The clouds begin to darken ominously overhead; there is a low growl of thunder. Slowly, the raindrops begin to trickle. While other joggers start to frantically look for shelter, Bimal Dayal, CEO, Indus Towers moves ahead. While he is drenched at the end of the run, he terms the experience truly uplifting. “It has been five years. Since then, I try to run at least a couple of times during the monsoon showers. It is something I look forward to,” he affirms.
However, Dayal’s running expeditions started much earlier, around a decade back. “While I have always been a fitness enthusiast, the marathon bug bit me after experiencing the electrifying ambience at a dream run in Mumbai around ten years back,” he shares. He ran his first half-marathon the next year and has not looked back since then. After participating in more than twenty such events, the drive now, is to run for his own satisfaction, shares Dayal. Ask him why he opted for the unconventional path, he says, “I have moved away from running towards a target. After a point it gets competitive. Now, I run for myself.”
Dayal’s daily routine begins with jogging along the Leisure Valley Park in Gurgaon as early as 5:30 a.m. While it is a 5-7 km run on weekdays, Sunday runs are longer, spanning 12-15 km. So how does he balance his passion along with his professional commitments, he smiles admitting that the schedule is imbibed in his system. And to top it, the capital’s serene ambience in the morning marks its own wonder. “Delhi, especially in winters, it is really cold and quiet. If you are able to get out of your quilt at 5:30 a.m. then you must really be mad about what you are doing,” he says with a laugh. But he also believes in not pushing his body too far. “If I don’t get to bed by 11 p.m. the previous day I do not exert myself the next day. I consider that balance very important,” he says. He further adds that the energy he gets from the hobby keeps him going through the day. “It helps me purge out my thoughts and be void of anything choking me in the moment,” he says.
While Dayal is part of neighbourhood clubs, he says it is just to infuse discipline to his stretching and strengthening exercise regimen. But when it comes to running, he usually runs with two of his friends. Dayal envisions taking his passion further, but with an unconventional touch. He wants to experiment with the activity by mixing meditation with running. “While we train our bodies, I don’t think we spend enough time in training our minds. I certainly believe there is scope for combining both running and meditation. That is what I am working on now,” he says. But aren’t these activities on the opposite ends of the spectrum? He believes in the contrary. “It is a common perception that meditation is a static activity. But there are forms of meditation where one gets into a lot of physical activity. I do believe there is a common spot,” he signs off.