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Running towards self-realisation

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Ilya Starostin
Digital Marketing Lead

Running is therapeutic for the body and mind in numerous ways, but for me, it also marked a shift towards getting fit again. My fitness journey began when I was 12 or 13, and I was with scoliosis. My doctor recommended a strength-building regimen, where I would lift heavy weights to build muscle and strengthen my back. My goal thus remained keeping myself fit and healthy. It’s not like I wanted to be a professional athlete, I just wanted to keep my back strong. Apart from weight training, I also played volleyball and tennis, and skied regularly. I loved team sports but never enjoyed running.

Then, one day, while on a skiing trip in the mountains with my wife, I fell and was seriously injured. I had a meniscus tear and a cruciate ligament rupture, went through two surgeries within a month and took a long time to heal. For the first time in my life, I was walking with crutches. My leg muscles were atrophied and for more than six months I was simply recovering to get back to a normal life. Sports went out of the window. I had to relearn bending my legs, walking, jumping and ironically, running.

It was my colleagues at Dr Reddy’s who inspired me to run. We have a group that’s very passionate about running, which includes my mentor Dmitry Kharlamov. I started training last July for my first 10km run. My colleagues supported and advised me, encouraged me to keep going and keep pushing. In July and August alone, I ran over 80km, which isn’t a lot, but for a beginner like me, it was a reason to be proud. My goal was to cover the distance in under an hour, but I finally finished at one hour four minutes, which is still great for me.

Most of all, I loved the vibe and atmosphere of a running event, and I’m raring to go. I feel confident, humbled by the support of my colleagues and fit. My next goal is to become an Ironman, and I am preparing for my first ½ Ironman Triathlon. This will include swimming for 1.9km, cycling for 90km and running for 21.1km. It will be hard, but I can handle it.