Now a FAN………………………

It was the fight of the century “Conor Mcgregor Vs Floyd Mayweather” – whilst the latter was coming out of retirement to fight this one and was undefeated in 49 fights, the former was making a debut in boxing. Mcgregor was making a switch from MMA to boxing for this fight. Two of the greatest in their respective art were going head to head, and no wonder it attracted the imagination of millions around the world.

There was a lot of trash talking, eye balling and verbal intimidation between the two warriors. August 26th was the scheduled date and Vegas was the venue. And as expected, Mayweather defeated Mcgregor in Round 10 via TKO, taking his record to 50-0. Mayweather retired undefeated. Mcgregor on the other hand, a defeated warrior – would make a return to MMA.

There was so much hype surrounding the fight that a sport enthusiast was bound to get sucked into it. And so I did. Also I don’t normally follow fight nights, be it boxing or MMA, but I have taken the time to see big fights(big hype) such as Pacquio Vs Mayweather,  Joshua Vs Klitschko and Mcgregor vs Diaz. I was ready for the fight of the century.

For some reason I was rooting for Mcgregor on this one. The odds were stacked against this man. Yet, here was a man who had defied expectation and stood up against all odds to be one of the most prolific fighters in MMA. So you could be forgiven if you believed that he’d actually be able to win this one. On fight night though- He lost. He fought though- took the fight to Mayweather, but Mayweather was just too good for him.

Both the fighters made a lot of money and the battle ended. It was after the fight something hit me – which made me admire Mcgregor even more. And now I can officially say I am a big fan.

Why?

  1.  Taking on the challenge

 Mcgregor knew when he took this fight that he was taking on one of the most successful boxers. May was undefeated in 49 professional fights and Mcgregor was well aware of the humongous task in front of him. Yet, he did not back down. The expert said it was a mismatch and he would get annihilated. But he was up for the fight, trained hard and took the fight to ten whole rounds, and even managed to win few rounds.

Mcgregor’s story is an inspiring one- going from a plumber, to a full time MMA fighter, to one of the greatest MMA fighter and now dancing with one of the greatest fighter – he was always up for a challenge and never backed down.

2. For money, himself and the family

Both Mcgregor and Mayweather made a lot of money from the fight. When I say a lot- the money was huge. It was one of the main reason both the fighters agreed to fight this one. The lure of money along with it being the fight of the century was what got the two fighters in that ring. While people called it a circus and talked how it was more for money – I did not see anything wrong with it. At the end of the day aren’t we all working or doing what we are for money. And don’t we all want attention.

Mcgregor has been through tough times financially. He had been collecting welfare check and worked as a plumber to sustain himself and his family. And he’s worked through that to get where he is at – so it is only fair for him to want to make money – for himself, and for the family. Given the opportunity – we’d do the same.  At least I know I would.

3. Because he is cocky

Mcgregor does not give a rat’s ass about what is being said about him. He concentrates and focuses at the task he needs to get done ( at least when it comes to fighting) and is cocky in prediction. He trash talks and insults his opponent with his words before the fight. Most fighters do this before the fight – but Mcgregor is different than most because on most occasion he delivers what he says. “I am cocky in prediction. I am confident in preparation, but I am always humble in victory or defeat,” he said after his win against Dustin Poirier at UFC 178 in September 2014.

This statement speaks volumes of the man. And even after the defeat against Mayweather he was humble and gracious in defeat. Given the aura he oozes, I think it is okay to be a cocky.

 

 

 

 

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What have I been doing?

Over the past few months, I have hardly written anything on my blog. Whilst I am a bit disappointed with myself for having failed to do so, I don’t want to be overly self-critical. Mainly because, although I have not scribbled on the blog, I have taken the time to start a bullet journal since June and started a self reflection diary since May. That is why I am not beating myself about it.

Having said that, the ideal scenario would have been to have had written something. But then again- it is what it is. However, here I am and I want to take this time to give an update on the things I have been doing.

I’ve started keeping a bullet journal and a daily journal since May. I’ve missed a few days here and there, but on the whole, I have been updating it on a daily basis. I will definitely take the time to write about them in a bit more detail in later posts.

I have also started planning and training for my next marathon which is scheduled for November. I will again attempt a half-marathon (21K) rather than the full 41K. Along with the marathon training, I’ve also started working on calculus. Though the progress has not been what I would have wanted, I would like to give myself the credit of having started.

Towards the end of July- I’ve also taken up a new hobby. My eldest sister gifted me a camera (Sony alpha 6000), which now I carry everywhere. I make sure I make time to shoot and edit. 

So these are the activities i am currently involved in apart from my daily work.

