I was never good at running, I wasn’t fast and I didn’t have the stamina or the inclination to give it a try. This year in April after a lot of convincing, I joined my brother in a 5k event and managed to finish but I wasn’t happy. I knew I could do better.
100 days of running started the day I was already in Namibia to join my ship. I signed up on the last day, thinking it’ll be interesting to see how long I can manage running while sailing. It’s a lot different than being on land. Timings aren’t really fixed, you have to work 8 hours in a hot engine room daily and then somehow find the will to run your daily 2k. Other days the ship is in port and work is planned at odd hours so you have to make sure the run doesn’t coincide with the work. Sometimes there is a machinery break down and you have to spend long hours in the engine room. I’ll admit, there were days when I thought I couldn’t do it anymore but so far I’ve managed to drag myself to that treadmill in the ship’s gymnasium every single day since I started.
There’s been a lot of encouragement from people around me. My Chief engineer is a proper marathon runner and hails from South Africa. He has been very excited to hear that I’ve enrolled in an event like this that tests your physical and mental strength on a daily basis. He tries to push me and provide support and I’ve just about managed to reach a level where I can challenge some of his times. It was unthinkable for a guy like me to run 10 kilometres but I did it and I beat the chief’s time. He beat my time again the next day but that’s not the point.
I was 82 kilos when i joined this ship and as of now I have lost 9 kilograms just by running and working. The ship’s internet is so bad that I cannot even open the website to register my runs. I can barely manage to get messages across and my brother has been kind enough to do the needful for me. With about 3 weeks left, I find myself in disbelief that a non-runner like me has somehow managed to make it this far and the finish line is around the corner. This has been the biggest physical challenge I have taken up and probably one I’ll remember forever.
In hindsight, I’m glad I signed up for this challenge while I was sitting in my hotel room in Namibia waiting for my ship. I believe I am a changed man after this experience. And I’ll continue running well beyond these 100 days. I’m sure of it.
Thank you for organizing this event. It has changed my life and me.