Mr. Ananthram Varayur
Executive Director, BNI Bangalore India
I used to take my parents regularly for sugar testing.. but never tested for myself…
One day, while I was at an event in Srilanka, one of my very dear friends who met me after several years, came to me and said.., Wow Ananth you have gone down.., what is the secret of maintaining your body…, are you into any serious exercise regime? I never ever exercised, was not into fitness in any form… and i told him that.., at that time someone next to me told me…, in that case have you checked your blood sugar recently…, your blood sugar would have gone up… I just laughed, brushed it aside and said.., I don’t have any symptoms of diabetes… (as I knew quite a lot about diabetes, because my father acquired diabetes almost at the age of 40)
Still as soon as I came back.. in the subsequent month, when I went for my father’s routine check, I also got myself checked. To my shock.. my blood sugar was around 300. Even my doctor was surprised… he did several other checks and got it confirmed.
Then the doctor gave me two options…either start medication immediately or to change my life style so that he could postpone my medicine for atleast FIVE years. Postponing sounded interesting and I had to make some corrections in my life style.
Regular walking and small correction in eating habits, time management etc., by now I was more than ready for that.
Initially, I started walking regularly near my house Krishna Rao Park. After a few days.. walking was such a boring routine and it was like subjecting myself to a punishment. Then I saw few people running in the park. I thought to myself.. how about running?
Then I started running.. initially, it was tough.. one day I saw an announcement of the Sunfeast 10K event. Now it is TCS 10K. Then I started thinking.. can I also do this 10K run?
BY now I had made up my mind & decided that I must Run 10K and wanted to start practicing for the same. In Krishna Rao park, there is a marking on the walkway for every 50 meters. I told this to my father, and told him that I will start preparing for that. From the next day onwards, he kept one log book for me and used to ask me, how much I ran every day. I used to increase my non-stop running very gradually. First time I ran as long as I could without a break and rest of the time used to walk. From next day onwards.. I used to increase my non-stop running by just 50 meters. If I couldn’t increase I would atleast match the previous day’s goal. Over a period of time, I got my endurance built up to run 4 to 5 kms non-stop. At this point someone told me about the Nike Run Club and it was organized for the weekends. With the structure and discipline coming in place, I continued my practice on the weekdays as well.
Finally, I had done 10K in one of the practice sessions and did my best 10K in 56 minutes as well. This happy tryst with running continued for sometime and I was in my happy, health-wise comfort zone. The running continued and kept my watch on my diet which helped me to postpone my medicines for almost 6 years.
A few years later, during one of my visits to the USA, I developed a sudden severe back pain on the day I landed itself and I was advised to stop running for some time. This was a temporary setback. A few years after that incident there was a lull in my running, and one day one of our BNI members suggested that we must participate in the Majja Run of TCS. Over 100 members from BNI did that. There one of our members introduced me to Jayanagar Jaguars. With the help of the coaching and structure, I started running again. This time, I participated in Bangalore’s Half Marathon and got my PB again in Half Marathon at 1hr.59 minutes, a Sub 2 hours timing indeed. I have done several Half Marathons and I was preparing for Full Marathon. By this time 10 years had passed without taking medication for Diabetes.
Last year, the longest I did was 31K. During one of the practise sessions, I slipped due to pothole on the Road and my ankle got fractured. I was away from active running for almost one year. Once I recovered, I again started training for the Mumbai Marathon, which was my dream, and did the Half Marathon in TMM2018. Next year I must do my Full Marathon.
Last one year’s break from active running because of the fracture has pushed me to start medication for Sugar. However I have hope that, with resuming of my active running this year, I should be coming out of my need for medications.
I know couple of runners, who are totally out of medication for diabetes with regular running and proper diet.
I was never a sports person in my school and college. Only game which I had played was cricket. In my school, in every cricket match I used to be there, because I was the only person who had a bat. And in return for carrying bat to matches, I used to get 12th or 13th man position..!!! My role in all cricket matches was just sitting under the shade for 2 to 3 hours and returning home after just cheering my team.
Today, when I meet all my classmates who used to play lot of games or active in sports kind of personalities from school days, they are over-weight and can’t even walk for few meters at one stretch. I am proud when I keep posting my running workouts in my school groups.
It is sad to see many of them are not even attempting.
However, in BNI after TCS Majja Run, we formed a Fitness group and now over 20 to 25 Business owners have done their Half Marathons and several of them have done 10K. Now I am actively promoting fitness in all my trainings and business meetings.
Diabetes is not a disease. It is teaching us a healthy lifestyle.