It’s crazy how in June, when I returned from an unexpected two month break in Goa, clocking a mere 5k on the treadmill everyday felt like a herculean ask. Huffing and puffing to just get to the end of those 35 minutes, I’d keep going everyday, not knowing what I need to do to better my time.

I have never trained at running, like I have in the past with strength and conditioning or kickboxing or weight training. Running has never been my go-to, so I’ve never invested time into building strength and getting technique right. So I’m extremely clueless about how one progresses realistically and how I can get from one level to the next. I’ve been going at it intuitively, but somewhere in August I felt like I needed to begin somewhere. I had this urge, but no idea where to begin. The internet is filled with confusing resources, so I let that idea simmer for a bit and just kept at what I was doing, intuitively. Side by side, I continued my HIIT and weight training. The only little shift I made was to try and better my time just a little bit, once every week. Even if it was a teeny 0.2 or 0.3 km increment. It felt like I had hit a plateau for the longest time, but suddenly one day at the end of August, all those little incremental steps added up to a 6km run, randomly one morning when I wasn’t even looking.

There I was just running like I do everyday, nearing the last 7 minutes of my run, when I felt a push to go harder and faster. And so I listened and pushed on. Amped up the speed and went for it and boom — that 6km just…happened.

I was so elated, especially because I wasn’t spent or tired and felt like I had a burst of energy to finish the rest of my workout too.

Then, a week later on a very good energy day, I decided to push myself a little harder and see how far I could go. The treadmill times-out automatically after 35 minutes and that’s usually my cue to move on to the next thing. But that day, instead of turning it off, I took a minutes breather and turned it back on and began to run again. For nearly 2km more, breezily, easily, without panting, I just kept going. Music on and loud, my heart pounding, my feet on the machine, I felt totally in flow. And I hit that 7km mark…seemingly effortlessly. Again, it just happened. I actually hadn’t even realised when I had moved past the 6km mark, 6.5km and smoothly past the 7km mark.

The human body and mind continues to fascinate me. How easy it actually is to stretch and reach higher and beyond. And how much it is willing to take, resilient and adaptable. How far it can actually go. I am really enjoying this phase of training, where intuition and an internal rhythm is guiding me on. I would love to train systematically, and it’s on my goals for next year, but for now this has been such fun. I love going by my own moods and what I am feeling like on any given day, and to see it’s actually taking me farther every week.

As I’m witnessing my body change this time around, I’m in tune with what it’s asking for (whether up-tempo or down-tempo), I’m watching keenly as it’s stretching and responding to the changes I introduce, I’m feeling something build from within, and I see it take shape in the tiniest ways in which it shows externally. In my posture, in the way I’ve been carrying myself, in the way that I sit, stand or take space, and most of all in the way I am feeling strong, full and grounded.

This week, I haven’t been to the gym at all. I went to my animal flow class on Tuesday, but that’s it. And it feels alright. I know come Monday, I’ll be back.

One year ago: Walking high on the wire
Two years ago: What coming home feels like: making friends edition
Three years ago: Down and up again


Stay and stay a while

It’s VC departure day and I’ve been exceptionally gloomy about it this time around. It’s a combination of PMS, I think, plus really being at the end of my tether with the in-between life, and really wanting to get a move on. It’s compounded by the fact that my mother left two nights ago, and with VC gone today, my sister and father leaving on the weekend too, I’m feeling preemptively morose.

You have so many people to hang out with! said VC when I complained to him last night.

And yes, while that’s indeed true, it’s just…not the same, you know?

It’s one thing finding company, no matter how enthralling, but quite another thing entirely sharing my very life and spaces with people I love. Which is the kind of intimacy I was ruing.


We drove out this morning, my dad, VC and I, ostensibly to catch a quick brunch before VC headed off to the airport. But driving out turned into driving all the way to the airport, and a quick brunch turned into leisurely beers (many for them, a single one for me) and a quick bite. I decided to test my throat (that is feeling much better) today with that beer, and I feel oddly better.

VC was thrilled to be headed back to his peace and quiet life, with the weekend just a day away, and the end of his notice period now in sight.

