Athletics

29 Mar 15
I have never been interested in any sports. It had mostly to do with my shy nature. But then i never was any good with any raquet sports including cricket, the country’s singular obsession. In 7th grade we would race during lunch breaks. I was good. I never considered training seriously. Moreover I was sure i would never have made a cut because of my short legs. Football was the next game of choice. I would play the backie. I’d ram in to the opposite team’s forward, snatch the ball and pass on to our forward. Change of school and i found that the popular recess game here was table tennis. I wasn’t good at it, so i preferred to watch. Football was played by kids from other classes and i wasn’t going to come out of my shell to ask them to allow me to play. I started to playing basket ball, which is surprising because i was so small, but i was an okay player. Or you could say the other kids were considerate.
During the long holidays after 10th grade i had lor of time so i started on house riding in the mornings, squash in the evenings and i discovered my real love- swimming. After a horse just galloped away with me, the trainers told me I was too light for the horses so I should come back when i had gained more weight. This freed up more time for me to swim. I taught myself from floating up to swimming from books I borrowed from the library. The coaches were not allowed into the pool so there was no one to help me. I would spend 4 hours in the pool daily learning. The remaining i spent in the library learning from books. I wish my parents had been observant enough to notice my obsession. I wish i had been encouraged to take it seriously. However, i can’t blame them. When we were younger they had purchased take tennis equipment and then badminton stuff etc but i think i didn’t show any encouraging signs, i was drowned in my novels. They had given up on hope that I’d ever be interested in sports. The thing i realise now is that while i was shy of team sports i loved individual sports. In 11th grade I changed school and moved to the hostel and that was the end of my swimming career. This school was serious about sports and the guys in swimming team were actually men. They had been training seriously since they were kids. Moreover the swimming coach seemed uncouth and aggressive. I was intimidated.  I was happy swimming in the swimmers lane alone.
A couple years back i discovered that i loved running. It started as a way to lose weight but as time went by I fell in love with it. It’s such a meditation. Your mind is focused on only running, time to go, pace, foot fall etc. I tend to have knee problems so i have always give easy on myself. I’ve never ran more than 6k. That too recently. But this year I’m planning to push myself. I have to run a 5k this year and be ready to run a half marathon by the year end.

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