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Runversation: Be a possibilitarian

THE ASIAN AGE. | SAMUEL SUDHAKAR
Published : May 21, 2018, 5:51 am IST
Updated : May 21, 2018, 5:49 am IST

You can’t move forward if you’re stuck where you are — this is life’s fundamental truth.

Once you get rid of the clutter that’s keeping you from achieving your aim, you’ll be ready for just about anything.
 Once you get rid of the clutter that’s keeping you from achieving your aim, you’ll be ready for just about anything.

Pandian Sivabalan started running at the age of 52 to overcome his deteriorating health and ran his first full marathon at the age of 55. Since then he has run an astonishing 200 full marathons across 20 cities and six continents.

You can’t move forward if you’re stuck where you are — this is life’s fundamental truth.

The meaning of life at any age can be defined by what is most important to us. By the time someone reaches 50 years, they would have developed a management system for themselves to balance the numerous things in life.

Some find the opportunity to look beyond the role that society asks them to play. You get to ask yourself the question: What is most important to me? Once you have a clear picture of what your future will be and you systematically get rid of the clutter that’s keeping you from getting there, you’ll be ready for just about anything.

Pandian Sivabalan is a consultant for textile industries, a workaholic who invested a disproportionate amount of time and effort in his work, compromising on his health. Upon a whim he decided it’s time to change, to overthrow that tyrannical to-do list that kept him chained to priorities other than taking care of his health.

He says, “With absolutely no fitness background and never having run all through 52 years of my life, I decided to take up running to get over my deteriorating health. After my first half marathon, which was mostly walking and a little bit of running, it turned into an untameable desire to run. I ran my first full marathon at the age of 55. Who knew that the secret to happiness and good health is right at our feet?”

Ageing is part of life, and it’s a beautiful thing. It brings experience and wisdom. Running in your 50s, 60s or above is just like any other pursuit in life: you have to put your mind to it and be committed to be successful. It has nothing to do with age, because once you decide you’re going to run, you’re going to run!

Ever since he started running, Pandian has successfully completed a mind-numbing 200 full marathons in over 20 countries. These include the most famous and toughest Riverboat series marathon in North America which is a 7-marathon series in 7 days in 7 states; Orta Lake in Italy — 10 marathons in 10 days; Lucky 13 in USA — 13 marathons in 13 days.

“Now that I’m turning 60, there’s no confusion in my life. It’s been replaced with a delicious sense of calm, confidence, and clarity of purpose. What an extraordinary turn of events! Who knew that turning 60 would actually be a welcome milestone instead of a dreaded one? Certainly not me. Life is different. I'm different. My body is changing once again, and so are my dreams and goals. Instead of slowing down, I’m finding new ways to jolt my body, mind and spirit into action, so I will be stronger and more powerful as I get older,” says Pandian.

So ask yourself, what do I value most in life? If you have identified your top priority and already have it in your life, treasure it. Hold it close. Embrace it. If you don’t know where to start, perhaps it would help to consider what some other amazing people, just like Pandian, believe in. Lose the clutter, find your life. Choose to take a chance and make a change, no matter what your age.

Be a possibilitarian.

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

Tags: pandian sivabalan, textile industries