I’m happy to let him go, temporarily (especially because this is the first time in forever that I’m seeing VC cut back and really focus on the fun) but this gnawing feeling of wanting to be together again keeps tugging at me from within. I’m just sitting tight and biding time, knowing that it is in fact just a matter of time before the nature and quality of my life the past week becomes the new normal.

The most obvious antidote to these blues would have been to hop on the same flight with VC and go to Goa, seeing as how I have no commitments for another week at least. But I’m just not feeling drawn to being there somehow. There’s just so much momentum that’s drummed up with things here, with the simultaneous internal slowing down, and the surprising new ability to just lie in waiting for things to unfold as they should, without efforting any of it.

I feel like the call is to wait, not rush off.

Here, now, is where it’s at and I’m staying grounded to that hunch.

Meanwhile, it’s life in passing. Slow motion. Daily, normal, mundane and joyful to tide over the intense missings.

One year ago: I want the truth to be said
Two years ago: Finding life again

Three years ago: Lines and dreams


A day that began like this:

After something like nearly a year, I felt like I was coming down with something. I’ve nursed a very, very slowly worsening itchy throat for two days now. But the progression has been so mild, at no point was I really sure if it was just an allergy or something worse. Yesterday though I began to feel my body alternating between needing a jacket or wanting to stay in a blanket, and desperately needing the fan on top speed and throwing the blanket off.

Is it PMS-induced something, I wondered? Was it that chled beer too many from Monday? Or that totally unnecessary drag off VCs cigarette that I immediately regretted from the depths of my throat (barf!)? Or that shady tall glass of water with more ice cubes than I would have liked? I’m a bit suspicious of contaminated ice and the moment I drank that glass of water I had a tiny red flag go up in my head.

Anyhow that was just the morning. I skipped working out and allowed myself to stay in, getting out only much later. I did however cook us a pot of peppery rasam that really helped, and I took the longest nap I’ve taken in a while, which certainly helped. Because I’ve woken up feeling almost 80% better.

I’ve had the sniffles a few times this past year, but each time I’ve managed to stay off the antibiotics by fighting it off with antihistamines and septilin alone. This time I haven’t even popped an antihistamine yet and I desperately hope I don’t need to take antibiotics so this needs to just peter down and go away soonly.

So if that means I need to just sleep it off, I’m okay with it. If it means my body’s asking for hot tea three times a day, with sugar in it, I did that too. If the will to exercise is missing, I complied.

There is joy in this very new ease in listening and to what my body is asking for, and going with it, rather than fighting it to keep to some sense of routine and “rightness” I have going in my head.

On the upside, a day mostly in bed has meant I finished a whole book I just started. Yay.

One year ago: Not yet lost all our graces

Plain joy

Speaking of ordinary joys in unexpected places, sneaking up on me, leaving me still and silent

  1. Watching the beanie-wearing skinny little girl on the metro, no older than 5 or 6 years, devouring a 5-star bar with gusto
  2. The rainbow I caught quite by accident, even though it wasn’t raining
  3. That sweet, smooth way in which I transitioned from 6km to 7km, when I wasn’t even trying too hard
  4. The moment my favourite song from last week came on and filled me with a burst of energy to keep running
  5. The sunlight that filtered through my bare curtain-less windows that morning, waking me up slowly and truly
  6. Getting caught in the downpour and being in no rush to fight it or beat it to get anywhere
  7. Finding the exact same pair of shoes I was looking to replace, so now I have a new old pair
  8. That totally unnecessary but hit-the-spot hot chocolate fudge after that spot of drinking to begin the week
  9. Finding a delightful specimen of that elusive breed of very good tailors
  10. Fitting into an extremely well made saree blouse — a first in way, way too long
  11. That audible crunch on that first bite of that pesto fried chicken burger
  12. That first animal flow class and how amazing, warm and flushed my face felt at the end of it
  13. That first sight of gol-chashma wearing VC waiting to be picked up at arrivals in Bangalore

Some of the most joyful moments of the recent past have come at me in spaces I wasn’t looking. Spontaneous, unexpected, unpredictable.

