk, a bunch of kids too young to be running anything, leave along a 10 KM run, an old lady laughing sheepishly in her ultra-slow run, average men and women who ran like their life depends on the results of this performance. Not to miss those inspiring athletic runners, some barefooted and some shirtless, who ran like a whistle who not only oozed sweat, but passion and love for the sport. I eventually picked up some pace, thanks to a cyclist volunteer who reminded me, that I am too, here for a run.
Two men, likely to be - Partha at the entrance of the school and Dom at the end line - cheered me up!
I dont know what the future holds -Will I become a seasoned runner? May be not - I might still be that street dog, that I am - jumping from one passion to the other. But just in the last few months, I learned that a leader need not be a bang on orator - but can even be a mild mannered and sometimes reluctant speaker. I learned that as a team, we can do so much more than what we can individually. I learned that it is possible for us to enjoy alarm, mornings and often pain.
I too wish to run a race, like my life is depended on that, like my size doesn't matter, like my age doesn't matter, my pain doesnt matter and like those passionate athletes and average men/women/kid/old and maybe inspire one another person, like those countless people did to me on Sunday, the race day!
May be, vici too will happen!