Runner Of The Month 2018

Dr. Vishal Bhasme – (ROTM December 2018)

“Only those who will risk going too far, can possibily find out how far one can go”.
I would often think, how people run a Half or a Full marathon! Now I myself do it.I was a seasonal sportsman during my school days. My father, an ardent early morning jogger, use to wake me and push me a lot for doing some physical activity, but most of the time I would snuggle back.

In early 2008, during my MS Surgery education I was overweight. I got diagnosed with L5-S1 prolapse intervertebral disc disease, I decided to get it treated conservatively by physiotherapy. This prompted me to start jogging and slowly I started running 2-3 kms at an easy pace in parks and tracks. The backache got relieved, but post long duty hours there was always some discomfort and soreness. In 2011 the backache recurred and this time it was quite severe and hence got operated.

After few days I started my back strengthening exercises. I finished my studies and started practising but gym and running weren’t a part of my life style.

Then in Nov 2016, I had to briefly shift to Panjim where I started running again,on the Dona Paula roads. I think Goa was destined to inculcate running in me, I fell in love with running. My mate Dr Noel Henriques and I registered for a HM in GOA Marathon 2017. I finished my first HM in 2:18hrs. This was the beginning of my running life, and didn’t look back then.The immense satisfaction after finishing the HM was truly beyond words.
After shifting to Nagpur in May 2017, the passion continued and so did the desire to grow and hence the Full Marathon. I came across ouresteemed Orange City Runners Group (OCR) and joined it in OCT 2017. I was extremely happy joining OCR with whom I saw and accomplished my dream of running my first FM TMM-2018 which I finished in 04:33 hrs.

For me running is like meditating. I go in a trans world while running with music in my ears. Each and every moment experienced is so wonderful.Running has changed my attitude and outlook to life. It has made me mentally more stronger, challenging and a powerful person. It has brought out the best in me and I promise to keep growing .

If people are possessed of reasons for not running marathons,it will not work. But we are not creatures of reason, we are creatures of passion.

I want to shout out a big thank you to my running pals Kuldeep and Gagan Sir and dream to run the Mecca the Boston Marathon together.

Arusha Kelkar – (ROTM November 2018)

Running became an integral part of my routine about 2 years ago,when my parents wanted me to devote some of my time to physical fitness. Having left swimming about 4 years ago due to an extremely painful shoulder injury, I wanted to relive those days of winning and competing. The injury had made me extremely weak mentally and physically.After joining the running group,I was able to come back to my original levels of fitness and due to the joyous environment out there, I was able to recover mentally as well.Running gave me a sense of freedom from my injury, it gave me the happiness of accomplishment which was missing since the last 4 years. After about 6 months of running, I realized that I could still fulfil my dream of swimming again without pain.The continuous motivation from Dr. Neena Sahu,Dr. Soheb and others helped me enjoy and take up new challenges. I started swimming regularly and won 3 Gold, 2 Silver and 2 Bronze medalsfor my college in the interNIT competition held at NITK,Surathkal  in January 2018.Winning medals at a competition was a dream I had long forgotten after my injury. Swimming, competing and winning again helped me heal from my injury like nothing else did. I couldn’t believe that from being on bed rest for 40-50 days due to the injury, now I could swim and run all because of my motivating run buddies.

This is how I realized I could participate in Triathlons and then registered myself for one.I had no clue that training for triathlon would be very different and tough than others. Having never used a geared cycle,it was my first challenge of learning how to use a geared one. Again there were many people to help me out and I could complete my first Olympic Distance Triathlon(1.5km swimming,40km Cycling and 10km Running) at the Delhi International Triathlon in February,2018 in decent time. Later in November 2018 I participated in the Hyderabad Triathlon, i was an unexpected podium finisher at the event.I stood second in Hyderabad and this one was very special because of two reasons, first, I had put in a lot of hard work for about 4 months, be it monitoringdiet, strength training at Gym also followed a proper schedule of running, swimming and cycling recommended by Dr. Neena Sahu, second, during the triathlon I fell down on a speed breaker after about 8kms of Cycling and got bruised badly, my elbow was bleeding continuously.Completing the triathlon itself had become a challenge for me which thankfully I could do. The podium finish was the cherry on the cake.Had it not been for my parents, my family, Dr. Neena Sahu and all my run buddies, I wouldn’t have been able to complete it.

