Tata Steel Kolkata 25K - 18th December 2022

Abeda Khasamwala

*I am at Home*

To start with myself, I’m a mother of 2 handsome boys both engineers and working. With children being busy in their lives and now with lesser responsibilities, I dedicated more time to myself.

First step towards that was fitness. Before I took up running in 2015, I had started cycling. Waking up every day early in the morning to accompany my husband on his daily cycling regime with his group. Pedalling away on the roads of Kolkata rediscovering the new me – bit by bit I realised my hidden talents. On one such day, a fellow cyclist suggested taking up running and registering for the upcoming *TSK 25K* event. In the spur of the moment, I agreed, and he registered me for the 5km fun run. But destiny had something else in store for me. To benefit the under-privileged someone requested me to convert my run to 10 km. So just to help them I agreed little did I know that it wasn’t them, but myself that I was helping.

Without any practice for a long-distance run, I stood on the start line with high spirits and many enthusiastic runners all around me.

I had thought that it would be a mere walk.  It was naïve of me to think that “Run” was just a name given to it. As I started and saw everyone around me actually running, I also joined in and eventually, lo and behold, reached the finish line without stopping. Then a message on my mobile conveyed that I had completed my run in 1hr 20 mins. That was decent start to my running endeavours. My happiness knew no bounds. After this there was no looking back. I did running events one after the other improving my timing and winning podiums. Did innumerable 10k’s, 21k’s, 25k’s and a couple of 42k’s and a couple of ultras too. I also bagged several cycling event medals and Olympic triathlon too. This was a transformation, and I was enjoying every moment.

Every time I stood on the start line and completed the journey to the finish line, a new me was born. I realised that I was not scared of facing challenges, rather I liked overcoming them.

Coming from a very conservative background, my journey to becoming a cyclist and a runner was not without resistance, but with every achievement, it paved my way. Sometimes pacing, at other times a brand ambassador, little by little, I made it through the running circle. But putting it humbly, the path to re-inventing myself at my age, was helped and inspired by my running fraternity, I am immensely ingratiated to them.

*TSK 25K* is very special to me as it was my first tryst with running and what more can I ask for than getting an opportunity to pace the same bus with which I had made a start. It is homecoming for me. The open roads, the fresh morning due, under the blue skies, far away (well…not so far) the finish line beckons me. Here I am at home.