Behind the scenes

Just another day, not today. But a sample of what happens on many days.

6:45 am: Got up, awake yet slow. Brushed my teeth, looked at myself in the mirror. Need to get my hair coloured. It looks weird, unkept and dry. Note to myself – Call my hair guy and set an appointment. It is Diwali this weekend. Yay!! Party!!

7:15 am: The kid’s tiffin packed. Breakfast, lunch and dinner planned out. Stuff for breakfast laid out. Time to go wake the kid. Oh, it rained last night and there is water on the terrace coz the f$%^&& idiots made the slope wrong. Need to get that cleaned when the maid comes in. Put in the laundry? Sky looks cloudy. What does that have to do with it? You can put it on full dry mode. Naaah! Just forget it today. Don’t feel like it.

7:25: The kid and his dad are still snoozing. Yank the blankets off! Mean me. The dad takes one look at his smart phone and has something urgent from work. I swear I could throw all phones into the Dead Sea. So he is unavailable from now on till whatever he needs to do gets done. Note to self – Pretend he is out of town.

7:55 am: The kid is ready for school. Finally!! After very “patiently” talking, role playing, subtle cajoling and just short of pleading. It took 25 minutes of cuddles, PDA, sweet talk, playing silly games and 5 minutes to actually get into the uniform. We march down the stairs for breakfast.

Expected time of Departure from home to catch the school bus is:

Easy breezy walk – 8:00 am

Power walk – 8:05 am

Run – 8:10 am

Run for your life – 8:15 am

We manage to make it 8:00 am on most days, but today doesn’t seem like that day.

8:00 am: The breakfast is toasted slices of bread with butter and jam and a glass of milk. Easy simple, what’s so difficult about that. Trust toddlers to come up with the most innovative ways to delay, refuse or whine about things. The young one wants to “cook” his breakfast. He wants to make something at 8:00 am when he is supposed to leave for school. Aaarrrghhhh! I want to scream out loud. But I don’t. I have house guests. I am trying to be nice and well behaved. I tell him we will cook together for lunch or dinner.

8:03 am: Looking at the calendar on the kitchen wall. Oh sh%^^ [don’t worry, I did not say that out loud]! I need to submit an article by tomorrow, an article that I haven’t started writing yet!!! Note to self – Finish it today. Tomorrow will be too late.

8:05 am: Back to reality. I am still pushing and gently prodding the little one to finish his glass of milk. 3/4th of the glass is gone. He refuses to drink the remaining. I am thisclose, yes THISCLOSE to screaming again. Pause. Think Simran what can you do now. I ask him why don’t you want to drink. He says it is cold. I do the finger test and it is frigging warm-on-the-side-of-hot. Before I can say anything he repeats “It is cold mama!” I take a sip and it dawns on me. I say “You mean there is less sugar?” His eyes become big and round and he nods. “Then you need to say it is not sweet enough. We don’t call it COLD!!”

I say it out loud, to myself “How irritating!” I hear the husband’s voice saying “How funny, right?” I get it! He is trying to make me see it in another light. I don’t want to see it from any other angle. Hmmphh!

I add sugar and give it to him. He is still not budging. I take away the glass and say ok no milk. He stares at me with the I-can’t-believe-this look. And I continue “No watching that movie-that-we-recorded-to-see-on-movie-day”. Totally mean me! I know, this is against all the rules of perfect parenting. But I DON’T WANT TO BE A PERFECT PARENT right now!!!! All I want to do is YELL – LEFT, RIGHT AND CENTER. But I don’t.

Bingo! It works. He gulps down the last bit of milk and is off to school. One down.

8:10 am: The good byes and I-love-yous are done. My cousins who are visiting are gone too. I warm up my milk and toast my bread and sit down for breakfast. Ding dong! There goes the bell. The maid is here. Back to a cold toast after giving her directions. Who cares!

8:20 am: The contractor calls in saying he will be here with his army of 5 men to finish off pending tasks. Okay 😦 Whatever!

