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Runversation: Push your limits, celebrate victory

THE ASIAN AGE. | SAMUEL SUDHAKAR
Published : Jan 14, 2018, 3:10 am IST
Updated : Jan 14, 2018, 3:10 am IST

Moving from marathons to ultra marathons led to multi-day adventures and soon Naresh from the Silicon Valley ventured solo.

Naresh fell in love with trail running and ventured into unexplored locales.
 Naresh fell in love with trail running and ventured into unexplored locales.

Feel miserable working in a cubicle? Living chained to a desk can feel unbelievably oppressive. Humans weren’t meant to stay in one place forever — we have a history of migration, of wandering. And now more than ever, people want to travel the world, explore places, indulge in priceless experiences, and you can’t put a tag on priceless. So, how does it feel to do that? Just one word: Crazy. I can understand why, though. It’s because you are doing something very unconventional, something against the “norm”. Why would you leave an awesome job in Silicon Valley, USA, to pursue something that has no guarantees or promises for a stable, secure life for you? You got to leave somewhere to go somewhere. We take so many chances in life, yet we never take a chance on our dreams.

“I took my chance and it’s the best decision of my life. I have been to 14 countries in four continents and covered thousands of kilometres on foot and bicycle. Met some incredible people, witnessed amazing scenery,” says Naresh, a tech professional, who fell in love with trail running and venturing into unexplored locales after moving to the US.

Moving from marathons to ultra marathons led to multi-day adventures and soon he ventured solo, unsupported adventure runs.  All to push his absolute limits, to attempt something that he had never done before, to go the distance to see what one can and can’t do.

He ran the length of New Zealand from Cape Reinga to Bluff, 3,054 km, in 89 days. Covered Jungfrau, the Bernese Alps in Switzerland, in seven days.  Ran the Last Annual Vol State Ultra from Missouri to Georgia across Tennessee, 500 km, in seven days.

With unbridled passion, he says, “I would pick a route or a trail and go solo, unsupported, self-sufficient and cover the distance human powered. The journey has been phenomenal so far. You can only plan your journey to some extent. ‘Uncertainty’ and “Vulnerability” are the two awesome factors that transform your journey into a memorable and magical experience. Uncertainty, because you don’t know what you don’t know. You take your first step, which often is the most important one, and adapt along the way. This will force you to experience and do things that you have never done before, which is the only way to learn and grow after all. Vulnerability is the key to human interaction. The people you meet along your way teach you the biggest lessons. They have taught me what it is to be human. During my expeditions, some of their loving acts of kindness restored my faith in humanity. Biggest Lesson Learnt — Be kind and take care of one another. Today you, tomorrow me. My journey also gave me a purpose and I ended up being an activist for anti-human trafficking. Through my adventures and storytelling, I have raised over a quarter of a million dollars for an anti-human trafficking organisation.”

The pursuit of wealth and status will only take you so far. The life you have led doesn’t need to be the only life you have. As Jennifer Lee said: Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.

The writer can be reached at gs.sudhakarrao@gmail.com

Tags: marathons, silicon valley, naresh