Skip to main content

Pumped up kicks

When friends engage in lamentation and brouhaha about turning 30, it is easier to go along with the general chest-beating, even if it is just a token gesture on your part, than to voice your private opinion that involve the words 'unnecessary drama' & 'overreaction'. Though it is difficult to accept change (and more than half the posts here rail against it), you eventually shrug (mentally perhaps) and carry on living your life.

The first thing that does ring in the march of time at a personal level, are changes to your body. Unless you're one of those lucky born-athlete bastards blessed with great metabolism and fantastic stamina, you're going to notice that your physique isn't what it used to be. Along with the thinning hairline (at least for guys this is the first sign), you begin to feel the love handles, the beer-gut and the gently suggestive curves of the faintest double chin. Activities you'd carry out without breaking sweat (figuratively also) now do take on a slightly more challenging role. You can't eat as much as before, drinks hit you harder and hangovers last longer. There is also a marked reluctance to engage in any activities that require a little more than the usual physical extension. Except, you know, sex; which I'm sadly not qualified to comment on right now. 

Thanks in part to the fact that I still look like I just passed out of junior college (thank ye, Mother Nature), I haven't really paid much attention to these changes. In my school days, I was not into sports, and a chronic sinus problem left me with the lung capacity of a pygmy marmoset. Still, I cycled to school for years, which was something, because my school was on a hill, and the slope was a lot steeper than it is today. Not that any children are cycling to my school any more, mind. Last I checked, the cycle shed has been converted into a motorbike parking. Quite.

After a particularly lazy summer at home, mum told me some home truths about our family's delightful proclivity for cardiovascular diseases rather than good looks. That shook me, particularly because the sudden discontinuation of cycling and a partiality to kacchi dabelis and bread pattice had turned me, how shall I put this, into a chubster. The tyres abandoned my cycle and stubbornly attached themselves to my sides, a state of affairs I have yet to reverse, 13 years on. Thus, to prolong my incredibly delightful life, I took up running. Pune University had a decently maintained 1 km track weaving its way through some peaceful glades. I went there pretty regularly, if for nothing else than to get away from many troubles, both real and imagined. By the time I left for the U.S, I could do about 5 km at a steady trot without too much worry.  Thanks to the merciless ribbing of a close friend, I had also completely cut out the fried snacks. 

Though I often did not have the time to take advantage of the excellent Rec Centre at UAB, I did visit as much as possible, both to use their superb indoor running track and play some rudimentary squash with Batman (roomie). A combination of a hectic work schedule, stress, nutritively dubious diet and the Rec Centre made sure I gained no sudden weight in the U.S, as people are wont to do. My uncle, for instance, went from a stringy bag of bones to someone who could have been mistaken for a runaway minor planet.

Then I came back home and began working in Bombay, pretty much ending whatever vestige of a fitness regime I had. I tried gym for a year and gave up once I shifted jobs and the work time intruded. Then I joined my current workplace and well... let's just say that questionable choices have been the norm, as regards diet and lifestyle. The fact that I still am rather thin assuaged my feelings, I think. This past weekend, sheer boredom drove me to put on the shoes and head for the University track. I did my regular warm-up, which is nothing at all, and began ambling down the familiar path, confident that a regimen of dietary abuse and sedentary living couldn't have completely affected my fitness. After all, I did walk to and from the railway station everyday, a good 20 minutes away.

800 metres in, wheezing like a geriatric asthmatic, I had to stop. After my heart and lungs had ended their attempt to leap out of my chest via my throat, I reached the sad conclusion that unless I incorporated a serious amount of exercise, I wasn't going to see birthday number 45.

So then. Change must happen. I have chalked up a tentative schedule of exercise and hope to follow it. Let's see where this goes.

Song for the moment: Eye of the tiger - Survivor

(Like there was any other choice)            


Kshitij said…
Spot on my friend EYE OF THE TIGER!!!
and just to egg you on, her is hopefully some inspiration as well!!
G said…
Nice ad. Made me take notes on copy-writing, more than the exercise part :).

Gobri said…
"I reached the sad conclusion that unless I incorporated a serious amount of exercise, I wasn't going to see birthday number 45."
I hear this every time I speak with my dad. Though he has reached the same conclusion about me, I am yet grasping with it.

Share your plan.
G said…
Right now, its 'skipping'. The actual rope thingummy + skipping junk food & cutting down on the booze. Let's see how long that lasts :)

Popular posts from this blog

Night Boat

I usually don't write honest pieces. They're true to facts but I tend to lather my emotions and thoughts with a heavy dose of attempted humour or misdirection. This post deserves some raw emotional honesty, though.

Yesterday, 29th August, a Tuesday (or should I say, another Tuesday) was about me making choices. It was raining quite heavily when I left for office, sheeted down the windows of the train throughout the 1-hour journey to Churchgate and kept going with renewed intensity by the time I made it to the entrance, looking verily like something that had drowned in a gutter and lain there a while before being discovered by a cat and dragged in. I made the choice to go to work as I suspected my boss would be there and not because I wanted to go.

I was right about my boss but that cardiac fizz of being right flattened out rather rapidly once I realised, around 11:30 am, that no one else from my team of 20 had bothered to make a similar effort. And, some of these guys live 5 …

Last of my kind

(This post hasn't come out as well as I wanted. But I'm still pissed off, so.)

Why do we have heroes? What is it about someone that triggers a decision to nail our colours to their mast? I don't have a neat answer so what you read from here on is both an explanation and an exploration. In a post-modern world driven by counter-points, certainty is a luxury.

I missed the boat when it came to India's ODI cricket madness. We moved abroad in the late 80s. When I left, my friends and I wanted to be Kapil, Kris or Sunil. When I returned, god was getting comfortable on his heavenly couch and all was right with a world I did not recognise. I had missed Sachin's opening batsman debut against New Zealand, the hullabaloo of the Hero Cup and other notable moments. So, I was interested in cricket, not any particular sportsman. Not even during the '96 World Cup. When India muffed it against Sri Lanka, I hurt for the team, not for a player.

Then came Dravid. And, personally, …

Let her go

Have you noticed how we throw things out a lot more than before? Of course, city-dwellers like us have more, now that disposable incomes are the norm. Does it also allow us to dispose of things so easily? I was the object of much mirth/ridicule at work today because I wanted to get a golf umbrella repaired. One colleague wondered if it was worth the effort, another asked why I did not just buy a different one while others chuckled when they realised neither of these thoughts had occurred to me. I trudged off, wondering if they were right. What exactly was driving me to take the trouble?

I think back to to the 80s and living in my Thatha's (grandpa) house. Today's 'use-and-throw' culture would have shocked him to the core. The man was the epitome of prudence. Since we weren't exactly floating in doubloons, the family followed suit. Thatha wore the same watch for over 50 years. A small umbrella, bought by my mother with her first salary, was well on its way to becom…