8:55 am: The bell rings. The contractor walks in and 5 men with him. The maid looks at me and says “Phir se kaam shuru karange yeh log? [Will these people start work again?]….

… Such is life, it isn’t always what it seems like!! Yet we live it, love it and it is beautiful the way it is.

Have a lovely week ahead. May you have the slow moments that you crave for and the fast, hectic, crazy ones too. May you have the best of both worlds.
Happy Monday!!

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From a baby to a little person

N and I read and talk before he goes to bed. Tonight’s conversation, was a wee bit inspired by this post from Mindful Dad.  We sat opposite each other and I told him why I loved him – all the reasons I could think of and more 🙂 I did not expect him to say anything back, after all he did not understand why or what I was doing; he hadn’t read the article. Or so I thought.

Turns out, he does understand the language of love, of emotions, of feelings. So he told me, what he loved about me. He loved that I took care of him – whether he got hurt or not, that I read to him every night, that I brought things for him or not sometimes, that I took him running with me, that I gave him kisses and hugs, that he could talk to me about anything (including his crush on a girl in his class – yep his first), that he wouldn’t ever go away leaving me or wouldn’t want to change me for any other mommy in the world!! Yay!! Oh boy it was one of the best feelings in the world, the way he said it in a very matter of fact tone, as if this was the simplest, truest, fact. Even better than S telling me why he loves me. Sorry S! Your li’l guy just took over 😉

Oh and before sleeping, N thanked god tonight for “Giving me 15 days of holidays so that I can be with my friends in Malpe!”

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Me to N:Please roll up and button up your shirt sleeves. That will look nicer.

N: I don’t like rolling up the sleeves. That makes me uncomfortable around the elbow.

Me: The last time you wore it you had sleeves down. Can’t you do it just this once, for me?

N: I don’t feel like mamma.

Me: Okay! (Pouty face – coz I seriously felt that the shirt and N would look better with rolled up sleeves)

N [calmly]: My life, my choice. Your life, your choice.

Me [Thinking is this kid seriously just a 5-year-old??]: N there are some things you can choose for yourself but there are other things that you will have to leave for mom and dad to decide till you are a li’l older.

N: Ok Mamma – I will listen to you for all the important things. But this is not an important thing no? Just my shirt sleeves.

Me [As if the light just went on inside a dark room]: Yes, N. you are right, this ain’t important. Keep your sleeves whichever way you want them [Smiling to myself on the inside, the kid has his fundas clear,  reinforcement works and choose your battles Sim – it is the important stuff that matters!] 🙂

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Read this yesterday – http://butterflywriterblog.wordpress.com/2013/02/06/17-things-boys-need-from-their-moms/ and like it! Very thoughtful, sweet and emotional article.

Happy Holidays or Happy There-will-be-holidays-very-soon 🙂

“This is me now. But I could change anytime!”

Was browsing through something, looking for another thing, when I came across this ad on Youtube.
Loved the lyrics! Sang them along and loved them even more.

“I guess my life is an open book
anyone can take a look.
No secrets here to hide, this is just me.
Holidays they come and go.
Feelings change, People grow.
And all I know is I like being free,
Da Da Da… I will be fine.
This is me now,
But I could change anytime.”

Being happy is what matters, right? Leaving aside the whys, why nots, hows and whens… happiness is what we all strive for. I do.
#Introspection, #Innerpeace, #Happiness

My 12.5K Ultra experience

At the start of this season, 12.5 seemed big after 10! It seriously did. As a couch to 10K-er every additional km felt like a distance to be tackled by the head and heart. In the first 12.5 weekend run at Byalkere Peacock reserve, I had to really push myself to finish the “extra” 2.5 and I did not want the same experience at the event. I worked on mentally prepping myself saying it is not 10 and 2.5 extra. It is 12.5k and 6.25 is the half, not 5. 
 
