Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Women Runners

So, this was another thread in my thoughts in the recent past. I was thinking that its SO OBVIOUS. Instead of investing in Oil of Olay Secret Formula Containing Titanium Dioxide (which, in case you don't know, is what makes white paint so..uhh..white), the thing to do to battle various things that happen to our body and mind due to pregnancies, and child birth, is to RUN.

But then I look around me everyday. And I just don't see enough number of women running. People my age, typically have children that are not so small. I am not thinking crazy amounts of running or races or things that can hurt you. But just a regular 5km 2-3 times a week. The mind and body benefits are immense, and the best part of it - ITS SO EASY TO DO.

I stop for a second to point you to this one I wrote:

Hyderabad Marathon Running Ambassador Thingie

Lets see. What do we need to run? Shorts (I strongly hate pants in general, and would totally live in shorts and wear shorts to work if I wasn't afraid of my mom). Tshirt. Sports bra. Shoes. Socks. Road. Pretty much thats all!

If I put my mind back to the time when my baby was a tiny rat, my main consideration was that the exercising ("me time") shouldn't be an expensive proposition - in terms of time invested, money spent, and general turmoil rest of household is thrown under.

Running met with these criterion superbly! I could start running the minute I stepped out of the elevator. In fact, after I got a little fit, I climbed down my 24 flights of stairs, and that was super interesting and fun (saw all the debris from previous night's parties!), as well. If I was worried about jiggling all over in my fatness, and people laughing at me for it, I managed to not worry about it. Kept my head down.

I have seen my husband get fit. Like visibly fit. With toning and muscles and all. It used to take him 3 weeks. Now it takes a little longer, as he grows old. Me, on the other hand? It used to take long, and it takes EVEN LONGER now. I am sure its to do with how women's bodies are constructed in general. But then all we have to do is just keep at it! One foot in front of another. That simple.

Which is why I am very very surprised to not see more women runners. I just don't get it. I am not the kind to push people into it. But I am tempted to! My own family, my sisters etc., no one runs. I occasionally feel like I must DO something about this. But I am reluctant to, as I said, push people into it. So I write this, and hope you read it and respond and help me understand why we are so few of us out there in the roads... 


Sri said...

Hmmm..ur post got me thinking..i think the last time i ran was at the beach in MGM Resorts about 2 years back! I ran because it was early morning and no one was around except me and hubby and we had a running race!...i think most women are self-conscious especially post marriage,kids etc and dont think of running as a way of being fit..walking yes but not running..i dont think i can ever run on a road!!!

darkandcomic said...

Very interesting. I'm a non-mommy, and yet all the jiggling etc applies. I have been running for a year now and yes, no women running buddies. I know this has been done to death, but I have now 4-5 examples in my own family to say this: Women just consider anything done for their own body's benefits, a luxury/ too much of trouble. It's true. Add to it, the whole idea of running and putting yourself on a public display looking not-so-elegant, and the limited enthusiasm fizzles out even faster.

And also this: Many women LOVE to say self-deprecatory things about their looks/ weight, but many don't really believe it. You delve a little deeper and you will hear things like: "Of course, I climb the stairs every day.", "I still have to be on my feet all day.", "The little one takes care of my exercise." They do believe they're getting some workout doing these low-intensity everyday things, and even wonder why it's not helping them. I know, I've been there too.

I've come to believe that there's no way you can tell people about the benefits or the disadvantages of certain things, till they really want to see for themselves. Fitness, keeping their mouth shut when the situation demands, speaking up, working hard - nobody can force anyone to see the benefit in these without being made to feel that they sound like a d!*k.

Preeti Aghalayam aka kbpm said...

Sri - I know the feeling. I feel we do ourselves an injustice!! My friend Ridhima says she runs downhill with a feeling of abandon - like a child - free - don't we all need that feeling?

darkandcomic - Sorry, wasn't trying to bias towards mommies, was watching TV and that stupid Karisma Kapoor ad was on it. I hear ya!

Musica said...

Your blog has made me run. I am 31 mother of 2 and a s/w engineer in Bangalore. I used to read your blog regularly and was amazed at how much you run. So one day I decided, let me try. I run for 1.5 km and walk for 2 more Kms on alternate days in the week. I was never into sports, dint even know i could run until I started.Now i feel gr8, I have been doing it for past 3 months.I also ran Majja run, in Bangalore 10k. Next year I want to do 10 Km next year.
Running has not made be super thin, but it has made me feel that I too can run. I would just read your blog and kept thinking I could never do it from a long time.

So Preethi, yes you have inspired me. And I am pushing my mom and sister to at
least walk, if not run.

Preeti Aghalayam aka kbpm said...

Musica! Thank you muchly. Am super glad that you are enjoying this activity! Good for you in signing up for races. Hope to run into you in one or the other event in near future! Maybe the Kaveri Trail Marathon?

wordjunkie said...

Hey Preeti, you got me running too.

BTW, Mumbai brims over with running women.. I have atleast three full marathon runners in my neighbourhood, and know about a gazillion terrific runners through the Runner Girls.

I used to think a lot about getting leaner (NOT!), getting faster (NOT!)..and how a combination of both of these would have me running farther (NOT YET) but at the end of the day, the great high of just having run five super slow kilometres makes up for it all. I'm also happier running/ swimming alone.

Ok, I don't think just ignorance or complacence keeps us women from running. A lot of women don't run because
a) it is difficult the first few days,you are unwieldy and jiggling all over and just so darned EXPOSED out there, with people watching you.Especially watching your chest. It's easy to opt out and stick to brisk walking.
b) The roads (since most of us don't have access to gyms) teem with idiots.

c) Knee pain! Back pain! They invariably pay a visit in the first few weeks you run, and most women i know say their doctors STRONGLY ADVISE them from starting 'running' at 'this age'. Who dares disobey their doctor, right?

d) um, we are group animals, aren't we? So much easier and safer to walk and talk :)