Let's get physical...
on Honk if you Like Curry (India), 23/Aug/2010 14:39, 34 days ago
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as Olivia Newton-John once said, or try to if you live in Delhi and are training for a half marathon...For those who know me, don’t laugh and yes it is true, I am indeed training for a half marathon. The Delhi Half Marathon is a big fixture in our fundraising calendar so on 21st November I will be (attempting to) run 21km to help raise funds for my NGO,Score Foundation.Firstly, I wish I‘glowed’ as elegantly as Olivia, the problem with running in India and the fact it’s 36°c by 7am, is that you end up looking like you’ve had a beetroot facial whilst being wrapped in clingfilm in a sauna. It’s not helped by the fact you need to still be covered up whilst you are exercising here. Tracky bums and a baggy t-shirt are fine, but shorts and a vest top are a no, unless you are male. I’m very jealous of a Sikh gentleman who power walks around my local park in (slightly too tight) shorts and I enviable stare at his bare legs. But I should not complain at least I can go jogging outside, many female volunteers in more rural areas have no options for exercising al fresco. The local gyms are male only so you can only exercise at home, so one resourceful friend has created her own workout regime A-Team style with bricks and plastic bags.Running on the road is a complete no unless you are on a death wish, or are doing a Krypton Factor style regime that involves hurdling cows and dodging street dogs so you need to find a local park. Delhi is actually a lot greener than you would think so there are quite a few options near us. Our local park (a rectangle of grass in a residential area) has a good‘track’ (a concrete path about 3ft wide) around; some grass where cricket is always played, a concrete badminton court, a playground which seems to be a crèche for local street children and construction workers , random malnourished topiary statutes of elephants andLord Ganesh.Without generalising too much, on average Indian’s don’t exercise that much. You very rarely see people jogging but power walking is a big thing. Power walkers tend to be middle aged, gather in gangs and combine walking and chatting together. It’s more of an exertive stroll and they tend to walk in threes which makes it particularly hardto overtake when you are trying to embrace your inner Paula Radcliffe.A nation of non exercise lovers is not particularly helpful when you are trying to raise money for a marathon, particularly when it comes to recruiting people to run for us. We had a group of management consultants in the office the other day for a CSR‘make a difference day’, I thought this was going to be rich pickings and I would easily sign a few runners up. As I stood up to pitch I looked around the room and noticed most of the men (young and old) were sporting rather rotund ‘ghee guts’. So my request of “who loves running?” and“who loves going to the gym?” was warmly greeted with silence. I think I’m going to have to rethink my strategy to get anyone to sign up and Just Do It...Highlights:rain, rain, rain– you have to love the monsoon when you are cosy at home, munching on peanut butter toast and another storm rolls in but having now been caught in a full deluge trying to cross a knee length brown river (the road) to get to work the novelty is wearing off – gone are the days where your washing dried in an hour and the emo goth panda eye look is really not my style, new friends and Sunday brunches – smoked salmon, white wine spritzers and great conversation the perfect way to end the weekend, having time to read – due to my marathon regime I’m getting up earlier and have quality booktime over a cup of tea before I go to work, work food approval – so finally I decided to make my own Indian food and bought some homemadealoo gobiinto work for all to share, many said no to trying some as allegedly my vegetables were‘too crunchy’ but I got the seal of approval from one of my colleagues whose delicious South Indian food I always get to eat so that’s good enough for me.