Sunil moved to the US from India 20 years ago. He studied Computer Applications from a renowned Institute of Management Technology. In his school days, he enjoyed jogging, running, roller skating, badminton, and tennis and has been a serious runner since 2013. He commits daily to having an hour of ‘me time’ in which he does 30 minutes of exercise, 15 minutes of reading, 10 minutes of writing, and 5 minutes of meditation and is always grateful to God, his parents, his family, and his friends.
Reality: Every Finish Line is New Starting Line
Once upon a September back in 1997, which just so happened to be my first week in America, a colleague asked me what my plans were for the weekend. I mentioned shopping at A or B, or possibly K Mart? And then, as a gentleman, I asked, “What about you?”
“Well, I have a half marathon to run,” was their reply.
“Wow!” I said, “That sounds like a fun run and one day I plan to do it.” There was a long pause from both sides and we wished each other good luck.
Well, that good luck came to me 16 years later in 2013 when I did my debut half marathon.
We’ll come back to that, but first let me take you to a cold Midwest winter in 2004 in a place called Farmington. I had enrolled in kickboxing in hopes of dropping some extra pounds. In the beginning, I was one of only three men in a class full of women. By the end, I was the only man who’d stuck with it. I did end up losing some weight, but more importantly during that time, I made up my mind to, “Plan My Run and Run My Plan.” I prepared an excel sheet and within a month went from running 1 to 10 miles. The day I ran 10 I got such a feeling of enlightenment that it enabled me to start saying, “No,” to things which would add excess weight back to my body.
For the next 5 years, I continued to run on treadmills at the gym. Then in the spring of 2009, a few of us from the US, the Netherlands, India, and Japan made a plan to run a 10k in our own country and raise funds for Nanhi Kali (girls’ education in India). We collectively raised $3000 plus dollars which helped educate 13 girls for one year. The most touching part of the whole experience was when one of the cleaning ladies in my office learned of our cause, she did the maximum donation in the box. She herself, was an immigrant from Poland and knew the importance of educating girls.
And, finally, 16 years later, on my first surprise birthday cake was my good luck charm which read “Sunil Run Half Marathon.” Those words echoed in my ears until I got home, where I then signed up for the Kenosha half marathon. I ran it in 2:24:47.
Every time I touch the finish line a new start line keeps me motivated to sign up for a new event. And what to choose? A 50-mile bike ride? Another 5k? Well, until then, “Plan your run and run your plan!”