Shanthi Balasubramanian gives us a humorous peek in to what the families of the running fraternity go through!
Running is fun, ecstatic, exhilarating and perhaps many other such adjectives for the runners. But please spare a thought for those standing or rather left behind – the wives and families of all these runners. Ever wonder what the family goes through?
Well, what they go through is – A lot!
It is not very difficult to spot a runner’s house. You need to look out only for a few things:
- An assortment of shoes on the shoe rack outside the house with mismatched smelly socks stuffed inside
- Hideous looking tees overflowing from the clothes line
- If not, then the washing basket will be full of them
- BIBs that have served their purpose long ago but refuse to be discarded lying around in bunches around the house
- Medals lying around in such large numbers that guests wonder whether they are into some kind of special business
- Most shopping bags are the event goody bags
- Larger than life photos of runners with a wicked smile on their faces
- At least one person in the house walking around in shorts
- Terms such as personal best, DNF, sub 4 and such being discussed ardently over a phone conversation
- Stretches or push-ups may begin right in the middle of a serious conversation
- And if you happen to live close by , then watch for lights out at 7pm and the house buzzing with activity at 4am in the morning
To add to all this if there are cycles and other gym paraphernalia lying around you can safely assume that there is at least one very serious runner lurking around.
I envy families that are normal. By normal I mean, families that spend weekday mornings over a hot cup of coffee chatting about normal things or TALKING about exercise. Weekends at a mall or a cinema or a nice eat out. Because, for a family that has a runner amidst them, these normal things are not a possibility at all. Even holiday plans revolve around deciding on places where a hill run or flyover run is a possibility and the shoes are the first thing that get packed.
Mornings will begin at an ungodly hour of 3 or 4 am. You can hide as much as you like under the pillow and pretend to be asleep but rest assured, Mr. Runner will not get the message. He will ask you questions about his bike keys, cycle keys or fresh socks or some such till you are wide awake. And the fact that he will dorn his shoes right in the middle of the hall and leave a mud trail behind will make you lose sleep forever. I hate waking up in the morning because I can only run as far as the kitchen sink full of dirty dishes. Whereas Mr. Runner is always excited about waking up because he can simply run away! Of course, he will not leave without reminding you about being hungry when he gets back. Which means, “Since you are up now, make sure there is a SUMPTOUS breakfast when I return”.
I wonder if it is only my home that has a weirdo runner or is it commonplace with the wives of all runners. In the early days when my husband started to experiment with running, we would accompany him to most events. Looking back at those days now, I realize how foolhardy we have been.
I remember accompanying my runner husband to Mysore for a running event. We agreed that my husband would run at the event while we would look around Mysore and enjoy ourselves.
But what actually happened was a different story altogether. At his insistence, we – that is my two young children and I woke up at 3am and went to the starting point to wish him luck because he had brainwashed us into believing that we were his lucky mascots! And then, the children only managed to sleep through the rest of the day in the car when we were actually supposed to be sightseeing!
Of late, I have become smarter and see through his plans easily. When he says something like, “Let’s go to Javadhu Hills this weekend”, I know he means “I am going to run an event at Javadhu hills. You can watch me if you like”. Over the years I have matured and have learnt to say a firm NO.
Conversations in the house are mostly about running and I am seriously concerned about the impact of this on young children. By now they are probably convinced that running away is indeed an excellent idea. Because the runaway father obviously seems like one happy man!
The non-stop plans of going to scenic places in the pretext of running which do not include us, the continuous banter about the so called milestone achievements and of course the endless experiments with healthy food – all of which I am cooking.
And if the runner cannot convince you to take up running, he will at least convince you take up volunteering. So basically, if you are not up to running then at least STAND either at the breakfast counter, registration counter or the t-shirt counters.
I simply cannot STAND it anymore. One of these days I am surely going to take up RUNNING!
Well, you know what they say! “If you can’t beat them, join them!” We at TWCM hope many of you suffering under the pile of dryfit tshirts of all colours join the fray!