February has been an insane month with tons of ups and downs in my life. Yes, people of my age are getting married, some of them even have kids and that is something crazy, but I am least worried about all that right now.
First of all lets talk about the Duathlon training. I have been putting in insane amounts of runs in the last couple weeks, averaging at least 6 kilometers every other day. My best 5K time was around 19 minutes and 31 seconds which was in fall 2011, right now I am at around 25 minutes mark (pretty slow, but working on improving the time). I have to take the total running distance to around 10 kilometers by mid-march and right now I am in great track in achieving that. Staying fit and injury free during the course of training is vital too, so on the rest days I do core workouts, lift a little and do HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training). Moreover, I have discovered a great new locally available source of protein supplement: “Sattu“. Longer periods of cardio depletes the body of not only carbs but also proteins and other minerals, so I am making sure I am getting plenty of clean energy (carbs) and protein to grow muscles back. In the end, its the muscles that keeps me away from injury. Adding fruits like banana, apple and oranges to a strictly fiber rich diet plan has been vital in replenishing vitamins and minerals too. I have started biking (cycling) to work to, which is around 12+ kilometers to and from and saving tons of money on gas prices #Winning. I am losing fat weight like no other and slowly getting cut (chiseled). If I get a six pack by the end of the training period, I will be seriously amazed with myself. (whoever thought that was ever possible.. haha)
In the beginning of February, couple of my friends and I decided to attend a CSR event by Civil Mall. Shave to Save, as the name of the event states, volunteers shaved their head and in return a young cancer patient, Mr. Kamal KC would get around Rs 1500 (~$15) towards his treatment. There were around 84 participants. The entire event was fun, I was absolutely comfortable being on the stage and hanging out with friends for a great cause and doing our part to increase cancer awareness and help someone else recover from cancer. But the after-math of the event was pretty rough on me. I felt insecure, different, I felt like a mis-fit, I was unhappy from the core, I felt like something was wrong with me. Since I have been working out and running a lot, my body has started getting really cold after work-outs and during nights. I was losing weight, although in a really healthy way, my mind was confused, it thought I was ill and was losing weight because of the illness. Every time I looked at the mirror, I saw a bald-headed guy who was losing weight, I did not like my own smile, my clothes were getting bigger and baggier, my diet consisted of fruits and oatmeal, I was getting sick of eating the same thing, moreover, since my body was not heating up, my mind somehow thought I was sick. Imagine me going to public events or hanging out with friends feeling so insecure, I have not been myself. It was and it still is not easy. I am most probably in one of the best shape of my life right now because of the trainings, but that feeling of insecurity looking at myself in the mirror with a bald head and the missing charm was very rough. I cannot even imagine the psychological and mental effect of chemotherapy on real cancer patients. Training for events like marathon, triathlon and duathlon is tough, it is more of a mental game than anything, but cancer survivors… I salute you guys; so brave, mentally a tough nut, you guys are a true fighter. Without “REAL” friends and family, this battle is not possible, a big salute to that support system as well. If you know someone who is going through cancer treatment right now, make sure you tell them how much they mean to you and how much you love them, join their battle against cancer, its more of a mental game than anything and you need to be there for them. Shave to Save has been a very emotional experience for me.
On the Duathlon fundraising part, I did visit Samata school, I am currently in talks with the administration on setting up scholarship starting next academic year, majority of the fundraising will happen in March and the administration work will start from April only. I got to Skype with Burch, one of my awesome roommates from college and we may have exciting things to work together in the future involving education in Nepal, but just talking to him made me really happy. Looking forward to another challenge in life, establishing a low cost – high impact scholarship for underprivileged kids in Nepal, lets see how everything goes.
As always, I am still searching for the formula to happiness, still soul searching, I am doing all these crazy things, but I still have not found “Ankit Rana” yet, it will take time, it will always be an ongoing process, but I know it is going to be worth it. I am putting extra effort in spending time with my parents and investing more time in things that matter. I have started developing zero tolerance to materialistic things, focusing more on a greener lifestyle and going through a major life transition. Discovering new things and learning like no other.
Well, this has been a long post, but it was absolutely needed, writing makes me feel better, kinda weird.
Sooo.. Be yourself and find yourself. Find what makes you happy, else everything is already lost and life will just become tougher, do things that you love doing, find yourself and it will all be worth it.
“There are no shortcuts to any place worth going, because it is the journey that matters.”