‘Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up, it knows it must outrun the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning in Africa, a lion wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the slowest gazelle, or it will starve. It doesn’t matter whether you’re the lion or a gazelle, when the sun comes up, you’d better be running.‘ -African saying.
On a Saturday morning, when the temperatures have just started taking a southward dip in Delhi, around 500 children had gathered with their parents for their annual Road Run. It was 6 o’clock when we had left home with my 12yr old daughter in tow for one of the biggest competitions she looks forward to participate for the entire year.
My child is not a natural athlete, but I always felt there’s more satisfaction in achievement through a skill set which is not your major strength. I am guessing she too believes in that, as she slowly trained for the event. To run for 5kms, with no history of running in your family, can be quite a tough goal for any child. If you are a parent of one such, then I probably won’t have to tell you how strenuous the training can be, especially when your child has to look beyond small handicaps of fall, or injuries.
But this is not the story of my child, this is also the story of the 500-odd children in the age group of 7 to 18 years who had qualified the test run of 4kms organized by the school, and made it to the final day, brimming with energy and determination. My child was simply one of them.
Dressed in yellow, blue, red, and green tees, to mark their age groups, the children amazed me. The route was circuitous, around the venerable Nehru Park in Chanakyapuri, and the run was organized by Navy Children School, located in Chanakyapuri, Delhi, for its students.
Flag off was at 7 o’clock, with the junior most group, followed immediately by the other age groups in quick succession.
And the event proved everybody is a winner, atleast that’s what I felt that day, when I saw the happy faces of children, thrilled after completing a 5km strenuous run, which otherwise may not have uch takers in many of the unfit adults today.
Needless to say, running is one of the best forms of exercise you can teach your children. Make them catch the bug of keeping fit early in life, and you will learn from them a lot too. May be next time you will be running with them in the marathons yourself. Who knows?
Delhi wakes up in winter to host a number of running marathons. If you or your child is interested, check out: