Photographs: Arko Datta/Reuters Laxmi Negi
Rediff staffer Laxmi Negi is training to run her first full marathon on January 19.
Starting today, she will share her thoughts on the rigorous run and what motivates her to get out of the bed early in the morning after a strenuous night shift at work.
All of a sudden I find it hard to live with sudden attention on me.
It's just from friends and colleagues, but something I am not used to.
At such times I relate to the sportspersons I have interviewed and address those unnerving questions to myself.
Though I have a sports background, once I got into journalism, the sporting activities took a backseat and it was just covering on-field action from the sidelines.
I was always a chubby/overweight kid, but once I started boxing (not bragging, but, seriously, I was a state boxing champion) due to height constraints (I am just 5 ft tall) I was asked by my coaches to shed a few kilos.
So over a period of three years into boxing I reduced from 63kg to 52kg.
Soon the four hours that were dedicated to boxing practice were taken up by play ground hopping and spotting young talent.
I lost all touch with any form of physical sport. In no time I shot back to 65kg!
That's when I decided enough is enough and strived to regain fitness.
In a year's time I was successful in my goal. Need I say, yes, there were much sweat and tears involved!
Then there was a life-altering incident. I was asked to interview a marathon runner.
I had interviewed professional sportspersons, but this was the first time I was interviewing someone like me, who has a full time job yet finds time to run, not just a few miles but 89kms a day!
I was hooked. In July 2013, I received an SMS from her to join her for a run. It was in invite I could not turn down.
Though I did not run even two km in last ten years I was assured that it was an informal run and all I needed to do was a pair of running shoes.
It was a rainy Saturday; I could have easily excused myself. It was a good enough reason to back out. But I didn't because I wouldn't be able to come up with good excuses.
The lady who invited me was surprised to see me make it to the venue bang on time.
A few more girls joined in and after a short stretching session we started to run. That beautiful July morning is still fresh in my memory. It is one of the reasons I still get out to run in the morning after a long night shift.
The rain drops falling on my face and I could barely open my eyes. The clean air, lush green environs… it was as if I had travelled back into my childhood.
I had no care in the world and just enjoyed the run.
It'd be an overstatement if I say that run was liberating.
Since that Saturday, I make a point to run every weekend. It certainly keeps me both fit and trim.
Runner's Dairy is common among long distance runners. Laxmi Negi will share hers with you, our readers. All of that and more in the next post tomorrow