Let me be ME

Yes, you read it correctly.

Why?

Please don’t let your children dream success, name, fame, followers, money, luxury, or anything that gives them instant gratification. Dreams that foster ego give them a false identity, short term fame, and acquired credit does more damage than good to their personality.

Each child is born with lots of imagination and creativity; don’t tame their childhood.

“The greatest legacy one can pass on to one’s children, and grandchildren is not money or other material things accumulated in one’s life, but rather a legacy of character and faith.”

Think about it.

Name and fame

The high- achiever feeling

The short term fame that children are aiming these days is not just dangerous but extremely hampering their growth too.

Youtube subscribers, Instagram followers, pinned at Pinterest, are just a few examples of a false ego boost. They feel the burnout very soon.

Each parent wants to see their child succeed, and if he/she brings them fame, then it boosts the parent’s ego as well, isn’t it? ‘ 

Recognition at school, medals dangling, certificates in hand, scholars badge on the blazer, wow! It looks amazing. There is no argument that the child has worked hard for all the accolades, but I am very sorry to counter-argue this statement.

Ask yourself. After so much of recognition, are you or your child prepared to face any failures?

Do they hang out with friends regularly?

Do they go out and sweat and play?

Do they have bruised knees to understand how it feels?

Are you raising them as dainty girls and rough boys only?

Aren’t you silently happy about the fame they bring to you?

If more answers are yes, then your child is in serious trouble.

Life is not flowery as you’ve made for them.

Young children are writing books /novels and sitting in closed rooms, in front of their tabs and typing for hours and days while they should be getting burned in the sun and playing outside.

Young girls are posting videos with suggestive poses while they should be exhibiting innocence.

Boys are learning abusive languages from online games.

And there are any more examples.

Who is at fault?

Our children are not at fault.

We parents make a mistake here. Our children are watching us every moment. If they see power, money, luxury with no discomfort, they’ll start aiming for such life because they are far from reality. 

How to enable them to make wiser decisions?

Let them fight their own battle. Please enable them to earn respect and followers from their sincere effort. Make them participate in an online essay or story writing competitions and win accolades, rather than you helping in vanity pub.  

Push them to chase the finish line in sweat and dirt. Let them fall, roll in the mud, and come back home with soiled clothes than perfectly clean uniforms.

What’s a good dream?

Yes, they do!

Children should be encouraged to dream of happiness, love, and empathy.

Make then chase butterflies, run in the wild, take those untrodden trails, play in the sun, lets their knees get bruised, let them sweat, play with strays, laugh loud, be as free a bird in the sky.

Make them share their knowledge, allow them to volunteer, and let them gain recognition by their humility. Involve them in gardening. Let them see the beauty of a growing plant from a seed. Read autobiographies. Watch cartoons and roll on the floor laughing with them.

Go out, go out, I beg of you.

And taste the beauty of the wild.

Behold the miracle of the earth

With all the wonder of a child.

 ~ Unknown

Run and chase in the wild

Children will see what we show them. Our dreams considerably influence them.

We have to show them magic and then believe in theirs.

Sharing some links for reference read,

  1. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/in-the-trenches/201106/the-child-performer
  2. https://www.insider.com/youtuber-top-career-choice-for-us-kids-teens-2019-8
  3. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/food-thought/201310/the-ugly-side-child-fame-jonbenet-corey-feldman
This beautiful childhood

Stretch-marked Mommy

“Ma’am, may I please ask you something” he dropped a text hesitantly
“Go ahead, please,” I replied.
In most humble tone, he asked, “ma’am that picture you posted on the Instagram story………..”
And,
Before he said anything ahead, I knew what it was about!
I respected his approach and listened to him patiently, and then with all the courtesy ended the exchange of messages.

Why am I mentioning this conversation?


Because there is a big misconception between fitness and six-pack abs. Ok, fitness and a super toned body to make it simpler.


Fitness is a state of mind.
Fitness is a life long journey and not a temporary goal. The results you want to achieve takes dedication, discipline, and, most importantly, consistency. Pushing yourself out every single day, wearing your running shoes, and hitting out for a run or a workout is the toughest thing a mind can do.


Each one has a different fitness goal too. For me, fitness is to stay active and build up the much-needed stamina, which I almost lost after two kids.
Each body is different and comes from a separate gene pool too.


I gained much more than the average weight in both my pregnancies. I had pregnancy-induced hypothyroidism and excessive water retention as well. As the skin stretched too much, I got return gift for life- stretch marks all over my tummy, inner arms, thighs, breasts, butts basically all over the body other than the face, Phew! That was some respite.