Well,the feeling back then was something I can’t express in words. It’s been 5 long years since I had felt that “Feeling of Accomplishment” and when finally realized that I had done a triathlon “PAIN FREE”,the feeling was just surreal. Success definitely leads to you striving for more success. Being able to pursue Computer Science at VNIT and competing in an altogether different sport like triathlon has been a truly satisfying journey until now.

I am thankful to God that I got such a wonderful group to train with. The energy levels and their attitude towards life has helped me learn a lot. Last but not the least,I strongly believe in the quote that “Health is Wealth” and good health definitely leads to a life full of Happiness and peace of mind.

Kuldeep Chouragade – ( ROTM October 2018 )

I used to smoke, a lot, when trying to give up I found that the only time I didn’t want to smoke was when I was running. So I started running… a lot….

I had smoked for about ten years, since my late teens, and like most smokers I knew it was bad for me. Trying to explain to someone who has never smoked just why people smoke despite knowing all the downsides is a difficult task and I guess that is akin to any addiction ; I just didn’t care too much about what might happen years down the line.

Finally it was my vanity that led me to take my first step towards a huge awakening to the power of fitness. I realized that smoking can cause a lot of damage – something that, I did not like the sound of. So in October 2016 I decided that, while I would continue living for the moment, I would also be a non-smoker. It’s a strange feeling, quitting smoking, I can remember feeling really annoyed – but with no valid reason. One day I found that this niggling feeling could be made to completely disappear by throwing on my barely used runners and almost killing myself by running. Since that time there’s no looking back and what miracle, within 10 days after I started running I quit smoking permanently : )

Within that span or so I noticed huge improvements in my performance and I believe this is one of the key factors which meant I succeeded in my attempts at quitting smoking, where previously I had failed. In my previous attempts at quitting I had been irritable and aggravated without receiving any visible benefits. My generation demands instant gratification; if we can’t see the rewards almost immediately then we are likely to deem something a waste of time.

It was during one of routine morning Runs while running in Seminary Hills that I saw group of people running all around and they were non other but members of OCR…..that’s how I became part of this loving Running Family… this is how I grasped that a Marathon is of 42 Kms and Half Marathon is of 21 Kms. Since October 2016 I have completed 2 Marathons and 5 Half Marathons….

Nothing comes easy in life way…. akin is my running journey. I had many ups and downs since last 2 years however what Running taught me is “Consistency”, it has educated me on how to stay calm and remain patient.

Last but not the least I would like to show my gratitude towards my Running Partner Mr. Gagan Paul  who has taught me that nothing is impossible, I always wish that I should be able to Run like him once I’m of his age. I would also like to thank Dr. Vishal Bhasme, both Gagan Sir and Dr. Vishal have always supported me during my Running Endeavors :)

Shahina Lalani – (ROTM September 2018)

I started working out in 2007, when I started working with Corporates and realized that I was putting on weight. Those days I used to run, but only on treadmill. One fine day in January, 2013, my friend-cum-Mentor Naveen Hegde (everybody in Shivaji Park calls him Guruji) filled my form for SCMM and made me register for Half Marathon. I was completely unaware of what I was getting into. I was used to5 Km run on treadmill, since I had never ran in Marathons before, I thought okay lets give it a try. I believed it may be fun or an experience, however the pain after finishing first HM was enormous. I had complete body ache, as I was not used to so much running till that date. I said to myself that this is going to be the first and last Marathon of my life and decided never to run again. I don’t know what prompted me but next year and I registered for my Second HM all by myself :)

The feeling of finishing Half Marathon was out of the world for me, I became much calmer, it taught me to never ever give up, whatever the situation is and that’s what I loved about it. I decided I should do it regularly, it gave me immense strength, it has made me physically fit and mentally strong as well.

