Blue and White

Two colors we relate to with calm and coolness.  Soothing and serene is what we think of when we think of those colors.

However, they signify diverse things.  White is calm and soothing, yet intolerant.  Even a tiny speck of another color that does not blend completely, stands out on white.   Is it so intolerant that it does not allow other colors, or is it simply that proud – my way or the highway.  However, on its own, it can enhance any other color – plush deep red or intense yellow looks nice with white around on in it. It’s as if it lets you grow around it, as long as you don’t’ get into their space.  Blue, on the other hand is beautiful and mesmerizing and can absorb another color and nurture some. 

If you look at blue and white together, they have this camaraderie.  They coexist, but never in each other’s space and never dependent on each other – just happily coexist. Like two people in love – happy and at peace.  Simple things and simple pleasures of life with little knick knacks, bends and curves and ups and downs that make them perfect.  It’s almost as if they co-exist individually, yet add synergy when together. 

From where I sit, I look around and it seems like someone painted a perfect love story.  Blue and white in perfect harmony.  Santorini, Greece.

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There’s never a perfect time to do anything, there’s just time

I was to follow-up on a discussion with a potential client and someone told me not to call first half of Monday, but to call on a Friday. I took advice and decided to wait for Friday assuming that it will be the perfect time to call.

And then it hit me – wait a minute, what is “perfect time”.  So, I did what we all do in the age of technology, I googled “Perfect Time” and the first search result were lyrics to a song called “Perfect Time”, by Hiroyuki Sawano (no clue who he is) and then I googled him and that’s another story for another day.

However, this made me think – is there a perfect time to do anything and how does one decide that.  Is it a double-edged sword or just another way to procrastinate and an alibi? As I thought harder, it made me reevaluate my current situation.  Mondays are associated with Monday blues, getting back to work, busy schedules.  Alternatively, it could also be start of a fresh week where we plan rest of the week, finalize our schedules and build our to-do list for the week.

I assumed that Friday is typically a light day for most people.  However, what if the other person had a bad week or a situation at home or got stuck in bad traffic or not feeling well.  It may be right to say that decision to do or not to do is based on what is perfect time for us.  I cannot control the other persons’ itinerary or the day.

What would have happened if I had called on the Monday? No response or the person would have disconnected – nothing more I guess. It is always a personal perspective on what’s a good time or a bad time to do anything.

Time is just time and we have limited of it….Subah mat bolo, raat ko mat karo, aaj Saturday hai and things like that are pretty much individual approaches. Only when you do it will you know if this was a good time or not.  Until then it’s just contemplation. Doing or not doing will have its consequences at all times.  Once you action, you can do course correction – doing or waiting for the perfect time just delays the ability to take action and you risk losing out.  I love the Nike tag line that says “Just Do it”, because only then will you know the outcome.

Apne time ayega nahi apna time hai, bas kar do!!!!

Me Vs Me

A journey that needs to be told.  I am not shy with words, but this time, finding the right words seems a bit tough.  I guess some experiences are such and so are some stories.

2012 was when I did my first Half marathon and I never thought I’d continue. 7 years later, and here I am, speechless indeed.

Time – 12hr 30 mins (that’s the cut off)

Distance – 75K

Temperature – Says 45 feels 55 degrees

Location – Thar desert (Pokhran)

How does that sound for a weekend activity…..I guess even I couldn’t imagine it few months ago.

When I set out to register for this, I was excited and thrilled.  During the course of time, excitement turned to curiosity, and then butterflies and fear of the unknown.  Charting and prepping for my unimaginable run, while carrying a bit of injury was mentally tough.  How does one prepare for this one – no recce run, no idea of support, no crew – all you have is a perceived notion of the journey that was to be.  At this point I wasn’t sure that this being my first long run was a good or a bad thing.

Carrying with me wishes from friends and family, a lot of uncertainty, some butterflies, some positive vibes, some excitement and a calm mind strategizing to the unknown.

