Spocial Revolution: Running is a form of meditation

I’ve compromised on sleep, run 8 KM in a 200 meters park at 530 am and then continued outside to finish 21K, and rush home to get kids ready for school.

In 2011, my husband Kaiwan had finished his KTM marathon and his brother Darius had run 10K. I was their designated driver since both were declared ”tired” and I drove them back from Kaveri Trail, which was very beautiful with birds, a lovely stream that flowed right through the trail and the highlight was the duo dipping their feet in cool water at the end.

Dilshad in one of her best running forms

Most of our conversations (Kaiwan Darius and mine) after that and till date is about running, pace, breathing and of course some gossip. Both our parents have more or less designated us as “idiots”; “Running for what?, to get what? Why? What about your kids?” are their usual cribs. Once I got an eye infection and they blamed it on running!

While driving back, Darius told me, “You know what Dilsh, you should try running like us and im sure you’ll like it”. I just laughed out loud and told him that I was really happy doing my aerobic workouts and being the official chauffeur for every race.

Back home, I asked Kaiwan if he thought I could really run. Actually by then, I had made up my mind to give it a shot.

On my first day, I remember asking Kaiwan how to run before we reached Ulsoor lake. He looked at me and said, “Dilsh, just move your hands and legs. That’s all!”. And so I did! While running, I felt so alive and refreshed.

Kaiwan, had his garmin and told me I had done 1K already but I wanted to run more although he told me that it’s not good to start so fast so early. But where do wives ever listen (and vice versa Kaiwan!)? And so I ran and ran and finished 4KM in my first attempt at running! I was bitten by the running bug.

I excitedly asked Kaiwan if I could run the ultra 10K? And he told me I could if I trained for it. He was already running with Runner’s High, ably headed by Santhosh Padmanabhan back in 2011.

At the time, my second son, was just 2 years old. Hence, one of us needed to be at home.

Since Kaiwan was more serious about running and a better runner (he still is and always will be), I respected that and so he trained for the runs with Runners High.

But I was determined and told him to give me the schedules and ill train on my own. After few months, he was made coach and I was really happy for him, but it narrowed my chances of joining the official training program with RH, although I religiously followed all the runs on my own and even started doing strengthening.

But there was no one to cheer me, to guide, if I did it right or wrong, especially the Wednesday lung capacity work outs. And the amount of planning we needed to do to just alternate our runs and make sure one of us is at home, is not funny.

So, I trained and did my first 10K at Ultra 2011 and then graduated to 21K in KTM 2012, albeit too early in retrospect.

I ran the Mumbai marathon (my favourite!) in Jan 2013, trained for KTM 2013 21K but could not run on race day, because Kaiwan was training for his 100K. I could not run Ultra 2013 because, I was In the support crew helping the 100K and 24 hour runners one day before the run but never really regretted it, because the races never seemed important to me.

So, I have this love hate relationship with running, Ive had my great days : sometimes just running alone and listening to your breathing is meditation, discovered some new trails, and had some bad days, where Ive done 16K, 21K alone and fought with my mind and body asking me to stop. Ive hopped at some runs with injuries, done stupid things like run on antibiotics, made my children wake up at 5am so that they come with us for the run.

I’ve compromised on sleep, run 8 KM in a 200 meters park at 530 am and then continued outside to finish 21K, and rush home to get kids ready for school. Infact, I could not finish 21K in this run, because I did not carry water and nutrition with me.

I’ve helped Kaiwan train for 9 months of no seeing him most Saturdays and Sundays and finish his 100KM goal and proudly share the moment with him!

I’ve mentored at Runners High, motivated and been motivated by so many people. I’ve made so many friends! Yes, this is the best part!

I’ve had the privilege to work with children at the Spastics Society of Karnataka, where they have taught me love, happiness, belief, trust and the need to move on, with no barriers, no strings attached. Their indomitable spirit, peer friendship, group effort, is unmatched to any corporate workshop one undergoes on leadership and soft skills. They have helped me to help myself in becoming a better person.

I’ve raised and raising two terrific and loving kids.

I run a fairly successful Financial Planning and Investment Advisory business.

And now, im training for Mumbai 2014 “officially with RH” while Kaiwan has his feet up!

I’ve realised that running with the group in a community, especially Runners High, helps a lot, since you have people motivating you all the time! At Runners High, there are some fantastic coaches, who guide you on everything.

We have buddy groups which are like sub sets of the bigger group where people with similar goals are grouped and mentored on nutrition, hydration, injuries, and sharing experiences.

I’ve helped streamline the registration process over the last 1.5 years and helped with the accounts for RH.

Perhaps, it’s the lack of having a “goal” in my mind that ignites the passion in me to come back and run. I enjoy running not because I’m good at it or love it; but because, it helps me in reaching new boundaries I never thought possible and helps me fight those fears I have every day; about standing up to them and meeting them head on.

It has brought further discipline to my already disciplined life! Running is a form of meditation.

I may not have any form as a runner, but definitely have purpose. I may not be fast, but will trudge on and finish the run.

Timing, goals, distances and all are just numbers. I see and work with enough of them on a daily basis. I’m here to enjoy my running and have a party! Aren’t you?

Pic: Jacobo Garcia / Flickr CC Attribution license

This story is a part of the Spocial Revolution series, a collaboration with SportsKeeda featuring stories of sports as an instrument towards social change and voices from the community on sports as a choice in sustainability.

Have a story of how sports changed your life or someone else’s? Write to contribute@thealternative.in 

Dilshad is an independent Certified Financial Planner (certified by Financial Planning Boards of India) based in Bangalore, and the Founder of Dilzer Consultants. more


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Dilshad is an independent Certified Financial Planner (certified by Financial Planning Boards of India) based in Bangalore, and the Founder of Dilzer Consultants. more

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  • Jayakumar

    Very good article Dishad!