Run Deepika Run!!
That’s the mantra I am repeating on Sunday mornings. You see, I have enrolled myself in a soccer training class. Just like my son. But, unlike my son, running around and playing sports doesn’t come naturally to me. Or that’s what I told myself all these years.
As a kid I was inclined more towards academics and dancing. And because I was good at both, I was encouraged and pushed towards it more too. Sports took a backseat. Actually I don’t think it even crossed anyone’s mind. The usual tag and hide and seek were the only games played. As I grew up, even when I wanted to and would try and participate, I would get discouraged by my lack of expertise.
I am extremely conscious of doing something I am not very good at. I know, practice makes you perfect and stuff, but it’s not that easy to remember when you are under pressure. Not like I am a superstar and people expect me to perform. The pressure is what I have built for myself. Like I said, dancing comes very naturally to me. When I go for my soccer training classes, I am extremely conscious of running around. Even if there are one or two spectators who are people I know. Hell! I am conscious of doing that in front of the coach!! But, you can fill the whole goddamn place with people and I wouldn’t blink twice if I had to dance.
But 30s being the best phase of one’s life, it was the perfect time for me to battle this demon too. So, I pick up my phone, make the enquiries for a class for women and then start hounding all my girlfriends to join me. We are all super excited about it. I am insanely psyched. All the other girls are quite sporty, some of them good tennis players. And I couldn’t wait to get myself embarrassed.
Every woman I met, I tried to convince them to join me. The usual, “I can’t play” “Look at me, I can’t even run properly” were the responses I got. I tried to tell them, that I was probably worse than all of them put together, and if I was ready to give it a try, they should too. I was booed down for saying that, because apparently sports shouldn’t be a problem for me. After all I am so active and “outdoorsy” Yes. I stay active, I work out. I love trekking, hiking and all other activities which get me out and get the adrenaline going. I am extremely competitive which is the only reason for me performing well, when I do. But, that isn’t enough when it comes to sports, especially with something like football. The amount of stamina and cardio strength you need is incredible. Well, I have none of that.
Last before year, I tried running. I used to go with a friend. I was a joke. The park we used to go to, had a running track of 900 meters. He would run 3-4 circuits of it, followed by pull ups, push-ups, crunches, all the while getting appreciative glances from young, old, men, women alike. While I would run my duck waddle for a hundred meters, walk, huff puff for a while and try my waddle again. So, there. Anything to do with cardio. I am an epic fail.
But, that doesn’t mean I can never do it. Won’t know till I try. And try hard I will. So, finally the first Sunday morning comes. We are all more excited about the post session breakfast at the café which is at the venue. Maybe, this was a good motivator. In spite of this, only 3 of us turn up. We barely ran. 20 minutes I think. Then, I had a kids and parents’ session with my son. A little bit more running there. Next day, my muscles were sore. It was depressing!! How did I come to this?!! I am just 33 goddamnit! Not 50!
So, the next class, I am all charged up. Some more of my friends have joined me. Girls in their twenties. Damn!! The first 10 minutes I am as hyper as one can get. Running around, not letting anyone come even close to me. And then, my age catches up to me. My chest is burning, my knee is hurting, my head swims, I feel darkness taking over me and I am struggling to go into the light. Too dramatic? Well, it was pretty dramatic for me. I would be damned if I am the old woman on the field (which I actually was) who can’t keep up. I pushed myself till I could and then finally had to accept that I couldn’t run no more. It didn’t matter how competitive I was or how incredible my will power is. There is only so much your mind can do. Your body should be able to keep up.
Fortunately, I am not a teenager anymore who gets embarrassed too quick. Big deal! I can’t run. So, I can’t. For now. It’s temporary. A few more classes, a little more dedication in my work out sessions, that’s all I need. I am not going to be selected to play for Real Madrid or Barca. But, you can bet your last penny on the fact that, I will try to be as good as I can get.
If you are in Hyderabad and would like to join me in my adventure or if you are already a player and would like to go spend an hour at a turf set in the skies. Please look up HotFut Hyderabad.
So. Get out there. Take the bull by its horns. Take by the scruff of the neck. Take a test drive. Take the biscuit.