At 6 am in the midst of the sprawling Cubbon Park in central Bengaluru along with many joggers you ought to find Max Retail’s executive director, Vasanth Kumar. A strong believer in balancing work and fitness, with one glass of water and a Fitbit, Kumar sets out for his 45 minute-long run atleast four times a week. “I cover about 7-8 km during that time. It helps clear out my mind and keeps me energetic for the rest of the day,” he explains. And living in the garden city, gives him that much more access to a host of parks to choose from. “The advantage of being in a gated community is that there is a lot of quiet, with flora and fauna as well. We have a jogging track and a lake in the neighbourhood, which gives me a few options,” says Kumar.
The first time Kumar went jogging was in 1987, when he was pursuing his MBA at XLRI. The adjoining Jubilee Park in Jamshedpur, Jharkhand was the perfect getaway for the same. Kumar was inspired by a couple of classmates and what started off as a way to invigorate oneself, has now become a habit.
For him it is not only about being active, but also about staying fit and healthy. “There is a history of diabetes in the family and jogging is the antidote,” he says. While jogging, Kumar enjoys the fact that thinking is not forced. “During the jog, I feel my mind has realigned entirely and thoughts are flowing randomly,” he smiles. Although, he prefers to go through the exercise alone, every two months he meets up with his classmates and former colleagues, when they jog together and then break for a conversation.
While work is hectic, accompanied by its quota of travel, he makes sure there is always enough time for a jog. If he is in Mumbai, he often checks into a service apartment in Navi Mumbai. “I have been lucky enough to jog in Central Park in New York and Hyde Park in London.” But how does he manage to jog through the year, especially when it is a lot colder overseas? Kumar explains, “The first five minutes are a little difficult, but once the rhythm sets, it gets better. With time, I am better at coping with dealing with the weather changes,” says the 54-year-old.
So far, Kumar prefers to stick to jogging as a way to de-stress except for the occasional marathons, where he covers no more than 5 km. “Jogging is really where I have found my calling,” he signs off.