My lovely running gal Kathakoli Dasgupta has contributed many guest posts to this blog (including this one from last year, also about running in a sari 🙂 )
She chats with us here about a recent run in the UK where she now lives, and how/why she decided to run the race in a sari.
Read on – it’s a great story and addresses the issue of motivation.
“Since I did the village fun run last summer in a saree, I have been wanting to challenge myself with a longer distance in a saree. After all, my mum, my aunties, my grand mums have managed everything all their lives in their sarees.
However, I am neither fit nor fast as before.
And I am simply not able to get back my running mojo. Or even the motivation to train regularly. Everything made worse due to peri menopause blues.
Where would the motivation to do a race come from? I only had to think of the women in my family.
My mum suffered 3rd degree burns due to a sparkler one Diwali. Her chances were only 20%. Her hands and stomach are grafted and when she came out of the hospital (after 3 months), we naturally assumed she would wear Salwar-Kameez (tunic and elasticated waist trousers) to school at least for a few months. But she switched back to a saree within a few days. I remember getting her ready for school in the mornings for the first few months, tying the petticoat tentatively for fear of causing her pain. (Her flesh was still raw and pink.) I still can’t imagine how she managed.
A few of my aunties who are really well travelled, tour across countries and continents draped in their sarees—a couple of them even walk miles on end in their Bata slippers!
I have heard stories from my gran of how they would bathe and swim in the village pond, back in the day, in their sarees.
I knew yesterday I would be nowhere close to my Wesham 10K PB. (Wesham10K is a local brilliantly organised and well supported race we participate in every year).
I was naturally tempted to skip the race (and fall into the whole ‘can’t do it-won’t do it trap’). So I decided to wear a saree and paired it with one of my favourite t-shirts.
And honestly, if I weren’t running in a saree yesterday, I’d have given up and turned back.
On top of struggling fitness wise, having just recently recovered from a health issue, several things went wrong—my running chip came undone so I had to go back, fetch it and tie it back on. And three quarters of the way my sanitary napkin started to chafe my groin and caused immense discomfort. (Won’t be wearing ‘wings’ for a race again!)
But I had to complete this race. I owed it to my mum, my aunties, my gran—and to all those who don’t let their sarees come in the way of living.“
What I love about this story is where Katha’s motivation came from, as she explains in the last line (above) – from her mother (whom I have met and who is a lovely, affectionate lady) and her grandmother (whom I have also met!).
Katha, dear friend, you are a powerhouse, and I am super impressed at the way you ran 🙂