Monday, May 05, 2008

The L-Spot

I’ve not been much of an athlete, considering that my mother was the Hurdles champion of Uttar Pradesh in her younger days.

Frequent illnesses as a child ensured that I was constitutionally- challenged – by the age of 11 I’d had three bouts of jaundice, two of malaria, one para-typhoid wrongly diagnosed as malaria with an overdose of quinine leading to a cardiac seizure and a fit… I mean, running or playing any other sport was out of the question. I was grateful that I could walk… grateful to the prayers of my parents, the school-church, Mother Teresa and God. Not to mention, the sundry quacks who mistook me for their medicinal guinea-pig.

Over time, I survived without much exercise until 2005 when the first Microsoft Corporate Challenge pushed me to the limits of my endurance and helped me lead the team to the third position. People who knew me were amazed that I, the perennially-plagued person, could win at a highly physical (and somewhat mental) event. I even managed to temporarily overcome my fear of water and dived into a swimming pool at night to pick out clues from the bottom…NDTV has me on camera if you don’t believe me. I won’t go back into a pool again; although I did do the rapids at Rishikesh once – with my breath held all through that mad ride!

Last year, I was thrown into the Microsoft Corporate Challenge again and was I unfit! The team was aghast when we met for a trial at a farm near Bombay – this last-minute substitute skipper they had was surely going to let them down. It required a huge amount of psychological boosting and the gentle but firm inspiring of two colleagues that made me strap on a pedometer and run hard enough over three weeks, despite a sprained ankle, to be good enough for them and to make it to the no. 2 spot in the event.

But I slackened again, only to run occasionally on weekends. Lazy boy that I am… the two prime movers of my last fitness binge are too far away – and too immersed in their lives - to scold or goad me.

And then, a couple of days ago, I looked at myself and swore I’d put on the grey and yellow Reebok running shoes I’d so loving bought as part of my prepatory pep-up last year. So, I walked at first yesterday. And walked a bit more on Sunday – and ran as well. It felt good, great actually.

Sting was belting out Fields of Gold over the clunky iPod that I must now replace for a lighter one with video-capability.

The weather was warm but a gentle wind kept me going… all was well until an sms stung me.

At 7.16 on a Sunday morning, the boss had no business to be up and online, spotting a minor error on a recently-launched site. I was first aghast that he hadn’t partied all night and then put it down to a loo-break he must be taking, within which he took a ‘let-me-see-the-site-just-once’ sub-break as well.

Well, he broke my momentum and the mood as well. My legs stood still and the only part of me that frenetically moved were my fingers playing sms-sms… and the playlist had moved on to An Englishman in New York and I couldn’t help but hear Sting refer to himself as a Legal Alien…

It’s moments like these that make me feel at odds with the world I currently live and work in. The house needs me to go and get bread; the boss wants me to respond to his sms-es… I just want to listen to music and get a good run.

Has anyone read Shobha Narayan in Mint Lounge yesterday? My admiration for Mint grows with every passing Saturday... I discovered that the L-spot is not just a lactic threshold that gives runners/cyclists a high. It’s what I’d call a Life Spot. And the faster some people get it, the better it’ll be for me.


svety said...

go for it but, in reebok...?????


Jack said...

Forgot to add... Reebok shoes, Nike shorts and Adidas socks... someday I'll be loyal to one of the brands :-}