And in the moment, each one of those moments filled me with a soft delight, a quiet thrill. So profound, yet gentle, lapping across my body and making my mind feel melty like warm cheese, and making my heart quicken just a touch, simply from the sheer sense of life in each of those moments.

One year ago: Shine a little light on me

Monday funday

VCs been home since Friday and he was to leave today. But happily enough, a fortuitous work plan emerged that had him extend his stay by three days. At this point it really feels like the universe is pushing to really make this home base again.

Anyhow, extra time is always a good thing. So we took off to catch up on some errands and snuck in a lunch out about town together too.

I could get used to Mondays that begin like this.

One year ago: Every inch of sky’s got a star
Three years ago: Disjointed, incomplete thoughts


Last week when three days of class ended, I sat with a pure and simple thrill and joy at having completed a full piece of work by myself. By itself, it wasn’t a spectacular piece of work, but to have been able to intuitively and organically stay with it, and see it through to its logical conclusion was a big, big step up for me.

It was a huge win. And yet, underneath all the joy from the learning side of things, I was also carrying some grief about a certain dynamic that’s playing out for me. It’s bringing up a lot and is showing me in no uncertain terms how my journeys of personal development and learning this work will sometimes intertwine ever so subtly.

As I journey on with this learning, the more drawn in and absorbed I get, I have also been feeling a sense of an ending. Of this phase. A separation from things as they stand today. And I’ve been feeling the ripe and bubbling feeling of an impending new beginning — perhaps the next phase.

Endings, especially of good things, have never been easy for me. Letting go of things as they are, opening myself to change isn’t much easier.

So last week, even as I was overjoyed, waves of grief and impending loss came in recurring motions. I watched myself ride each wave, find my balance again and dig my feet deep and open my heart wide to the happiness that I was also experiencing. I’m beginning to see this duality as such a central axis of my life: joy is the antidote to grief and grief sometimes arrives to make that point loud and clear.

Like I said some days ago, what is a new dawn without a full knowing of the darkness that always precedes it? Would I value the true beauty of the light just the same if it weren’t for the daunting walk through the dark?

Is it ever really possible to know one without the other?

Joy is rarely ever conditional to the absence of pain. Same for the love and rage, war and peace, light and dark. The more I find myself accepting this inherent duality, the more I find peace and settlement. I feel more whole, integrated and complete.

I feel in love with my life and my place in the world. I feel eager to understand my reality and the world around me, with the unfettered keenness and curiosity of a child.

Is this what it is to say yes to life in all its glory?

Is this what true surrender feels like?

Is this what it is like to feel raw, and somewhat more tender?

Is this what remains to be gained when I understand the importance of laying down all that isn’t mine to carry?

Is this what I was making space for all this time?

One year ago: I wanna see you be brave
Two years ago: Brain noodles

Three years ago: Finding my people

On writing about my emotional process

Somehow all of this silence within, is turning into a real lack of words, both verbal as well as written. This time around, though, I’m experiencing it with a lot of acceptance of the silence. Like I’m settling into it quite easily. It feels right, and there’s a strange new distance from the need to put words to what I’m going through internally.

It’s been interesting to witness because every time that this has happened in the past, I’ve struggled to accept it fully. I’ve acknowledged it and maybe even talked about it, but deep within, I’ve always felt like something is a miss. Not being able to write/talk about what I am going through has always meant something is wrong. Words are and have been a crucial part of my process. And I am grateful for the place they have and the role they have played so far. But I see what has changed now.

This is probably what happens when one puts in a conscious, intentional effort at being emotionally integrated, and reached a point where that effort finally begins to kick in. Things find their place, things settle, things find their natural containment, little spills over, and that’s it. It just is, as it is, and nothing needs further investigation. I’ve found that I don’t seek confirmation/affirmation/validation for any of this from myself, and I’m seeking it less and less from outlets that face the outer world. Like this blog, for example. What I’ve come to realise is that for me, the more I am okay with everything as it is — the slow pace, the self-doubt, the frequent transgressions included — the less there is a need to assuage the niggling confusion and doubt by putting out crystallised, neatly packaged bits of writing explaining it all.

