Extended version of Run&Bee column in Hindustan Times - week 49 / 11th May 2019: If you want to run as fast as you can, slow down
I like to call myself a student of pain and running, as I am always learning, reapplying those basics for very complex problems and yet able to help my patients succeed.
I found myself doing exactly that a few days back at Lodhi Garden. I was meeting Rohit Anand, a 57 year old runner who needed to recover from his running related injury. As I gave him basic tips about the importance of warm up, and simple exercises in helping running form, we started chatting while waiting for his Uber. Learnings from his almost 4 decades of corporate world experience resonated with the runner in me.
The 3 Pillars of Success: Discipline, Perseverance and Skill Enhancement
Discipline refers to having the motivation to get up in the morning, to put those shoes on, and getting out to exercise, walk and run. Previous failures, injuries, discouragement from friends and family will require you to persevere, to carry on, keeping faith in yourself. You need to be striving to get better than what you were doing the day before.
Too many of us end up living someone else's vision or dream and therefore whatever we do is not fuelled by passion. In running that leads to injuries. You need to answer to yourself, why is it important for you, what is your 'inner purpose’ for running. Answering this question will help you connect with your inner self.
Read, Understand and then Act
Spiritual discourses often talk about if what one ‘thinks’, ‘speaks’ and ‘acts’ is in alignment, then we create harmony in our living. In my corporate life, I have recreated this mantra as 'Read, Understand and then Act’. Same applies for running. Many of us are acting on things without attempting to know or understand the subject, in this case running. That will soon lead to disaster, as is happening all around in the running community.
‘Best’ becomes the enemy of ‘good’
From the day we are born, we are taught about perfection - how perfect we need to be in everything! Achieve top grades in school, be an achiever in our corporate life, or be the perfect parent and offspring. In this pursuit, the ‘best’ becomes the enemy of the ‘good’. We end up seeking postponed perfection rather than working towards continuous improvement. If we allow the needle to keep moving in positive direction, doing a bit more and slightly better than yesterday, striving to become our best rather than ape someone else, one day we will realize our true potential, without even realizing it because we have not made perfection a goal post.
Your own life lessons more relevant than those from experts
Many gurus and experts will give you a discourse on running and life at drop of a hat; a similar pattern found on social media. These sources undermine your true potential and only bring passive understanding. Lessons learned from your daily experiences are your best teacher. Focus on those, and how they will serve us well in the future.
Stick with the basics
Very often I find that the higher people go in the echelons, whether it be in professional lives or running, the more they lose sight of the reality. And when disaster strikes in the form of an injury or not being able to achieve goals, they are unable to figure out what went wrong and end up relying on others. No matter how high you go, always go back to your basics.
Project C11: Couch to 11 kms in 101 days
Starting today (11th May 2019), as a build up to the crazy race I organise, La Ultra - The High in Ladakh, over next 101 days, I’ll daily come out with an exercise-walk-run plan for you, where we’ll take baby steps. When participants will be running 55, 222, 333 and 555 kms there, on the same day, i.e. 19th August 2019, you’ll be walk-running 11kms wherever you are. Check fb.me/projectC11 for daily updates.