How I adopted running as my hobby : By Vandana Jain
Since I was born, I had never been able to run. When I was in school, I would typically give up midway during school races and walk the rest. I could not run a step past 30 meters. I could walk for longer distances such as one or two miles, but I had always felt like I was not born for running.
However, about five years ago, one week changed my entire career in running. Not only did I run my first mile nonstop but I also began to like running.
It was summer; the days were long and the nights were short. A couple weeks into June my family had gotten a call that my husband’s niece was going to get married!
My husband and I were not sure if Paras, my son who is diagnosed with autism, would be able to manage the 20 hour flight. Therefore, we decided that instead of the entire family taking a trip to India, my husband would go for a weeklong visit. Even though I agreed to let him go to India for a week, as the date for his flight quickly approached, I became more anxious. Would I be able to manage Paras by myself, especially since his hyperactivity would not allow him to sit at home? I had lot of help available in terms of reliable baby sitters and trusted friends, but still somewhere in my heart, I was very worried for the coming week.
My husband’s day to fly came and everyone went to drop him to the airport. As soon as he turned the corner after going through the security checkpoint, tears of anxiety, fear, and inconsolableness all mixed together streamed down my cheeks. For the rest of the day, nothing much happened. The next day, Paras woke me up at 6 a.m. He wanted to go out for a walk. I enticed him into brushing his teeth and having breakfast first. I hoped that he would forget about wanting to go out. He complied but as soon as he finished the last morsel of his food, he wanted to go out again. Not knowing what else I could do, I gave in. I put his helmet on him and decided to take him on his bike. He had just learned how to ride his bike and could not ride too fast, but fast enough that I had to be jogging to keep pace with him.
Initially, Paras was going very slow. He waited for me at every driveway and it was relatively easy for me. However soon, he began to pedal faster; it was to a point that I had to jog to keep pace with him. After riding with him for about 20 min, we started to head back and then I realized that subconsciously, I had been jogging with Paras the whole time and had covered more than 2 miles.
I had never done that before. I didn’t know my body even had the capability of running such a long distance. Maybe, it had all been in my head from the beginning. Whatever had allowed me to run that day, Paras had helped me discover my interest and capability in running. By the end of week, I was able to jog for more than 3 miles. Since then, I have built up my stamina and speed as well. I recently completed a 5K and am looking forward to run a 10K race this year.
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