Running has been a passion of mine for almost a decade now, and this November I ran the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon (ADHM). Now, Delhi has always been known to be troubled by air pollution, especially as winter sets in. This year however, the attention of the entire country was on the excessive smog caused by post-Diwali cracker fumes and smoke from crop-burning in neighbouring states. Several friends also confirmed that the preceding few weeks had been really smog-ridden in the city. I received many hints from friends and well-wishers that I should maybe skip the ADHM this year.
Unlike sprinting however, a marathon is an endurance challenge. One that I, and all the other marathon aficionados, train steadily and rigorously towards. So I was confident that this would be a run like all others – a physically bracing and mentally rewarding experience, which we would all face head-on. I personally believe that if you are well-prepared, then any obstacle can be dealt with – internal or external.
My marathon-running draws from, and ties into, my 5D approach to work and life. I could barely sustain even a few minutes of a brisk run when first I took it up, but preparation and disciplined training have gotten me to the point where I now run several marathons a year. This year, with the added tension surrounding air-quality, the ADHM got me thinking once more about preparedness and about the weeks of gradual build-up towards that day.
Improving one’s performance can only come with the Determination to push past limitations, and the Discipline to commit oneself to sustained training. After 8 years, those Ds have spilled over into so many other facets of my life. Over time, my travel calendar has become more packed as I travel domestically and internationally. In spite of this, my results have actually been improving race by race.
So I was confident that I was mentally and physically ready for the challenge.
But it wasn’t just my personal preparation that helped me complete the run on November 20th. I soon came to realise that the organisers too, had pulled out all stops in ensuring ample paramedical support was on standby throughout the designated route, in case of any of us faced respiratory issues. Hence it was the combined preparedness of the runners and the organising team that helped make the ADHM incident-free in spite of all the scepticism surrounding it.
I’m thrilled to share with you that despite these challenges, I completed this year’s half marathon in 1 hour 46 minutes. I owe this to the focused and disciplined approach that I follow, which has led me to be a strategically superior runner today.
So, whether it is the marathons I run or my workplace design and build business, I’ve found without exception, that if we carry out a calm examination of the route ahead, and prepare ourselves systematically towards our goal, no obstacle is too difficult to overcome.
I welcome your thoughts on how you face the various endurance tests in your work and lives.