The fitness guru

Back in November, 2015, a spontaneous urge to start running sprang in my mind. As far as I can recall, this was not a conscious thought or a pre-planned course of action. I was working away on my desk, and suddenly I tweeted “I’mma Run the Marathon”. Since then, I have ran two half marathons, numerous 8 ks, 5 k, and other shorter runs. The 41 km full marathon has so far eluded me, but I will definitely run that one – Someday…

My urge to run, back then, has seen me transform myself from a non-runner to a runner. Over the course of these one and a half years, I have started paying great deal of attention to physical health and fitness. I make sure to run, go to the gym and work out on a daily basis. I also make sure to sit down and be mindful on a day to day basis.  I have also started paying a great deal of attention to the food I eat. And this has helped me develop the habit of making my own meals. In-addition to all of these changes, I have started to enjoy the household chores that need to be done. I feel that doing all these household chores combine to make a great calorie burner on a daily basis.

As I was returning home from one of my runs, a question popped inside my cerebral cortex. Who is my inspiration, my fitness guru- someone I look up to? Since I had started running very spontaneously, I really did not have any inspiration as such. Neither had I put any thought regarding fitness guru prior to today. I had no answer.

In my early days as a child and in my teens, I had always been very athletic. I used to play cricket, football, and basketball when I was back in school, and really admired Mark Waugh as a cricketer. Had I been a cricketer, the answer would have been very simple. Had I been a footballer, maybe I would have an answer too. But here I was- neither a footballer nor a cricketer. I had become a running enthusiast by sheer spontaneity, and over the years, the enthusiasm of running had spilled into other aspects of my life. I tried to reason with my head- maybe I did not have a fitness guru in particular. Maybe I was just driven more by the situation and my need to change things around me. I won’t disagree the environment around me was definitely a catalyst behind that unconscious decision to suddenly start running. But this answer did not suffice, and so I continued to ponder.

Then I found my answer. I had been unaware of it, until now-

My mom wakes up early every morning and starts her day by taking a walk with Happy (Our pet dog). She then recedes to the living room and with hot water by her side- she starts her daily yoga sessions. Mom has been doing yoga for god knows how many years now, and she is really good at it. This one time I approached my mom and asked her if she could sit in the lotus posture. Now back then I had only recently started my mindfulness sessions and I was struggling to sit in the lotus posture. Not only did my mom sit in the posture but she actually lifted herself up in the air with the support of her two hands whilst still in the lotus posture. For a women in her late 60’s, that was impressive (at least I thought so).

You should see my mom during her walks. She is super nimble, and fast off her feet. I remember how this one time, she shared her story about how she fell down while walking. And with excitement, she tells me “In a flash, I was up on my feet and walking again.” She further went on to add how one of the onlookers was awed by her energy. I think I, my family, relatives, the not so close relatives and friends have always been awed by her energy.

My mom has been doing household chores way before she started doing her yoga. In her own words she recalls “Pahiley tah hamilay pani sinka bachenam”. She was referring to times before she was married. Furthermore she added it was only after getting married that she started tending to household chores. And that is how she learned the art of cooking and home management. I’d be the first to testify that she’s an amazing professional in both of these. She has a simple philosophy that allows her to do all of this, and it is “I will do it until I can.” This attitude has led her to always be fit and healthy despite her age. She is very active and seldom procrastinates when it comes to doing the chores. This does not mean she tends to all the household chores. My sisters have always been around to help and it is with deep regret that I say that I haven’t. But things have changed over the past year and a half- I have made an active attempt to do all the chores. I apologize to both my mother and sisters for not having started earlier. But now that I have gotten used to doing the chores and have reaped the health benefits – I would happily continue to do it for as long as I can.

Finally, her diet is something that really amazes me. There would be days in the past when I often complained that she was eating too little, especially for dinner. Her dinner looked like a dinner fit for a bird and I would ask her to eat more. Her response would be “I eat as much as my body needs.” She has a larger meal (fit enough for a human) for lunch, and has a fulfilling breakfast. Also during the day, she takes refreshments and finally after dinner, just before retiring for bed, a glass of milk. Her philosophy for eating is simple – “regardless of the taste of the food, I eat as much as I should”. My meals aren’t quite as small as hers, but they are definitely now as per my body requirements.

Unknowingly, I had just been doing what my mom has been doing all along for all these years. I know I have a long way to go and I am just starting out. But the ideal scenario would be to continue and keep on striving to get better.

I am really glad that I was able to ponder upon this question regarding fitness guru. The response made perfect sense to me and now I know who my Fitness Guru is – My MOM.

Happy Mumma Day!!!!!!!!!