My sincere fitness journey started in 2015 when I was called as a “FAT SLUT” in my running group.


I am really grateful for naming me as it only made me push harder every single time and going much higher than what my body and mind could ever imagine.


The conversation at the beginning of the blog is in context to a post on Instagram where my loose belly is visible.https://www.instagram.com/momthyname/
The gentleman questioned me that even though I work out a lot, have an athletic physique, but still, why do I have a loose tummy?
Honestly, I didn’t feel awkward, I was calm and patient in listening to all the advice given. But didn’t give any explanation.


My thighs have celluloid, and my tummy has sagged a lot with that little tiny bulge.
So, should I hide it or feel ashamed about it?
No, not at all.
I don’t hide my stretch-marked loose baby tummy, but I proudly flaunt it. I have no shame in exposing my return gift.

Plank and the fall of the tummy 🙂


When I get into a plank position, my belly hangs, but I still do it.
When I get into squats, the celluloid of my inner thighs bulge out, but I still do it.
And I shall continue lifting those heavyweights, hang on bars, run long distances and plank longer.


I am surrounded by fantastic motivation that I am in total awe of these everyday fighters who are defying the stereotypes.


I know a new mom who works out every single day and holds her baby in her arms as the weight for squats.
I know heavyweight people who have completed their triathlons out of sheer determination.
I know many heavy females who are podium finishers in cycling and swimming and would leave the leaner ones far behind.
I know single mothers who have made their mark on the fitness journey while raising their children and also looking after their mental health.
I know of couples working out together and pushing each other irrespective of age and situation.


My running and ironman forum is filled with stories of extreme mental strength, and the body type doesn’t play any role there.


I didn’t feel the need to reply to the gentleman about his worry, query, and advice on my stretch-marked loose tummy because I knew that he has also correlated fitness with a body type.


My one hour of daily workout and the sweat all over my body is my way of meditation, it is my burnout, and it is a constant reminder to my mind to never ever give up.


So, all you beautiful mommies, your stretch marks are gorgeous, your loose belly is terrific, and you don’t need a corset to even it out. Your cellulite has nothing to with your inner beauty.


If at any point someone attempts to body-shame you, then remember, you have a middle finger!!


Give me a high five, “stretch-marked mommies”.

Staying fit is a happy state of mind

Dear Sid and Abhi, 01/01/2035

It is so satisfying to see both of you grow up and going ahead in your life, at your own pace, and liking, I feel happy for you. I wish you both only happiness and nothing more.

We have come a long way together. From a time where I wanted to disown you for your irrational behavior during the teenage phase to loving you both beyond everything else. We put through all, and now I see both of you towering me on either side.

No one gets a comfortable life, and each one faces his/her share of ups and downs. As you were growing up you shared some of your experiences with me and hid some odd episodes. And that’s absolutely fine as each one has a way of expression and I totally respect it. Well, I did the same too.

In this letter, I want to talk to you about the catastrophe the entire world went through almost a decade back.

I am unsure if both of you remember about the epidemic or not. I believe Sid will surely do. 

It was a tough time, my boys.

Let me narrate what I was going through that time as now you boys are big enough to understand my erratic behavior back then.

So, it is the year 2020. Abhi, you are 10, and Sid, you are 14 when the epidemic of Corona Virus hit the world and brought everything to a standstill.

The first quarter has just begun, and my excitement is at its peak. I have reasons to feel excited. New projects are coming my way. I have ventured into cycle tourism, and I am in conversations with venture capitalists, partnering organizations, and branding. I got back to work after a long gap, and I was making advances taking one step a time. Things are shaping up, and I was very hopeful that my enterprise will take off. I was working on not just one but two projects in parallel. I am also looking forward to spending a month of your summer beak in hills volunteering at a rural school. Additionally, a beautiful long hike with Sid.

Sounds super exciting? I am almost sitting on the edge of the chair and jumping with lots of excitement.

It’s March, and I am working on the financial year closure. The news of some type of virus borne disease has started spreading. It took no time to spread all over the globe. It is called a Corona virus. It originated from China and passed on around the world through people traveling and carrying the virus with them. This virus is no more restricted to a city, but it is all over the world now. It is a contagious disease; hence the government ordered a lockdown. 

Lockdown means when we are confined in our flats and not allowed to move out at all. All offices, shopping malls, schools are shut. Flights and trains are closed too. We are not allowed to even access the garden of our society.

I heard my parents talk about black-out during war time and they had to shut all the lights and hide in the pits to avoid any bombs getting dropped. I never understood how it would be , but now I can.

The entire world is jolted, and the lockdown is observed all across the globe.

