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Like any other girl, I love binging on junk food. Preferably also lazing on my bed, watching my favourite TV shows. Fitness has not been one of my priorities. It is only a month ago that I decided to join the gym after being inspired by my own family who work hard towards having a healthy lifestyle. Although I became a regular at the gym, I thought exercising outdoors would be way more fun. But I hadn’t really considered the most obvious form of outdoor exercise – going for a run. Maybe it was the sporadic Mumbai weather or the thought of waking up early in the morning, I was not interested in heading out for a jog.
However, things changed last week when I was invited for the Nike VaporMax launch in Mumbai last week. At the event, I met the Nike running squad comprising of some super inspiring women from all walks of life: Shaleena Nathani, Jaie Bhadane, Juhi Godambe and Shraddha Sashidhar. I had an amazing time chatting with them about sports and fitness. It was inspiring to learn about how Shaleena, a Bollywood fashion stylist, manages her hectic schedule while still finding time go for a daily run. Jaie is an accomplished graphic designer who runs and trains extensively in her spare time. Juhi, at 23, is one of India’s youngest and most-followed fashion bloggers and has already completed a 21km half marathon. Shraddha is a national level basketball player, sports has been a big part of her life throughout. Each of them strongly believes that sport has not just helped them stay fit, but also played a big role in making them who they are today. Who could have thought that running would introduce me to such strong, amazing and successful women? Each of them unique and inspirational in their own beautiful way.
Then came my moment of truth. As a part of the launch event, we geared up in our new Vapormax shoes (which are gorgeous, btw) for our run. Being someone who’s never run before, in company of such accomplished runners, I was also slightly apprehensive as to whether I could complete the 3k along with them. But not being one to back out, I went for it anyway. The Gods were kind, I couldn’t have asked for better weather and company for my first run. The beautiful overcast weather with a stunning backdrop of the Bandra Worli Sea link and a slight drizzle made it a perfect day for running. Once we started running, I soon forgot my inhibitions and began to enjoy the moment. The wind caressing my face and ruffling my curls was simply exhilarating.
I’ll be honest, it wasn’t all roses – I did stop a few times to catch my breath along the way, and running a 3k is not as easy as it sounds, especially to a newbie. But then, working out is about pushing yourself a little more each time. And I’m glad I stuck to my guns and somehow made it past the finish line. The best part was that nobody judged me. Infact, all the girls motivated each other along the way and no one was left behind.. Looking at my Nike+ Run Club app I realized I had completed almost 3 km in about 20 minutes. That moment felt like quite an achievement for me, to be honest. Despite my inhibitions about running my first running experience turned out to be great.
My experience made me realize that running doesn’t have to be boring, or a task that you just need to get done with. It is something more than that. Some runners can become obsessed with finishing their run in a specific amount of time, but for me running is all about competing with myself. What I learnt is that anyone can be a runner, because all it takes is putting one foot in front of the other as fast or as long as you can. You don't need marathons to be a runner, you just get out of your bed, put on your running shoes, play some upbeat music and you are good to go. If you’d like some company while you run, get your bestie or your gang to join you! Running can be a fun activity that you do together. This way, you get to motivate each other, stay fit and hang out.
As I am not a regular runner, I felt that my mind was tired before my body. Which is why I believe that your mind needs training as much as your body does. You need to believe that you can do it and start with baby steps and then build on it.
I cannot wait to continue and further my running journey with Nike.
Pooja Sundrani for Nike*
*This post is in association with Nike.