Friday, July 25, 2008

Going Guerilla

A bunch of my friends and I went out to Khopoli (a place about 50 km away from Mumbai) to a friend's farmhouse last Saturday.

It was beautiful! Cool, surrounded by lush greenery and the bungalow was on the banks of a smallish river.

After we loaded up on vada paos and poha, we got ourselves our favourite drinks, mine is a vodka tonic loaded with ice, and goofed around in the bungalow.

Then we went swimming in the river! It was so much fun!!! Rocky, strong current, slippery and mossy, shallow. We had get down on all fours to get through some parts. There was this one moment when I got swept away by the current and took another friend down with me. I swear, we could've died if our heads had hit one of those rocks at that speed. But we came away almost unscathed, with a few cuts and bruises. One of THE scariest experiences of my life. I thought I was gone for a second. I guess that wasn't to be, I'm here writing this post. :)

In other news, I've started playing football again. Went to join my buddies this morning and it was just superb being out there, running in the muck and rain, shouting and screaming... I felt like I was back in school. I think that's one of the small reasons that keeps me going back. We're not like a professional or even amateur team or anything. We practice and play for the love of the game and to stay fit. The coach and the gang we happy to have me back. It felt like going back to family. Fabulous!

Main Story:
Besides football, I've been crazy busy getting my little company going. Thinking of names, logos, bank accounts, meeting potential clients and doing a bit of running around to get it off the ground. I might have to hire a couple writers soon. Let's see.

I already have a project I'm working on and it's quite exciting. So I'm enjoying that.

Going independent has been a great experience until now. I just feel like I'm able to express myself through my work so so much more. It's like breaking the shackles. Honest to god, I don't know how this venture will shape up. But I'm dedicating my effort to Papa who sadly isn't with us, Amma, my grandparents and to another special person.

I'm going to give this everything I've got, my best and will leave the rest to destiny. I'm not scared of not making it. If there's anything I'm scared of, it's not giving my best.

I'm going guerilla.

Running #26, 27 and 28

Distance: 8 km
Time: 48 min 6 sec

Distance: 8 km (My stopwatch got busted, more about that later)
Time: ?

Distance: 8 km
Time: ? (same reason)

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Running #24 and 25

# 24 Tuesday's Run:
Distance: 8 km
Time: 48 min 52 sec

I've decided not to think about the timing on my runs any more. I just want to enjoy my runs like I used to earlier. I've started obsessing over the timing and have struggled to accept the slower times I've been running since stopping the protein supplements.

I think I'm finally over both. This run was nice. Relaxed and easy. I don't have a runner's build. I've heavy bones. Most people can't believe I weigh 72 kgs. I don't look it at my height.

#25 Today's Run:
Distance: Unknown (13 km approx)
Time: 1 hr 17 min 42 sec

Outdoor. One of the most beautiful runs I've ever done. I ran with a couple of friends from the gym and we charted out a nice fun route.

Started at Marine Plaza Hotel on Marine Drive - Chowpatty - turned right at Kulfi Centre towards Opera House - then over Kennedy Bridge - Cumballa Hill - up the Hanging Gardens road up to Walkeshwar - down Walkeshwar back to Chowpatty and then back to Marine Plaza.

The weather was perfect. Overcast, windy and very few people out on the roads in the early morning. The most magical moment - the rain beginning to pour down as we struggled on the uphill past the Tower of Silence on the Hanging Garden road. The road is beautiful even without the rains, trees bending over the street to form a beautiful canopy with gaps just big enough to let a few rays of light through. And when it rains! Ohhhh!!! The smell was trippy.

There were moments during the run when I was in a trance, I had forgotten myself as I took in the sights, the smell of the wet earth and the cool rain hitting my face as we pounded away on the streets. I wish you were there.

P.S. Haathi, next time you're in town, get your running shoes! Mee, you're welcome to join the running group! :) So is anybody else! If anyone in Mumbai City wants to join us running on Saturday mornings, do let me know. Cheers!

Friday, July 11, 2008

A Life is Lived in an Instant

Just came across this super article about how life must be lived for the now. I often balk at these modern ideas of retiring at 40 and early retirement to move to this fancy house on the beach you've built for yourself.

40 is too late. What if I don't make it to 40? I don't mean to be fatalistic but it's a possibility. It's a lot of thoughts like this that have changed the way I live my life. I live for the "now". Earlier, I would spend hours and hours thinking about whether I should say something to someone, labour over how the other person would react, what the other person would think of me if I said what I wanted to and all kinds of other useless thoughts. Today I ask myself one question, 'If I were to die the next moment, would I say/do what I wanted to?'. The answer isn't always yes. But it makes my life a lot simpler. No doubt, there are times when I look back and think how stupid it was to say or do what I did, but people make mistakes. I try and learn from them. No regrets.

