My commute to work is atleast an hour and usually I try to listen to radio. On one such day in 2016, I was returning from a long day at work. There was an announcement in Radio about a Marathon that weekend by this group named UNIS.
We were in Virginia, US (right outside of Washington DC) for number of years and Virginia has lot of trails. There was an beautiful trail right by our apartment – specially in summer one can see many people either cycling or jogging or walking – making best use of the weather. I always liked outdoors. So I really enjoyed quick jog specially on weekends. At times me and my wife would walk. I thoroughly enjoyed those trails – very relaxing after a long day or kickstarting your weekend on Saturday mornings. Post run bagel and coffee was even more fun. When we returned to India for good, I was really missing the outdoor activity – run or walk in a proverbial trail.
That particular day in Oct 2016, on my way back from work, as I was listening about a Marathon that weekend in Radio – something in told me to tune in and listen closely. There was lot of excitement about the event from listening to the speaker(s) – who were inviting everyone to join and be part of event with a good cause. Also there was mention of Mr. Rajesh BlaaZe being the guest to flag off the event. I had not participated in any marathon before but somewhere I guess really missed the outdoor jogs from my Virginia days. Inner Strength Marathon 2016 definitely sounded like the right event to get back to jogging and have some fun over weekend. I came home and decided to take part in the event.
I didn’t know much about the entire marathon process – terminologies like Bib, timing etc. were really new. Day before the race day, I hit the venue to complete the process. Team UNIS was very friendly and they really welcomed everyone – explained the details well. Next day I woke-up early, rode by bike to Besant Nagar, joined the sea of runners and rest is history…..the entire festivity outside Woodpecker is still fresh in memory.
It has been three years and I have really come a long way in terms of running and fitness. Thanks to Viji and the entire UNIS team, I am now able to run half-marathons with relative ease. What I am really glad about is the transformation on a personal level on two fronts:
- Beautiful thing called Running : Running with a fun team like UNIS has further helped shape my character on multiple levels – be it the discipline of waking up every morning to show-up, get to know yourself better (one hour of running really helps connect with yourself), continue to push your limits ever further and many more. Overall I enjoy being healthy – it is a new lifestyle now!
- Marathon Event: UNIS has been conducting Half-marathons for few years now. Last year UNIS Half Marathon (ISHM) has been formally acknowledged to be one of the top half-marathons in India. The journey leading up to such a leaderboard position has not been easy – it was fabulous job by Team UNIS (to say the least) under the leadership of Viji. Conducting a marathon is no small feet by any means – like many world class team performances (be it music, sports etc.) there are lot of moving parts, many things need come together and it is all about well-coordinated execution by a Team. What is more satisfying is the outcome – which is really for an excellent societal cause. I am very fortunate to be part of this entire marathon process. At a personal level the learning has been immense for me and it continues to be so.
I am really glad that I stayed tuned to the radio channel in Oct 2016. It really turned out to be a key trigger in my personal transformation journey. So next time when you hear something good on radio – do tune in (no pun intended) – it could very well be trigger to your transformation. Stay healthy, Stay fit !