Imagine – all this noise about a race! A race – as in a ‘competition’. And the Pinkathon is one too – complete with meaty prizes for the top three finishers in each category – the 3Km, the 5km and the 10km. Two of three first prizes were bagged by my friends – Zumba queen TimTim Sharma and fitness instructor Neera Katwal.So, yes, the Pinkathon is a race too. But, it is not really about podium finishes, distance or timing (though it can be if you want it to be). To me it’s a race ‘with’ the girls, not against them. It is a race for things we women need and deserve – good health, peace of mind and ‘me time’! It is an attempt to remind us that we owe it to ourselves to stay healthy so we can be all the things we are meant to be. It is a wake-up call to the fact that breast cancer is no longer something that happens to the neighbour! To understand the probability write the names of 21 women you really like and add your own name to that list. Chances are that one person on that list is likely to suffer from cancer – it is that scary! But it doesn’t have to be. Prevention, early detection and treatment exist, and that message is core to the Pinkathon – a run that supports Women’s Cancer Initiative, a run that started with a survivor sharing her story.So what’s better than some education delivered unconventionally- in a fun, happy way to spread this important message? I’ll tell you what’s better: men of all ages, shapes and sizes along the race course cheering thousands of women who are running. Sisterhood and bonding that comes from doing something fun together! Thousands of women (75% of all participants I hear) getting out there, doing something for the first time in their lives; running when they can and walking when they can’t. And finally scrumptious Milind Soman patiently obliging participants who want a picture with him – yup that too!As I left for home after the race that day, I couldn’t decide if it was more inspiring to see Suresh’s wife and 15 year old daughter run together for the first time or meeting the nameless 66 year old who ran her very first race.
The answer to ‘why running?’ lies in my ‘super-woman’ tag. I am frequently asked how I manage raising children, running two companies on a full time basis, travelling for fun and for work, writing and going to college. Let me start by confessing that that I am not a super-woman. In fact, according to me ‘super-woman’ is a fallacy – super-woman doesn’t exist! Truth is that I am like any other woman, trying to do the things I love to do and though I have an incredibly supportive family, I have my days – and some are really bad!
But if there is one thing that gives balance to my crowed life with multiple roles, it is my love for sports. Get that right – running is not something that takes from my limited time, it is something that gives sanity to my life (and therefore to the lives of those who have to survive in close proximity to me). It’s like an investment or maybe even insurance! No matter what it is that I have to deal with I know that a little time out on my feet will shrink mountains for me – after all the mountain is in the mind. Running makes me feel invincible. It helps me to think things through and makes me forgive when I am tempted to kill someone. And, while I get all done with stress busting, I am pretty sure that running is what keep me strong and healthy. But don’t take my word for it. I say experience yourself – Pinkathon gives you the chance to do so.
With a string of Indian cities it is visiting, Pinkathon is set to become the biggest only-women 10K run in the world. Mark your calendar, set out on that journey, get out there and like my favourite t-shirt slogan reads ‘kick some ASSphalt’. Go on girls, get wise enough to be foolish!
- Gauri Jayaram