Of course this is all WIP. Maybe I’ll still have days where I’ll wax eloquent about unnecessary details of my emotional process nobody needs to hear, maybe if you’re coming here for articulate emotional writing you’ll have to make do with less of it, maybe I’ll write about many other things, many this blog with transform yet again. But for now I see that when the need for validation ceases to be the primary focus of the sharing, the words have ceased to flow and there’s less inclination or willingness to dissect and verbalise every little detail as much.

Let’s be really honest the reason behind the need to write and track this journey comes in great measure from the need to validate my own process (even just to myself), to track my journey, to have some proof of having a semblance of control or a handle on it. To note this tiny little shift also feels like I’ve let go that much more, loosened up internally. And I don’t need proof of it.

I have not been this much at ease and peace with myself in…actually, probably, ever.

One year ago: You shoot the moon and miss completely
Three years ago: Ferry days

Silent and still

Being still and silent and broken is its own kind of religion.

I came across this line from a post last year and I realised it still rings so true, for where I am right now.

Being silent, still, slow has become a way of life. Sometimes things are so still I feel like I’m moving in slow motion.

I don’t know if it’s actually as apparent as I feel like it is — but I’m gradually losing the inclination to go into detailed descriptions of the minutiae of every little change that I am experiencing. I can barely get myself to cursorily state it in a lazy, sometimes incoherent fashion. Glossing over the surface and skimming the surface feels like I’m missing the totality entirely. But it is what it is. I am losing the ability to put things down in words, to commit to anything. In writing.

Partly because things are changing so rapidly, and I am opening myself up to it more and more, writing anything down feels like I’m pickling it, grabbing it and pinning it down to some form of certainty. When in real life, my pursuit has been to keep my grip on everything very loose. To let go as best as I can, to watch things as they leave, transform, sometimes return to take a new form.

I have a newfound respect, love even, for this truly slow, almost meditative pace. I’ve learned to savour time. To surrender. To watch more. To feel keenly. To be more interested in the world.

One year ago: Not invited, but I’m glad I made it

Gratitude fix

Grateful for the great weather we’ve been having. Sweaters by night, sunshine by day. Crisp early beginnings, the beginnings of winter sunlight that frame every new day and make me forget all that’s wrong with the world for just that little bit.

Sure, it’s made waking up as early as I am used to a tad harder. Actually, scratch that. The waking up happens rather easily, I’m afraid I’ve hacked my body clock to open eyes at 6 am. It’s the leaving the bed and getting out from under the blanket bit thats much, much harder. I end up snoozing the alarm for upwards of 40 minutes and have pushed my start of day a fair bit.

Grateful for the festivities of the weekend. After many years I had the opportunity to indulge in more than just the partaking of the feast — which is frankly the most interesting part of Ganesh Chaturti, amiright? I enjoyed wandering about shopping with amma, and doing my little bit to cook parts of the traditional meal we’ve been accustomed to eating for all these years, and that I realised I have a special fondness and affinity for.

I’ve indulged in about three times the amount of food I consume on any given day over Gowri and Ganesh, taking seconds (and thirds in some cases) of all my favourite foods, unabashedly. All my restraint and restrictions have fallen to the wayside almost as easily as they have been imbibed, and I’m observing how natural and easy to give in and slip back on track it has become of late. Is this what eating intuitively is?

Grateful for the burst of life that festivals bring to my neighbourhood, literally transforming the place. Traffic is a bitch, but we got out on foot, in the middle of the day and in another time I might have been hassled and bothered. But I enjoyed it, the sights and sounds suddenly appealing and sweet, touching a hitherto untouched part of my heart almost.

This is V and we’ve reconnected after about 10 years. It’s only been a handful of times that we’ve met, but every time that we have, it’s been lighthearted, easy, full of laughter. I almost forget we are adult versions of the people we were when we used to be broke teenagers in college who resorted to hanging out on park benches because we had no money to go anywhere else. And yet, somewhere in between the rambunctious laughter over the silliest things, I see how far we’ve come, how grown up we are. I’m grateful for the many reconnections I’ve had. It’s brought variety to my friendships, loosened me up and brought a much-needed lightness to my life that allows for unabashed day drinking.