 

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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When I started running…

The many health benefits of running are known to both runners and non-runners. However, there are certain experiences that can be only noticed only when one starts to run. I have been running every morning for about six months now (barring the time when I have been injured), and it has benefited me in numerous ways. In addition to the obvious health benefits, running has introduced me to new perspectives. These are the perspectives I want to share –

  1. The world don’t matter

When I first started to run, I was very self-conscious about it. I would get the sense that people who were watching would judge me if i didn’t run in a certain acceptable way. But soon I began to enjoy running, and I loved doing my weekly 5 miles. On other days, a 3 mile run would suffice my appetite for running.  The more I ran, the more I loved it, and soon I was not self-conscious about whether people were looking or not. Nor did I feel obliged to run in certain style. I would sometimes take huge strides while running;other times, I would run just on my toes. Most importantly, I did not feel the need to run in the conventional style as long as I was running sincerely and honestly and doing my allocated miles for the day. At the end of the 5 mile run, I punched the air and then punched my chest (Djokovic style) in delight. It did not matter who was looking – I was having fun the right way, and that was what mattered.

This perspective was an eye opener and it brought about this mindful awareness. The important thing was to be sincere, have fun, and the rest didn’t matter. It also occurred to me then that:

  1.  People don’t have the time to sit there and watch what you’re doing. Everyone’s is just as busy in their own lives.
  2.  If people do make comments, feel privileged that they have time to look at you in their busy lives. You don’t need to oblige, or listen to every comment.

 

2. Every run is different from the previous

When I first started running back in November 2015, I could barely run 3 miles. I would be out of breath, and catching my breath would take time. The more I ran, the better my stamina became, and I was able to run 3 miles with ease. I soon started doing five miles every weekend, and again, to begin running five miles was tough. I was able to complete my first five mile on the first try, and since then have completed many more five miles. There was one stark discovery though – Every day, when I set off to run the five miles, I would have doubts.  I eventually have always finished the five miles I have started, but during every start, my mind has had doubts. I have come to know that every day is going to be different, and just because I have done the five miles previously, I can’t take it for granted. I have to motivate, re-motivate, and re-re-motivate myself during the runs. A small variable change – the wind, the temperature, the sleep I had, the shoe, the feel in the legs could very well change the entire pattern of the run. Every run, thus, becomes different from the previous.

The idea is to stay vigilant, to keep myself motivated, and just like the run, everything that you start is achievable.

  1. Life is a marathon, not a sprint

I know this is a cliché, “Life is marathon, not a sprint,” but it does hold true. When I first started running, my objective was to run a full marathon. Unfortunately, I have not been able to do that. I might have at least participated in at least one, but well, that number never ran. But as I do my five miles and sometimes close to six miles, it dawns to me how tough a full marathon would be.  The distance of an official full marathon is 26 miles which is at least four times more than I normally run. It takes me roughly around 50 to 55 minutes to do five miles, and if I ran at the same average pace, it would take me nearly 3.5 hours to complete a full marathon. This is if I can maintain the average pace, and we know the body tires, so taking that into account, it would take me around 4 hours or more of running to do a full marathon.  That just puts everything in perspective – running a marathon does not happen overnight. When I first started out saying I am going to run the marathon, I had no idea what I was talking about. But now that I run, and have experienced the effort that goes into running, I can understand the effort it takes to run a marathon.

A humongous task like running a marathon cannot be achieved overnight; it takes time. It takes training, eating right, and mental strength to achieve the distance. I have not run a marathon, but even with all the training that goes into it, when it comes to the real deal, many falter. Running a marathon in many ways does sound like what life is. You can be prepared for it, but yet, life brings about subtle variable change to always challenge you.

At the end of the day,this is the beauty of both life and a marathon – to be able to overcome and complete challenges one after another.

 

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.

From running for life to running for life

On April 25th, 2015 on what looked like a normal Saturday- 7.8 Magnitude earthquake shook Nepal. I was on the top most part of the house where the water tanks were kept. And when the first tremor hit my initial response was to jump to a level below. Which I believe is no less than 8 to 10 feet. If you asked me to do it today – I would definitely hesitate and think twice. But on this day- I jumped and raced out to get mom and we scampered together to the nearest open ground. Small aftershocks followed throughout the day and into the night. The very next day another huge aftershock this was followed by even larger 7.3 Magnitude aftershock about a week later. The aftershocks kept me on my toes almost always. The impact of the earthquake was so mentally traumatizing that even if some stupid yelled out earthquake- I was ready to make a dash for it. I was basically running for life, too scared to get trampled upon, scared because I did not want to die- not now, not like this.

