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Veritas Pune runs for resilience in 2022

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Every year, for the past four years, Veritas employees and their families have set out in the early hours of a winter morning to stretch their legs and test their limits during the annual Veritas Run. This year's race is scheduled for 12 February 2022, and everyone will be running in support of mental health. I'll be participating too.

There's a quote I've heard that resonates with me, 'when your legs get tired, run with your heart.' We generally start running for exercise or reducing weight, but little do we realise that there are many mental health benefits too. For instance, when you run, your body releases endorphins, the feel-happy chemicals, which help put your mind in a relaxed state.

When I started running in December 2005, I couldn't run 100 meters at a stretch. Over time, I learnt technique and improved my fitness levels. My body and mind went through adaptations, and I came out stronger. This is what helped me to graduate to an ultra-marathon like Comrades, an 89-kilometer (km) race between Durban and Pietermaritzburg in South Africa. In my first attempt, I dropped out after 79 km. I prepared better for the next year and completed it successfully in 2012.

For long runs, you need to have lots of mental strength, acquired with practice. Running has taught me not to give up even when faced with huge challenges and this perseverance has helped me a lot in many other spheres of my life.

As a morning person, I start my day early and I'm usually done with my run before my family wakes up. Starting my data with this routine has helped me adopt a healthier lifestyle.

Running in groups and participating in events has given me opportunities to connect with people from diverse backgrounds over the years. It has also given me the opportunity to travel to different places to participate in events.

Besides this and the physical health benefits, running gives me 'me time' to reflect on life, personal issues, and even office and career challenges. It has taught me to push my limits further. Even while working on challenging projects and tasks, I take walk or run breaks, which help me clear my head and gain insights on the issue at hand.

Among other benefits, rAs a runner, I set a goal and train hard, and when I achieve that goal, it makes me feel good and increases my confidence. Then I repeat the cycle of setting a goal, working for it and achieving it. It keeps me motivated regularly, as well keeping me fit and healthy.

So, why are you waiting? Whatever your reason—reducing weight, getting fitter, getting some alone-time with yourself—use #VeritasRun as your excuse to lace up and run for resilience on Saturday, 12 February 2022.