Monday, February 19, 2007

Team Asha Rocks Austin! - Part IV

Hi All,

Here is the fourth part! This is not the last long email you will have to endure because we might have one more of the 'Team Asha Rocks Austin' series after Sunday.

I . Team Asha's Heroes
II. Asha Austin Meetings
III. Inspiration that humbles
IV. Race Day Info and funny moments

I. Team Asha's Heroes

Radhakrishna Gowrishankara
This is the third year for this Team Asha veteran. He is like the stuntman in the group. We can only watch and get entertained. But, dare not try it ourself! He probably does the least bit of training in the whole group! Its become second nature for him to just come out and run on 'race day'. Sometimes, he brings things into perspective and shows that it just isn't a big deal afer all. He is a dedicated Asha vounteer stewarding the Jigani school project with Asha Austin. On Sunday, this born athlete will inspire us all as he finishes the half marathon!

Rajiv Rammohan
With two young kids to take care of, Rajiv and Aparna already have a marathon life style! The rigors of work and family did not deter him from his dedication to the cause. He turned up for almost every training session, got involved with Asha by attending meetings and gave his all. Unfortunately, luck had its say at the end and he had to face a rather serious injury concern related to a 'stress fracture'. This got diagnosed rather late and he has been advised not to run for 2 months. But, he has almost reached his fundraising goal, will be out there volunteering and cheering for us all - a true hero!

Rathi Vijay
Not many of us would have seen Rathi often, as she lives way up north and for the most part trained on her own. She has amazing energy and enthusiasm for the team. She has almost reached her fundraising goal. Her efforts are truly inspiring. If we consider that she is doing this in spite of some serious health concerns that came up a while ago, I just am clueless to put in words her resolve and commitment to the cause. Her friends are travelling from all over the country to cheer her through the race. We are proud of what she is doing and all of us will be there to cheer this hero across the finish on Sunday.

Sanjay Tumati
Sanjay signed up and commited to run the full marathon with Team Asha. Unfortunately, he faced injury problems very early in training. He tried coming back to training after the injuries, but more injury concerns plagued his return. Finally, he had to drop out. But, I am sure that he is commited to the cause and we will most probably see him back with us next year!

Savitha Sridharan
Savitha, a returning Team Asha runner signed up and commited to run the half marathon with Team Asha. This is a rather busy time in her life both in terms of family commitments and work. She was out there to help all the runners through the initial ramp up. She has not been able to put in enough training and will not be there on Sunday to run. But, she will be there for the rest of the team. She has already decided to do the Dallas Half and given her dedication and commitment, I am sure she will reach the fundraising target too!

Shilpadhar Bharkam
Shilpadhar and his wife have a loving kid and the second one is coming soon! With obvious family commitments and work assigments, it would been easy to give up. But, he went through every training session with dogged determination! He was one of the few runners from Team Asha who trained with the intermediates. Unfortunately, a bad knee injury played havoc with his training. Massage, cortisone etc. did not help and the doctor finally advised him to keep off. Being the dedicated person he is, he will be out there cheering for us on Sunday and will be back running with us soon!

Sriram Sambamurthy
Sriram is doing his Ph.D at UT. I don't think I need to explain what it takes to be commited to a doctrate! Under all the pressure of school,conferences etc. Sriram still found time for Team Asha. His training did not go all too well with the India trip in December. One of the few marathon runners for Team Asha, he has swept past injury concerns and just decided to be with Team Asha and go the distance on Sunday. Its a story of true grit! A silent and humble person by nature, he doesn't talk a lot about the efforts he puts in and rather concentrates on the cause. On Sunday, Team Asha will be there in full force to back this wonderful runner!

Srujana Doddi
Srujana has crossed her fundraising target and is actually close to doubling it! Modest and soft spoken, she has silently made a tremendous effort in terms of both training and fundraising! She is one of the more improved runners in the team. She had a share of her own injury concerns, work assignments etc. that could have very easily thrown her off track. But, she stuck to being committed to the cause with a lot of determination. She has been prompt in her responses and was always there in every team gathering! She has given a lot for Team Asha and on Sunday it will be our turn to give!