I got to meet fellow runners during the train journey to Pokhran, gathering useful insights on how to tame this Beast. The mind was racing faster than the race pace, for all I wanted was to finish in time. Having most everything played out in my mind, the D day finally arrived. A normal race day morning takes about 10 to 15 mins to get dressed, but this one took 45 mins.  My friend joked that it looks like you are going to a war. New words got added to my running vocabulary – gaiters, gamcha, sleeves – and then finally it was the moment of truth. We started 35 minutes late adding more butterflies, but what choice did we have.

The next 11.30 hrs redefined me, not just as a runner, but as an individual too. Getting lost as a group, doing a 5k extra loop in excruciating heat taught me that planning and reality are two different facets.

Knowing it will be 45 degrees is part of the planning, but the experience of running the rocky ruins of Pokhran, hilly mountains terrain, acres of barren land (as the locals say the “Rann”), mirage that shows you water all around, parched throat, seeing cold water when none was around, the fierce sun showing its might was all reality, that no amount of planning helps.

For Kms, there was no sign of habitation or humans only carcasses every now, and then, fear of falling down without any help around, are all visuals and challenges that I had not anticipated. How could I have trained for that. And even if you train your body, how do you train your mind.

So what got me going is tough to answer.  Was it all the wishes I carried, my focus on finishing what I set out to do, proving to myself on how much I could challenge myself physically and mentally, is probably all that mattered. I had to earn the medal for myself.  My mind did stay strong, never thought about quitting and all I cared for was to win this one. I had to do it for myself and I guess when you set up YOU against yourself, you excel in ways even you can’t imagine.

I am my only competition and this one was for me. Till next time This is Who I am. Doing the inhuman as my coach says!

Mera Wala Cream

My Car

I don’t’ remember playing with dolls while growing up, but I do remember being extremely fond of the football that my dad got me.  I would go outside to and show it to everyone.  However, I was so possessive that I’d not want others to play with it.  It took me a while to start sharing.  Some fatherly guidance and eagerness to play with others, I was fine sharing that football. 

Each of us have memories of when we got something new, shiny and exciting and we refused to share with others – we were possessive of that thing.  Be it a new bicycle, a new cricket bat, a new toy.  It was ours and we refused to share. 

Well, things haven’t changed much, have they.  We are still possessive about the things and sometimes refuse to share.  Nothing wrong with it. Corporate world talks about team work and sharing, your friends and family encourage it.  But is it really wrong to have some things that are 100% yours – why wouldn’t we say “It’s mine”, don’t’ touch it.  I just got a new car and I don’t’ let anyone touch it. I’m possessive to a fault, but that’s not something I worry about.  If you love something that much, why wouldn’t you be 100% possessive about it.  This could be as small as a new watch, a new T shirt, or a book a friend gave you. 

I do share everything else, but find no reason not to be possessive about that a few things in life that really matters.  Could be anything – my new car, my exercise mat, or the new dress I just picked up from Benetton. 

I’m learning with time that it’s okay sometime to say “It’s mine”.

Are you a follow “her”

Not sure I clearly understand when people follow trends and advice from their friends without thinking if it makes sense for them.  I’m becoming a vegan because I met someone who became vegan and look how amazing her skin looks.  I’m off milk and all dairy products because the web says it contains bacteria.  No red meat for me, only lean portion of chicken and it continues.  Protein diet all day and my muscles will grow.

I am all for healthy eating, but doesn’t it make you wonder on why people just follow something because it works for someone else.  It’s like saying Blue jacket looks great on me, because it looks amazing on the guy I met today.  Trust me, it doesn’t’ , I see this a lot in running.  Fellow runners will pick up gels or carry Snickers because someone thought it’s a good idea.  I’ve seen that in a lot of different aspects of running.  What people wear, how they run, what they eat post the run is typically fashioned based on the group they run in or what others are doing.  What that shows to me is that we are easy on giving up our individuality and our own style.  Growing up, we ate what was made as home.  We had never heard of Quinoa or Kale or Tuna and now it’s a stable part of our diet.  We stuff our lives with things that are no indigenous to us.  We’ll do Pilates one month, kick boxing another, yoga the third and oh, by the way the guy next door just joined a Zumba class, maybe I should try as well.

