Be the change you want to see

Parents leave a lasting impression on their kids. You can’t be sitting on a couch and instructing your child to go for a run.

I think, I have acquired the fitness and health values from my parents. And I am lucky to have a life partner who is laced with traditional values and understanding on holistic health.

My dad was in the Indian army. At age 16, he enrolled himself as a soldier. He used to tell I remember that he was very desperate to get into the army. He wanted to be financially self dependent.

So, he left his village and hitchhiked a truck that dropped him to a nearby place called jabalpur. There, he went to stay with his maternal aunty. She was a maid at the bungalow of a civil engineer.

While he stayed and waited for the rally, he took to pulling cycle rickshaw. Pulling of a cycle rickshaw is still prevalent in India. Only hand rickshaws have been banned.

With farmer uncle in my village

And he would get sucked, drained by the end of the day. He would lose a lot of weight as the pulling of cycle rickshaw is an aerobic activity.

When he stood in the rally, he fell short of weight. So, his maternal aunty told him to eat a lot of bananas. And guess what, it really worked. He joined the army and went on to serve the country for the next 26 years.

Army life is you know full of physical adventures. Even before that he was into a lot of physical activity. He was planting vegetables in his village farm and taking them to the local market for sale. And that’s how he would manage his school fees, uniform and the books and stationary.

His school was also not close. And there were no approachable roads to cover the distance of 7 kms between the school and the village home. So, he would walk down. He would tells us.

Seeing him the way he used to keep a small vegetable garden in army quarters wherever we went, I could really imagine his hardships. Most of my childhood, we were fed on locally grown vegetables in our backyard.

With mom on harvesting work

My mom never compromised on food. She would always make fresh chapatis and pack it for tiffin. She used to hate the bread and the jam combo that we would yearn to pack in our tiffin. But never got.

She always said that she will never compromise on the food that we eat. Though she continues to be a very conservative person in other matters to this day. I think that has stuck on my psyche.

Even to this day at age 62, she goes to the farms and spends an average 4-5 hrs everyday. She also has a cow that she milks. She is an early riser who wakes up at 5 am. She turned diabetic long back but her physically active lifestyle has been her best medicine 💊.

Living a physically active life is what I have learned from my childhood. And this is what I wish to pass on to my kids too.

I am not enthused by the luxuries and the comforts of the modern urban amenities. I would prefer a desert cooler to an AC. I would prefer a clay pot water to refrigerated one.

Health and fitness is in our values. And the values are imparted by our parents and the leaders.

Being in a job that calls for long hours of sitting, keeping myself physically active is an ever lasting challenge for me. So, from this stand point I think, running has worked wonders for me. It is vale to provide me with a thrill of an hour of movement every day.

I also like to work in the kitchen and get my room cleaned, dusted, mopped and sometimes the housekeeping work.

It is not maids work to make your bed. It is a privilege of you are empowered to do so. Thanks to our industrial view, we have delegated these tasks to our maids and the stewards. And now it’s a social value.

I can’t fake so much. I think being called a farmer’s son or a soldiers son is a bigger tag for me. And being called a runner for life is like a Laurel. Beyond this, everything else is mithya.

About sanju 192 Articles
a runner, a fitness enthusiast

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