#DelhiMoves Fitness

His father’s cancer diagnosis made this Delhi man a regular runner

Suresh Srinivasan on a run   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

Suresh Srinivasan lost his father to cancer last year. But the lesson that has stayed with him has been to put more life into the days he has. Suresh’s father fought the disease for over 18 years, first when it attacked his bladder and then the prostate. Through it all, Suresh says he didn’t let the killer disease dictate how he would spend his days. Come rain or shine, Desikachari Srinivasan would head to the neighbourhood park to exercise.

“My father was first diagnosed in 2001. Despite the struggles of early months of treatment he insisted on travelling with me to Leh in an Ambassador car. He didn’t want to miss out on our father-son time. Throughout his life, he never lost willpower or showed his pain,” says Suresh, who he always encouraged to stay active.

Until his father’s diagnosis, Suresh wasn’t a regular runner. It was the diagnosis that was the trigger. He used running as a coping mechanism and it gave him much more in return.

His father’s cancer diagnosis made this Delhi man a regular runner

Within a year, he went from running 5km to 10km and the kilometres just started adding up. Today he has over 15 half marathon and 5 full marathons under his belt. “As I approached my 40th birthday, I wanted to do something memorable. So I ran my first full marathon in Ljubljana, Slovenia, to mark the day,” recalls Suresh. Through it all, he says it was his father’s zest for life that carried him to the finish line.

As he approaches his 45th birthday this year, Suresh is training to run two of the Big Six also known as the world’s six major marathons. These are Tokyo, Boston, London, Berlin, Chicago and New York. He has made it through the lucky ballot for the Chicago Marathon, scheduled on October 13th. A few weeks later he’ll be running the New York marathon on November 3rd to support a paediatric cancer charity known as Tackle Kids Cancer. For this he has already managed to raise 77% of the money (USD$2,331).

Start line
  • There are other ways besides meeting the stringent qualifying time to enter the six major marathons. You can enter your name in the ballot and hope for the best, or you could enter through a charity by fulfilling the minimum fund-raising target. You could also go through a tour company that specializes in this like Active Holiday Company (activeholidaycompany.com).

If you run, you know the aches and pains of recovering from a long run all too well. Two 42-km runs within a few weeks need tremendous motivation and training. Suresh’s motivation comes from keeping his father’s memory alive and from wanting to spread his message of making the most of our time on earth.

He is disciplined when it comes to training. You can catch him running at Lodi Garden, Rose Garden, Siri Fort, and Nehru Park four times a week. He likes to switch between the parks because each track offers its own challenges. Occasionally, he runs on road. Twice a week he devotes time to strength training and also manages to squeeze in yoga three times a week, to help stretch sore muscles.

Running needn’t be the answer for everyone. All it takes is finding an activity that supplies a steady dose of joy while keeping you on your toes.

To donate: https://bit.ly/2NGPTCe

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Printable version | Apr 17, 2021 1:33:32 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/fitness/how-his-fathers-cancer-diagnosis-made-this-delhi-man-a-regular-runner/article28329541.ece

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