When I have nothing to ramble about

As September draws to a close, I suddenly realized that I had not posted anything on my blog. I can make an excuse and say I have been busy ( which I have) for not being able to post anything this month.  So, here I am trying to scramble in one post before September ends. Sitting down on my desk I ransack my head for stuffs I want to write about, I come across none. I should rather say I come across too many things, but I want to write about none.

However, I have to and so I decided to ramble on about having nothing to ramble on about or should I say ramble on about having a lot to ramble about but not wanting to ramble about them. This post might be confusing, ambiguous, unstructured and jumbled up but yet it serves a purpose- a great purpose in fact (now that I think of it). It keeps my blog updated and keeps me in track for that one post a month target I have set since last November. My older post in the past served this purpose too but this post does it better – as it does just that one specific task.

There might not be a lot to take away from this post ( I doubt if there was anything to take from my other posts) for the readers, but again for me – worth its weight in gold. Maybe I am over-exaggerating a bit here but hey, I am just rambling on. “Ramble, Ramble, Ramble, Ramble On and On.”

 

How I quit smoking?

quit-smoking-illustration-man-speech-bubble-telling-angry-cigarette-character-cartoon-41247975.jpgOn July of 2015 I decided I was going to quit smoking. After more than a decade into smoking I was finally ready to call it the quits. However, this by no means was my first attempt. There had been numerous failed attempts in the past. This time, I felt more ready than ever, and was more determined to do it. Now, more than a year later I can safely say I am no longer a smoker, and that smoking and cigarettes don’t entice me either.

As a former smoker myself, I am aware that many smokers want to call it the quits. However, I also know from my past experience that it is a tough ask, and I also know from experience that it is not impossible.

I want to share my experience so as to encourage myself never to smoke again, and also hope that my experience can be helpful to anyone who is looking to quit smoking.

So how did I really quit smoking –

  1.       Deciding to quit

quit smoking

First and foremost, I just decided that I had had enough of it. I wanted to smoke no more. I wanted to be able to run and play without running out of breath 30 seconds into starting those activities. I wanted to get rid of that constant smoker’s cough (many smokers will be denial regarding the smoker’s cough, but get real).

Like many smokers out there I too have had experiences of deciding to quit many times prior to this. I, however, wanted to really do it this time around.

  1.       Research and a perspective change

After deciding to quit, I jumped into researching all the benefits of not smoking. The findings were very uplifting and I wanted to experience the benefits of not smoking.

060412_1252_ChangeYourP2.jpgUpon my research I also stumbled upon a perspective. This perspective suggested that instead of seeing my past failed attempts of trying to quit smoking as failure, I should rather see them as gained experience. This new found perspective encouraged me, and I felt confident enough that I would be able to quit this time.

  1.       Getting hold of the mind

“Mind is a wonderful servant, but a terrible master” says Robin Sharma, and this quote holds true when you are trying to quit smoking. Smoking, like any other habit, is hardwired to your system because you have done it for so long and quitting will test you physically and mentally. Research shows that it takes around three days for your body to throw out the nicotine present in your system. After which you are no longer physically attracted to nicotine present in the cigarette, and then starts the nicotine withdrawal effect. This withdrawal effect is made worse by the ongoing mental challenge. The mind is a tricky little bugger and it’ll say things to you to get you back to smoking (it did for me). “Just one cigarette,” it’ll say; other times it’ll be like, “you’ve gone clean for a week. That’s something – just one cigarette now. It’ll do you no harm.”  The key is to stay strong-willed and to not let the mind overpower you. Slowly, the voices will die down. The physical as well as the mental addiction will eventually subside.

This is not by any means an action that happens overnight, and as with any other practice, quitting smoking also takes time. But if you stick to your guns, the urge to smoke will eventually disappear.

