Marathoner Aravind Kumar on how a daily dose of fitness has made him healthier and organised
According to Aravind Kumar’s mother, he was rather undernourished as a child, would fall ill very often and even needed to be hospitalised several times. Today though, the 28-year-old HR professional can run over a 100 kilometres every week, and spends most of his free time engaging in some sort of physical activity. He even has his eyes set on running the 100-mile Western States Endurance Run in the U.S.
Aravind began running three years ago, when he happened to see a group of runners on his B-school campus. “Back then, we worked hard for around 16 hours a day, and the pressure was immense. Running seemed like the perfect outlet for all the stress. Of course, when I first started off, it was a little hard, since I had always been a couch potato. But gradually, I built the stamina to run longer distances,” he says. The runners’ high also kept him going, he says. “I would be exhausted physically, but felt great mentally.”
What began as an experiment soon had him hooked. “I now plan my schedule around my runs; even my travel plans. I never travel anywhere without my running shoes,” he confesses.
Running has changed his life exponentially, he says. “From being the undernourished, sickly child that I was, today I’m a very fit person. Ever since I’ve begun running, I’ve noticed my fitness and immunity levels improve tremendously. In fact, I don’t recall falling ill even once in the last three years.”But it doesn’t seem as easy as it sounds. “It needs a great amount of discipline. There are going to be bad days, times when it will seem very difficult to push yourself. But you need to stay focussed,” he explains.Aravind usually begins his day at 5 a.m., and runs for about an hour-and-a-half before he proceeds to do some yoga or meditation. “I then head to work, but usually try and squeeze in a run or a swim after I’m done with work too. Weekends, I normally start my day around 3 a.m. or 4 a.m., and go for a run and cycling,” he says, adding, “Running has become a way of life for me.”
So hooked is he, that he has even lost track of the number of marathons he has participated in, over the last three years. Apart from running marathons in Chennai, Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore and Hyderabad, he has also participated in the marathon at South Africa. “I prefer running ultra marathons though. These mean running for about 12 hours or 24 hours continuously. I’m currently training for the 100-mile race in Hong Kong, which is basically a qualifier for the Western States Endurance Run, which has been my dream for three years now. It is supposed to be one of the oldest and hardest races, and involves around 18,000 feet of ascent,” he says.
Article Courtesy: The Hindu, November 9, 2015.