Barefoot running has its downsides; Just when I was thinking I had perfected the art of watching my steps and skimming the surface, a sharp prick on the sole of my right foot nearing the end of my run a few days back jolted me. I hobbled a few steps over the glass shard strewn area, responded by grazing the sole lightly over the road surface after reaching cleaner part of the road. All was not well was clear when the pricking sensation only got worse and I could somehow reach home by favouring the unaffected part of the foot. My hobbling around the house could not get past the eagle eyes of my wife and I confessed to a lesser crime of having hit my toe against a stone.
One thing barefooters would tell you is running barefoot on Indian roads is considered an adventure sport and hence not covered by insurance and against Doctor’s advice. As luck would have it, I had a busy day and could find no privacy to lick and probe my wounded foot during the day. To rub salt into the pregnant foot a few acquaintances who met in office asked if it does not hurt to run barefoot! By end of the day the foot had got painful and I was finding it difficult to put weight on my right foot (observant readers would have noted that the right leg was in serious trouble with a wounded sole joining a weak knee!). Biscuit also was at his playful best during the evening walk sending shooting pains up my leg when I landed on the affected part. My previous experience with thorns or shards in the foot has been that the culprit when tracked down and exposed looks very small and helpless. I could fully relate to Nana Patekar’s famous dialogue which I made the topic of this episode, only the humble intruder in my sole is the villain in place of the mosquito in my case!
I was able to probe the vicinity of the intrusion with a pin over the next two days, the last being a Saturday to boot, needless to say I could not run for two days. I finally succeeded in neutralizing the intruder by Saturday afternoon. The effect of constant probing had left the vicinity of the crime badly mauled. The joy of being able to land the weight, even if gingerly initially, on the Sunday morning run was plain ecstasy. The escape from the accusing eyes of the wife and probable sermon from the Doctor was by no means any less cause for celebration.
My brother who has recently been trapped by the running bug has been seriously infected with my Sister-in-Law complaining to my Doctor brother that he has started getting up at ungodly hours and running for hours. I was telling my brother that we must add another category of widows to the existing Bridge and Golf variety, the running widows, Only this sport is more gender-neutral and the affected party could be of either gender. My Sister-in-Law must be ruing the day she complained about his sedentary lifestyle.
Talking of running being patronized by both genders, a recent article by a woman runner pouring out her angst on the atrocities people commit on the fairer sex who come out to run. I was telling my daughter of the article and I was shocked to hear her experiences both in Gym and on the roads. It was really courageous of the lady in telling all and I started to look upon runners of the opposite sex with a new respect from then on. The girls talking out about the violence on the DU campus swelled my heart with pride. Here I was pussyfooting about making political comments on poster war on in the State fearing reprisal. Time to redefine the weaker sex!