What made you decide to start your consecutive running challenge, how many kilometres did you choose to run, and why?
I’m not a runner by any standards – I’m 56 years old and started walking regularly from the age of 52. I’ve run a full marathon once in 2014 and 10K twice in the last two years in #TSK25 Tata Steel Kolkata 25K run, Kolkata , India. This year the run was on Dec 17, 2017. Around the 20th of November, 2017 I was Googling for advice on how to prepare for a 10K run when I found an article on Medium written by Emily. As soon as I read the article, I felt very inspired with what Emily shared and accomplished. Decided that I too will take up this #happinessofpursuit quest and will attempt the same challenge.
How much running did you do before deciding to attempt this challenge?
Not much. I walk regularly but would run a couple of kilometres two to four times a month. Have been walking regularly for the last 4 years .
Did you have any self doubts?
Yes. I had too many. I thought I would get injured and spoil my joints. Had a fear that if I put so much stress on my legs , they would give up and I would not be able to walk properly. But I decided to listen to my body while taking up the pursuit. Told myself that if the body finds it difficult, I would listen to my heart and would gracefully withdraw.
How did the challenge impact your life?
The challenge had a very positive impact on not only me, but on several others. It made me realise that if you set a goal and work on it one step at a time, there is a great chance that one can accomplish the goal. The initial steps are likely to be tough and slow, but progress comes automatically with sustained efforts. For me walking is an effective meditative practice and I was able to apply the same to running. Post running, I would come back and have a protein shake and get a quick massage done. After a bath, I would meditate for 1 hour before heading for breakfast. Post meditation, I would feel very light and the body was completely relaxed. I would be fully energised to take up the next day’s pursuit. I did this for 30 days. Each day would be 10K or more depending on how the body and mind felt. The month long pursuit was like a celebration. Every day I would set a new record, feel good and would look forward to the next day. This was a fantastic feeling. Nothing could stop this momentum and this instilled a great sense of purpose and discipline.
Are there any other areas of your life that improved after the challenge was complete?
The biggest realisation of this pursuit was that if you (TOSAAT) Take One Step At A Time, the most impossible goals could just be a few steps away. Have been an entrepreneur and now spend time mentoring, advising and investing in startups . I realised that if the happiness of pursuit challenge is taken up by startup teams, a lot could be achieved in a very lean, effective and smart way. I did apply this with teams in a startup and was delightfully surprised at how the organisation culture could be transformed when this approach is introduced along with lean startup methods. It was not magic, but it did play have a significant impact on multiple teams within the organisation.
*Hari also wrote a great post of his experience on Medium, Inspired by Emily Kathryn Rudow , I decided to run 10K everyday for 30 days in 2017.