Here’s’ my mantra – see what works for you.  Listen to your body, have a few advisors, but make sure you do what works for you.

Just don’t be a follower or do it because it’s cool.  Trust me, it’s not

Imperfections!

Love your curves and all your edges ! All your perfect imperfections

My favourite lines from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=450p7goxZqg  John Legends songs often makes me wonder, do the imperfections around me fascinate me? If yes, then why would I want to change it and try to make it perfect.

Everything around is as perfect as I want it to be or as imperfect as I can think it to be.

Let’s take my job for example. I work with a great organization – a dream company for many and at some point mine too. I was on top of the world when I started working there, ignorant that it will come with its quirks. Soon I was got hit by reality – a tough competitive environment, difficult manager, mis-match of expectations, difference in culture from my past organization. Suddenly, my professional life was killing my personal life.

The obvious option was to quit, look for another job.  Frustration kept brewing to an extent that it started impacting my personal life.

While I was trying hard to change my situation at work and get a perfect work life balance, I had started ignoring the positives that’s came with the job.   A huge brand, flexible timing to chase my passion of running, great new manager and collaborative team members, to name a few.

Surprising that it took me 2+ years to value what I had and how much would change in my life if not for this job. Suddenly there was fluidity around, happiness and definitely peace. Challenges still persisted, but I guess I ride with the flow accepting that there will be never be a perfect anything nor an attempt to autocorrect anything.

Interesting that the imperfections of life that challenge us, also keep us going, driving us every day. Yet we want something perfect.

Ironic isn’t it!!

No words to Express!

As a runner, on a race day I am usually focused on my own run, my timing and how I feel. I do cheer for my fellow runners, and love when they cheer for me, especially when I need that extra push.

However, this Sunday’s Amity Gurgaon Marathon run was rather different. I wasn’t running for me, or cheering from the sidelines, I was a Pacer at the event!

As gratifying it was, it was overwhelming in multiple ways as well. Must say the morning of the run I was a tad nervous. It’s one thing to run for yourself and another when you are running to help others complete within a time.

You want to take everyone along, manage their and your time, encourage them if they slow down, navigate through other runners and ensure that all this is done at a committed time. Uff so much to deal with in just one run. Funnily since you are the leader, you can’t express your anxiety or look nervous. This pacing was no different.

Sometimes you might wonder why do this at all!

When I started my run, one of my fellow runners wanted to run with me to give me company.  I was thrilled, that I had at least one person in my bus; turns out there were 5, and all of them relatively new runners, but good runners.

It was pleasant weather and a happy Sunday morning run, when a runner around the 4 km mark asked “will you finish in the time your flag shows”?  A quick reality check that I had a task at hand for those runners who are relying on me for their timings.

I was excited – the bus now had about 9 people, each of them unique in their own way. Some were listening to music, some wanted to cheer others, some were quiet, some panting but thrilled, some wanted to sprint and finish earlier. Leading them, making them stick around, understanding the push they need was a balance of physical and mental game as they say.  When to let go, when to ask them to slow down was a lot to deal with.

Last few kms was when it had to be brought together – it was make or break for them. The hard work for all of them was about to pay off and my task was to keep the focus and not let them fall.  Making sure to cross the finish line strong was a dream not just for them but also for me.

Crossing the finish line not as a runner this time, but as a pacer was a happiness words cannot express.

A friend in my bus gave me the longest hug and with tears in her eyes she cried like a baby.  The young at heart doctor in my bus kissed my forehead and said God Bless You!  A couple of others said we would have given up had it not been for you!

In the end so much gratitude humbled me, not just as a runner, a coach, pacer but as an individual. Today I am grateful to them for trusting me.  So, a big Thank you to everyone who trusted me and ran with me!