5 FITNESS SECRETS I LEARNED FROM MY DAD

Your dad could be your big inspiration.

My dad always inspired me. He inspires me even more today when he is not around. All the time I have spent with him seems like a company of the god. Your dad could be biggest influence on your life without you ever realizing this.

Your dad could be biggest influence on your life without you ever realizing this. As a growing kid, I was never interested in what he taught me at that time. I often ended up giving him tough time to tame my attitude.

For example, he asked me to get up early in the morning. I have hardly done this in my childhood or even in 20s or 30s. But with time, I have realized that he was more than a sum of many books, YouTube videos and internet.

So, here are those 10 top fitness secrets that I learned from my dad.

Consume Water

My dad often used to complain about constipation. He searched for many medicines to cure his constipation. At last he found refuge in a simple habit that he maintained through the rest of his life. He drank water first thing in the morning. He would get up and warm up 2 glasses of water.

It helped him de-toxify and get the motion easily. I have written a full post on this – The Hot Water Club.

It is now a habit for me to drink a glass of water every day in the morning.

Wake up early in the morning

My dad would get up very early in the morning. He would arise and wake up as early as 4:30 a.m.

After his morning ablutions, he would get up and go for a morning run. The morning run was his first period at work. In the army, Jawans(soldiers) and officers would assemble and do exercises.

When he returned from his run, he would often find me sleeping. Just the way I find my kids. and I ended up getting scolding and sometimes thrashed for the same.

He gave very specific reasons why you should be up before any one else does. He said that morning hours are the best hours when the mind and body is fresh. This is the time(early morning) when the outside world is calm and quiet. This is the time when you can get fresh air(read oxygen) and sunlight(read vitamin D). and therefore the best hours to shape you destiny.

He summed it all by terming the morning hours as Brahma Muhurtam( the most sacred moments of the day).

Run everyday

I hardly could manage to open my eyes for the morning hours when I was a kid. But I was seeing him lace up his shoes and go for a run day after day and year after year in the morning. And this stayed with me in the subconscious mind as a big fitness secret.

When he returned from the run, he wore a BIG SMILE on his face.

Back in those day when satellite channels were years away, Delhi Doordarshan or DD in short showed one TV serial on Sundays: The flying Sikh- Milkha SIngh. At 9:00 pm, we used to be busy at our dinner. And so, we all sat together and ate while we watched TV.

Milkha Singh was a legendary runner. But the bigger thing was he worked for the EME – the same army formation that my dad served for 26 years. So, he told me more granular details about the legend.

I remember he told me that Milha SIngh worked as a cook. He would rise early in the morning and finished his runs before he set out for his work in the mess( the The Army Kitchen for soldiers). Mind it that the work of a cook started much before anyone got up as he had to get the chai( tea) ready for saabs(seniors) and jawans.

The way my dad would add more trivia every sunday post watching the Flying Sikh fired my imagination and inspired me.

Great Habits in life are our BIGGEST votes to what stories we believe at the core. And our behaviour is a reflection of our core beliefs.

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My dad’s stories created an imagination for me.

Don’t Smoke

My dad served for the armed forces. And it is given thing that they smoke and drink.

Smoke and alcohol are the fastest ways to socialize. So what if you are a fauji(defence personnel) and never did these?

That was my dad. I saw my dad never tough the cigarette or even drink. Early on, I was led in to a great habit when my dad set me an example. He served in all types of terrains but he was never led to believe that he needed to drink to keep himself warm. Army Canteen provide liquor at a deep discount. So much so that their civilian friends are always demanding them.

He did share with me that he smoked a bidi( a kind of cigarette) in his teens for which he was badly beaten up. His audacity to share such an intimate thing with me made us friends from early on. However, it was his behaviour that I saw day in and day out that taught me restraint against the ill habits.

And he enjoyed great respect and camaraderie among his peers and seniors despite the fact he never believed in holding a cigarette butt or a glass of old monk.

It is not easy to give up a bad habit once you have acquired it. Every friend of mine who smokes wants to give up smoking. But I am yet to find the one who has succeeded at it.

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CHINTAN KARO, CHINTA NAHIN ( Don’t fall prey to anxiety, however be reflective)

Lot of people are losing their mind due to the stress. The unhealthy lifestyle that today’s society is embracing is naturally inclined to bring in more stress. And this sometimes makes me sad and anxious. I feel helpless at times.

But my dad’s words always ring and rescue me. He used to say in his colloquial hindi, “Beta Chintan karo, Chinta Nahin“. What he meant to say was don’t lose your mind on what you can’t control. But always be on the lookout for what you are capable of doing in the given circumstances.

And I am really so proud of my dad for sharing this deep philosophy with me. This philosophy is what led me to start my re-discovery by running. I was feeling trapped in undesirable circumstances when I started to get busier with work and family life. And then came a point where I weighed 106 kgs. I had been ignoring my health and was totally consumed by the lack of time for my own personal care.

However, his philosophy led me to discover a healthy and meaning full life.

Dad, all I can wish today is we had spent some time together. You always remain in my heart. I can always see you smiling at me. And while I run, I feel your presence in my life.

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sanju

a runner, a fitness enthusiast

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