PERFECTION

Perfection has stopped me many times to just create, to keep things simple, to show up, and to have fun. This, and being worried. I get much better now though.. (I think it got something to do with the experience of living and working in India for years.. perhaps I should write about this next time).

I hope you too allow yourself to let “perfection” to go away. I leave you with the quote from Antoine Saint-Exupéry and a song from Claire Bruff, Perfection.

Have a great Sunday!

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LONG WEEKEND

It was a long weekend this week, Friday 15th was the Independence Day of India and then today, Monday 18th is the local holiday of Parsi New Year. Unfortunately, I could not go anywhere. I had to study Spanish on Friday and Saturday since I had some tests on Sunday.

I have been taking Spanish class for the last 9 months, every single weekend. If you have read my about page you might know me by now.. I like to learn new things. This is good, if only I could learn to focus on one thing at a time. I have too many activities, can’t help it. I get easily excited on new things. (well, I am thinking about taking a break from this class though..I really miss my sleep-ins on weekends).

I did, however, finally get the chance to take some shots with my not-so-new-anymore DSLR Canon 600 D (bought it many months ago..) on Friday afternoon, in the park close to where I live. I learned some tricks of making beautiful photos from Karen Walrond of Chookooloonks and from Digital Photography School a few weeks ago and I am happy I got to try them out myself. I have been wanting to make this type of photo – a blurred background with a focused object in the foreground.

Might try to take some more shots today.

In the meantime, please take it easy on your Monday. I’ll leave you now with a song “Walking on the Sun” by Smash Mouth

Have a great day!

CLOUDS

I don’t particularly enjoy flying, but I do like clouds. I find it comforting to sit in my window seat and look at the clouds, slowly changing shape. Somehow time slows down, almost stops. And I worry less about time and other matters. A lot of inspiration, creative ideas pop up from these moments, as well as life reflection. My husband has told me that the clouds in Papua New Guinea are something exceptional. I hope I get to see them one day.

When flying, I also put on comfortable socks, bring a couple of my favorite magazines (I prefer the real copy instead of digital.. to have them in my hand and feel the paper) or my kindle and my iPod.

Here are some shots of clouds… taken from the airplane during different travels.

This was taken 2010. Not sure where I was going…

India to Hong Kong, 2012

Munich, Germany to Bologna, Italy, May 2013

New Delhi to Mumbai, India, 2014.

 

What about you, do you feel relaxed and get creative ideas when you are sitting in the airplane?

 

DON’T FORGET TO PLAY

It was a red light. I was in the car on my way to the airport in Mumbai when I took this picture. Three street kids was sitting on the divider at the traffic junction.

The game played by these three boys took me back to my childhood. I would sit with my girl friends in the school yard and play the same thing…

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RUNNING THE HALF MARATHON

Last year in December, I ran a half Marathon in New Delhi.  I do not know why I am writing this story only now, but perhaps it is the heavy breathing I feel every time I jog during this hot summer in Delhi that keeps reminding me of how the heck in the world did I run that half marathon. So, this is a post about me running the whole 21.1 km.

To start off with, I want to make clear that I’m not a runner, nor have I ever been. In fact, growing up I did very little physical exercise. In my country, we didn’t really have PE on our school schedule.

Over the last few years, however, I have come to realize that running (or perhaps in my case jogging is the appropriate term) releases stress and allows you to forget about all other issues flying around in your mind. And the feeling after a run is great. But still, I’m an expert in coming up with reasons for not going out for a run. My brain is constantly telling me that you don’t need to run, it’s too hot, it’s raining, it’s too cold, etc.

A few years back I managed to actually run frequently for a few months and I did a 10 km race in Reykjavik, Iceland. It was an indescribable feeling to cross the line; it really felt like an achievement. And afterwards the food tasted better than before, even though the food on Iceland was great to start off with. Unfortunately, after that race I didn’t maintain my relative fitness.