Since then it’s become a ritual now, it is also a resource of socializing; once I finish my run, I meet friends have breakfast and then come home. So far I have done 6 editions of Tata Mumbai Marathon (earlier SCMM), Airtel Hyderabad HM, Satara HM, Goa HM & 10k, IDBI Mumbai HM & 10k and recently did Leh Half Marathon. Currently, I have 23 Medals in my Medal stand & still counting to add on more.

I need not mention that the rewards of physical activity are amazing. Because of sedentary and hectic pace of life, I have seen my friends & family complaining about BP, diabetes, obesity, PCOD/PCOS and even slipped disc issues. But, thankfully, Running has kept me away from all such health issues, more importantly, it has made me a peaceful and positive person. If you want to live life young, running or any sort of physical activity is a must.

Nitin Maurya – ROTM August 18

I vividly recall my first long run of 9km; the longest I ever ran! Running /walking from one pole to another! Exactly a year ago… And I would have never pictured myself, my life the way it is now. It has been an amazing journey since then. Till now, I have completed 4 half marathons and few 10ks’. The next big dream is to complete a full marathon.

I am immensely grateful to Neena Ma’am for all the guidance and training. Your constant efforts towards injury free running need no introduction and have helped me to run pain free. And Shoheb Sir… What would I do without you . You are such a blessing!

I am thankful to Ankita, my college Buddy for introducing me  to Dr. Neena’ Running School and OCR. Past one year has been instrumental in my life because of OCR. Its amazing how life changes when you are surrounded by such wonderful people. Everyone here is super supportive and great motivator, helping each and everyone to realise their full potential.

Well, I am still a newbie who gets excited at the thought of running. Running has become my lifestyle now. It makes me strive to be a better, healthier version of myself.

Nitin Thuteja – (ROTM July 2018)

Life has its ways of pulling you down, testing your limits. Some people give up, often too early, and then there are people who fight through the odds and come out on top and I refused to fall in the first category.

I’m a third generation business man and I run, now that might not sound like a big deal considering thousands of people participate in Marathons around the world. But I wasn’t always like this. I was the kid in school who always exempted himself from sports.

My journey began in 2013 when I met with an accident and both my legs had to be operated for ligament tear, and unfortunately the operation was not successful, the doctors advised me to restrain from walking and I was bound to crutches. I went through major surgeries, was bedridden for 6 months, sought opinion of multiple doctors, still I couldn’t walk normally without pain, such was my case that most of them told me that my knees were irreparable and no one was ready to take my case. It was a very difficult part of my life however thanks to my wife and daughter whose constant encouragement did a world of good to me.  I don’t like to think of those bleak times, but my accident made me realize that every little thing that we feel, sense and experience every day is a gift.

But I wasn’t going to give up. A strong will, coupled with my friend – Sandeep Nair’s suggestion to seek advice of Dr. Neena Sahu for strengthening of legs, I started going to Dr. Sahu’s gym for physiotherapy, this helped me and I started walking gradually and started understanding my body and responding to it objectively. I had put on lot of weight after surgery, I cringed at the thought of putting so much pressure on my knee but still gave it a try. With the help of disciplined training at running tracks as well as at gym, I could finish my first ever half marathon without pain within few months of training .

Since then there is no looking back, I have been running regularly. Running gave me the confidence to come back stronger in life, it gave me a fighting spirit. Friends often tell me that I inspire them to believe in their dreams. Running has brought me closer to myself, it has inspired me to see the setting Moon and welcome the rising Sun. Most of all Running has made me a happier and positive person

This write up will be incomplete if I don’t shower gratitude on Dr. Neena Sahu and Dr. Soheb… thanks for the faith you had in me and all the inspiration… also thanks to OCR for considering me eligible for ROTM…Life is crazy, but it’s also too short to be taken seriously. “Take its ups and downs as a challenge, and with a sense of humour….

