Digital Marketing, Life

Doubt #Day 27

The serrated landscape of Dubai become an array of visual splendor at night. Bright yellow dots neatly arranged in rhythmical lines, appear as a mammoth inescapable labyrinth when the flight descends to one of the busiest airports in the world. What is find so fascinating about Dubai is the strangeness of life. It delivers surprise in every inch. Paranoia about the infrastructure and architectural perfection is evident in every tower built in the middle of this spectacular desert city. These buildings are massive, sometime gazing many hundreds of feet above your head, looking down upon your minuscule existence. As a runner, I have seen yet a different Dubai. When a runner cuts through the streets and covers the serpentine alleys, Dubai reveals a new face, a discovery akin to diver hunting for treasure at sea. Unexplored spacial scenarios appear, while you try to cope with the exasperated existence in a hot and humid environment. I met Vijay during one of these runs while preparing for Dubai Marathon in 2016.

Vijay is from Hyderabad and has been living in Dubai since 2005; 13 years of stay in Dubai will make him a veteran. He is also one of the most unassuming person that I have met and my reasoning would concur with most of others. Always ready to offer help in every possible way. When we were away with my father-in-law and my niece alone for few days, I had given them Vijay’s number in case of any help needed. Vijay used to be very fat, he shows me a few old unrecognizable pictures in support and also used to smoke profusely. He is now a reformed man, a runner and a very fine one. When I met Vijay for the first time, he was to run his first marathon in Dubai in 2016. A day before the marathon, he had fever and still ran the full distance (42.2 kms), medicines keeping his temperature in control. Since then, he has never looked back and has excelled in each new marathon and bettered his timing. What differentiates Vijay is his will and determination. He is doubt-less. His soft interior hides this side of him.

It was one of the usual Friday mornings, during one of our runs that I got an invaluable gift. We were on our way to the Club runs and we were late. The banters of the weekend Thursdays in Dubai had got better of us. I was driving, and had recently got my driving license. As a new driver in a foreign land, I built a rule that I couldn’t compromise with. When the green traffic light blinks, I had to stop. To the wrath of many around me, I follow this rule religiously. In Dubai, you should pray that I’m not ahead of you because even in the most urgent of situations, I would not go further, while you go on honking behind me. I’m shamelessly proud of my callous honest adherence. However this specific morning, my rule was to be put to a test. Vijay & I were late for our Dubai Creek Striders Club run. In the wee hours of the morning, if we didn’t reach the meeting point on time and we would be left to wonder where did the pack go. Thankfully, Vijay and I kept ourselves busy debating the choice of final destination and therefore the thoughts didn’t reach unwarranted conclusions. We were 3 minutes away from the start, and therefore I increase the speed of my Ford Explorer, the vehicle grunts and picks up the throttle and at the same time I can see the approaching green light. We are at a confusing distance; my mental calculation says that because it has been green for sometime now, it would start blinking any minute. As I come closer to the traffic signal, it does happen. The green light starts blinking, though I’m still away, I don’t stop. But this time, the ghost of the green light doesn’t bother me, I keep going on, crossing it in the nick of time.

In normal day and sane circumstance, I would have stopped. That was truly my first reaction. But I jammed on the accelerator. This was first exception of my holy rule to stop. Why? Vijay told something to me that made a lot of sense. Not just in this one instance, but I would refer to it in many more such scenarios. The words became like a flash card which I would use again and again.

When the lights were blinking and Vijay saw my confusion, he said, “If you doubt, you are done.”

Precisely, in the moment of crucial importance, the doubt impedes judgement, reasoning and could be greatest folly that you can commit. It doesn’t let you act and negates movement. Doubt is an ill that ails the will and determination. In most defining moments, I would reflect these words and the instance. Never to be at the cross roads on indecision and doubt. Else you are doomed to be in the limbo perpetually. Truth disguised as plain sight and beckons you unannounced.

