After a taste of the Raahgiri experience last Sunday [read about that here], the kids weren’t giving anybody any choice. In fact, the word had spread as it is wont to among the young ones and we had a larger group now. Udai was enthused about the idea of cycling around the Raahgiri route this time and I was requested to figure out the logistics. However, on Sunday morning, we were looking at a very flat front wheel and I was scurrying around in my head for a way to handle this. Our neighbor and friend Deepak came to my rescue, offering an adult’s bicycle from his home, but over and above that ensuring Udai test rode it at home before we loaded it on.
Despite Rahul not being around (and we all miss him sorely), the dads in the group Ananth and Deepak worked overtime as did the mums (Shruti, Preeti, me), dadis (Amma) and masis (Gauri) to ensure the kids had a lot of fun. Quite a bunch they were- Udai (9), Aadyaa (5), Avandeeta (6), Candy (3), Deepika (8) and Priyanka (not yet 1!!). All except the last one cycled the route, the rest of us running alongside in turns. Exhausting, but immensely satisfying, this past Sunday at Raahgiri, Gurgaon.
For those of you not in the know, Raahgiri is the name for a car free route designated for citizens to enjoy the streets in Gurgaon, otherwise known for its traffic congestion, pseudo glitzy mall culture, poor infrastructure and corporate prowess. It’s an effort spearheaded by dedicated citizens and supported by government, a win-win partnership that has inspired many of us to hope for a better world.
Just as I was getting a little cribby about Udai’s new penchant for hanging out gossiping with his friends rather than playing in the park, we spent a weekend full of outdoors fun! Winter in Delhi is perfect for sporty activities and we took full advantage of superb weather and great friends.
Saturday morning was spent attending Aadyaa’s sports day, quite a spectacle a Shikshantar where kids demonstrate complex obstacles, relays and patterns using props like balls and hoopla rings. The focus is complete immersion in the task at hand, with no regard to the idea of ‘winning a race’, quite unique to this school and absolutely age appropriate for pre-schoolers I think. I have to point out that the idea of sports for pre-schoolers is as much about the development of physical strength and skills as it is about honing social skills like sharing, encouraging peers and pushing yourself to do better. As parents, we all feel good that these little ones are protected at this point from the disappointments of losing and do whatever they can with great confidence. There will be a time and place for comparisons, but for now the happiness and enthusiasm is catching!
Here are a few snapshots from that energized morning, though I must confess I was sunburnt into a stupor afterwards!
I’m always into something new. It’s been a perpetual issue. The minute life goes into a routine, I get bored and restless and that’s bad news for people around me! So in line with my fitness and weight related concerns, my new deal in life is the gym. And since I am not the most motivated person on earth as far as gymming goes, the new person in my life is my trainer. PT- Personal Training has been the buzzword for many friends of mine who are fitness enthusiasts, but I never really took that step forward, thinking I could make do with my own mixed and offbeat efforts at working out. As I inch closer to 40, though, many realities sink in- Thud! It ain’t happening, that self-motivation, no matter how many times I write “6am-7am-Work out!” in my diary! Waking up early is a huge issue and there is no other suitable time of the day to exercise without messing up my routine….and there starts a litany of excuses that ends up in complete abandon of my fitness goals.
So what’s been my experience of working out with a trainer? Let me speak of the positives first. For a people-centric person like me, the conversation and banter really helps to engage me. I love being taught, so Pawan is now on my list of gurus right up there with my dance teacher and music teacher…and all the other people in my life who assume the teacher role (at times unknown to them) for specific things.
Second, there is now method to the madness. I am a great believer in trusting someone’s expertise. It is much easier to work out when you are told what to do and when someone stands right next to you to make sure you do. Also, to see if you are doing it right, which is critical when it comes to physical exercise, or indeed any kind of learning. It is also much easier to push yourself when you see that half mocking look on the trainer’s face, however hard he tries to keep his expressions neutral!
I am always amused to observe Pawan’s strategy while training. There is a careful mix of praise and admonishment, peppered with encouragement. There is also a mix of banter and reserve. Carefully measured, casually administered.
The negatives? In the initial sessions, it is vital to tell the trainer if you have weak joints, injuries, etc. Of course, they will assess independently as well, but it is not worth it to sustain further injuries only because you are excessively polite or are trying too hard to prove yourself! My knees and ankles are an issue, for instance, so we’re now trying to work out how much we push without damaging those joints. Also, get ready for excruciating pain in the first week (meetha meetha dard as one friend called it)….and you aren’t really allowed to complain. If you do, most likely you will get a shrug as response!
These are, of course, the musings of a near novice and I’ll probably have deeper insights as I go along. I’m watching myself to see how long my determination lasts and patting myself on the back after every session is completed!
I’ve wanted to write about this for the longest time, but never had the guts to. It’s my weight problem! I’ve been overweight for as long as I remember, precisely since higher secondary school. Even in college, weight was a hugely sensitive issue with me. Someone had to just make a passing joke about it and I would sulk the entire day, mulling the comment over and over, killing myself with guilt and low self-esteem.
And then I got married to Rahul, who always loved me for what I was and never ever ran me down on the weight aspect. Two kids down the line, my struggle with my weight has become more realistic and less paranoid. I’ve tried various things and I kind of know what works and what doesn’t.
I have to say this, though. My motivations for losing weight remain a strange mix of three things:
Health-I worry about the slight knee pains I have now and then, weak ankles, and the usual lifestyle disease worries.
Looks-I really do want to wear what I want without worrying about how the outfit will look on me, or worse, whether the shop would have it in my size…hugely embarrassing and depressing experience when they give you that sheepish but unapologetic look!
Self-esteem- I have this self-image of myself as a reasonably thin person. When I look in the mirror, that’s who I see. When I break the illusion, on some days, I see this obese person who is me, but isn’t me really! I don’t want to be schizophrenic. I simply need to thin down into my real size!
Of late, I’ve started realizing that I truly crave for fitness as well. Its a new target, one I am turning over in my head and hoping to really internalize in the next few weeks. Come July, I intend to develop a more holistic training routine. 2013 will see a new me, for sure!