In a fast-paced world, with hectic schedules and unprecedented demands, holistic living often takes a backseat. But sometimes you find yourself at a crossroads where a judicious decision could lead you to a better, healthier life. Harinath chose the path less taken.
Mr. Harinath with his family
“My lifestyle wasn’t exactly what you would call..ideal!” says Harinath with a sheepish grin. “I wouldn’t go to bed before 1:00 AM and wake up late. I had no discipline in my diet. I would just feel lethargic and fatigued all the time.” To make matters worse, Harinath’s family history of diabetes caught up with him. “We often take our health for granted. Unfortunately, a lot of people realise its importance only after losing it. I was diagnosed with Type II diabetes when I was 36. Living with diabetes isn’t easy — it warrants drastic lifestyle changes. I realized it was time re-evaluate my priorities.”
Five years ago, Harinath joined Coimbatore Runners with the hope to change his life for the better. As he began to go on regular runs he was pleasantly surprised by his own capability to persevere. “Slowly and steadily, things began to change. I started eating healthy, going to bed early — didn’t really have a choice there. Our group runs begin at 5:30 AM!” Harinath exclaims. “Motivated by my director, Ramesh Ponnuswami, I decided to run my first marathon the same year I joined Coimbatore Runners. I took 2 hours and 43 minutes to complete it and I was so overwhelmed by the appreciation of my friends and family. It was a great day in my life,” he reminisces.
Today, at the age of 42, Harinath makes sure he runs at least four times a week. He participates in four to five marathons a year. His blood sugar levels are in control. His erstwhile 36 inch waist now rests at a comfortable 32 inch. He feels happier, healthier, and full of zest for life. His dedication towards achieving a balance in his life has had a positive effect on his family. “My wife and my two kids often join me for runs. I’ve run five marathons with them. It’s a fun and constructive family activity. I have always taught the my kids to put health and fitness first. And what better way than to lead by example!” he adds with a smile.
Giving advice to everyone who wants to work towards a healthier lifestyle, he says encouragingly “Just start moving! Running is not the only activity that could interest you. Go biking or swimming or dancing — just about anything that keeps you on the move. Life is so stressful nowadays. Our bodies are subject to so much abuse, be it pollution, junk food or poor sleep quality. Go out there, breath some fresh air and feel alive!”
As part of Coimbatore Runners, Harinath has also played an active role in organizing Coimbatore Marathon for the last five years. Apart from promoting general fitness, he finds immense satisfaction in contributing towards a good cause. “All proceeds of Coimbatore Marathon goes towards Coimbatore Cancer Foundation. Being part of this initiative gives me the rare opportunity to give back. It brings me immense satisfaction and makes me want to do better as an individual,” says Harinath. After successfully completing several half marathons, Harinath was all set to aim higher. He trained to complete a full marathon and he did! He has crossed a significant milestone in his life. We often need stories like this to take a step back and recalibrate our lives for a healthier and better tomorrow. It’s time to make a change.
Mr. Harinath Babu A, Manager - Projects at ELGi was an active contributor to ELGi’s #ConquerK2 challenge — an initiative to promote fitness and drive participation towards Coimbatore Marathon 2017. It was a roaring success and Harinath couldn't be happier. ELGians across the globe jogged, ran, cycled, swam and inspired each other to collectively complete 28,251 miles. They strive to be #AlwaysBetter.