There’s been something of a throwback theme going on with me. Last week I caught up with S after more than a decade, and at Koshys where we met, I happened to glance around and notice my English Literature professor sitting at a table behind me. She’s literally the only teacher from those three godawful years in college, who I cared for, who made an impact on me, and who I remember enough to go say hi. I looked straight at her, dead sure she wouldn’t recognise me. In my head, I look nothing like I did in college, especially with the shorter than ever before hair. But she looked straight back at me and went; “Revati!”

We engaged in a full on conversation and she seemed to remember every little detail about where we left off — which was 2006 — when I graduated! My interests, the professors I disliked, my resistance to Shakespeare and my love for Eliot, alike. And I have no idea how, but she knew I lived in Goa. She expressed such joy when I responded to What are you up to? with I write.

I can’t tell you how happy that made me!

Extra, extra grateful for public transport more than ever before. The more I think about the little ways in which I can reduce putting a car and four wheels on the road, the more I think about the implications of spending so much money on something as basic as getting about town, the more compelled I feel to make the effort to take the metro whenever I can. And it’s a delight to see it pay off.

I’m grateful for N who has stayed like a silent, strong force holding space for all that has been unfolding for me. Even with our infrequent meetings, I’ve found a space where I can increasingly be me, in all my different states of togetherness of the lack thereof. No filters, no adjustments. It is a real privilege, relief. And joy. As I make sense of so many little and big things as they unfold and churn up a world of emotions and realisations within me.

One year ago: August

Brain noodles

Last week was an important one for me. Several small, subtle shifts that signal other important changes seem to have clicked into place.

I ended three days of class feeling a strange sort of separation, like growing up and feeling ready to fly the nest. Last time, this feeling came with a fair share of angst and difficulty in accepting this natural progression. But this time around, just four weeks later, something has shifted.

I surprised myself with how ready I felt to do the work, to take my place, to stretch myself, to allow myself to fumble, make mistakes and ask for help.

Some significant, memorable things:
I met up with a friend after a whole decade and was delighted to find how easy it was to pick up the pieces just where we left off, even though our lives have moved on so much, in such immense ways.

I hit 7k on my run last week. It made me giddy with happiness.

I woke up one morning to some super cute baby photos of myself, from an aunt who used to be one of my most favourites until some weird shit caused her to isolate herself. Waking up to them pictures, and her little anecdotal message recalling things from a time I obviously don’t remember, was precious.

That pesto fried chicken burger that hit the spot.

Three days of really rigorous learning that I still haven’t recovered from. The weekend was a blur of much napping, and mostly staying in. Even though I cancelled morning plans, ostensibly to sleep in, I did make it to the gym because I seem to have hacked my system to go to bed early and wake up early too. But that aside, it was mostly a homebody weekend until I took myself to watch Vir Das last night, all by myself, all the way in Whitefield. Yeah, I continue to shock myself.

Vir Das has always been a favourite, and after last night’s show I think I’m pretty sure he’s in a league of his own. I can’t wait for this special to make it to Netflix.

Three years ago: Wandering, right here at home


I’ll say this much today.

I’m not done.

I want to go farther.

And I will get there.

One year ago: Whatever you believe, could be real
Three years ago: Internet things


At the gym, I ran a 6k listening to the Gully Boy soundtrack after ages, and found myself struck by a single line in a song I have heard a million times before, but never so keenly. A line that stayed with me, reverberating and resonating again and again.

Ujale milne me mujhe haan raat ka hi haath tha.

I woke up literally at the crack of dawn yesterday. Surprisingly, with ease. I didn’t want to miss working out just because I had to be in town, in class by 8.30 am. It meant working backwards and hitting the gym a whole hour before my usual time.

I woke up clear, and ready for the early start. The sun was barely out, casting a cool blue gleam about the horizon, while a level below, in the streets, signs of the barely ended night twinkled on in the form of street-lights. It was such a good way to begin the day. Not groggy, not fighting sleep, not staying undercover till the light grows.

I haven’t been awake this early in a while, and experiencing the break of a new dawn today, felt special and significant.


