Have you always found yourself excusing yourself from running and joining marathon clubs because of your work pressure? Doesn’t your 9 am to 5 pm job allow you to take some time out for your passion of running and having record breaking marathons on your name?
Well, well, you are not alone my friend, as most of us face this dilemma on a daily basis. While we have to choose between our passion and job security, we usually end up choosing the later, and then regretting for our choices made. But, here we have Rashmi Mohanty herself inspiring us on how we can actually balance both, without having to make any choice at all. While Rashmi is the head of Group and Senior Vice President of Vedanata Limited, she is a true motivational figure, who is able to find at least 4 hours a day from her schedule for running and keeping her spirits of marathons alive
About Rashmi Mohanty
Rashmi Mohanty is one of the leading ladies in the Indian long distance running scene. She has been running for many years and she has been continually raising her game year after year, race after race. Half marathons have now become mere training runs for her big ultra distance races, the longest one being the most recent 130km race in Kodaikanal. Her achievements look even more phenomenal when you consider that she works full time in a top position at a major corporate, manages her family and running – all without breaking a sweat. Rashmi through her unsatiating hunger for improvement and her unrelenting work ethic continues to inspire many a soul across the country.
Running is not something new that she picked up. She had been an avid runner during her school time, and she enjoyed being a sprinter when she was young. Along with this, she has been successful in graduating from the all famous Delhi Institute of Technology and then grabbing her master from IIM Bengaluru. Today, even at the age of 46, she is thoroughly enjoying her life with running, job, family and friends.
The proud feathers of Rashmi’s cap of success
Before we get on to her tips and mantras for a fit and healthy life, let’s have a look at her accomplishments in her thirst for creating new records and breaking existing ones. She is a seasoned runner and is an active participant of lot of full and half marathons. Apart from this, she has taken part in –
- 50 km in Bengaluru Ultra
- Ran Bhatti 80 km
- Comrades marathon (the world’s oldest and most prestigious marathon)
- Bhatti 50 km run
- She completed a 100 km run in Bengaluru as part of a run in 2017
- 12 hours stadium rum
- 130 km ultra run in Kodaikanal
When we asked her if there was anything left after so many runs and achievements with her, she said that though she has achieved a lot, her aim is still to run a 100 miler, and she is no rush to complete this.
“I have a plan around that. This is not going to be achieved any sooner, not this year definitely because right now I am doing a lot of milers and will continue to do so as of now.”
Rashmi’s take on how to manage regular full time jobs along with doing such great stuff on the fitness side
Fitso was really curious to know how she takes time out for her training and fitness and her reply was simple. She said it was all about priorities. “Work, family and myself are three things that you to prioritize. Once you are able to strike a balance between these three things, you are all set to achieve new milestones. This is my mantra of balancing out things in life, it has been working great for me.”
She has been running since the past 8 years – she started when her kids were still young and it was easier for her to sneak out for a short run while her kids were asleep. She says you cannot switch off completely from one aspect on life, and it is all about picking up one aspect of life based on what else is happening in your life.
“For example, I picked my runs during those times where the time did not clash with my kids’ examinations, or an important meeting at office. As long as you can pick the right thing at the right time, why just me, anyone can run a 130 kilometres.” She quotes on her prioritization.
An insight into Rashmi’s fitness regime
Next, we were quite inquisitive to know how her daily fitness regime was and how she managed her hard core training schedules when she was preparing for particular races. To this, she had a very surprising but logic answer – she usually cuts down on her social engagements so that she can concentrate on her fitness runs. She eats early and sleeps early so that she can get up early to have as much time as possible for a good training.
She quotes, “Today, I got up around 4:30AM and started my run by 5:15AM. This allowed me to get back home by 8:30AM and I have an ultra-running training in Hong Kong at the end of this month, and I am currently preparing for it. This also allows me to have my day for myself – I have to buy groceries, take care of my son, as he is having his annual examinations going on.”
While this is her regime when she has important commitments in life, in general also she likes to start and end her day early. She begins at around 4:30AM, is at office by 9AM, and then back home by 8PM – 8:30PM. She then wraps up for the day by 10:30PM sharp– this is how a typical weekday is in Rashmi’s life. Apart from this, her work life also makes her travel to Mumbai and she spends about 2-3 days at least a month in this city. This is what she wants people to do as well – work when office demands, and set your priorities right. You cannot ignore any angle of your life, and in the balance of life, the weights of everything has to be equal.
