Inspiring Stories #9 – Ramjee Sivakumar (Chennai)

Hi, this is Ramjee Sivakumar from Singara Chennai. I am a coder by the day, cyclist to travel to the coding station, a photographer whenever my camera’s battery is charged, and an avid reader whenever it snows in Chennai. I used to be a complete couch potato till 4 years ago, and I slowly entered the world of sports and fitness on my wife’s insistence. (She is a Physiotherapist, and had to walk nearly 2 km to work; and was mighty pissed off that I had an office cab to commute). I started my fitness activities with playing badminton with my flat mates, working out by going to the gym and with home gym equipment, cycling, then running. I have participated in nearly 20 running and cycling events in the past 2 years, including a 200-km brevet.

So, the 100-day mark is getting closer, and I am training for my first half marathon, which is due on Sunday. My wife calls me “Jack of all hobbies, pursuer of none”, and she is right in a way. I very enthusiastically start every hobby I wish to pursue, purchasing the needed gadgets and accessories for it, storm into it for a few weeks, and then let it fizzle out. The issue was that I did not have a challenge or motivation to carry forward my hobby and translate it into a habit. However, this 100-day running challenge is supposedly the game changer, which has in fact forced me to go out and run, be it sunny or rainy.

April 29th, the start day was the day my parents left abroad to stay with my brother. My wife was extremely supportive of my challenge… Who am I even kidding!! She had 2 conditions – You MAY NOT go for running when our child is awake (Read – Do not leave me alone to the mercy of our kid!!!) and Run wherever you want, but get the milk in the morning. So, my master strategy – Get up at 4 am, when both wife and kid are sleeping and start running (Condition 1 satisfied), and get the milk on the way back home (Condition 2 satisfied). Yay!! Sometimes I have run as late as 9:30 pm, after my kid decides that her day is done. However, whenever and wherever I run, I take a selfie. That’s my instant encouragement. Like, Ramjee, Good job!! Now go home before…you know what…

One of my most memorable run was that at Coimbatore. It was 5 pm, and we had just returned from an exhausting adventurous trek in the dense forests of Parambikulam, and had to take the 9 pm bus back to Chennai, which means I had to leave for the bus stand by 7 pm. So, I had less than 2 hours to rest, shower, dine, pack, exchange goodbyes and leave, with my kid in tow; and it started raining. Yet, I ran my 2 km, without minding either the rain or my wife’s glares. (I thought she had long given up on me) … This challenge helped me push when the odds were against me. Here’s that memorable hill-fie…

Jokes apart, in this challenge, I have run across the clock in a variety of places – from within the perimeter of my apartment to halfway down the city; from the hills of Coimbatore to the East Coast Road of Chennai. I have completed 300 km running till date (including a practice run of 21 km for my big day) Thrice every week, along with a few interested people in my apartment, I train for running, like performing the basic exercises, stretches, and cardio, under the guidance of a trainer. It is important to remain injury free, as one injury, and poof go away your dreams.

Prior to this challenge, I used to cycle in the morning, whenever I could. As I run now, I cycle to work, keeping my cycles from becoming a museum of cobwebs. Till date, I have cycled over 1000 km, including 500 km of commuting to work, which was a challenge set by the cycling club I run and volunteer for. Phew, A challenge within a challenge, is always a challenge!!! And yeah, I have lost up to 8 kilos in this period.
So, post the 100 days, I plan to continue running, setting short term goals. I personally feel that performing an activity when you must, will work better than doing it when you can. A challenge is a set target, and achieving it boosts your self-esteem, reflecting in your work. I would continue to run, as long as my role as a professional to the company that’s pays me to pay my bills, and as a husband and a father at home are uncompromised. A little more time, and I will ensure that my family and I will run together. Well, the trailer already begun this March, when all the three of us ran the Ridley run.

A family that runs together stays fit together. And so, I will continue to run for myself (of course along with running the rat race), creating challenges when there are none, just because I CAN, no matter what…
Miles to go before I sleep – Yes, exactly 19.88 miles to go before I find another way to get the morning’s milk!!!

13 thoughts on “Inspiring Stories #9 – Ramjee Sivakumar (Chennai)”

  1. Really excited by your story dear Shivakumar, keep running, keep cycling, stay fit and stay blessed – Regards – 9458929024

  2. It’s awesome 👏🏿 I feel proud that I read a inspiring story of some I know and interacted. Looking forward to meet you in person.

  3. It’s really big effort. Taking the Challenge and completing it is quite hard, because I know very well about that.

    I really Salute your thought (Which was executed) about Staying fit and encouraging others to also be fit.

    I keep my fitness in only thought and not executed still for long years 🙂 May be now it makes me to start after seeing your Great Greater Achievements.

    Hats of to you!!!!!! Continue to be…..

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