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Stop existing, start living

Most runners, both seasoned as well as new ones, have a lot to learn from that. Start enjoying the journey, rather than stressing too much about all kinds of numbers.

other sports Updated: Jul 14, 2018 10:16 IST
Running,athletics,Amitabh Bachchan
Not every run needs to count for training. It should be for fun, to feel alive. But yet, go beyond what you’ve ever done before. (Sanjeev Verma/HT PHOTO)

We all are a sum total of all our experiences. We see a pattern in all things that we come across, and make of them to be what we want to understand best. For me that is running. I see running patterns everywhere.

I recently watched an Amitabh Bachchan starrer movie, ‘102 not out’ which most would think to be a movie about or inspired by cricket. There are various numbers in the movie that might seem random.

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The movie starts with 102 year old happy go lucky Dattatraya Vakharia (Amitabh Bachchan) announcing to his 75 year old son, Babulal Vakharia (Rishi Kapoor), that he had taken on the challenge of becoming the oldest man to ever live, which currently was held at 118 years. Dattatraya was merely 16 years away. Babulal’s son Amol had not come back to India for 21 years as he was busy with his own life. Babulal tried to keep every single thing from his son’s childhood and knew every detail, eg. the Rs 42 in his piggy bank. Throughout the movie Babulal thought Dattatraya was simply interested in numbers and his world record without realising they were all running numbers.

Like most of us Babulal preferred a status-quo as that was his comfort zone. Dattatraya pushes him to realise that there was far more to life. Babulal finally realises that his father was trying to teach him the biggest lesson of life, to stop existing and to start living.

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Most runners, both seasoned as well as new ones, have a lot to learn from that. Start enjoying the journey, rather than stressing too much about all kinds of numbers. Think about each step and each breath, not about how many and how fast. Start living in the present, in the now. That at all doesn’t mean not to push any harder. Once you push harder, you evolve. You connect with yourself at a different level. There is no point living your life knowing you had loads left in the tank. Its worthwhile to do justice to what you’ve got.

At the end of the movie, Dattatraya tells Babulal that he won’t even make it to his next birthday, leave alone 118, but expected him, his son to get there, only 43 more years, an ultra marathon distance. If there was one number in the movie that was random, it was Babulal’s age. It’s a good realisation to have that being random is good. Not everything needs to make sense. Not every run needs to count for training. It should be for fun, to feel alive. But yet, go beyond what you’ve ever done before.

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Runner of the week

Binay Sah, a 37 year old professional, six years ago got an ACL tear in his right knee while playing football. As there was nothing better to do, he started to smoke and drink alcohol more than ever.

One fine day his 6 year told him that he wanted to become like his father, which made Sah realise that he had to become a mentor worth having rather than what he was at that stage. Sah slowly picked up running, and soon enough there was no stopping. Eventually he was running marathons and then then ultra marathons too. He participated in Comrades Marathon, a renowned ultra in South Africa. Last year he ran 111 kms at La Ultra - The High, a tough race held in Leh.

Now Sah’s son has a true role model in his own father, who is now a mentor to a lot of people at work and runners that he doesn’t even know. He loves sharing his knowledge with all to help them not only change their lives, but completely transform like running did for him.

The writer is a sports exercise-medicine doctor

First Published: Jul 14, 2018 10:16 IST