Running with a legend
For a few minutes yesterday, during my 100th run of the #100daysofrunning challenge, I got to run alongside a legend, and chat with him, and to feel – for the time spent in his company – truly inspired.
The man in question is Major D.P.Singh, more commonly known as India’s first blade runner.
In 1999, Major D.P.Singh was severely injured during the Kargil War and had half of his right leg amputated.
Here, FYI, is part of his entry in Wikepedia, giving an almost sanitised account of what were horrific injuries:
“Major D.P. Singh was injured on 15 July 1999 at LOC in Akhnoor sector while fighting for India during the Kargil War (Operation Vijay).
He was 80 meters from a Pakistani Army post when a mortar fell within 1.5 metre of where he was; the shrapnel injured multiple parts of his body. A part of his right leg was amputated as it had developed gangrene.“
It is hard to believe that this charming, smiling man with whom I ran and chatted yesterday was virtually left for dead, his intestines ripped out by the force of the mortar. Declared dead, then later found to be still alive by another doctor, gangrene, amputation – and yet, smilingly, this lovely man celebrates the day of his terrible accident as his rebirth day.
His courage is simply amazing.
It was only after his amputation that he started running, and as well as being an accomplished marathoner, he is now a motivational speaker, inspiring amputees in India.
Any wonder that it was both humbling and uplifting to run and talk with him.
Our run yesterday was a trail run, through a forest with enough ups & downs, & steps & slippery bits to make me slow down, on the grounds that I might slip, and there was the gallant Major…
(Both these photos are Chetan’s)
Major Singh was, deservedly, the centre of attention yesterday and was super low-key about everyone wanting a photo with him.
I was fortunate enough to be running with the Major and the lovely Chetan Singh Gill, a professional photographer, who has taken some smashingly flattering photos of me before.
Chetan sportingly sprinted ahead of us and took some lovely photos:
Then we met the equally talented Atul Bounty Narula, another professional photographer who is often at major running events.
Truly my lucky day 🙂
I could not have asked for a more wonderful end to my own little 100 day challenge.