Friday, September 18, 2015

Cricket tournament, ankle injury and a lifelong lesson

I remember the date : it was 27th August 2015. I was happy since I had delivered a confident talk in Developer's Day of our Services Division. It was 9pm, I was heading towards home; walking on the road donning my smart formal clothes with impeccably formal shoes, lost in my own world: happy and satisfied. And then I fell suddenly, I fell because there was a gap between the footpath's rear end which was filled by another rock. There was a height gap of more than 15 cm as I saw after 14 days when I went to see what I could not in the dark of that fateful night. I lost my gym kit bag across some distance , someone was kind enough to hand it over to me and another generous enough to help me get back up. I thanked them and despite the excruciating pain I somehow sauntered to my home. I believed it was just a stupid fall and nothing much to worry about. By the time it was 10pm, my ankle had swollen just like some body part gets swollen when stung by 10 bees at the same time :D I grew tensed, not because it was swollen , I became pensive because 5th September was the inter-corporate cricket tournament. I still had hope that I would be able to play and get well by that time. 

Next day I showed it to doctor who strictly denied playing for 6 weeks which not only meant no cricket, but also no running. Morning runs (I am still not fit enough to hit the road), which I cherish had to be called off,walking was difficult, wearing crepe was itchy but what was the most bothering of all was CRICKET TOURNAMENT. It was on my mind and I dreamt of it day and night like a lover desires for his beloved; I could see myself playing despite the injury only to get out after scoring 16 runs to a poor shot which got caught and in another dream - run out. It was all over me, I felt like Rafa but of course my injury was nothing in front of his. But almost all the time, my mind was consumed in making tactic of how I would play if I was not fit by 5th. I used to think I will atleast bowl if nothing else or I will put a tight support on my ankle and then try to bat, fielding I knew was out of question. I went to two practice sessions also, batted, fooled around and came back happy and sad both. Again thinking what would I do on the match day, will I play or not. I was infested with this thought. 

Everyone around cautioned not to play and defy medical suggestions. As if I listened to them. I took on to cross-trainer in absence of running, trying to put some weight on my strained ankle, figuring out how much it could take. It felt weak and drove me further mad. Somehow I find it very difficult to fathom the fact that I can get sick, did not like the last time it happened (Jaundice) nor did this time. I was trying to at least be able to walk briskly thinking it will be helpful for cricket tournament. CRICKET TOURNAMENT all over me. 

I was also in talk with the organizer. She informed me the tournament got postponed to 12th September 2015. I was so happy to know this, it gave me another week to recover. All this time I wanted my ankle to heal but I was tensed, "What if it did not by that time". I was trying to heal it but at the same time being mentally doubtful and caught up between "Yes"  & "No". I did not know back then that I was actually delaying the process of healing by being sad mentally despite how much I exercised physically. I knew "Mind creates the body" but  I did not understand it in any real sense. I was too caught up to pay heed to anything worth paying heed to in this time which I stupidly thought was tough. 

Ankle became better in the second week. I was happy, but I still could not run, and was still using crepe , doubly wrapped with Tynor ankle support. As 12th was approaching I was growing increasingly anxious, anticipating whether I would be fit enough to play or not, what will I do, how will it be like to not play. The organiser did not send the schedule by 10th, she said she will send it by 11th evening. I was just hoping that tournament gets postponed again so that I can get more time to heal :D. But something totally unexpected happened on the morning of 11th. The organizer called up to tell me that the tournament has been called off ! I did not how to react, I did not know whether to be sad or to be happy. I felt like a criminal at that time because I felt actually happy that tournament was called off, I know its selfish :( . And strangely my ankle felt better. Any guesses, why?? How do you feel when that exam that you dread gets postponed indefinitely? Exactly, I felt the same way. The sense of urgency was no more there, the sense of immediate recovery was no longer there, my mind was not traumatised to torture my ankle till it gets better, and CRICKET TOURNAMENT was gone. It was a funny situation. I felt relieved (pity though I could not control my mind prior to all this, but I am sure I will now be able to in life ahead). I was happy like a mad person not feeling bad that my fellow team will not be able to play  :P  Natural happiness. 