After the KTM event day experience I was looking forward to this event day also. Loved the buzz, the energy and the build up to it (RFL and RH had been posting pictures and updates about the 24 hr, 100, 75 and 50k runs). 
 
Reached the venue, saw familiar faces, all smiles, all excited, all set to run. Santhosh, the person who started Runner’s High, was sending off the 25K-ers, cheering and shouting although in a very hoarse voice. Then he cheered and sent all of us 12.5k-ers off, again shouting!! All this after a whole day and night of being up and running/pacing/encouraging/cheering. Where does this guy get so much energy man?? Heard stories and later read about the “support crew” for the previous day and night’s runners and was in total awe. How much passion, selflessness and love must be there in their hearts to do this for fellow runners? (Some were not even family in the traditional sense, right?) You guys are awesome, hats off!! 
 
The trail was lovely, the bamboo trees, the slight breeze at times, the music in between, all made it even better. The weather was kind. Everything felt perfect. I started running. After a bit saw the 25K-ers on their way back and looked for RH faces. It was nice seeing people I knew. I said hi, cheered them on or just smiled the runner’s acknowledgment of another runner, to as many of them as possible. In fact I don’t remember seeing the km milestone markers till almost the 5K mark coz I was busy running and scanning the oncoming runners for RH-ers. You guys did keep me going in ways more than one. Thank you all you lovely fellow runners!!
 
At the last Wednesday workout of the season, at the group breakfast, I told Vinay, one of my coaches, I am able to run 4K non stop at a stretch now. But then I do need a walk break and then the pattern repeats. Also during a real run or event there is this additional stress of thinking “Should I stop and walk?”, “Should I take a break now?”, “Will I be tired and not finish strong if I keep running non stop?”, “Salt pill now or later? Do I really need it?”. He told me to stick to the 10min run – 2min walk from the beginning. No matter what follow that and don’t let your fatigue meter hit the red mark, because after that it will go only higher. I will admit, I was skeptical about it. And during the first 2 min walk period I did feel antsy and resisted the urge to ditch the walk and start running. BUT, I did stick to it and walked the 2 min and walked it faster than a usual walk to keep the pace going. I realized it did help. I stuck to the pattern and it felt great. I was getting my rest without having to think about it. Salt pill at 45 minutes then one after the run. No variables, nothing to be decided during the run. So the race planning worked great and I loved it. 
Thank you Vinay!!
 
Reached the 500m mark at the end and saw my son and husband. I couldn’t grin any bigger, my son, all of 5, had woken up at 4 am in an instant, to come along and had told me he will run with me at the end. And run he did! The husband ran along too, telling me I was almost there. The adrenaline had kicked in and as I turned the corner, I could hear more than one person shouting “Simraaaan run run run” I was “Whoa!! I love you guys”.
Saw RH-ers every where I could, the rest of the people, the place, seemed like a blur. I was looking for Santhosh and spot him I did. He started pacing me, shouting “Lift your legs higher” and the striding changed to sprinting. I love finishing my runs strong and I couldn’t be happier. The grin on my face would have said it all.
Thank you Santhosh for who you are and everything that you do. I am sure all of us at RH say this to you a bazillion times, just know that we mean it from the bottom of our hearts!!
 
A big big thank you to all the coaches! My coaches Vinay, Ajay and Asad for making it a point to keep track, push and encourage all of us, always. You guys are such inspirations. I can see myself, eventually,doing a half, full, an ultra distance and don’t know what else – all because I see you people doing it and think “Wow, they can do it and I am sure they will help me do it!”
 
I feel that each of us have a different story, different background, different inspiration and motivation that we bring to the group and to our runs. We run for different reasons too I guess! In spite of all that, what I have felt is that there is no judgement, no stereotyping and no negativity in RH. And that along with the people, is what makes this group such a lovely, enriching and encouraging experience.
 
Looking forward to many more seasons, runs and events with all of you at RH!!You all are amazing people and a wonderful part of my life now.