I am anxious, scared, and very suspicious of everything around. I look at each person as a carrier of the virus. I am hyper at everything.

It is almost a month that you boys have not stepped out of the house. Daddy and I have moved out once or twice to get the basic necessities. We are locked in our own home. It is called house arrest.

The new assignments that made me excited do not exist anymore. My mails are turning a deaf ear everywhere. 

At this moment, I must get an additional income, but everything fell facedown.

People who I thought were my well-wishers all this while have turned a cold shoulder on me. I reached out to every single person I know, but trust me, my boys, there was no help from anyone. I was aggressively applying for jobs, but I didn’t get any response.

I wondered if Corona has taken a complete toll on my career path too.

I am scared of everything. I definitely fake in front of you and try not to show my worries, but at times, you catch me sobbing for no reason. I am sorry, boys, I could not fake smartly.

I used to be awake almost all through the night, either watching the ceiling or just lying blank. This lockdown appeared to be forever, and the predictions for the world economy said that the world will face a significant recession.

My anxiety levels were high. I found myself getting sad for no reason, I was crying every now and then, and I was sluggish with mood swings too. 

It was getting tough for me to manage myself. I had to buckle up. Hence, I started working on mindfulness.

I decided on two things; first, I will get into my usual high energy exercising without a miss, and I will not stop trying for new projects. Hard work never goes waste, it may take time or a very long time but it does bears fruits.

I am really grateful that you boys were so cooperative during that time.

The entire episode left a lot of life-changing learnings, and I want to share those with both of you. Hope you will imply them in your life too:

  • Get an education that gives you enough for your survival 
  • Learn to save
  • Value relationships than things
  • Don’t chase power, fame or money but chase butterflies, climb those mountains and bathe in the free-flowing river
  • Don’t fill your closets with watches, clothes or shoes but fill your heart with love and warmth
  • You need very few people in your life who matter to you so don’t go on obliging everyone around
  • Choose a hobby that keeps you occupied 
  • Play a sport and master it too
  • Love your body and worship it.
  • Learn to cook
  • Help anyone and everyone in whichever way possible
  • Be grateful always

We have battled the tough time together, and I love you for your patience. Not even once you grumbled for not playing your sport or moving out of the house. Thank you, my boys. You are my warriors.

Love you forever,

Mom.

Day one for Corona curfew completed.

I was mentally prepared for huge bouts of fights, tantrums, myself getting hyper, and I had visualized everything beforehand, which made me face the calamity in a better way(warlike preparation)

On the contrary to what I thought, I was calmer, patient, screamed less and was less irritable. I could work for a long hour and manage my time very well.

Life is peaceful

Now that the boys are home, I can take calls whenever possible and don’t have to restrict my work hours as per their school and extra curriculum classes. I don’t have to carry my laptop and sit outside their classes to finish my work.

Life is peaceful.

I would confess that day one of the house arrest boys had a lot of screen time in comparison to the allotted time-slot, but they have come into the holiday mode unwary to face final exams in the next few days. 

Well, worrying is just mom’s job, and I am doing it to the best of my ability.

In between my workday, I did Hotwheels car racing, frowned at my teen, and failed miserably in threatening him to eat food in time. But we managed to have lunch together and talked a lot too.

I was able to shut my laptop at 6 pm ..and I was jumping in glee. I didn’t take any calls or read any emails after that.

I was also able to do my favorite stress reliever work- cleaning.

Yes, I love doing that. I cleaned my kitchen slab, the gas stove. Dusted, mopped, and made it all sparkling clean.

The kitchen is the power source of the house.

We work hard to have a full tummy.

Children look forward to- what’s special, mommy?

A hearty meal is always satisfying.

My dad always says, the heart of a home lies in the kitchen. I have somehow taken up this very seriously.

I want my kitchen not just clean but very clean and smelling good too.

Living in small apartments does not give many options to have the stuff of your choice in the kitchen, and we end up managing in whatever space we have. But even though I like my shelves and Tupperware neatly arranged.

I do not get an opportunity to arrange and clean my kitchen regularly; hence I used to call UrbanClap and similar local services for the cleaning. But in the end, I saw myself teaching them the nuances of cleaning and arranging stuff. At times I wonder I am in a wrong profession, housekeeping may be worked better for me.(self-praise is fantastic, ahem ahem)

I find arranging the stuff therapeutic. at some point I would like to extend this service to whosoever likes organized kitchen(trust me, I am not kidding )

The way I find my solace in running similarly, I find my happiness in arranged cupboards and cleaner kitchen.

This works !

