What I learnt managing a Work-Life “Balance”

In India, the biggest goal anyone, anywhere,  who belongs to a middle class society has is to become an Annuity.
A cosy job, which gives you a decent salary at the end of the month.
Preferably, a swanky employer. With a swanky office. A bunch of people(read : drones) who spend an eternity creating meaningless illusions which give them a sense of success. 

I don't aim to generalize and I don't meant to judge. But, in my 4 years of corporate experience the majority of people I know, live a vicious cycle. 
They wake up, head to work. Work in an environment, where you can't trust anyone because at one point or other your manager will make you cross the other person to fight for promotion. They sit staring into their screens, while their minds are adrift. When the workday ends, they head back, repeating the cycle, waiting for the weekend where they drown themselves in a sea of alcohol and create memories they won't ever remember.
When this lifestyle begins to get to them and their physical appearance becomes something which the society does not approve, they join a Gym. Many I know, have asked me about running and haven't followed through. "It's too difficult". 

Too be honest, running isn't difficult. I find talking to people, with a fake smile more difficult than running. For lack of trying, I haven't ever touched alcohol, or tobacco (and I don't intend to ever). I find a 5 hour, back breaking ride on my bike trainer easier than being suffocated under ultra-violet light and deafened by loud "music". 

I mean, running is like dancing (if you are into dancing). The road is your night-club, your iPod is your stereo system and you move to the beat. 
If getting punched and kicked in a crowd is your thing, try the swim leg in Ironman, you won't be disappointed.

I've always been into sports. I have one goal in life : To be successful enough so that my children are proud to introduce me to others. I've always wondered how proud Sachin Tendulkar's kids must be, and I want to give my future children the same sense of pride.

When I entered Corporate life on 2nd July 2012, I had no idea who I would end up being. I was a 2:23 Half Marathoner. With time, hardwork and my own "vicious cycle", I did manage to do my fair share in the last 4 years : 1 Ironman, 7 back-to back Half Iron Distance Triathlons, 1 Ironman 70.3, 80 min HM, Sub 3 FM and an Ultraman invite. 

When I tell people about it, they ask me if I do my training full time and they are pretty shocked to know that I work a corporate job.
And I am asked, "Aren't you tired on your job?"

Honestly? Yes.

I hate corporate life, I hate being fake and putting up a show to please someone, I hate sitting infront of a computer (though I love the Buzzfeed articles I read to spend my time).

I cannot comprehend how money can be so important that people give up on their happiness for it. Yes, I know you can't survive without money. And coming to droning infront of the computer : it really isn't a bad thing. It's a bad thing, if it makes you sad and yes, no one is happy with their job and blah blah blah. So yes, being in a job isn't bad either.

You know what is? Living a life without purpose. I am no one to judge if you want to end up drunk in a ditch. But if you are enlightened enough to know that you can make a difference to the world and still end up doing a dereliction of your duties, then it's a little disappointing. 

A few great men have been responsible for the change that we see today. And the change would have been much drastic if others contributed. 

At this point, i'll meander back to the topic of the long post. Managing a work-life balance, was not easy.
There were days when I had to show up to work at 7 and I had got home from work at 12 the previous day. And I had to get a session in. Many days I have been stretched too thin, but running kept me sane throughout.

A lot of sleep that I lost trying to keep the "Work-Run" balance was compensated in my 3-4 hour commute to and from work. I am now an expert at sleeping in cabs. And well, Work.

I don't work. I honestly don't. I mean, I do what is assigned to me but I swear I am not the type who will ask for work. Or show initiative. 

I am a master of avoiding parties. In 4 years, I have attended 3 parties , that too in the afternoon.
Managed to leave them early too :P

In my ONLY office trip, I slept in the room while my colleagues partied loudly.
And when they went to sleep, I went for a run. 

By now, I must be appearing like a total schmuck. So, let me justify myself.
I have my 
priorities. I like to run and have a good time doing it and I do not relate to the corporate vibe and the "social animal" behavior.
If I'm not running, I'd rather be on my bed reading a book than having a booze. And that's who I am.
In some ways, my introverted nature has helped me keep my running life thriving. I am who I am. I give my 100% to what I love and well, I do what I am told.

Plus, I don't mind being called a slacker at work. I am one and I am, well, proud of it. I have that "cool" vibe about me and I like that. Yes, that doesn't earn you promotions but I'd rather advance myself in something i love than in something I don't care about.  :P

In summary, my work-life balance is about priorities. It is balanced, because I get to do what I do(even though I long for more freedom) but atleast I have started work on it.

PS : I wrote this at work :P 


  1. "Rather advance myself in something i love than in something I don't care about." Loved this quote bro...

  2. "Rather advance myself in something i love than in something I don't care about." Loved this quote bro...


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