Teething issues

It is 4:45 am. My alarm rings for me to get up for the Wednesday group workout. 

I shut off the alarm, turn over and close my eyes for a few seconds. Open them again and it is 4:56. Got to go. 

Need to find my slippers. There is a splash as I swing my feet off the bed, onto the floor.

Yes, you heard it right. SPLASH! As in water – splash. “Where am I?” was the first thought. Dreaming? Maybe. I open my eyes – was on autopilot so far. Turn on the light and look down. 

Water! On the floor, under the side table, under the bed, everywhere! About 3 inches. Almost as tall as my index finger. The initial reaction of shock, how?, what??, WTF!!! came in a few milliseconds. 

I stood up, walked around the bed and saw the whole room had water, except the walk-in wardrobe area. Thank God for slopes. 

Opened the door to the terrace. Was welcomed by a swimming pool. You ask, “Was that a part of the design with the contractor?” NOOO! It wasn’t. It was supposed to be just a regular terrace. Scanned the area to look for the trouble maker. 

Aha! The drain opening was blocked by something. Went closer to it. saw something, but couldn’t figure out in the dark. Went back to turn the light on and boom, the lights go off. The rest of the complex looked all nice and brightly lit. So must have been a trip at our end. Trudged through the dirty water, woke up the husband who was groggy after a late night at work. Explained the situation to him in the dark. 

Went down the stairs, pulled up pyjamas in one hand and the iphone-cum-torch in the other. 

Turned the tripped switch on. Light!! Took a broom, mop and wipers. The husband was off the bed and surveying the damage. 

Then we both set to work. Cleared the block in front of the drain. Then to the bedroom – me on all fours, mopping cloth in hand, squeezing water into a bucket. Him behind me using the broom and the wiper. Could be a role play scene from a la 50 shades of Grey I tell you! But it wasn’t. Now shake that visual off from your head and get back to the seriousness of the situation. 

We mopped and we wiped and we dried. Phew! After about 1.5 hours the room looked dry, the terrace almost dry and the 2 of us wet and tired. 

Turned the fans on and went back to bed. 

So much for a duplex, penthouse, new construction.

What has to happen, will anyways happen!

The positive side – The husband and I saw the sunrise, one hand in hand, the other holding buckets and brooms. Was lovely! 🙂 

#The simple pleasures of life and settling into a new place. 

 

N speak latest

N: Mumma when will daddy come home? I miss daddy. I miss him a lot.

Me: hmm I miss him too sometimes. He will be back soon [from the office].

N: But I know he is working hard. For us, his family! He is working very hard so that we have money to have fun.

Me: Umm hmm

N: Like I am working hard……. for my school, for Bangalore, for India!! [Now where did that come from??] We all are working so hard. It is good to work hard. Hard working people………..zzzzzzzzzz

That completes our just-before-sleep lecture!

🙂
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N: Mamma I am writing my ABCs and I forgot how to write B. Can you come and help me?

Me: N I am in the middle of something. I will finish it and come. Can you please wait?

N: I can, but I don’t want to. [What??? Why??? Ok whatever. Fair enough]

Me: Hmm. You can ask Naani [grandmother].

N: [Wide eyed, I-don’t-believe-this look] Naani knows ABCD!! Cool!!

!!!!????

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N’s first self dictated story

Once upon a time there was a tiger. He was walking, then a hunter came, then he started to run. Then the hunter caught him.

Then a rat came and got the net and bit the net.

Finish!

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N was sitting in his daadu’s (grandfather) lap in the balcony. Both of them were enjoying the views of night lights.

Daadu to N: I am sorry that you got hurt today [The kid had scraped himself at a couple of places while riding his scooter in the evening, with daadu supervising him].

N: Why are you sorry daadu? How is it your fault? You did tell me to stop and go slow. Don’t worry, I will be fine soon.

Daadu smiling, mommy smiling too 🙂

Run Sim Run! KTM 2013 10K check.

