This Saturday I rediscovered my city. In a forest. On foot.
We are perhaps one of the only cities in the world to have a forest, a National Park, bang in the centre of the city. I’ve been to the Borivali National Park on boisterous school picnics. I’ve been there more recently to see white tigers and the ‘tadipaar’ Bengal tigers as they call the ones that escape into cities.
I’ve seen couples in deep embrace and young boys diving into rain-created pools between rocks at the park. I’ve spoken to the officials about bringing bands of listeners to man the area at night to prevent forest fires and the like. But never before have I explored this wonderful territory on foot, on foot with wings. Which brings me back to the Running! The training for the Pinkathon 2012 for breast cancer awareness of which I happen to be the mascot. Phew!
Runners can run almost anywhere and anyhow. Tar roads, cement roads, barefeet, burkha-clad, in-shorts, outta shorts… a non-runner however, has to find super-human will and live off stories of regular runners who tell you about the rush, the endorphins, the weight loss, the feeling of elation, the weight loss, to do the same :)
If you aren’t a ‘runner’ yet, then where you run becomes super important. Ideally, I believe, it should be as close to home as possible. No such luck with me. Saturday morning I was summoned (by dreamboat-turned-nightmare, Milind Soman) to run with the MUMBAI RUNNER GIRLS headed by Roshni Rai at 6am In Borivili. Far away from my home in Bandra and…what a wonderful experience it turned out to be, even for a non-runner like me!
I was greeted by an assortment of women, who prefer to be called ‘girls’, of all ages,shapes and sizes who seemed quite excited to have me in their midst. I’m not sure if this was because I’m the voice they wake up to every morning as many of them excitedly admitted or if it was because they knew they’d beat me at the running any ol’ day.
The 13km run to Kanheri caves and back was the agenda for the morning and many of the girls sweetly fell back with me while we jogged, chatted, met people and was enthusiastically introduced.
Roshni, the leader and founder of this group I must mention is quite the star. You must read about her. A champ at many marathons, she has taken me under her wing on my way to 10kms. Starting with 5-minute jog walks at a stretch she educated me on everything from 89km marathons to being an Indian from Nepal. She also has decided to run alongside me at the Pinkathon 2012 and never leave my side till I finish. Yippeedoo I have a runner-buddy :)
My feet aren’t as sore although I am not soaring yet but then tomorrow is another day. Who knows? My feet-wings may find me tomorrow in the morning. I run in hope ;)
Run to Lead – be a part of the women’s run at Bandra Kurla Complex on December 16th by running either 3km, 5km or 10km and lend your support to Breast Cancer Awareness. Every step counts. Sign up now.