Dinesh Hirani – (ROTM June 2018)

Cricket and volleyball has been my passion since childhood days, however once you get into college and embark on professional life all of these have to take a back seat. Just to keep myself fit and healthy I started doing Yoga with some bit of morning walks, still I got physical set back some 10 years back when I was diagnosed with brain Tumor, “No….no way”, I thought…. that’s not remotely possible”. My family and friends were “freaking out”… even though I was the one who was sick, that’s where I felt the need to be strong. ‘Whatever it is, I’ll deal with it, even if it’s the worst situation, I’ll be fine. I was operated twice in 4 years and then third time had to undergo radiotherapy after 3 years it was first diagnosed. All this made me lose confidence and I was depressed, had it not been the support of my family and friends, God only knows what was in store.

Fast forward two years later:  I was  back to work and concurrently got introduced to this running world and lovely OCR family by my childhood friend and mentor Dr. Anil Jawahirani. I’ve really been fond of it since I ran my first 10 Km, it was certainly a great stress relief for me. Since then running and its rewards have helped me to get rid off  depression and regain my lost confidence. Words cannot express my sincere thanks to Dr. Neena Sahu and Dr. Mohammad Soheb who trained me to ensure I don’t capture any injury and helped me complete several marathons in which I surprised myself with the speed and time. Running has become  a meditation for me which acts like a catalyst to rejuvenate my body and soul.

“Now is when I’m dealing with the emotional effects of what happened.. “You kind of feel alone in that. I would love to help others who are in the same spot and aid support groups for people with the help of my friends Anil, Umesh and Kamlesh. Together we have started “Jhulelal Running Academy” – JRA wherein we have decided to motivate and train at least 100 people.

Anuradha Maurya – (ROTM May 2018)

At the outset, I would like to thank OCR for choosing me as the ROTM-May’18. It’s an honour for me.

Further, words are not enough to convey my gratitude towards the perfect trio (Neena Ma’am, Shoheb Sir and Rajat Sir) for changing my life through running. Not just running, Neena Ma’am and team bring out the best of everyone, the true sportsmanship and positive attitude towards life.  This is the reason why even the gruesome drills become fun and we keep asking for more (or no more 😉 )

Thank you Ankita Agarwal for introducing us to OCR and Dr.  Neena’s Running School and thank you Nitin Maurya (dear hubby) for being persistent and pushing me for good, when I felt running is not my cup of tea.

I am new to running. Before joining this group, running even a 3 km on treadmill was a feat and if anyone had told me that you can complete a 10 km run,I would have laughed it off. However, a few months of training under expert guidance of Neena Ma’am and Shoheb Sir, I was able to complete half marathons as well. Now, I even dare to dream (sometimes) to participate in a full marathon. (#FutureGoals)

Running with the group has not only helped me with fitness, it has completely changed my life. From a late night owl, I have become an early riser, witnessing beautiful sunrises amidst gruelling drills/runs alongwith with my run buddies.

Running has introduced me to a complete different side of me. I feel a spiritual connect when I run. It’s turning out to be my way of meditation.

Last but not the least, running has taught me it’s not about winning; it’s about finishing what you started when every cell in you body wanted to quit.

Aayush Lohia – (ROTM April 2018)

Though the exuberance of being recognised as ROTM – April’18 is yet to sink in, at the outset I would extend my heartfelt gratitude to my running gurus Neena Ma’am / Soheb Sir for sharpening my running skills and to all OCR running/training mates who collectively motivated me at all times to run  with enthusiasm and in turn made me worthy of this wonderful recognition.

Running comes naturally to me and I owe it to my 2 yrs at boarding school where the regimental cross country running of 5kms @ 5.30am every morning was the norm. As a competitive Lawn Tennis player, having led Nagpur University as Colour Holder (Captain) for 2 years to State levels, I also played numerous MSLTA/AITA/ITF circuits. Running was part of my daily training routine although limiting to 3-4kms as pre-game warmups. 2004-2005 onwards sports took back stage and business came upfront while Tennis only remained recreational sporting activity. I was detected with early stage Bronchitis Asthma in 2008, life threatening high blood pressure (220/170), high Homocysteine (54) in 2009, and a blotted body carrying 95/96 kgs due to my own carelessness to sport coupled with stress of life’s highs n lows and taste buds ruling the charts at all times. Getting back to Tennis court and fitness only remained an aspiration until my friend and Doctor Dr. Aadil Chimthanawala treated my ailments pushing me to begin with Tennis or at the least take up running as part of his post-treatment routine to de-stress myself and lead a healthy life in future without medication. Today I can vouch that I am free of Asthma, no BP, and controlled regular Homocysteine without any medicines anymore. Yes, I now weigh a healthier 74Kgs-75kgs and feel lighter than ever.

