Saturday, August 18, 2012

Olympics for me.

I am back from the Olympics and i am really happy to share the  medal that i won in London.
The competition was tough and so was i.
You have to be real tough at that level.

After winning the medal i was showered with a lot of money, jobs, endorsements.
Getting these accolades definitely feels good.

At this moment all this looks so nice...you also might be thinking that how lucky this guy is...
He just has to play..and he is getting paid for it...and that too in crores.

Yeah i got a few crores...but if i take you a few years back...you would definitely not want to be me.

I was a pretty decent runner in my school days.
Running made me feel free...it gave me hope.
We had a group of  4 friends.
All four of us ran really well.

"Studies/academics according to me was as if somebody is telling me about  how the world was like?
and Running was like going out and figuring it out for myself".

It was all fun and all of us thought of our team as a world beating team.
then came the standard 10.

I was asked to choose between running and studies.
Infact all four of us were asked to make a choice.
Infact...none of us was given a choice...we were asked to stop running and choose studies.

The most crucial 2 years of our life had started...and my parents couldn't see me spoiling those precious two years..just running.

Being a runner for almost 5-6 years i had developed an iron will to achieve my dreams.
The way i ran out those distances...the same way i decided to stick to my dream and keep running.

I asked my running team..to accompany me.

None of them agreed....

One of them had been cajoled by his parents to join Non Medical and prepare for IIT.
Another had decided to prepare for IIMs and be a manager..
Third had joined the Arts as his father was an IAS and Arts was how you got into IAS.

I was shattered as all of them would have made great runners.
I asked them if they are really excited by whatever they were trying to achieve.

I couldn't see the twinkle in their eye...
The spark ..the childish excitement was missing....
they were more excited by the prospect of
being an engineer..or a manager ..or an administrator
than...
they were by engineering something...managing something...or administrating something.

I knew something was wrong...but i knew i had to run.
So I Ran.

I ran from my home.

I was not at all sure of how far i would get in this mad pursuit of mine...
but that was what i had learnt from running in all these years.

You concentrate on the next step..and than the next..and just keep going...
that's how you cover miles and miles of road beneath you.

So this was how i started.

The road ahead was tough..
It was tough keeping your focus on something that had no definiteness to it.
It got tough when my friends started getting hefty job offers.
It got tougher when they started asking me how long would i keep running.
They would occasionally call me up and tell me about how some random guy who got a 1.25 Cr. package in some college.
They also wanted to do it....but they didn't want to enquire about the things that 1.2 cr guy did to achieve that package...neither were they interested in what his job expectations were for that 1.2 Cr.
The only thing that fascinated them was 1.2Cr.

Running was all i could do...and that was all that came naturally to me.
these news kept flowing in but...
It got brutal when my girlfriend gave up on me.
She told me that she was not sure of my future and believed that i couldn't keep her happy.
She got married to an IAS officer.

After this i was shattered and what followed was a plateau.
I call it a plateau because my coach used to call it a plateau.
Plateau is a place where you see no improvements in your efforts...
there is no motivation to keep going...and you have no option apart from keeping going.

but according to my Coach ..Ultimate Athlete loves the Plateau

You get up in the morning ...run hard...exercise harder...diet properly...sleep well.
Repeat.(I can't emphasize repeat enough.)

What follows the plateau is ...for you to see.
If you endure through the plateau..

You do get the rewards..
You do win the medals...

and once you have won those medals...the nation obsessed with numbers,gold and ranks comes to shower praise on you.

I am sure my friends have absolutely no clue about the 25 mtr rapid fire pistol event...nor do they know about the repechage wrestling round...they know nothing about second wind.

The only thing they care about is 6 medals.
Best indian performance ever in olympics.
 
I am happy for the rewards but more than that i am happy for the decisions i took in the last 6 years.
My friends also consider me an a successful man today as i have been awarded 2 crore by the delhi govt.
I just hope they don't change there aim to be an athlete now...

As i am enjoying the welcome i have received ..there is one award  that irks me most.
I was made an IAS officer by the sports minister of india.

I became a sportsperson because i wanted to be a sportsperson.
IAS is as hallowed a profession as it gets in India...
but i want you to celebrate me as an Athlete....

By making me an IAS you are glorifying an already glorified profession.

I don't want parents asking there children to join sports as a means/a shortcut to be an IAS.
I want parents to ask there children to join sports to be a great Sportsperson .

That is one award that i won't be accepting.

Apart from that i am proud of myself...my effort
My fellow medal winners effort...my olympic team's effort
I am proud of our hockey team who made it to the 12 competing nations in the olympics.
I just hope our football team takes inspiration from our hockey team and reaches the olympics next time.

I just wish the football team's trials give hope to a lot of people who haven't formed a team yet.

and when you have tried ...you would empathize
with the pain/ecstacy of
not getting a medal/winning that medal..
of not making /making it to the Olympics.

3 comments:

pranav said...

Sparkle of joy/brilliance, a consequence of hard fought battle with the one deep down inside you. beating comprehensively the materialized successor of a dream, hard RUN journey transcending plateues (above all Social).

"RUN GAURAV RUN"

Bansi said...

lovely bhai

Sanchit said...

Nice post..well articulated!