When a friend of mine asked me if I wanted to do a 5 km charity run last year in September, I wasn’t sure. But after some consideration I said why not. I didn’t prepare well for the race and I was running on empty after 3 km or so. I barely managed to get across the finishing line. I decided then and there that I needed to get into better shape. Shortly thereafter I signed myself and my unknowing husband up for the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon. My husband was immediately onboard when I informed him.

We started training roughly eight weeks prior to the race. Our plan was to run five kilometers or so at a slow pace three times a week, with one longer run a couple of weeks before D-day. But work and other matters (including my own mind) interrupted the training schedule and I hardly ran anything during the last three weeks, except for a 12 km run which left me half dead – and still I had stopped and walked numerous times. What had I gotten myself into? Why had I signed up for a half marathon?!

It was with trepidation I woke up on the morning of the race. The only thing that was on our side was the nice winter weather. Would I survive the day? After an early, steady breakfast, we walked to the starting point, Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, where thousands of runners already had congregated. More and more butterflies made my stomach their home. My husband had talked a lot about pace setting and finding that comfortable speed where you can ‘run forever’. I honestly had no clue what he was talking about. He also said that after 5 km we would see if we needed to stop to rest. After all, it was a half marathon, not a sprint.

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Soon we were on the starting line together with hoards of other people. And then we were off. My husband had promised to set the pace and run with me….. I was focused, I looked at the people around me, the music in my ears pumped me up (it was U2, “it is a beautiful day”), I smiled. All of a sudden we saw the 1 km sign, then the 2 km sign.

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At about the 5 km mark I saw some toilets and drinking booths so I told my husband that we should stop so I could visit the toilet. He immediately asked whether I really needed to go and said that if it wasn’t necessary we should just continue because we had gotten into the groove. I answered that it wasn’t really that necessary so we continued on our way, never stopping.

We kept on passing the kilometer signs and before too long we were running on a red carpet. This was the half-way point, 10.5 km. And then we just kept on running. I was surprised myself. How is this possible? 13 km, 15 km, 17 km…

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My brain started to play serious mind games with me around the 19 or 20 km mark saying that I should stop and have a rest, but I persisted. I saw many people stopping around this distance!! After all those kms, you stop after 19? Talk about self-sabotage…Oh my gosh,  I ran even faster and went into a super- focused mode!

That was the longest 2 km. I really tried hard to ignore what my mind kept telling me, to rest. And the funny part, I had to fight my way through to continue running as more people walked blocking the road.

Finally, seeing the finishing line 100 m away was an unbelievable feeling and crossing the finishing line was an even better feeling. But as soon as I had stopped my legs felt like cement. Both my legs were shaking and I had to hold onto my husband to not fall… I drank, and drank a lot of water.. And the breathing started slowly to become normal , but of course not the legs. I walked like an octogenarian….  Little did I know that it was going to get a whole lot worse during the next week or so… I think the lack of preparations made it worse.

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How then could I manage to run for 21.1 km straight without stopping once? The pace my husband set (a slow and steady one; roughly 7 min 30 sec/km) for sure helped a lot, I saw so many people started off too fast and then stopped, but I also got a lot of energy from all the other runners and the bands playing along the race course. The organizers really managed to put together a nice event and the atmosphere was terrific.

As was the case after Iceland, I didn’t continue running on a regular basis after the half marathon.

However, about a month or so ago I decided to start again. Since then I’ve been trying to run three, or at least two, times a week, each time for about half an hour. I haven’t (yet) signed up for any race, but I’m considering doing it. I’ve found that it’s easier (or perhaps less difficult) to motivate myself if I have a clear goal.

Although 2 hours 37 minutes & 20 seconds is a slow finishing time, I’m extremely proud of myself for completing the race without stopping, mind you. And trust me, if I can do it, you also can! If you set your mind and stay focused, anything is possible. Now put on your running shoes and go out for a run… (ok. I’ll do the same).