I strongly believe that one should always keep learning. Look out for new opportunities and source from which we can learn. It doesn’t matter to me if that learning comes from one whom I hate the most or from someone whom I love the most. I feel even the worst person on this earth has few things in him/her that we can learn to keep moving forward or which can inspire us to do better. The day we stop learning, our downfall begins. Anyways, this post is not about the importance of learning but my new source of learning. This source of learning is not my parents, not even my wife or sister and no one from my professional world. But this is someone who is very close to my heart and hardly knows ABCD…. of this world and I mean it. Yes, I am talking about my Lil Champ Ayansh who turned 1 year old this February.
Athletics has been a part of my growth and development since my school days participating in high jump, 110 m hurdles, 4×100 m relay, 5km running and others. But after college I was so busy/lazy with my eat sleep and work schedule that I left what I loved. Around 2013-2014 I started looking for right motivation to get back to track. And then I found it in 2016 in form of my Lil Champ, my son Ayansh. When he was few days old I saw him flipping to sleep on his tummy while he was sleeping on his back but he couldn’t get back to his original position. Few months later I saw he was able to do all these activities at his will. Now he was looking to move forward and backward. And it was that moment of my life which provided me the source and opportunity to learn something with/from someone. I told myself if a baby who doesn’t know to move from the place/position he is in, will start moving in a few months’ time. Why I can’t learn something new in few months’ time. He will start crawling on this tummy, then using his both upper and lower limbs to walk and then finally walking on his two legs. I already know walking, I know running, it is just that I have to learn and unlearn few things to run 5k, 10k and may be a HM (21.1k).
It was not that he directly started crawling or walking and so same has to apply with me. I can’t start running 10K or HM straight away. There are many sub tasks which will help me to complete 10K/HM in a strong manner like balancing, sitting, eating and various other activities are subtask for Ayansh in order to make him crawl, walk and run. I started observing him and his activities even more closely while I am at home. And if I am away or in office, I asked Neha to click pics and make videos of whatever he does. And soon I learnt another thing from him. Every morning is a start of new day and so learn new things every day, do it differently. If it is better than the one you did yesterday unlearn the old one and learn the new one. I could see every day Ayansh learnt new things. One day he will learn how to cross the hurdle but will fall even before crossing it. At the next attempt he will cross it somehow but fell off after crossing it. But for his next attempt he would make sure that he can cross it properly and can move further without falling. Some other day he would learn to sit with help of a pillow or stand with a support. He learnt, while eating a bite if something was coming out of mouth just let it go off. But with time he even learnt how to push it further into the mouth by help of back of his palm which was a better technique to get rid of the food coming out of mouth. So he unlearnt the concept of letting the food go off the mouth and learnt to push it into his mouth by his palm. Over time I saw Ayansh doing cycling exercise even while he was not grown enough to sit properly. He would be in his cradle or bed and ride the virtual cycle with full energy and I realized he was preparing himself so that gradually his legs will become strong and he will be able to stand on his legs. If I want to run a long distance, I will have to do something similar in terms of plan and effort. I should have a strong will, the next day I should be better than what I am today, keep improving and never lose the focus. I will have to do something for my full body much like my lil champ because running is not only about legs. I will have to do strength building exercise which will make my legs and particularly the knees stronger.
In the month of July-August when Ayansh was about to turn 6 months old, I can see he was able to crawl on his tummy and for me it was time to run 10k. I ran my first 10k in August 2016. He was able to crawl on the floor but faced certain difficulties while trying to repeat the same on a mattress. He kept trying to crawl on mattress. In order to get down the mattress so that he can crawl easily on the floor, he learnt to crawl on the mattress. He moved to one corner of mattress and slowly got down on the floor and he had learnt the art. For me it was an indicator that I need to learn running on different tracks whether it is 10 laps of 1 km track or up and down of 5km lane. I have to prepare myself for elevated tracks and slopes. Take the elevated route and keep trying to hit the plains where I am at comfort while running like Ayansh crawled on mattress to hit the floor where he was at comfort. He started increasing his daily mileage (time spent standing) in such an effective way that if he is awake then he won’t be sitting on bed or chair. He would get down the bed or chair and start going from one corner of room to other holding the wall, bed and whatever comes on his way. And so I have started increasing the mileage from 10KM to 18KM over last few months by utilizing the items available but I have limited it to water only, doing the same in laps and on a straight track.
He has started walking and can continue for few steps. As per the milestones, I am ready for my HM, able to run 18K in less than 2 hours. The way he is learning new things I am sure very soon he will start running few steps but the only question is will I be ready to run FM by then? I will be the happiest person if he achieves his goal before me as I know FM is a farfetched goal for me. I hope he continues this process to learn, unlearn and relearn throughout his life and I will continue to learn from him. I know one thing, the day he will start walking, he will leave crawling but while playing indoors to get his basketball, football and cricket ball he will have to crawl under the bed only to relearn the art.