We did try hard, but the pack had left the moment we arrived. Fortunately, we could catch them and the efforts didn’t go in vain. As the delicate atmospheric effect of sunlight permeated the early hours of the day, Dubai reveled in yet another glorious day. Wisdom illuminated like the bright sunlight for me, while my exhausted self was screaming inside to stop. Vijay went on and on.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Leadership, Life

Running #Day 3

A Rolling Stone...Gathers Momentum (1)

Honestly, one of the few things that I have done consistently, is running.

Running was purely out of constraint, but there were other reasons as well. I discovered one fine evening, sitting on a bean bag, that I’m building a new kind of asset, which will become bigger and bigger. And, I decided immediately to take action. My weight had touched the highest ever, around 78 kgs. Fortunately for me, since I have been in sports all my life, I was quite certain that it wasn’t impossible to get back into shape.

I started squash, got fancy new rackets, shorts and shoes. I felt I had a new calling in my life and I was ready to conquer the world. But my calling was short lived. My dear friend Kartik, beat me every other game (he used to be a national level tennis player) and would make time, whenever he could.

Though I was defeated I was not down under. I took it as an exercise, to reduce my belly bulge. It was also then I realised, how much tuned to stamina my body was. In addition to getting frustrated with the crushing defeat, I was also not loosing weight. All my 1.30 hours in the evening to play, which I could have spent with my daughter, was going to waste. I needed to do something more.

I took to mild jogging, so that I could improve my stamina and that was the day of revolution. Everything changed for me. There was more running in my life, than squash. I realized, I didn’t need a partner to run, unlike squash. I could do it in morning all by myself and before Priya and Dhriti woke up, I would be back home. No more compromise with precious family time.

In year, 2012 I ran my first 10 km and since then I have ran few marathons and one ultra. Though, I could beat Kartik only a few time since I started running, I don’t regret a bit. It was for squash that I discovered running, met lovely friends and my morning was never the same.

A Rolling Stone...Gathers Momentum (2)

Running has more to do with mind than body. It is true test of the fact that if your mind agrees the body will follow. According to a research, a normal human has the ability to run up to 8 kms without any practice. There are few simple techniques which when practiced over a period of time, makes the running easy.

If one has the intension, one will make it happen.

I run 3 days in week with the weekend run being the longest one. The two other days are used for strength training and flexibility. This routine forms the basic component of my morning ritual. There is no better high than getting these endorphins flowing through the entire body and make you rock solid to take on the day.

More importantly, because of running I wake up at 5 a.m in morning or at times even earlier. I find this hour, which is just before the sunrise, the strongest to conjure up your dreams, reconnect with your ambition and reaffirm your values. During this hour, your dreams will transition to reality. And I’m not surprised that a number of religion also propose this hour for prayers.

My today’s run was a special with my group, The Dubai Creek Striders, we call it the “Peacock Run”. The beautiful peacocks that you see on your way around the Zabeel (Palace) 10km route, is the reason for the name. In this unique run, we run in group of 4, with people of different pace (time taken to complete a km), and all 4 have to finish the distance together, else the team is disqualified. Our slowest runner in the group had the best 10k timing as 77 minutes (1.17 hrs) but we finished in 70 minutes (1.10 hr). We came 22nd (out of about 45 groups), but we were delighted. At least one of us had a personal best (PB) for 10k. Hats off to Nice, who kept tugging along, didn’t stop a single time, though you could see the stress on her face. She finished strong.

Truly, if your mind agrees, body follows. Keeping the mind under check is the biggest obstacle.

Those interested in running, do read Christopher McDougall’s book “Born to run”. Caution, you may see yourself hitting the road when you a start reading and you may curse your self for doing so.

No sane person would run in morning, there are so many better things to do!

Day 3 is coming along fine, with a list of 9 for the good list. Since today is the weekend, nothing is bad. I’m going to try to add personal bookkeeping to the activity list after a successful 7 days of the 66 day challenge.