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What is the most crucial time every Chartered Accountant goes through? The phase which decides your career. One for sure, would be the CA final exam consisting of 8 papers of 3 hours each. What if you were told to give these exams back to back nonstop? Can you? Is it achievable? Do you have the strength & determination? I am not challenging, but asking you to give it a thought.
Our lives revolve around various inevitable energies, both positive and negative which define our life styles and living. The ones who manage to balance usually seek happiness and success.
I qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 2012 and I am yet self working on striking the balance right, every moment, and every day! How do I do it?
My agenda each day is pretty simple: RUN -> WORK -> REST -> REPEAT
At most interviews for work, I was tossed up this question “Tell me a little about you?” I had a standard reply “Chartered Accountant with a heart of an Ultra Distance runner.” Next, the interview would soon roll more about running and a little on the regular questions. In fact in one of the companies where I previously worked, the CEO and myself exclusively spoke on distance running in the final round of my interview. The CEO was a Distance Runner too! Could this be a game changer to your job opportunity?
Health and fitness is a prime concern and importance for all. Let me discuss a little on how Distance Running changed my life, how it helped me to turn into a better human and how things changed positively at work. I have been distance running since 1992 on the hills at Panchgani and then kept graduating. In 2016, I completed running 5 Ultra marathons:
Enduarthon54.0 at Silvassa (54 Kms), Shimla Ultra at Mashobra, Shimla (70 Kms), Matheran Endurathon at Matheran (50 Kms), 12 hours Mumbai Ultra at Mumbai (84 Kms) and 24 hours Bangalore Ultra (125 Kms). Each of these journeys were beautiful and a learning experience.
Distance running gives me the runners high, helps me to focus better, boosts my memory, increases my concentration and keeps me healthy and fit. It is important to first plan your day and ensure that we make space for exercise every day. I am very passionate about distance running and I kick start my day with what I love i.e. running! It’s my “Me Time.”
Run O’clock- I start my day early and train in the mornings by 5am which makes me feel positive and energetic to face the day ahead. When my races are close, I train hard which takes away 40% of my energy leaving me with only 60% of energy with which I need to juggle 100% day at work. Sounds scary? Not really, In fact due to limited energy, i focus my time and energy on relevant things. It has helped me to manage my day with limited resources. Training daily helps me to get better which I apply at work too. Based on similar logic, executing the same activity at office decreases my learning curve and helps me to get efficient at what I do in a much lesser time. By engaging in distance running daily, I gain confidence to strike a positive work-life balance, work smarter and keeps me sharper.
Running has helped me in Stress management. When you run, the body releases endorphins which make you feel better and relaxed.
Distance running demands tremendous amount of discipline. From learning the basics of stretching, to mastering variants of running techniques, attending all events/races, setting (and reaching!) goals, respecting a new diet, committing, trying, failing and re trying again. Running ultra distances (More than 42.195 Kms) makes you humble. It is an important quality to incorporate within us.
Being an Ultra distance runner, I dedicate myself to achieve my goals every race which help me to develop self discipline that has boosted my Chartered Accountancy career overall. I follow my running mantra religiously i.e. “The WILL should be stronger than the SKILL.”
Distance running can be done anywhere anytime. One need not restrict themselves into indoors. I love to travel, explore new places and snag a good view of the nature on my run which has improved my self esteem. When I run, I make new friends who are like minded and fitness fanatics. I enjoy having healthy breakfast with them post run along with distance running conversations. Due to my running commitments, I seldom sleep late, eat junk food or engage in unhealthy habits.
Distance running gets the sunny side of me and will get you too. In November 2016, I finished accomplishing my final milestone for the year by running 24 hours challenge at Bangalore Ultra covering 125 Kms. Running these distances helps me to understand my endurance levels and keeps me on the go. Bangalore Ultra was a beautiful experience. It was like giving all CA Final 8 papers at a single stroke. I am currently training for my next milestone of 135 miles race at Uttarkashi and Comrades 2017 at South Africa. Happy Running!
For any insights on Distance running, please feel free to connect:
CA Sunny Bhanawala