I had a fantastic day of learning. The sort of day that felt like one the giant leap at the end of several small shaky, tentative, baby steps, in the dark. At the end of facilitating a piece of work entirely on my own, albeit with a few expected hitches and blocks, I had a thrill of disbelief surge through me.

How am I here, doing this, already?!

I thought back to the start of the day, and how the beginning of morning was only that dramatic, that pretty because of the contrast of the night sky. And I realised, the thrill of this leap was only as enriching, because of the struggles and the stretch of the learning thus far.

And I wonder, what is a new dawn without the darkness that precedes it? Would I value the light just the same if it weren’t for the walk through the dark?

One year ago: Keep waking up high
Three years ago: A morning moment


In a new development (and surprising plot twist!) there’s a frightfully high number of selfies and pictures I’ve taken of myself (in a vast array of mirrors, wherever I encounter them) on my phone. Suddenly, every third picture is a picture of me. Taken by me. Sometimes in a moment of put-together-ness, all dressed up and made up, but many, many times in a state of everyday-ness. A look at my gallery, scrolling backwards instead of forwards, has become a window into the many states of my being these past few weeks, and it occurred to me quite suddenly yesterday, that this ability to take many, many pictures of myself — candidly, unabashedly — is new.

I used to consider it excessively self-involved and (slightly pathetic, tbvh) when I’d see other indulge in this sort of constant selfie-taking. But of course, with time and when you’ve had a personal experience of it, everything takes on a different hue. Judgements drop, perceptions change. The unthinkable suddenly becomes so acceptable, it’s almost taken for granted. Enough of a lived/true experience of anything, can do that.

So even though 90% of these images never make their way out of my phone (this is like a super self-involved library for one — me) suddenly, this ability to take pictures to myself feels like it’s tied to the sort of awakening and turning over yet another new leaf that I have been experiencing these past weeks.

The pieces of the puzzle fell into place when I, after holding off on the impulse to shave my head for two weeks thinking it would pass (IT DIDN’T), landed up at the salon yesterday and found myself explaining the urge to my hairdresser:

I’m just ready to show more of my face, I said. I’ve had enough of hiding behind a mop of hair lying down on my forehead.

Slowly, and mostly privately, a comfort has crept up on me quietly. But on realising this today, I scrolled through my blog too and surprise, surprise (not) there’s way more mirror pictures and selfies of myself on here these past few weeks, than ever before. And somehow, it all makes sense to me.

I didn’t end up shaving my head. Because my hairdresser very wisely said there are other ways to get the hair off my forehead.

Go very, very short, she said.
Like you have nothing to hide, she said.

So, I now have the shortest hair I’ve had in a very long time. And it felt strangely liberating and comfortable. I remember how exposed I felt the last time it was this short, when it happened by mistake and how I desperately waited for it to grow into a comfortable, familiar length.

I didn’t ever think a haircut could feel like naked, but then again, I never thought I’d take this many pictures of myself either. And that lopsided smirk is me thinking Okay, so I’m now somebody who, oblivious to the world around, takes pictures of myself in the front seat of a cab.

I surely didn’t see this coming.


I know I’m onto something. Something about seeing myself fully, and allowing myself to be seen. It’s possibly the next big step in knowing my true self. Because this is how I’ve turned the corner on every inflection point so far — suddenly, unexpectedly, overwhelmingly arriving at a realisation only when I connect the dots looking back. And so even if this is an essential part of the journey of getting comfortable in my own skin, of seeing all parts of myself — including the ones that have hitherto made me very uncomfortable — so I can own my full potency, I’ll take it.

One year ago: Talking about worries and problems, people

Tender mornings

My gym is right next to a school and the time I finish up usually coincides with the start of a bright new day at school. So everyday, as I exit the gym and head back to my car, I encounter scores and scores of girls (it’s a girls convent) rushing along to school. I see a range of faces and feelings — some scampering happily, some shuffling reluctantly, some others dreamy and still half-asleep like they’ve been prepped and pushed out the door without their knowing, some holding on tenderly to the hand (or sometimes just a finger) of a parent chatting with them intently, some with an older sibling also in a uniform — a larger version of the themselves, some looking unsure and untrusting of what lies beyond the gates clearly in need of coaxing and cajoling. It gives me such delight to see old, familiar sights — little human beings carrying bags bigger than themselves, under-shorts peeking out from beneath the pinafore, neat and twisty well-oiled braids with ribbons drawn through them, knee-high socks (sometimes held up by rubber bands), sleepy eyes, bright eyes, tired eyes, jaded eyes. School mornings bring them all.