It has been great reading all the KTM run experiences from my running mates in Runner’s High! I have been sitting on mine from day 1 and finally decided I should send it in before my coach tells me, that all it takes is 5 mins to sit and write.

I joined RH in June this year after having seen friends join it, run and enjoy it!! Thanks KG, SSM and SM for all the motivation and inspiration (Those were the bouquets, if I end up injured you will get the brickbats too). I was very skeptical about the whole running thing initially. I could hardly run for 30 to 40 seconds without panting so I wondered if I would be able to actually run the whole distance, and any time soon??
I blogged about my journey, as regularly as I could and now when I look back it was a slow and steady improvement. The improvement was very visible, apparently, because Santhosh said, in the first few weeks, I used to ask him “I walk more than run, is that ok? I can’t talk while I am running, is that ok?” But after a month and a half I was running a lot more than walking and talking more than running!!
I trusted what the chief said on the intro day “When the alarm rings, get your feet off the bed and come for the workout/run. We will take care of the rest.” I did that, for most of the session.

Race Day
I had been running decent towards the end of the season, slow, but decent. The 10K did not seem like a mountain. And the mock run had increased my confidence levels. It couldn’t get worse than that day. Could it? Well maybe!
Race day morning was fun, loud, alive and a totally different animal. It was motivating yet a teeny weeny bit scary too. SO many people would be running.

What are my goals I asked myself? I decided I wanted to feel happy – during the run, after the run. I wanted to really enjoy the whole thing and everything else could be a side effect of that. I wanted to finish strong and feel good.
The first 2 kms, as all the 10Kers standing towards the rear end know, were crowded! Don’t nod your head the time goalers and front runners. You weren’t there, you guys were already off sprinting err running!! But I remembered all the gyaan given by the coaches about taking the 1st 2 kms easy and getting the breathing into place and another of my coaches had just reinforced the thought before we started running that morning. Thanks for that!!

I sipped water at the 2nd stop and had a banana while I walked away from the station. Met my husband at that stop who then ran off and was to be seen only after the finish line! The 4 to 8 km stretch was in a trance like state. I remember looking at the scenery and seeing people around me running, random thoughts floating across my mind and not once did I think about running. One step ahead of the other was happening automatically. I saw so many RHers on the way and it was nice to say hi and exchange smiles that said Yay-we-know-each-other!! I didn’t feel like walking or stopping. But I did drink some water and another banana and some enerzal too at some stop – vague recollections.

During the 8 to 9 km stretch I felt a little fatigued and who comes up behind me? My dad who I had left behind long back at the 3 km mark. He egged me on further. I decided to walk the 1st 500 mtrs after crossing the 9 km mark so that I could finish strong and that would serve as my walk break.
Who did I see just when I needed them? The RH cheer and support squad! Some of the 21k-ers and the marathon runners were there, shouting out loud. That was awesome and all I needed was that. I started running faster around the 500 m point and then picked up pace, saw the crowd after the little uphill and felt a surge of energy, saw another coach pacing someone and I was smiling. Saw Santhosh coming back after pacing someone and he ran along me saying “Push your legs Simran. Get them moving. Give it your all!” I was like, yeah sure! You are not running 😛 LOL No, that did help.

I ran faster, sprinted actually, while remembering what another coach had said during the 100m relay work out on the last but one Wednesday, “You will thank us for this work out during KTM” Thank you!! That did help 🙂

Sprinted across the last few meters, saw my mom and my son, who was jumping up and down, and all those cheers felt just fabulous!! It all felt great – the run, the cheers, the buzz in the atmosphere, the feeling of a wonderful run. Totally loved it!! I think I am getting addicted to running so the Ultra is next on the cards and who knows what after that 🙂

Cheers to RH and all the runners, mentors, coaches. You all rock and are inspirations in your own ways!!

P.S. – the side effect of a happy run was I did my PB (Personal Best for the uninitiated)