Vijay Balasubramanian
Vijay had just moved to Austin, when he signed up to run the half marathon with us. His work in AMD does take a lot of commitment and odd hours. A new job, settling down in a new place etc. did not stop him from putting in hours of training with Team Asha. He blazed through in his fundraising efforts and is close to reaching his target. Unfortunately, an injury very late in the program upset all his plans. He has been forced to keep away from 'strain' for a while. But, being an energetic and committed volunteer, he will be there the whole day on Sunday to cheer us all. We all knew that this hero of Team Asha is not going away from us!

Vishvjeet is one of the few runners who signed up to run the full marathon. He was regular in training and was also doing the easy runs regularly. An urgent india trip and family emergencies messed his training schedule. When he came back, he had to face injury concerns and on top of that had already missed a lot of long runs. Its amazing as to how he has not let go in the face of these blocks and still decided to run on Sunday. After he discussed with the coach and physio, he decided to do the Half Marathon. On Sunday, as he crosses the finish line he will inspire the rest of the team to keep giving to the cause.

Vivek Shah
Vivek was running with Rogue. He couldn't resist the temptation to join Team Asha and joined us late in the training. He has already soared in his fundraising efforts and is close to reaching his target! He was regular with his runs and has been committed to the cause he has signed up for. He put an amazing effort in 3M and I am sure it will be much better at AT & T. As he mentions in his runner page, running is the most simple exrecise one can get and just comes naturally to some of us. It will be no surprise if vivek's natural instincts for running takes him to record times on Sunday! Team Asha is proud of this hero!

Go Team Asha!!

II. Asha Austin Meetings
Q. What is an Asha Austin Meeting ?
A. Its a weekly meeting of Asha Austin volunteers held every Sunday at volunteers' homes. We discuss different aspects of the organization - Projects/grassroots efforts, Social issues, treasury, events, fundraising, publicity etc. As you all know there is no hierarchy and its a flat organization. Anyone can call for an agenda item to be discussed in the meeting.

Q. What really gets discussed ? Can I get an idea of it ?
A. We try and post the minutes of every meeting we have on the website :
Browsing through the minutes will give a fair idea of what gets discussed.

Q. I want to attend an Asha Austin Meeting. What should I do ?
Please let Sais ( ) know. We will add you to the Meeting notice. We usually meet every Sunday at 2 P.M.

III. Inspiration that humbles
Athletes who did amazing feats, Individuals dedicating their lives to social causes, Individuals showing amazing resilience in leading a normal life given their backgrounds..and now what ?

A phrase often quoted by Coachji Vinod :

"I have met my hero and its me"

I don't have interesting links to post here. I don't have interesting stories to write here. Because, you have it in you already.

When you came into the info session on that day, it could have been very easy for you to turn away. When you had the doubt about reaching your fundraising target it could have been very easy to turn away. When you had that first injury it would have been so easy to turn away.

You are the inspiration that humbles us!

The one simple phrase you need to remember when you run on Sunday is "I did not turn away and will not".

Flashback from last year :

IV. Race Day Info and funny moments

If you need help and want someone to run with you, please let us know. Also, if you know of friends who can run with Team Asha folks on Sunday, please let us know. Don't be shy, its your right :)

Let Vinod ( know.

After race Parties!
There will be refreshments at the Tent. So, please don't go away. We even have heaters in the tents to make you stay with us. Its an amazing feeling to have people cheering you on as you cross the finish line. If you finish early and can stand for a lil' more while, please do cheer our folks across!! We would also organize a Post race party the next weekend, when you can be better dressed!

Funny moments

With me around there is of course no dearth of it!

In the first year, I did an amazing feat of planting my car literally on a huge rock at 'The Rock'. All four wheels of my car was in the air. After almost half of Austin had a good laugh before I got towed out of that!

Our A+ coach, Gaurav was taking notes as Steve was giving suggestions to take care of his injury concerns. A+ was not happy and kept asking him questions - Finally, Steve volunteered to cut his legs off so that he doesn't have all these problems!

I am sure each one of us had a lot of fun through this program. We have memorable moments that make us feel happy. Try reflecting on it and Sunday will be a huge party!

If that doesn't help, try doing this runner stretch :

(For Team Asha)


Anurag Hitchcock said...

loads of people with injuries??!! have u been killing them with random running schedules?!!

Naresh said...

hey santhosh:

I met you once at the IF during cricket tourney. Just wanted to get in touch regarding running. let me know if we can meet. pls mail met at