Listening to this inspiring way of managing time for both – running, work and family, we had one question – did this routine just come to you, or it is now a part of your life because you chose to have it that way? To this, she had a plain simple mantra – she said, nothing in life can become a habit unless you follow it strictly with full heart. She has learnt this routine over the years.
“Since I am already an ultra-runner, today, these are my choices. But for any runner who is starting afresh, the priorities may be different. Again, you have to look at your calendar for the year closely to be able to make the choices.” She says.
Her take on people’s advice on cutting down on the running passion
Rashmi did have to struggle a lot when she decided to stick to her passion along with normal life. People including her mother was very sceptical about ruining her skin and routine due to this absurd passion. But then, looking at how passionate she was about it all, her mother and husband gave in, and today she considers their support to be immense in the achievements. She says, “People will keep advising and telling you things, but you should keep your spirits alive and continue what you love to do.”
What do you do when you don’t win or when you feel demotivated due to the side effects of these ultra – runs?
She was not surprised by this question. She said, “For me, even if I don’t stand first, the moment I cross the finish line, I am a gold medallist in my eyes, and that keeps me up and running. Even if I don’t get the podium, I know my family and me, myself am proud of my achievement after every race.”
When she was just wrapping her Chicago run last year, she wanted to add 100k number in her running resume, but things did not go very well, and she was disappointed with her performance in some events. Due to this, she was not ready to go through the pain of ultra – run and this disturbed her mental peace. Then, she started seeing lot of YouTube videos on running. This is what keeps her motivated. Seeing ultra – runners during the low spots and reading a lot about them, brought her spirits back.
Her advice to other half marathon runners is that, “There will be times when you will curse yourself for signing up for things and events of running. There will be times when you feel just feel like quitting, and when you feel this, divide your run into smaller segments. Think just about the next 20 to 25 kilometres, and this will help you postpone your quitting. This will also help you put in your best!”
What does Rashmi get out of running and attending these events in misery?
Some people thrive for speed, some people thrive for distance, and for some running is just for fun. But for Rashmi is all about reaching goals. She picks up a target for a year and then she strives to achieve that.
What’s the goal? How do you set the goal?
“It’s all about self-improvement. It may be termed as an addiction, but for me, it is all about improving yourself. I want to be better than I was in the last run, last event. I prove myself that I can do more than this, every time I finish one target and this helps me set another target.”
Do you think going after your passion is forcing you to be selfish and compromise on your time with family and work?
To this, she honestly agreed that there were times when she felt it was quite selfish to do this, but then she realized it is all about balancing and choosing wisely. Choose what is important for you at that point in your life.
“I don’t run and train myself all-round the year. There are times when running takes a back seat and then there are times when my family knows my schedule is going to be hectic as I am preparing for an event!”
Rashmi’s running effect on friends and family
I have been able to motivate my immediate circle to a great extent. As a matter of fact, I am proud of the fact that my children know a lot about sports because of this. My elder one plays soccer and younger one is more into tennis. In fact, my younger one ran with me during one run event. I ran that, only because of him!
Her younger kid is just 11 years, and this is the effect she has on her family and friends. She has not only managed to change people thinking on running and fitness, but she has also been able to push them to live by their passions.
This is all about Rashmi and how her passion drives her towards striking the right balance between her personal life, professional life and running sprees. She also believes that eating right and planning your day well is a very important factor while you have so many choice in life.
Her life is truly something to learn from – for Rashmi, her family’s support has been a great motivation and in turn, her passion towards running and fitness has motivated her immediate circle too. Isn’t this perfectly ideal to create a fitness circle in your life?
That’s it, so what are you waiting for? Now, that we have brought you some real life motivation, so getting hitting my dear little lazy friends, and for those who are not lazy but are just looking for some motivation, it’s time you hit your shoes! You don’t need any gym or expensive equipment’s to keep yourself fit. While you read this, you may realize the fact that, it’s not always just staying fit. Sometimes it is all about falling your passions and not giving up at any cost.
Like Rashmi says, it is all about prioritizing and choosing the right path based on events in your life. Every person’s life and commitments are different, and thus, it is important that you choose accordingly. You may have to delay following your passions for a while, but it is just a temporary postponement, do not let this lead to completely neglecting your passions