Last evening I was invited to a small get together to celebrate the success of The Outdoor Journal (all things outdoor, adventure and active lifestyle since it’s launch in 2012). I was apprehensive as I didn’t know anyone except the founder of the magazine, and that too I had met him only once. Or may be apprehensive is not the right word, I was intimidated. I was expecting to meet snowboarders, mountaineers, extreme skiers and the maximum I have done in the name of adventure is attempt a 50km run on an active volcano (Mt Pinatubo) in Philippines and called it quits at 35km! (And no I don’t consider my Bhati 50km and full marathons adventurous enough).
In any case, I decided to face my fears and go. I’m so glad that I did. 15 minutes into the conversation with new people, someone asked if I wanted to meet Jonty Rhodes and I thought he was pulling a fast one on me. I couldn’t believe my luck. I walked up to him, introduced myself as a blogger and had a 15-20 minute conversation. The gentleman that he is, he naturally steered the conversation towards running the moment he heard momontherun! He is working closely with South African Tourism and mentioned how there is an impressive increase in the number of Indians participating in Comrades (89km), even though personally he would like to see more people participate in the Two Oceans Marathon (56km) – a distance more fathomable and a very scenic route. He was curious about why SCMM is bigger than any other marathon in the country as Mumbai doesn’t seem very conducive to running and why very few women opt for full marathons in India. He also mentioned that he can’t and doesn’t want to go beyond 5km which I was very surprised about given his fitness levels. We discussed about a few more things but what struck me was how humble he is and how easy it was to talk to him. I had felt similar after meeting the ultra marathon running legend Scott Jurek. What makes them so humble about their talent, hard work and achievements? Is it the sport which does this to them? Or is it that you need to be grounded to channel your talent the right way? Oh, and not to mention, he is still as hot as he is charming and he is a surfer too.
I met a few very interesting women too and hoping to write about them at the soonest.