Nepal, a beautiful south Asian nation sandwiched between India and China. This is as close as it gets to defining Nepal in a sentence. And us Nepali’s have had this definition engraved in our minds since the first standard and for some even before. But when I say beautiful Nepal, I am really not exaggerating any of it. It really is a staggering beauty with its mountainous range, epic hills, bio-diversity paradise and so much more. It really is the case of “You have to be here to see and experience it.” But the beauty has a dark side to it. And Nepal is really one of the poorest nations in the world. There is so much to do, in so many fronts: Education, Gender issues, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene and the list goes on. Constant political turmoil and bickering has been one reason the country finds itself lagging behind and the earthquake has just added to the plight. According to a post from the Kathmandu Post – Money (2015-10-6) the growth rate has fallen down drastically ever since the earthquake – from 5 to 3.4%.
The land topography of Nepal does not do it much favor either especially in infrastructural development projects. So, roads have not yet been linked to a large portion of the nation. Which means people have to walk huge distance and in an arduous terrain. That I why I think it’s fair to say we Nepali’s are cut out for the tough task. Also i think we were born for endurance sports because we basically walk this terrain. And maybe that’s why i just had a spontaneous thought of running. It was by no means a conscious decision back then though. I just felt growing up in the city- I had lost my appetite to walk and run. And I was so caught up in the buzz of city that I had neglected the physical demands of the body. But in the hindsight maybe going back to the basics was the perfect way to finding a way upfront. And that’s exactly what I have done – gone back to walking, running and cycling. Physically I have never been fitter and mentally i feel i am a lot clear in the head and I don’t plan on stopping running anytime soon. If anything I am going to run more. I don’t know how this will add up in the future or how I will be able to contribute but for now it has been a question of self-investment. And more importantly I just have a gut feeling that it will all add up somewhere, sometime. I have just got to keep at it and keep moving. And this is how I started running for life literally.
(My daily running journal since the day I started http://www.immarunthemarathon.blogspot.com )

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.

2015 – Hindsight 20/20

It’s almost the end of the year 2015, which as clichéd as it sounds feels like started just few days ago.  And here I am doing my year review – as a matter of fact my first ever. I don’t want to dwell too much into particular incidents or follow a monthly chronological order but instead will try and identify six key lessons that served me particularly well this year.

  1. It’s not the start or the end but the journey that matters

We’d all love to have a positive and a solid start and that would be the ideal scenario but this is not always possible. At the end of 2014, I had no idea I would have one of the most horrible start to 2015. But to be fair to 2015 it was not all its doing – I pretty much carried the baggage of 2014 into 2015. And the mayhem with which 2015 started was just compounded by the extra baggage I’d carried from 2014. As the early days of 2015 rolled on, before I’d known it months had passed. I was a miserable wreck on so many levels.  That feeling of stagnancy in life was at its peak and I felt I was a victim of life.

Then I snapped – in hindsight I can say for the better.  I think I reached the saturation point of stagnancy – what happened next was I said “I don’t want this for me.” The moment I said this wind sort of changed its course-maybe. But now towards end of this year with few days remaining that day late in June when I told myself I was done with stagnancy – it all changed for me. And i think it is fair to say that I am looking forward to carrying this momentum on to 2016 and start on the front foot. Will I be carrying any extra baggage with me? NOPE

  1. From Mind-full to Mindful

This was without a shadow of doubt the best decision I made and it continues to be one. With the start of 2015 the head was filled with loads of stuffs and constant overthinking made it worse. The worse got even more unbearable when I was constantly worrying about the things I could not influence. It was around this time I was feeling horribly down in life. Towards the end of June, one evening as I sat there probably with hands on my head – surfing the net, my mind full of unproductive ramblings, I just felt that I did not want this anymore. And then the very next moment my hands fell on this book “Mindfulness: How to find peace in this frantic world.” I did not know whether this book would work for me. But I did seek for that ever eluding “peace” and if this book was going to show me the way, I was more than willing to follow. What happened then on was surreal and i was on a journey from being mind full to being mindful.  And as the days turned to weeks, it was an easy call for me to make – the latter was way better than the former.

Soon, after I found Headspace app which really was a great way to practice mindfulness (meditation). And I am almost seven months into the practice and I love every bit of it. For everyone who thinks about mindfulness is about spiritual or religious practice- it’s not. It’s a practice where you basically more aware. And in order to be mindful one need not sit crossed legged or in some weird postures and with incense stick burning – those are just a myth. You can do it sitting on a chair or even lying down- it’s all about being in the present. Also, you need not spend hours on it, being mindful for ten minutes a day is enough.