After this cancellation episode subsided, something strange happened. When I was sitting all by myself after broadcasting the message of cancellation of the tournament, a thought struck me. I have read it in many books, I have heard people saying it but adages dont sound meaningful until they happen in our lives. And the thought was, "All this time I was anxious, depressed, sad, restless thinking about the future without having any iota of hint of what future was." I was now angry on myself ! A moment of satori it was. Yeah, I have heard a billion times that thinking about future is futile, but these billion times never seemed meaningful until this happened. I cannot write in words how I felt at that time. "We never know what future will be, until it becomes present and before it becomes present its futile to become anxious anticipating about it." I dreamt cricket, I almost became mad thinking about whether I will play or not, I made tactics and then the tournament got cancelled. I stressed myself emotionally, physically and I stressed every cell inside of my body because I wanted to play. I think life would have been simpler if I would have thought like this, "Its okay, if I am fit by the match day I will play, else I will rest and still enjoy watching my mates play". There is a positivity attached to this school of thought. This incidence is a classic example of ruining the present emotional health  by speculating about future. Future is what it is : future, unseen, unknown, clueless and beyond cognition. 

I think I got a great practical lesson that I had always heard and known but never followed. That is how we learn the lessons. Today its been 3 weeks since 27th August and my ankle is still better, recovering faster because now I do not traumatise it to recover faster. Though I am still not running, but at least I am able to use stairs and swelling persists which I believe will subside after some 4 more weeks, as doctor says. I now feel it was part of the plan by God, to make this plot and make me learn this lesson. I think whenever in my life I am in a similar situation I shall definitely look back at this incidence and design my response. 

I hope you also get some cue from my experience :) 
We never know what future will be like and there is no use of worrying about it like it is present. 

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

When someone asked me : what my motivation is.....

Its been almost complete 5 months since I started gymming. Couple 4 previous months of running and that makes 9 months of dedicated workout sessions. No, I am not going to stop. The Beast Never Stops. I always knew rule of 21, but I believe it took more than just 21 days to build up the habit of regular, dedicated and then gradual hard workouts. Discipline can take a lifetime to becomes a perfect habit. I have seen my body changing in front of me and believe me it feels amazing. My jeans pant waist seems loose now, my legs look thinner now and my watch which was tight on my wrist earlier  now dangles on my wrist, in a stylish way of course. Its like an addiction- exercising; more like that the day never started if I did not gym and exercise. I take pride in being regular, dedicated and its true that, "Once you start seeing the results it becomes an addiction". I am addicted to gymming and believe me its making me way more disciplined than anything ever has; making me better in every aspect. I am living this time of my life and it is absolutely inexplicably an awesome feeling to get up in the morning in the dark hours and prepare yourself for the day's calling.

After early morning exercise, I feel like a warrior who has already won half of the battle of the day and is ready to take up the next half in a more courageous and intrepid way. I remember I started Arnold press with 2 kg dumbles and now I do with 5 kg. Progress. I remember I struggled with squats and push-ups but now I make better movements and my body does not become awkward while trying to do that. Progress. I had always believed that I was strong, but ever since I started to gym, I realized how ignorant I was. I realized how weak my body is, my muscles, my hands, my legs and my back everything was not as strong as I had always believed. So, it felt nice when I started to work on them and make my body strong. Strength is not the prerogative of few people, its a choice we make. We can be as strong as we want to be, as strong as we desire ourselves to be and are ready to sacrifice for. I think regular 2  hours of exercise is the best decision I have ever made. Its like being with someone I love, crave for, dream about and what not ! Exercise is my natural high and it is changing me from the root of my being. Not that I was not health conscious, I was so to say, but now I am aware , much more aware of this Mind-Body connection as Deepak Chopra puts it in his absolutely great book "Ageless Body and Timeless Mind". (I will talk about this book in my next post).

