Celebrating 60!

It was his mother’s 60th birthday that week. There was a small family get together coordinated by her loving son that included all relatives. A big table full of people, laughing & dining. Two chairs lie vacant & she thought how those could have seated her & her son. The stranger she married & lived with, had gone to visit his parents earlier that day. It was meant to be a routine visit. Nothing about a family get together was mentioned.

She was a part of a family group on social media where this photo was uploaded. His entire family including all relatives except them both were present. They never commented on each other’s post on the group, this was a protocol that they maintained. But from a string of chats, she gathered that this was a sudden plan that just fell in place. Something did not fit. She knew him & his parents too well.

None of his extended family had a clue about the real status of their marriage. Most assumed that theirs was a regular ‘happy family’. It had to be a planned party that he and his parents intended to keep her out of. Masking it as an impromptu plan would keep away people from questioning them about her absence. It was a way to remind her that she did not belong. For the first time she wasn’t really hurt by their behaviour.

Until then, it was just a lazy weekend without him around. She spent the whole day alone at home with her son. Cleaning the house, baking a cake with him & cooking his favourite meal, just being his mom. She spent her extra time discussing various topics of his interest like science and sports; making sure she filled in all the gaps & played the role of his father as well. As always.

Now, her mind wandered back to the various times when she would drop everything & run after the stranger she married, like a lost puppy. Completely uninvited, but with the hope of spending some time together, to feel a sense of belonging & with the hope of being accepted. How he would always walk away from her, keep her out of his plans, not introduce her to anyone, just leave her abandoned, to fend for herself. And how each time, she would try to keep a brave smiling face & deal with it all, pretending that everything was perfect, just the way it was meant to be. All those years flashed by quickly like an old movie. Tears rolled down her cheeks that she wasn’t really aware of. All the times that she had trusted & was let down. Nothing had changed & nothing would.

The sadness, hurt and tears, did not belong to this incident though. Nothing really mattered anymore. She no longer held any expectations from him or his parents. It was just a reminder to her to walk out & that too soon..

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I run because… a runners perspective

I came across an anti marathon campaign today & was shocked at the restrictive thinking. The campaign could have been anti-being-a-couch-potato or anti-smoking or anything else. But seriously, anti-being-active-and-fit was not something I would ever expect.

http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/the_antimarathon/2016/05/running_a_marathon_is_a_dangerous_expensive_stupid_meaningless_task_don.html

I have been running half marathons for about 7 years. I have seen several runner start from couch to run ultra distances. I have witnessed major transformations that leave the rest of us in complete awe.

Here is a post from a runners perspective:

Running is a hobby or passion, just like painting, dancing, reading, travelling or singing. (wonder if there would be any anti-campaigns against one of these too. Don’t paint & waste your time. Just work harder & do something more productive :p )

There are runners & then there are non-runners, its only a matter of choice. Either you love it or you don’t. To each their own. No one can be really forced to run a marathon. Don’t like it, don’t do it. Simple isn’t it?

It’s a sport & not everyone who runs is a star. But we all are achievers at our own level. You don’t always have to win the Olympics to be an achiever. Yes we post it on Facebook, because its important to us. If its looked down upon as spam, there is an ‘unfollow post’ or better still, ‘delete friend’ option available that can be freely used.

You don’t need organised races to run. But think of it, organised races are a business by itself. It creates employment to many (event organisers & coaches), a platform to perform for some (runners), source of income to few (professional athletes) & entertainment to the rest (who need it).

There is a common fear that running leads to knee problems. I am sure that sitting around and doing nothing is equally dangerous! Both have to be done with caution.

Yes, there have been deaths on the tracks. There have been deaths on football fields too. But I can tell you with fair conviction that there have been more deaths off the tracks & fields!!!

There are so many industries benefitting from this sport – Apparel industry (running gear), Tourism industry (hotel/flights), Pharma industry (Doctors/Physios/balms & medicines), food & beverage industry (health drinks/ breakfast) etc. Sometimes we even travel to run. So a small sleepy town suddenly buzzes with activity during run season helping the locals make a quick buck. So in a way we are contributing to the economy as a whole & also promoting tourism. How selfish it is to think about individual fee as it is nothing when compared to the good it does at large. (wonder how investing in personal skill development as an alternate during training time can help the world!)

Do let me know how else you think running helps. (I have intentionally left out physical or mental heath related benefits). If you disagree completely, you are free to join the above anti – campaign and i would love to hear how it goes 🙂

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An update – got to know the campaign was supposed to be a comic take on marathons; but has resulted in serious discussions in some circles. I got the link from one such forum. No offence to the original blogger, i understand his humor 🙂