  1. Reading is to mind what exercise is to body

Another one of my best decision this year – to start reading more. I have never been a voracious reader and I don’t consider myself one. But ever since I started reading a lot more than I previously had – everything seemed better. Not that I had solved all my problems, I hadn’t – all of them were right there but I just had better things to do now than to sit or lie down and overthink about things that were well out of my control. I would have my mindfulness sessions and the reading sessions would be long and endless every day. I did not have any particular genre of books as such and I read pretty much everything- Fiction, non-fiction, self-help, autobiography and even religious Scriptures. I was reading blogs, journals – I was reading and was in the thick of the excitement of reading.  Also, by the time I started reading I already had about a months’ practice of the mindfulness sessions and these sessions really contributed for me to be able to read and make a habit out of it. I say this with immense joy that I have actually been able to read much more in the course of five months than I have done in the previous five years (I am excluding academic books).  Reading also enabled my mind to ease off and I did not have much time to think about stuffs that really did not add much value to my life but instead just made me feel miserable. And with the reading habit came the writing habit and soon I was writing more. I intend to start a podcast or a V-blog to share my sentiments very soon- which again I think will be a product of me reading more.

  1. Smoking is injurious to health

When I first started smoking almost a decade ago I was well aware that smoking was injurious and it kills. But I wouldn’t often argue just for the heck of it – “what doesn’t?” I’d say. But a week after my encounter with the mindfulness book I was ready to give up smoking for the umpteenth time.   But this time I was equipped with a little bit more grit, determination and above all experience. The fact that I had failed on so many attempts previously to give up smoking was actually encouraging. Many a times failure drags us down and we tend to believe that I am not going to succeed because I’ve failed so many times. But this time was different I actually saw my failure as my experience and felt I was better equipped to deal with effects of quitting smoking. Here again my mindful practice came to my aid. When I felt like smoking I tried to get rid of the urge and told myself it was all in the head and it was more the mental battle rather than the physical. And a week turned into two, then three and here I am today almost six months smoke free. And the lungs feel great.

  1. Running for life

Months after I started my mindfulness session, I was reading, writing more frequently and had not smoked, it just occurred to me one afternoon early November – I am going to run the marathon. I had no idea where this thought came from but I just wanted to run. And so the very next morning I laced up my runners and took to the road. I was amazed how refreshing this was and given I had quit smoking for couple of months now I could really run so much better.  It was soon two weeks into my running program and I was pleasantly surprised to see myself loving to wake up early every morning, lace up and run. I had actually started running for life and not idiomatically but literally. I just loved it.  When I got injured two weeks later with a torn ligament and was bed ridden for the next two weeks I kept the flame burning and my desire to start running was immense. This led me to believe that I was going to run as long as I could.

 Initially when I had this thought that I wanted to run for some reason deep down inside I just wanted it to a long distance run. And both running and reading about long distance running has brought about new insight about life as a whole. It is amazing how life and long distance running (marathon) co-relate to one another.  I want to write more about the co-relation but not just yet, not until I have got a taste of running an actual marathon.

  1. Keeping the feet firmly on the ground

This by far is the lesson of the year- to keep the feet on the ground. When I started this year I was sinking slowly but surely. I was a train wreck and six feet under the ground from where I just could not see the light. But then everything changed for the better and right now I feel great about myself. And I know for a fact that with this amazing feel that I get at times it is easy to get carried away. So it becomes more important that put my feet on the ground. I am in love with this journey where it is so much about self-investment and I want to keep at it without getting carried away by the positives that comes my way. Or not beat myself in time of turmoil.

Finally, I believe now everything is a choice. It starts with multiple options but then one was to make a choice and stick to it.

(My 2015 has been a great learning curve and I can’t wait for the 2016. There’s so much to do, so many plans and but I understand that whatever the circumstance I am going to deal with it a lot better and enjoy it.)

Empower yourself

One has so many doubts in oneself but yet takes the time to empower others. Yes, while this is a noble act shouldn’t one take the time to slowly empower oneself. This thought came into my head and i was just analyzing it.

I for one feel i am educated and hold a certain degree but since that has not translated into something tangible the doubts start to creep in. And these self doubts creates disturbance of the mind to a certain degree. The point i am trying to make here for myself is  am i empowered and aware like i should be? Or am i just one of those educated fools ?

I’d like to consider myself the former rather the later. Firstly to be asking this question to myself is a sign that i am aware of that what i am lacking and that what is the correct approach. I am in any way stating this is the ideal approach but for me it is. The fact i am asking this question is a sign i am aware what empowerment is. And now that i am aware of it i will want to and see to it that i make informed decision which act as a catalyst for change. And empowerment will come not just being educated but having the wisdom to actually cultivate the mental and physical awareness.