Today free from all ailments, I am able to run enthusiastically for fitness and passion with OCR. At this juncture I would like to acknowledge and extend very special gratitude to few gentlemen who have been my inspiration to commence running namely Mr. Jetane Gopwani, Mr. Amit Th atte, and Dr. Sanjay Jayaswal without whose motivation and inspiration I could not have been a runner neither been part of OCR nor holding this recognition that today I’ve earned and cherish with greatest humility. Some other esteemed runners of OCR have continuously motivated me with their stupendous performances and encouraging words thus setting higher standards to follow and refine myself from time to time.

Lastly, my family’s support for my running and gaining fitness has been an immense strength without whom I could not have reached thus far nor aim to move further ahead.

Keep Running to Live Healthy with a Smile is my mantra for one and all.

Mohammad Aamir – (ROTM March 2018)

Once you make the decision that you will not fail, the Heart & Body will follow!!

I have been sports lover since childhood days, football was my passion. I started my sports career as a goal keeper of my school football team. I continued doing that till the age of 20, however, due to family constraints I had to pick up job and gave up on all sports or sports related activities from that time.

Once the financial stability was restored, I once again become active on outdoor sports activities. It was in the year 2016 when my friend Dr. Soheb informed me about Marathon in Nagpur, he pushed me to enrol for it and convinced me to run for 5Kms in my Maiden Marathon.

That’s when I decided to make a change-and running was going to be my outlet. Dr. Soheb prompted me to join OCR which acted as a catalyst to inculcate running as a daily habit.

With the help of Dr. Neena Sahu and Dr. Soheb I did my first Half Marathon in Hyderabad in 2016, I have never looked back since then. Such is the motivation level of both the doctors and our running group that within no time I enrolled myself for my first Full Marathon in TMM January 2018.

I believe running is a group activity and it promotes body awareness which can help you appreciate your body and respect what it can do. OCR is the best group of Nagpur which gives the platform and acts as a guide to runners to enhance their potential.

Running gives me a great feeling, it has given me many friends. People who just got introduced to me as runners, have now become part of my life.

Satish & Mamta Sarda (Running Couple of OCR) – (ROTM February 2018)

Both me and Mamta have been active in sports since our school days. I was motivated to ‘Run’ by my friends Pankaj and OP Agrawal in 2014, also other factors ~ since I’m a CA 😉 that pushed me into it were – simple sport, easy to pursue, flexible, all it requires is running shoes. While I was mostly into Cricket during my school days, Mamta had been active in other sports. She started running in 2017, just to check what I do every morning :(…and now I’m following her. Initially both my mother and Mamta had apprehensions about running, though my father was very happy with that fact that I’ve chosen some outdoor activity to keep fit, in fact he has been instrumental and supportive for Mamta to pick up Running, so much that he has started keeping track of Running/Marathon events.

Running has been a great stress buster for both Mamta & me. In the beginning I did have to struggle with knee pain but all that’s gone now. Mamta gets a great sense of positivity post ‘Run’… it’s like if she’s Happy, by default I’m Happy – you know what I mean 😉

Since 2014 I have done around 8-9 Half Marathons and a 25K Matheran Trail Run. Mamta on the other hand has completed 4 Half Marathons and 4-5 10K Runs, she has gone on to win podiums at most of these races. She manages to balance her family, work and training with ease. We both enjoy participating in running events together, we have been planning a yearly Runcation as well.

