Last Sunday, I was invited for Warm Up Workshop at Decathlon at Gurgaon. I was super happy to know about the agenda as it was focused around fitness and I need to be very conscious about this at this point of time. Having back pains and frequent sprains in 30s is not a good signal and young generation is facing these issues very frequently. Lifestyles have been changing and physical activities have been reduced a lot. Technology and wonderful solutions in market have made people lazy. Lesser physical work means, weak muscles which will lead to various issues. I am personally going through this face and recently started jogging early in the morning. So it was certainly a good opportunity for me to know right things from professional and passionate hiker & runner.
Chetan Sehgal and Captain Dharmveer were invited to talk about their hiking & running experiences & learnings.
Chetan Sehgal is passionate about Hiking. He is into organizing endurance races. La Ultra - The High is one of them. A 333 km long ultra marathon that happens in Ladakh every year.It was awesome to hear his hiking experiences along with some of the brilliant photographs from Himalayas. He has been to various lesser known hikes and learned a lot over a period of time. I felt foolish when he shared about the kind of cloths and bakcpacks one should choose. And it's not about fashion, but more about wise choice to ensure that cloths are convenient for 17000 feet and stuff is comfortable to carry. For Shrikhand trek we didn't plan for cloths we should have carried. We went in our regular denims and our lowers came to rescue at that time.
First time, I realized the value of a good hiking bag. And moreover techniques to pack the bag. It helps a lot if you pack the bag in such a way that it stands still and doesn't bend on one of the sides. That puts less stress on your body when you are carrying it and hiking up. And that makes perfect sense. He explained how your hiking bag should be packed. Why it's important to keep heavy stuff in the bottom of the bag and rest of the heavy items on back side of the bag, which is closer to the back of the body. Why a good capacity water bottle is important. And lot of these things. Having right gears makes your hike peaceful. E.g. having right pair of shoes are extremely important and more than that it's advisable to use those shoes for 2-3 weeks before starting the hike.
"High volume items go right below, ,making a good base for the bag to be stable. On top of that comes heavy items like food, gas cans, stove close to your back, rather than away. And Items you need to access frequently should be placed on the top for ease." , Chetan says.
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Likewise, there is a right way to put the backpack on your back. Putting the backpack in wrong way can spoil the hike. Chetan likes keeping his bag light and carries stuff which is extremely important. It's always advisable to keep optional things at home. When it comes to crossing water streams during these treks, it's better to keep sandals. It's difficult to dry shoes and crossing bare-feet is not a very good idea.
I found his talk the most effective part of the day. He has brilliant experiences and his talk says a lot about the way he respects mountains and local communities who help in planning/doing these treks. Audience asked lot of questions about different popular and least known treks in Himalayas. Kind of gears to chose and how to prepare the body for hiking. He was very practical when he responded to these queries.
Captain Dharmveer is a passionate runner. He emphasized on the fact that why running can make your life very happy and peaceful. A low maintenance sport which keeps you fit and give a chance to stay away from stress. Running is low maintenance sport but needs very high level of discipline. He also talked about basic gears and how right choice about gears can change the whole process. Having right pair of shoes & shocks is first basic step. And then what you wear is important. Lot of folks start running in winters, so it's important to ensure that you don't wear lot of cloths because if you run more than 5 km, same set of cloths would get uncomfortable......
Towards the end, Decathlon employee Subodh Kumar came to the stage and shared about his records in running. He is a very good runner and participated in various marathons & won few. He lives in Saket and at times he run from his house till Decathlon store on Sohna Road. He also shared by two initiatives taken by Decathlon for runners and bikers. During the weekend free training sessions happen for runners and bikers, so if you are interested about any of these, do check out Decathlon website to know more.
Overall the day was spent very well by hearing these inspirational talks. Now let's see how much I apply in my own life and figure out ways to make viewers of this blog more aware.
Check out more about this workshop from accomplished runner Anupriya on her blog.