For Manik Dhodi, running is more than just a physical activity. It is a passion that turned his life for the better, if not the best. After struggling with being overweight, this high-spirited Delhiite took up running to alleviate his problems. Since then there has been no looking back for Manik.
He has completed a series of marathons, ultra races, and obstacle courses in various parts of India and the world. But it’s not about the competition only; running for him is sacred and is much more than just the distance covered on tarmac or the trail path. In conversation with Manik about what drives him to a running start, and what has kept him going through the years.
It’s said that running helps you become a better manager or leader of men (for example, Anil Ambani, Mark Zuckerberg, Tim Cook and others – scientific study on this). Is this something that’s true in your experience?
Running has truly brought positivity, calmness, and discipline in my life. It has helped me improve my focus as well as commitment levels. I feel more confident, and that reflects in my work as well. Much so that people have started realizing that and as a result of which, give me more respect. This happens when they realize that someone who is so passionate and committed to his own self, would be definitely committed to the company he works for.
From a professional point of view, what are the benefits of running that may not be obvious to anyone who has not run in their life?
It keeps you healthy. Healthy body leads to healthy mind.
Does running help you become more productive? Does it help you answer key questions about your workflow?
You become more organised as you learn to take out time to run through your busy work schedule and family life. It definitely improves your focus as well as productivity.
Many writers claim to use running to get out of creative mental blocks. Is that something you also believe in?
Most definitely. Running, for me, is Meditation. It is “My Time with Myself”. It is the best stress buster. Also in my case, at times I get great ideas while I am running. And this happens suddenly.
Do you ever have ‘running meetings’ with your colleagues? Is there any merit to this practice in your experience?
Not as yet. But I have definitely encourages several people in my past two organisations, to take up running and pickup healthy habits.
Does running help you overcome a particularly bad day at work?
Of course it does. At times, immediately upon reaching home, I straight away go for a run if I have had a bad day at work. Even if I have done my planned run on that morning. I come back fresh, and don’t spoil anyone’s mood at home.
Besides running, what other activities do you regularly practice – cycling/swimming/hiking etc?
I do a bit of cycling and swimming. I also do a bit of gym work-out once or twice a week. But what I love the most is free style work-out anywhere outside. I could just jump on to the Monkey Bar in the kid’s park, or do crunches at the slide, or pull-ups, or crawling. I so enjoy it.