I'll shut up now. Go read.

Monday, July 07, 2008

The Hike

Fog, hills blanketed by green trees, waterfalls, a lot of sweat and heat, welcome drops of rain, yummy choco-chip cookies at the summit, slippery rocks, helping folks climb up/down, simple, beautiful village people, the gurgling stream, great company...

What an unforgettable Sunday.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Exercise Ideas

Now that I've quit my job, I'm going to have more time in the early mornings.

One of the things I'm definitely going to do is start swimming again. I went for a swim this morning and it felt great! There was only one other person in the pool, I got a nice big wide lane and I gave it a good go considering I was swimming swimming (that's intentional, like properly swimming) after a long time.

60 lengths of a 25-metre pool was fun. And not too tiring either. (I took three brief 1-minute stops after a set of 20 lengths. 40 freestyle and 20 breast-stroke.) I've really missed swimming and it felt so good to back in a pool again. Besides, it's great to cross-train with running.

Another thing I'm going to do is get me a cycle. One of the little things that annoyed me about my job was the amount of fuel I'd have to burn to get to work everyday. (I drive about 56 kms a day right now.) Contributing to pollution, global warming and all that. It may seem stupid to you but it was this little thing always sat at the back of my head.

So anyway, once I get my cycle, I'm going to try and cycle short distances. I stay eco-friendly and I get exercise.

On a completely different note, I think I've got the soul of a hippy. Sometimes, I think I belong a world that wasn't so fast. Like my parents' generation or something. Blues and jazz, people had time for each other, idealism, romance. It all sounds like a dream now. Everything is so fast. The food, relationships, dating, cars, reading, work, deadlines. Where are we going in such a hurry?

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Running #23

Today's Run:
Distance: 8 km
Time: 47 min 9 sec

Outdoor. Tiring. But I feel good now.

I'm not quite sure why the outdoor runs are taking longer. The wind or weather? or do treadmills make it easier? Not sure. Either way, I'd like to work on getting better times. I hope they improve with practice.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

The Secret

I was rained in yesterday so I decided to watch 'The Secret' movie.

I'd read about the law of attraction a little earlier but the movie was quite interesting. I'm not entirely convinced about it, but it has certainly got me thinking.

Basically, the movie/book says that you attract whatever happens to you with your thoughts. So if you're thinking of good things happening, chances are that they will happen. Likewise with bad stuff. What you "feel" is feedback on your thoughts.

Another very interesting point in the movie was that we should focus more on asserting what we want rather than thinking about things that we do not want. For example, instead of thinking 'I don't want to get stuck in a jam today.', I could probably think 'I'd like my ride to work to be smooth and quick.'

Why am I not fully convinced about all this? Mmm... I think my main question is what about all the people who think good things will happen to them or want good things to happen to them and they never happen. For some people, it could be earning lots of money. For others, it could be a dream holiday. I don't know. What about all those people?

My counter-question to my doubt is 'How do I know exactly what all those other people were thinking? Suppose they were just saying it on the outside but had some negative thoughts in their heads?'

The solution to this is to experiment with this Secret thing myself. I haven't really paid attention to my thoughts like this. But let's see how it goes. I think it's worth a shot.

Do you have any thoughts on The Secret? Have you experimented with it?

Time for Change

After a year, it is with great sorrow (okay, too much drama) that I move to a new gym. A few factors that played a part in this decision:

1. The new gym has a swimming pool so I don't have to go all the way to the other side of town just for a swim.
2. It has a nice garden view from all parts of the gym so that's a really refreshing change from the old one.
3. I've quit my job to work on my own so I'm expecting a financial hit in the first few months that I'm on my own. The gym that I go to now is crazy expensive but very good and walking distance from my home. Moving gyms will save me around 15-17 k a year so it's totally worth it right now. I can take the various routines I've learnt over the past year and use them at the new gym I guess.

I'm sad because the instructors at the current gym are good and are nice folks and I know the early morning regulars now. I guess breaking any routine is a small challenge.

But I have a good feeling about the new place too. Hope it works out.

Running #22

Tuesday's Run:
Distance: 8 km
Time: Sub-45 min

Indoor, but I couldn't get the time right because I had to switch treadmills after 1 km. The one I was on sounded like it was working out harder than me.