Power of #positivity

When I was in my teens, I used to fancy myself as a middle distance runner running 800 & 1500 meters. This was when I was growing up in Jamshedpur where my Dad was working in Telco, now Tata Motors. Telco had an athletics team, which included national and international luminaries. These guys used to regularly practice in the stadium nearby, and as an impressionable teen I was mighty motivated. I wanted to run like the wind or rather lope like a tireless wolf running down its prey. So I set forth this proposal to my Dad, who knew a friend who in turn identified a suitable coach who would train me and give me work out schedules. I ended up training twice a day with Saturday being the exception wherein the training was limited to the mornings. The schedules could be divided broadly into cross-country running/ hill runs in the morning followed by track work in the evenings. On an average, I used to clock about 55 to 60 kilometres in a week. Crazy stuff it was. I can’t imagine the mileage today but yes; it took care of my crazy raging hormones.

 In the middle of an off-season training wherein the stress was more on stamina-base building rather than speed, I found that I had developed shin pain and the immediate ‘bro advice’ was to run through it and so I persisted. The pain never went away for a month. The pain used to be at a peak when the body was cold so I used to limp my way to the stadium. And if I somehow hobbled through the pain barrier and got warmed up, I was good to go. I heard terms like stress fracture and all which was frightening to a teenager and with limited access to info compared to now where a smartphone would give you all the info required. I was really passionate about practice and I thought this would mean a premature end to my nascent career as an athlete.

 So with a heavy heart, thinking that I would be called a pansy/sissy, I mustered up my courage and went to the doctor. I was promptly told to get myself x-rayed and he gave me some mandatory painkillers to pop and told me to come back after a couple of days and I was to rest during the time. I dutifully reappeared in front of the doc who peered into my x-rays and smiled at me. He said, “You are perfectly fine.” I rubbed my eyes in disbelief and me not being the analytical type accepted doctor’s judgment. Those days’ doctors were incarnations of a God and I could not and would not argue with a rep of God especially when being delivered excellent news. By the time I reached home the Lo-behold-presto-aha the pain had disappeared to my amazement. Whispering silent thanks, I continued tearing up the track and relieved that I was back.

Subsequently, I thought of the event, which had left a mark on my psyche – What had happened? How did the pain go away? Was it the rest that I took? Was it the medication? Or was I mentally pushing myself to get well? Was I waiting for an external catalyst for the process of getting well? Or was it a combo of all?

Well for me, it reinforced my belief that positivity helps regain fitness [mental and physical health]. The theme of positivity remains till date.

Here’s to POSITIVITY till eternity!

Ps: My PB in 800 meters was 2:01:00 and with that high point my athletics petered out. Did my running stop well? That’s another story.

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