Posts Tagged ‘exercise’

Rock’n’Roll Half-Marathon, 191014

October 21, 2014

This run had a great slogan:

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Here’s A…

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looking up her name and number:

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Here’s the route:

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The number of runners was huge:

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No doubt about the city!

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She met us after she’d finished:

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Here’s Team Asha, raising funds for the education of children in India:

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Team Asha and Son:

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We went to have breakfast:

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We also went to a donut shop:

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I’d never seen a donut-making machine before!

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The children feasted their eyes:

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We came back home, celebrating A’s achievement! Here are the numbers if you are interested:

Participant Detail
8279
Anjana Mohan
Saint Louis, MO
Age: 35 | Gender: F
Finished In:
01:53:57
Overall: 1012 out of 6361 Division: 79 out of 693 Gender: 359 out of 4080

A walk and a climb in Highrisegaon, 260314

March 26, 2014

Yesterday I was far too knocked out by the migraine, but this morning, I did wake up in time to leave for my walk by 5.45 am. It was the lovely “ushat kAlam” ..the pre-dawn darkness slowly glowing into ambient light.

I went down the stairs…and it was dark enough that after a few floors, I had to go back to the lift and take that down to the ground floor. Out I walked, and with the tall buildings looming on every side, I walked along, being careful to get my various co-ordinates so that I would be able to find my way back through the Redwood Sequioas of Gurgaon.

Several things caught my eye. One thinks, perhaps, that each building is a compact “village”…but that is not so…most people living in the apartments are strangers to each other…they just share the cocoon, and the sense of camaraderie is pretty fragile. After I got no response to my third or fourth “good morning”, I stopped wishing anyone.

I went out of the apartment building I was staying in, and walked out to the “downmarket” area that I could see from the 19th floor balcony…from which the maid, who works in the apartment, comes. The area is divided by a “nullah” (sewage canal), with all sorts of filth in it, in which several huge-looking pigs (some actually having back-bristles like boars) were rooting around. What a difference between economic strata, separated by a road and a ditch! And yet, the residents of the building depend deeply on the denizens of this “pocket sector” (as one of Anjana’s banker friends in this area described it) meant for the “EWS” (Economically Weaker Sections). The drivers, the maids, the “ironwallahs”, the many domestic and menial services provided to the residents…they come from these “pockets”.

I noticed the early morning services in operation. Milk, in plastic sachets that were stacked in hard plastic crates, was being unstacked after being unloaded from the vans, and being delivered. Newspaper vendors sat in groups, with the day’s several papers in front of them, folding deftly, and inserting the various leaflets that make them a few extra rupees every morning, as well as the supplements of each newspaper. Maids and servants were walking to work, some with a shawl over their torsos, against the early morning’s slight nip. I was cheered to see some maids (yes) on cycles. In fact, at one place, I found several cycles, and the security told me that I could borrow a cycle if I wished, and return it after going around. That made me very happy!

I came back from the open road, and decided to walk along the buildings themselves. Between the high-rises were some even more opulent “low rises”…in this region of high real estate values, to have a bungalow or a low-rise building with just two or three floors must mean sky-high cost!

The spaces between the buildings were plentifully planted with trees and plants…and I was happy to see that not all of them were stunted and pruned to human domination…there were quite a few trees that supported a lot of squirrels, and birds…and as the sun rose, butterflies flitted along, too, as (did dragonflies. There were assigned walking paths, but I could walk along the entrances of the various grand apartments, and look up at the incredible variety of the architecture…some of which was pleasing to the eye, and some of which was…otherwise (“Neo-Gurgainyya”sums it up best for me.) The anonmyity of living in such apartments is, I suppose, both a comfort and a discomfort sometimes…but the greenery helps one in adjusting to this kind of city life.

I watched Bulbuls, Sunbirds, Pigeons and Wagtails; in the ditch, Lapwings looked incuriously at me; I saw a few Flowerpeckers in the Bottle-Brush trees, and did my chanting (108 names of Anjaneya, kanakadhArA stOtram, and some more slOkA), meditated in peace, watched some ladies doing yoga…by this time nearly two hours had elapsed.

The weather was just warming up by now, but I climbed the 19 floors to the terrace with ease, and was only slightly huffy and puffy when I reached the front door. I was happy with my morning walk, climb, observations and thoughts…

I walked into the apartment to greet everyone, especially the two children who are now the center of my universe. They ran to me and hugged me; the younger one showed his two teeth in a happy grin; the elder had some anecdote to relate….I was back in my present world..and I left behind the world of Gurgaon, the High-rise Village.

Excellent exercise for people of any age…

February 27, 2014

EXERCISE FOR PEOPLE OVER 60

Begin by standing on a comfortable surface, where you have plenty of room at each side.

With a 5-lb. potato bag in each hand, extend your arms straight out from your sides and hold them there as long as you can. Try to reach a full minute, and then relax.

Each day you’ll find that you can hold this position for just a bit longer. After a couple of weeks, move up to 10-lb. potato bags.

Then try 50-lb. potato bags and then eventually try to get to where you can lift a 100-lb potato bag in each hand and hold your arms straight for more than a full minute.(I’m at this level.)

After you feel confident at that level, put a potato in each bag.

thOppik-karaNam!