The kitchen and bathroom are two places where bacteria multiples in large numbers. It is imperative to keep them extremely clean.

The food that we eat should be cooked in an extremely hygienic environment. It is not just a clean slab, but we need to clean our equipment also regularly like knives, cutlery, juicer, mixers, lighters.

Sharing a few pointers to clean up your kitchen promptly:

  • Clean the gas stove regularly
  • Dispose of the utensil cleaning scrub every week
  • Dispose of the wiping cloth every week (‘The mop head tested was found to contain more than eight million bacteria per 100 cm2.’https://kaivac.com/a_77-Floor-Health-and-Phasing-Out-the-Mop  Do not leave the mops wet throughout the night; instead, put them put in the open to dry and use it the next day.
  • Wash cutting boards in hot, soapy water every time you use them. Discard cutting boards with deep scoring or gouges.
  • Change the kitchen towels regularly
  • Try not to follow the Indian tradition of using even the last bit of the old garment, get separate clothes for kitchen cleaning.
  • If you find cleaning as a cumbersome process, then take the help of your maid or family members. Make it fun by involving children as well.
Happiness is -cleaning the kitchen 🙂

To keep our family healthy, we need to keep our kitchens clean . with corona and cleanliness bug setting in a high tone, I am wondering it’ll be wardrobes or the fridge today?

What do you do to keep your kitchen germ free? Share some tips, and it’ll be useful to learn.

If you love the woman in your life, then surely gift her a pair of running shoes, and she’ll be thankful to you throughout her life.

Running is joy

By gifting her pair of shoes, you are not just giving her good health but a lot more.
Encourage and motivate her to take her first step towards fitness.
Running not just keeps your body in shape but your mind as well. The steps that you take say a lot about your determination, your will power to buzz off the alarm and move out of your comfort zone, your grit to beat any climate and be out in the open to run.
I come across several women who constantly grudge, “I can’t run,” and my reply to them is, “then walk,” but start.
As per the evolutionary history of humans, we are meant to run, jump, crawl, and be active. It is the life that we have started living has made us depressed, anxious, and above all, away from nature.
We have chosen a lifestyle of luxury and flamboyancy; hence hardships don’t come to us quickly. Our health is a clear reflection of our lifestyle. Bigger houses, bigger cars, luxurious holidays, name games, the race to chase the extraordinary, and to be on the top takes a toll on relationships, health, and self.
You can empower her to lead a life of her choice.
You can enable her to discover herself in ways she never imagined.
She will understand her body well.
She will be inclined to lead a healthy life. The woman is the powerhouse of the family. She will, in turn, teach the same habits to all family members.
So much positivity!

Why to your woman?

The happiness at the finish line: Age? Does it even matter?

A woman’s body deteriorates much faster than a male body. Cases of depression are more prevalent in women than in men. Our hormones are disastrous. Research and various journals have proved that exercise boosts mental health.
I am in total awe of females who cross the finish line despite various factors that pull them down, be it age, physical disability, personal issues, or even ailments.
Running reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases, breast cancer, and uterine cancer. Even if you have arthritis or joint pain, start with brisk walking and then graduate to running at your own pace and comfort.
Running also keeps the monthly woes at bay. Your body toughens to deal with the pain and discomfort. Check this link for what little I add to my daily regime,https://www.instagram.com/momthyname/
Following a routine, religiously makes you focused and determined. You will look forward to that wind on your face. You’ll also have a lot of “ME” time.

No waiting time

It’s a universal “myth” that women spend a lot of time in shopping and other stuff which men find useless. So, if your woman is a runner, then she’ll not look for sale on shoes or branded stuff, but surely she’ll splurge on food supplements, running accessories, and a good sunscreen. Hence, you need not accompany her and wait in the shopping malls . Hurray! Isn’t that amazing?

Give her the wind she needs

Running is liberating. I’ve heard so many people telling me that we love your “shortie-shorts.” Trust me when I first started running in shorts, I felt very embarrassed. I was conscious about my celluloid thighs, stretch marks, and heavy bottom. Now, after years into running, I gladly run in my shorts and sports bra. I am not even bothered about my loose stretch-marked tummy.
Running transforms you; it builds up your self-confidence and enables you to stands tall, defying all odds.
Breaking the stereotypes doesn’t come easy, but then your mental strength gives you enough courage to go ahead like a dart.
You run for yourself and not for anyone else. You run for your freedom. You run for your happiness.
At some point in life, we all feel burdened, stressed, and depressed too. Seeking sympathy from someone may or may not give you the relief, but your running shoes will surely do. When you run, you release excess energy from your body and also breathe in the fresh air. It’s a meditative state when you breathe out negativity and breathe in positivity.
Give your woman the wind to fly freely.

