This post is like me ambling along roads and courses, not knowing whether I am running towards a destination or whether the act of running is destination in itself. There are several thoughts about running and writing that have been crossing my mind off late. I am going to run after those thoughts today …
When I started this blog, the urge was to write. The writing was emerging from the act of running which in turn was a random accident in my life. When I started writing this blog, I felt rather nervous about whether I’d be able to update it regularly. More importantly, what would I write regularly? My earlier attempts at blogging after moving to Bangalore were terrible disasters with me not knowing what to write, with me trying desperately to do these one-off tours of the city and document them albeit with tremendous pretense, with me trying to find people to talk to in order to write about them, with me trying to do everything I could possibly do and yet, I was successfully unsuccessful at keeping all the four to five blogs that I had tried to start at different points in time! Duh!
The other day, after I finished my earlier post, a thought crossed my mind – to get a grip, sometimes you need to loose it in the first place. The thought occurred because after I reviewed what I had written about the vagabond, I noticed that what I thought were disconnected paragraphs in that post were in fact rather well connected, with one flowing from the other. I have been anxious about blogging, wondering whether I’d be able to keep a grip in the first place at all. I noticed after reading and re-reading my second post that if I let go of the grip, of the anxiety of having a grip in the first place, and follow the stream of consciousness, it is possible to put things together in a rather uncanny and wonderful way …
The notion of grip applies to running as well. The first programme I joined with Runners High was to train myself for the Sunfeast 10k race which happens in Bangalore in May. I missed training for three-four weeks in this period. After a while, I became anxious about whether I’d be able to run at all, whether I had lost the grip completely. Somehow, I ambled along as husband Kiran and coach Santhosh along with my mentor, the one and only U G Murthy, helped me amble along. And amble I did on the final race day, finishing in about 87 minutes.
This time, I have been training to run the 10k at the Kaveri Trail Marathon. To put it in the least, I have missed about 60-70% of the workout sessions and long runs as I have been managing all kinds of uncertainties of life and academic writing. At one time, it felt like I had lost the grip over running. Each time I read that my husband finished his workout and others who had been training for 21 kilometers and 50 kilometers were happily running their way through longer and longer distances, it seemed like I was a completely lost case. When I resumed running this week on Tuesday despite the despites, I realized that grip is about how much you feel you have a handle on life. And, even when you don’t have that handle, can you amble along, and the handle and strength will emerge from within? The act of pulling myself up and running on Tuesday was just that – recognizing that even when there is no grip, that you are fumbling on your pace and confidence, that you are not sure what roads you will run on, that you are not sure whether you will be able to run at all in the first place, you amble along – the pace may be sloppy, the timing all over the place and pace, the speed let’s not even talk about it – but something will emerge, some insight, some hindsight, some foresight and that grip will emerge from all of this and more!
I am still running!
[This post is dedicated to my coach Santhosh Padmnabhan, my husband the one and only J C K, the inspiring U G Murthy, and my nephew Agastya whose one and two independent footsteps excite me about life and running.]