Most of them pouring out of over-stuffed autos and mini-vans. So many rushing by from neighbouring lanes and alleys or walking to shcool from home. There’s usually too many kids scurrying about for me to drive off in a rush, and so I wait patiently. Watching all kinds of big and little girls filing out vehicles, house gates and arms of their parents to face the start of a new day.

There’s a dreaminess in the way that these children take themselves school. An innocence and smallness in the small limbs, the gentle eyes and the supple bodies that are little human beings. The softness of their spirit shining through effortlessly. The default slow way in which they seem to take their time with every step of the way.

It’s become a good way to begin the day — watching this menagerie, motley crew. I catch myself observing keenly, sometimes smiling to myself. Because it reminds me of myself in school, and the start of new days. I’ve always been a morning person, and even though there have been some mild changes with that in my adulthood, I think deep in my core I am a morning person. I have steadfastly avoided making such definitive sweeping declarations about myself of late, but today, watching the same show that I have all year now since I rejoined the gym, it hit me — I frikking love mornings. It’s my favourite time of day.

Today, the realisation struck a tender part of me. There’s an incredibly soft, open quality to mornings. Something about the beginning of a new day, the brimming over of possibility, the immense privilege that is another day. And it felt especially visible in watching young, bright girls off to school.

I’ve always wondered what it means to wake up and be grateful for another day of life. It always seemed kind of redundant and stating-the-obvious, but today I think I woke up to a subtlety that’s been so far lost on me. It’s why even on days when I struggle to wake up, or I want to just lie in bed all day, or when the weather makes it impossible to see the sun, mornings still signal the vigour of a new day. Another brush with the freshness of life, meeting with another full day, potent with opportunity.

The sun comes up, and off we go, with yet another chance at life itself. And how much I’ve taken that for granted, day after day.

One year ago: Cake by the ocean


This is the sweaty, but thrilled, messy but smug mug of someone who hit a significant running milestone the other day. That it happened out of the blue, unexpectedly, despite running on just four hours of sleep thanks to a moment of temptation that resulted in a caffeine-addled brain that didn’t shut down till 2.30 am, is a thing to celebrate. And yet, just to have taken myself to the gym, to find the energy to surpass my daily target by a whole kilometre, felt so, so, so good.

I hit the 6k mark, in just five minutes over my usual running time. It took running for ten minutes more than usual. It took pushing. It took a little more sweat and pain. But it felt so good.

I don’t know if maybe the remnants of caffeine were responsible for the extra energy and power. Or maybe it was the playlist for the day.

How does one not feel like running when this comes one?

Or this?

Anyhow, lying sleepless in bed the previous night, I was worried how I’d get through two days of class with limited sleep. But I managed just fine. And I think making it to the gym and getting that spot of exercise in had something to do with it.

I have so enjoyed exercising this year. Minus the rigid need to make all the self-made rules. Minus the unrealistic goals. Plus a whole lot of listening to my body, giving it the right amount of stretch it needs, while also resting when it asks for it, an eating what I want when there is a craving. I’m back in the groove of things, and I feel like I’ve found a sweet spot that work for me. The right routine, the right set of workouts, allowing myself that little bit of flexibility and ease, and the right goal — consistency, not numbers.

Even on mornings when it’s slow to start and the going is hard, it takes about fifteen minutes of being at the gym, pounding my feet on the treadmill, letting the music kick in good and proper. I have to stretch myself just that much and from that moment on when the sweat begins to roll, when my legs begin to do the work, I feel like I could fly. What a massive high that is.

I can tell something has changed when there’s an ease and a flow about the way in which I am able to carry it out. And this has happened with other things in life, but this is probably the first time there’s an enjoyable flow about exercise an I am so enjoying the twist in the tale.

Three years ago: Friyay