Day 1

This piece is about Day 1, which I completed. I don’t even know if I would successfully complete the rest 99 days. But I am trusting myself. I am willing to try. I want to see how far I could go. I want to see what keeps me going and what stops me. I would need tons of motivation to complete this journey. I have some amazing friends who are more than happy to help me in this journey. They have volunteered to cheer for me and have promised to help me keep going. I have promised myself that I won’t quit. I stand vulnerable here, but thankfully not scared.

I want to document every step of it, so that I can look back when needed and see why I started when doubt arises. I know it would take a lot to finish this, but I am not thinking about the rest 99 days altogether. I am planning to take one day at a time. My focus is to improve 1% every day. If you want to be a part of my journey, you are most welcome. If you want to share your experiences, I would be humbled.

I am lazy when it comes to exercise. It requires constant nudging and pushing to make me get up and get going. I am not very proud of this. When I was in Delhi, I would find many excuses to not work out. Some of my regular and favourites were- there isn’t a good park in the locality, all the fields are far away, there is not enough time in the morning, after work it is too tiring, will start from next week, next month, next year and what not! I really thought that’s what is stopping me from working out and getting the ideal lifestyle that I want.

I moved back to Assam last month. Before coming I made this resolution to go running for 100 days without any gap. I had planned to start it as soon as I land in Assam, but that didn’t happen. No excuses to defend myself now. I have enough time. There are so many good grounds and spaces in my hometown. The weather is so lovely here. Roads are so well lit and good to run on. The nearest stadium is less than a km away from my place, and yet going for run seems like a daunting task. That’s when I realized that what’s stopping me isn’t scarcity of places, time or facilities, it was me. I was stopping myself. Not lack of suitable external factor, but lack of internal factor- strong self-determination. But, sigh! Even this realization failed to jolt me up and give me the much needed kick. I hated myself for not doing it and yet wasn’t doing anything to change my behavior. However, there came up something else which hit hard.

Earlier this month I took my father to Guwahati for a routine health check-up. Every doctor that we met asked him to walk to get a good control over his sugar level. I parroted that to him word to word; explaining how beneficial a walk is and how he could go for one every morning. When I listened to my own words I realized how wrong I am. It pinched me that I was preaching something that I wouldn’t practice myself. That’s when I made up my mind to set an example for him. To make it look easier to go for a quick walk/run everyday. To do it myself first, unfailingly, before I ask him to do.

So yesterday, after one and a half months of shameless procastinations, I finally grabbed my shoes at around 8.30pm and went out with my sister. “If not running let’s go for a walk”, I told myself. The weather was breezy and the wind felt cool on our cheeks. I decided to brisk walk, because I was out of practice and badly needed some warm up before I could plunge into running. We didn’t have any specific route in our mind, we thought it’s best to walk around aimlessly for about 3-4 Kms. We both are amateurs and know nothing about the “do’s and don’ts” of running. So we just walked, stopped in between to catch our breaths, and walked again. We took it light and just made our body aware about the change of routine that we are planning for.

Even though I didn’t run much, I felt liberated and happy. I stopped in between to look around and soak in the surroundings. My hometown looks like a picture straight out of a travel book. It boasts of such natural beauty. Clean environment. Fresh air. Fine smooth roads; on both sides of it there are beautiful big trees lined up with their branches reaching out to each other. The footpaths covered with dry leaves and flowers, and when we walk on them they make this crisp sound like crumbling of papers. There were fireflies all around- twinkling amidst darkness like the stars above.
We walked passed the primary school in which we used to come for our drawing classes on Sundays. On my right now, the Nehru stadium was visible. The ground was all quiet as if resting after a hectic day. All its greenness gleaming in the lights. The chance of the stadium gate to be opened this late was very slim, so we walked straight to the Duliajan club.

Unlike the stadium the club was buzzing with activities. There were a few cars parked in the parking lot. We even heard a few laughter, maybe the boys were sharing a joke after a game of tennis. Leaving the club behind, we entered the residential area where houses were lined up meticulously as in a 3D project. They stand quietly in the dark with only their roofs shining because of the street lights. The long curved road which leads to the helipad is almost everyone’s favourite. When we were kids we loved cycling in this area. All the roads were almost deserted now except for an occasional passing of cars. A few people were walking their dogs with their eyes glued to their phones. We saw an elderly man on his cycle, the leisure with which he were cycling was enviable. Perhaps he was heading back home after a day’s work. There was two girls who were walking hand in hand ahead of us, maybe they were taking a night stroll after dinner. I have never seen people going about at such ease and without hurry in the cities.

When we reached the helipad, it began to drizzle. We were unprepared. There is this thing with Assam, you never know when the weather is going to change. After a bright sunny day it may rain profusely at night. And a perfectly cloudy day may magically start to brighten up with the setting sun. When we heard the mild thunder we knew that it would rain soon. Home was still 1-2 Kms away, and we had to double our pace lest we get drenched. Thankfully, we made it home just in time- tired but happy.

Stubbornly optimistic, a listener of the universe and follower of my dreams. Coffee, smell of new books, long walks, old melodies, good sense of humour, and poetry light me up. I want to be happy when I grow up.

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