September 18, 2013

The internet forward which gave me this link mentioned that it was a traditional Indian “punishment” for children…”uthak-baithak” (get up and sit down). But in south India, especially in Tamil Nadu, this is a form of obeisance to the Elephant God, Ganesha. We call it “thOppik-karaNam” (the “karaNam” part, meaning ear, refers to the holding of the ears cross-wise by the opposing hand.)

Certainly worthy trying if it’s going to improve my brain power! I’m starting with 10 every day…taking me back to my childhood!

A wonderful daughter…

September 24, 2012

My daughter works, very hard, for Asha For Education….and she trains a fresh batch of runners each time, for the half-marathons. Once in a while, she gets an email like this:

“Anjana,
“I didnt have a chance to say this before but we owe you big time. Usually during the weekend runs before the run we are just trying to wake up and prepare for the run and after the run we are way too tired and start wining but if not for you I am not sure if we would have come so far. I am pretty sure we gave you hard time. Showing up late, not downloading the route, getting lost, wining and what not. We must have effortlessly pissed you off but you were there not willing to give up on us. I dont know about others but that resilient quality of yours left a really lasting impression on me. Whenever my body starts complaining about the run I keep thinking the lady is pregnant and doing this and what am I complaining about? You are a real inspiration.
“You kept your promise and we will keep ours. We will not let you down.

“Looking forward for the run,
“S”

I am so lucky to have such an amazing daughter! :))))))))

How cycling can help….

July 18, 2012

see Chiddu’s blog about how someone I know very well has beaten the odds for more than a decade

Chiddu campaigns ceaselessly against vaccination, which, he says, is the only instance of medicine intervening actively in healthy people’s lives. I’d not agree with him wholly, but certainly sometimes, expensive treatments seem not to be needed…if a determined and sustained effort is made.

The stretches…

July 8, 2011

When Amma

(that’s Amma as in “mother”, not

this Amma

or

this one )

comes home after her run, it’s nice to try and emulate her stretches…

They touch their toes (or try to):

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They put one foot forward and stretch:

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Put the soles of their feet together:

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Attempt to cross one leg over the other:

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So nice to have a little imitator of all that we do, in the house!

Wild flowers in Forest Park, 010711

July 5, 2011

The Coneflowers are blooming all over Forest Park, and for once, I thought I’d post just a single photo of their wild beauty:

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It’s rather too hot and muggy to walk around after the morning, so I am not rambling in Forest Park as much as I’d like to….I’m going swimming at the YMCA this evening, and that’s going to be much more comfortable.

Sumin

May 10, 2011

“Sumin”, as my young daughter used to say, is what I do regularly in the summer. Sumin is such a great all-round exercise; and if there is a pool in your own apartment building, like I have, you don’t have to brave the city traffic to get to the pool, either. A quick change of costume, and there I am, ready to slip into the pool (this is a nice way of ssying that I am still afraid to jump in!).

I still do only the backstroke, as it gets far less water into my Ear-Nose-Throat system, and the other compelling reason is that…it’s far less boring.

I swim as dusk gathers. I watch the pigeons fluttering around, and settling on the many projections of my apartment blocks…and high, overhead, I watch the kites wheeling as, in the sinking light, they look for a last meal, made possible by an unwary rodent or a defenceless bird. An occasional pond heron flies past, too, and in the deepening darkness, just as the lights come on in the apartments, little pipestrelles flit about…delighting me, sometimes, by skimming the surface of the swimming pool for a quick sip.

The moon slowly rises and becomes brighter….an the outline of the palm trees and other plants against the evening sky, merges into the gloom of the night. Of course, with the pool lights on, there is never real darkness…except in the brief time between a shutdown of power, and the generator coming on. But in spite of the light, it is a time of magic. The colours of the sky as it deepens from blue to purple to deep mauve….the clouds floating across….they all add to it.

The water feels like silk on my warm body and cools it in such a pleasant way; I do think that regular exercise can only be sustainable when it is as enjoyable as this.

I finish my laps, and then lazily float on the surface of the water for a while. I am so relaxed, and the water holds me up like a mother would her newborn child….I smile when I think how scared I was to start learning how to swim, and how much I have been missing all the years that I didn’t learn.

I’m looking forward to this evening’s swim, now….a hot trip across town, scheduled for this afternoon, is going to make it even more pleasurable!

Sumin….

March 30, 2009

After a hard, back-breaking day, I got back home in time for nothing useful or productive, so decided that today was the day I was going to Start Swimming. And so off I went to our little poolette….

The water felt like silk (ok, well, it *could* have been warmer I guess, especially the pre-swim shower which our building authorities seem to have connected up to some Himalayan snow-fed spring.) I was happy to notice that months of absence have not slowed me down too much (yes, I could ..er..’fasten’ up my laps a little!)…and that I could do 30 laps with no difficulty at all. (The laps in our pool are also lapettes.)

I am feeling so fresh, though tired…the frustrations of the day have dropped away, and I am at peace with all the world again, even with the mason and plumber who were my main instruments of torture the whole day long…

How lucky I am to have this pool of blue, clean water to swim in as long as I wish to. How many generations hence will swimming pools be a thing of the past?

Meanwhile, on Sunday I went for the Lalbagh Heritage Walk, organized by Max Mueller Bhavan as an Urban Space Event; here’s a close-up of a Traveller’s Palm that I took…

travellers' palm lalbagh 290309

Let not anyone tell you that abstract art is nothing like Nature makes…Nature has abstract art everywhere; lovely designs, numbers, one-off pieces of exquisite creativity…