Running in 2020 was all about learning to adapt, reform, and reinvent, reminisces a marathoner and a fitness coach.
The year 2020 started with a wonderful feeling, there seemed to be something special about it. Maybe it was just the sound of it, maybe the fluidity of the numbers, the ring in the words, or maybe just our heart as always was yearning for something more.
January was the coldest in years in north India, and the year began to unfold very well. For us, all runners in this part of the world, Mumbai, the Mecca of running, was about to hold the Tata Mumbai Marathon, the biggest event of the year. As January went by, the weather started to get a little kinder and the spring began to mark its onset. Some other events like AU Bank Jaipur Marathon, IDBI New Delhi Marathon were scheduled for February. These events were very much the end of the season as we slowly would march towards the warmer season. Little did we know what was ahead, we were steadfast in the month of March, basking in the glory of the races run in the season and planning ahead for months to come.
March started just like it did each time, but it didn’t last for long the same way. A couple of weeks into it and we started hearing unflattering news and before we could realize, the country was put into a lockdown with no immediate answers. Days turned into weeks and weeks went into months, our lives started changing around the new norms, limitations, and even opportunities. Everyone was learning to adapt, reform, and reinvent. Things started taking new shapes, habits started remoulding themselves. While we could start our outdoor activities within the drawn limitations, it still wasn’t the same as before. A sense of fear and an air of apprehension was around us. In such circumstances, with organizational curbs, it was only natural for all the events to take a back seat. It was new to each one of us, as we all started to realign ourselves.
Life around us has changed, from the way things would happen to the way we would go about them or just the way we would comprehend and react. High-fives became elbow shrugs, meeting friends became online affairs, events became virtual, and get-togethers became distant. These physical changes were small manifestations of the labyrinth of thoughts within our minds. There was a constant effort to stay focused on the good side of it and ensure we move our days progressively ahead. In the invigorating hustle, slowly but steadily we all transformed. The apparent chaos led us all to an aware and simplified self. It made us do things we would not otherwise…
1. Gave us time to sit back and introspect.
2. Made us go back to the basics and reconnect with our roots.
3. Allowed us to pick up a hobby left behind or discover a new one.
4. Realize the value of what we have more than what we yearn for.
5. Instigated thoughts beyond the obvious and explore new ways.
This year has shown us things we could never think of. While it may have rattled some of us, it even strengthened our beliefs in many ways, it made us believe in ourselves more than ever. We ran events like never before, we connected with friends in the most unheard of ways, we became more compassionate towards others and we learned to change our priorities in life. As an individual, and as a runner, these times unbridled our vision, widened our perspective, and made us more receptive. This year saw us adapt to changes, made us do things in the most unheard way, and took away the clouds of inhibition from our minds.
We ran some of the races in the most unusual formats and perhaps enjoyed them more than ever, we trained in daunting conditions only to come on top of the game, we interacted in the weirdest ways but lightened up those moments with humour. These times tested our ability to adapt and it is needless to say the human spirit survived through it all. With the year coming to a wrap, let us bring more positivity into our lives, let the indomitable spirit of the human race prevails, and let compassion be the root of all that we think and do.