HYDERABAD: The last time super model and actor Milind Soman was in town for Pinkathon promotional run, women of all ages went gaga over him getting selfies, trying to instruct him to adjust his dhoti or just for the heck of running with him. Social media walls burst with the pics of the 52-year-old model surrounded by women in colourful sarees with each clip and caption vying with one another for space, clicks, likes and shares.
And in real life a lot of young women showed off their blistered feet that ached as much as their heart(s) for the handsome runner. Deep Shikha, a 25-year-old graphic designer from Banjara Hills had her feet so full of blebs that she had trouble walking even on the floor thanks to the Saree-Run with Milind for which she didn’t practise much and just took the plunge. She shares, “I regularly go for walks in the public parks as I care about my fitness. True, I didn’t do any practice for the run. But the concept itself was so tantalising: running with Milind. I was like wow, I have to go for this.
Doesn’t matter if my whole body pains. I got my exclusive selfie with him and it’s all that matters.” One of her friends had told her about the run making her drool over the Pinkathon founder for more than two days till she decided to go ahead and register herself for the run. She couldn’t meet him during the saree run which was a promotion for Pinkathon, but instead of giving up hope she enrolled for the 10K run to be held a few days later where he was to come again.
Deep couldn’t believe herself when she got to talk to Milind. After clicking pics, she had a tête-a-tête with him. She shares with dreamy eyes, “He told me that he usually runs on highways as running in wide open spaces helps removing the limitations of mind.” She has recuperated from the sore feet and has increased her walking time everyday early in the morning. “I felt really fascinated by his presence, now I am working towards making myself adaptable for taking part in long runs.” Another running enthusiast from Gachibowli, a 24-year-old Bhargavi, an engineering student loves the candid clicks by photographers present at the event and dresses up for the occasion. She participated in the recently-held SHE Teams 10K Run flagged by Tollywood star Vijay Deverakonda.
She likes to run once in a while and doesn’t have any plans to do so regularly. She says, “I heard about the actor and immediately registered myself.” But she thinks her body isn’t fit yet for running, then other than the celeb presence what is it that makes her participate. Quickly comes the reply, “I love the hubbub built around it, the enthusiasm in everybody. Seeing even your neighbour participating, I don’t want to be left out.”
For 26-year-old Ajay combating stress is more important, given his hectic job of a marketing manager in hospitality industry. He shares his interest for walks, runs and yoga, saying, “I read somewhere that running releases happy hormones in the brain thus bringing the stress levels down. That’s why I make it a point to run and walk regularly.” He also attends yoga classes once in a while. But does that mean his penchant for fitness suffices with what he’s doing? Or is he going to switch back to his old routine once his fitness goals are fulfilled? “It becomes a habit, but is difficult to continue given my lifestyle.
I am sure once my stress levels come down, I’ll no longer need to stick to such a hectic routine.” At the same time, regular runners frown blaming it all on the zero understanding of people. Scowls Jagriti Singh a marathon runner, “People really need to know the integrity of running. Or else why would there be events like Hyderabad Marathon? It’s not a crash course that you take admission and vanish. It requires much patience to make your body suitable for running. And not all can run.”
Is it just a lifestyle trend or are people really serious? Says Assiya
Issatayeva, a city-based marathon runner and certified yoga trainer, “During my interaction I do come across a few who want to join running not just to to improve their physique but also to feel empowered about themselves. But it depends how physically fit they are, how ideal is their body weight and if they are in form to join a run or marathon otherwise they can injure themselves.”
But what about yoga? Do people really come seeking peace to improve their lives? She laments that a lot of people come to her for yoga classes to lose weight! “It’s disheartening. Yoga is all about being patient and getting connected to yourself. We need to understand that like trees we all bloom according to our own time,” she shares. In a result-oriented world, it’s debatable how many people patiently accept life as a journey of constant learning. “Seems not immediately,” says the yoga expert.
— Saima Afreen