  1.       Putting them running shoes on (being a freak)

As I quit smoking, I wanted to give myself more reasons ( as if I did not already have many)  to not take up smoking ever again. So, I put my running shoes, on and started to run every day. With no deliberate smoke ingestion, I was able to run without getting the wind knocked out of me in thirty seconds.  Running brought a breath of fresh air into my life (literally). I began enjoying pushing my body to run 3 miles at first, eventually followed by 5 miles, and even 10 miles

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Finally,

  1.     Started reading

Also, as a smoker, I know one of the times when people smoke a lot is whilst waiting for someone/something. I used to do it too, but then I found a better thing to do- i started reading instead. I started carrying a book with me everywhere I went, sometimes even in my mobile device. So, in order to curb that urge of smoking, I dove into the books. Eventually, the urge always died down minutes later.

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Offline

It had really been coming- the smartphone (if you can call it that) had been asking for it. It had been constantly distracting me and keeping me uselessly occupied for hours.Those sudden beeping noise that alerted me to various social network,email and text notifications were distracting me from the task in hand. I am not having a go  at the notification that i received or the sender- it is just i was getting sucked into the distraction and the smartphone wasn’t helping my cause. And i had to put a end to all of this and try and find a way around concentrating on the stuffs that i really wanted to do.

The smartphone I’ll have to be honest is an wonderful aide to me and it does make things so much simpler at work and in personal life. But occasionally the overuse kinda complicates matters for worse and i think that’s exactly what’s happened to me in this case. So, when i saw this post on Instagram that encouraged shoving the phone inside the drawer for the weekend (Just the Saturday) – i said why not? And i did just that.

At around 9pm on a  Friday night – i took my phone and placed it inside my closet. As so often is the case when trying quit doing something habitual – i did have urge the urge to go back check my notification. But i stayed firm and did not fall for this on Friday. But i knew the real test would come the next day as i would have to endure an entire day without looking at my device and not checking my email or social networking sites. I also had had list planned out for the day – stuffs i wanted to get done without getting distracted.

Twenty four hours after i had put my phone inside my closet i took it out – it was Saturday ,  9 PM. I had actually gone an entire day without looking at the phone – plus i had gotten a lot of things done. I had almost finished the book i started on Friday night -” The last lecture” and i had worked on a couple of things more. ( Details of which i will write about if i continue to do them).

Here i am on a Sunday afternoon just writing about my experience – to be honest i did not have that strong a urge to check my notification. And i have my phone on me right now and it helps me  with a lot of tasks but on Friday and the Saturdays it is going back in my closet.

 

 

 

What is it about running?

What is it about running that makes me want to get out there and run my heart out – and then when I exhaust, I still feel mightily pleased about the entire session? Why is it when I don’t run I get cranky and anxious? Why is it when I injured and people tell me rather stop running it kinda feels horrible to just think that?

This new found love for running which has lasted for almost six months now and looks like it can only grow has engulfed me. I can’t explain the phenomenon of that what takes place when I run – the sheer joy and the excitement. Every time when I take those strides , every mile I cover and every minute that I run when they add up to something bigger it makes me want to jump and punch the air in delight.

Much of last two weeks I have not been able to run due to the injury that I picked up. I planned to run for last week but since the injury had not healed I could not run as planned. As a matter of fact the start of the previous week I was still struggling to walk. However, by mid-week I felt a lot better. The pain went away and I think it is safe to say my forced rest actually paid off. And I am looking to run once again. Also, this past week I have realized that having this injury kind of played on my head as well. I can say so because just the other day I was trying to put a post together (similar to this one) but I could hardly articulate the words everything felt so forced that I actually went from being in a moderately good mood to an awful mood in a jiffy. And I had to stop writing altogether. As, I sat down to write this today I feel that this particular post has come unforced and just the way I’d have wanted it to. I would surely say this has partly to do with the fact that I will be running soon (most likely tomorrow). Also, I did do a short stint this evening covering around 2 miles and that just opened everything up again.

All of these evidence which shows that how running lightens up my mood , how it just makes me feel a lot better , energetic and healthy could be the reason why I will continue to run as long as I can. But having said that – I still cannot really put my finger on that one reason so what I love to run so much.

The number that never ran

I was really super hyper excited for the event that was scheduled for the 19th of February -the half marathon. It would  be my first official crack at long distance running and i was really looking forward to the event. I was building up for this – constantly talking about the event and i could not have been more ready for it, mentally.

As the day for the event came closer the excitement grew and in anticipation for the event i started fearing if i could actually complete the 21 kms. But nothing was going to stop me from running , at least i thought so.

Friday, came and i was up early and pumped up for tomorrow’s marathon. Today was going to be all about researching on how to give myself the best chance to compete and complete and also it was about getting hydrated. And then all of all sudden in my head i went ” What date is it today?” As i hurried to check on the date , i saw to my horror it was the 19th. I had miscalculated – and now here i was late for my first marathon.

Nothing had prepared me for this misfortune and i was absolutely livid and aghast. All along i had thought the 19th of February was a Saturday and hadn’t even bothered to look it up in a calendar. And my stupidity had cost me the chance to run in my first long distance run. It was heart breaking to begin with and i was gutted. There was nothing i could do now – i had to report to the starting line by 6:45 am and i had noticed my grave error only at around 7 am. So, my number was missing from the starting grid.

As, heart wrenching as it was – i found it funny as well. I mean i had been a complete idiot to not look it up on a calendar. And so i laughed at myself and so did my mom when she said ” Khuchhing paryo” – my sister joined in. Not that my mom wanted to make fun of me for missing the event but it was just funny the way i had missed it due to my negligence.

At the end of it all i think something good came of my this experience – the first and the more obvious  always verify the date on a calendar (don’t be a freaking over-smart jackass). The other and this i figured on close observation ” maybe i wasn’t ready and it was universes way of telling me this.” Maybe if i had run things would be not gone as i expected them too. It gives me to opportunity to keep on practicing and doing my own 21kms before i participate in an event. At the end of it all “All’s well that ends well”. And i go again until the next marathon i keep on pushing myself.

The world’s most delicious apple

It was the 26th of December-last Saturday and I was doing my weekend five miler for the third time. The week before that I had just completed my second five miles and the week before that the first.  In the first week I grew hungry when running and even more after completing 5 miles. I was still fair distance away from home and most importantly food. So, in the second week I decided to take an apple with me. I had done around two and half miles and I got hungry. So, I munched on the apple while running. Now, what I did back then was munch the entire apple very fast and as a result- I felt I might throw up. Luckily, I didn’t. But what I figured was that was no way to eat and run.

So, in the third attempt I carried an apple and started my run. Half-way through the run again I got a bit hungry. And so I munched on the apple. This time however, I just took two bites of it and shoved it back in my hoodie pocket and continued to run. As I ran further I took another two bites of the apple and into the pocket it went again. Soon I was done with my five miles and pretty pleased with my days effort. I was hungry and I had the apple with me. It was munching time.

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The most delicious apple (whatever was left) 26/12/2015

And then I tasted it- the most delicious apple in the entire world. I was tired after the run and hungry and this half-eaten apple was fruit divine. I was so into eating that apple – I was literally, in the middle of the road talking to the apple about how delicious it was. “You are one of the most delicious apples I have ever eaten. You are so delicious that if you ate yourself- you’d actually find yourself delicious. Pity! An apple as delicious as you has to be devoured but thank you” I said. Part of this conversation was inspired (Copied) from the apple conversation from the movie “Into the Wild”. But that conversation fit my situation perfectly so I used it – and I had not made any prior plans to actually to use it anyway.

That is the story of the most delicious apple ever eaten. Tomorrow is another Saturday, which means another five or more miles. But I have one more incentive to run now – I might just get to taste the most delicious apple again.