Monday, February 19, 2007

Team Asha Rocks Austin! - Part I

Hi All,

This is going to be a four part series of mails. Looks like there would be so many runners that it would become too long in one email. These emails give a glimpse into the indominatable spirit and amazing efforts of each Team Asha runner. So, please do read it.

I . Team Asha's Heroes
II. A day in Shristi Special Academy
III. Inspiration that humbles

I. Team Asha's Heroes

Anita Iyer
Anita is an enthusiastic Asha volunteer who helps the chapter grow in many ways. She makes wonderful use of her free time and volunteers for hospitals in underdeveloped areas in Austin. She is very humble about her running and even as she ran with us, was always worried about slowing us down! Her dedication and commitment to the cause is amazing! I am sure she is going to be silent about her sacrifices and troubles, yet finish in style on Sunday.

Anjali Deolapure
Anjali attended the first few training sessions with Team Asha. Unfortunately, due to a road accident her training didn't go as well as she would have wanted to. Further injury concerns forced her to drop out of the program. But, we all look forward to having her back with the Team next year!

Arun Radhakrishnan
Team Asha's DJ/Stand up comedian/entertainer/party host, Asha Austin's brain stormer, he takes on multiple roles with great ease. He has also been volunteering actively to help with the program and other responsibilities at Asha Austin. He had some ITB issues late into the training and is not in the peak shape he was at a couple of months back. But, he is prepared to take on the race on Sunday and in his usual style has probably laughed his injury away :)

Arvind Rao
Being Asha Austin's Treasurer is not a simple task, given all the paperwork and deadlines to be met. He also had to take care of emegencies at home, present a project proposal, deal with 'trouble' at work and train for a marathon. All the unexpected happenings did take a toll on his training. Due to injury concerns, he was forced to drop to a half/marathon from a full marathon. On Sunday, he will be doing the half marathon and for the team he is a hero to have braved the storms and still make it!

Ashay Ronghe
One of the few runners (5 to be precise) who will be doing the marathon on Sunday. Lively and energetic, he always makes it quite an experience for others who run with him. Like most of us he had to go through rigors of work, training and injury scares. But, he held on to do enough long runs to take him through. He is an inspiration for the rest of the team for holding on to plans! A marathon is no mean task and yet he is going to make it look easy!

Ashwini Gopinath
Sweltering heat, freezing cold, crazy winds - nothing stopped her from attending the runs that she wanted to do. She stuck to the rules and simply followed what the coaches said. The results are here to see! She is probably one of the most improved runners in the Team. Always humble, she keeps referring to herself about being slow. Nope! Its not about speed - Its the determination and dedication towards a cause. In Coachji Vinod's words : "Courage is not the absence of fear but the ability to continue despite it."

Atanu Bhattacharya
Atanu has been in Austin for a while and works for Si Labs. When Atanu started with the program, he was worried if he could make it to the finish line. I am sure that he is already looking forward to many more finish lines right now :). His training has been on and off for the most part. But, he has put in more than enough effort to be there at the start line this Sunday and make it through the finish. With Team Asha's pacers and cheering groups we will also make sure that its more than a pleasant experience for our hero!

Bharath Iyer
Consistency is the key. Just keep doing it week after week and stick to the schedule. Bharath is again an improved runner who made us feel bad by making it look real easy :) He has put in an earnest effort given all the prior commitments. Actually, he went beyond and even helped us with aspects of managing the program itself. Always there to lend a helping hand for other runners with the Team, Sunday will be his day and the Team will be there for him in full force!

Bharath Kumar
Bharath started out as an Asha volunteer. He had just moved from TAMU to Austin and was looking forward to volunteer. Hmm..running was never the plan, at least thats what he insisted on. I guess he just got sucked into it :) Here he is now, probably one of the fastest runners with Team Asha, he demonstrates how much one can improve if you are passionate about the sport, really enjoy it and believe in the cause it supports. His dedication and commitment is contagious and I am sure there are going to be many more 'runner geeks'!

Bhavishya Goel
He was not even sure for how long he was going to be in Austin! Bhavishya is actually on a business trip from India. Fortunately, he has been here long enough to be a part of making this a wonderful team. With all the unexpected scheduling, his training did get a hit, but he has pulled things together admirably to be there at the start on Sunday. Here is another hero who will be giving his best like always for a cause he truly believes in.

Go Team Asha!!

II. A Day in Shristi Special Academy

What do volunteers look for in a site visit to a grass roots effort ? How much learning really happens ? How is life for a kid in that school ? These are probably questions that sometimes come up - but, you might be too shy or just don't have the time to ask an Asha volunteer.

So, here is a sample of the answers - Gaurav Agarwal had visited Shristi Special Academy about a year ago and here is his site visit report :

http://www.ashanet.org/projects-new/documents/602/gagarwal_site_visit.doc
http://data.ashanet.org/datastore/data/Chapters/Austin/projects/gagarwal_site_visit_photos.doc

III. Inspiration that humbles

Sometimes certain actions made by individuals makes you feel so humbled and irrelevant that you might even question what you do, yet the same action inspires you to not take for granted the opportunities you have and put it to best use for all ...

The Hyots - An amazing story that inspires, yet brings you down to your feet. There is also a short video clipping.

http://cjcphoto.com/can/

Thanks,
Santhosh
( For Team Asha )

1 comment:

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