Just run,

You not be a marathoner or be a fast pacer to run; just wear your shoes, shut off that alarm, wear your jazzy running attire, hold your head firm with a chip up and adorn that beautiful smile to take the first step towards- YOURSELF

I love you for you love yourself

Motherhood dare

My dear teen,
You know you are so terribly annoying
That you are dragging me into a phase where I’ve never been.
I am recording, registering and downloading every episode,
In my drive, iCloud and memory with code.
I will take full revenge in this life-time
B’coz, you know Karma will come up sometime.
I will come to your house with a grumpy face
I will not talk or smile and will sit in one place.
I will throw my footwear and clothes everywhere
And mind if you ask me to keep in place
I will scream, roll my eyes, bang the door, and make a disgusting face.
I will leave the bathroom wet and towel on the bed
Dare you question me
Coz I’ll hiss without a miss.
I’ll put all types of demands
And maa Kasam if you deny
I’ll create such a ruckus
That I’ll drive you mad
Once the dinner is cooked
I’ll ask you to order food
Food that I like
Be it pizza or jalebi with malai
You are testing my limits and patience
But god forbid if it crosses my tolerance.
Then it’ll be only Tsunami and earthquake
So behave yourself for heaven’s sake.
No, I don’t want to say,” I love you, darling.”
C’coz currently you are terribly annoying
Karma, my dear boy, Karma
Wait and watch
Wait and watch
For your mom will turn into a witch
I’ll wail and grin as I grow old
And poor boy-your teen will come forth multifold
Revenge…I smell revenge….
Hu..hu..ha..ha..he..he.

No, I am not running

Ignorance is bliss when we are into unwanted arguments, but definitely doesn’t hold good when it comes to our health.


With few triathlons and marathons lined up all through 2019, I was in my all-time high of ignoring the pain, swelling and persistently strained IT band .
When I enrolled for triathlon, I was in full enthusiasm and awe of that finish line, but I never knew what’s in store.
Relentless practice, the guilt of missing out on any workout, conscious eating, backbreaking work, and discipline was the training part, but the significant component to take care was – time management.

With boys grades declining in each term, teenage catching up, workload increasing bringing in not-so-much needed stress and anxiety, I was in a zombie zone. Ice packs, signoflam was the love of my life.


I kept ignoring everything.

Standard Charted Singapore Marathon 2019

I understood the gravity of the situation when I finished my Standard Charted Singapore Marathon on 30th November 2019. After the mandatory posing with the finishers medal, it was time to walk to the metro station to board a train for my hotel.
It was the longest and most painful walk of about a kilometer after finishing the half marathon.
I was in a hurry to reach the hotel as Sid was attempting his first 10K the next morning, and he was waiting for me in the hotel.
I was sore, limping, and had a swollen knee when I reached the hotel.
As ever, my lover came to my rescue, and I can’t thank her enough, my dear Ibrufen
Sid triumphantly finished his 10K, and we flew back.
I was in so much pain that I had to ask for wheelchair assistance at the airport.


SCSM was the last race of 2019, and the final phase of my ignorance as well.
I started with my physiotherapy regularly. I slowed down majorly. Listened to the advice given by my coach, followed the prescription, obeyed every instruction like a good student.


Came 2020 and the first race of the year also the most awaited one which was happening in my city, TMM(Tata Mumbai Marathon). I did not run.
I collected the bib, didn’t calibrate it.


I saw the finishers pic of my fellow runners. I went through all the zeal and happy faces on social media. But, I did not run

I am often questioned on why I am walking and not running? Why am I not doing deadlifts in the gym? Why am I not lifting heavier weights? I always get a lump in my throat to reply- I can’t.


I cried out of my misery, my pain, my inability, and above all, my ignorance. But, I did not run.


I am still on rehab, signoflam, cold compressions, guided exercises, posture correction is a part of the routine.
It hurts, it pains, it’s frustrating, it’s killing, but I am not running.


Injuries are a part of the life of an athlete, but listening to your body comes first.

My coach said,

“if you have to run fast, go slow”


It is said that God resides in each body, then the body is our temple, worship with all your devotion.

Hold, wait, breathe. P.A.T.I.E.N.C.E

My recovery may take months, or I don’t even know how long but the journey right from the injury to ignorance till recovery is teaching me lessons of life which no textbook ever taught me.
Patience
Hold on
Breathe in
And
Rise like a phoenix

Love yourself and your body the most, this is the only thing that will stay with you forever.

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