We both have adopted a Holistic approach to Fitness thanks to the runs and drills of Dr. Neena Sahu, apart from this Mamta has been Cycling regularly. Furthermore, keeping a log of Runs – especially the long ones on Sunday, helps in monitoring progress and staying motivated. Our next goal is to do a Full Marathon this year.

Our advice to Beginners – take it easy, don’t rush, Rest and Recovery are equally important; Sleep especially cannot be ignored since that’s when our Body Recovers. We both feel the desired performance can be achieved only when the body, mind, soul and external forces all work harmoniously towards it.

Finally our request to all fellow Married Runners – Please motivate your spouse to run with you… after all “ Jo Miyan Biwi kart ek dusre se pyaar… kaise karen saath saath daudne se inkaar ;)

Vikram Bahal – (ROTM January 2018)

‘Journey of 1000 miles begin with a single step’

It’s my privilege to be a part of such inspirational group OCR.

All throughout I have been a sports loving person, during school days I actively participated in sports event. But as School got over, so did sports, it was beginning of tough part of life; College, work, marriage, kids etc. which kept me busy.

It was in 2010 when I realized that I had gained lot of weight which prompted me to start picking up the regular activity of Morning walk, regular brisk walk of 4-6 Kms daily helped me to reduce my obesity.

It was my friend Jetane whom I used to meet regularly during my Morning Walks who impressed and inspired me to pick up Running. In the beginning I was scared of running due to injury in my L4 and L5 disc and simultaneously my Doctor had also advised me not to run or to pick up any major sports activity but with my strong desire and persistent efforts, gradually I succeeded in inculcating the desire to ‘Run’ in myself.

Gathering all my courage, I started running small distances what I called them as practice runs. In November 2015 I did my first Half Marathon with 20 days of practice and timing of  2.20hrs, I was elated and my confidence grew many folds. It was again the same month that I joined OCR and have never looked back since then. Now I have started enjoying running and training under the guidance of Dr. Neena Sahu and Dr. Soheb Mohammed.

Since then I have adopted an universal approach to fitness thanks to regular trainings under the guidance of Trainers and daily yoga. Thereafter I have completed multiple Half Marathons/Duatholons and succeeded in becoming a sub 2 category runner for Half Marathons.

My most memorable Marathon so far is ‘Satara Hill Marathon’ which I did in 2016, it was indeed an amazing experience. In January 2018 my long term dream of doing a Full Marathon was realized when I finished the TMM in pleasing time of 4.55hrs.

Running is one of that sport which requires no opponent; you just have to compete within yourself…

Like the lines from a poem by Mr. Prasoon Joshi say  ” NIKAL PADO TO MUMKIN HAI”

Govind Jasoriya – ( ROTM January 2018)

At the outset let me begin by thanking OCR recognizing the ‘Runner’ in me…

Born in a regular middle class family, I grew up in a safe, secure and protected environment. Invariably; Sports took a back seat, once I got involved in family business. However I started running few years back with the mindset of ‘Run for Fun’, it was after joining OCR I realized the nuances of running. It made me realize ‘I MAY NOT BE THE BEST BUT I BELONG TO THE BEST’.

In 2015, I participated in first Half Marathon at Nagpur, I ran 10K and completed the run by running easy and even walking at times. Till then my only training was running between Balodyan and Futala whilst juggling household chores and business.

Post that I have been trying to have a Holistic approach to fitness thanks to Dr. Neena Sahu’s training which acted as a catalyst to push me for long Runs. Also all my friends and fellow runners have always motivated me in improving my run without injuries.

Initially what seemed impossible over a period of time has developed my confidence so much so that I completed my maiden 42K in TMM this year without any struggle.

I had taken it easy since preliminary days gradually increasing time and intensity of load while seeking Expert Guidance. Running has helped me in making me strong both Mentally and Physically.

Thank you Dr. Neena Sahu and Dr. Soheb Mohammad you and your team have done wonders by shaping me up as a Runner.

Last but not the least I would like to end with following lines;

नतीजे की कोई परवाह नहीं मुझे….!!

प्रयासों का अपना अलग मजा है….!!