Challenging the body, Challenges the mind! The universe is my playground then….

After almost a month long break, due to very cold early mornings, in the last couple of days I started getting again on my all terrain bicycle, for the customary 13 km ride. I have embraced the cycling mode of physical fitness a few months ago. I have always felt really good exerting myself every morning, or evening, if I miss the morning fitness regime. It has been running usually, and the six months of summer sees me in the pool, for an hour of non-stop swimming, very serious one – covering about 2 kms. Of course, the month long dance classes that come a couple of times in a year are also a great way to infuse energy!

Over the last couple of years, I have been inspired to see two of my friends, Sunil Batra (An eminent educationist) and S Jassal (An erudite, cultured, entrepreneurial Sardarji in our Sarita vihar neighbourhood) gaining extraordinary fitness, cycling. They lost oodles of flab and started looking younger by a couple of decades (both are in their fifties). I have been thinking of taking to the pedal for a while, as my knees and shin have given in to the wear and tear of three decades of sports, especially running.

The shift to our own house in the fringes of the green belt, the ridge that extends from Gurgaon through Delhi, in the neighbourhood of Asola wild life sanctuary, has been a blessing. The fresh air, the long winding ridge road that is out of bounds for heavy vehicles prompted me to quickly embrace cycling. And the morning 13-km ride, that takes about 45 minutes, is a revelation for me. It is for keeps, for life time perhaps.

I revel in physical exertion, as the hour invested in stretching the limits of my body, does a world of good to my mind and soul too. Every idea of my life has emerged from these strenuous, yet regaling hours on the road or in the pool. When the adrenalin gets pumped, the chemicals released create a compelling ‘thought space’ for me to explore my own self; grand ideas have got conceived and plans to execute them naturally flows. I never would want to trade this hour of self-exertion with anything.

Recently, the power of my physical fitness came to fore, a revelation, a reassurance to me too, and also a shocker for many CLites, when on the day of Sports Srijan (monthly creative activity at office to engage the entire CL family) at the Greater Noida campus; I challenged everyone to finish three rounds of the track; and I was the only one to finish and had so much more fuel still left within. And the very evening, for the finale, the finals of the cricket match, I was called in to play for one of the teams. Lo behold! I scored 38 of the 49 runs the team made in eight overs and we defeated the much fancied team by a dozen runs.

My regular attire of Indian kurta and pyjama conceals the real me and creates a false image, I realized, when every one came and asked, “Sir, kya raaj hai sir… aap dikhte nahin ho” [what is the secret, you do not look so]; I felt good and also got inspired by my own fitness. It has always kept me very positive and pushed me to think big.

This morning, when I woke up, and browsed my mobile I came across a very invigorating video on an adventurous mountain biker, Danny Macaskill. I could feel his vision, passion and compelling life of pushing boundaries! Here is the film….

Whenever I meet Sunil, I invariably also talk about his 40-km bicycle rides over the weekends. Recently he shared about his experiences of going on a 400-km ride in Rajasthan with fellow bicycling enthusiasts. I always felt doing it. Today, January 25th, Indira’s birthday (also being a Sunday), I chose to gift myself and the whole family a bright beginning, by pushing my body and mind further. The 42-km weekend cycling ride, my dream for long, took two-and-half hours and made me feel really good about myself. My body feels good, I feel good that I have been able to regale myself on this ride. This is going to be part of my regular regimen over the weekend now on.

I know for sure, that if I do over 100-kms every week, I shall be conquering more heights in my life, painting more canvasses of ideas, and the universe will certainly continue to be my play ground. I am making it happen for sure.

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