I believe everyone should exercise and everyone should exercise hard irrespective of gender. Ladies have doubt about getting figure which is not suited to their feminine physique, but they must know that we do not have those hormones which will trigger the development they are skeptic about. The problem is we estimate too much from our little efforts. We restrict ourselves and our inherent greatness by our ignorance and false assumptions.  So, knowing that more intense workout means more pain and consequently more gain, I have tried to be as religious in my sessions as I can be and I know there is a long long way to go ahead. This is just a beginning. 

 One fine day, a young gentleman came to me in gym and asked, "Don't get offended! But what is your motivation". I told him that I wanna know how a perfect body looks like, atleast once in a lifetime everyone should know how much more their bodies are capable of physically. But his question remained in my head for quite sometime after I replied, or to say, I was reasoning with myself for better ways I could have replied to him. His question made me wonder, "Why he came to me and asked, why he never went to  ask fellow guys who are as regular as I am (no they are not more regular than me)" . This is something we need to change. Gymming or  hard workout sessions are not the prerogative of gentlemen, should not be. On a lighter note it reminded me of a joke that I had seen in the internet collection, which is shared above.

Then I discussed with my trainer who is not only a very adept trainer but also a superb coach and a chill friend. We believed that in our country it is not much common;  that is, majority of women usually do treadmill, cross-trainer, cycling and abs. I have always talked about the importance of weight training and strength training in our workouts, they help us gain muscle mass which makes our body stronger. I never knew this treasure before. As we age our muscle become lean, leading to decreased strength and ability to lift. Research has shown that one can start weight training at any age and the result is always gain of strength. Also, cardio is never enough for losing weight, one must include strength training in the schedule. Now I feel like a jerk that for 5 years I just did not realize that there was gym in my college and I did not exploit it. Lesson. So, for those who are still in college,  use it. One year, two year does not matter, your body will become way strong. Please USE IT ! And if you feel trainer is missing then go to YouTube. It will tell you how to distribute weekly workout sessions. But please believe that our greatest ally is our body only if we work to make it better. 

As for that guy, we meet everyday and exchange benign greetings. I am not taking his question in a negative spirit, but what startles me is that what is so surprising about a lady getting shredded in the gym . She is just doing what everyone is. If you are comfortable in gym then actually you are wasting your time. So, he infact motivated me more. Now, I have multiplied the number of times I broach about the health and well-being when I meet my girl-friends. On lunch table, on morning breakfast meeting, on night sauntering we talk about health and I am glad to have motivated a couple of them to become regular. Its our duty to be healthy, but its a sad thing to witness that it does not get the importance it ought to. People are just not aware of their own flesh and soul, that is extremely a sad thing. 

My life is going on a great road of health. I truly trust that we are strong and can become more strong. When your physique is in a great shape, your confidence increases by leaps and bounds, you become more positive and optimistic than you ever used to be and you become more engaging about health of others because you realize the importance of  collective well being. It will foster positive vibrations around. No one, not single person on this earth is weak. Its a choice we make today. There is  a HULK in everyone of us, hidden. I believe that if women become stronger then nothing can crush them.

So, if you have been procrastinating then decide, Make a decision to exercise atleast 4 days in a week. Decide that you will wake up tomorrow morning and go for that walk that you have long been delaying and then come back and tell me how  your entire day passed. Fitness is not about goals, its a lifestyle just like kindness. I cannot describe how your life will transform just by 30 minutes of physical exercise from the 18 hours we have , considering average sleep hours is 6. Its been a great time, I am never going to stop. There is heaven on earth : Gym. 

I am waiting to listen from you about how your day got transformed by tomorrow's workout that you are going to do. 

Love,  today and forever. 

Sincere friendships make life richer

The tale of two little boys who decide to be enemies, only to realize how much richer life is when they’re friends — a charming reminde...