Pursuit of Happiness

On the run

CLP India CEO Rajiv Ranjan Mishra feels liberated when he’s got his running shoes on

Be it the sweltering sun, the heavy rains or chilly winter mornings — no weather variations have managed to keep Rajiv Ranjan Mishra, managing director of CLP India, off the track. The orange-blue hues that form the colourful spectacle of a sunrise, the warmth of the sun rays that make way through tiny leaves and embrace you, and the tranquility that surrounds the whole process are some of the external forces that have been driving him to run every morning, for the past sixteen years. 

Ironically Mishra has always been fascinated with cricket, more than any other sport. Mishra was also known for seizing most number of wickets as a wicketkeeper during his school days. But as Mishra says, “You get wiser as you get older” and he started to look for options to keep himself fit. After trying power yoga, the gym and a couple of other sports, Mishra chose running in the year 2000, as nothing less proved to be more convincing as a fitness regime for the head of the foreign power producer.    

But what drew him to athletic running? He says, “Running brings in a tremendous amount of discipline to one’s body. Though it is a physical activity, it requires a lot of mental strength. I feel healthier as my body feels lighter after a long run. I find it to be a very liberating exercise.” Unlike others, Mishra does not carry any gadgets such as calorie meter or even the mobile phone or iPod to listen to music. He finds music as a distraction while running. Mishra has been pursuing this hobby religiously as he feels that this is the most important time that he should devote for himself.

He has also participated in more than 24 half and full marathons. Participating in such competitive events tops the must-do list of Mishra’s dock every year. Stanchart marathons in Mumbai, Bangkok and Hong Kong, Pune International marathon, Airtel Delhi half-marathon are some of the marathons in which he has aced, to name a few. Mishra runs four days a week regularly, and goes up to six when he is preparing for a marathon. Even with his busy schedule at work, he does not compromise on taking a day off. He chooses to run by the distance and not time. “Covering a certain distance in a stipulated time is only a by-product of running,” says Mishra who carries his gym bag even when he travels.

Ask him how running has impacted his life, Mishra fires a list with the speed of light. “Taking more risks, tackling challenges with ease, high immunity, increased endurance, good sleep, discipline and high concentration power have been the benefits of my running,” says Mishra who has even introduced some of his friends and colleagues into the sport. 

Highlighting on the mental strength that is required to accomplish a physical activity, Mishra says, “The power of the mind over matter plays an important role in running. If you haven’t set your mind, you cannot complete your goal albeit your physical strength. It is only my mental strength that has brought me thus far.” Mishra is eyeing to indulge in other sports as well, to keep himself active in parallel activities, along with running. At the moment though, he is all focused on the track ahead.